Friday, August 31, 2012

Cape Cod Fiber Orgy

Tomorrow I leave for a month in a rental cottage on Cape Cod, and I'm bringing four fiber art projects with me.

Such as felting materials.  Wool roving on the left, dog hair in the middle, bamboo mat and noodle in the center back, needle felting supplies on the back right, and a few felting books, center front.

Here's what I plan to do with those materials.  With the autumnal shades of wool roving, I hope to capture this image:

There's something so poignant about the juxtaposition of the picnic table and the fall foliage.  I find this photo so compelling that I recreated it at a felting workshop a few weeks ago.  This is how it turned out:

I'm not crazy about it--too dark.  So, when I'm at the Cape, I'm gonna re-do it.

Another felting project involves these two images of my dogs playing on the beach:

Shall we...

Next:  How about this image of a jeep trail on the wooded top of a dune in Cape Cod National Seashore?

It's my great joy to render this lovely place in fiber art.  I'm recreating it in crewel embroidery.  Here's my work so far, which I'm bringing  to the Cape with me, and which I hope to bring to near completion while I'm there:

I've got lots and lots of embroidery floss and pearl cotton to use on this project:

And as if that weren't enough, what about this baby blanket I'm knitting?  Or, rather, planning to start knitting:

 Here's the pattern for that blanket.  Many thanks to friends Deana Leikin and Margie Aronson for delving into their archives to find this pattern for me!

Finally, some funky tie-dyeing:

Are those enough projects for a month?  Time will tell....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer's End

The end of summer is always a time of change to me, even though it's been years since I last took  excited girls out shopping for notebooks and pens at the start of the school year.  Even without a school-age child living in the house, even without the quintessential transition of the end of summer and the beginning of school, other seasonal changes are making themselves known:  later sunrises, earlier sunsets, cooler evenings, and ripening gardens.
This year, as it turned out, even though we've been empty nesters for three years, Joe and I actually did take our daughter Lucia, who's beginning her senior year at the University of Vermont, out for school supplies.  We were already buying her rugs and curtains and other essentials for the new apartment in which she'll spend her senior year.  There, at the back of the store, near the curtains, were the school supplies.  And because we were there and Lucia needed them, Joe and I did get to buy Lucia's school supplies with her for what will probably be the last time ever.
We could tell how she'd matured.  This time, she was looking for the best deal, not the snazziest stuff.
 A week later, middle daughter Leah made another transition, moving from one part of Brooklyn to another, Park Slope to Greenpoint.

Goodbye, Park Slope

Here's Leah's moving crew

We may not be experts, but we're cheap
 Leah's new place:  a refurbished cork factory in Greenpoint, a neighborhood with a thriving Polish community and a working-class feel.

Leah's enamored of the spacious feeling in her new apartment
And her view of the Manhattan skyline isn't bad, either:  the Empire State Building on the left and the Chrysler Building on the right
 Once we got home from moving Leah, the season continued to stimulate change.  The basil in my garden, for example, was ready to be harvested and made into pesto.

After the basil is picked and put in a basket,  the leaves need to be stripped off:

Once the leaves are stripped, they go into the food processor along with olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts.  The mixture then goes into a bowl where butter and parmesan cheese are added.

The result:  summer in winter.

In another harvest activity appropriate to this season, I also harvested chard from one of my two deck planters and used it to make Swiss Chard with Chick Peas.

Swiss Chard with Chick Peas.  What could be more satisfying than a meal harvested from my own horticulture?

When the chard was gone from the planter, I replaced it with a flowering kale, a pink chrysanthemum, and a dark, purple-black ajuga called Ajuga Black Scallop

Same planter, new plants: getting ready for fa

Having accomplished all those things, I can now turn my attention toward another coming transition:  spending the month of September at a cottage in Eastham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.   There I plan to do lots of art, take lots of bike rides, eat lots of seafood, and walk on the beach.  Getting ready for it now!