Monday, April 14, 2014

Weaving to the Last Minute

My children's spring break started March 28th, but we were leaving for Rome, Italy on March 26th, so I HAD to have my small tapestry finished for the ATA Unjuried show by then.  I wove like crazy, but life kept creeping into my weaving time.  I had agreed to substitute teach for a week, which turned into more days as snow days and closed airports delayed the regular teacher, plus I had children home sick with the flu and more snow days.  It was a very snowy winter here.  So much so, that during the last snow the kids didn't even want to get out to go sledding.

Anyway, I did finish at 1 am on March 25th, packed up the tapestry and got it ready to mail.  I wanted to sew eel grass onto the tapestry.  But the silk grass I made from the silk I had on hand did not work. I think the tapestry works without it, but I will be putting it on later to go with my series of fish.  I have at least two more tapestries I want to weave that include kelp leaves, now I will need to weave at least one or two more that will involve eel grass.

I have learned through this weaving process that eel grass, like so many other things in our environment, are under stress.  Eel grass provides cover for the baby fish that populate the Chesapeake and Atlantic Oceans, including bluefish which are what my tapestry portray.  Here is a glimpse.  I hope you will be able to see it in Rhode Island.

I did get this mailed on the way to the airport.  We found a postoffice just a couple of miles from the airport.  It will appear with the Central Virginia Tapestry Group's group them of Virginia Blues.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Further Progress

I have made a bit of progress on my small tapestry.  I decided to weave the bluefish as they would be seen from underwater, just a bit like shadows passing in the distance.  I have approximately 6 1/2 inches finished on a 10 inch tapestry.

I will be making eel grass leaves from silk organza to sew onto the tapestry.  Here is one of the photographs I used for inspiration.

The fish in this photograph are not bluefish, but I did learn that bluefish are often seen near the eel grass and can use it as a nursery.

One thing that has really helped me crank on my weaving for this tapestry has been Craftlit.  I have to say that I did not know about this service until I read My Lift is But a Tapestry's blog post.  What fun it is to listen to a book while weaving.  I have tried this before with books on cd, but never found any at the library that I actually liked listening to.  I LOVE Heather Ordover's podcasts.  I have been listening to Jane Eyre, a book that I love and haven't read since I was a teenager.   It is fun to return to the book and listen to Heather's comments on the book, the Bronte's, and life in general.  If you haven't tried them, go on over to Craftlit and check it out.  They have a lot of classics on podcasts and also interviews of knitters and others which you can skip if you are not interested, but I have learned all kinds of interesting things through the interviews, such as why you want to use Eucalon to wash your knits and lingerie with.

Now, back to Jane Eyre and weaving....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Back to Weaving

After a snowy week that included a kid with the flu, then having the whole house come down with it in a range of severity from mild to severe, all are back to work and school and I must get back to weaving if I am to finish my piece for Convergence.  The snow is still with us and we got another light dusting last night, but it is melting more quickly now that the temperatures are going up into the 50's today.

In the meantime, I will share a couple of shots of the snow.  Here is my little snow muppie (a very Muppet-like, not so little 70 pound Spinone Italiano) Giallo in her element in the snow.  She is standing in the footpath we dug to get to the barn to feed horses.

Now for weaving,  I have decided to stay in the theme of fish.  At the last convergence I sent a piece I wove with a rockfish and kelp leaves.  Because our tapestry group chose the theme Virginia Blues, and I wanted to stick with the theme of fish, I decided to look for fish that were native to the state and that swam among grasses.  I dithered between bluegill and bluefish, but decided on a school of bluefish as seen through eel grass.  I since learned that eel grass is being threatened in the Chesapeake  Bay.  I also learned that it is a very important part of the Bay ecosystem in that it is a nursery for fish such as the bluegill.

Here is my start to the tapestry.  

What I see when I look at the photo, which I suspected, is that the tail is WAY too dark.  I am going to take the weaving out of the fish and work on it.  I do want them to be kind of shadow-like in the background, but they are too dark currently.

In the meantime, have a lovely day and just remember, come August when it is close to 100 degrees with 95% humidity, we will look back with fondness on these snowy winter days!  (The snow I can take, it is the swampy mud that follows that I am not so keen on.)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Help Needed! Moving a Loom

During all the very VERY cold weather we have been having, the pipes to our laundry room froze.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that a few years ago we renovated our 1967 ranch house, opening it up and getting rid of painted faux paneling and covering up the old black industrial type tile on the floor with beautiful bamboo flooring and painting everything a lovely MOMA white (yes, we used the same color as MOMA in NYC).  Well, I went to take my daughter to art class and pick up my son from school at 4, and everything was fine, and at 6 when we got back there was water flowing out the back door.  We had a burst pipe in the ceiling of our laundry room.  I panicked, we finally got the water shut off, my 13 year old son stepped up to the crisis and ran to the barn and came back with a large push broom and swept 2 inches of water out of the house (who knew so much water could come from one small pipe?) , and I called the plumber and the insurance company.

Now what?  After a week and a half, the house is dried out, and 1/3 of our flooring is torn out.  Which leads me to my request for help.  The flooring in my studio is totaled.  They pulled out the worst, but it will have to be replaced.  I moved my loom so they could get the worst of it out, but now I have to empty my studio.

My question is this.  I have a Macomber loom with two tapestries on it.   One is finished and one is 1/3 of the way done.  I cannot get the loom through the door without folding it up which is going to seriously release the tension.  Is it possible for me to move the loom without losing the unfinished tapestry on the loom?  Has anyone done this?  Got any tips?  I am not sure where I will be moving the loom since most of the floors in the main spaces of the house are going to be replaced, but first I need to get it out of the studio.

I would appreciate any insights or thoughts.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A bit of progress

I thought I would show the peony tapestry with a bit more done.  I have done some weaving this week as the children have headed back to school.  But I have to confess I haven't done much today.  My legs are freezing sitting at the loom.  I worked all morning just to get horses out, get them some water, and get the kids to school.  I am looking forward to a bit of a thaw tomorrow; 5 degrees is too cold for this Southern girl.

Instead of weaving, I did do a bit of painting before Christmas.  I don't paint very often.  I find the process a bit frustrating.  My daughter is in love with foxes and has been for over a year, predating the big hooha over the "What Does the Fox Say" video.  Anyway, I started this painting months ago, but struggled to finish.  I finally finished on the 24th.  She doesn't want to hang it, but wants it to sit on her little cabinet as if he is sitting there watching her.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fall is here...weaving again

Now that school is underway again, and before I start running my engineering and science sessions, I have found some time to weave.  I am excited to be using Helena Hernmarck's technique again on a new tapestry, this time one in color.   Although, it doesn't have much color, it is a white peony with some red in the center, it is more than just greyscale and so a bit more challenge.  I posted my artwork for this earlier in the year, but thought I would just post a quick photo of where I am now....

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Break

Every summer I think that somehow I will arrange my life so that I can continue weaving.  However, it seems always to work out that my loom stands idle while I run around doing things around the farm and around town.  This summer is no exception.  So, I will show you a few summer photos of "What I Am Doing With My Summer".  Credits for these photographs rest with my son with the exception of the photograph of him which was taken by my husband.

Black snake wandering through the grass.

Bumblebee on lavender.

Buckeye hen who gives us a couple of eggs a week.  We get more from our younger hens.

My horse Oliver whom I try to ride every day.

My daughter, the book worm, working through one of her many books and wearing her cat ears.  She is very photo shy at the moment, so this is about as much of her face as we can get in these photos lately.

My budding photographer and fisherman extraordinaire.

Hope you are having a good summer.