“Moving” Right Along

The bloom on the bromeliad from Mothers Day. A bright spot on the porch and in my day. I am stuck pretty much until foot surgery heals. AND I am trying not to be whiny. Another bright spot is the deer that come into the yard where Lee feeds them.

I counted fifteen this morning. Now the turkeys have come and gone. Just squirrels foraging now. I am hiding on the porch while the cleaning lady works her magic and a neighbor is hopefully making the latte he promised to bring over. So whining can sometimes be useful.

These and ice packs are also helping.

We reached a new low in cuisine last night. Microwave dinners!

Not too bad but totally devoid of anything other than a feel of hospital or prison food.

I can now drive with the good foot being the right one. And that means I do not have to rely on the walker to get around the kitchen. Lee can remember how to fry an egg….but how many of those do we want to eat?

I packed up some things to work on while upstairs and away from the studio. Some of it is going to require my hobbling downstairs to retrieve a tool or two. There is absolutely no way to describe where something is in my studio. Impossible for Lee and just about anyone else. So later today I will give it a try.

Some stitching was done on the dementia shawl. It is soothing to thread a needle and hold things together,

And besides that I am using the threads bought in Australia. Each time I traveled to a new location and could find a thread shop, I would buy them in all the colors of that place. Just so I would have them to help fix memories.

The art group met here the other day and handled this cloth about dementia. It feels so good in the hand and they notice subtleties that I miss in the making.

Speaking of Australia, I am getting the trip for 2019 all sorted. Start in Newcastle, then a short time at Baldessin Press before heading off to Grampians Textures and Geelong for white line printmaking. I might try to put Baldessin at the end of my stay just to have an extra couple of days there. I love the planning and all the friends who get me sorted out when there.

I will leave with a picture of the mountain laurel on the bar out here on the porch. The woods outside our house is filled with it right now.

Til next time…

Irritations of Aging

The title of this piece is the title of the blog today. I am stuck in bed with a foot operation. A walker is my mode of travel to and from the restroom. It is like this getting up and out of the bed.

Confined is the perfect word.

With Lee’s mind on a somewhat low capacity, we are trying to make one functioning body. A sense of humor is helping as we limp through the day.

Lovely flowers surround me in the bedroom. Mother’s Day and a thoughtful friend.

I am keeping projects to work on tucked in bed with me. Two baskets with cloth, thread, needles, papers, books, kindle, battery lamp and spare basics in clothing.

The cats visit but not for long. This is unfamiliar for them.

The lap top and Iphone are helpful. Keeps me in touch. Thank heavens interesting things are going on elsewhere.

In a week I might be able to put the left foot on the floor for balance and that will help. Tomorrow I might have Lee roll me into the kitchen on his office chair. I could dry dishes and remind him where things are. Yesterday I had him use my phone to photograph the controls on the dryer so I could show him which buttons to push….and today, whalla, clean clothes.

We can do this.

Til next week.

Finishing Yard Work – Getting Ready for Recovery

These yellow irises are quite stunning close  up. And there are more than ever along the driveway this year.

Even the Siberian irises are more plentiful.

And this is the first time we have seen some of their offspring show up white.

The deer leave these along but have ravaged all hostas not five feet from the house, azaleas further out in the yard and anything along the top tier of the stepped plantings on the other side of the drive. It is only because we have fed the deer and it is a thing that Lee still does each morning. So of course they see anything we have as a food source.

But the garden shop informed me that Eucalyptus was deer retardant. So I bought all seven that they had. Six went in among the bushes they have paired down along the driveway and one I am keeping on the porch in a pot.

I am not sure how long they will last. But just the idea of having something like this in the yard and house is nice. When I ask the local florist if they have bunches of Eucalyptus they tell me only during bride bouquet season. Funny, I think most people want it year round….especially those using it for contact printing.

The only other news this week is that I will have to bring studio work upstairs to work on for the next couple of weeks. By this time next week I will be in one of those big boots from foot surgery and getting up and down the stairs will be problematic.

I ordered memory sticks to move material from this computer in the downstairs office to my laptop upstairs so I can work on photos and some writings.

The small sheets colored with the watercolors made with Australian soils will come upstairs to be stitched into and bound together.

There are the rest of the new Norwegian crime stories on my Kindle to read. And I will order the new book by Jon Meacham titled, The Soul of America. He has written about several presidents over the years and after hearing his interview on NPR, I think this might be a book for most of us to read that are living in the nightmare of the present administration.

We are having a small dinner party this week and I want to put some things in the freezer to make cooking easier for both of us later on.

Til next time.

Something With Pictures

I saw one of these on someone else’s blog. They are made from Lake Michigan rocks and encased in vellum. How could I not want to buy the last two available from Shanna Leino. She is an extraordinary book artist and tool maker. Now my responsibility is to keep them clean. Do not sit them onto painted, smeary, muddy, gluey surfaces. They are between 3.5 and 4.5 inches and quite heavy. Perfect for holding things in place….clean things.

This week in the studio I painted 192 small 2″ x 4″ sheets of kozo paper with 153 watercolors made from the soils of Australia.

When they were dry I sealed the color in on both sides. Sorting them according to colors so that they move through the country by color was a bit of a challenge. I am fairly satisfied now.

Even the very pale sheets have some color clinging to their edges. Here you can see that they go from the greys to creams to light terre vertes to pale yellows and then on to more intense colors. Deeper yellow ochres through the browns to reds and finishing with a nice caput mortuum…deep brownish red….old blood.

My intention with these is to stitch on each sheet before it is folded into a folio and then coptic stitched to the next one in line. I want the long book to flow like the endless landscape of Australia. I want to roll it back and forth between my hands. At least that is the plan.

The thread will be something I bought over there. A cream or beige or Eucalyptus leaf green. Not sure about that yet. Maybe all three?

I have been dipping into these watercolors for several projects.

This one now housed in the South Australia Museum.

This one now in Australia’s National Library.

The Lake Mungo book housed in Queensland State Library.

There were many, many hand pulled prints colored with these same watercolors.

Another thing I did this week was take all of my pop up book collection to Western Carolina University where I received my BFA in 1997. There were over ninety titles. So many were gifts and so many more I just found irresistible. Many came from museum gift shops and were extremely complex in their movements.  They were very happy to receive this collection and told me that the artist book collection I gave them late last year is now housed in their museum. I like that students can have access to these books. Much better than having them in boxes here.

Here is the only pop up book I kept, the one I made myself….Art History Pops Up.

This one was so much fun to make. Ten iconic art images throughout history. We do not have access to the shiny slick papers that make pop ups work so well. It is tedious and very wearing on the movable parts to make one. At least that was my experience so far. I have been asked to work on another with someone knowledgeable on the history of the book. I hope I can live up to his expectations. More on that project later in the year.

Meanwhile that is it for now. But one more thing, the novella, Kind Gestures, is now on my website, offered in spaced out chapters.

Til next week.