Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Report from a Rented Recliner: Crazy Things are Happening

I'm confined to a rented recliner these days.

 Nevertheless, crazy things are happening.

The first crazy thing happened on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, as I was emerging from anaesthesia.

"While you were in surgery, we got a call from Cape Cod Art Association," my husband Joe informed me. "You got first in show."

That would be the Cape Cod Art Association's National Open Juried Show, in which 398 entries vied for 80 to 85 places on the wall.  I'd entered Eastham Low Tide.

 I was so surprised:  I associate "best in show" with large pieces about four feet long and two feet wide.  Eastham Low Tide is a mere 13 by 18 inches, and not only that, it's been in two or three other juried shows and has passed unremarked.  This time, I'm elated that the jurors honored its intricate tidal patterns and overlooked larger, flashier pieces.

That's the second time in a few months I won a prize from the Cape Cod Art Association:  in mid May, two months ago, in the Cape Cod Art Association's All Cape Cod open juried show, I won the Brooks Kelly Award, and Best in Mixed Media.  That was for my felted piece, Last Day of Summer, First Encounter Beach:

Fast forward to my hip surgery. I've been discharged from the hospital and sent home to sit in the recliner and do hourly exercises.

Also take naps. I'm taking a nap when a someone leaves a phone message.  When I awake from my nap, I hear the message: It's from Lisa Ellis of Sacred Threads Quilts, another show in which I have a piece of work.  Lisa said that someone wanted to buy my quilt, Heaven on Earth.

A sale?  This almost never happens.  Okay, well it did happen last March, when I sold a piece called Norfolk Fence at the Spectrum Gallery's Walls, Doors and Fences exhibit.  But until then, a sale was and has been a once-in-a-blue moon event.

Now I undergo hip replacement surgery and promptly win a major prize and then sell a piece of work?  Crazy things, I'm saying.

Meanwhile, about that rented recliner:  It turns out to be a comfortable location for needle felting.  I spent the past few days with a tray of felting materials across my lap, creating these two pieces:

 I think there's something poignant about a picnic table under a load of fall leaves.

This one is the Pemetic trail in Acadia National Park.

Both pieces need to be run under my electronic felting machine, otherwise known as a Baby Lock Embellisher.  Once I do that, I'll be able to add some hand embroidery.  Can't operate the machine right now unless I figure out a way of activating the foot pedal without using my right foot. 

Meanwhile, a couple of other projects are under way.  One is a shibori throw.  My daughters created 9 shibori squares with me on the weekend before my surgery, when our oldest daughter Julia was home for a visit and to speak at our church, the Unitarian Society of Hartford.

 Once I get the pieces ironed and evened, I'll assemble them with sashing made from the solid blue fabric on the right below.  The swirly blue fabric on the left below will be the backing.  This creation will only have a top and backing, no batting.  Thus I'm calling it a throw. 

I'm also working on a photo transfer piece that focuses on the geometry of sand ripples:

I was in the process of quilting this one when I went in for surgery, and now, with my right leg temporarily unusable, the finishing of this piece will have to wait.

When I'm not needle felting I'm working on a hat:

And while I'm doing that, I'm listening to Al Franken: Giant of the Senate, by Al Franken.  There's more crazy there.  I'm recommending it.  In it, Al Franken says he makes all the cracks and remarks he was constrained from making while in practice of his position, that of United States Senator from Minnesota.  He's cracking me up.

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