Getting Book Pages Cut – Making a Trail – Making an Artist Book

Lee is looking down to where his trail is cut through the woods below the dining room. He will have so many places to line up his rocks. They should be able to finish the last of the trail near my studio by the end of next week.

It is really hot and humid today and he has taken his substitute caregiver on a tour around the yard. It won’t be long and I think they will come inside to the endless cop shows on the TV. It is nice in here with the air conditioner fixed.

Inspired by Lee’s lines of rocks and by the encouragement of friends to do an artist book about his rocks, I finished the book the other day. Here it is all rolled up.

I used a Japanese wooden fishing bobber for the center where all the scrolls glue by one end. I bought these from the Tombo booth at Grampians Textures a couple of years ago. I only have three and was going to give some away, but you know how that goes… hold them in your hand, feel the softness, the wear, the history, and you just know that no one else will love them as much….so you keep them. And it went with the Japanese type garden we have out front.

Here it is partially opened.

And then more so.

I painted the long lines of rocks with the watercolors I made from the earth pigments on our road/driveway.

The scrolls can roll out and then roll over each other and be held in place by the small rocks from Lee’s endless supply.

Then it just rolls up on the wooden center piece and the few rocks fit into a small can the same diameter of the bobber. It is fun to manipulate….much like it must be for Lee moving his rocks around.

Here is some of his trail starting down from behind the shed at the end of the driveway.

Looking back up toward the house as you walk by below.

Heading down toward where all the artwork was buried.

From there it comes into a small clearing before going back into a bit of woods then turns and curves back and forth below the porch until it will end at my studio patio.

Lotus bloomed this year. The pond guy was right, the lotus is happier in the sun. I might have him move the other two from the shady end to join this one.

My last four drawings a day.

This uninvited

massive green-leaved wildflower –



A fat juicy growth

with the emerging green buds

on dark maroon stem.



Red honeysuckle

really is not red, but orange

or salmony pink.


Thought it was catnip.

Now I am not very sure.

But then, what is it?


When I finish drawing the collected specimen each morning, I put it into this pot of water with the others. As they die off I will stuff another one into its place.

My dried up Eucalyptus stems are still here with the old small acorn covered branch. In with them are the fennel parts and juicy maroon stem and red honeysuckle.

This morning I was able to buy more cheap flowers at the grocery store. I won’t buy them unless they are three bunches for ten dollars. Then I try to find things that will go with the first choice of sunflowers. All are trimmed and shoved into an old brown pottery picture….I think it was titled “Stag and Pine Tree” and likely was quite valuable to collectors of early pottery at one time. Now no one wants these old things….and why would they? It weighs a ton empty!

Because the flowers are a bit old when I buy them it takes almost two weeks before they look like this.

I find this one as appealing as the fresh ones. Probably even more so. It looks like me in a way. The perk is pretty much gone. I am losing the brightness, the sunniness. I don’t know if my earrings still have holes to fit into. Forget the lipstick. This morning I noticed that I stuck my elbow into some bleach counter cleanser without knowing it and thought, “Not too bad. I can take a black laundry marker to it.” Earlier I would have put it in the “painting clothes” pile or tossed it out. Now I am using black marking pens to cover the spots. I think it is such a good idea that I may eventually turn my entire wardrobe to black. I am also watering down my heavy single malt scotch that I just loved straight. It is lasting longer when I do that and does not burn going down….which is a whole new phenomenon.

Two days ago my doctor’s office called to tell me my appointment had been moved back one day. I said, “I didn’t know I even had an appointment! Wasn’t I just in there not too long ago?”

“Yes, Sandy, but now we are checking you every six months…not just once a year.”

“Well did I forget that I have a disease that needs checking? Did I want Teresa (my doctor) to look at some new thing on my body?”

“No, Sandy, you are at that age where we like to see you twice a year. That’s all.”

Now I am wondering if I can possibly get some of the covid weight off before I have to face her always heavy-handed scales.

That is a stupid thing to be wondering about now because I just explained to the checkout girl at the grocery this morning at 7:15 that the two things you run out of before your two weeks is up between shopping trips, are beer and ice cream. These are not scale friendly.

Anyway, I am off to the studio to cut more of the Stoat Story pages and consider how much lokta paper needs to be ordered for their covers once everything is glued together.

Til later.