Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Back to the Studio!

I’m back in my art studio working on several projects.  I have several commissioned pieces in various stages of completion, due early this spring, and I’m trying to keep them moving along.  The first features a bicycle propped up against a fence.  I wove the background and stretched it out in its frame.  I’m now building forward the flower garden and path area that projects into the viewer’s space.  I am also in the early stages of a second commission that is still mostly a vision in my head.  I know it will require tree trunks, so those are underway.  I suspect the composition will feature a forest path with two dogs sitting patiently, waiting for their owners to catch up.  
 I completed some sketches to share my vision, but I need to have the layout approved by the commissioner.  Now that I’m weaving and creating again, it feels great to be back working with my hands using materials that are familiar.  It was a lot of fun playing with new materials in the Bahamas, but fiber art is my life and livelihood. 

I have also made some major strides forward on my other big project.  I’m working on sculptural costume design for the Sounds of South production of Beauty and the Beast, to be performed this October.  My first completed piece is ‘Chip’, a sweet little cup with a small crack and the son of Mrs. Potts.   
She’s always ready with a cup of tea for anyone willing to brave the castle grounds.  Mrs. Potts is next on my plate (actually, I have to make the plates too!).  I have a delightful sketch for her and I have assembled her skeleton from donated, water sport hula hoops (I found that out directly!) and plastic tubing recycled from the former home of World Wide Automotive.  I will coat the hoop skeleton with ½” thick soft foam, then used and washed white felt (retired from Twisted Limb Paperworks) and then yellow fabric (scrounged from a thrift shop), green stripes and purple flowers that match Chip.   
The stripes will be easy because years ago I ordered ribbon that I thought would be perfect for an unrelated project.  It wasn’t.  On the bright side, I got a great deal for the ribbon on e-bay.  After eight years of storage I have finally found the right application for the green ribbon.  The flowers on both Chip and Mrs. Potts are made of the same purple felt (from the Materials for the Arts at the Recycle Center) so they match each other.  I made a pattern for the flowers and handed it off to one of the Moms of the SOS group and she cut out all sixty-four flowers I needed!  I love having the support to bring my visions to life! 
As soon as Mrs. Potts is assembled I’ll be ready add her final touches.  Her spout is in progress—I have now fitted the prototype onto the girls who will portray her.  The base is made of one inch thick couch cushion foam which I will up holster with yellow fabric.  It will be removable and attachable to the body of the teapot via Velcro.  Overall, I’m having a lot of fun with the design elements here—Chip is built from a laundry basket and a pool noodle, but you’d never know from the costume.  My younger son Jacob is modeling the costume in the picture above. 

I also had a wonderful adventure to West Lafayette Indiana with three other SOS moms this week.  The costume creating committee embarked on a hilarious adventure to see the Disney stage version of Beauty and the Beast to get ideas.  On the drive up we stopped at several thrift shops and scrounged for costume and prop parts.  We started off early in the morning, stopped anyplace along the way that might have clothing or prop treasures, and attended the evening production.  It turned out to be very educational for our planning.  I got a great hint for creating Lumiere’s torches without using an actual flame and an idea for the beast’s jacket and cloak.  
 I was less keen on the napkins and utensils that were part of the big dance number.  It reinforced for me how happy I am with my designs.  There are a large number of costumes to create for all the villagers, utensils and characters, but they are also coming along swimmingly.  I’ve completed the sketches and a prototype for the top half of the napkins and passed along a takeaway project to another mom to sew both top and bottom pleated napkin parts.  That’s basically how I’m hoping this will work—if I create the design and bring the materials and instructions together, one of the SOS parents can take over finalizing the actual costume completion.   
I have to give a big thanks to Nancy Riggert in this process, who has been an enthusiastic partner and a fountain of knowledge about how to get things done.  Her energy and effectiveness give me confidence that this whole project will actually come together on schedule. 

Good news!  There was a pie last weekend.  Jim made a beautiful blueberry pie from farmer’s market berries.  There was something subtle and special about the fruit in this one—it had a hint of black current flavor in the filling of summer blueberries.  
 I even think it was his best blueberry pie yet.  And I’m not just saying that because I know there are two more bags of blueberries in the freezer!

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bahama surprise!

I had the surprise of my life about three days before Christmas this year.  The holiday season is always hectic and full of surprises, but this year seemed especially so.  I was working hard on the Sounds of South ‘Beauty and the Beast’ costume design project, which meant creating templates to cut and use for patterns on various costumes.  I was trying to finish my Christmas shopping because Grandma and Aunt Lois, who come for the holidays each year, were coming a few days early this year.   
On top of that, the boys wanted to have my birthday celebration before Christmas this year.  Like many other late December birthday people, my special day is often overwhelmed by the commotion surrounding Christmas.  Even so, I was skeptical about the wisdom of holding the celebration three days before Christmas.  Fortunately, I did get a raspberry pie that day!  That helped a little. 

After a nice kluski dinner, my family staged an elaborate ‘reveal’ to tell me we would spend my fiftieth birthday (yes, it’s very hard for me to believe that too!) in the Bahamas!  
 They had arranged for a flight, car and house rental on a secluded bay on Abaco.  It came complete with a hot tub, kayaks, and beautiful sunrises over the water.  Everything had been arranged without me having the slightest idea about what was going on.  That basically left me with five days to get in the right mindset for a warm-weather vacation just after Christmas.  The location turned out to be amazing and serene.  The images on the website didn’t do it justice.  I’ve been wanting and needing to get away for some time, since the pace of my life has been really high without many pauses in between.  I always talk about relaxing but I never really do.  This was a forced relaxation.  
 It got my creative energies rejuvenated and that left me inspired.  I ate very well, slept well, and I enjoyed my family and location to the maximum.  I played with non-fiber media without any real goal in mind, which was a lot of fun and very artistically stimulating.  One day I didn’t have my sketchbook so I pulled out my Swiss army knife and carved driftwood.  
 I used my pencil crayons to color a party dress on a Conch shell that was sun-bleached white.  I had the time to look carefully at how tree roots grew into the coral reefs.  I saw the subtle color differences in stands of pine trees and mangrove swamps.  It truly was a rejuvenating period for me. 

I definitely ate well on the holiday.  I ate more conch that I’d care to admit, but it was so tasty and so wonderful to be there.  It was perfect to get food from the local peeps far away from the touristy areas.  We had conch fritters several places, including the Fish Fry village near Nassau when we landed, at the ferry to Green Turtle Cay, and at a restaurant in Marsh Harbour.  I had lots of fried conch (the best was in Mount Hope on Little Abaco) and even conch salad from a local legend close to Treasure Cay.  Now I’ll be thinking about conch for weeks to come. 
 In between meals I spent a lot of time exploring the shorelines and collecting.  I picked up everything from sea biscuits, shells and coral to a well-used paintbrush, a buoy, and a special gold polyester hat that is now my favorite.  The boys were pretty excited to see the humongous conch shells and brought a couple home, among other treasures.  We picked up fresh coconuts and ate them for snacks.  I discovered that I don’t really like pina coladas, but rum and pineapple juice with a piece of coconut on the side is very nice.  Even better is rum and guava juice—yum!   
We rented a car and Jim dutifully drove on the left side of the road, taking us down secret roads that led to cow paths and onto donkey paths before turning into overgrown foot paths to the ocean.  We visited so many different types of beaches, from the pure white sands to the solid coral outcroppings and everything in between.  We found and saw lots of live creatures, such as hermit crabs, mollusks, live sand dollars and lots of colorful fishes on the reefs. 

It was a great nine days, but now I’m very inspired to launch back into making weavings in the art studio and creating costumes for Beauty and the Beast.  I’m not a costume designer, but I responded strongly to this project because the performance needs sculptural costumes and my artwork tends to be very sculptural.   
It’s a way of exploring a related but very relevant art form to help keep me fresh.  In closing, I will note that it is a new year and there still hasn’t been a pie.  I suppose I did have lots of treats in the Bahamas.  The guava duff is a heavenly local treat, and the Café Florence makes “the best sticky buns in the Universe”, according to a respected travel publication.  I did have a slice of pineapple pie, coconut tart, and other treats I don’t need to mention.  But a fruit laden pie with berries from the summer farmer’s market?  My loving husband seems indifferent to my pie needs.  I guess he’s earned some credit, but my supply of patience is not unlimited. 

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Looking at more water than I’d care to!

I moved my latest exhibition, entitled “Looking at Water”, to the Bloomington Bagel Company last Monday.  I think it looks wonderful!  There was a nice blurb in the Herald Times over the weekend mentioning the show, so I’m hoping a different set of people will see it during its run to the end of January.  That’s the good news from the past week.  Unfortunately, after I reconstituted my art studio following the Thanksgiving flood, disaster struck again.  Two more inches of rain fell on Friday night into Saturday morning.  Just before bedtime Friday I decided to pop into the studio to check on things.  Lo and behold, the water level was halfway up my window and hissing in through the cracks around the frame.   
I leapt into action moving materials and rolling the carpet back, while Jim jumped into action outside.  He kept baling the window well while intermittently clearing a path for the water to flow around the house.  Fortunately, the rain let up around midnight and we both got to bed around one a.m.  As in the first flood of 2014, no art was damaged in the process, but now I’m back to drying carpet pads outside and the studio is a mess.  The low winter humidity in the house is finally a blessing. 

My life had a few more unexpected twists last weekend.  I was scheduled to do a workshop to create needle felted ornaments on Saturday at Gather, but too few people officially signed up to make it run and we canceled.  I think that the busy Holiday shopping, concerts and family schedules just made the timing too busy for most people.   
I thought by scheduling it early in December we could work around busy schedules, but apparently not.  I made several demonstration ornaments for the workshop and was ready to go, and I feel very badly for those who did sign up and really wanted to participate.   We will try to pick a date in late January or early February to hold a workshop to make felted heart shaped ornaments for Valentine’s Day.  If anyone wants to get a head start on next year’s Christmas ornaments I’ll bring those supplies as well.  It’s really all about the technique, so both will work.  I promise to let everyone know well in advance so you can mark your calendars.  Learning how to successfully coordinate a local workshop is new for me, so next time we’ll do better.  I really hate to disappoint people.

The rest of my news is piecemeal.  I did finish my ‘Summer Salad’ commission, and that will ship today to its new home in New Hampshire.  I'm delighted with how it turned out.  I’ll post pictures after the new owner has a chance to see it in place.  I’ll then launch on my next commission, which involves a river running through a forest of trees.  I have already completed the base structure for the tree trunks out of old wool army blankets.   
I don’t yet have a final sketch for the composition, but I know the trees are a necessary part of it.  You likely didn’t know that December first was also national cake day.  Tommie took it upon himself to make an amazing vanilla cake with butter cream rum frosting.  It really tasted like a traditional European cake that was heavy and not too sweet.   
This weekend the boys and I moved holiday baking into high gear, making several batches of cookies.  I even created a new cookie I’m calling boysenberry moons—they are delightful!    It’s a sandwich cookie featuring toasted pecans and boysenberry jam filling that I decided just needed to be tried.  We also created this year’s version of our annual candy house.  The rule is that no one gets to eat anything off of it until Boxing Day.   
Finally, there has been no pie in my house since well before Thanksgiving, which is very sad.  Even pumpkin pies at the holiday dinner did not satisfy my need for the berry-filled treat.  Helloooo… is anybody listening?

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Vegetables, pie, and excitement in the art studio!

I moved from project to project over the past few weeks.  I was still riding the high of a great artisan’s guild show two weeks ago when I took down the remaining pieces.  Five pieces found new homes and I took on a new commission as a result of the Convention Center exhibition, "Looking at Water", so I’m thrilled with the outcome.  Jumping ahead, I’ll hang the remaining pieces at the Bloomington Bagel Company (on Dunn Street) on Monday.  I think the smaller number of pieces will fit the space better at the BBC—talk about silver linings!

On the family scene, the next big event was a visit to Grandma in Michigan for Thanksgiving.  I wanted to share that on the trip North I managed to do some extended sketching for a team effort I recently signed on to.  I’m on the costume and prop committee for Sounds of South’s next performance (next Fall), which will be Beauty and the Beast.  It was wonderful to have quiet time to think and sketch without any pressure.  I needed to get down all the ideas that have been floating around in my head, along with the suggestions and ideas from other members of the group.  The process was somehow very cathartic.  I’m pleased with the first iteration of the costumes, but now I need to run everything past the rest of the committee and the director, so I can’t share any images yet...   
On a humorous note, I did read that one girl in the play had ‘sausage curls’, which I mistakenly took to mean that she was the ‘sausage girl’ who sold sausages.  I got right on making stage sausages from Gramma’s old nylons and rolled up deep red felt—we’ll see if they make it into the performance.

It’s always a little colder in Michigan, which leads people to wonder why I travel north for the holiday.  I always tell people that I really like my mother-in-law!  My best laid plans for an uneventful trip fell apart the Sunday night before we planned to leave.  A night of heavy rain overnight turned into a deluge in the wee hours.  Sometimes when that happens water enters my studio, uninvited, though my tiny art studio window.  
 It soaked my carpet and padding along the west wall, forcing me to move half the studio contents out of the room to manage the wetness.  Fortunately, all of the art was hanging on the walls so no pieces were injured.  Making the whole thing a bit more stressful was the fact that power went out around 6:15 a.m.  The good news is that the back-up sump pump kicked on, powered by the new battery.  Moving wet carpet and art materials is even less fun when the lights are out in a dark, cool basement, but we managed.   
The bad news is that the power stayed out until after two in the afternoon.  That’s about the time the battery gave out!  Jim was trying to figure out what to do in the dark when the power finally came back! 

We did have a delightful trip to Michigan, visiting with friends and family.  Dinner was grilled salmon, baked sweet and red potatoes, and steamed broccoli with cheese sauce.  For dessert Grandma made two pumpkin pies.  One was her traditional, while the second contained bourbon, cream and maple syrup.  It was more delicate and I preferred it, but I’ll eat just about any kind of pie.  On Black Friday we stopped in at the Oasis for the traditional deep-fried perch lunch.  Yum!  Then we headed out to see the new Penguins of Madagascar movie.  It was a fast paced movie in the tradition of the more recent James Bond movies, with non-stop action, impossible escapes, an evil villain, and lots of fun word play. 

On the trip home I finished many of the vegetable pieces I intended to finish in Michigan.  I finished all of the green onions and broccoli for the “Summer Salad” commission that I’ve been working on, then assembled the cucumbers.  I just need to finish the seeds for them, which I’ll do this week as I wait for the boys at their activities.  I should be able to assemble the entire piece this week and ship it off to its new home.  That means I’ll begin the sketches for the next commission, a large format piece featuring a river winding through the woods. 

My last news involves a workshop Saturday, December 6th from 1-4 p.m. to demonstrate how I make felted ornaments.  I need to check with Talia at Gather, where the workshop will be held, to see if there are enough people signed up to run the workshop.  It should be a lot of fun.  And of course I’ll be glued to the IU basketball games this week.  Tommie and I have been having a great time watching this year’s team come together. 

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Seeing Red: Tomatoes, Tea Towels and IU Basketball Season!

What a wonderful event!  This past weekend marked the first time that all three artisan guilds held their fall shows under one roof.  The Convention Center hosted the event, and I heard nothing but praise and enthusiasm for this new change of venue.  Musicians played in the lobby and the Convention Center set up a café with tables in one of the rooms.  It was just a delightful experience for the patrons.  I was fortunate to have a doorway booth for my art with my own exhibition space (the Roger’s Gallery) across the hallway.   
My ‘Looking atWater’ exhibition was still hanging there.  It was wonderful to have so many people go in and look at the pieces then come across the hallway to talk about the work.  I was also thrilled to have four of the sixteen pieces find new homes before the exhibition came home on Monday morning.  In addition to the weavings, many Re-Shirts, sweater petals with pins and my new headband sweater petals found new homes.   
The headbands are hard plastic that I wrap with black yarn and attach a sweater petal flower and some leaves.  I think they look very cute, and they turned out to be a big hit!  They will be available at Wonderlab if you’re interested in seeing them—check out the new Big-Headed Ants exhibition while you’re there!

To prepare for the Guild show I spent big blocks of time over the past two weeks making twenty-six new Re-shirts.  I found a new source of black double fold bias tape, made in the U.S.A., which was fortunate for me.  
 I went through 130 yards of the material!  I also spent little bits of time here and there over the year collecting bobbins for my sewing machine.  Before I started I wound all of my bobbins.  It is so nice not to have to stop and wind a bobbin before continuing to sew.  Of course I fill in my down time as I watch the boy’s activities with my needle felting.   
This time I finished up some tomato slices for a commission piece I’m trying to finish.  I finished the celery, which means that it is now green.  My finger has healed enough to wet felt a little, so the little while root tails for my radishes are complete too. 

Speaking of needle felting, I had a crazy idea this week.  Since I’m only doing one art fair (and it’s over!) I thought it might be fun to do a workshop to demonstrate how to make felted ornaments.   
I’ll be running at least one workshop through Gather, the new craft shop in Fountain Square Mall here in Bloomington.   
We’re advertising the first one for Saturday, December 6th from 1-4 p.m.  If you’re interested, please sign up here.  The cost is sixty dollars and includes all materials and plenty of laughs.  I will come with half a dozen ornaments to give people some ideas, but they’ll likely hang on our Christmas tree. 

My personal life is proceeding nicely, with my almost-healed finger back in action.  I picked up some cozy wool socks and pretty red tea towels from Peg Dawson at the show.  In fact, being able to get started with a little Christmas shopping is nice part of the Guild show.  With the snow and cold weather this week past week I made good use of the socks!  

Tommie and I went to both IU men’s basketball exhibition games last week and had a great time cheering.  It’s the closest I’ve come to finding hockey games to attend in Indiana.  I missed Friday’s game due to the show, but now I plan to be in front of the TV rooting for the Hoosiers for the rest of the winter season.  I hope they do well!  And dare I say—there was no pie this week!  Must I wait for pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving?

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ants and the Arts!

My first blog line is starting to sound repetitive, but my art focus has been on the next commission piece in the queue.  This refrain will be continued over the next couple of months as I work toward completing my next four commissions...

This week I’ve been making more cute vegetables.  The carrots are done and await installment onto the weaving.  The celery stalks are next, made by needle felting the needed shapes from raw wool that I washed and carded this summer.  I need both center cut stalks and pieces closer to the white root section – the ones that are shaped like a paddle.  I now have three of the five naked celery stalks for the piece made, and when I get all of the forms made I will clothe them in celery-green-dyed wool.  And then I’ll be on to tomato completion.  I resumed tomato poking again to create the meaty part of the sliced fruit, which requires a slightly different shade of red from the juicy part.  
 I’ll finalize the slices by creating the seeds from wool that I dyed with the bark of maple trees from Grandma’s house in Michigan.  When that’s done I’ll have five of the ten vegetable piles and I’ll be off on the trail of broccoli florets.  This commission was promised for the middle of December and I’m feeling good about meeting the deadline.  I’m hoping to find just a little window of some warm weather soon to do some more dyeing, though.  I have a couple of large, forest-based commissions pending that I’ll need more of my green mohair boucle to make leaf clumps.  Then I can just huddle down in my art studio and try to weave and stay warm until winter passes and I don’t need to imagine spring greens. 

I did have some measure of closure on a project for my boys and me.  The final “Phantom” performance was Saturday night.  Sunday was tear down morning.  A whole bunch of cast family member volunteers showed up to reduce the set to a nicely organized pile of lumber for the next performance.   
The costumes and materials have been packaged for future performances (go costume clean up crew!), and some key prop pieces borrowed from Cardinal Stage Co  made their way back home.  All in all, it was an exuberant bunch of musical theatre art supporters and I was impressed at how quickly it all went away. 

I did spend some time this week getting ready for the upcoming holiday season.  I assembled a bunch of five packs of note cards, packaging them with ribbons for delivery to local art galleries.   
I’ll bring some along to the upcoming Artisan Guild Show at the Convention Center where I’ll feature my Re-Shirts and weavings.  Of course my ‘Looking at Water’ exhibit will still be up in the adjacent Rogers room, so my framed pieces be well represented.  I did also hold a pop-up exhibition at the Spring Hill Suites downtown.  Ashley organized an evening show for a couple of local artists.  She and the hotel staff did an outstanding job bringing it all together.  There were wonderful champagne aperitifs and beautiful catering—the food was good but the crab cakes were delicious.  
 It was really nice to hang out and chat with both people who came specifically for the show and some hotel-goers who stopped by to see the art. 

Finally, on the horizon is the Opening Reception for the Big-Headed ant exhibit atWonderlab.  Come and join us this Friday (Nov 7, 2014) from 5 - 8:30 pm for art, ants and activities.  Both children and adults are welcome to create their own miniature Big-Headed ants by felting balls of merino noils (thanks, Sheep Street!) for the head and abdomen and using brown pipe cleaner for the appendages.   
Erin from Wonderlab and I made the prototype, and we had a lot of fun doing it.  I’ll be there, hanging around in case anyone wants to talk about ants.  If not, I’ll be poking at vegetables.  I’ll bring all my little veggie piles for people to see.  And speaking of cranberries, Jim made me another cranberry apple pie!  This time he used a whole bag of fresh cranberries.  It had a delightful tart flavor and I’m looking forward to a week of espresso and pie breakfasts.  That, and some leftover Halloween candy should keep me zinging and creating more art!

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Great people live in Indianapolis too!

My life in the art studio has been dedicated to commissions.  I’m excited to have so many requested pieces, but now I have to bear down and create the art.  At the top of my queue is my “Summer Salad” revisitation.  Because the composition features a compilation of many small needle felted vegetables, it’s the perfect piece to take along as I patiently wait for the boys at their various activities.  Right now, that means Taekwondo, hip-hop dancing, and voice lessons.  Happily, I now have the full complement of cherry tomatoes, olives, mushrooms and all of the radishes (except for their little white tails).  
 I’ll be finishing those soon when I can wet felt again.  My finger just needs to heal a little more from the cut.

Hmmm.  You might not have heard about my exciting trip to the emergency room at the Bloomington hospital last week.  I was working on part of the set for the “Phantom” performance and I severely cut my left index finger with an Exacto knife.  It took several hours of waiting, but they finally declared me to be functional and glued the wound back together.  They gave me a tetanus shot, patted my bottom and told me to be more careful as they discharged me four hours later at 12:30 a.m.  I’ll be back at full strength shortly. 

Injuries give you a moment to stop and take stock of your life.  As I looked around me, I decided that the color of my current season is orange.  It just feels like there is a wonderful orange glow around the neighborhood right now.  At the farmer’s market I saw lots of orange pumpkins (one of which came home with us), and the orange helped inspire me to work on the orange carrots for the “Summer Salad” piece.  We have had some beautiful sunny weather and the changing leaves are striking—just more orange in my world.  The orange motif was reiterated as I drove to Indianapolis last week on a mission to look for a new camera.  I got to see lots of trees changing color along highway 37.  One of the best parts of that adventure was a long overdue visit to the Indy Upcycle store on Guilford Avenue in Indianapolis. 
 It’s a recycled craft supply store, which is the kind of place where I find all sorts of treasures for my work.  I systematically went through every bin that the proprietor had and found silver cord and thread, green felt and yarns, wire scraps and tiny little objects that will work beautifully in my underground scenes.  I found the cutest little pair of scissors and some scrabble tiles, which seems especially relevant since I spend a fair bit of time playing Scrabble with friends online and Tommie at home.  Yesterday morning developed slowly after a late night due to the cast party for the “Phantom” performance Saturday.  We sat, talked and played scrabble in front of a fire while Jim baked a cranberry/apple pie in the kitchen.  Yum!  Anyway, I had a delightful time in the store and enjoyed interacting with the proprietor.  I was delighted when, on Saturday morning, I received a package in the mail from Indy Upcycle containing two tufts of green feathers!  It was one of the things we searched for, and the person there mailed me some feathers she discovered after I left!  I would say she should move to Bloomington, but I’m glad she’s there when I visit. 

On the drive home from Indy I got into some crazy traffic on 37, which prompted the thought that I should take old 37.  I got into more beautiful oranges on the old highway, and I was able to stop in at Musgrave Orchard.  I reconnected with the orange-haired (!) Hamiltons, whom I haven’t seen in a very long time.  I was amazed at how big the children there had grown while I wasn’t watching!  I picked up four big jugs of apple cider, one of which didn’t survive the day when my boys came home from school.  I also brought home a nice selection of apples and squash for my family.  The whole trip left me feeling very happy. 

My family life has been extraordinarily busy, as usual.  I’ll summarize a bit to say that the Sounds of South performance of “Phantom of the Opera” held their penultimate performance last Saturday night.  Tommie did a stellar job in the chorus and handling the props and stage.  He just handles everything on stage with a quiet professionalism.  I had to smile when Tommie, during the auction scene, bid on the monkey I created using an auction paddle that I also made for the show.  He didn’t get the monkey, but he started the group bidding on the piece—way to support your Mom’s work!  Jacob ran the lighting, as he has for the whole show, and threw in a few of his own creative touches to make the performance richer.  I served as an usher while Jim stayed home and rested after hours of wood cutting and splitting followed by Taekwondo and sparring.  It was great to usher and meet people from all over the community coming together to support the SOS group.  Everyone went away impressed with the extraordinarily high quality of the performance. 

I will be out and about in the community with my art a few times over the next few weeks.  First, I’ll be at Spring Hill Suites on College Avenue on Wednesday the 29th from 5-7:30 p.m. for ArtNight, a one evening exhibition of my weavings, along with two other artists.   You can see my latest tomato piece with the myriad tomatoes I needle felted over the summer on my travels.  Spring Hill Suites has started carrying my notecards and Sweater Petals as well.   Next, I’ll be present for a reception for the new bigheaded ant exhibit at Wonderlab on November 7th from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.   
My final show of the calendar year will be at the combined Artisans Guilds show at the Convention Center on November 14th and 15th.  My ‘Looking at Water’ exhibit will still be there in the Rogers room, so stop in to see my new Re-Shirts at the show and my weavings nearby!

It’s been a long blog, but I can’t get by without mentioning the delightful Mutsu apple and cranberry pie that Jim made yesterday morning.  The next time he makes it, which better be soon so we can still find more Mutsu apples, he needs to know that the filling needs more cranberries!  I’ll have to do the experiment and see how I like this one a few more times, with espresso, to be sure!

Until next week,

Martina Celerin