Waiting for Company

This is the view from the apartment window toward the woods. It is a cloudy day. Drizzly this morning. Lee has a new caregiver today. His first male who seems nice, young and willing to work with Lee on his rocks.

I walk past this gong and sculpture getting over here to the apartment.

Today friends who brought me scotch, bread and madeleines a while back return with sour dough starter. I have a box of Second Best Malted Cookies I Ever Ate for them and a poetry book. Seems the least I can do for their kindnesses toward Lee and me. Kent draws funny cat postcards to send to Lee weekly and Catharine gave me some of her indigo powdered pigment to turn into a watercolor. I am using some in my marks book as background color to draw into. It shows up on the pages after these latest ones using another friends pigment from Italy.

I liked doing the mobile. Not the chimes. I did not like the sketchiness of the flora and fauna on these pages so filled the white areas with dots. My daughter has sent me some graphite filled colored pencils so I will try those for color next. There is a boat sailing off into Catharine’s blue on the next page…likely I will fill it with stripes….anything to avoid too much emptiness.

Speaking of indigo blue, remember this boro coat that a friend, Suzy, gave me in St. Louis?


Then I added my own old clothing bits and made this shirt modeled by Ed here.

Now I have put it into a sewing basket and bought a blue thread to add stitching lines on all the patches. This will be my next stitching project because the night time animals are finishing up.

I am working on the bat.

I tend to drag my feet when I get to the last of something. But if I have a new project waiting and ready, it is not so hard to wrap things up. Now what am I supposed to do with all those night critters?!

Catharine and Kent just left. They brought not only the starter but a beautiful loaf of bread and a handwoven towel. It was such a good visit talking about everything from taking online classes, to mutual friends in Australia to our children.

Lee wanted me to check out the stone work he and Dillon have been doing. He is bringing more stones from down below to up by the driveway to finish his project. With this much energy and Dillon’s help, maybe I can get them to work on the trail stones next. Dillon is scheduled to return Wednesday.

Better stop now.

Til later…



All About the Power of Leaves

This is the next book from Lorraine in Australia that she sent for me to draw into. I have two more after this one. Here I will put sticks and stones in among her Eucalyptus leaves and then hide bones in the pocket enclosures at the bottom. All of it will be using the stippling technique I have been practicing in my Marks book.

Here are the latest leaf images from that book.


I don’t think I like using colored pencils. Their waxiness seems in opposition with the texture of the paper…no wonder they include that rolled up paper smudging tool that I do not use! I also do not like how I have to go over my sharp black lines because the colored pencil clouds them. When I turn the page it is going to be back to black ink in finer lines and put the pencils away. I tried. But it is my book and it is supposed to bring me peace. The pencils are just too aggravating.

Lee and I went out to walk the trail two days ago because it was so beautiful and warm out. It was the first walk there since late fall. The angle of the light late in the day was lovely to photograph.

So, in those images is a decided lack of leaves. Lee has blown what he is allowed to blow with his blower into oblivion. We are back to removing rocks from one place and putting them into another. He likes this but needs help with where to get them and where to put them. Last fall I could just tell him once and he would carry on…..not so much now. I get to help with my own suggestion.

Caregivers are still sorting out who comes on a regular basis. We had a substitute the other day who was very good at sitting and watching TV. I could tell Lee had hoped for more. ..we had our evening drink early that day.

Speaking of which…and this definitely has to do with leaves….remember my assorted bottles of infused vodkas? And how I thought I was told bay leave instead of basil?

Well, let me tell you that although none of us knows what the heck bay leaves taste like because we are told to remove them before eating….the infused vodka is nothing short of wonderful! I had to look up the flavor of bay leaves and found they were something akin to a mint in flavor. But beyond that I found a note of anise. I think that this is a vodka that will be sipped without adding anything to it. There are drink recipes online for bay leaf flavored vodka but it would be a shame to mask the flavor.

For my gin aficionados in Australia where they make the best ever gins at small boutique distilleries, if you have the time, give this vodka a try… three bay leaves in a pint of vodka.

Just got a call from the caregiver company and the schedule is set for next week….four afternoons of getting back to my short story, maybe some sewing and reading the book that was replaced for the one cut up. Might celebrate with a sip of vodka!

Til later.

Trying New Things

I think this is one of my most favorite pages. Shapes separated by altering the marks. I think on a larger scale this could be made much more complex. You could not go much smaller because the thickness of line determines how tight you can make marks…but bigger! Yes!

A place to work large and the added time to even begin are just not quite possible right now.

And the next page. A cityscape and an idea.

I prefer the organic shapes of the landscape over the architectural spaces.

I started with just the puzzle pieces with fine diagonal lines. Then colored them in with colored pencils. I did not like them. So drew in the three rectangular shapes coming from the right and filled in behind them with repetitive marks. Next I filled in the vast white spaces of the rectangles with vertical black marks. Still too much white so filled in the spaces between with other marks. By now I really did not like the puzzle pieces so thickened their outlines and diagonal lines.

Next I convinced myself that I should just return to marked spaces to start the next page with the intention of filling it all in. I was inspired to stay with the black and white when Robyn Gordon shared this image of Suzanne Sullivan’s cups.

Changed my mind because I wasn’t giving the coloring in much of a chance, so drew in Eucalyptus leaves to only color half in a color I am more comfortable with….greens.

This morning I turned the page and did more leaves with additional shading in the color section.

The color pencils dull the sharpness of the black lines so I have to go over them again. I have to stay with the pencils because not all the black pens are waterproof. Otherwise I would prefer watercolors.

The next leaf contact print from Lorraine is more pale and yellow than the others I have used. I am planning to fill it with the stippling technique to show nothing but sticks and stones…and then in the fold down hidden section stipple in bones. My only decision yet to make is are they all in black, or a brown pen or combination. Using the two together on a stone might look pretty good. Maybe keep my bones and sticks in black…still thinking.

Lee just opened the door to see if I was okay and seemed fine to just leave me here working. He has a new substitute caregiver today. Our regular one just suddenly quit after telling me on Friday that she was good for four days a week. Monday and today are new ones to Lee but he really doesn’t remember them anyway as soon as they are gone. That is a good thing but I get disappointed because I think I can depend on sameness. What I can depend on is that the company will do their best to get fill-ins until they get another more a permanent one. Tomorrow another new one and judging from the name could be a male. That might be fun for a change. We take what we can get during this time of Covid.

I have three and one half hours left today so will get back to another short story.

One more thing…my poetry books are arriving in Australia. Here is Mem with hers….It makes me feel so good to see her happiness with it. She wrote that the title poem was quite relatable for her.

And then this from out west that moved me to tears.

Hello Sandy, I would normally send a card but that would just take too long in the snail mail. We are honored to receive Trusting the Tether Line over the weekend. It is a profound peek into your lives and we thank you for that candidness. We who aren’t so gifted as to expressing our feelings in words can feel the emotions spilling out. You always amaze me. I love art but sadly I am not an artist. You however have set an extraordinary high bar for creativity and artistry just by being you. I have often wondered where do all those ideas come from but that is who you are. Amazing.

I miss my friends….

Til later…..


Just a Few Days Later

I finally finished the Fairy Book!

This was fun to do and I dragged it out as long as possible. Now I will dig out another of Lorraine’s books and start on a new theme playing off her contact leaf printed pages.

And inspired by Kent’s calendar pages I added lots of designs in the Marks Book.

I started a landscape this morning using these marks to delineate the sections of hills and trees, etc. Another fun idea.

The sun has been deceiving. It is cold with the wind and Lee seems to be stuck inside with constant trips out to see if it got warmer. I stop whatever I am doing to help him in or out of his coat and hat and gloves every fifteen minutes until he gives up and stays in. There is nothing we have come up with to keep him occupied inside that has the appeal of going outside.

Starting this week we will have a caregiver coming in for four to five hours on Monday,  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. Hopefully I can get to some sewing and reading.

Here is his inside lap buddy.

Til later.