I see that there’s a sprinkling of snow on the ground over a layer of ice, with little green salt crystals on the road. Must be winter in Indiana! We’ve had two nights of freezing rain and entirely unsafe driving, so I spent yesterday inside. With Christmas only a week away now, the household has been a beehive of activity, even as my art making has been a bit sporadic. Christmas to me means family—getting ready for visitors and planning holiday foods and activities. Even the weaving I’m currently working on will feature a pond with a willow, which is very special to me because of all of its family connections. Grandpa was connected to the giant willows in his backyard, and the Czechs have a long history with the willow. We talk to the willow when we have problems, and those long draping branches just seem magical. Whenever I have some time, I work a little on my willow piece.
Even as I focus my activities on the holiday season my art has been on the move. I have had several exhibits come up and go down since I last wrote. Currently I have my ‘Nature to Nurture’ show hanging at the Bloomington Bagel Company on the east side of town (in the Shoppes) and a display of my vegetable and fruit felted tiles at By Hand Gallery. While I haven’t been weaving much, I have filled my creative needs in other ways. One of my favorite things to do with the boys near Christmas is to bake cookies. This year we baked eleven different varieties.
We made several old favorites, including Linecke kolacky, snowballs, Tommie’s spicy chocolate diablos, and frosted lemon cookies. This year Jacob introduced his ‘party on a stick’ cookie balls and pecan chocolate half moons. The cookies are wonderful to share, but Christmas at our house would not be complete without Stollen on Christmas morning, at least according to Grandma. Last year I finally finished off the candied peel that I made years ago, so this week I bought diverse citrus fruits to harvest peel and candy for Stollen this season and over the next few years. Add into that decorating the house and trimming the Christmas tree and you’ve got a pretty full mix of activities!
The last big news of the season was the announcement of the musical to be put on by Sounds of South next fall—Hello Dolly. I’ve already been collecting pre-costumes, i.e. clothing from the Recycle Center, Opportunity House, Cat’s Meow, My Sister’s Closet, the Bloomington Thrift Shop and Goodwill. I chose the colors for the chorus to be watermelon and lemon (think fuscia, emerald green, light green and a pure yellow, with black and white neutral colors). I should have about seventy kids to dress in Victorian garb, in the style of 1885. I’ve been watching Youtube videos to educate myself on the difference between late the Victorian and early Edwardian periods. I’m excited about making big bustles and using lots and lots of feathers and flowers.
My travel calendar is also starting to fill up for next year, featuring workshops, talks and trunk shows. I’ll provide more information as the events come closer. It looks like 2017 is going to be great year—but not until I enjoy holidays! I’m thinking that something is missing here, though. Wait—there wasn’t a single pie over the past month! Surely the planning for a Christmas or birthday pie is in the works.
Until next week