Over the past two weeks I got started on my fall commission pieces. The first one is a revisitation of my ‘Tap Water’ piece that features a water faucet dripping onto a dandelion with a long taproot. I began by digging through my earthy browns, which I love to do. The colors remind me of chocolate, from American milk chocolate to extra dark Swiss delights. The darkest colors sink to the bottom of the piece in a gradient to the lighter browns at the surface. I warped the loom and just rocked on the dirt for the piece. My next project was to create the stone wall that holds the faucet. For the mortar I use greys with a hint of brown to give the piece a warm feel. Oh, and the teacup in the picture is from a local artist, Walt Schmidt. At the Fourth Street Festival he caught me drinking out of a cup made by a Slovak artist, but that wasn’t enough to appease Walt. He gave me a nice cup from his wares. It is perfect for tea—thanks Walt!
To create the stones in my rock wall I like to cluster similarly colored yarns together. That got me digging through my box of sand yarns. Unfortunately, I discovered that a rodent was trying to turn my yarn stores into a winter pantry. I found acorns, allium seeds, and sunflower seeds. To Mr. Mouse: sorry, that is SO not happening. I gave Jim some dark sunglasses, a stern look and orders to solve the problem. Despite the losses, I was still able to bring together soft grey pinks, stony browns and earthy purples to make the stones I needed.
I want them to be slightly colorful, reminiscent of the different granite rocks I found on the beaches of the Pinery in Ontario, where I grew up. I just love the colors in the water-polished stones! I even added some yarns with glittery characteristics to match the feel of the rocks when the sun hits them. The effect needs to be muted so the rocks, which cover a large background surface area, don’t stand forward and fight with the foreground water tap structure.
Fall marks the time when the boys get seriously into their extracurricular activities. That gives me lots of time to needle felt objects I need. Jacob is practicing for a hip-hop showcase in two weeks, and both boys are gearing up for the next belt (red/black) in Taekwondo. It’s the last stop before black belt! I have had plenty of time to create the dandelion leaves and root that I need, as well the tree trunk for the next commission piece. That will feature a willow tree with a nearby park bench.
The last two weeks also featured all sorts of fun family events. Grandma came to visit during the boy’s fall break. The weather was perfect, giving us plenty of outdoor time. That keeps Grandma happy! She mowed the lawn twice. Really! I think the second pass just scares the grass, but she seems to think the collecting bag fills up again. We did leave the lawn in pretty bad shape before she arrived. She bought herself a present that will stay at our house, which is a weed-whipping trimmer. Jacob has taken to it, and now the lawn looks wonderfully manicured all around. We also managed to do some shopping for a new sofa after seventeen years of hard use on the last one. We traveled Bloomington to test every couch in town for bottom-pleasing comfort.
While we shopped, Jim made a delightful salmon dinner and followed it up with a farmer’s market fresh raspberry pie—yum! On Saturday, everyone had a nice trip to the farmer’s market. That means we made a stop at Le Petit Café for hot chocolate, bought lots of fall veggies for the week, and came home a basket of tomatoes for the freezer.
We even got in a trip out to Brown County to see the fall colors. The boys and I did some zip-lining, we had lunch at Zaharenkos, and we all took in a round of mini-golf. ONE of us scored THREE holes in one! Since you asked, yes, it WAS me! With the beautiful blue skies on a perfect fall day, everything just came together nicely. Except that the pie disappeared way too fast. I think we’ll need another soon, please, pie fairy!
Until next week,