Saturday, July 2, 2022

Misfits and Freecycle

Yesterday's Misfits box was a cold pack order, items sent in special packing




So I'm all provisioned for eggs, cheese, fish, chicken butter, yogurt, cool items. 

And the cool pack bag, along with a few togs, 


is leaving this morning via Freecycle, took about ten minutes to set up.

The clothes are now packed into the bag and sitting on the step. The taker happened to have business a few hundreds yards away this morning, worked nicely all round. She's reliable about showing up, too, often a problem with Freecycle, people overcommit, then fail to show. 

Now that I'm winding down with Alice B Toklas, the current reading is a Kate Atkinson


on my Kindle, easiest way right now, since most printed books are a little too small to see well.

And a Mrs Pargeter audiobook 


to accompany knitting and sewing - this time an alteration promised to handsome Son, rehemming frayed jeans legs. This will get done promptly, unlike similar tasks for myself, so mom-typical.

And the view from the stairs waiting for Misfits




Carpenter's pencil 

Happy day everyone and hang in there




Friday, July 1, 2022

Gilbert and Ellice Islands and other unlikely thoughts

 Yesterday this arrived, tiny package,few inches square 


From a place I didn't know, wondered at first if it was a New Zealand post office, since I have friends in NZ, but no.

So I look it up and discover it used to be a colonial "possession" Ellice Islands. And instantly flashed on my little red stamp album inherited as a kid from older brothers, but what I remembered was Gilbert and Ellice Islands, interesting stamps.

Like these, pretty sure I had a sepia one. As a kid I thought the man a pilot and the boat in the lower right hand image a plane!



Turns out Gilbert and Ellice were businessmen and politicians, white westerners of course. 

Then at independence, the islands renamed themselves, Gilbert and Ellice separating, different names, different decisions.

All these flashbacks and still no idea who sent the package. Turns out an eBay seller was the sender of replacement toothbrushes! One seen installed here.


So I may have brought a little bit of business to a small outfit, good. Seems like a roundabout way of shopping but nothing nearer available, supply chain evidently stopped short of toothbrush replacements.

And today is Happy Canada Day! Also White rabbits



And bears throwing pots on wheels.

The Sock Ministry is benefiting from the hot weather keeping me indoors.


Handsome Son is stopping by this morning with various items including the Rxs, yay. I hope he has time for a cup of tea and a piece of plum cake.

Yesterday I broke out a charcoal pencil and tortillon and revealed the unholy jumble in the drawers of that seemingly orderly coffee table. 




Charcoal is nice for giving a ghost image if you rub the back onto another page


If you don't want it to migrate, you spray with a fixative, either an expensive one from the art supply store or a cheap hairspray from anywhere. Both work fine and don't spoil color, if you're working with pastels, contrary to the art shop assertions.

Now to set up the doings for tea and cake for HS.

Happy day everyone! Canadians enjoy your holiday. Everyone:  it's July how amazing is that. 

Beloved Justice Kagan wrote a blistering dissent to the latest SCOTUS outrage, and the new Justice was sworn in, Justice Jackson, let's hope it's not too little too late.

One good thing: SCOTUS sided with Biden on abolishing the stay in Mexico cruel ruling from TFG. Sparks of hope here and there.


Look for the helpers.


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Tradescantia, pedal pushers, and Rx victory

Yesterday finally, after eight days of back and forth and checking and pushing, and my referring eye doctor, not the one who was supposed to call in the Rx,  sternly telling me to keep calm (!) the Rx finally arrived. 

At least two of the three did, one back-ordered. So I can start breathing again. After this the actual procedure will probably be a lot less stressful. Anyway, so far so good. Handsome Son will pick up the stuff. 

This is also showing up in the groundcover, lovely spiderwort, aka tradescantia virginiana


Sparks of brilliant blue flowers. It's one of those flowers, like daylilies, you can either spot everywhere growing wild, or buy and plant. It's also one of many discoveries aka thefts, from the New World, made by John Tradescant, here

I love how solemnly they say he's the father of JT jr !  Anyway I'm glad the namers acknowledged Virginia in the name since that's where he plundered it from, back when Europeans thought the Americas were there for their browsing benefit, rather than the native land of ancient peoples.

And yesterday, largely as displacement activity before the arrival of the text about the Rx, I finally did one of those jobs you think about for months, nay, years,  then polish off in twenty minutes.

These are supposedly capris, but on arrival turned out to be more like high waters, brushing the top of my socks. I've been wearing them while planning to fix them.



Simple enough. Cut off several inches, hemmed up, done.  Much more useful now.

Then I finished the second sock of, I think, Pair Seventeen, did the finishing, and started sorting colors for the next. 


These have  shaker stitch tops, and an elastic insert to keep the shape,  so it doesn't stretch out in use.

I always mean to take an interval between pairs but once the needles are vacant suddenly need to fill them again.

A passage from The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas in progress, struck me as so applicable to studying the technique of art


It's about  familiarizing yourself with any artwork in order to really experience it.
I know writers who make a practice of writing out passages of favorite authors just for the insight into how they did it. It's done to learn, not imitate, like playing scales to develop finger expertise.

I've done it by copying Picasso drawings just to get into the vision and it's very demanding. You come away with such respect for the artist. Even copying is demanding, imagine conceptualizing in the first place. 

During the Fischer Spassky chess tournament, the games were published as played and Handsome Partner and I, chess players back then, replayed them as they came out, marveling at the insight and anticipation of each player. We were plumb wore out just replaying, never mind doing the actual original thinking.

Copying art for learning now and then is fine, but not for thinking you're making art. The art, all its life and energy, lies in the maker's original concept.  

Dusting off the teaching soapbox now and retiring it to the corner of the stable where my hobby horses live.

Maybe I'll stitch a bit of my vest while listening to a Mrs Pargeter audiobook today


I love Mrs Pargeter, so funny, and the cast of characters never fails. 

Art also, never fails to keep a person on the rails. Drawing, the guardrail of daily life.




Happy day everyone! Grateful for guardrails and the ability to know they're there.






Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Garlic, mystery trees, Textiles and Tea, and Larry

The garlic I planted outside is pushing up scapes, now that the indoor pot is done


Gary planted these, maybe peppers, outside the fence among the daylilies. I like a combo of food and flowers, too.


And the tree that was planted on the street to replace the dead maple needs a blogista to identify, please. I feel I should know it, but can't find it in my tree books. 

Pictures to show size against houses, foliage, bark. The leaves are purplish like my Japanese maple, but the leaves are not maple. The trunk looks like a cherry to me. No blossom. 





Any help gladly accepted by neighbor Karen and me.

But the tree books did come in handy as models for a few minutes of drawing 





Yesterday's Textiles and Tea featured Sarah Saulson, a weaver largely of commissioned Jewish prayer shawls , observing the ritual rules of the two thousand year tradition, while applying her own inventive design



She also creates other woven artworks such as these three pieces, retirement gifts for three physicists, each noting their key work in the field, using graphs from papers they'd written.


And garments like these



Where she paints the warp with dyes

She's also active with weavers in Ghana, Guatemala and India in the WARP (Weave a Real Piece) project where artists from different cultures and traditions work together. 

Here she's showing the strip weaving work of Guatemalan women, in their case to be worked on a backstrap loom


In the course of searching for the tree books, I came across an old book of Larry cartoons, had to share a few favorites





Happy day everyone. Yesterday a brave New Jersey lady testified in the January 6 hearings. Cassidy Hutchinson is from Pennington, a skip up the road from here. 

NJ sends many stars, Queen Latifa, Bruce, Bon Giovi, and writers, Joyce Carol Oates, John MsFee, sports stars, politicians, Booker, Katzenbach (stood up to Nixon) loads of great folks. Alas we also own Christie and Alito, further down the animal kingdom. 

But Cassidy may prove to be the greatest mover and shaker of all, if she brings down TFG. Let's hope.