Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Snow Day

posted by Lucy

I would like to introduce Mr. Cardinal, Jack, Bobbin, Pippet and Phronsie.  They live in Mr. Cardinal’s nest which I help move every once in a while, when he wants a change of scene. He adopted Jack one day when he found him, orphaned, hiding behind a stone. Mr. Cardinal came upon the other three in a similar fashion, lost and hiding on the forest floor.    
One morning the nest dwellers woke to find that the ground was covered in a fluffy blanket of snow. As soon as possible (breakfast was eaten with haste as never before) Bobbin, Pippet and Phronsie set out with the sled to their little sledding hill. They wanted Jack to come, but he wasn’t interested. “Who needs sledding when you’ve got wings?” he said, flying round and round, trying to dodge snowflakes.
The others had a glorious time, whizzing down that snowy slope.

 When they finally grew tired of sledding, they built a snow fort, with a snowman to guard it.

At last , cold and hungry, Bobbin, Pippet and Phronsie went home to eat a good dinner of bread and butter with rosehip jam and then snuggled down in the cozy nest.

I needle felted these guys months apart from each other, but I began to develop stories for them all together a couple months ago, when I finished Jack and Pippet. I love them so much that I could never part with them. I could make different ones to sell, but I couldn’t give up this dear family. I also made the sled out of popsicle sticks, decorated it with colored micron pen and varnished it with polyurethane.  


Monday, February 25, 2013

And that one Talent which is death to hide . . . (from John Milton’s sonnet, On His Blindness)

A post from Melissa
Last fall I entered the drawings below in a hand craft competition in a tiny local fair. This was not an art fair, but a sweet little country fair with carnival rides and funnel cakes. First prizes in handcrafts were blue ribbons and eight dollars. I earnestly hoped for two firsts to exactly cover the cost of the matting and clip-on glass frames I bought at Hobby Lobby. I got two seconds. So it goes when your tender babe takes on sharply detailed  tractors—and modest clip-ons don’t stand a chance next to layered matting and fancy gold frames. (The handcraft competition is part of the so-called Ladies’ Fair, a subset of the entire fair. Do you really have to be a lady to enter, I wonder? Will my husband, the crack doily knitter, have to enter as me when he finally gets around to it, or will he be limited to horse shoe tossing and hay bale rolling? And did a lady really draw that tractor? I must say I enjoyed being so out of step with our culture’s gender-role skittishness.)

This is a sketch of my now three-year old daughter back when she took a lot of naps. I used a dark brown Prismacolor pencil.

This is also Prismacolor colored pencil. It was my entry choice mainly because it fit into a standard  Hobby Lobby frame. I drew it at a time when I was designing directly onto good paper without  graphite or erasers, a helpful attempt to short circuit a stifling concern about getting it right.      
Submitting these pieces was an important step for me as an artist, even critical. Seeing my work in tidy little frames was surprisingly motivating, and entering the Ladies’ Fair was an easy and obvious way to take my lonely little talent of silver out of its backyard grave (see Matthew 25:14-30 in the New Testament) and invest it somehow. Starting up this art blog seemed like another step.
My husband is actually not a crack doily knitter. Sadly, none of his talents line up with Ladies’ Fair categories.
Tune in tomorrow to meet the other half of the anthemsweet team, my lovely daughter Lucy.