Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jumped the gun...........

Ok, so I jumped the gun on having an attitude over not enough fiber time in my life - this afternoon I did get a couple hours at the loom working on the summer shawl warp that's been on it for what seems like forever. Feet dancing on the treadles, shuttle flying to and fro. Good karma came my way this afternoon..............what goes around comes around. Of course, a couple hours isn't much compared to my usual full days but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

Funny I should use that expression - jumping the gun. I've never been a runner so I certainly can't relate to running races......have never had a desire to be a runner, well, maybe for 5 minutes but it ended abruptly when I couldn't catch my breath. Have you ever noticed when you see runners that they always have grimaces on their faces........but when you see walkers they're always smiling?

Oh, I definitely need to get back to the loom....

No clock big enough........

It seems like these days there is no clock big enough to handle everything I need to get done in a day and my fiber time is dwindling. Since weaving (spinning too) is what fuels my soul I'm starting to get a big grumpy........well, I'm not really a grumpy person, life is just not balanced at the moment.

I did get to finish spinning and then plying a merino/tencel (50/50) blend of roving I had been working on. That's it above, 438 yards, 4 ounces so it's around fingering weight. I'm not sure what it will eventually be used for, it will sit on the shelf and marinate for a while.

So, if anyone finds that big clock please let me know.......the bigger the clock the slower the hands move around it.............

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Since I'm not weaving at the moment I thought I'd share a few other items I worked on for my presentation on surface design. The bookmarks are what I made as a gift for everyone who attended. On wool felt I first did rubbings using Shiva Paintstiks, then I stamped on top of those with Lumiere paint, and finally foiled on top of that. I bonded the wool felt to cardstock to give the bookmarks a bit more body.

The second picture is of 3 black silk scarves that I played with Shiva Paintstiks on - I'm sorry the picture doesn't do them justice. I'm working on an entire series of scarves along these lines. They will all be up for sale in the near future.

So, the fun news of the day is that my handwoven peach huck lace towels are featured in an Etsy Treasury through Saturday evening. So, please go take a peek, click on my towel as well as all the other towels. The more hits they get the bigger the chance we have of making the front page of Etsy. I think this is my 4th time having an item picked out of my shop for an etsy treasury.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life is not my own.........

For some reason life is not my own these days, many other things outside of weaving keeping me busy. Another day of this and I'll be pretty grumpy - I need my fiber fix. So, this is why you see a picture of Bailey - nothing new fiber related to post........he thought it was time he show off anyhow. I took this picture on Monday as Bailey and I were planting the deck railing planters.

I gave my surface design presentation on Saturday to the Saturday Handweavers' Guild, well received, although I feel like it wasn't as good as it could have been. Following a lengthy business meeting I didn't have enough time to tell everything I wanted to or to demonstrate all of the techniques I wanted to - thank goodness my 19 page handout should fill in the blanks. I was in a panic talking as fast as I could and watching the clock thinking "oh my gosh - I have 5 more techniques to cover and time is running out". Could have run over if it weren't held in a library community meeting room with the library closing at 4:00.

On another note - yesterday at a meeting of the other guild I belong to, Rogue Valley Handweavers' Guild, the props were brought in to work on how our guild booth will go together for the ANWG Weaving Waves of Color Conference in Spokane at the end of the month. All weavings were in conference colors - primary & secondary colors in undulating weave structures. It's going to be an outstanding booth. I'll post pictures of it from the actual conference after it's over. My contribution to the display are two bamboo scarves - one reds in an undulating shadow weave (3/7/09 posting), the other in blues in a advancing point twill threading with a networked twill treadling (2/15/09 posting).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Fiber Story

I'm still working on the Surface Design 101 presentation - coming down the home stretch though which is a good thing since it's 2 days from now. Above is a piece of handwoven fabric that I embellished by stamping Lumiere paints in the leaf design. The original fabric was a hand-dyed warp I had done in 5/2 perle cotton. This was a fabric woven a while back that originally was to be used for a vest or kimono top only I didn't like the colors for that so the yardage has been used for other projects such as Christmas cards this past year. This remaining piece that I've stamped is probably only 20" x 28" - I'm not sure what will become of it - maybe for embellishing or piecing, maybe a purse, it will come to me after it sits on the shelf a bit.

Ok, so finally the story of how I found the fiber arts, yes Susan, I'm finally getting to this challenge.

A little background - from a very young age, encouraged by my grandmother, I learned to sew, crochet and embroider. I was always drew, very little in the way of painting though. I was an art major in college concentrating mostly on fine line pencil drawings, silkscreening, etchings and lithographs...........and then on the other side of reason the business and accounting classes so I'd be able to support myself once out on my own.

So fast forward to 1986 a visit to Oregon (where we now live) from DC where we both grew up and lived. My aunt had taken up weaving and that summer she was participating in a loom exchange where guild members threaded up their looms to different weave structures and passed them around. On our way into town we needed to drop off a loom, her car was small so I had this table loom sitting on my lap. On the 45 minute drive to town I kept looking at this loom thinking this looked like it might be fun to learn. Upon returning home I looked for a weaving class, found one with a great teacher outside of DC, took the class and have never turned back. Mary Alice Hearn is an incredible weaving teacher - she was one of the first to receive her COE from Handweavers Guild of America, in 1976, I think. Not long after the class she steered me toward a used 10 harness 40" wide Macomber - it's my all time favorite loom. Other smaller second looms have come and gone but this Macomber will be here for the duration. Currently I also own a 24" 8 harness Macomber that was originally built for Mary Meigs Atwater - I even have newspaper clippings showing her teaching at a workshop sitting at this loom.

Also on that trip to Oregon we decided to buy property for retirement, of course we couldn't wait until retirement so we transferred to the SanFran Bay area for 2 1/2 years while we built up here, moved to Oregon winter 1992. Sadly we are no longer in that original house we built - I loved that house. But lives change and being 45 minutes from one town and 1 1/2 hours from a bigger town became too much driving so we moved in closer in 2003. We're still on acreage but only 10 minutes out of town - much less time spent on the road and many less miles put on the vehicles.

Ok, so back to fiber - I said I would never spin, well I should have never said that because I succumbed to spinning, then decided I need to start drop spindling.......mostly because of the beautiful drop spindles out there to covet. Now I teach drop spindling - my most fun class to teach. I also do quite a bit of dyeing and some felting but my first love remains weaving - I could spend all day planning and weaving off projects. I currently say I'll never own fiber animals - that is true - just won't happen - not enough hours in the day. And this is not one of those that later I'll change my mind - no fiber critters for me, a happy golden retriever is all I can handle.

So for the future - I'll continue learning as much as I can about the fiber arts. For the past year I've been looking at the AVL 24 harness compu-dobby workshop loom, even picked up a laptop last September at a back to school sale that will eventually run the loom. I've been so busy since the beginning of the year that I haven't even thought about ordering it plus in this economy it seems like it's something I should hold off on a bit.....and then I need to decide do a take a class at AVL before buying to make sure this is the model I want. There are also classes in the software, I know I would learn a tremendous amount but since I currently work with another weaving software for designing I think I could manage without that class for the time being. So much to think about, so little time.

And now back to the studio to organize myself for the surface design presentation.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Great workshop weekend

It's been a busy week - but what have I accomplished??? Saw my brother off at the airport Monday then got ready for the American Sewing Guild's visit to my house/studio. I had never met any of these women and they knew nothing of weaving - what a nice time, very nice women, I'm glad I agreed to this.

The remainder of the week was spent working on my surface design presentation which will happen next Saturday..........very fun work but I'll be so glad to get back to what I want/need to work on.........two guild presentations so close together has consumed a tremendous amount of time, the majority of my time since January. Hopefully tomorrow I'll knock out most of what's left to be done with the last minute details to finish up on Friday.

I did spend a great weekend in a workshop with Anita Luvera Mayer. We learned about all different types of vests - weaving and embellishing them. Then a small hands-on project of a necklace/pouch in which we learned some beaded embellishment techniques. What an inspirational and creative woman Anita is. In the first hour of the workshop Anita asked us each what goal we'd like to have met a year from now. Mine is weaving more garments (for myself) - I've woven a few but never put it on the front burner since I'm weaving to sell. She said if the goal is put in writing it becomes much more attainable - so into the journal it goes and now it's here for the world to see............or at least the small portion of the world that reads my blog. Here is my pouch - the body of it is melton (fulled wool fabric), lining is pieced cotton.