Saturday, December 12, 2009

Keeping warm…

What a cold snap we had this week! If you have kids, you know that winter signals a whole new level of complexity in life. You’ve got to break out the warm boots and get them to take their shoes in their backpack for gym class. Or, as we did on Thursday, you have to drop the shoes off at the office to the ever-friendly Binford secretary. Pairs of gloves become singles with maddening frequency, and the cycle of drying them is constant. But the most maddening thing for us is…drum roll please…we have another raccoon in the attic! We thought we had pounded down every entry point, but this guest broke through a different soffit. We know it’s a chunker, because we can hear how hard he has to work to squeeze in. And with the cold weather, this fellow has been up all night, every cold night, rearranging the insulation. Scratch, scratch, scratch. Arrrrgggghhhh! Must. get. more. sleep!

On the brighter side of things, my mannequin arrived this week. I want this for shows, but I also need to document my scarves with high quality pictures before they’re all sold. Just as I was opening the box, my photographer Tom Bertolacini called. I had just finished making two more commissioned scarves and the buyer was coming that afternoon to pick them up, so I asked if Tom was coming into town. He was, so I raced out to my local venues and picked up a selection of scarves to photograph. I stopped in at the Bloomington Bagel Company first, then off to the Wandering Turtle, where I also borrowed my latest turtle piece (Among the Ferns). Tom came with his fancy lights, stands and his camera (mine stayed in its case and whimpered). He makes everything ‘just so’, AND he brought me two dozen eggs. The chickens, either oblivious to the cold snap or lacking anything better to do, have been laying eggs like crazy. Maybe the raccoons just stopped bothering them. Tom also is also a wood worker and builds all the frames for my weavings. His latest venture is making wooden weaving equipment—shuttles, batons and maybe even looms. It will be nice to have them made locally, although I don’t mind shipping a little cash to Canada, the vast and beautiful country of my youth. They know about cold snaps.

The real highlight of the week, though, was our trip to Cirque Dreams: Illuminations at the IU auditorium. The day was hectic enough as it was, since it was my loving spouse’s birthday. That meant baking birthday pizza and making a chocolate cake. Men named ‘Jim’ are so easy to please (yes, he had a beer, too). I must say that the rich butter cream frosting that flowed in thick glaciers down the sides was the best part. I even got cake and espresso for breakfast this morning—wow, can my life get any better! Back to the Cirque—you can’t really call it theatre, ballet, or comedy, but it was all of those together. It’s the creative combination of constant movement and color on the stage that really brings a whole new perspective on the acrobatic techniques. In my own work I try to combine techniques to come up with something new, and at art fairs I get a lot of comments like: ‘what do you call those things you make’? It’s weaving, but a whole lot more. Anyway, we saw things like an amazing trapeze piece where the artist was repeatedly lowered into a large wooden tube of water. As he was lifted out into his gyrations, water flew everywhere. It was like a dance in the air where the light reflected off the arcs of water flying and curling through the air. In the background, people in colorful costumes walked by with umbrellas. The overall effect was just magic. At the end, the trapeze artist was handed an umbrella with the panels removed, which somehow seemed to fit. The show was a dramatic climax to a great, if very cold, week.

Until next week…

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