Odds and Ends

Hmmm….. It is obviously well past my return to the states, I think jetlag is well and truly past (although it has been a good excuse for some things!), and I am heavily into all the activities that make a full summer.

A week after my return I worked with 161 seventh graders at Batesville Middle School for three days making coiled baskets – they were troopers and most managed to make two or more projects.

Two weeks after that I teamed up with the Southeastern Indiana Tourism Bureau to treat 54 seniors to the joys of making open-twined garlic baskets! Holding the sessions at the Great Crescent Brewery in Aurora made it very manageable – owners Dan and Lani are really sweet about making the space work out.

Since we lost so many trees last year due to the emerald ash borer, our back deck has so much less shade during the day. To make the deck more hospitable, we made a rip-stop nylon sail, 12′ x 12′, to cover a good portion of the deck. It also does a great job shading the hot tub in the morning, too!

Last weekend I was in Indianapolis for the Midwest Weavers Association’s biennial conference held at Butler University. Good connections with some long time friends; relearned ply split braiding and had great fun breaking the rules for it; ¬† spent some time with a good friend who had recently moved to that area. Overall a good trip.

My hot tub buddies helped celebrate the summer solstice this week, but we missed getting to the blueberry farm for fresh berries. That will have to happen another day.

I have had an outdoor installation proposal accepted for the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati’s member exhibit at the Fitton Art Center in Hamilton for the month of August – and I have about a quarter of the work made up so far.

The Mount St. Joseph Art Gallery has an invitational exhibit planned for October of this year and I will be one of the artists. Titled ‘Biophilia’, all the invited artists have a strong connection with the earth in their work. I’ve got two large pieces in play at the moment – one with mudded silk and waxed hand made papers that will be roughly 26′ wide and 9′ high (that looks really cool with light behind it),

and a much smaller cedar¬† bark and Siberian iris piece. More to do…

 

But the most important work I’ve done is to create an activity book for my grandson Ezra who will be turning one in early July. Made from a trendy short skirt and various other fabrics, it has dangling hearts, hidden pockets, buttons galore and things to do with them, laces and loops and the strangest looking ‘puppet’ thingee from a used onesie, lace, gloves and socks. Hope he has fun with it! (Will post an image after he receives it… just in case his folks see this first!)

And in two days we will have 5 year old Scarlett and her 15 month old brother Elliot here with us for some grandparent time! With luck they will stay till July 4, but we are staying open to schedule changes as we don’t know how the little guy will handle being away from mom.

Need to childproof the house tomorrow!

 

Time …

… at Alice Springs was a blur of activities, people and sights.

After an hour delayed flight from Melbourne, i connected with Janet dB and Phil H. Janet and I did the whole walking tour of the Alice Springs Desert Park – some very interesting displays of birds, nocturnals, plants/flowers and kangaroos.

Phil co-emceed the Eco-Couture Fashion Show Thursday evening that showcased 6 regional artists with their current recycled/reworked clothing. Some very cool work seen in a very cool setting (temps and ambience) as the event was held in the current airplane museum – the actual plane hangar from which they had to push out three small planes while the runway wound under the wings of an old DC3.

Friday dawned cool and sunny and we jumped into Beanie Festival activity early by attending the sponsors’ coffee inside the beanie competition exhibit space. Some wild creations! (See pics below.) And a quick look thru Beanie Central proved to be overwhelming with amount (7,000), color and variety of styles, shapes and sizes.

Janet and I then made our way to downtown Alice Springs, strolled through the mall and hiked to the Pink Botanical Gardens where we had a lovely lunch.

A quick trip back to the Art Centre and I was teaching a random basketry class outsied under the trees. A great group of ladies and they all created wonderful work. We hung around for the official opening of the Festival. Had a deluxe meal (grilled sausage, potato salad and saurkraut all piled into a huge hot dog bun) from one of the outdoor booths.

Saturday was full-on with bookmaking, mudcloth and rust dyeing classes during the day. Phil and I took in the view of Alice just at dusk on top of Anzac Hill, viewing the Macdonald Mountain range that curls around Alice.

Sunday was another busy day with repeats of rust dyeing and bookmaking with the addition of a soft book class. Turns out I have a groupie! One gal came to the Festival just to take classes with me and wound up in three of them. Too funny! Love it, Anne!

A predawn pick-up by a tour bus on Monday heading to Uluru, southwest of Alice Springs. The desert is lush right now due to summer rains and a big storm earlier in the fall. The first large rock formation seen was Mt. Connor which is larger and older than Uluru.

More adventures to come in Uluru!

20140623-213017-77417630.jpg

20140623-213045-77445177.jpg

20140623-213115-77475332.jpg

20140623-213150-77510675.jpg

The Dye gods…

… have been good to me! Lovely color, amazing results! My Australian series this year will definitely be a must see!

20140511-075739.jpg

20140511-075756.jpg

20140511-075805.jpg

20140511-075814.jpg

20140511-075820.jpg

20140511-075831.jpg

20140511-075840.jpg

20140511-075848.jpg

Busy in Canbera

Just above freezing nights, but clear, sunny and in the 60’s during the days – glorious! Due to its location,the city has four distinct seasons. And due to its being a planned city, it has a healthy mix of deciduous non-native trees amongst its indigenous ones. That is rather nice, too!

I am ensconced in a visiting professor flat within the fiber workshop which is part of the Art Department and have full access to the dye studio – yippee! Had a pot already cooking within 15 hours of arriving. Here are some of my initial results from the surrounding plant life:

20140508-132822.jpg

20140508-132833.jpg

20140508-133722.jpg

20140508-133730.jpg

20140508-133740.jpg

20140508-133750.jpg

20140508-133804.jpg

Loving those gentle colors!

More downed leaves collected – off to the studio for today’s pot!

Seems the police…

… were just in for the day as they were doing random alcohol testing on drivers going through town. First time ever according to one source. They headed out early Friday morning and vacated the unit at the Saltbush Inn. Sigh. We had such a fun rumor started about drugs and red lights…

My newest neighbor is a gal who has come in for the mudcloth workshop which starts today. A number of the students from yesterday’s gut class are staying on for mudcloth.

Everyone had a good play with the gut. We had a couple rinsing stations set up outside the Art Center, which is upfront and center in downtown Lake Grace being a renovated (and still in process) former grocery store. Lots of community members stopped by to check out the action including the local butcher. He seemed a bit taken aback when he realized what we were working with but quickly recovered to say he would be expecting a run on casing!

Dinner last night was at the local sports club which has field and court space for bowls, footie, tennis and basketball. The bar serves up great fish and chips on Friday nights. Entertainment was our group jokes and conversations, although one little tyke stole the show when he dragged off his dinner order across the floor.

Not sure whether it is the water, the excess salt from the surrounding lakes, the flocks of gullahs winging around, the brilliance of the stars or what, but I have been having extra vivid dreams here. Lots of familiar faces in very strange locations and activities…