Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

My Pond Life

Fate in the pond after the storm

The heat has kept me indoors more than I’m comfortable with.  I miss the woods, but it’s been too hot even just for walking.  I’ll take a stroll in the back pasture, but the bugs are relentless and like the sheep and donkeys, it’s easier to be out in the night.  But by the time it gets dark, I’m tired from the day.

Then,  yesterday, in the evening, after the storm, I went to close the gate to the back pasture and found my world had cooled.  The grasses and wildflowers, soaked with rain, sparkled like snow in the slant of the sun.

The pond was full again,  soft brown with silt.

I closed the gate behind me but Fate slipped under it.  That didn’t disturb the frog that sat for a portrait, before disappearing into the water with a gentle plunk, leaving only a widening circle of water behind.

And just a foot or so away from where the frog sat, was the crayfish’s empty exoskeleton.  About six inches long, the tail separated from the rest of the body, the giant claw no threat to the Great Blue Heron who most likely ate them.

I breathed in the rich smell of living and dying that the pond offered. I felt my body relax in a way it hasn’t in weeks.  I watched the skates, spiders and snails step, glide and slide, while canoe shaped  insects with arms like oars, surfaced and vanished in the muddy water.

At some point Fate left the pond.  I don’t know how long she was at the gate in her border collie crouch waiting for me to tell her to get the sheep.

I only know that something shifted inside of me and fell back into place.  And a smile rose from deep in my stomach, like a salamander wiggling its way up from the bottom of the pond to pluck an insect from the top of the water.

More Work On “Memory Of Belonging”

Since we spent the morning in Albany getting my ear checked, I didn’t get into my studio till the afternoon.

I could hardly wait.  All those hand embroidered linens  on my studio floor like puzzle pieces waiting to be fit together.

I started with the teapot, cup and apron.  With a little trim the blue cup and flowers fit perfectly on top of it.  Having that triangle and the flowers off center was just right.

Next the iced tea and flowers.

Then the geranium and pitcher of iced tea.

Some of the linens, like this one, are thing enough to see through.  I don’t want the cotton batting to be that close to the surface, so I put a piece of cotton fabric with a large floral design under it.  It’s not enough to distract from the linen, but a suggestion of something beneath the surface.

I cut the triangle sides off the blue teapot, pitcher and sugar bowl and sewed them back on to square off the point. I try to preserve the fancy edges whenever I can so this quilt already has a lot of top stitching.

I was just working on the last red tea pot and table and chairs when my phone let out a screeching alarm.  Another tornado warning.  The second in one week.

The last tornado that hit our area was in the late 90s in a town forty five minutes away. And that unheard of at the time.

I’m beginning to think this new weather event is something we’re going to have to get used to.

I did take pictures first then closed up my studio and did the same weather prep of opening the gates and stocking the basement, as I did last Wednesday.

We were fortunate once again  and didn’t get a tornado or even the 80 mile per hour winds that others did.  We did get a   thunder, lightning, wind and a good soaking, which the grass and flower appreciate.

Another Waiting Drawing….hEar

Jon and I celebrated by having lunch on the way home from the Albany ENT.  My ear is all better, I’ll have one more appointment in two weeks with a new doctor closer to home, just to be certain the fungal infection is all gone.

That also means a new waiting room to do a drawing in.

Beginning My Quilt “Memory Of Belonging”

I start at the beginning.  Which is the first two pieces of fabric I find that want to be sewn together.

See how that tea pot and cup work so well with the flower in the pot? The colors and shapes, the blue grids.

I’ve been collecting these vintage linens that so many of you have sent me for years.  Now they be put to work again.

This apron (I already cut the strings off) was a little more difficult.  All hand stitched, I love how the pocket covers the middle flower.  Looks to me like someone made the best of a mistake.  I wanted to keep it intact, but couldn’t get it to work with the embroidered teapot it so obviously went with.

So I removed all that lovely hand stitching on the pockets and cut the whole thing into pieces….

…then I sewed it back together creating another story for the quilt.

Such a pretty piece, that ecru linen with the embroidered blue flowers and lacey trim.  I knew there was a place for it, even though it was oddly shaped.

Then I found the tablecloth. I cut it in half making it into two big triangles.  Then I sewed the flowers above the teapot, pitcher and sugar bowl.

The cup on the other end found its own blue flowers to be with.

These are the pieces I sewed together today.  A good start for my quilt.  The geranium in the top left corner is an apron and I sewed it onto a pillow case, which is the trim on the bottom.

After I took this picture, I saw how two of the pieces would fit  together nicely….

Tomorrow, I’ll begin the day in my studio by sewing them together.

Drawing An Interior Room At The Mansion

Deb, Jennifer,Art, Nancy, Claudia, Susan, Rachel and Bette

I asked everyone to hold up their drawings.  I’m sorry I cut Deb out of the photo.  It wasn’t intentional, but at least I got her drawing in.

I often meet Deb in the grocery in town, but its been a while since she’s been in one of my classes.  It was good to have her back.

Today we did a drawing of something I’m very familiar with and love to draw.  And interior space.  This one had a table with stuff on it, a chair, and doorway.

I taught a bit about perspective making the table and chair.  Rachel was amazed and delighted that she was able to do it.  Jennifer is a very good artist.  She opened the book of paintings by Mary Hackett that I brought in and drew two interior scenes inspired by it.

Most everyone else went step by step, starting with the table.  Except Art. He loves to draw cars, so I found a photo of a car in one of his magazines.  “Start with the wheels,” I told him and he did.

Bette’s drawing was all planes and shapes, closer to cubism than Hackett’s paintings.  And we all decide that Deb’s table looked more like a piano, which was fine with her.

The activities director found another job and every ones misses her.   It’s an in-between time at The Mansion.  A slow transition that feels directionless and no one seems to know where or when it will land.

But we had a good time today, working up till the last few minutes before lunch. We were just able to squeeze a few doorways into some of the drawings.  But everyone got that line in that shows where the floor and wall meet.  And once they drew it, they understood its importance in helping to create the illusion of a room.

At the end of the class Claudia came up to me and gave me her drawing.  After drawing the table top, she figured the rest out on her own.  Once Claudia gets started, she stays focused until she’s done with her work.  Her table has two chairs with a woman in one and a man in the other.

I’ve seen Claudia’s unique drawing style develop over the years.  He art always feels very personal to me and has lots of feeling.

I am glad to have one.

All the drawings, Jennifer did two

Digging My Garlic

garlic in the ground

Squatting in my garden, feet bare, I scooped dirt with my hands as if making a moat around the garlic bulb.  After the first few I learned to point my fingers out, away from the bulb.   This way there is less chance of me bruising the bulb.

I felt like an archeologist on a dig as I gently brushed the soil the garlic, exposing the top and sides.  Then, wrapping my hand low on the greens I gently pulled.

I could feel the roots pulling back, and thought of what it felt like being a kid and wiggling a loose tooth with my tongue.   And when I ripped the bulb from the earth, it felt just like when the tooth came out, those “strings” that held my tooth to my gums finally giving way.

I filled my basket with fifteen garlic bulbs and a handful of small potatoes that came up with them.  The garlic varied in size.  Only one very small the rest medium and a couple of bigger ones.  I’ll save those for next years seeds.

Now they’re on the front porch drying for a few weeks.  I’ll give some to my friends Kitty and Charlie who gave me the original garlic that they cultivated for years.   I keep the rest for me and Jon.

Its my second year growing garlic and I do enjoy it.   It seems to have done well.

But the rest of my garden is struggling.  It’s been very hot with little rain and I’ve neglected watering it.  Jon usually does the watering but he can’t be out in this heat and early in the morning and in the evening the insects are plentiful.  They love Jon too much,  and he has a bad reaction to their bites.

So this afternoon, I staked my tomato plants and pulled most of the morning glories that reseeded themselves.  They’ve been taking over, wrapping themselves around and choking the potatoes, tomatoes and squash.  The dill and sweet pea seeds didn’t take because  of them.

This evening, when the sun lowers behind the hill, I’ll give my garden a good soaking (the soil is dry deep down) and mulch around the plants with my junk wool.  That will help keep the moisture in.  I’ll also keep an eye on the morning glories to make sure they keep to the metal trellis in the center of the garden.

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