Monday, April 27, 2015

Perhaps they are not really stars in the sky

On Saturday there was an arts and crafts show at the Marriott next door.  The shows occur twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.  It's interesting how the wares change from year to year.  One year a lot of vendors will be selling soap, the next year no one will be selling soap and lots of vendors will be selling small throw rugs. This year, lots of vendors were selling knitted dish cloths.

Of course, the vendor that most interested me was selling cookies, mini fruit pies and nut brittle.  I couldn't pass that booth by.  And I found a vendor who was selling various sizes of wooden signs with various sayings.  The one that caught my eye was this one.  It's apparently an old Eskimo saying, though I'd not heard it before.

Perchance you think I haven't done much stitching lately, I have two finishes to report.

First are the Patriot Sparklers, which are now stitched.  At some point I need to actually finish and assemble them onto sticks so they actually look like sparklers.   We students had so much fun with this on-line class that we asked EGA to schedule a class next year for Set #2 of the sparklers, another set of six.

And I have finished the Shady Colors class, albeit a few weeks late.  

So I've now finished two of the five classes I signed up for at the beginning of the year.  I'm working away on the ANG Stitch of the Month water lily, and the Starstruck mystery sampler. The Explorations class is just beginning, I hope to start that this week.  Then, I signed up for another class, Ariadne, that will start in May.  Plus over the summer will be on-line classes called Holi-Dazzle, and Choices.

And, as if cross-stitch and needlepoint weren't enough, I found out that the International Organization of Lace, Inc. is holding their annual convention at the Marriott in July.  I couldn't pass that up.  A couple of the classes were really hardanger stitching, not strictly lace, so I signed up to attend. Unfortunately, those classes were cancelled due to low interest so I had to choose another class.  I picked Lace Knitting.  I know how to knit so how hard can that be?  Well, I'm finding out.  Lace is knit using size 0 or 1 needles and size 30 crochet/tatting cotton.  The teacher recommended we practice ahead of time, stitching 20 rows of 20 stitches.  I'm glad she did.  The first evening I spent several hours just trying to get 20 stitches cast on and the first row knit.  I kept losing stitches and having to start over...and over...and over....  But it's getting better, so hopefully I'll be ready by class time.

I will go with thee to thy uncle's

Yesterday afternoon we saw the film of a Royal Shakespeare Company production of "Much Ado About Nothing." My favorite line in the play occurs in Act 5, when Beatrice asks Benedick if he will go with her to hear the news, and he responds, "I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes, and moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's."  There's a lot of humor in the play, but this line I think is the best.

We started the day at our Fire Department's pancake breakfast.  And then looked at the variety of fire trucks and rescue equipment in the parking lot.  The fire department has a fire pole, we aren't sure whether anyone actually uses it anymore.

There is a needlepoint stitch, the basket weave stitch, that uses the fire pole analogy.  That stitch goes down the vertical thread, like a fire fighter goes down the pole, and goes up the horizontal threads, like a fire fighter walking back upstairs.  Of course, I learned the stitch before that analogy became popular, and I remember it by "vertical down = V.D."

She enjoyed embroidering tea towels

Several weeks ago I noticed an obituary in the newspaper.  I didn't know her, but the notice about Mildred "Millie" Campion, who was 86-years old, included the information that "She enjoyed embroidering tea towels, making homemade noodles for her family, doing cross word and jigsaw puzzles and playing Scrabble."   Sounds like someone I would have liked to know, such an interesting combination of interests: embroidery, noodles and puzzles.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Shakespeare in the Park Without Shakespeare and Without the Park

We're halfway through this spring's six-week Shakespeare class.  We're studying "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Cyrano de Bergerac."  But wait - Cyrano?   What's he doing in a Shakespeare class? That will take a bit of explaining.

By way of background, we have a local theater group, Riverside Theater, who each summer has held two weeks of "Shakespeare in the Park."  Using an open-air theater vaguely reminiscent of the Globe Theater, for many years they have staged a Shakespeare comedy and a Shakespeare tragedy.  Well, the past two summers have seen flooding on the Iowa River.  While the theater stayed high and dry, the access road into the park went underwater and the theater season had to be cut short, and the company lost money.

So, this year, they decided to hold their festival indoors.  And, for some reason, decided to stage "Cyrano de Bergerac," rather than any of the Shakespeare plays.

Our Shakespeare teacher tries to be supportive of Riverside Theater and has taught her class based on which play Riverside Theater would be producing that summer.  In an attempt to continue to be supportive, she decided to teach Cyrano, and then identified a Shakespeare play that could be paired along with Cyrano.  Thus, "Much Ado About Nothing."