Right now I’m working at full steam to complete two pieces before the big Des Moines Art Fair at the end of June. A few weeks back, during the Open Studios Tour, I had created the background for a piece that will feature a loon gliding on the water through cattails. That was before our visit to North Carolina, and I think I was channeling northern waters when I started it. Now I’m close to finishing the loon.
A huge amount of detail work has gone into getting the body shape just right and forming the intricate design on its back. The level of detail reminds me of the days when I used to do counted cross-stitch. Luckily, I’ve had a lot of meetings to attend, boys Taekwondo classes, and visits to the doctor (just checkups!) to give me time to work on the loon. Just a couple more car trips when Jim drives and I should have it complete! I do have to be careful when I work on the eyes, though. I’ve learned from past experience that I should never poke at a creature’s eyes around other people—it just weirds them out, even though it’s wool.
While the loon piece has taken a while to get back to, my major studio focus has been a large format ‘path’ piece. I’ve been posting snapshots on Facebook (I have a Dimensional Weavings page, which you’re welcome to visit and‘Like’).
Recently I attached the tree trunks, added crocheted leaf clumps and branches, and lately I’ve been working on the understory. Soon I’ll be able to stitch the actual weaving onto the frame and call it done! I’m excited to have two more new pieces to take on my summer art fair trail. First it will be Des Moines at the end of June, but this week I also learned that I was invited to participate in the Madison Art Fair on the Square again! Hooray! Everybody is excited to do the show, especially since we get to see Wendy and Duane in Hollandale. I know we’ll eat well and laugh a lot.
With the summer comes a whole bunch of family activities. The boys announced that this summer they wanted to learn how to paddle a kayak. As fortune would have it, we ran into one of their former teachers, Cindy Creek, who is one of the two teachers in the multiage classroom at Rogers elementary (with Mike Love). She’s also a Zumba person, which is how I ran into her lately. She’s an avid kayaker and volunteered to get us started. We rented three kayaks on Friday, a day when the lake’s surface looked like oil.
It was flat and just perfect for learning. We had a great time splashing around all morning. Also on the boys ‘to do’ list was to ride the zipline in the Brown County. We had a fabulous time, zipping along at thirty miles an hour, sixty feet over the forest floor. I think we’re ready for the advanced (longer and faster) lines now.
Jacob has also gotten into baking this past year. His class started an ‘Emeril’ cooking project and compiled a cookbook. He picked up another cookbook in North Carolina and has been baking ever since. He’s made tiramisu cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes, scones (chocolate chip, then cranberry), and a peanut butter brownie sort of a dessert.
And finally, we found tart cherries at the farmer’s market on Saturday. Of course you know what that means—pie! Jim made a delightful pie. He and Jacob thought it was too tart. Tommie and I disagreed. It was so flavorful, though, that we went back to the Tuesday night market and got more cherries. They were pitted last night and popped into the freezer for the next time I need a pie fix. This time it will be a mix of tart and sweet cherries, so hopefully the whole family will like it more.
Although, if I love it and they don’t, hmmm... more for me?
Until next week,