Thursday, May 12, 2016

Floating Through May

May greetings! As usual in this part of the world we have had some wild weather in between the most perfect Spring days that can be imagined.

Progress on the 2016 tapestry diary continues. The last couple of days I have been celebrating the sunshine in between the rain.

I also wove a little selfie on May 8. I was honored to receive a Woof award from my weaving guild ( Tulsa Handweaver's) and I imagined myself floating in the water with the lovely Woof award band I was given around my neck, haha, something that would never happen in reality. My dear friend Jeannine Glaves wove it for me from her beautiful handspan complete with lettering! I will add some pictures of the band and the day when I get them all together.

Here is another detail in the center section of the tapestry. I am including water of all kinds;
rivers, lakes,streams, creeks, rain, bathtubs and endlessly entertaining myself with all the possibilities!

One last detail from the far right, showing some land area creeping in.

I must confess that I am a messy nester. I have really tried to keep things neat and clean up as I go but it just doesn't work for me. As soon as I get really rolling on the weaving all thoughts of keeping things neat fly right out the window. The only solution I have found is to stop every week or two and spend some time straightening up. The time is upon me!

I have also been working on finishing 2015 and today has been spent sewing slits.

I say to myself that I should sew these slits as I weave and evey time I do not listen and so it becomes a hunt for the slits that need sewing.

All the time spent in Plein Air studies of water this year I have decided can be categorized as research for the daily weaving and here I am set up to do a little research.

What started as a shady spot to work quickly changed and once the easel is in full sun it is time to quit painting. I should have brought the umbrella! It was a beautiful day by the river though and I also had two Great Blue Herons swoop so low overhead as to cast a cool shadow and land in the water right in front of me. I had the impression that they were not happy that I had invaded their personal territory!

Here is the Plein Air watercolor sketch from an area in Bixby where Fry Creek flows into the Arkansas River- research.

Not much progress has been made on the Paintbox tapestry lately but I am still paintbox obsessed and have done a little extra research on that too.

Back in the studio with 2016 weaving underway, 2015 finishing progress and years 2013 and 2014 on the wall.

Sometimes when I am feeling unproductive and a bit of a slackard I look around and realize I have been pretty busy. I am so happy to have this space to work in and will be making my last payment on the building in August. I need to think of a special way to celebrate that occasion!

Happy weaving all.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring Has Arrived at the Fiber Studio

Happy Spring from my neighborhood to yours. Here is a little watercolor view from a recent dog walk. In just the space of the few days since I painted this the Redbuds have turned from red violet to yellow green. This was an overcast day but making an attempt at welcoming the sun.

Things have been humming along in the studio and I just received a new shipment of Ymmyarns last week. I have all the colors in stock now and color cards too so let me know if you need some.

Here I am in the process of getting them safely tucked away.

They are resting nicely on the shelves. This is a view I never get tired of!

Work on this years tapestry diary is swimming along. It seems like I just started it and now it is April.

Here are some details. I had a difficult experience in March while walking my Border Collie, an unknown dog at large ran up to us and started a fight with Laddie. In an effort to stay between them I took a not too graceful dive into the street. Fortunately Mack came up behind me and some onlooking neighbors helped me to my feet. It seemed like a long time before I felt comfortable enough to get up although I am sure it was only seconds/minutes. The worst was the next day - so sore and bruised. Laddie was fine, I was the bigger casualty. Long story short I wove myself floating in my bathtub the next day. Yikes!

Here is another detail of the middle of March...

and here is a detail of the beginning of April ending with today.

When Spring arrives I have this huge tug to get out and explore and that means taking my sketchbook along.

I wove a little river scene that spanned over April 7 and today, April 8.

This is the little pencil and pen sketch I loosely translated to tapestry.

While exploring with the dogs we found that a new trail had been completed at Washington Irving Park in Bixby that has great access to some river and creek views. Since it took one day to "discover" it and one day to make a couple of sketches I decided to weave it over two days.  I will take another day soon to go down with my watercolor supplies and do some painting

Here is another sketch from a slightly different point of view.

I have finally returned to working on my Paintbox tapestry. While working on the shadow under the box it ocurred to me that if I am going to have an entry for Fiberworks 2016 I had better start the finishing on 2015- Into The Hills. Never a dull moment I tell you! I haven't even trimmed the ends on the back yet!

Here is a reminder of the 2015 tapestry diary. I had to roll it up and put it away so I would not be distracted while starting 2016 but now it is time to bring it back in the studio and get it finished.

A few more Spring Sketches to end the post. It has been a transformative year for me and in many ways kind of distracting from my blog writing.  I made a promise to myself to get my health and fitness under control last Spring and now almost a year later and 93 pounds lighter I feel like I have made a great effort to keep it.

Last Spring I took a week long Plein Air painting class and realized that I wasn't really in good enough shape to enjoy the all the things I wanted to do. As a student reminded me lately acheiving balance in life can be very challenging but I have been working on it...

Leaving you with another little sketch and hoping the Spring where you are is kind and that you are finding balance as you define it.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tapestry Diary Project Series

Here is the Gobelin loom as of this afternoon. The Tapestry Diary project for 2016 is caught up and underway. It has been a slow start to the year but it is swimming along now. January has given me a chance to get my feet wet with the plan for the coming year. My working title is Rocking The Boat and I used a local lake as inspiration for the format this year. It is a place I have visited since my boys were small and spent many hours just watching the water, sketching and wandering around. My journey is a watery one this year and I have decided to use triangles as the month markers instead of squares as they remind me of boats bobbing on the surface. It is hard to tell how this will evolve through the year but I plan to make use of reflections to help tell the story. One day in January shows the refection of a quarter moon, many days of light reflected on the water and perhaps I will even run aground a time or two during the year. 

I will have to photograph it soon a little earlier in the day when the light is better. It is done on the same warp as last year and I think there is just enough to finish the project.

It took a while to go through last years selection of yarns and work up the palette for this year. 

I also have some of the rough sketches that I made during the last year in anticipation.

Here is a photo of 2015, Into The Hills just as the last day of December was completed.

This is how it looked right before I took it off the loom. I let the last day of December open to waft through the mists into the new year.

2015 was an interesting journey and now it s rolled up and waiting for some finishing attention.

Finally a last look at Red Dirt Days, Journey Through 2014. I found out in January that it has been juried into the American Tapestry Biennial 11 (ATB 11) sponsored by the American Tapestry Alliance. There is more information about this exhibit  on the ATA website here,

It is very exciting to have my work in the ATB 11!  

I am managing to keep my looms busy and next on the list is to think about a small tapestry for the 
Tapestry Unlimited: 11th international, unhurried small format tapestry exhibition. I am trying to decide if it will be a newly woven effort or perhaps one of the small tapestries I have already woven.

I also have plans to write about warping the new Fireside Cantilever tapestry loom and catch up with the Paint Box tapestry that is now underway. The Blog plan for this year is for shorter more frequent posts. Happy Weaving to all and a creatively satisfying 2016!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Wait is Over

It is Fall in Oklahoma, clear, crisp mornings, bright blue skies and perfect weather for walking the dogs and Morning Glories.

While waiting the last week or so for my loom to arrive I have been staying busy in the studio as the anticipation mounted daily.

Weaving on the tapestry diary for 2015 has been coming along, it is always exciting to shift into a new season and try to portray the subtle changes that take place daily.

Here is a peak at the end of September. I have continued to work on tiny bits of real scenes from memory and even included a woven memory of the lunar eclipse on the 27th.

I have enjoyed working with the hills and valleys of the year 2015 and have started to think about where the next years journey might take me.

Here are a few details of the month of September, a fairly steep climb at the beginning of the month

followed by a valley with scenes of hills, rivers and skies.

I took this one yesterday after completing October third. It has a fairly good view of my three phases of the lunar eclipse. We were so fortunate to have clear skies that night which made for great viewing.

I did get my hair weaving set up while waiting for the loom. I wet the hair extension down

separated it into weavable sections

and tried organizing it on the coils of my Mirrix Lani Loom.

Here it is all set up and ready to weave. I envision a sparkly hair ornament tapestry. It will be interesting to see what I get.

The Lani Loom is always busy. Here are the four tapestry bead cuffs that came off the last warp. One of my favorite projects and a great way to learn some tapestry techniques and just play with color and design.

I also finished up a couple of Kumihimo projects, a golden braid with a glass leaf ornament for Fall and the last model of the kits I have in the shop in Peacock colors.

I also designed a braid for
a silver pendant with a copper Border Collie on it which turned out quite nice.

New things for the shop include a large shipment of findings for Kumihimo and woven beaded jewelry. I found some nice ones!

Also some 12/6 cotton seine for tapestry warp in colors from Glimakra. I want to experiment with these soon.

I also finished a square braid of 10/2 pearl cotton to use as a frame for one of the small tapestries I have been finishing.

I stitched it on to the front after pinning in place around the edges of the linen covered board.

Then I stiched again around the back.

Next, the trimming of the tassel where the two ends came together. I thought os so many ways to finish these ends that further experiments may be needed.

Then I cut another piece of mat board, attached to the back with some acid free glue and included a little information about the tapestry with a business card and a sawtooth hanger.

I also included some recent reading material in this photo. I printed my ATA coda so that I could read at my leisure.

Then I let it sit over night with some weight on top and

Viola! here is a photo hanging on the wall. I am happy with the way this turned out and it is satisfying when two interests on parallel paths suddenly cross in a happy way.

So finally the day the loom was due to arrive came along. It was a clear and windless morning and I stayed busy putting some finishing touches on the new cartoon and then taking it outside to give it a couple of coats of fixative. I anticipate that the lettering will be a challenge.

Right on time the movers arrived with the loom. here is Sandy, she and her husband brought the loom from New Jersey and helped us load it into the studio.

After they left we got right to work getting it put together. When I say we I mainly refer to my role as reader of the directions, organizer and tool selecter, Mack did most of the work.

The space was just right for the finished loom but a little tight for the assembly.

When we left about 2pm for lunch it looked like this.

Here is a picture after it was put together. I had lowered the heddle bar to make it easier to count the heddles. This is a very nice feature of the loom. A Fireside 48 inch Cantilever tapestry loom, so exciting!

So, an interesting little side story; the next day Mack was watering some outside plants around the studio and found a washer. We quickly referred to the labeled packages of hardware for the loom and discovered a note that the cloth beam washer was taped to the cloth beam. It must have fallen off while the loom was being carried into the studio. Hmmm, another half day of work to take the loom apart and place that washer on the cloth beam between the worm gear and the side bar. Yikes! It is once more back together including the missing washer though.

I the decided that I might want to use 10 epi as the sett for the Paintbox tapestry so I placed an order with Glimakra and had a new reed at 10 epi for the Fireside Cantilever Loom very quickly to add to the the 8 dent reed it came with.

Next step, winding the warp, maybe today. From my spot in the world to yours, happy weaving and happy Fall.