Saturday, May 2, 2009

Celandine Poppies and Spring Eggs

Completion! This week I finished a commissioned piece I’ve been working on for months. It has a fern background and Celandine (wood) poppies growing through. These are two of the truly hardy plants in our backyard, necessitating constant vigilance, trimming and plucking to keep them in check. I had finished the fern background and I needed to create the yellow poppies, so I stepped into the back yard and snipped a model bouquet. They immediately cheered up my art studio and set me to the task. I started with scraps of thin, plastic-coated wire that I shaped into petals. The flowers were needle felted onto the wire frames, ironed flat, then wrinkled into shape. The wire nicely holds the shape. The pistils are made from wire wrapped with green wool and touched up by needle felting. I think they’re really pretty in a vase.

In the Creek-Love classroom we took the next step on our Gold Fish in the Blue Ocean piece. We finished gluing seashells onto the frame, and the kids have sorted tons of gold beads and jewelry pieces to make the gold fish. At home I’ve finished sculpting the fish by bulking them up with cellulclay in anticipation of gluing on the gold scales. Now I’m excited about seeing the final project—it’s been two years in the making. It started when my older son Tommie was in the second grade and is continuing as Jacob moves through the first grade. The weaving phase was the most time consuming as we slowly built up the giant background, but now we’re rapidly approaching completion.

The last big project of the week has been gearing up for our annual spring egg hunt, assuming it doesn’t rain. So far we’re looking good on the weather, but of course you never really know in the spring in Indiana. We’ve invited 19 kids and have a twenty-gallon tub filled with packed eggs. We save the plastic shells from year to year and the kids take home the booty inside. Last year we geared up for the event but it rained every weekend in season, and suddenly it was 90 degrees. Melting chocolate candy is not what you want to have a bunch of screaming kids handling while running around your house. We did have to discard most of the contents of the eggs from last year—Whoppers go bad, it turns out, as do a lot of other rich chocolate dainties. The gladiolus corms were dehydrated but apparently OK, so they got their own spot in the garden after an overnight soak. I guess it kept the kids from thinking they were candy and accidentally eating them. After the hunt the HoA (husband of artist) will have a suite of cupcakes for the annual ‘Cupcake Picnic’. As of now we’ve checked off all the key requirements for a successful kid party: Chocolate? Check! High-sugar products? Check! Chance to run around and scream? Check! Time limit so wired kids go home before the house is destroyed! Check! Check Check! We’re ready!

Until next week…

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