My maternal instinct kicked in this week. I wanted to finish the background for the ‘Baby Carrots’ commissioned piece I’ve been working on so my little friends could have a home. Not only did I finish the weaving, I even stretched it out and stitched it on the frame. After the frantic scarf-making and shows over the last few weeks I decided this was just the right thing to do—get in my art studio and weave! Now I just need to create the carrot tops. The cold weather is upon us, and babies lose most of their heat through their heads, you know. Oh, and I also cleaned up the back of the weaving. That process always brings back warm memories for me. My grandmother always said that a piece of art should look as good from the back as it does from the front. I’ve kept that idea to myself for years. When I first started having my work photographed by Tom Bertolacini, though, I had to laugh out loud at his first effort. He actually photographed the back of one of my abstract pieces, thinking it was the front! In his defense he said that it looked good—how could I be upset?
The events from last weekend spilled over into this week in some unexpected and funny ways. At the Fiber Arts Show I met a delightful woman, originally from Argentina, who was very kind and complimentary toward my work. She asked me if I taught what I do, and I said I really didn’t. I basked in the glow of many similar kindnesses from last weekend as I prepared to do a long-planned workshop in Danville, Indiana. Anyway, I had a beautiful drive through rural Indiana along highway 39. Full disclosure—it isn’t much of a highway. It has wonderful switchbacks through southern Indiana limestone country and lots of cornfields farther north at the southern end of the glacier track. The towns were tiny and quaint and a lot of the barns were leaning to embrace mother earth. I was richly and repeatedly reminded that Bloomington, my little oasis, does not represent Indiana. When I arrived at the highschool in Danville I was greeted by an enthusiastic bunch of people, including—you guessed it—my new friend from Argentina. It turns out she’s a teacher at the school. We laughed and laughed, and I guess I was busted for saying I didn’t teach my craft. The group was delightful and we had fun creating needle felted ornaments. This was actually a repeat visit for me, and Tiffany (the organizer) and her friend (another workshop repeater) had created some truly beautiful patterns on their ornaments. I’m scheduled to go back in the spring to run yet another workshop on whimsical felted turtles. That should be a lot of fun!
This week some of my summer veggies showed their displeasure with being ignored over the summer. In the bottom of the crisper I found half a cabbage from July and couple of old squash that were starting to get a little moldy. I just handed the whole drawer to my husband Jim for a trip to the compost pile. I did feel a little badly about my best-laid (but failed) plans to cook with the squash into soup. To atone for my errant ways, I whipped up some ‘Lois soup’ using kale that came to me from a generous neighbor, Nicola. The soup is named after the boy’s fairy godmother, Lois Graham. She lives an active life of retirement, split between Cross Village Michigan and somewhere in southern Texas, depending on the season. Her soup (in my hands) has greens, black-eyed peas and veggie sausages, plus a little spice to warm it up. It’s tasty and the perfect cold-weather soup. We had some the night I made it, along with fresh focaccia. Yum! The timing was good, because the rosemary plant that lives on my kitchen counter needed a trim.
Now it’s time to get ready for Thanksgiving. I’m planning on doing a little sketching to get some fresh ideas down, and the boys are looking forward to getting some time off from school. The only dark moment from the week came in Jim’s Tae kwon do class Wednesday, when he separated his shoulder on an ill-timed fall. He kept on going until the X-rays Saturday showed what happened, and now he’s a little disappointed about having to cut back his activities for a while. He does look cute in the sling, though!
Until next week…