It feels great when I can bring a piece to completion, especially when I have been plugging away for so long to make each of the components. My vegetable piece has finally come together and I love-love-love how it looks! The warm wool evokes comforting feelings that mirror the intent of the composition—a fall stew as warm comfort food. As I look at all the vegetables I’m still trying to decide which is my favorite. I’m sure when the piece hangs on the wall in my booth I’ll hear lots of personal stories about vegetables and cooking that will just add to my delight in the final composition.
Finishing one piece built around needle felting means that I need to start another to fill my sit-and-wait times between the boys’ activities. Now I’m crocheting leaf clumps to fill a forest canopy. I combine a lot of the crispy bright green yarns I dyed last summer with some commercial yarns that fill out the color story I want to create. I typically crochet six or eight strands of yarn together into random clumps. I find it amusing when people sitting near me key in on what I’m doing. The furrowed brows and puzzled looks precede the first questions, which boil down to “What are you doing”? My words rarely dispel the puzzled looks, so I whip out my phone and show a weaving with a fully leafed out tree. Then they connect to the activity and I get the drawn out “Oohhhhh”!
Thinking of tree pieces with leaf clumps, I made a video a couple of months ago showing my current exhibit hanging at the Bloomington Bagel Company at the Shoppes. I posted it on Facebook and got a lot of interest. I recently checked back in because a lot of people were sharing the video. I was pleasantly shocked to see that I have over forty thousand views! Here is a link if you haven’t seen it yet and want to contribute to my swelling pride. People all over the world have been viewing it, which leaves me amazed by the technology that connects us. I can imagine someone in their jammies and fuzzy bunny slippers, sipping a coffee in Bulgaria checking out my weavings in the bagel shop here in Bloomington, Indiana.
Right now my main focus is on two upcoming events that needed timely intervention. First, my fiber world primarily involves costume design and creation for next year’s performance of Pippin by Sounds of South. I’m focusing on the chorus costumes and the theme is vintage circus. My color palate is purple, blue and green, not tints or shades, just the pure colors. I’m being a little fussy on that because I want the colors to be strong but tight. The neutrals are black and silver. They will contrast with the principals, whom I’ll dress in strong bright reds so they pop out against the sixty-five or so kids in the chorus. In my mind the design is perfect—I just hope it will translate to the stage!
Anyway, the project is coming along beautifully. I have all of the costumes for boys who are current members and all of the girl’s costumes up through “L” in the alphabet. My sewing and sounding board faeries, mainly Nancy Riggert and Misty Hayes, have been terrific and fun to work with. Of course the spring auditions for next year’s members haven’t taken place, though, so Gwen is likely to bring along another fifteen or so kids who’ll need chorus costumes. I’m setting that thought aside and trying to focus on my accomplishments. To give you an idea what I’m doing, here are a few pictures of the completed costumes for the female members.
The wild card in my work schedule is travel to put on workshops. I have two finalized events this year and two more in the works. Next up is Memphis in about ten days, which means I need to construct some new looms for the participants. Last summer we cleaned out the shed and I rediscovered wood that had been stored there. I found tomato plant stakes, wood from the huppah when my friend Sonia got married in the back yard, and slats from the walk-in cellar door cover that Grandpa assembled to keep water out of the basement. I’m all about recycling materials, and each of those pieces have good karma. The same holds for the 1x2s I picked up from the Re-store to support Habitat for Humanity in town. I chopped them all up and sanded the wood to make looms that I’ll ship to Memphis on Monday. The screws that hold the L-brackets together are all recycled so it’s a mismatch of colors that’s fun to look at—it reminds me of a crazy quilt.
Until next week,