Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What a morning...

We woke up to another morning of grey skies and drifted snow from the overnight storm.  I got a good 3 inches, but in most places it drifted into sculpted barriers.   It's inconvenient, but that's about it. 

I got busy this morning and built a hot fire in the wood stove to warm up the house.  Then, I shoveled snow so I could get out of my doors.  A sizable drift blocked getting the truck out of the garage, so I worked on that drift until I was pretty sure I could get through. 

Side note: I saw the prairie dog again, and he's a busy little fellow.  In answer to kathy b's question, I don't really now if they are destructive or not.  Usually, when I see them, they are a way from civilization where they have their own little prairie dog towns.  I am wondering how in the world he got out here... probably hitched a ride, hiding in something being hauled out here.

I still haven't picked up the knitting needles, and I agree with those of you who have commented that it's sometime good to take a break.  I ordered some baby-soft yarn to make a baby blanket for an expectant mother who is also one of my piano students.  The package arrived!!  The colors I could choose from were limited, but I think these will work just fine.  The yarn is so soft, and I'm looking forward to starting this project.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday's musings

I've not been a very good blogger here recently.  I've let other activities take the focus of my creative outlets.  But I'm hoping to get back to a regular schedule, and that plan includes more blogging time. 

I've not been a knitter either.  I don't think I've picked up my needles for nearly two weeks!  Yikes.  "That kind of behavior is NOT contributing to any progress on your lacy scarf," I tell myself, pointing a finger at my nose. I shrug my shoulders; I turn away; I sit at the piano; I promptly forget the reprimand and the knitting.  When I was a teacher, I saw teenagers in the classroom do this, and wonder how they could ignore what seemed so important to me... hmmm...   I get it.

To redeem myself a bit, I'm going to point out that I have been observant.  I spotted a new critter, a little prairie dog, who evidently has taken up residence under the cattle guard at the entrance to my road, coming off the highway.  I don't think he's been living there long, but this was the second time I spotted him.  This time, I saw him pop up out of the grate; I stopped the car; he sat there for a few moments, giving me time to pull out my iPhone and snap a picture through the front windshield.  "Well, little fella, I hope that you are smart and fast.  Living right on the highway could be a hazard. Talk to your realtor."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Playing in the pit

The orchestra pit.  The surroundings are not glamorous.  Behind me are pieces of sets leaned up against each other; some look like they may have been sections of a raised stage.  Large wooden set pieces and flats fill other sections of this wing of the stage.  And that's where we're nestled: stage right.  Hanging high on the walls are remnants of other shows: I suppose the scene shop workers hope to recycle these at some point.  Or perhaps they are simply reminders of beloved set pieces of favorite shows.

On the floor, a maze of electrical cords for all the microphones, music stand lights, amps, camera, and monitors clutter the passageways out of the tight rows of chairs and stands.  Small scattered rugs have been scattered around in an attempt to protect the electrical connections. 

During rehearsals and productions I've been watching the show on a 13" monitor about 15 feet away.  The image is by no means HD, and I'm wearing my "piano" glasses, so the distant image looks even fuzzier, but still allows me to follow the action on stage. 

But none of those things are the important pieces of being here in the "pit." In fact, the surroundings fade away when my attention is focused on the opening "Overture." The director Adam and the talented musicians make it all happen. Rogers & Hammersteins' music has some great moments,  and  I love hearing Laura's rich clarinet phrases,  Amy's articulated flute runs,  Kelly's trumpeted fanfares, Marissa's harp, and Amanda's haunting bassoon passages.  And there are other moments of fabulous full orchestra crescendos that sound wonderful.  It's filling the air with music, bringing the story of "The King and I" to life, that is addictive.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stuck in the middle...

Stuck in the middle of cold and snowy days
     icy roads, grey skies on the winter buffet.

Stuck in the middle of a musical show
   but the final performance is the Sunday matinee.

Stuck in the middle of a felted wall hanging
   wool on the table is a colorful display.

Stuck in the middle of a knitted lacy scarf
   it's been neglected but is never far away.

Stuck in the middle...well that's how it feels
   but I am making progress -- my story today.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Adding some needle-felting...

Once the wet-felted piece was dry, and I had some time to look at it and think through the next steps, I picked up the felting needle.  And the picture is coming to life.  I have one more thing (really 2 images) to add...

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's snowing ... again ...

May as well get into the groove of some good "indoor" projects, because it's snowing again!  Those few days of "spring is on it's way weather" were nasty little teasers, because yesterday we got a good reminder that we're still in winter for another month or so.

So, I've got a good start on an Open and Closed sign (needle-felted) for a gal in Laramie who own Cowgirl Yarn.  I have a pretty neat plan for hanging these, but I'll have to see how it works out.  First, I have to finished the "closed" sign.  I have two ideas...so I'm pondering which one to start. 

Then, this morning I decided to get started on wet-felting another experimental piece.  I laid out the wool on top of a piece of 11"X14" store-bought felt, soaked it down with hot water with just a bit of soap, massaged it gently, then sandwiched it between layers of plastic and rolled it around a washcloth.  Finally, I stuffed the roll into an old nylon sock and put it in the dryer with some towels to finish off the felting process.   One thing about wet-felting is that the fibers and spread and move around more than you wish they would.  I'm sure I could remedy this by needle-felting the fibers in place a bit more, or using solid felted pieces on top.  But... I'm experimenting.

After it dries, I will go back over it with needle-felted details...and then you might be able to guess what it's going to be.  Or do you already think you have it figured out?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

More painting and partying...

I attended a second Paint N Party event this week.  The subject of the painting intrigued me, and I had to sign up.  I had to know how this painting was sketched and how the paints were mixed for this street scene. 

Of course, the music was filling the room, and the budding artists were all anxious to start and have fun with this project.  I discovered a few friends were attending, friends I had not seen in a quite a while, so the reunion was fun too.

We started out with a few lines to begin the design.

Then, we added blocks of color with quite a bit of black mixed in.

And more blocks of color were added, until almost all the dark buildings in this painting were painted.  Then it was time to let the paint dry for a few minutes...and the loud music, snacks, and dancing/singing to the music went into full swing.

OK, I think the party girl leading this portion of the evening took up a little too much time. It was then a race to the end to paint in all the details.  And, sadly (from my perspective) we did not have time to actually finish the painting as we should have.  The awning over the window was left off...and I'm not happy about that.  I don't know if I could go in and paint that in on my canvas, but I'm really tempted.  I have a picture of the original, and I just might give it a try. 

Nevertheless, I like the painting, and it was a fun evening.