Sunday, June 14, 2015

Time for the Beach. Time for a Cruise

For the month of June our Mother Bear Project Ravelry group concentrates on Bears of Summer. I have knitted only five of them, because my traveling bear, Tyana J Littlestring, needs a new outfit for our July cruise.

Bear 383 is wishing for a glass of pink lemonade

Bears 384 and 385, two brothers, lock forward to playing beach volleyball. Here you see them practice. And pose for that photo after the big win.
Only after I stood them side by side did I notice that one is taller than the usual twelve inches. I must have miscounted the rows. Oh well, just a bit more to love.

Finally, meet Bears 386 and 387, my two Ice Bears, well, Polar Bears with tiny freckles. They are complaining about the heat wave that shrank their ice berg.
(Which is a bunch of crumpled plastic wrap.)

And now to Tyana, who is begging me to take her along on my cruise. In the middle of July we will take off to Istanbul from where we will cruise to Mykonos, Malta, Sicily, take a bus ride along the Amalfi Coast and fly back home from Rome.

She has lots of clothes (as demonstrated by these two bins) but, as a rule, she gets at least one new outfit per trip.

Playground Adventure

Home Depot is such a lovely place. I walk up and down and look and suddenly here it is ..... the slide ..... well, it actually is a piece of plumbing ... But to me it looks like a perfect slide.

And once I take it home and crochet my way around it, it does really look like a slide. Maybe a bit small for my ball players, but it can be reused for the fairies when I continue on that project.

And now I am happy and can work on the players. Once they are finished I take a few pictures.

This completes another fifteen Bears to be shipped off to Minneapolis.

Here they are, Bears 368 to 382, down for one more nap before they fly away.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Waves of Color and Other Ideas that Work.

Sometimes a word strikes me, sometimes a theme, sometimes a color. In April I was struck by a big box of yarn from a friend. I was even blessed with a few one pounders. And so it came about that I named April 7 "Geranium Day" in tribute to red yarn. Bears 364, 365, 366, and 367 are the result.

There is still a whole lot of red yarn left, but I needed a change of pace. The next group would be predominantly blue. Meet Bears 368, 369, 370, 371, 372.

Then I went with a three color scheme that included pink, yellow, and orange for Bears 373, 374, 375, 376, and 377.

By then I had gotten a bit tired of limiting colors and wanted to try something different. Checking out google images I came across an advertisement that said "Adidas Redesign 2013." Sometimes my ideas come from a quick glimpse of a photo. Often I don’t know if it will work for a Bear. Then I print out the picture, stare at it, squint at it, begin to knit, have lunch with partial Bear and design, and maybe, just maybe, it will work. Such was the case with Bear 378. At first I was excited over starting him. But then I had to give him a rest for a few hours. Do I want to make a group of basketball players? Hmmmm……….

Another thought quickly attached itself to the ballplayer idea. What about a basketball hoop?

Oh well, I had to yarn-bomb some PVC pipes to get there, but the idea stuck.
But the boy looked a bit underdressed. He needed a baseball cap. Yes, I know, I am mixing sports. Boys will be boys.
I am working on boy number two now. A while ago I had lunch with him. He suggested a playground.

Soon I will be on my way to Home Depot to find a slide. You haven't yarn-bombed until you have yarn-bombed a slide on a playground.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What my mind ponders while I knit.

It begins with brushing my teeth in the morning. I trust that everybody who works on my water system has made sure that it is potable. My morning oatmeal is not poisoned- that is another assumption I make without even paying attention to the fact that I make it. Later, my car is part of a traffic system that is properly coordinated. I enter a building which has a roof that will not collapse just because a few workers were tired and sped up the process by skipping an important procedure and tossing three boxes of nails into the trash. Nobody in my ordinary day cheated in a task performed. Not a single person, though maybe a few had bad days, risked my safety by using a short cut. Thank you world. Thank you people. Thank you for not messing with my trust.

Recently I read a book about a woman who lived in a war torn country. Nothing could be taken for granted in her life. Streets were blown away by bombs so she had to take a different way to the grocery store. When she arrived she could not depend on full shelves and a selection of goods. At home there often was no electricity. The water might be shut off. Or it might contain contaminants. She could not trust that anything she encountered today would be the same tomorrow.

How does the human mind deal with this? Do we go crazy? Can we adjust? Do those who are exposed become hardened? Do they become desensitized? Rebellious? Sick?

How do I prioritize my responses? What loss do I mourn and which senseless act do I sweep under the rug? Whom do I hate? And whom do I pull more closely into my corner?

Behind everything stands a human being. At least one. Probably a group of them."They" don't take into consideration my well-being when they act. Or do they? Which ones do?

And, if I get on an airplane tomorrow morning, expecting to be at my destination some eight hours later, what are my chances that something in the long list of events surrounding my flight will go wrong? Let's say that the copilot, who smiled at me when I walked past him on my way to my seat, lets say he suddenly, about two hours into the flight, has an uneasy feeling. He tries to dismiss it; he has had this experience before and knows how to deal with it. Only this time it doesn't go away. He happens to be one of "these people," the ones who are, right now, being discussed on TV shows everywhere. He has periods of depression. Everything looks bleak. Well, you get my point .... What will his next step be?

All of this was brought to my attention while I was knitting this morning, with one word - TRUST. I can only imagine how difficult life would be if I didn't trust that the majority of issues are in good hands.. And yet, the only person I have control over is I. Which puts all ethical responsibility squarely on my shoulders.

".....and," she said, " a silent wind swept over me, brushing my cheeks ever so slightly, reminding me to be good. As if it all had started with me and would, forever, be up to me to do the right thing."

With this little paragraph it felt as if I had resolved all problems. My thoughts went back to the Art Bears. Today is the last day for the project and I think that I need to write about the group that I finished.

In my last post I discussed Bears Jackson #350, Marcia #351, Linnea #352, and Cinnamon #357.

Bear #353, his name is Anselm, came to be Anselm Kiefer's muse for a day at the museum. (Remember, this is my little game to get as many Bears knitted as possible) Anselm tries to interpret the landscape that is his favorite, a brownish earth with pink and blue flowers.

Bears 354 and 358 adore Paul Gauguin. They always act in unison, like twin sisters. They want to show us the boldness that is Paul's landscape. They are Pauline and Paulette.

Bear 355 is named after Franz Marc. Her colors are probably best described by what he once said, "Today we are searching for things in nature that are hidden behind the veil of appearance. We look for and paint this inner, spiritual side of nature."

Bear 356 is MiniMe. She wants to be a reminder of my much younger self, when I played at being a painter and happily danced away the nights.

Bears 359, 360, and 361 are Ophelia, Penelope, and Quiturah. They say they are their own art piece, daring in color and spirit.

Bear 362 is the Little Prince from Antoine de Saint Exupéry's book, the first book I read in three languages, French, German, and English, while I was still in school.

And finally, the last Bear in this group, Bear 363, Adanna, is dedicated to color. She embodies the happy spirit that seems to be in all children, and certainly will be in the child who will become her friend at the end of her long journey to Africa.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

#whitecinnamon - A Disturbance at the Museum


The first Art Bears have found their way into the museum. Jackson, as planned, was the first one to arrive. He is tall, very enthusiastic, and a great "Muse for a Day." I tried to give his body the same feel as his hat, which meant I had to leave some loose ends and had to weave them up and down and across, just to get rid of the normal orderliness of knitting. Jackson Pollock, after all, is known for splashing his paint around.

Next came Linnea. I think Linnea is delightful. I love her story "Linnea in Monet's Garden" and in order to create her in the image of the original in the book, I gave her some black Hair. To allow her to bring some of Monet's color to the museum I let her pick flowers in the garden. That's why her apron pocket is overflowing.

After Linnea there was a disturbance in the line-up. Mini Me interrupted, she insisted on trying on all the hats, and was standing in front of the mirror for the longest time.

Of course I didn't finish her yet; because ..... somebody else showed up, totally unexpected.
Cinnamon barged into my world in an unorthodox three tiered white dress and the demand to be included in the museum trip. She is nobody's muse and therefore there is no official painting that she follows. But I allowed her in, along with her hand-written statement. She is only eleven. She is a photographer and she is a child of the modern world. She made her intention to be part of the group known by announcing it on Twitter under #whitecinnamon - giving her name as Cinnamon White and her art as photography.
Which made me ask myself the question "is photography art." To which she only shrugged her shoulders. I decided to ignore my own thoughts for now.

Only one more muse has arrived since then, her name is Marcia. A Marc Chagall enthusiast.

There is still a variety of hats available and I must keep on knitting in order to fill them with Bears. Who will be next? I will let you know soon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Forgotten Bears

Before I begin to write about the new project, the Art Bears and their day at the museum, I have to check on all the Bears waiting to be shipped to Minneapolis. I get very excited when an interesting theme floats around in my brain, and I tend to forget about prior work. Anyway, here are four more Bears, two couples who need to be presented.

Couple 1 - Jamaica and Kalamu
Couple 2 - Langston and Nikki