Sunday, April 25, 2010

Salamander Chili?

This week has been a needle-felting fiesta. I created enough felted peppers to make a fine chili, and my ‘Salamander Salsa’ is coming together nicely. The pepper piece needs about fifty peppers of all colors—reds, greens, yellows, and oranges. For the composition, I’m channeling a late-summer basket of peppers from our local CSA. I just have to remember not to rub my eyes after I cut them up. To make the basic pepper shape I’ve been wet-felting merino noils, the same technique I used with the kids in the Creek-Love classroom to create felt balls. I’m using a bamboo mat that I picked up at the recycle center to do the rolling, and the soap is an environmentally friendly dish soap that my thoughtful husband picked up for me. I haven’t checked, but I’m sure the seeds are in there! Anyway, to introduce the color I add roving or fleece onto the surface by needle felting. To get the perfect pepper green I use the amazing green fibers that I bought at the Fiber Event in Greencastle—I especially love the mohair that I found because it’s a rich green and very shiny. I use the drum carder borrowed from the Spinners and Weaver’s guild to get just the right color blend. It’s a fun tool to use, but it looks like an instrument of great pain if some part of you got caught in it. The ability to mix and create specific colors lets me create the perfect green for different types of peppers at different stages of development. I’m up to 34, so I’ve still got a few more to go. This is about the stage where I start wondering what in the world I was thinking when I started this project!

My other major project has involves birthing a few more salamanders. I finished my yellow barred salamander and I set off on making the body of a red striped salamander. He’s waiting for me to add his arms and legs, which is the tedious part. You know, when it comes right down to it, salamander bodies look a lot like peppers! I need to start a new project. The only thing that made the poking palatable on Thursday, which was a big needle felting day, was the fact that there was a marathon of ‘Project Runway’ episodes. I just love the creativity that goes into the compositions. I like the fact that the fashion designs incorporate colors, textures, dimensionality movement and personality. I get great ideas for my own art pieces, and they inspire me to greater heights for next year’s Trashionista fashion show. I can’t wait!

On the home front, the boy’s tested for the purple belt with a black stripe. It’s their seventh belt (ten more to go to black belt!). They’re jumping around like frogs in the spring, spinning like tops, and kicking like, well, like they did when they were in the womb. Now I know what they were practicing for! Afterwards we headed down the sidewalk to Jiffy Treet for a little cool and refreshing reward. Jacob and his dad shared the chocolate lovers sundae, a decadent treat with chocolate ice cream, brownies, hot fudge sauce, whipping cream and nuts. I did get the cherry on top. Tommie and I were much more reserved, each getting a small dish of ice cream. At least half of us show some restraint. It was a delightful end to another fine week.

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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