The reality of the big summer art fairs is foremost on my mind right now. I put most all of my energies into creating art this week. It seems as if I was in the studio from the moment I wake up until deep in the night. I’m making progress and I’m almost ready to take my art to Des Moines! The first piece that I finished has already traveled extensively with me. I did the actual background weaving in my studio a few months ago, but I took the weaving to Michigan to stretch it out onto its frame. At Grandma’s I crocheted the foreground base for the peninsula and the water’s edge.
I brought the piece home and needle felted the tree trunks while watching the boys do Taekwondo. The rocks in the piece are mother stones that we collected last year on Topsail Island in North Carolina. To complete the tree I used remnant yarn thrums that I got from the Textillery in Bloomington to create the long branches. The center of the branches is wire that I repurposed by straightening used spiral notebook binders. Overall, the piece has a lot of history and a lot of travel. And I’m delighted with how it turned out!
This week I also worked on my fruit piece, making the apple slices and grapes while watching the boys teach Taekwondo at MCMA and during art-related meetings. As I laid out the piece, I realized I need at least one more kind of fruit to balance with the dark-purply blueberries. I’ve settled on plums as the perfect fruit. I know exactly what I’m looking for, but it’s hard to communicate for me because in Czech there are two different words for plums, depending on the species. I want to make blumy, which have the right purple and the right shape.
On the Sounds of South Beauty and the Beast production front, my sewing faeries have been busy assembling my pinned-together costumes, and they look absolutely terrific. I’m so pleased with the progress. Lately I’ve re-launched into another character, the Enchantress. I envision her as a regal, shimmery, silvery-teal goddess-like person. I want her look to be very distinct from the ball gowns that I have been working on. The basic dress for the Enchantress was a treasure we found on the road trip to West Lafayette. Four of the SOS contributors traveled to see the touring performance of Beauty and the Beast.
We also planned to make it a costume-scrounging trip on the way there and back. We found the enchantresses dress in a consignment shop in small-town Indiana. When Nancy and I saw it we just knew that it would work as the base of the costume for the Enchantress. A couple of months later I was here in Bloomington, visiting My Sister’s Closet, when I found another version of the dress. It was slightly greener, but almost identical. I harvested that fabric to extend the first dress to become a full-length gown. I embellished the basic structure by creating sleeves from the skirt of another gown I scavenged from the Recycle Center – Materials for the Arts.
I added some trim to the sleeves from a roll of Christmas ribbon that I picked up last weekend from the Monroe County History Center’s annual fundraiser garage sale. I need to give a big shout out to them for lending us two mannequins for the year to keep the costume-making process moving forward. I will reciprocate by lending them my mannequins next year for their sale.
On the home front it has been a good week for pies. We missed the farmer’s market for a couple of weeks on our travels, but we returned to cherry season. We’re looking ahead to a visit by friends from Mississippi who have never had cherry pie beyond the canned version. They’re coming for one of the Beauty and the Beast performances and we want to give them the real farmer’s market item. Jim has been busy pitting cherries and freezing filling bags to have on hand. He even made two different cherry pies since I last blogged a week ago in an attempt to perfect his filling. Last Monday he made a tart cherry pie that was amazing. It was also perfect with espresso as breakfast for the next couple of days. This past Saturday we picked up ten more quarts for winter pies, and Jim tried a sweet cherry pie to compare and work on the filling texture. He added a few strawberries that were left over, which unfortunately dominated the flavor of the sweet cherries. I’m not complaining, though! Maybe we should try it again to see what it’s like without the strawberries! I feel good knowing that we’ll be ready for pies this winter to bring back memories of the summer’s farmer’s market. Let’s do the same for blueberries and raspberries!
Until next week,