Thursday, June 28, 2012

Progress at Arrowmont

Here is my sampler after the first day. I also put on another warp for the diary project.

-After the second day. The diary has been started and more progress on the sampler.

The "A" is for Arrowmont of course and the symbols indicate 6 dots for June and below the date 27. Here is the way I left the diary last night about 11 pm. I have progressed on the sampler also but will have to take another picture.

Others in the class working on the samplers took their first pieces off the looms last night and we celebrated the occasion.

During the day we were treated to a wonderful collection of woven rugs and here is Tommye examining them closely.

Later in the evening we had a festive outdoor picnic and the weather was perfect for the occasion. Even though the school is right in the middle of the very busy Gatlinburg tourist destination when you are on the grounds it feels like a cozy niche away from the crowds.

As promised here are some pictures of Tommye Scanlin's Tapestry Diarys. Some of the pictures do not show the entire piece but perhaps this is enough to give an impression of what kind of creative possibilities exist with this idea.

I can't believe it is Thursday already, the week is flying by and there is still much to accomplish. Back to work, but breakfast first.

Location:Baskins Creek Bypass,Gatlinburg,United States

Monday, June 25, 2012

Welcome to Arrowmont

Here I am at Arrowmont school of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It has been an amazing experience and just keeps getting better. I am happily exhausted by the end of every day but completely thrilled with my class , the artist presentations every evening, the excellent food and the supportive atmosphere . If you have ever hesitated to take a workshop of this kind this place will make you wonder why you were worried about it.

I am taking a tapestry workshop with Tommye Scanlin and this was our first full day. Sunday evening we had an introduction and were able to view some of the examples of tapestry weaving that Tommye brought for us . Many of the samples were of the tapestry diary work that she has been doing since 2008. Our theme for the class is "Weaving the Days of Our Life". We are warping two small looms during the class, one with a sampler of techniques and the second with a diary of our own. Below are some of the tapestries on display in the room and tomorrow I will have some of the diary work she brought as well as some of the weaving on our looms. Also I have a shot of Tommye demonstrating for the group.

One of the wonderful benefits from taking a workshop like this aside from the learning taking place in class is the opportunity to connect with other tapestry weavers and share resources and ideas. One great example, I didn't think I would be able to blog while I was here because I could not figure out how to get my photos uploaded from the iPad to the Blog. I learned about the Blog Press App from Tommye this evening and here I am staying up too late and typing away. Now that I know I can blog on the run I will be sharing more of the Arrowmont experience.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Baskins Creek Bypass,Gatlinburg,United States

Monday, June 18, 2012

Across the Finish Line

Side Front
I settled down to do the finishing on the Multi-Technique bag I have been working on last night and shot several pictures this morning.  This all started with the end of the warp from the Extreme Warp Makeover Workshop with Robin Spady. So the body of the bag is a 4 shaft weave of deflected wefts with pearl cotton and a novelty knitting yarn.  The inside pocket is also made with end of the warp samplings.  Then the tapestry bead trim was done on the Little Guy 12 inch Mirrix Loom in two 22 inch pieces at the same time. Here is the back and front view.


The body of the bag is slightly gathered and the silk lining is faced with fleece to give the bag more body. The top of the bag is also has a stiff interfacing. The fleece in the lining and the interfacing help to support the weight of the tapestry trim and give the bag an appealing plumpness as well as add some durability and strength.

The piece of cross trim goes through the top trim on the back and crosses over the front and is held by a magnet closure.  The handles are braided from black chenille and turquoise metallic already used in the bag.

Back Detail

Front Detail, Fabric ,Trim and Handle Join
Inside Peak at Pocket

Magnetic Latch Detail

Latch Detail

Side Detail

I have added some detail photos of the latch, sides, top and inside.  I always see room for improvement in everything I make but I'm pretty happy with this bag.  It feels like a piece of jewelry and would function well as a special occasion "fancy bag". Even better, it was fun to make!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Catching Up

What a week!  Honestly, not much has been happening in the studio because I haven't been home. Our youngest son Josh had an accident and broke his ankle last week. Unfortunately it required some surgery with a plate and pins installed.  We made an emergency trip to Wichita, Kansas to help out and in the quick retreat from home I had no time to even take something to work on.  I did manage to take the Archie Brennan/Susan Mafei DVD's and spent some time reviewing them while in Wichita but otherwise literally nothing in the way of studio projects moved forward.  I am including a sneak peak of the Multi- Technique Bag that I was working on right before we left.  The outside appears fairly finished but the lining and pockets on the inside are still to be done.

While we were waiting for the surgery to take place our eldest son Francis and wife Brooke had their first child in Tillamook , Oregon.  Getting the pictures of little Gavin Meetze was the brightest spot in the week for us and I am sharing a couple of them here.

Yesterday we made the trip back home from Wichita and have Josh with us as he needs some time to heal.  It is not an easy thing for an active 28 year old to be so out of commission but we are all working together.
 Now the challenge is to get everything ready for my trip to Tennessee . I'm planning to leave on June 23 very early and should be back by July 2.  I have been looking forward to this for months. It is at Arrowmont School, a tapestry class with Tommye Scanlin titled "Weaving the Days of Our Lives" and there is a link to the left if you would like more information.  I have to admit that with all the excitement over the last week I am feeling a bit scattered as I try to pull things together for this class, but determined never the less.
I had hoped to do a couple of simple posts during the workshop with pictures but I have not been able to figure out how to upload pictures to blogger on the iPad so if I don't post for awhile it just means there should be that much more to share when I get back.

I will try to fit in an all packed and ready to go post and then in July there will be the booth at the Fiber Christmas show .  Also in the works are some classes which I will be teaching and I will share that information as soon as it is available.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I have been weaving.  The tapestry bead trim, all 44 inches of it, is off the loom.  A bracelet made like this goes pretty quick but this was the equivalent of six to eight bracelets and took some time to do.  I was also motivated by needing to have it off the loom before the workshop with Tommye Scanlin at Arrowmont.  I  made a picture right before I cut it off the loom.

Here it is after a little trimming with some other elements that will be part of the fancy bag I am making.  We often talk about the downside of stash: how to store it and how to organize it so that it can be found when needed but isn't it wonderful to be able to pull a lovely piece of silk in coordinating color out of the collection and have some colorful threads all ready to go when inspiration strikes!

Here is a picture of some of the threads I used in the Tapestry Bead Trim.  Notice the photo in the photo.  I took a picture of how the weaving looked on the loom so that after I advanced the warp I could remember which colors and patterns had already been woven.  It helped to have it as reference as I was selecting colors for the remainder of the trim.

The Tapestry Breeds and Preps sampler is coming along also.  Here it is with the Romney samples woven and the next in line are Navaho Churro and Cotswald.

With all the smaller projects I am now itching to get back to The Mango Hunters.  Getting ready for the class on June 24 is top priority right now but I should be having some progress on it soon.  It looks like this right now.

Those chameleons are charming creatures and when I work on this piece I am transported to the world within it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

New and News from the Studio

There are a couple of new things in the studio I wanted to share.  I am certainly getting a lot of learning from my tapestry yarns and breeds sampler.  On Tommye Scanlin's blog ( check the link, it is something you should see) I saw that she was experimenting with using magnets to hold her cartoon in place and I decided to give it a try.  I ordered some rare earth magnets from Amazon, they are small but mighty and I put them on the sampler to try them out.

They are working really well! Not only do they hold the cartoon in place but you can easily move them to just the right spot by placing two magnets one on front and one on back near the edge and as you move the one in front the back one dutifully follows.  So convenient !  Not only that but if you like to sew slits as you go they can be used to park your needle.

The other great new thing is that my made to order tapestry bobbins from John Moss arrived.  They are beautiful and I am in the process of learning more efficient bobbin techniques and I put those in action on the tapestry yarn sampler as well.  His link is also on the side.

On the news front. Yes!!! It is official.  My handspun, hand woven, hand knitted vest is a winner in the Handwoven Magazine Sleeveless garment contest.  It has won a prize for best use of handspun yarn and should appear in the September/October issue.  Pretty exciting for me.  There is an earlier post about the vest.

I had a couple of questions about how I finish my singles tapestry yarns so here is a picture that shows a couple of the mini skeins for the sampler ( these are Cotswald) hanging to dry.  For the tapestry singles I like to make fairly small skeins (1 to 2 ounces) and after washing I use some weight on the skeins as they are drying. Those are child size hangers which fit the skeins nicely, the plied yarn is the one without the weight.

Finally , if you follow the Mirrix news you may know that they recently chose two people to receive free Mirrix Looms in exchange for social networking about their loom adventures.  One of the winners is Noreen Crone-Findlay ( see link to the side) who does some beautiful fiber work of all kinds and has a wonderful blog, Tottie Talks Crafts.  She has already made a video about making heddles for the Mirrix Loom and you may want to check it out.