Friday, April 16, 2021

Music and Live Concerts

If you love music as much as I do, you have surely missed getting to hear it performed live. My church (University Baptist Church, Hattiesburg) has been having in-person services on the front sidewalk/lawn during nice weather, with piano and sometimes strings, and singing.

Sundays at 10:00 a.m. on front lawn

Services are also recorded for YouTube
Alejandro Junco and Patricia Rezende Vanuci

Easter Sunday

The first live concert I attended since the March 2020 shutdown was April 1, 2021, at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center with Klasinc&Loncar Guitar Duo (a husband and wife duo originally from Croatia and Austria), and Trio Bolero (featuring Miroslav and Klasinc Lonar and cellist Rebekah Stark Johnson). The audience was limited to 75 people and the evening was an exciting return to hearing live music.

Trio Bolero (Miroslav Loncar, Rebekah Stark Johnson, and Klasinc Loncar)

After a year-long absence, our Back Door Coffeehouse returned on April 8 with Tom Kimmel joined by Alejandro Junco. Tom is a singer/songwriter/poet who now lives in Hattiesburg and Alejandro Junco is a talented Cuban violinist studying at USM.  What a treat for us all!

Adding to the joy of my music news, The Meistersingers have resumed rehearsals and will be preparing the breath of life by Dan Forrest for a June concert, with the composer present and at the piano. 

How wonderful it is to get to sing again! We are observing strict Covid precautions and are very aware that this is how we can begin to be together safely. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Catching Up on March Happenings

 Before getting too far past March, I should post that my Cinque Terre fabric collage won a 3rd place ribbon in the South Mississippi Art Association 44th Annual Show (postponed from December 2020) in the "Other" category.  Like many events, due to Covid this was an online virtual show, but all the pieces can be seen on the link above.

Cinque Terre, 23" x 52"
In other stitching news, I made two more leaf pieces, one for Jackie Watkins in our Southern Fiber Artists exchange group, and one as a donation to Studio Art Quilt Associates annual auction.
8" x 10" for Jackie Watkins

12" x 12" for SAQA auction
I enjoyed participating in Nanette S Zeller's thread-painting virtual class. She is a fiber artist in North Carolina and has been teaching this class in person but has transitioned to an online version. She provided excellent instruction and video demonstrations as we stitched her sunflower design in our own fabric choices.
Nanette S. Zeller's sunflower design
Update on my kitchen remodeling: When the width of this countertop was extended and the height changed, we thought a weight-bearing support was needed under the upper cabinets. We stained and inserted a wooden post but realized that the upper cabinets began to gradually sink from the ceiling. My friend Doc Anna Wan saw the problem and suggested a solution and brought a guy to do the work. The resulting "fix" in the attic eliminated the need for the post, leaving a beautiful open space. 

He also agreed to replace a weathered section of my front porch railing. He removed the section and built and inserted a replacement. He will come back and paint it all. It is great to find a guy who can do the fix-up jobs that need to be done.  

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Happy Easter

Easter has arrived again, bringing beauty and hope. Alejandro Junco and Patricia Vanuci help us celebrate.

I enjoyed making a few Easter cards to send to my grandchildren. 

My yard has azaleas in several places, planted in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. This year they seem to be more beautiful than ever. 

In my side yard

This huge bumblebee spends a lot of time here

Perfect spot for coffee in the mornings

View from the street (with limbs to be picked up).
The mature trees self-prune in high winds

View toward back fence (my shop & neighbor's shop)
The tulips my friend brought were beautiful even as they faded.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Spring Has Arrived

 March is an amazing time, especially in Mississippi. Maybe everyone thinks that about where they live. I say it every year. Following a whole year of Covid-19 involving quarantining, cancelling, sadness, avoiding, anxiety, depression, I was even more eager for a better outlook, not only in my own attitude, but in our country and world! So Spring is time to celebrate several things. First, that we have vaccines to help fight the pandemic that has claimed more than half a million people in America. Flowers and trees have put on amazing colors; temperatures are inviting us outdoors; we are beginning to feel safer about being around people. And I agree with those famous Barbra Streisand words, "people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.

Here's what springtime looks like in my yard. The camellia is called Pink Perfection, and every bloom looks perfect. These are Coral Bell azaleas, a small variety that is my favorite--always a dependable bloomer that holds up well. Along with the beauty, we have to endure the pollen. It lasts many days and from many varieties of trees, causing unsightly yellow dust or wet yellow mud. We watch the pollen count and depend on antihistamines and allergy pills.

Hydrangeas are to the left, with leaves coming fast

This is my across the street neighbor's Bradford Pear tree
at the end of my driveway--a beautiful scene I enjoy

Pine pollen after the rain. There is lots more pollen to fall

Two friends came from out of town to take me to lunch one day this week, making me feel really special with tulips from one of their yards. I think of tulips as rather magical and difficult to grow, so I treasured the thought that she would cut them for me! 

This happy event was marred by a very traumatic, frightening, and frustrating other event. When we returned from lunch in her car I could not find my keys (my house, my car, Linda's house). (Luckily I had a backup to get in the house.) So for two miserable days I searched for my set of keys that I KNEW were in my house. Imagine my joy when my friend found my keys in her car seat two days later. Apparently I had taken them from my purse as we left my house but put them in my pocket when we went in her car. This was totally exhausting and entirely too much drama.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

It's March Already

Time flies and the days run together. I'm particularly aware of several good things: I have had both my Pfizer vaccines. My pipes didn't freeze and my power did not go off during the snow/ice event that hit Texas-Louisiana-Mississippi so hard. Beautiful spring weather is here (30s-40s mornings and 70s-80s afternoons).  I am enjoying some sewing-quilting time.

I worked one of those zentangle wooden puzzles (by that are the craze now. There are lots of knock-off ones advertised, but this one (loaned by a friend) is made in Limerick, Ireland, with this description: "each piece of the unidragon wooden jigsaw puzzle is laser-cut, uniquely and artfully crafted differently.... Our unique jigsaw puzzles are made of quality plywood, in varieties of unique shapes and vivid colors."

The finished owl. He is by

Before tackling this Owl, a 500-piece boat scene was a good prelude.

Finally, it was time to enjoy a cleaned-off table for a while. Linda made the colorful table runner for me.

Leaves and pine straw have nearly all fallen, and my yard and roof have been totally covered. I have some helpers taking huge piles of leaves, pine straw, and sticks to the street to be picked up. There's a remnant of grass, and with a little sunshine the yard might be green again. I'm eager to plant some veggies and coleus and other colorful bedding plants. New geraniums and coleus and crotons will replace the ones that look pitiful. 

I have finished several 8" x 10" pieces for my Southern Fiber Artist group (we call it Shared Fiber Art for SFA.)  The pieces shown below are for Judi Sharpe, Maryann McClain, and Cathy Reininger.

Leaves with Angelina overlaid with tulle (for Judi Sharpe)

Still playing with leaves, I sent this piece to Maryann McClain because we both love leaves and have enjoyed doing several techniques with them. I did background grid quilting on pink linen fabric, added three fall leaves (treated with matte medium) and overlaid a patterned organza with machine quilting. 

Cathy's is a woven fabric with a patterned organza layer with machine stitches and embroidered French knots. Some colored pencils were involved.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Return to Blog

I usually enjoy writing my blog as a way to share with friends what I have been up to and show a few pictures of my quilts and cats. The end of a year seems to call for a recap and possibly thinking of goals and plans. But transitioning from 2020 to 2021 and forward has had me so anxious and sad and lethargic that I had no words. I still snapped a few pictures and sometimes posted a happening on Facebook to connect with friends. I worked a 1,000-piece puzzle and listened to some art webinars and Zoomed and YouTubed with my church friends. People are in food lines and looking for work. My peeps in Texas are snowed and iced in, some without running water. I wish there were ways to help.

I am very aware of how fortunate I am that my house is warm and dry and safe; I have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine; my hand has healed and I have decided to have Eric add blue and purple streaks to my gray hair again. I'm even beginning to be interested in sewing and quilting again. I'm saving a few plants and planting some seeds under a grow light. Life goes on and I hope to be able to be with friends in person soon. 

Here is the finished puzzle. It shows eight quilts by Bonnie Hunter patterns (from American Quilters Society) and is about 20" x 30". Being a quilter was no help on this one because of the small view of the quilts. Elizabeth was always eager to be with me though only for the attention. 

She is a little crowded on a 500-piece box. I must remember this.

Rahrah loves it when I Zoom on my laptop; she also loves to try to pick at the keyboard if I leave the top open afterward. So far I have been able to pop all the key covers back on. 

Cooking can get boring, so it is always nice to have red and yellow bell peppers on hand. A big pot of beef vegetable soup makes enough for several days and to share. 

Tarbaby has been doing lots of sleeping in this cold weather.

Linda pieced this quilt top and I quilted and bound it.