Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lots of irons in the fire…

My blogs often start out with the manageable lamentation that I have a bunch of projects in the works.  It seems that I have too much going on to accomplish it all.  What helps me manage is to stand back and look at the big picture.  I find if keep I moving forward, a little bit on each project each week, my responsibilities don’t feel so overwhelming.  This was one of those weeks!  I stepped back into working on a weaving project I started a while back, which was to work on the background for a birch piece set next to a summer lake.  I’ve made similar pieces, and this composition is especially calming for me.  I pulled the piece off the studio wall and started crocheting some of the foreground land mass to build the piece away from the wall.  
 I’ll plant the birch trees there.  Then I spent some time needle felting the effects of the gentle summer breeze on the water to create the perceived notion of waves.  I’m hoping that the piece should be finished and ready to travel to summer art fairs by this time next week. 

I spent some time this week moving ‘My Roots’ forward as well.  I’m creating this for an exhibition in November, although I’ll travel with this piece to summer art fairs.  I have decided that if it finds a new home this summer, it wasn’t meant to be part of the exhibit.   
My goal was to finish making the turnips that will nicely fill in the green hole still in the piece I shared last week.  I worked on these as the boys did their taekwondo, and the early-stage turnips are usually mistaken for potatoes or some other roots.  As the delicate purples and greens are added the turnips take on their identity.  I can tell they’re exited to join their other root relatives on the weaving. 

April marked my return to the costume studio at Bloomington High School South.  If you haven’t heard, and I can’t imagine that many of you haven’t, I’m currently creating the chorus costumes for a performance of Pippin this fall in a vintage circus motif.  I’ve been collecting all sorts of treasures from various places, both local and on my travels, to fit my color scheme for the performance.  I focus on reclaimed and recycled clothing and materials for the costumes.  Some parents have dropped off materials, but I regularly visit the Recycle Center (especially the Materials for the Arts program), My Sister’s Closet, and the Bloomington Thrift Shop.  I even found some useful costume things at the Re-Store in town!  On my spring break visit to Michigan I brought home a big haul from a store called the Cat’s Meow. 

One of the first new costumes I have laid out for the incoming freshmen includes a peplum I cut from a dress I found at the Cat’s Meow.  The purple skirt was formerly a purple dress, and what will be the black and white skirt was formerly a bed skirt.  I’ll trim the costume with Christmas ribbons and chords made from t-shirts, cut as a continuous strips to make the cordage. 
I am generating lots of projects for my sewing faeries!

While the costumes are my day job, I’ve been moving forward on pulling things together for my workshop in Virginia in June.  I took advantage of the beautiful weather from last week to bring my wide belt sander on the veranda.   

I converted the slats of wooden blinds into batons or pick-up sticks as the boys spent some quality time outside playing with bubbles.  They also decided they needed to try some stained glass work, so they spent a couple of hours on that project.  So yes, I happened to have copper tape and a soldering iron, and yes we have a bunch of beach glass, shells and funky found objects that they could fuse together.  Doesn’t every mom have those things? 

Family life has been about as busy as usual, with the biggest news focused on Jacob.  He had some extra practices this week before his big Hip Hop Connexion performance on Friday night.   
It was terrific!  The Jaywalkerz did a fabulous job, as usual, and brought the house down with their performance amid a dozen other skilled performance groups.  

 On the pie front, I had been scratching days on my calendar to maintain some hope.  Jim hasn’t been 100% and I wasn’t sure I was going to get a pie this week.  But good news!  I woke this morning to the smell of blueberry pie baking, and tonight night was a pie night!  Hooray!

Until next week,

Martina Celerin

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