Mossy’s RobinHood Top

Last weekend I took a break from Martha Julia Agnes Adele to begin sewing a top from some old cloth napkins, a favorite pair of 20+ year old pants and an old apron. Time for a break from Martha Julia Agnes Adele for a few days, and to finish sewing my top! Here it is with only a few hand stitches left! Alex’s comment was….”it makes me think of Robinhood!” Seems like an apt name for my ‘leftovers shirt’.

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Time to let Martha Julia Agnes Adele and her friends talk with the Owl while I head off to bed! Touch-ups later. Sleep well!

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I’ve had trouble both creating a vision for today’s drawing that would go well with the, as well as learning the skills needed to paint it. It’s one of those days that I’d LOVE having some lessons un palette and technique ‘under my belt’! Guess it’s good for me to realize this. I want to learn how to paint a ‘luster’ and ‘twilight’ and many more things! Sofar, here’s the beginning of this day’s painting.

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Added color to this page of Martha Julia Agnes Adele, even though it’s getting close to twilight and colors wouldn’t show as much.

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Delight is a wonderful feeling to have! Had it tonight while we spent time with our wonderful granddaughters! It’s much harder for me to draw, especially when I’m yawning! Painting yet to come!

Old Cloth Napkins, Aprons and Pants That Don’t Fit

Renewed my ENERGY with a weekend writing break!

This weekend I’ve taken a break to deal with leftover projects and things around the house. My closet had become an untended pile since returning from China in October! After having lived out of my suitcase for a month in China, using the two small drawers in the chest outside my closet door was all I was accustomed to needing! This weekend I decided to tackle my closet, at least going as far as finding the floor, discarding some clothes, and hanging the rest. There’s definitely more to do but I at least tended to the pile! In the process I found some pants I’ve held onto for at least 20 years, not because they fit,! That certainly was NOT the case. I just LOVED the linen material, the color combinations of all the greens like there are in mosses and trees, plus a deep burgundy red, and some soft black. It was covered with blotches of these colors and had words like fun, energy, play randomly peaking through the weave of colors.

I remembered that a few weeks before I had found my favorite black, knitted cotton top. It was loved and aged to shreds and hard to give up, but not wearable. So I had cut it up at the seams and traced it on pattern paper before I threw it away. NOW was the time to transform my favorite pants that never fit, INTO my favorite shirt, renewed with new material, using the pattern of the poor soul that had turned into holes and shreds. I found some old cloth napkins and an old black apron, that had similar texture and colors and was ready to begin! Seemed simple, really! Had the pattern, had the vision, had the favorite material. I would just cut up my pants, match material to the pattern pieces, pin, cut, sew, and I should be done! I cut as much of the pants as I could for the main body of the shirt, and decided to turn the leg bottoms into three-quarter sleeves! Here’s a picture of the leg bottoms. and of MOST of the material pinned to the pattern pieces. Surely I’d finished the hard part!

The pants were not full length so I needed
to find ways to use every scrap of my favorite material.
I decided to use the already made pants pockets as the pockets for the shirt. This is a picture of the front piece before I sewed it.
When began piecing the back, I realized I was running out of big pieces, so putting the puzzle together became gradually harder.

The first day of the project became one of creating the tiny puzzle pieces and finding a way to end up with enough cloth altogether.

Day two, the sewing began! Hmmm… red thread is already on the bobbin! Hence, RED I would use! I pulled out my 2nd generation Singer Sewing Machine no fancy attachments, no digital crutches! (I LOVE this little black sewing machine and how it purrs with a simple stitch that I can understand and almost navigate pretty well! )

After three LONG days of sitting on the floor criss-cross-applesauce, using my knee on the foot pedal, I’d finally sewn all the crazy pieces together! …except, for adding the sleeves from the pant legs and the neck facing from the waistband and buttons of the pants.

Here’s how far I got on my weekend break project!

In between sewing spells, I would take a break to either jump on the tractor and mow or practice drawing Martha Julia Agnes Adele’s delighted face for her next page tomorrow. Oh, and happily took time out Saturday night to go with Alex to ‘The Snowman Party’!

Whew! I’m ready to get back to you Martha! See you tomorrow!

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Finally Martha is listening to her heart and starting to have her ‘a-ha’ moment! And finally I get it done before midnight! Sleep well, Slab and Slug and Martha Julia Agnes Adele.

The Hillock Holds the Stories

One thing I have learned about how my brain works is that it forgets many things that pass through it! Perhaps this is because SO MANY ideas go through it at lightning speed! and my brain storage system can’t possibly hold them all! nor does it know what storiess will need which ingredients. That’s where The Hillock comes in!! My sort of brain needs concrete, reminders to recall old images that have passed through it. The Hillock has provided a ‘container’ to hold magical ideas and artifacts that at some point can come alive as important ingredients for stories. Characters are also emerging faster than I can write them!

I’m so grateful for my walks with our dogs, even in times when my brain bubbles ideas that my body doesn’t have energy to carry forward! And also grateful for how time takes the ingredients of ideas & inklings and mixes them into a stew of stories! Years ago when I was dealing with intensely chronic pain from Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses, I did a lot of walking and wandering… On hot, buggy days I’d end up at Goodwill just puttering and spending coin-amounts on little ‘idea relics’. Then over years a few would end up in my pocket on a walk with the dogs, invariably finding a place in The Hillock. This little metal owl and a roughly welded simulation of a nest of sticks, found a place in the fork of two branches of a large cedar, actually, the cedar that eventually became Potter’s tree!

And now, perhaps 7 or so years later, Old Cedar and the Wise Old Owl have become key characters in helping Martha Julia Agnes Adele find her shoe!

I just LOVE how Life leads me back and forth from Inklings of Intuitive…seemingly useless ‘pickups’ at Goodwill to Ideas that become Important Ingredients in Stories that I had no Idea would Evolve! HOW does this happen?

THESE are the moments when I’m so grateful for the crazy-nonstop wise brain that I have! (BeLIEVE me! There are also times when I wish I could STOP some of my off-the-wall, seemingly superfluous thoughts…and either REST or have a logical, normal one, for a change! Today, I’ll embrace GRATITUDE and all the benefits of creative connections that come with it!

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This illustration was a little difficult for me! But hopefully it will help me remember the gist of things! I imagine a true illustrator could express this much more clearly.

This story about Martha was written about 6 years ago. Over the years I have revised and edited it along the way. It’s the illustrations that take me so long since drawing and painting are things I have had few lessons to help me! I mostly have a degree in trial and error for me! Sometimes I write planning notes for myself, like I did on this page. AND often some of the directions I give myself either would show up ‘off the page!’ or would need more expertise than I can muster with my little fingers! Here were my directions to myself:

Drawing tips: Martha is steadying Potter ‘on top of’? Slug as they ‘hobble’ towards Potter’s Tree, which is also not far from OLD CEDAR.

Potter has his hurt knee riding on Slug’s back and is hobbling with his other foot on the ground, assisted by Martha who is leaning to help but also hobbling herself.

Up high in the distance at OLD Cedar sits OWL, half awake, and half asleep, with one eye shut and one eye open. His head is turned to the side, and he’s ‘rubbing one eye?’ with his wing-tip.

As it turned out…only owl’s feet and wingtips made it into the picture, which makes it hard to see one eye open and the other almost asleep, or to see him tucked under his wing. Oh, well, Owl doesn’t really show up til the next page! So a sneak peek is okay with me for now!

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Martha Julia Agnes Adele is realizing she’s not the only one who’s got shoe problems. It’s Slab’s turn now! Meanwhile, I’m trying to remember to leave some faded space in my painting to reserve a place for text to go! Will need to work on this! Only about 8 more pages to go to find this shoe!

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