Saturday, June 15, 2019

Music, Tomatoes, Chameleons, Quilting

I have attended a Festival South concert every day (or night) this week until today, and look forward to the Meistersingers concert tomorrow. There was a spectacular and very loud piano, a baroque trumpet with interesting history, the Impromptu Piano Trio (piano, violin, cello), Beethoven's Fifth and Mendelssohn violin concerto with an amazing 18-year-old soloist, Irish jigs at T-Bones Coffee Shop. I told the Piano Trio that their performance each year at Festival South was my favorite event.
    My caladiums have come up and are beautiful. I have several hostas--one with huge leaves. Cherry tomatoes are still coming on my two little plants. They are so pretty on the vine that I enjoy seeing them for a few days before picking them.

I have been quilting on the Black/White/Red Fractured piece I began in a Marilyn Rose class several years ago. It is good to finish some projects.

The chameleon puzzle is challenging but I am making a little headway--have another chameleon almost done all but his head.
The painters are scheduled to begin the painting of the tongue in groove wood paneling in my living room and dining room next week. This was a big decision but I needed to lighten up these rooms and finally decided to get it done. It gave me a chuckle that the paint I chose was called "muslin." All the furniture will be moved away from the walls, and it seemed best for me to take care of moving the Boehm porcelain. Linda helped me move the pieces from the china cabinet into some kitchen cabinets for safety. The painter was relieved when I told him I would do this.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Festival South in June

Festival South, Mississippi's only multi-week, multi-genre arts festival is one of the best reasons to live in Hattiesburg! Sister Act by the Hub City Players was New York quality, and played four performances to nearly sold-out houses. Local dignitaries (a beloved Catholic priest, former newscaster, chef/restaurant owner, and our mayor) played the roles of the pope in the four performances, to the delight of audiences. Festival South is produced by Hattiesburg Concert Association. Sister Act was directed by Mike Lopinto.
Latisha Hamilton in Sister Act
Sunday afternoon I enjoyed chamber music including Afternoon of a Faun and other pieces. This week there will be a baroque trumpet concert, piano concert, string trio, orchestra (Beethoven's 5th), the Meistersingers, and something for Elvis fans (I can skip that). There are special events for children, and free coffee concerts.
Rachel Ciraldo introducing Afternoon of a Faun at First Presbyterian Church
I finished the improv piecing quilt I started at the MQA Gathering last weekend. It's straight--bad photo! Then I did a little organizing in my studio. I hate that this black/white/red fabric is almost used up.

Jigsaw puzzles are notorious for eating up time, but it is interesting how they can wake up the senses and help you see shapes, colors, interactions more clearly. Another thing I notice is that when I seem to hit a wall and give up and go to bed (because it is usually waaaay past time!), the next time I sit down and begin to work, several pieces just fall into place.
My current puzzle is 18" x 24" and features chameleons of all colors. It has only 550 pieces and a friend said it would be a snap with so few pieces. Not true. I'm finding it quite challenging but fun.

Elizabeth likes to nap in the corded bowl to be nearby; Rahrah tries to walk on the puzzle but I can shoo her away. When Tarbaby wants my attention, he walks over and lies down on the corner of the table. He is good at hanging his head off a table.

Monday, June 3, 2019

MQA Gathering, New Mississippi Museums

   Keeping the flowers and veggies watered is an everyday task, but pleasant. Even though the temperature might have been in the high 90s, late in the afternoons my backyard is shady and it is just delightful to give the plants a drink as I reminisce about seeing my mom do this.
    A quilting friend and I enjoyed a couple of days at the MQA Gathering in Jackson this past weekend. The organization formed in 1991, and it was great to see many special friends I would not have known except for MQA. We went early to eat lunch and enjoy some Friday music by Zach Lovett and Dylan Lovett (of the Young Valley band) in the courtyard at the Museum of Art. It was delightful. We have two new museums--Museum of Mississippi History and Civil Rights Museum--that have been getting great reviews. A trip to spend a couple of days there is in my summer plans.
Dylan Lovett and Zach Lovett
I attended Karen Arzamendi's improv/strip-piecing class. This is a style of quilting I love anyway, and it was inspiring to see Karen's works. Here is an example of what some of the class did. This no-rules approach results in a lot of variety.

I have been finishing up a few projects, when I can get my fur babies out of the way. This black/white/red piece is using Marilyn Rose's echo technique and has been in a closet for a while. A piece of fabric is cut and rejoined in slices horizontally and vertically, which shows up as sort of an echo effect. Elizabeth likes it. Then Tarbaby was wanting my attention, so he decided to lie down and cover up as much of it as he could.

The large red flowers have found their way into other quilts. I don't want to run out of this unusual fabric. 

Rahrah wasn't willing to fight for attention and found a folded up square just the right size for her to sit on.

   I have one scrawny blueberry bush that makes enough for me to have a snack every few days as I walk to the mailbox. The mockingbirds enjoy them, too, so I have to watch for the ripe ones.

I had what I call a successful grocery shopping trip--did not require a single plastic bag. My mesh ones are working fine.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Tomatoes, parsley, and a paint called muslin

I probably shouldn’t get so excited over some little cherry tomatoes in my flowerbed, but I do. I guess it’s because I have never been successful in growing them.
  My parsley plant is the largest I have ever seen. After making a huge circle of fluffy leaves, it has bolted and is making seeds. It was supposed to attract black swallowtail butterflies who would lay eggs to form caterpillars to eat all this parsley, but did not; so I'm leaving it as long as I can.

The afternoon sun really punishes the hydrangeas. I made an overnight trip and missed an afternoon of watering. I came home the next afternoon to this sad sight.

But after a good drink, they looked like this. It's amazing how they can perk up.

We hung two more of my quilts in a recently painted stairwell at my church. It brings me joy to share my quilts and brighten up this space. 

Speaking of brightening up . . . seeing what the light paint did to this formerly dark space points out my need to do the same in my living room and dining room. The tongue-in-groove wood paneling was greatly admired by my husband and he would not hear any talk of painting it. I love real wood, too, but I am ready to make these rooms brighter. Overhead lights only seem to glare. I have this same wood paneling in my studio but have enough overhead fluorescent lights there to overcome any darkness.

Looking toward east wall
Looking toward west wall
The overhead beams and the paneling inside the bookcases will be left as they are now. It won't be a simple job, since the seams will have to be caulked or filled before painting. The color I chose happened to be called "muslin." That seems quite fitting!