Words and pictures from the author of And the Crows Took Their Eyes as well as the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries . . .
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Josie is Back from the Beach
I have been at the beach with Grandma and Apa! I learned how to ride a Boogie Board and how to body surf! And I went far out in the ocean all by myself!! It was a Very fun time but now I am home.
I stayed with Meema and Grumpy yesterday. Of course I had to check on all my stuff. In The Room, the babies had been running wild and Margot was hiding behind a curtain. Also there was some new stuff on my shelves, like this crystal necklace.
I took Bailey for walk. Bob came too. I am wearing my unicorn ears and horn that Sandy sent me. Meema and I took turns wearing them.
Do you have to pull out Everything? asked Meema when I got the blocks out of the closet. Yes, I do, I said.
I did a bunch of art.
This is a picture of Bailey.
Meema showed me how to do this kind of art. It is called Crayon Resist and you make a picture with crayons and then paint over it with watercolors.
I made flowers and butterflies and a bird and the sun. They all showed up through the blue watercolor!
Meanwhile the Castle People were having a concert starring Carmen and Elsa and Sunflower who are all very good singers.
Then we played with paper dolls. I was having a fashion show and videoing it on Meema's phone. It was Meema's job to keep cutting out more clothes for the show. She got fussy and said I had to learn to use my scissors the right way. (She has been saying that Forever!) She says I hold my scissors upside down but that's the way I do it.
Anyway, Meema got all fussy and said that I would have to cut some paper holding the scissors the right way before she would cut out another outfit. So I did--I cut a strip of paper in two and she cut out a little skirt. Now cut out this cute blouse, I told her, but she drew a square on a piece of paper and told me to try cutting that out. It was harder but I did it.
So we went on and on with her making easy things for me to cut out and her cutting out outfits.
Sometimes she would fold the paper and when I cut on the lines then opened it up, it was a heart! She wrote stuff on them like TOO HARD and IMPOSSIBLE but when I did it, she put NOT in front of the words.
And then she tricked me! She folded a paper two times so there were four layers and she cut it in a circle. She drew lines and triangles on it and told me to cut on the lines. It is hard cutting through four layers but I did it and when I finished and unfolded it, it was a snowflake!
Now my paper dolls have lots more outfits cut out but there are still more to go. (There were 76 in the book.) Meema said her fingers were tired, but we would do more the next time. I will probably do more cutting too--it's actually fun but don't tell Meema.
When the Castle People concert was over, things were in a Big Mess. Meema said that's how you can tell everyone had a good time.
And when it was almost time for me to go home, the house was another Big Mess, but I put things away like I'm supposed to do. The Castle People haven't learned that lesson yet.
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Everyone's an Art Critic--Bailey Update
Bailey removed two of my watercolor efforts from the shelf where I'd left them between some books and proceeded to chew on them.
She doesn't know much about art, but these were to her taste.
Bailey's come a long way from the fearful, mangy-looking critter John brought home. She'd evidently never been in a house and had to be dragged in; now it's her favorite place, especially the kitchen where food falls on the floor and there are often things to pre-wash.
She's a happy girl. We still have to chaperon her on walks as she's not yet spayed (and still reluctant to get in the car, plus we're reluctant to traumatize her when she's doing so well,) but she goes on walks without a leash and knows what Go to the house means. The crusted dirt and skin condition she arrived with were so bad I thought sure she had mange, but baths with special shampoo from the vet and fish oil on her food, along with daily brushing, have done the trick. She looks really good now.
She gets along fine with the rest of the pack.
That includes Otter who, on weekdays when her people are at work, always drops in for lunch.
I hear Jayna and Sandy asking What about the cats? Not a problem; she's pretty sure, given their tuxedo coats, that they're cousins or something. But I don't have any good pictures.
She's a sweet girl who's found her home.
I didn't like those watercolors anyway.
Monday, June 5, 2023
This Is Not a Chair
We've been friends with Drew and Louise Langsner for almost fifty years. We've known Drew as a master craftsman and teacher of woodworking and, at heart, an artist. So we shouldn't have been surprised when he turned from making chairs to deconstructing and rearranging them into new forms. Something like a traditional musician turning to jazz.
The Madison County (NC) Arts Council has mounted a beautiful show of Drew's latest work. We attended the opening on June 1st.
The Arts Council occupies the building that was once a Belk's store and later the public library. They have done a magnificent job in transforming the space.
Some of the artist's more traditional work.
I love this whimsical decoration.
A beautiful dough bowl. About forty-five years ago John and I took a workshop with Drew and we each made a dough bowl. They weren't as graceful as this, but we still have and use them.
Drew has made a variety of serving dishes from sassafras, sometimes incorporating a bit of acrylic decoration.
It was a fine opening with wine and nibbles and lots of interested gallery-goers.
These are not chairs. Anymore.
Beautiful slices of a hollow log, painted and decorated.
This red one was painted with auto paint.
A found bit of wood, disguised as a king's ransom in gold.
The show will be up through July. Come visit Marshall and enjoy the vibe. (It's changed right much since we moved here.)
Sunday, June 4, 2023
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Gardening Can Be Murder
I was delighted to receive an advance copy of Marta McDowell's latest. Marta became a blog friend some years ago when I discovered her delightful prose. Marta's a professional gardener and an accomplished and best-selling author. I've talked about her books here before--wonderful mash-ups of literature and gardening lore like Emily Dickenson's Gardening Life, Unearthing the Secret Garden, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life.
Now Marta's turned her gaze to the role of gardens in mysteries. I was honored to have been one of the mystery writers she interviewed and profiled, though, as I told her, my days of serious gardening are past.
The book's not out till the fall but you can, of course, pre-order (always a blessing for the author.) It's a great read for anyone with an interest in gardening or mysteries, Though, as I said in the blurb that appears on Amazon, the book is dangerous--you may find your list of plants for your garden increasing exponentially; you may begin lusting after garden tours, and your To Be Read stack of mysteries may teeter dangerously after Marta introduces you to so many delights.
But wait, there's more! The book is illustrated by another blog/FB friend--the endlessly creative Yolanda Fundadora.
So many talented friends! I'll be talking about another on Monday.
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