Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Cerulean Warbler Searches for Pie

I have been working full-on to complete my commission piece, punctuated with a few ventures to Sounds of South to keep my costuming project moving forward.  The weaving features an intricate garden scene.  The background is now completed.  It is a lush flower and vegetable garden full of vibrant colors and blooms.  Now I’m working on finishing two songbirds for the weaving intended to be focal points.  They are both warblers and beautiful songbirds, although that decision complicated the piece.  The first warbler I finished is a cerulean warbler.  Cerulean describes the beautiful blue color of the bird, which has a rich song to match.  When I studied the warbler I learned that only the male sings.  That’s perfect, I thought, so I named him Dan.  The problem arose when I realized that I needed to find a female warbler with a beautiful voice too.  My choice of a female Magnolia warbler, based on her colors and feather patterns, failed the biological accuracy test when it turned out she doesn’t sing.  Only a few of the female warblers actually sing so my choices were limited.  Curses!  Shouldn’t all warblers sing?  After an exhaustive image search I settled on a the stunning female yellow warbler.   
Her coloration will bring a warm glow to the piece.  In addition to the birds, I’m having a lot of fun with the composition because there are a lot of family heirlooms incorporated into the piece.  I hope it is both aesthetically appealing and meaningful to the commissioners.  I promise to post a picture of the finished piece after it appears in its new home. 

On the costuming front, the Pippin costumes are moving along beautifully.  Nancy Riggert and Alice Lindeman have been busy bees, especially for creating, assembling and painting the armor for the war scene.  Did I mention that there seventy kids in the production?  That means seventy chest plates, helmets and swords.  I am incredibly grateful to them for their hard work while I was off wearing my art fair hat.
  I designed the armor patterns, but Nancy and Alice and other parents traced and cut the chest plates out of reclaimed insulation foam and carpet under pad.  The complementary shields are cut out of craft foam - leftovers from last year's production of Beauty and the Beast.  The pieces are glued together and painted with silver paint.  They also enhanced the shadows of the three dimensional armor features with black sharpie and added rivets that we created from the filters of Keurig coffee units.  Thanks Dawn Adams for collecting and thanks Dale for drinking much of the coffee. 
For some variety, we’re also using the grey caps from pharmaceutical bottles donated by Cook Pharmica to the Materials for the Arts program at the Recycle Center.  Next week I’ll post a picture of the riveted variety, but for now just admire the shining armor! And the sword blades are done – seventy, cut from recycled corrugated plastic - thanks Bill!! If you want to see the final production in all its glory, Pippin will be presented on the final three Saturdays in October. 

On the home front, Jacob is finally got to have his ‘friends’ birthday party yesterday.  He invited fifteen of his closest teenager friends—OMG!  Jim and I hid downstairs in the art studio until the pizza came.  When it was finally quiet we come up to survey the damage—the house was still intact—and they were outside playing a marshmallow-throwing game – all good.  I think my reward for going through the process of cleaning the house and preparing for the party should be a pie – just sayin’

Until next week, or sometime soon,

Martina Celerin

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Blueberry Season

This week I made a huge scientific breakthrough by employing my degree in plant sciences.  I grafted a blueberry branch onto Bergenia rosettes—hahaha! Just kidding.  On my recent long drives (more on that later) I have been needle felting blueberry leaves.  When I was settled back into my art studio I finished the blueberry leaf structures.  I embellished them with veins and created berry clusters from felt balls that I overdyed with icing colorant gels to get the deep blue.   
Yesterday I combined all the leaves and berries onto branches that I made from floral wire wrapped with eight different yarns to match the color of the bark on a blueberry bush.  Ta da!  The berry branch is done!  This just a small piece for a large commission I’m working on that is nearing completion.  I promise to post pictures of the composition after the piece is delivered. 

In another revealing admission, I do spend a lot of summer hours as a passenger in a car.  Most recently I made the trek to Madison, Wisconsin for the Art Fair on the Square.  I had a very successful adventure overall.  The weather in Madison was cool and comfortable and the people were terrific, as usual.  They are an eclectic mix of personalities and I had a lot of rewarding and thoughtful conversations.  One of the most satisfying aspects of my career is when I sit on the perch outside my booth and watch people’s faces light up when they first see the art.  Their happy responses alone are rewarding.  One young couple that has been coming to my booth for three years finally decided to buy a piece—they couldn’t stop talking about a willow piece and had to bring it home with them. 

The last time I blogged I described finishing three new pieces.  Two of them (Tired Tree and Heirloom Tomatoes) found new homes in in Madison, as did several others.  Before we left for Madison I was able to finish two more pieces called ‘Car-nation’ and ‘My Sweet Peas’.  'Car-nation' is a weaving that explores our obsession with cars and the latest shiny thing.  I see a lot of old cars, forgotten and rusting as memories, in countryside yards and car part lots.  I decided to create a piece that featured all sorts of old car components buried underground and have a beautiful flower emerge from the rust and decay.  The carnation works as a flower for me because I’m especially connected to them—my Ph.D. research involved a pathogen of carnations, Microbotryum violaceum.  As I weaved and felted, the line from the song American Pie ‘pink carnation and a pickup truck’ kept cycling through my mind.  That’s how I knew what color the carnation had to be.    

As usual, a highlight of our Madison adventures is the hospitality and surroundings we find in Hollandale, Wisconsin with our friends Wendy and Duane.  Not only do they host us, which is wonderful, they make us happy by contributing to the success of the fair—it’s like having family to visit.  Wendy baked an amazing chocolate cake for Jacob’s birthday and made a triple batch of pancakes to feed the boys on Sunday morning as I was off setting up with Jim.  Duane grilled some wonderful salmon to go with pesto and salad for a celebratory dinner after Saturday’s show.  On our last morning there, Jim (my hero) faced mortal danger (OK, he scratched his legs up pretty good) and entered the wild patch to collect enough raspberries for a pie.  He and Wendy picked a few red and blackberries on Sunday before the rain set in, and even a few yellow raspberries.  I had no idea that yellow raspberries existed!  The Sunday berry pick wasn’t even close to enough for a pie, so Jim set off into the wild undergrowth to finish off the picking.  It was a wonderfully flavorful pie, but I finished the last slice yesterday along with a nice cup of espresso.  Sigh.

Now we’re back home.  It’s good to be home.  Based on my extensive art studio research, I have concluded that it is blueberry season!  Good news, Jim—they come in baskets at the farmer’s market and don’t have thorns! 

Until next week, or sometime soon,

Martina Celerin

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Work, work, work…

I’m back from the Des Moines Arts Festival and it was wonderful—it never lets me down.  It isn’t just the community of art appreciators and collectors (over three hundred thousand people attend)—they are pretty amazing—it’s the show’s philosophy, organizers and hundreds of volunteers.  The Festival organizers are highly thoughtful, efficient and professional.  Everything runs smoothly.  The art fair dovetails with events in the adjacent parks, bringing fireworks, concerts and even outdoor yoga to the long weekend.  Grand Funk Railroad headlined the Saturday show, bringing an American Band to our town.  The volunteers are constantly on the job, bringing by water and snacks, squeegeeing the streets after a rain, or just asking if there were things they could do to help.  The set-up window is long enough that we can leisurely put together the booth.  I arrived to my two rented 500 pound weights in place.  They lie on either side of my booth space so I can tie my art down to big rocks with handles and keep everything from shifting around too much.

I passed over a very nice part of our trip to talk about the festival, and that was a night spent with Ute, David and Simon in Iowa City.  Ute is a friend of Jim from graduate school and they put together a nice salmon dinner for us on Wednesday night.  It makes the trip so much nicer to spread it out and see friends.  Thursday breakfast brought fruits (white currants, strawberries, and plums), rolls, and home made black currant chutney.  Yum!  The best part was that Ute sent me home with a jar.  She even visited us at the fair on Saturday with a friend so we got to chat a little bit more. 

One of the most popular pieces at Des Moines was my willow piece.  There’s always enough breeze to keep the leafed branches swaying a little.  The movement draws in a lot of people to see the drama of the piece.  Many people admired the it, and a few even came back to show friends the piece after it sold and were disappointed.  When the dust settled, four pieces had found new homes.  For me, selling pieces has a few stages of realizations.  First there is a very happy sensation to sell the piece, then it’s a little sad, and then:  oh crap!  The reality of the next show looming on the horizon sets in.  In this case its Madison, WI (Art Fair on the Square) and I need more pieces!  That’s the mental space where I am right now—work, work, work!  I do pride myself on being organized and prepared, though.  Just for such a contingency I had several pieces in various stages of completion when I arrived home.  I’ve been up early and working late to complete three new pieces to take to Madison. 

The first piece that I finally brought together is called ‘My Roots’ I have been pushing the piece along, continually discovering that I needed a few more vegetables to fill in a space or round out my vision.  If you haven’t been following the blog, it is a statement piece about root vegetables that tell the story of my roots.  Some of them, such as sweet potatoes, are a very recent addition to our family food repertoire.  I didn’t grow up eating them.  Others I can’t remember not eating, such as kohlrabi.  Radishes, of course, were the first root vegetable seeds that we planted with the boys.  Yellow onion, especially the skin, is my favorite natural dye to work with because my grandmother first told me about using them to dye Easter eggs. 

The next piece to be finalized is called ‘Heirloom Tomatoes’.  I did the weaving of the ground months ago and incorporated all sorts of objects that families pass down, which is part of a family’s history.  Sometimes objects mean something to only one person.  For example, I have my grandfather’s stage make-up set as a treasured keepsake.  He was a bass in the Czech opera, and the make-up case was passed to him from his uncle.  While that’s not in my weaving, I do have objects such as fishing lures that are an important part of my husband’s family.  The weaving includes an old rusty lure with hooks filed down that used to belong to my husband’s grandfather.  The sewing bobbin in the piece reminds me of my great grandmother the seamstress.  Actually, the origin of the composition began when I discovered a tailor’s circular knife at the Recycle Center.  I wondered what it’s story was (the boys thought it was an old pizza cutter).  I knew it belonged in my piece.  Another item in the background is a hair curler.  My family went to an estate sale in our neighborhood and discovered the tools of the trade in a hairdresser’s estate.  One of the extensive collections for sale involved hair curlers.  I told the daughter that I planned to use them in a weaving.  That got me thinking about Fonzie from Happy Days and his famous comb, along with my childhood combs.  The piece also features objects that were essential but are now obsolete, such as film spool winders and a skeleton key.  In my ‘Heirloom Tomato’ piece, the plant is an heirloom because it springs up from its family history, not that the variety is truly an heirloom in the eyes of a gardener. 

My third piece is called 'Tired Tree'.  As a kid I always dreamed of lazy summer days as I imagined them from books.  I wanted a swing on a tree that traveled out over the water from which I could leap into a cool lake.  The best I could do now is to create that experience for myself.  I also enjoyed the unexpected materials that surprised me as perfect for the piece.  I created the tire from a small section of core material used to create the piping on the edge of furniture.  I wrapped it with black yarn and glued three rows of shoelaces to create the tire tread.  A very thin shoelace forms the lip of the inside tire rim.  If only I could be five inches tall, ever so briefly—I’d have a great time on my swing!

The drive home from Des Moines was long, bringing us home late Monday night.  We did find a delightful restaurant in Crawfordsville, Indiana, called the Barefoot Burger.  What a fun place!  We’ll be back after the next show on the road.  The sad part of weekend art fairs is missing the Saturday farmer’s market in Bloomington.  What ever could I do to get a much-deserved pie?  Fortunately, in a stroke of husbandly brilliance, Jim brought me to the Tuesday afternoon Farmer’s Market.  Lo and behold they still had tart cherries!  Three boxes of late-season ripe tart cherries and the wheels were in motion.  Jim pulled out his pitting tool (thanks Grandma!) and by morning we had a pie.  Of course there were several pie filling units in the freezer, but I thought I might not get one in season this year.  Hooray!  Now the bad news—I finished my last slice of pie this morning.  It was an amazing tart pie, but now its just a distant memory.  I wonder what the next farmer’s market will bring?  Which berries are blue and tasty in a pie?    

Until next week, or sometime soon,

Martina Celerin

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summertime travel, with art packed in the crevices…

It has been a jam-packed month since I last posted.  This is likely to be the summer pattern until I make it through the summer art fair travel season.  On the bright side, my days have been filled with family time, enjoyable workshops, work on commissions and preparations for travel to art fairs.  First came the family time.  At the end of the school year we made our annual trek to Topsail Island in North Carolina.  I thoroughly love people and interacting with them to share ideas, but at some point I just need some down time with my wonderful family.  This year we opted to spend two wonderful weeks relaxing on the beach.  
 It was exactly what I needed to recuperate and regroup before my busy summer schedule begins.  We ate fresh ocean fish (grilled amberjack was a very nice surprise), walked in the surf, collected fossilized shark’s teeth and found seashells. Jim made three glorious pies while we were there.  One was a blueberry-strawberry pie from local fruit and two were peach pies, baked together when Jim realized he had way too much filling for the available pie plates.  The time off was just what I needed.

On the drive home from Topsail the boys dropped me off in Richmond Virginia for my workshop.  One of the organizers is a long-time Facebook friend, Elizabeth Woodford.  She met me in Richmond and brought me to Fredericksburg.  We had a fabulous hour-long drive where we finally got to talk one-on-one and bond.  I think we must have been sisters in a previous life.  She’s an amazing person and I’m so glad to have finally connected with her to share a big hug.  After dropping boxes of workshop supplies at the Artful Dimensions gallery, Elizabeth delivered me to my hosts, Barbara and Bobby Posey.   
What amazing people!  They were gracious, generous, fun and interesting.  I just can’t even come up with enough positive adjectives to describe them.  We had such wonderful conversations.  I’m just delighted to be part of their world. 

I arrived in Fredericksburg early enough to be a tourist for a day.  I had the opportunity to visit some interesting local sites, some historical and some artistic.  I was as struck by the cannonballs embedded in a church since the civil war as I was exploring the local galleries that featured contemporary artists.   
That includes some fiber artists using synthetic felt and heat guns to create sculptures and textures that almost looked aquatic.  I have stored away some ideas that I’m sure will influence future pieces of mine.  We walked and had a wonderful time, but I was jarred into some of the realities of the civil war era.  The slave auction block in downtown Fredericksburg stands in stark contrast to the quaint charm of the historic southern town. 

The next day, Monday, was the beginning of the workshop.  Fifteen participants arrived, bringing a very high level of enthusiasm.  Working with them was somewhat intimidating because most were accomplished artists in their own right.  
 They embraced my ideas of weaving outside of the conventional structured methodologies and incorporating non-conventional materials into the weave structures and the weavings.   
We all had fun pushing the envelope of creating art in unexplored areas.  I truly enjoyed seeing the pieces that were created at the workshop and the sharing of ideas among the participants.  
 I’m looking forward to seeing how their workshop experiences influence their subsequent pieces.

On Wednesday I flew home to Bloomington for a day and a half.  That was just long enough to do laundry and re-pack my suitcase for a trip to Michigan.   
At Grandma’s house in Kawkawlin we overlapped with Martha and Dave from Mississippi and Haley, Kris and Arya from New Mexico.  It was a full house, including one giant family dinner with the Gibsons from next door and Aunt Lois from Essexville.   
Dave and Kris each got to spend a day with Jim and Tommie on Saginaw bay fishing for walleyes.  This was the first venture of the new boat onto Michigan waters.  They were very pleased with the boat and the fishing, resulting in a delightful fish fry and a freezer full of walleyes to bring home. 

During all my early summer adventures I have been working on my commission piece, which involves needle felting of a large number of leaves.  I have a mountain of sweet pea leaves completed as well as leaves for a lily plant and a blueberry bush.  Now that I’m home I can start assembling the pieces I created on my travels.  I can’t rest for too long, though, because I’m scheduled to travel to the Des Moines Art Fair next weekend.  
 I picked up my weavings from my exhibit at the Bloomingon Bagel Company and I’m beginning to pack the rest of my weavings for the trip.  I’m looking forward to my first art fair, but there hasn’t been a pie for breakfast since North Carolina.  On the bright side, we caught the tart cherry pie season yesterday morning at the Farmer’s market and bought enough tart cherries for three pies later in the season.  Tart cherries make my favorite pie, so I know I’m in for some treats.   
When I get home I’m imagining that I might get a blueberry pie as a reward for a successful trip west to Iowa.  Bring on the art fair!   

Until next week, or sometime soon,

Martina Celerin

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Birches and White Pines

My blogs often tell the stories of the piece work I do when my life gets busy—which is most of the time.  Last week I was making kohlrabi, but I’m often making roots, fruits, animals, vegetables, hands, or tree clumps that comprise my bigger pieces.  The cerebral part of the process comes when I get the chance to assemble the pieces and arrange them in an art piece.  I usually need a big window of time when I can internalize this creative part of the process.  Deciding what works where and why is a very personal, reflective process.  I need silence in the art studio, free of fretting about upcoming deadlines and the routine of transporting boys to their activities for a long block of time.  It’s the time when I connect at my deepest level of consciousness with each piece.  I need to mull over the tentative composition and color balance in a critical way.  This week that happened for a new piece that features birches by a lake. 

Of course my week is also filled with small blocks of studio and travel time when I can work on the labor intensive parts of my craft.  One of those involved warping a loom for my next commission piece.  I picked out the yarns I’ll use for that piece last week and had a chance to do some weaving.  I love my weaving time, because it allows me to let my mind wander over the recent events in my world.  This was especially true this week because I’m weaving a structured fence and it felt like my hands were working independent of my brain.  I looked down and thought wow, look how much I’ve made!  I find that it helps to keep a piece of paper and pencil beside me when I’m weaving to make lists of problems to solve should they intrude in my weaving process.  That lets me clear my mind and quickly return my focus to more mental wandering. 

I also did have an artistic epiphany this week amidst my birches.  For the past several years I have yearned to create three-dimensional evergreen trees, but I’ve never felt that I could capture the structures to my satisfaction.  I’ve reveled in creating deciduous trees—birches, maples, sycamores and oaks—but not the pines of my childhood.  When I was young we used to take our family vacation at the Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario.  We’d stay at Pinedale hotel just outside the park and spend all day and into the evening on the beach.  The dune system on that part of Lake Huron is stabilized by eastern White Pines, which are a favorite of mine because the needles are long, soft and elegant.  They were planted there in the sixties in a misguided attempt to stabilize the fragile oak savannah ecosystem.  Anyway, I was staring at the large roll of thin, rigid aviation wire that Ben Gibson gave me last summer.  I realized that if I wrapped long fiber chenille around it that it might look like a pine bough.  Fortunately, our old wooden fence in the back yard has toppled over, making it easy to access our neighbor’s eastern white pine so I snipped a small branch (Eileen, I hope you’re not reading this!  Or if you are, I hope that was OK!).  I took it down to my art studio and dug around in my yarns to find that if I combined four different colors and textures together it resembled the bark of the pine branch.  I made some prototypes and I think I’m off to the races. 

In family news, the school year is drawing to an end.  Last week was Jacob’s spring concert at Jackson Creek Middle School and this week was Tommie’s at Bloomington High School South.  The auditoriums were packed with families and friends waiting for their little pumpkins to shine in the light.  And shine they did!  Now we’re crossing days off the calendar to the end of the school year.  The last event of the week was Second Saturday Soup.  Our generous neighbors open up their house and make three big pots of soup and invite friends and colleagues to the event.  Jim always tries to bake something for the dinner.  This week I found two more bags of chopped apple pie filling hiding in the back corner of the lowest shelf in the freezer.  These really are the last of the farmer’s market Mutzu apples from last summer.  It was a big hit—but it was completely consumed.  Which is great, but it meant that I didn’t get a slice for breakfast.  What’s a pie princess to do? 

Until next week,

Martina Celerin

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother’s Day means pie!

This week I excitedly laid out all the vegetables for the ‘My Roots’ composition, thinking I had enough vegetables to fill the piece.  I was mentally ready to stitch it all together, but dang if it didn’t still have an empty spot!  That sent me back into my art studio with my fingers digging deep into my boxes of yarns and fleece.  I settled on making one more kind of root vegetable that speaks to my childhood—kohlrabi.  I remember finding peeled and chunked-up pieces in the fridge quite often and eating it after school like pieces of apple, although I don’t remember anyone ever cooking with it.   
To get started on making my own kohlrabi, I sorted through my big bin of green fleece and pulled out about six shades and tints of green that I thought looked as if they could come together to create the coloration of the skin.  I used my drum carder and blended my choices together into a green that I was happy with.  The kohlrabi bulb typically has a light green color with petioles that come straight up from the bulb.  I decided to do a little wet felting to create those structures.  I used my kohlrabi green fleece to needle felt everything together and viola—kohlrabi!  Now I think I need to make five more bulbs and I’ll have enough root vegetables for my piece. 

This week I also launched into my commission piece that will involve creating a trellis to stand in front of a garden fence.  I’m envisioning the fence to be made of weather-worn wood, much like the one that surrounds our back yard.  I went out and took a few pictures so I could capture all of the colors hidden in the aged wood and returned to my stash of yarns.  I dug through my gray and sand and light olive bins and pulled out everything that was even close to the colors I envisioned.  I warped a loom and now I’m looking forward to weaving this week. 

I haven’t completely abandoned my efforts for the Sounds of South production of Pippin this fall.  One side project that I did was playing with graphics that we might use to support the production as T-shirts and posters.  In designing the imagery, I thought a lot about the story line.  It’s basically a coming of age story where the principal character is guided by the lead player who wears a black top hat.  
 Our setting will be a vintage circus decked out in royal colors that represent precious stones.  I’m using sapphire blue, emerald green and amethyst purple for the chorus costumes.  Pippin is the son of the king who rebels against his tyrant father and ultimately chooses his love interest to be Catherine, a member of the circus troupe.  He decides that a simpler life with her and her son is closest to his heart.  Some how that seems appropriate on this Mother’s Day.

Speaking of that, I’d like to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all today!  I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers yesterday from my boys, and I woke up to the smell of pie baking in the oven.  It turned out to be a mutsu pie from last summer’s fruit.  It made a fine breakfast as a fresh-from-the oven warm treat.   
Last week I delighted in a strawberry-rhubarb pie made from Nancy Riggert’s rhubarb and farmer’s market strawberries.  That was nice, but only lasted until about Wednesday, since the boys seemed to like it a lot too.  For me, life is good when you get two different fresh pies in one week!  I hope you find whatever makes your life special on Mother’s day today.

Until next week,

Martina Celerin

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Transition time…

As the calendar page turns over into May, I’m turning from creating Pippin costumes back to making fiber art in my studio.  I did get a lot accomplished this month in the costume realm.  One of the main characters in Pippin is the sassy grandmother Berthe.  She encourages Pippin to embrace the pleasures of life.  For her I created a Victorian style dress, because on the outside she must maintain a prim and proper fa├žade for the world.  Her dress is black lace with red fringed satin dress underneath that speaks to her deeper, flirtatious nature.  I’m trying to let the red flames of her passion shine through the black surface restraint of her expected societal edifice. 

This week I also launched into the penultimate lead costume on my list, which is King Charlemagne.  Although royalty tends to wear blue, he is a war-mongering king so I really wanted him to have a flowing deep red cloak that speaks to the volumes of blood shed in his name.  One of the reasons his costume is among the last completed is that I’ve been waiting for the right fabric to appear.  Because all of my costumes are made from reclaimed and recycled materials, I spend a lot of time collecting treasures from sources such as the Recycle Center and local resale shops.  I get a few more materials as donations from parents.  I’ve been waiting patiently for the King’s fabric to appear.  Last week it fell into my lap in the form of a used curtain from the Materials for the Arts program at the Recycle Center.   
There wasn’t quite enough width to the fabric for the King’s outfit, so I went digging in my bin of brocade scraps until I came across a piece of fabric that I bought at the Junk in the Trunk sale a couple of years ago.  I claimed it then as the perfect drape of backdrop fabric for the treasure chest scene in one of the operas within an opera in ‘Phantom of the Opera’.  Although there was a little too much green in the fabric itself, I was able to cut strips that contained predominantly red and gold.  I added still more trim scraps from curtains and bed skirts and beads from a broken necklace.  I will make it still more regal by trimming it with fur from hoods and collars of coats that I wasn’t able to use for last year for wolves in ‘Beauty and the Beast’.  I’m still hunting for the perfect chest medallion, but I know that will appear.  The King’s ensemble is now pieced together and needs to be glued and sewn into one unit. 

With the Pippin costume project at a stable stopping point I moved back in my art studio.  I’m now working on three pieces.  One is a shore scene that will feature birches leaning over the water, which I’ve been needle felting onto the weaving foreground.  To spice things up we even had a tornado siren go off a couple of nights ago so the family joined me in the art studio.  It was the perfect opportunity to do a little evening poking as we listed to WFIU on the hand-crank radio for updates.  We still had power, but you can never be too prepared for an emergency!  I also finished needle felting the last of the white radishes I need for ‘My Roots’, a weaving that features root vegetables that we buy at the farmer’s market.  Soon I’ll be laying out everything together for assembly, although this time I’m the only fiber art faerie to attach it into one ensemble!  Finally, I’m launching into a commission piece that will feature birds, flowers and vegetables in a garden.  I’m really looking forward to creating this special piece. 

On the home front, Tommie and Sounds of South went off to compete in the ISSMA competition this weekend, and everything seemed to go very well.  I had to settle for treats from the farmer’s market from Maria yesterday for breakfast, since I ate the last of my blueberry pie Friday.  Jim did pick up strawberries at the farmer’s market, and Nancy Riggert is supposed to harvest rhubarb for two pies, so fingers crossed—that it will smell like spring pie in the house very soon! 

Until next week,

Martina Celerin