Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tapestry update, at last, new vistas and Mrs. Stewart


Tapestry update, at last, new vistas and Mrs. Stewart

My computer with the library in the background is one of the places I’ll be blogging from from now on. My unofficial WiFi access has vanished into the maw of a package which has automatic firewalls.

It used to be that friendly neighbors left their WiFi modem open and didn’t mind the occasional piggybacking from folks like me, but now that packaging is the big deal, they don’t have that option. If you have a cable contract, they take over your telephone, television access, internet access, food choices, fashion decisions, you name it! And automatically put up a blocking mechanism to reject unauthorized people. That means me.

And aside from the sheer cost which is beyond our means, they simply can’t understand a household like ours, where the directv dish is HP’s, the landline phone is his, the cellphone is mine, the internet access is mine. They don’t understand how to separate out the functions and sell you what you actually want, what a concept.

So life will go one and my access will be a bit less frequent but very focused on getting a lot done in the brief times I can be away from the house. And amazingly, on discovering how many times I would be checking email, when really there is very little that is so dramatic that I need to be there on call!

And my organization has to be a bit better, since I found I'd forgotten to upload the pix to the drive before coming out to blog, sigh...but that gave me the chance to do some more pix, too, so all is not lost.

Yesterday I finished a scarf, made three artist books, did some spinning, and read a Mary Wesley novel, all in the time I suspect I might have been foofing around on the internet, doing Vital Research…this is over and above the nursing care, cooking, laundry etc., that consume several hours daily no matter what else is happening. So it goes to show.

And I have made a neat discovery, that in dyeing fleece I can branch out from Koolaid, since I realized, on tidying up the laundry shelf, that I have two bottles, don’t ask me how, of Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing. Remembering vividly making things bright blue when I had intended only to whiten them, I realized that I can use it on purpose as a dye, and did so. Nice blue, almost unobtainable via Koolaid. And not poisonous, as far as I know. I just soaked the fleece overnight in it, and wrung it out by hand, let it dry, and we’ll see how it spins.

And the tapestry is at the end of the first panel, and that blue will almost certainly be needed, once it’s spun, that is, on the second or third panels of this work. So I show you the first panel, still on the loom, where it will stay so that the other panels will work with it as I go, and the empty loom for the second panel. Potential!!






Recorder Society meeting this week, was a blast. The conductor is a worldclass musician, don’t know how we managed to snag her for our amateur group, but she was wonderful. She played Carnegie Hall this year, was in a Festival of Early Music in Prague, and gave birth to a daughter among all this, and cut several Cds, with YoYoMa’s percussionist from the Silk Road Ensemble. And she’s a cutup, very funny, terrific fun to work with.

If you want to see my official pix of conductors and others, I’m the official photographer of the Princeton Recorder Society, which you can find at princetonrecordersociety.com or something of that nature, you can google on it. It sounds posh to say I’m the official photographer, but it’s really I’m appointed because I’m the one who remembers to bring my camera and then remembers to use it! I’m the best they can get, this is not a great tribute to my photographic talent! But do take a look at the website, Tom L. the webmaster is doing a very nice job.

And our latest conductor looks like a medieval angel figure or a pageboy, with long red curly hair, black tunic and tights and boots, and a wonderful face.

So this week we played medieval music, and then for a finale, leapt ahead to the Baroque, all that way, 18th century. Great stuff to play, and she even taught us some new techniques.

Did you know that virtuoso players like her in concert don’t keep changing instruments? As you probably know, different voices of recorder, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, have different fingering and different clefs. There’s no time in the heat of performance to keep switching so they switch the fingering. This boggles the mind! Such mental flexibility is kind of hard even to think about. But she taught us to do it a big, playing altos as if they were sopranos.

I do know how to play the bass as if it were an alto, which involves change of clef and of fingering and of pitch, and often am the only person in the group who can divorce her thinking from her playing enough to do it! It’s intuitive rather than considered. But playing an alto like a soprano was new.

What happens is that your subconscious starts to associate the feel of a given instrument with its fingering and clef, and you have to override that if you change the expectations, great mental adventure. It’s one reason I switch at home all the time between flute and different voices of recorders, to try and maintain the flexibility to be able to play what I mean to.

Anyway, the evening was great fun, once a month HS comes over and sits with HP to let me get out without worrying.

And you want to know what I call a good friend? M., that's who. Who invited me over to her kitchen to make art together (and I did a couple of drawings, which I can show you here, for your endless delight!) and baked a cake, too! not bad. I reciprocate, of course, but it's so good to have this done for me.






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