Monday, December 9, 2013

Five on...

If you will be in New York City during the holiday season, and you're at all inclined to visit museums, you must go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Angel Tree with the Neapolitan 18th century manger scenes nestled beneath the branches. I don't know of anything like it anywhere.  The late Loretta Hines Howard started collecting the creche figures in 1925 and donated them to the museum in 1964.

I have fond memories of my grandma, herself from Naples, setting out her manger scene at the beginning of each December, with sheep and cows nestled into cottony snow, and an angel hung on the apex of the manger, trumpeting the baby's birth.

Seems like abundant snowfall is blanketing many parts of our nation this week.  We didn't get more than a dusting yesterday, but much of NJ and PA got up to 10" of fluffy goodness.  My grandson had his first snow day!

And although we didn't have a snow day here in New York, I stayed inside and kept my sewing machine whirring with projects.  

I had two pages to finish for a Leonardo DaVinci themed, fabric book round robin.  I'm fascinated by DaVinci's study of wings, so I created a collage in Photoshop of his various sketchbook pages on the topic, printed them on fabric, and then reproduced one of the wing designs to insert into the page.  I used thick fusing material to adhere cotton fabric to the wing shape, and then embroidered the design (freeform, sewing machine) and couched some threads for the thicker design shapes. The fabric backing for the wing and the reverse side of the page is vintage cotton fabric stenciled with acrylic paint.

And while the sewing machine was out...a few weeks ago I ordered some fabric from the Tim Holtz line through JoAnn's online, wanting to make a pillow cover for my living room chair. I love the NYC-themed print. Before making the pillow case itself,  I used some of the fabric and string to create piping, then inset a zipper in the bottom, and finished up the sides, sandwiching the piping into the seams. The back of the pillow is also Tim Holtz fabric in ticking stripe. I love the way it turned out.

See the piping?

And finally, did you watch The Sound of Music?  I love the idea of live theater available to the masses, and especially for those who might never see a Broadway play otherwise. I wish theyd do one every year. (I can still remember the tv version of Cinderella from the 60's.)  While I think Carrie Underwood might not have been the best choice for Maria (I would have voted for someone like Kristen Chenoweth), Audra McDonald was absolutely astonishing. Her rendition of Climb Every Mountain left me speechless.  And the kids were delightful. Encore!

What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?  (Or if you already celebrated Hanukkah, how did it go?)