Saturday, April 11, 2009

One more week of winter!

This week was a transition week. I finished writing a grant proposal to BEAD (the Bloomington Entertaining and Arts District) to expand advertising for the Fourth Street Festival into larger markets. The goal is to bring more people to Bloomington to the Festival, which translates into more hotel occupancy, restaurant business and other sales for the community. I also finished my monthly quota for holiday ornaments (10 for April). Those are handy to work on anywhere, so I'm usually poking (needle felting) while the boys are doing their Tae Kwon Do practice under the watchful eyes of Mr. and Mrs. Scott at Monroe County Martial Arts. From there I transitioned back into making a commissioned piece called Winter Birches. This has been an extraordinarily popular piece, with strong card sales and interest since it was first made three years ago. I still make similar pieces on commission, so that was the goal for this week. The unseasonably cold weather provided just the right backdrop for the transition from winter to spring. That meant I didn't feel badly about working on a snowy piece this week.

The construction of Winter Birches is always an event. First I lay out the fifty or so required yarns as a gradient of color.
The feel of the piece is a cold serenity comprising black and white, but it really has a range of purples, greens, browns and grays. I've posted a picture so you can get an idea about what this means. Construction of the birches themselves is an adventure in recycled art itself. I wrap shoelaces, cord and old packing string in a special white yarn that has brown and beige strings hanging out. There are a few secret finishing touches, but well, they're secret! It gives me an inner pride to look at it, knowing all that's inside--kind of like watching your child at play.

The last transition for the week was unexpected and less welcome. I developed a kidney infection, which I first tried to overcome by drinking lots of water. I drank so much that the city people came by to see if we had a broken line in the house. OK, I'm kidding about that one, but my skin did start to dry out from all the hand washing. The situation got worse and worse until I got to the doctor and onto antibiotics. The good news is that I'm feeling better. The bad news is that I'll miss the Fleece Fair in Greencastle this weekend. That's very sad. I'll save some money, but I'll miss out on all the cool things I didn't know that I needed.

In the yard I'm still waiting for the newly planted cherry and peach trees to pop out of the bud stage. C'mon, c'mon! The tulips that are closest to the house are opening into purple, yellow, and red displays. The antlered grounds crew neatly cuts the rest back to the ground. On the road my show at the Shower's building looks lovely. Stop in and see 'Inch by Inch and Row by Row' while you're at the Farmer's Market this month!

Until next week…

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