This week we are in the middle of a February deep freeze. A fresh blanket of snow fell on the foot or so that we already have, but that just increased my determination to plant some flowers. No, I haven’t completely lost my marbles. I’ve been working on one of the commissions that features a fence with a bicycle propped up against it. Behind the fence is a garden of summer flowers along a flagstone path, and creating summer colors is what has helps get me through the cold weather.
If you’ve read my posts regularly you know that I don’t post an image of the completed piece until the commissioner has had ad chance to see it, but I will post a sneak peak of the view looking down at the flowers to remind you that summer is coming. I’m planning to ship the piece to Canada on Tuesday, where I’m sure they will appreciate an early peek at summer.
As one piece comes together I’m usually well along on the next commissioned piece. I have all of the tree trunks in hand and the background is woven for the next piece in line. I’m making branches for the trees as well as leaf clumps to fill in the canopy.
The background weaving already contains elements of the treetops, but I’ll build it forward with crocheted leaf clumps. When I have all the pieces assembled I’ll start putting it all together. I promised completion of the project by the end of March so I feel like I’m in good shape.
These days I’ve been splitting my time almost evenly between commission work and creating costumes for the Sounds of South production of Beauty and the Beast. This week on Friday I got closure on one section of the costume making.
With the invaluable help of my dedicated team of costume makers (students, parents and parents of former students!) we now have all of the shirts and vests for the male villagers completed. I decided to mark the occasion with a costume parade in the SOS classroom to see them all side-by-side. Some of the students and I hung the outfits along the back closet.
This also allows me (and Nancy Riggert, my right hand in this process) to evaluate how the costumes work with each other, as well as how they all look from a distance. We stood back and decided which costumes needed a little more embellishment or fabric love. We’re pretty happy, but there might be some more changes once we see them on stage on the set and under the lights. Thanks Becky DeLong for that good advice.
The pants are still a work in progress, but they’re almost complete—Geni Schermer is on the job! We picked out full-length pants in the show’s color palette of orange, teal and plum. The SOS kids have cut them off at the appropriate length and now Geni is hemming them and introducing elastic into the calf bands. Nancy’s friend Noni has made the ties for the bottoms of the knickers. The goal is to create the feel of an old French fairy tale. I think we’re pretty close, but I’m sure some of my Slavic roots crept into the costumes. I’ll settle for an old European fairy tale look.
My life isn’t destined to be all winter fun. I’m delighted to be packing up my suitcases this week and flying out to Tuscon, Arizona for a five-day trip/three-day workshop for their fiber guild. The weather forecast is for the temperatures in the eighties! I’m very much looking forward to the trip, and in anticipation of the workshop I’ve already shipped two big boxes of stuff (yarn, fleece and looms, plus show and tell items). It will be a packed three days of fiber fun where I get to share my passion for what I do. I do seem to have a lot of friends who will be stowing themselves into my suitcases, though, so there might be some extra costs for baggage.
Oh, and I discovered a blueberry pie this week—mmmm! It didn’t have the rich and subtle flavors of the last pie, which has sparked much discussion about blueberry growth, varieties and the best time of season to harvest. This is such a serious problem that I think we should run some more tests! Or compare blueberries with cherries or raspberries!
Until next week,