Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter Weaving Frenzy

It seems that the only time I get any significant weaving done is in the winter.   We live on a farm, so the gardens are dormant, the weather is usually cold (not so this year), the grass is not growing, and the weeds are at rest.  Therefore, I am not called outside to weed, mow, and pick things.  I do have school activities, but my commitment varies from week to week.  These last couple of weeks I have had some time to be able to finish one long term project that I wrote about previously, and I have now started on my entry for Pacific Portals.  The tapestry I did two years ago was a change for me.  So once again I am trying a new thing with this tapestry.  The design is a bit more graphic than what I have done on other tapestries.

My fiber arts group has an exhibit that travels called Wish You Were Here.  There are selected travel photos that we use for inspiration then develop pieces based on these photos.  The piece above was inspired by the following travel photo from the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.  It also fit with the Pacific Portals theme, so there we are.  I know that Joan Griffin is also using this photo as an inspiration for her Pacific Portals piece.  I can't wait to see what hers looks like!

On a different topic, which is just fun farm stuff.  One of our young hens (hatched in May) left an extra large egg for us.  You can see the size of her normal egg at the bottom and the extra large egg at the top (OUCH!).

One end was not quite fully formed and as you can see below was a little wavy and it was oozing egg white.  We decided eating the egg was dicey since it was oozing, it could mean bacteria could get inside the egg.

At dinner, the kids and I were telling dad about the egg and took it out to show him, then all of a sudden I said, "I bet it has a double yolk!"  I had heard of them, but never seen one.  Sure enough, when we cracked the egg, that is what we found!  Our lucky dog got a double yolk fried egg for dinner that night.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A four year journey

I have been on quite a journey with a tapestry that I just cut off my loom.  I started the design of this tapestry four years ago while still in a cast from having my arm broken by my horse.  Yes, he is still with me, but a much calmer individual as he emerges from his youngster hood.  I started a long distance tapestry study with Pat Williams through the American Tapestry Alliance.  My daughter, my youngest child, had started to preschool, and my son was finally settling into elementary school, and for the first time in 7 years I had a bit of time to myself.  I wanted to improve my tapestry weaving, which I had started learning from Joan Griffin.  Pat helped me to hone my design from a number of options that I had.  She was very wise in guiding me to develop my own voice rather than helping me to follow her voice.  I love her whimsical and humorous tapestries, but that is not my voice and she helped me to see that.

I started with a photograph of a lonely sand pail abandoned in a sandbox.  One of my children had taken the photograph, which was a bit crooked and bit out of focus, but I loved the image.  I drew and redrew the image until Pat and I decided that it had been honed and ready for using.  I started weaving it with Joan in a workshop that she held in June of 2008.  I learned a few new things, and then came home and started weaving.  In between, we renovated our house, I herniated a disc and spent 5 weeks in bed two  summers ago unable to weave for months because I couldn't sit and lift my hands, we had other losses in our family, and life continued on.

I reached the sand pail part of the weaving and spent months struggling with it.  I wove and rewove it 8 times, then finally got it so I was happy with it in March 2010.  Then I got to about 7 inches woven by February 2011 and realized that I was really pulling the sides in.  So, I lost 3 inches or so that I unwove.  Since then, I have not posted any photos.  I have been weaving when time allowed so that I could finish this piece.  It was hanging over my head and preventing me from developing other large project.

Today, I am done!  I have cut it off the loom, but I still have to finish it and mount it, but I am pleased with it.  It is not a large tapestry (113/8" X 13 1/2" ), but it has been a real learning journey for me.  When I mount it, I will post the final photo of it, but here is a photo of my finished sand pail tapestry, as yet unnamed.

Thank you so much to Joan and Pat for their help and their encouragement.  Now I can really concentrate on my new tapestry for the Pacific Portals show in LA!  That one can't take me four years, it is due in LA by March 15 and can only by 10X10" max, and I have already woven 4 inches on it.  I will show photos of it later.