Sunday, January 29, 2023

Quiltfolk Photoshoot

What an exciting day I had last week when the Quiltfolk photoshoot team and a writer visited Hattiesburg to prepare for Issue #26 featuring Mississippi. Quiltfolk is a print-only ad-free magazine published quarterly highlighting a new state in every issue. Issue #26 will be out in April; subscription and coupon codes are on their website. 

While the team worked to stage the quilts they wanted to photograph, I enjoyed capturing interesting behind-the-scenes shots. Trevor and Azuree (photographers) and Sharbreon (writer) were delightful!

The cats had a great time with extra people in the house. Rahrah did not miss anything and had to be removed often. Elizabeth was content to get comfortable and watch. Trevor had to use the lint roller for his dark jacket.

Friday, January 27, 2023

The Cat Tree - Part 2

Finally, after about a month, the cats are becoming curious enough to climb on the cat tree. I moved  the little red table (that Elizabeth used to spend lots of time overseeing the back yard) beside it, also tried putting treats on the shelves. Rahrah doesn't like the treats, but finally decided to investigate the upper platforms. Elizabeth is happy just playing beneath the thing. 

Brave Rahrah

Elizabeth reaching for treat from her red table

Rahrah watching Elizabeth reach for a treat

Elizabeth finding another treat

I moved the Norfolk Island Pines to the front porch, hoping it's not too early. Remember the succulent filled pumpkin I made on October 29? I may have to murder it to get rid of it.

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Cat Tree

I've been working on an important art quilt that has to stay under wraps a bit longer. Flowers aren't blooming yet and my yard is covered in pine straw and dead leaves. Several outside plants have been brought inside because of low temperatures. 

So this post is all about my cats Elizabeth and Rahrah. They're nine years old and I thought they would enjoy a cat tree from Chewy for some climbing stimulation. It came in a huge box and looked pretty complicated to construct. Luckily, Ana Maria Diaz Herrera, a dear viola doctoral student and friend, was here for Christmas break and gladly helped me. 

Cat tree box of parts

Ana Maria adding top shelf
Under construction
She also helped hang an art exhibit at the OLLI Peck House for Dana Stratton. The exhibit will be up through May 2023, with a reception Friday, February 17, at 1:00 p.m.
(Standing) Klare Lane, Karrie Pennington, Martha, Georgia Kay Carter
(Seated) Ana Maria and Dana Stratton
The cats were not interested in the tree. Elizabeth loves the big box and spends lots of time in it. Rahrah snuggles on my chest every chance she gets. Sometimes both cats manage to snuggle peacefully. 

Elizabeth in cat tree box

Elizabeth in cat tree box

Elizabeth sleeping in chair during cat tree construction


Both cats on lap

Both cats on lap

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Ending 2022

 We've been through another year of blessings and sorrows, and sometimes the losses and war news and injustice seem to overwhelm our thoughts, especially contrasted with the joyful music and decorations of the season. I had my 87th birthday, and feel grateful to have dear friends and family who made me feel loved. The recent freezing weather across the US made me especially glad that a few plants were the only casualties and that I had constant power and water supply.

My leggy 4-ft Norfolk Island Pine came inside and was joined by a new, fluffy one and a couple of small ones, which I think I will keep in where I can enjoy them more. The big begonia and a smaller one were also brought in. Remember that succulent pumpkin decoration I made two months ago? I keep it under a light to keep the plants from growing taller, and it still looks great. This ivy plant I was given five years ago is thriving in its new location though still in its original pot. 

     A puzzle of colorful birds has been a good pastime for pondering problems that seem unsolvable. It's amazing how satisfying it can be to find a pesky little shape and put it in its place. Gives one a feeling of being in control of one small thing. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Christmas is Coming . . .

. . . ready or not! For years I rushed and shopped and decorated and cooked and wrote--often obsessing to the point of losing the joy of the season. Time and events seem to rush by in a blur, but I have eliminated many items that I used to think had to be done. I love my simple decorations and still have music from Handel's Messiah and our church Christmas program resounding in my head. It's always a joy to see the children bringing Chrismons to the tree.

I loaned some of my nativity sets to the display window at the church. The salt glaze pottery is unusual and I wanted others to enjoy it.

My sasanqua bush has continue to bloom, on the bush or on my kitchen window sill, until the space was needed for the nativity scene.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Thanksgiving, Especially for Music

My blessings are so overwhelming that I am at a loss for words. Leaves continue to charm me and make my walks more of a bend over/straighten up exercise as I gather more pretties. The persimmon tree and sasanqua bush are favorites in my yard. The croton is in a pot I can pull into the garage on freezing nights.

For the upcoming SMAA 46th annual art show next Saturday, December 3, I stitched several leafy creations using caladium, sweet gum, and black gum leaves. Rahrah spent many happy sleeping hours on the white plastic bag near the stack of artwork before deciding to check out the smooth backing of one of the pictures. I should have remembered the last time she removed a backing in the closet.

My life has been enriched by music, with the highlight being the upcoming Meistersingers performance of Handel's Messiah next Saturday, December 3, at Westminster Presbyterian Church. We sang this at Trinity Episcopal in Natchez November 6 with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra as part of the church's 200th anniversary celebration. Thursdays are my favorite day of the week because of rehearsals. It is a privilege to work with maestro Dr. Jay Dean and our amazing accompanist, Kathy Vail. 

Kathy Vail, harpsichord at Trinity Episcopal Church

Last week Alejandro Junco presented a lecture recital with Dario Martin (piano) and Roberto Palomeque (percussion) in partial fulfillment of his doctor of musical arts degree. This was followed by Roberto Palomeque's recital. These three talented musicians have a bright future ahead, and Hattiesburg has been fortunate to get to be a part of their journey. (Sorry I did not get Roberto standing behind his marimbas instead of sitting behind his drums!)

Elizabeth's main activity has been sleeping on this warm fleecy when she was not in her other favorite place--her cardboard box. It has been perfect for a couple of months, even when the TV geek squad was here, but she has decided to rearrange the top edge a bit.