Getting There With Diversions

The new bed quilt set arrived…soft as a kittens tummy. And the color is perfect because it will go with the grey walls of the room and the large painting that will hang overhead. …..aptly named Starting Over – Coming Home.

A walk out to the dam and another over to the new house. Progress! Finishing siding…

And the porch…

So nice to see a door hung. I met the electrician to go over where wiring will need to be. Such a delightful man. Very helpful and thought of all the things I did not. Like, “If you are getting out of your car here with a six pack of beer, you want that little garage refrigerator here and not over there.” That advice determines where an outlet needs to be. And so we walked through every room and talked about what furniture would be where. He kept asking if I was sure there was not to be a television in the living room or bedroom. I assured him that only in the den/office was fine. He was also good at telling me about how many recessed ceiling lights would be enough and I could have some of them dimmable. They will let me know before the drywall goes in to see if I want to make changes. Nice.

I made another two cups of lemon myrtle gin and celebrated with an Australian flavored G & T.

When I would walk over to the house these past couple of months I collected scraps of two by fours. I wanted them different lengths to carve into house shapes for block printing. Friends in Australia have set our art challenge for the year based on letters of the alphabet. April is the letter “H”. Perfect for me to think of house as the topic to interpret. So last week I carved.

I wanted them to be in there natural state with just carved spaces that would not receive the color. And I must say I have been following the Ukrainian printmaker, Olesya Dehuraeva, who lives in Kviv and has been finding scraps of wood and using them to print with the black soil of her devastated area. The pieces are haunting and have a sense of the hurry with which she must be working to stay safe.

Even though I planned on making these prints from two by four scraps with my watercolor made from the house site, Olesya’s prints showed me again that the intention of the artist must take precedence over any other considerations, and to just do it.

So, find a brush, get the watercolor soft enough to transfer enough color onto the block and print quickly.

I had to soften the surface beneath the printing paper and sometimes hit the block with a wooden mallet. It was easy to go over again if necessary because I had marked off where each block would be printed.

I looked at it, but not for long before deciding it would be fun to stitch around each house so I punched the holes through the heavy paper first.

Then I stitched it with a very dark brown thread.

I had erased all the pencil guide lines before. Then I sprayed it with a fixative before steam pressing the paper flat…well sort of.

And guess what! I didn’t like it! Still don’t. So this morning I spaced the houses further apart and made a change in one of them. It is drying thoroughly before I think of what I want to do next to it. Scraps of something like tar paper would be fun to cut into strips to add as roofs but I will make another trip to the site to see what is there.

Something tells me it needs a black crow and I have one I carved a long time ago. I will wait and see where it goes next. But my thought was that when satisfied, I would have it framed and hung over the front door on the way out to remind me I do have neighbors now.

Isn’t it odd how Olesya’s scrap wood and black soil images make your heart sink. And mine in this somewhat cheery yellow ochre of my new home can make me smile. Both our intentions have been met.

And if I feel like threading a needle I have this to work on.

I cut up the owl print that I thought needed cloth and stitch added. Then found more cloth to piece the pieces together. I am going to fill it with more of those randomly directed black marks until I either like it or just say, “I don’t like that at all.” And give it a toss. It is so funny how easily we can deceive ourselves into pathetic being passable. Or passable being perfect.

This morning the fellow came to clean the shop before repainting it. By the time he finished it no longer needs painting. It almost sparkles. I pawned a swivel rocker off on him and we were both delighted. I cleaned the porch that was covered in pollen and am relieved that there is so little to move or pack up out here. My cleaning lady will take all I don’t have a home for and donate it to her church.

It is sunny and quite warm today.  I can see the leaves popping out at the tips of branches. Lee and I would have been sipping a beer and feeling lucky to have such a view. I am ready to leave and hope to meet with the realtor this week.

It turns out he does not need difficult dental work and is eating most of his meals.

More later…..