Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'April, Come She Will...'


Today was Studio Tuesday. It was a somewhat poignant day for me. It is the last work day for me when my husband will also be at work. I do not know what that means yet, but we will work it out, I am sure. I do plan to continue my newly established 'Studio Tuesdays,' so my husband will just need to find something to do on that day that does not include my input or participation.

I am not quite sure when my next studio work day will be, be it Tuesday or any other day. We have some other things going on that will take precedence for a bit. So it was a great day to complete a tapestry! Above is the 'April' calendar tapestry, still on the loom, before I wove the hem. And below is the tapestry, just off the loom, resting on the floor. Neither photo shows the true colors; it is not this 'bright.' But it is late in the day, so this is the best I can do. I will get a better photo soon, but this gives you the idea, at least.


This tapestry is a bit of a self-portrait - though it doesn't necessarily look at all like me. (I believe an artist has the option to use rose tinted lenses in self-portraits!) The things that are most 'me' are the things other than the figure: the blackbird, representing both the music I love and the birds we feed and love; the guitar, representing my decision to take a risk and learn something new and difficult, even at a late date; the flowering crab blossoms, which represent the month of April, when they bloom in my backyard. This whole tapestry is fairly personal. April is my birth month, and I believe this 'April' tapestry is one that I will keep.

I still have a good bit of work to do on this tapestry, though there are very few slits to sew. I will trim the back and block it, and then it and the 'October' tapestry have yet to be mounted. This tapestry, like all the calendar tapestries, is 18x18 inches. I have yet to design and weave the July and December tapestries. Soon, and very soon, hopefully........

On Exhibit...




I have pieces on exhibit in both of the above exhibits. If you find yourself in either area, go see the exhibit, and say hello to "October" (in the ATB exhibit) or "Dama con Mangos" (in the Art is the Cloth exhibit.) Or, if you are very lucky, go see both exhibits!

My pieces are both in some VERY good company, in both exhibits, and I feel honored to have work included.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The End is Nigh!


You can see the top of my cartoon in the photo above! I have just one more Studio Tuesday, plus maybe a bit of weaving time snuck in here and there before then, and then it will be completed! This is the most 'personal' of the 12 Calendar Series tapestries. It represents my birthday month, April. I love that it is so different from the other tapestries in the series, but, in fact, there is a great deal of variation in the pieces. 

I got quite a bit of work done yesterday, in spite of one of those weather-migraines which I just can't seem to avoid. We've had a stormy summer, and my poor head has suffered almost every rainstorm! Booker has hated the wet, stormy weather, as well. Maybe they make his giant head ache, too. At any rate, he is always ready to curl up on the bed with me, as I stuff my achy head under a pillow for awhile, until the medicine kicks in a bit.

After this piece is complete, I have just 2 more to do to complete the series. I want to show them all together somewhere, so I guess I'd better start looking for a venue! You can see 8 of the tapestries on my website, here.  When this piece is completed, I need to get good images of it and the November tapestry, which is woven, but I have yet to mount.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Studio Tuesday....again


I am having my morning cup of coffee, and planning my day, as I do every day. But today is Tuesday, so there is not much to plan! Pull something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner, and then, hit the studio to work! I am loving this commitment to spend at least one full uninterrupted day working in the studio. I began this discipline because very soon my husband will be retired from his work, and I feel the need to make sure I don't think I have retired, as well. (Only today and one more Tuesday, then he will be home, retired.)

I look forward to Studio Tuesday. And I learned very quickly to say no to any other activities or diversions on this day. Also, posting about it here has been a good way to maintain my commitment.

I do confess that, other than my Tuesdays, I have had very little creative time lately. Yesterday, I decided I needed to spend at least a few minutes sketching, so I grabbed a vibrant leaf from the yard and sketched it. I am a leaf-picker-upper from way-back. I love fall and my pockets, bulletin boards, purse, and refrigerator door are always sporting beautiful fallen leaves throughout the too-short season. We have had such a cool, wet summer, that I am not sure how the leaves will respond this year. They are not really turning at all yet.

Today is another cool, rainy, grey day. A perfect day to spend in the studio! The coffee cup is empty. I'll go pour myself another, and will take it with me to the studio. I'll let you know how I progress there......


-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Studio Tuesday!


I am home again for a short bit, and I got to spend today in the studio, at the loom! Yea! The 'April' tapestry is growing, though not as rapidly as I had hoped it would. I have a number of 'irons in the fire' right now, but I am still hoping to get this tapestry completed in the next few weeks. There really is not far to go on it!


I have also been knitting washcloths. I know; you can buy washcloths pretty cheaply. But I have been on a washcloth-knitting-binge lately. The reasons are several: 1. I haven't had the time or attention span to get involved in a larger knitting project, 2.  the tiny bits of time I've had to knit (mostly on the train going to and coming home from visiting my parents in California) have been perfect for these small portable projects,  3. I really enjoy trying out new stitch patterns on these tiny projects, and finally 4. I love using handknit washcloths! So I have quite a stack of cloths of all sizes and colors. Many of the patterns were found on Pinterest, with a few contributions from friends, as well. If you are on my gift list, expect a washcloth (or two) from me!

Here are a few that I found fun to make: 
http://www.simplynotable.com/2013/the-almost-lost-washcloth-pattern/   (though the resulting cloth is small, and I want to figure out how to make it larger.)

Back to the loom, as the day has at least another hour of weaving time in it! That makes me happy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Essential Packing.....


I am getting ready to go spend a bit of time with my parents. My preferred way to travel from Colorado to northern California is on Amtrak's California Zephyr. It is almost door-to-door from my house to my parents, but it takes almost 24 hours. I enjoy the time on the train. I read, I sketch, I rest, I knit, and I even occasionally watch a movie, after it gets too dark to watch the scenery roll by.

So, as I do my laundry and fill my suitcase, I am also doing my more essential packing. I have gathered my knitting needs for some simple mindless knitting: in this case, I'm taking a stockpile of cotton and instructions for various knit washcloths. I really enjoy using handknit washcloths, and I like to knit a pile of them between more ambitious projects. (Note my skein of yarn in the tall cleaned Starbucks cup, with the tail coming out the enlarged straw hole. Thank you Pinterest for this clever idea!)


I also have my sketchbook and sketching materials packed: two very small boxes with watercolors in them (an Altoids box, and a fly fishing box, each with a selection of watercolors inside), a couple of waterbrushes, a pencil and an eraser, my fountain pen, a white gel pen, a roll of tape, and some multicolored pencils and a sharpener. All fits inside a 9x6" canvas bag.

Now that I have these things gathered and packed, I suppose I should turn my mind to the rest of my packing needs... like maybe a few changes of clothes and a toothbrush and comb. First thing first, and now that I have dealt with the 'first things' I guess I can deal with the rest.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another Studio Tuesday....



Another week, another Studio Tuesday!  It has been a bit hard to weave lately, but you can see that I have made a good bit of progress  on the 'April' tapestry.

The reason it's been hard to weave is that we've been having a rather active monsoon season here, and Booker (who is not allowed in the studio) is terrified of thunder. So I've been spending a lot of time knitting washclothes on the basement sofa with him, especially in the afternoons. We actually had a record breaking rain here yesterday afternoon, and I had to wade through about 7 inches of water to get to my truck after my guitar lesson! My shoes are still soggy! (Everyone asks me why I didn't take them off, but I wasn't sure what was in that water, and I'd rather let my shoes dry out -which may take awhile- than have to deal with glass or rock cuts on my feet.)


This is a painting I did of one of my 'grand-dogs,' Zooey. She is an Italian Greyhound mix, and can have quite the imperious look, occasionally.... especially when she decides to claim either your lap or the seat you are heading to sit in for her 'throne.' I decided I needed to paint her on a throne-like chair. as she is a bit of a Diva in my son's home. She was fun to paint. The painting is 12 inches square, oil on canvas, and it is now at Zoey's home, so she can admire herself whenever she chooses.

I have one more 'studio Tuesday' before I go visit my parents for awhile in California, to celebrate with them their 67th wedding anniversary. I would truly love to get the tapestry done before I leave, but I also would like to have a 'cutting off' for it, so that may need to wait until I return home at the end of the month. I'll get as close as I can to the end, though, before I leave home.