Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blake and Music and Unintentional Wedding Hilarity

Yes, as soon as you see the word hilarity, the next mental image is of wedding hats. To be exact the wide variety, almost all totally lacking in anything resembling design, seen at the Abbey yesterday. It was wonderful, the comic relief of the day.

Every solemn occasion needs a court jester, after all. My favorites were the futuristic ones that looked as if they were wi-fi enabled, particularly the ones Andrew's daughters were wearing. I bet they also get terrific shortwave reception on those things. Then there were the bulletproof designs, a little like concrete mixers upturned and painted interesting shades of puce and other festive colors.

I'm glad I didn't get to place a bet on the Queen's color choice, since I'd gone for blue and she went back on me and picked primrose. Interesting political choice, since the Primrose League is the more or less trade union of the Conservative Party, which she's not supposed to favor, being expected to maintain a grim neutrality no matter what rubbish goes down at Number 10. I expect if this comment comes to the ear of the Palace, somebody will groan, oh God, everyone's a critic!

The music veered from glorious and wonderful to comic, too. Very jarring to suddenly have the national anthem introduced with a fanfare and all (the fanfares were great! I'd love a whole CD just of fanfares) right in the middle of a religious service. Just in case we all forgot who's in charge there...and the touching sight of Prince Philip having to sing the words while the Queen maintains her usual dignified silence, it being Her Song.

And whoever timed the motet that went on and on and on, long enough for all the signings to be done in the smoky back room or whatever it is, was brilliant. It worked just perfectly. Unless the party was held back until the right time to emerge, they having already signed, called their bookies, made their Facebook entries and other things, in the meantime.

Jerusalem I love, the stirring, rousing sound, but it comes with such Women's Institute (country association of women involving good works and jam) associations, since it's the anthem they sing at every meeting, as far as I can tell. When they're not posing for calendars wearing only a string of good pearls.

So once it struck up, Philharmonic and all, I was looking all over for the women sidling in, carrying the tea urn, and setting up the tables with little pink cakes...and let's not get into the words of Jerusalem just now. It's Blake, folks, Mr. Mystical and Sex, and better not to go there right now. Otherwise we'll be explaining, on the subject of Blake, that the tiger referred to elsewhere is um, not the big stripy animal trotting about in the jungle.

All in all, a great day's fun, wonderfully poised and beautiful bride, who will no doubt bring a touch of class to that family, good idea, and a nice husband, who actually has less hair than his father in law, poor guy. Takes after his grandfather and father that way.

But I have one lingering question: you know how the bride doesn't wear any rings at the ceremony until the groom puts (forces, in this case, ow) the wedding ring on, where was the Engagement Ring at this time? In Harry's pocket? did Camilla offer to mind it? were the little bridesmaids playing dressup with it? hm?

I have to say that yesterday's show was definitely worth the price of admission. And I wonder still at the US commentators who insist the Brits are reserved despite panoramic views of millions of them all over the country, drinking and dressed up in silly gear and dancing and making the kind of jokes they have to watch out not to put on television. It's one of those sweet myths.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wedding Bells and Whistles!

The Dollivers pointed out that they have friends in whose time zone it is already Friday, the Big Wedding Day, and that since they have had the photo shoot booked for months, it is time to Just Do It.

So they hauled out the best tiaras, note the sapphire notes, in honor of Diana and now Kate, soon to be Katherine (that's not a very auspicious name for English queens, but let's not dwell on the fates of earlier ones..)not forgetting the puppy who wasn't too keen on his

and gold jewelry all round, and lace and frills, totally over the top, as most weddings are.

As they pointed out, it's not about Vows and Fidelity and Music and Food and Presents, it's actually about the hats and the dresses. And the flower arrangements, of course. There was a considerable press presence for the shoot, as you will see.

The Little Dolls got themselves accredited as foreign correspondents, and now Swiss Miss wants to be called India. They did decline to get dressed up, on the grounds that they are working this event, and need to be in working gear. But, in the tradition of journalists the world over, they made sure to have plenty of joyous alcohol on hand, as well as a wedding cake of their own.

The wine is rose, as a nod to the Queen, one of the few people in the world who is reported to be willing to drink Mateus Rose on purpose. This one's a California jug wine, but who's counting. And the brownie wedding cake, decorated with lace, is a good old US recipe, baked from scratch by Boud, since we have to have a bit of hands across the ocean here, and a shout from the colonies while we're at it.

First the group shots

Then the individual bouquet-holding portraits, as souvenirs for D fans, they explained.

Note the handmade chair throw, courtesy of Ari.

And the foreign correspondents party it up a bit

before getting serious and doing their stand up in front of the cameras

Long day, and everyone is now resting quietly, and recovering from being the main event of the day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Journal updates and other exciting things

Main news today: the Nautilus journal has completed its pole to pole leg, and is in the hands of Marrianne in NZ!! from Alaska, that is. Then it comes back to me and the last couple of participants are so local to me that I'll hand deliver and collect, probably. Treasure Everywhere, the other journal, is I think on its way to the Bay Area from Vancouver, next stop Alaska, then to me, then I'll take care of the NZ leg.

I can't wait to see what's up with them! and to take pix of all the contributions.

The other news is that this blog has passed its 13,000 viewing mark, and that the art blog, Art the Beautiful Metaphor is already closing in on 500. Just a little bragging, between stints of dealing with the bridal outfit fittings for the Ds and their dog. Temperament, you've never seen anything like it.

One wants to echo the military uniform motif, one wants a greco-roman effect, one doesn't care as long as she gets a tiara, and on and on....we will survive.

Ironic comment of the week: SO says, oh, I hope you remember about the wedding and don't miss it! As if it would be possible to miss it even if you don't remember. Gosh, it's all well here's the news from Syria, oh sorry, newsflash about K's hairstylist...back to Syria, oh, sorry, now it's the dressmaker...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gardens, Schwitters and ANZAC Day

On Saturday I was able to spend time at the Schwitters exhibit in the Art Museum on the Princeton campus, and to wander about the Wilson House gardens, all decked out for spring, in their formal Italian style.

And yesterday an email from Minimiss reminded me that today is ANZAC Day when we honor and thank the brave military from Australia and New Zealand who offered all they had in defense of the UK in WW2. Such amazing courage and fortitude, to literally come from the other end of the earth to take part on what they considered a worthwhile cause to fight. Canadians, likewise, not to omit them.

I usually don't make much of military exploits, not wanting to give the impression that they are glorious and ought to be repeated, when they are quite the opposite, but ANZAC moves me in a way that most remembrances tend not to.

And it happened that the Schwitters exhibit was of his collages, and a reconstruction of the walk in sculpture in his apartment in the thirties in Germany, before the building was destroyed in the WW2. He himself was considered subversive by the Nazi regime, fled to Norway, the Nazis took Norway, fled to the UK, was interned and finally was free to work again. So ANZAC was very much a part of his story, too, though he was probably too busy trying to stay alive to register it.

A lot of what he did, now considered ordinary in art, such as installations, collages of everyday objects,both two and three dimensional, were really ground breaking when he created them, and the exhibit shows his development from stage to stage, from painting with additional collage features, to pure collage, to carefully geometrically designed and color balanced work. The walk through sculpture was an experience you just had to be there. And there was a setup where you could hear his own voice reciting a poem he wrote, booming throughout the exhibit. If this exhibit travels, I'd strongly suggest you try to get to it, and if you're local, just go! it's there for several more weeks.

And then the contrast of walking around the gardens at the Woodrow Wilson house, this weekend with many tourists on campus, I got to take the usual photograph of the family who all wanted to be in the picture. But the gardens, back again in bloom for another spring, seem to be a nice tribute to the troops who did not make it to another spring. So I'll just post them and let you join in.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Dollivers wish us all a happy Easter

The Ds could not wait any longer to parade their new Easter outfits, so while puppy Olivier was left in charge of guarding this year's blown and painted Easter eggs

the Ds. got all dolled (!) up in their matching duds. Overcoming their objections to looking like quintuplets, all the same color, on the grounds that they all look different and so do their hats and their dresses and what do they want of my life, I secured their consent to pose at the Easter egg display.

They were happy to note that there were more Ds. than eggs, which will cut down on the strife, and the Lenox kitten and Boehm bunny made their annual appearance, along with the Wedgwood teacup and saucer complete with blown and painted cockatiel eggs, from my dear E.H. cockatiel.

Happy Spring to everyone, whether or not Easter is a feature of your season, and happy new clothes, too!

Spring walk, birds in full fling

Yesterday I spent my respite time walking down by the pond, where the birds were in full fling, redwing blackbirds, three males, competing with dancing, spreading wings, shouting prirp at each other, and grabbing for the same branch, which I suppose will be prime nesting territory for the victor.

No females in evidence at this time! they will probably just knit and chat until the males have settled their hierarchy.

A little way away warblers were all over a single tree, black and white, yellow, and various hard to identify ones, the kind Peterson's Guide calls "confusing warblers". Well, yes, there are so many at this time of year at the start of spring migration, that except for a few varieties, I can only identify them as warblers by their flight and height from the ground, and butterfly-like whipping around the trees, and the merry little shouts.

Ducks flying about, too, sort of jumping through the air, flying being officially not possible for a bird with the duck's conformation, but they don't know that and they fly about all the time. Mainly common mallards, though we have several species around here, since we have a lot of waterways and great shallow running water and weeds and all the mod. cons. ducks like.

And the first blossoms I've seen at the pond this year.

And that green is not a meadow in Ireland, it's a sheet of moss under the trees, greened up with the rain and sun.

These pictures all come home with me to show HP, and I often pick little sprigs of shrubs and trees, to set up on his table for him to enjoy. Yesterday the spice bush around the corner from our house came out in flower and the scent is huge and lovely, so a little sample came home with me. He can't smell it, but the blossoms are interesting shapes.

One more week with my respite student and then she's gone, sob, for the summer. She promises to come back to us in the fall, once she's back on campus. But now I have to see what I can do to get a bit of respite time over the summer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fiber art and the Shakuhachi effect

Mixed days, with scary things happening to HP, always in the early morning, when I'm not at my best, why does this happen, but now resolved, and with wonderful visits from the young woman I'm advising about her art project, and daffodil rustling.

I was out walking around the belt of trees a couple of days ago, where we planted the daffodils in honor of the 9.11 dead, and noticed a woman with a little boy, walking a little way away from me. This year the daffodils were especially wonderful, probably because we had a very cold and snowy winter, always good for them. And I saw that she had a fistful of daffodils. She'd just picked them, taken them. In front of a little child, who now, I expect, thinks it's okay to do this. Now around here daffodils are not wildflowers, and even those we try not to pick because we have rare species around here, which we keep quiet about, to protect them.

So I wondered if I should challenge her, and turned to explain that this was a 9.11 memorial she had unwittingly vandalized. Then I saw her face. Utter misery and dejection, who knows what her life is about. So I refrained, on the grounds that if taking these few lovely flowers made her feel better, well, okay.

Not without a good deal of pain, though, considering all the work it took to plant them, and how I look out for them every year, and how it doesn't help them at all to be ripped out of the ground. I've seen kids do this, and explained to them, and they've been good about not doing it again. But this is the first adult I saw.

So I thought about this, and decided that my defending the flowers year after year is perhaps more than is needed, that if I can let go of other material objects which have served their purpose in my life, why not just let nature and other people take their course, too. Not an easy conclusion to reach, but it occurred to me that it's illogical to pride myself on giving away items that other people now need and I don't any more, and make an exception for the daffodils. And perhaps the gesture of planting the flowers and remembering the people every year has also run its course. It's ten years, and now I can let it become part of history.

This decision was definitely assisted by a joyful visit from Tarang J., after the second set of workshops she taught, at which she had great participation again, to show me some of the output, ranging from fiber mosaics by a five year old and an adult, and various other fiber adventures, including the samples she'd made, very skilled work, too.

I'm so happy for her success, since she took on this award project very seriously, followed through, and with the aid of a terrific mom, my friend Girija, is doing great. At fourteen this is not too bad, and tells you a lot about her bright future. It was a great reminder to me of how life moves on, since she was a preschooler at the time of 9.11 and here she is on the brink of adulthood.

So this has been a couple of days of extreme swings, no trivia happened in the course of this narrative! At times like this, I remember the Shakuhachi effect: what happens to and around us is not an interruption of life, even if it distracts us from what we thought we were doing, it's a part of life.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Art is Bustin' Out All Over

From a gloomy Monday start, with early sunshine vanishing behind cloud, and my own mood not quite up for another day in the saltmines, this turned into a festival of art and discovery and excitement and all around good stuff.

I was in the studio this afternoon, after several hours of nursing care and cooking and organizing for tomorrow's cleaners' visit, including setting up a Spring gift of hand decorated eggs I blew and painted for their whole family, working on a paper weaving that, if it works, will be in an exhibit in July.

And while I was up there, there was an excited ringing at the door two floors down...and there was my girl scout award seeker, all excited and wanting to fill me in on the progress of her first of four workshops.

The first one, on sand art, was evidently very well attended, which I was so glad about, since the only part we couldn't control was getting people to show up. Well, they did and she and her mom came running across the street to show me some of their works, which were actually great fun. Kids age 7 to about 14 showed up.

Tomorrow is the fiber art workshop, and her mom said even more were planning on coming, and she thought she might have to go shopping for materials again. So I said, no, no, no, I have a stash designed for this kind of situation.

So the daughter and I went off to search out a whole lot more interesting fibers, cotton, acrylic, wool, different textures, different contrasting colors, and she went home loaded down with useful stuff. She kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to give all this, and I explained that she is now part of the happy band of artists who are forever giving each other materials to work with! I was glad to part with a lot of yarns and strings, to a good home.

So that was great fun, because after all the work we all put in, it was great for her to have a successful start to her four workshops.

Luckily the work I was doing in the studio wasn't hurt by the interruption, so back I went and did the next stage of the paper weaving, and suddenly remembered another young artist. My own son, who did very exciting lovely stuff, miniature beautiful drawings and paintings and very funny commentary and collage, from found objects and movie tickets, all that, Schwitters style.

We have a current exhibit at the local Art Museum; which I have not yet seen, the exhibit, not the Museum, that is, of Schwitters (if you're not familiar with him, look him up, he's a Big Gun). That made me think of HS's work in his late teens. Much photography and uploading ensued, resulting in today's post in Art the Beautiful.

And I remembered that, in the course of doing that sale of bits of jewelry the other day, I had found some jewelry pieces I made myself from clay I pit fired, and wire, and thought I'd blog in Art the Beautiful Metaphor about it. But then realized that the current theme is Young Artists, so I've been bumped from my own blog, not qualifying as a Young Artist, except in the metaphorical sense that artists never grow up, and I figured, oh well, I'll just sit here alone in the dark and show my friends my bits of jewelry.

Click on the image, then click again to get an enlargement and read the explanatory tag.

These pieces, remaining from quite a few I sold years ago, will probably end up as components in a tapestry currently in progress. I have one kind of art in the studio on the third floor, my yarn supplies in a room on the second floor, and my tapestry work and blogging on the ground floor. House of Art, that's us!

All in all, a great day for everyone concerned.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Signs of Spring

First, Happy Passover to dear blogistas who celebrate it, thinking of you specially, Diane, and your spinach quiche. Not usually the first thought suggested by Passover, but it's in my mental recipe file, thanks to you.

No, the first thought, to this Gentile, anyway, is matzo!

HS, during his college years, shared a suite with students whose mothers were keen donors of matzo and other foodstuffs to him whenever they visited, which was a lot. He'd come home for Easter loaded with edible items!

And please note the new addition to the D repertoire: the Traveling Rug, aka dishcloth, created and gifted by Knits by Ari, and seized on instantly by Michelle.

I will be very lucky if this item sees the kitchen. She's hanging on to it.

Much to HP's amusement, as you can see from even his back view!

And the next thing is the realization that if Passover is here can Easter be far behind...this year it's a week later, which is good because I am far from ready to do anything about it yet. It was only when MC noted that next weekend she throws a bash for thousands, aka her in-laws, that I realized...

Gosh, there are the D Easter outfits, and then the D wedding outfits, I wonder if they will agree to wear the Easter stuff know, the bridesmaid dress idea in reverse. Except that nobody ever wears the bridesmaid dress again, so I do not have high hopes of this resolution.

The wedding headpieces are done and hidden, so that they don't get worn out before the day. And I have to think about Easter food for the actual humans around here.

These are dumplings, ham and spices, but they're gone...

There was a great story this morning of a young black bear up a tree locally, at the entrance to the NJ Turnpike. He was causing a stir right where all the traffic enters the highway, so the local firefighters and and wildlife people were summoned, tranquillized the bear with a dart, spread a net under the tree ready to catch him when he dozed off and fell down,and waited. And waited. Hours. He fell asleep nicely wedged in a fork of the tree, smart bear, perfectly comfortable. They had to go up and collect him in a bucket thing, and he's now residing in a local wildlife refuge.

This is another sign of spring around here, young male black bears being turned out by their moms to go find their own territory and a mate. They follow the waterways, which nowadays run under major highways, so every spring we have stories like this. Nowadays the local police are wiser about handling this, nobody gets hurt and the bear gets rehomed in a better location than up a tree on a major highway. Not a good dating site, really.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dollivers and Diamonds

There was a brisk struggle among the Ds today as they fought to be the one chosen to take a trip to the jewelry store. I explained I was not buying diamond tiaras for use in watching the upcoming Royal Do, but they insisted that any trip to see jewelry was bound to work out well. In fact I was, as I told them, just selling a few scrap broken chains and pins from the bottom of the jewelry box, in search of a bit of spare cash.

Blonde D won the contest, since she was a) blonde, and everyone knows about blondes and diamonds and she was b) the only D currently wearing a silk dress and c) she already had her best handmade hat on. The others gave way on being assured that everyone will get a Wedding Outfit for the Big Day. Collars for the dogs, too? yes, yes, okay, just let's get out of here.

She selected the photo location, pointing out that it was really a biographical choice, and good things could come of this. I did get a bit of change back from the bits of chains, and had a great time with the jokesters at the store, who kept up an interesting patter while I observed how they test the gold, examine the silver markings and weighed and calculated based on the gold and silver spot prices and what they needed out of it.

Sid said, yes this is good scrap, real stuff, and it's a good time to sell. Well, these were bits left from my old antique sales days, so I knew what I was selling. Which is a great line for the seller to hear, that it's a good time to sell, despite the fact that it must also have been a good time to buy, or he would suddenly have no need right now...

It's surprising how you might have a nice bit of mad money lying around useless like this. One little trick I used to do when I went to auctions was to now and then buy up a box of mixed costume jewelry and other bits and bobs, which nobody much was interested in, most buyers wanting something they can recognize.

Then on the way home I'd stop at a jeweler's and turn over anything sterling or gold for spot cash. Not much cash, but heck, if you pay a dollar for a box of stuff and it yields thirty or more on the way home, that's not bad.

Those fun bits were few and far between in the world of buying and selling antiques,which contains more study and work and disappointment than most people might realize, but they're a nice memory, all the same. I felt as if I were retreading my own old footsteps today, asking the jeweler to make sure the cash was dry from the copying machine before he gave it to me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Small mercies!

The so-called spring weather, blustery, cold, raw, rainy, yielded a couple of nice gifts for Handsome Partner today, on my walk, which I doggedly take in all weathers, to the surprise of more intelligent people who stay home and keep warm on days like this.

The rain had brought down a lot of small blossoms off the flowering cherry trees, and there were small part-opened buds off other trees lying around, and a few flowers whose name escapes me yet again. A rose by any other name would be just as hard to remember.

So I took pix, with different backgrounds, white tissue for purists

and green linen for people who like that contrast

And left the original models on HP's table for him to finger and enjoy. This is a confused day for him, so flowers, always his favorite, are a good thing to be looking at right now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Doctor Dolliver Does Grand Rounds

So it came about that I had to get some checkups done, and Dr. Dolliver, who declined to be the patient in the scenario, on the perfectly correct grounds that she is not at all patient, accompanied me. She agreed with my real Doctor, the saintly Dr. G., that I am in good health, considering what the Ds put me through, and that I can just give them samples of various body fluids and we can agree to get on with our lives for a few more months.

Dr. D. did decline to go into the lab with me on the ground that they have needles in there, and I can attest to the accuracy of this statement, but wanted to see if she could get a ride in a chair.

I can haz a ride?

No D sized chairs available, so she sighed and agreed to drive home instead.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Messages from another planet?

Is what I wondered, when, after a long day suddenly, late at night, beeping started. I figured it was one of the smoke alarms, and since I can't climb and read and change batteries in the ceiling all at the same time, I asked my saintly next door neighbor, who came in willingly, and ended up spending two hours changing batteries, fixing wiring in one of the units, taking them off completely, cutting the power, and still finding the eerie loud beeping going on. Repeated all this to find out where it was coming from, now that the smoke alarms were just fine. But they had joined in the beeping for a while. I wonder if there's sympathetic resonance with electronic gear? About midnight we both declared ourselves baffled, and decided to put it to our nearest expert.

Had to tolerate the beeping all night till we could get my neighbor who has rewired her own house and knows everything there is to know about the power in these houses. Explained the situation, and how all the cats flew at me and dug in their claws all night every time the beep went off, despite having closed all the doors between us and it. This also involved moving catboxes and food and water, since the area of the noise was also the kitty restroom and cafeteria.

Soooooooo, neighbor comes in early next morning, which involved my getting up very early, cross-eyed with fatigue, and showering before doing the two hours of early morning care HP needs, so that whatever happened I was dressed and up for it.

And she diagnosed in two seconds that it was a CO alarm which had died, and was beeping to let me know it was ready for the great alarm shelf in the sky. However, it closely resembled the beep pitch and interval of the smoke alarms because, guess what, they're made by the same mfr. who no doubt uses the same chips in everything. I installed it seven years ago and forgot all about it.

The other neighbor came into see what was up, and gallantly offered to shop for a replacement alarm for me on his way home from work, since it's not possible for me to get away long enough to shop for one without special arrangements ahead of time.

Why neither of us could find it, as Neighbor Two explained was that in this kind of hollow wall, the sound travels around the ceiling area and sounds as if it's coming from yards away. Ohhhhhhh.

All quiet now. Finally. And gallant neighbor One shopped on his way home from work, delivered the new alarm and flatly refused to be paid for it. What a friend. When I feel overwhelmingly grateful for neighbors and friends who do this kind of beyond all requirements kindness, I remember a friend who told me not to worry about it, but recognize I had given them an opportunity for community service!

The earlier part of the first day was a bit more productive -- meeting with the library star who is running their summer arts program, on how to do papermaking for large numbers. We explored all kinds of thoughts and ideas, such a luxury for me, to be the idea person who strolls away and lets the other people do the heavy lifting.. So, I couldn't resist, I tried making a post of paper (a post is a stack of sheets) at home, at least after the departure of the neighbor who stopped in to visit and visit....using the mix they were thinking of using and slapping off onto windows to dry. Hence the pictures.

Whole post, drying on mirror

Closer view of two pages from the post.

However, the pages would NOT come off the glass next day after they dried, because I suspect, of the recycled paper mixed with the pure abaca pulp (which is what I use exclusively, and which makes wonderful paper that will come off glass when dry). Recycled paper has sizing in it, which is, um, glue.

Sooooooo, I ended up scraping it off the mirrors, and will repulp and reuse it. Better that I discovered this to forewarn them, rather than have 90 kids all sticking paper to glass and the resulting exciting adventure of trying to get it back off again!

Making the paper in the kitchen was fun, took me back to long ago papermaking classes which were great, and I've made paper a number of summers since then, too, out on the patio, great outdoor art because of all the water, but not recently.

Finding that I got nothing from the batch was not quite as fun, sigh. First time I ever had a batch not work. But it's the first time I ever included recycled paper in with the good stuff. So now I know.

Next up: fiber arts projects I'm designing for my girl scout friend who's going for an award and plans to learn this stuff from me then teach it to groups. Interesting challenge, to teach her something she can not only get quickly, but can teach in her turn.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mon petit chou!

A concentrated bout of chopping and slicing and rinsing and organizing and marinating and sauteeing in the kitchen today gave me some wonderful visual experiences. Always a good way to look on that sort of dull work. Salads prepared for the next few days -- homemade mix of chicory, dandelions, scallions and red cabbage this time around. Lovely red snapper for lunch with a nice but easy sauce. All good stuff.

Meanwhile, the art of food as always gets in there, and the red cabbage posed nicely for several portraits:


Landscape in miniature

Posing like a Victorian posy, who says cabbage doesn't have a sense of humor

You can use chunks of red cabbage as printmaking stamps. Great fun for little kids, using poster paint. And you can use the landscape effect of tumbling the parts together for drawing practice, contour drawing, the art version of walking the labyrinth, for older people such as The Great Me.

Not a bad haul of advice from a humble little veggie, when you think about it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cherry Blossom Time

Yesterday's warm weather and sun and a bit of rain opened up the blossoms on the cherry bushes out front, both of them. So I just had to get a blossom portrait, front and side, to show the potential harvest this year.

Last year, the first year we had fruit, I picked about seven cherries, which we ate with great ceremony. This year I confidently anticipate doubling that harvest, unless the birds notice them first.

New Jersey's Finest Cherry Bushes, side view

New Jersey's Finest Cherry Bushes, front view

Now, you could say that little things please little minds. Or you could say that small is beautiful. I'm voting for the second.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fancy footwork

The red bag and the fuzzy scarfy thing made happy landings this week, both to people who were both surprised and quite glad about them! the new owner of the bag had to be assured I really did want to give it to her, and I heard her dashing about in the back room at the libe showing it to her friends. She tells me she plans on making a label for it indicating that this was once a sweater that (husband, name withheld to protect the guilty) put into a hot wash! she plans to dryclean the bag, but I assured her that after what it had been through in the felting process, it would be hard to hurt it further! I did keep the little cellphone purse for The Great Me, though.

And the scarf arrived on a day when if ever anyone needed a present, MC needed a present, so my timing was good there.

Working at intervals on the tapestry, and consulting with the local libe about one part of the summer program, which I am helping with by remote control (!) and trying to set up a good time to work in my studio with the Gold Award girl scout neighbor candidate.

However, there was tennis on yesterday, and knitting was called for, so I made the first of a pair of slippers, which I show you here.

It's a nice harvested wool, really intended to felt, but I think I won't since they fit as is, unless I decide to felt them and look for someone with smaller feet than mine, which is a lot of people, to give them. We'll see.

I guess my knitting put Roger Federer off, since he couldn't get arrested against Nadal, who blew him off the court. Sorry, R. Great stuff, other R.