Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Odd Ring Collection

Here we have my antique Jewish poison ring in several views, including as a hat on a metal bird's head; my paternal grandmother's Mardi Gras ball pinky ring (9032);  my 19th century wedding ring from Florence that we found in San Casciano dei Bagni;  and my little gold and sapphire baby ring.  First day out of the house!  Felt great but I am sleepy tonight.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Bathroom Treasures

Confined by weakness to a diminished radius, I decided to do a deep observation of some pieces and scraps of jewelry that lives in a drawer in the bathroom..  I've had some of these things for 25 years but really saw them for the first time today.
My favorite of these is the ceramic fish sinker, which isn't jewelry at all.  Imagine a world in which fishing sinkers were made as beautifully as ceramic sculptures.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Wind-Up Easter Toys

One of our family traditions when the children were young was to collect little mechanical wind-up toys.  I started finding Easter chicks and bunnies in the grocery store, and I would buy a new one or two every year for a few years at Easter time.
This one (9020) used to have pink plastic ears.  Amazingly I still have a couple of the keys, and they all still hop and peck and gyrate.
The year David was 11 or 12 he went to visit my parents in New Orleans by himself and came home with 9021 and its identical mate-- ceramic salt and pepper shakers that I had bought for my mom as a birthday present at Sutton's Fairyland on Canal Street, when I was  about his age and first venturing out alone on streetcars and buses.  She had given the salt and pepper chickens to David, and he gave them (back) to me as a present. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Land of Counterpane

I remember my mom sweetening the bed-ridden rule for us when we were feverish and therefore required to stay in bed for a whole day even after our fevers went away;  she would read Robert Louis Stephenson's poem "The Land of Counterpane" to us and people our beds with toys for the long stay.  In bed today with fever and books.  Still like the Land of Counterpane.https://www.lnstar.com/mall/literature/rls/LandofCounterpane.htm

Friday, January 27, 2017

Mostly Unidentified

Into the 9000s and digging deep for what's left to draw.  These things have spent years in a little ceramic bowl on a chest of drawers.
Yes, I threw them out after drawing them!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jesse Watches the Odometer Turn

When I need something soothing to divert my attention from the anxieties of the country,  there is always Jesse.
I wish I could shed my worries as he does:  a couple of rolls in the driveway followed by a down dog and he's all smoothed out.
But wait!  Right after I did a clunky drawing of him sleeping he turned his head and --I'm not making this up-- stared at me out of the corner of his eye.  So I drew that stare right below and overlapping so that this entire page is drawing 9000.  He knew this was a big drawing and he was it.
And then he returned to snoozing, oblivious to my small triumph in finally reaching R. Burr's office to register my NO to the bad nominee for education secretary.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lenten Roses

If you have a patch of lenten roses (Hellebores), run outside and check them now!  Ours are beginning to open and moving so fast that by the time I finished drawing the seventh one, the first one had changed.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Uninspired and Random

Trying to drum up the energy to draw after reading about how the Loser of the Popular Vote spent his first Monday at his new part-time job.  Not easy to do, but here are an empty salsa bowl, a lemon slice, a leftover quesadilla, an empty sweetener packet, my linocut tool, an old fish carving, and six stamps of two star knife drawings.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Details from the March

These drawings are of tiny moments during the March in DC as well as during the 8 hour overnight bus trips to and from.  Anove is M waiting in line about a half mile from the entrance to the Metro that would take us into DC from our bus garage.  She is one of a line of people slowly moving toward the entrance, wearing her pussyhat and sign made by A.
Another done diring the two-hour wait to get into the Metro station.  This is Maya with her hat on and hair obscuring her face.  She's wearing her Linda Larsen Nasty Lady face banner in front.
At top the only real action drawing done during the actual March:  fog-veiled Washington Monument in a sea of people as far as I could see, overcast and chilly, spirits high!

At the bottom is A while we were talking through the bus seats waiting to leave for home.
Bus -sleeping when the air in the back of the bus where we were was nose-numbingly cold.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Packing Light for the March

Necessities only:  flattened toilet paper roll, emergency rain poncho, tiny notebook, short toothbrush, pussyhat,  chocolate, toothpaste

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Various and Random

Large boar from the college farm
Wedge-shaped cars from the car line on top;  Jesse grooming on a kitchen stool
Jesse poised to spring at something outside.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Girl Veiling 1950s

 Inspired by my friend L's luscious paintings of veiled women, I stamped some Charlottes and dressed them in the veils I remember from Catholic girlhood in the 50s.   
I never did get why our heads always had to be covered, why we were wrapped like fragile packages for the big events, why religion always involved hiding our flawed and shame-filled bodies, why white was our color, why girl dressup clothes were so punishingly uncomfortable.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Secret Life

On this warm winter day I leaned way out of a window and noticed some leftover seed factories on the rhododendron and azalea bushes.
These structures are no bigger than 1/4 to 1/2" across.  The flowers are so plentiful and showy on these plants, but the magical production of seeds happens without any show at all.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Knitting All Day Day

 Gotta get five hats made this week.  Two done and three to go! 
Can't use watercolors on this inadequately-sized paper;  so here are samples of the yarn.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Maya and I went for a walk late this afternoon to see the farm animals.  First up : the draft horses, whose massive legs are shown here.
Next is the hind end of one of the big horses, then two hens, one of which was racing around with one foot curled up.
This winter there are five wooly sheep and one is a ram.  There's a Beware of Ram sign at the far gate, which comes after you've crossed the sheep field.  The ram seems oblivious.
Finally the sweet little milk cow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In the Winter Greenhouse

When it's far too cold to stand around drawing in the garden, and everything is either desiccated and brown or hidden under the snow, the college greenhouses are warm and humid, smell delicious, and offer lettuces and kale along with great greenish-purple cabbages.
This second page is blotched from strike through of the watercolors on the reverse page.  This sheet of paper doesn't have enough sizing to hold watercolors; so I left it with pen sketches only.  On the right 2/3 of the spread are what I am calling rescue plant ornaments:  several forlorn succulents in plastic pots left behind in dorm rooms.  I like the little objects that were in the pots among the plants.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Jesse Helps Make a Pussyhat

I'm making some pussyhats for the Women's March and Jesse is helping by staying asleep while I knit--

Friday, January 6, 2017

Snowy Night Dinner

Roasted roots and kale with sweet Italian sausage and two lovely chocolate truffles from our friend V. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017


It is really tough to paint soaps!
Especially Nate's handmade soaps with embedded objects.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Outdoor Fewtrils and the Correct Definition

First the definition, almost correctly puzzled out by Mary and Rachel and Velma (with Lisa doing a good job of identifying the fewtrils themselves ):  a fewtril is a trifling thing with little or no value.(OED Shorter)
But-- this morning I was noticing outdoor fewtrils as I clomped down the hill behind my house.  I first saw a cow flop and thought that was surely a fewtril, but then I remembered collecting cow manure from this very field to put on my garden and also to make paper from.  I picked up an empty black walnut husk, gooey and black and worthless to me;  but then I remembered collecting these things to make walnut ink.  The jimson weed pods were surely of no value, but in a way  even they have worth as seed holders to continue that species.  And so on.  So I concluded that fewtrilhood is a relative state.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fewtrils: a Contest!

All of these objects are fewtrils.  What is a fewtril?  Post your answers in the comments section on Facebook or on this blog. Watch this spot tomorrow for the answer.