Friday, February 26, 2010
New beginnings, the Great American Tapestry...
Yeah, right. Anyway, pausing only to create a door snake, about which I'll tell you in a minute, I have started warping up a new bigger tapestry, and have picked out the yarns and strings and ribbons and other stuff that will go into it. At least that's the plan as of this writing. Things tend to change once an artwork is under way. Tentative title, since it's all about reds and pinks, hot colors, is Blaze. Many meanings in that word. I'm still receiving wonderful suggestions for titles for the first group, by the way.
Since we were on the cusp of another snowstorm, I had HP's respite person come anyway, yesterday as scheduled, even though I wasn't going out -- he lives in walking distance, no trouble to get home -- and I spent the time in the studio, wonderful time, no concern about HP two floors down being lonely or needing something, so I was able to just work, and it was such a great idea I must repeat it! in just a couple of hours I did a whole lot of thinking and work on the upcoming tapestry.
You'll notice the wonderful skein of red variegated yarn, thanks to a gift from Heather, which will be an important element in this work. This is from Shepherd Susie's flock, you remember the Lambcam last spring? we probably saw the sheep this came from! and SS's outfit did all the work of shearing, cleaning, carding, spinning and plying and dyeing and skeining, which will cause this tapestry to move a lot faster than the last group, where the artist did all the above.
So it's like Calvin and Hobbes seeing a virgin snowcovered hillside! appropriately enough since we are snowed in AGAIN. Anyway, all is potential at this point. Once I get the rest of the warp yarn, once I get out to the hardware store where I get my art supplies, once they plow us out and dig our paths.
The family that runs our local Ace Hardware is used to my weird searches and really gets into it when I explain that I'm looking for wire or foam or rope or something for art purposes. Makes a change from customers coming in to say this little screw thing fell out of the widget that holds that other thing onto the door and now it won't open.
Meanwhile, back at the front door, see my new door snake?
she does look a bit lumpy, as if she'd swallowed a few mice in quick succession, but she works fine. It's a freecycled scarf, stitched into three channels, outer ones stuffed with batting, inner one empty, so as to slide under the door. This way the door pushes the snake with it so you're not forever tripping on it or putting it back in place. I had seen this concept in a catalog, but they wanted actual money for theirs, and I thought this wasn't too hard to make for myself. Took all of half an hour. I used crochet thread and a tapestry needle to do the stitching, just a simple running stitch. This was the craft portion of the day!
The cashmere lace scarf continues unabated, too. Crafty stuff that only needs following instructions or simple figuring out are fine for keeping HP company. The creative need is pretty low in these cases, and can stand interruptions.
And then there's food, another interesting thing, which I can do with interruptions, too. I fit it into a lot of HP's morning care, and have got pretty adept at changing gears while doing his toothcare and shaving and upper body washing, and other stuff that happens after breakfast, in his chair. Our setup here is very good, since from the kitchen, I can see through the passthrough what he needs help with next, whip into there to help with it, and return to cooking right away. This means he does as much for himself as he can manage, but things still move along well for him.
Today lunch is seafood pasta, lovely seafood mixture from the Asian store with a lot of mussels along with other little sea animals, over linguine, big shake of Parmesan, seafood sauteed in olive oil on a bed of leeks, garlic, onions, with turmeric, black pepper, shake of salt, some flour to thicken the sauce the liquid from the fish creates, and my new favorite spice mix, Chana Masala, which I now add to everything except sliced bread and it might be good there, too.
It adds a bit of heat, and a lot of lovely depth to flavors. Thanks to Mary-Carol for introducing me to this great addition to my repertoire. She is a fabulous cook, currently compiling a cookbook even, so any recommendation from her is taken very seriously around here.
Except the time I called her to ask what the heck is pancetta? I had heard of it on the radio, but nobody explained it, and she said, oh you know, it's like lardon!!!! Well, I ask you, is this an expert or what. I had to admit I didn't know what lardon was, either, so she sort of spelled it out a bit more, heh. It's like a chunk of fat stuff you use on the pan to grease and flavor it. I think.
This is the same MC who plays piano and was the other half of the Floot Piano duo last year before life sort of overtook both of us. AND she paints. Loaded with talent. AND she can write. Lucky me to know her, really.