Month: November 2013

rambling

I’m sitting here two days after Thanksgiving and I figured it was time to post something. The problem is that I don’t have much in my brain right now so I am just going to start rambling. You have my permission to find another blog to read, something that is witty, colorful and full of interesting information.

I just finished with my daily French lesson. I think learning French is my lifetime educational experience. Perhaps by the time I die I will be able to sit in a caf√© in Paris and eavesdrop. I have been attempting to become fluent in French since I was in high school but have not yet been successful. Hey, that’s only 30 something years that I’ve been trying. Right now, though, I am excited because my sister has turned me on to Duolingo, a computer game designed for people who want to learn a language. Actually, I think it’s easier to RE-learn French using this game, I don’t know how successful I would be if this were my first time looking at the language.

My sister is trying to get fluent in Spanish because she is working in a school and finds herself being asked to translate for children who have just arrived in this country. She has always been good at languages and word games and finds Duolingo really helpful. What helps me is knowing that she and I are working together in our respective languages to increase our scores, which we can monitor with this game. While I don’t think it’s going to make me converse like a native, I do notice that I am learning and remembering things and that is exciting. Sometimes I feel like I am unable to retain anything else in my brain for even one minute, let alone for days. But I can now remember the word for monkey (singe) and…okay that’s pretty much it. ūüôā (no, not really).

Anyway, I am enjoying the challenge and thinking about when I will take an immersion class in France. Not this year probably, I have a lot on my plate. I am busy in the studio making the spines for some new vessels and continuing to work on the second section of the ribbon piece. Okay, there’s a subject I’ve been wanting to bring up. When I first started making my new sculptures I called them baskets because I weave them. Then I realized that basket is not a good description of them because that immediately makes one think of something that can hold or carry food, etc. So then I started calling them woven vessels. That seems awkward to me though. I am just not sure of what to call these delightful creations. Any thoughts? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, skip on over to my website www.virginiasperry.com¬†and look at the first three sculptures under “smaller works”.

Okay, my fingers are too cold to continue typing…thanks for listening to my rambles.

Au revoir et à demain! (ou peut-être le prochain jour). I will leave you with two pictures that I took years ago on a magical trip through France with a bunch of women. The Pompidou in Paris and  Mont St. Michel are two of my favorite places in France!.

Paris through the door of the Pompidou
Paris through the door of the Pompidou
Magic
Magic

Happy day

Tomorrow is our annual day for eating too much white food. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and stuffing plus any food that can add some color to the table; squash, green veggies and cranberry sauce will all be decimated tomorrow evening amidst a chorus of gratitude. It is a tradition where there is supposed to be too much food to eat, bellies are supposed to be full and, if your family is like mine, too much wine is supposed to be drunk.

At times I think it sounds perfectly hideous, the only thing that saves it for me is that I absolutely love Thanksgiving dinner. It is full of some of the best comfort food around. If I’m feeling out of sorts, there’s nothing like this meal to cheer me up and make me feel safe and comforted. (I speak, of course, as a full fledged meat eater, I know there are many people who would find this meal revolting for one reason or another. But hey, this is my blog and I can write what I think about life right???)

This year is especially exciting as we are hosting the dinner for the first time in years. We have been going to my husband’s uncle’s house for the past ten years or so and celebrating it with an ever-changing number of people.¬†The meal has always been delicious and plentiful. This year it will be outstanding and we will have control of the leftovers (nothing like a turkey sandwich the next day). Mister S. has already started cooking (if you looked in the fridge you would see the chocolate moose) and is soooo happy. ¬†

Happy Mr. S. working on slicing bread for an appetizer.
Happy Mr. S. working on slicing bread for an appetizer.

Another reason we are excited is that we renovated our kitchen last year and now have double wall ovens, a gas stove and lots of counter space.¬†Since my husband is a trained pastry chef, this has taken away lots of the grumbling and complaining about cooking at home without a¬†walk-in¬†freezer, a human sized mixer and several ovens. Mr. S. has been scouring his cookbooks, the TV and the internet for all the new ways to cook a turkey…a labor of love, according to him.

I am particularly excited because once again, I don’t have to worry about dressing a turkey which I know nothing about and concentrate on dressing the table.¬†

And finally, Lucy is happy because she gets a treat.

the dog as ghost
the dog as ghost
give it to meeeeeee.
give it to meeeeeee.

I don’t know if happiness is the same as gratitude but if it is, then I am full of gratitude this year. Not all years have been so blessed so I am savoring this one a LOT. My heart goes out to others who are not in a place of gratitude or have the ability to be happy this Thanksgiving and I hope that things change for them and soon.

Happy Thanksgiving to the world.

Fuzzy

Fuzzy…no, I’m not talking about my brain, although that spends quite a lot of time being fuzzy. No, today’s post is about fuzzy things in my life. Mostly dogs and cats, but also the sculpture I just finished. I am pretty wordless today…okay, maybe my brain is a bit fuzzy, at least the verbal part, so I thought I would just let you enjoy these fuzzy pictures. I mean pictures of fuzzy things.

If you want more information about the sculpture/vessel/basket, hop on over to my website. Or you can skip over to my blog, Studio Chatter.

 

full view
“Forest Floor” full view
looking in
looking in
inside
inside
Izzy loving the chair
Izzy loving the chair
side by side
side by side
wishing we weren't taking away her leaf piles
wishing we weren’t taking away her leaf piles
lying on the mulched up leaves before they go off to the garden.
lying on the mulched up leaves before they go off to the garden.
side by side again
side by side again

news news news

Okay, it’s official, the musk ox (Tundra) has won Best in Show, Other Materials in the Mankato, MN City Walk sculpture tour. What an honor! I am so grateful to the powers that be in Mankato as well as all the residents of that fair city.

in Mankato, MN
in Mankato, MN

In other news, I am almost done with woven vessel number three, and I thought I would post a sneak peek at what it’s gonna look like.

lots of texture
lots of texture

And finally, I was reading an article about some graffiti artists who went to the Gulag Heights between Israel and Syria (a no man’s land that Israel has annexed but remains a battle ground between the two countries). What caught my eye was this picture done by the graffiti artist Chemis. ¬†She is about nine or ten feet tall and was painted on the side of a hospital wall.

little girl
little girl

It is no secret that I love good graffiti art. I know there are many who deem it ugly, a nuisance and a crime, but I love seeing how these guys can use walls as their canvas and spray paint as their medium. I use spray paint on my sculptures and it is incredibly difficult to be precise with it. These guys take graffiti to a whole new level.

Here is a video showing Chemis working on a piece. I find it fascinating. You can also check out his face book page which has lots of pictures of his work.

1, 2, 3, 4

Yesterday dawned cold and windy with a few snow flurries in the air. It was so cold even Ginger (my musk ox disguised as a golden retriever) had breakfast and went back to bed.

one
one

Soon, her sister, Lucy, joined her.

two
two

Then, Max appeared.

three
three

Isabelle, not one to look for the group-touchy-feely-thing, found my bathrobe on the floor of the bathroom.

four
four

So now you know that I let animals on my bed, leave my polka dot bathrobe on the floor and desperately need to wash my blanket.¬†Welcome¬†to my world. At least I didn’t show dead vegetables again!

 

P.S., my apologies if you see this in your Reader twice, I didn’t see it in mine so I reposted it.

more dying vegetables

I am notorious for keeping stuff lying around long after it has started to decay. (Case in point, my¬†previous post.) Today’s object was a pumpkin that sat out on our porch for halloween. I noticed it was starting to decay and since we were winterizing and cleaning up the outdoors, I thought I would take it to the compost bin before it totally melted all over the porch. I put it upside down in a basket that I was using to transport stuff and lo and behold, I was mesmerized by the bottom…quick! Get out the iPhone! Snap! Silly me.¬†I may be a bit odd, but don’t you think this is really cool??? It almost reminds me of pictures I’ve seen from outer space. And yes, that is dog hair you see on the top right corner, no picture taken around my house is complete without dog hair.

past its prime
past its prime or is it a new pumpkin planet?