Friday, February 29, 2008

Tag, I'm IT!

Before I left town, Brenda tagged me with a "Power of Seven" tag. Here's what I'm supposed to do:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

Well, though I'm not sure I can come up with seven items of interest, I, like poor Miss Bates in Jane Austen's Emma, surely can come up with seven items that are very dull indeed!

1. Obviously, I love Jane Austen.

2. I am learning to play the harmonica. Well, why not?

3. I am quite frugal. To that end, I have been recycling the same geraniums from my front porch pots by rooting the leaves for the last umpteen years. In fact, I just potted some today for this summer.

4. Because I would love to speak Spanish, I have been teaching myself Spanish 1 over and over for the past 11 years. I'm still not quite ready for Spanish 2. (Maybe I don't want to speak it as badly as I think I do.)

5. In spite of number 4, I believe myself to be quite intelligent. My husband and my sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren are freakin' brilliant, and they wouldn't tolerate me if I couldn't at least sometimes 'keep up.'

6. I love old things : pictures, books, houses, teapots. Anything with some history. But I don't particularly enjoy 'History.' Too much war. Oh, and I'm a pacifist.

7. I have a bit of a Grumpy side. Always have had.


(that is me 'huh-ing', in case you wondered.)
I got home and sorted out my mail. In it was a familiarly lumpy envelope, that had obviously been addressed by me, to me. I know those envelopes! They contain slides, which is never a good sign. If you get your slides back, in a SASE, you are being told you are not wanted. You are rejected. Your work is not needed for this particular exhibit.

Well. Of course, I have received rejections (or 'not accepteds,' to be more kind to myself) before. If I'm not receiving rejections, I'm not stretching myself far enough. But the thing about this one is that I didn't consider it a stretch! I thought I had entered the perfect piece for this exhibit. Shows how clairvoyant I am!

I had entered the "Dama con Mangoes" tapestry to the Salsa y Salsa exhibit, an exhibit for Convergence that is a themed exhibit, to show "work inspired by Caribbean, Central and South American societies." The tapestry is of a Honduran woman. How perfect is that? (Or so I thought.) Well, not so perfect after all, it seems.

I would love to see what the juror chose, but I will be in Honduras at the time, so guess I'll miss it. Que sera, sera.

I am glad I didn't weave this tapestry for this exhibit. I don't do that anymore. I weave for me. As for the tapestry itself, I love it no less for being 'rejected.' Me gusta mucho.

This is the tapestry that received Best of Show in another national exhibit last summer.

And that's about all I really have to say on this topic.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Back in my own nest...

... after having spent the past week in my parents "Hen House." It is always good to be with them. And it was good to see some beautiful things blooming in their front yard, and everywhere! And to see the water and ocean-ish things. And the beautiful scenery between here and there.

But it is good to get home, too. To my sweet husband and pets. To the things that have gone un-attended to for the past week, but that have survived quite well anyway (which is also good to see and know). And I actually see some things poking out of the ground where there was only snow when I left. Spring may come, even to Colorado!

All I can say is, "Woo-hoo! I'm baaa-ack!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

There she goes...

Last week I took the Amtrak California Zephyr to Denver to visit the kids; tomorrow I am taking the Zephyr in the other direction, to visit my parents in California. It is a 24 hour train ride. I will sit, and knit, sketch and read, and rest a bit. Then I'll enjoy a week with my folks, and my sister and her family, who live nearby.

I see this morning that Brenda has tagged me, but I'm afraid I'll have to put that off until I return, as I'm still doing laundry, haven't packed yet, and have a dentist appointment in a couple of hours. So, I promise to be tagged when I get home. Can I "be IT" that long?

I hope you all have a lovely week. I shall be "goin' round the mountain", and then "comin' [back] round the mountain," and I expect I'll have plenty to say to Brenda's tag when I return!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Here is the small tapestry (about 10"x10") that I wove of our dog for the Woven Gems exhibit. If I had done this tapestry when he was younger, I'd probably have chosen one of the other maquettes to work from, as he was a funny, silly, pup. But he'll be 12 years old this summer, and is an old gentleman, though still a bit silly on good days. I wanted to do his sensitive, smart 'dignified old gent' side, so I chose the more traditional maquette. I am glad I did.

While I've worked on it, I would say to Craig, "I'm going to go work on Wooster." Or, if someone would call, I'd tell them, "I'm working on Wooster." This dog has the best verbal understanding of any dog I've ever known, and he would hear me say that. Also, when I'd go in to the studio to work, I'd tell him, "Well, I'm working on your ear today." He's not normally allowed in the studio, as he's a bad shedder, but a couple of times while I've been working on this he's come to sniff at the loom, then leave. Yesterday, when I cut the tapestry off, he followed me around and sat and watched closely as I tied all the warp ends, and trimmed the back tags. He would come up and sniff the tapestry and look at it. He's never done that before! It took me a bit to understand his strange behavior, then it hit me! The silly dog has heard me refer to it as "Wooster" so many times, he thinks it is for him!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love notes... (& an anniversary)

This is one of the most romantic things I have ever seen. I found it in the bottom of my Grandma Maisie's sewing basket, after it came into my possession. This is the Grandma of the Recipe box, and of "Watermelon Girls." It is written by my Grandpa, who is the barber of "Barbershop Buzz."

After Grandpa's barbershop was destroyed in a tornado, he took a job for a bit as a meter reader. He would get up early and leave Grandma still in bed. But, before he left, he wrote these little love notes to her on the back of a full-page grocery store ad, folded in quarters. This was in 1968, so Grandpa was 68 years old, and Grandma was a year or two younger.

Anyway, sharing this treasure is my Valentine to you.

Today is the one-year anniversary of my having this blog. I want to thank ALL of you who have visited me here: From Brazil, Slovinia, Singapore, and Taiwan. From the Netherlands and Hungary and South Korea. From 40 of the 50 United States. From France, Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, Turkey and all points beyond! I do not know what brought you here, but Welcome! I have especially been thankful to those of you who have paused in your visit to make a comment. Your voices in my life have brightened my day, each and every one of them! Thank you. And, by the way, will you be my Valentine?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I am back from a few days with my grandkiddies, where my grand-daughter and I finally got to go see her first 'real' theater movie, The Veggie Tales in "The Pirates Who Don't do Anything." All that I will say about that right now is, I always knew cheese curls were evil, and to be avoided at all costs!

The night before I took the train over the mountains to visit my son's precious family, I went to the opening reception of the fiber invitational exhibit at the regional Art Center here, where my work is included. I have to say, these events are always eye-openers! They show me how strange and unknown a thing it is to be a tapestry weaver.

Here is a true conversation from the opening:
(This was with an elderly man who stood and stared VERY closely at my tapestries for a long time, so I approached him and asked if he had any questions about the work.)
Man: "Do you know what these remind me of? They remind me of tapestries."
Me: "Well, they ARE tapestries."
Man: "No, I mean real tapestries. The ones that are handwoven on big looms in France."
Me: "Well, these tapestries were handwoven on a big loom right here in my studio."
Man: "Here in Grand Junction?"
Me: "Yes. On a loom just like the ones used in French studios. And very similar to looms used here in the Southwest by Navajo weavers."
Man: "But hooked up to a computer?"
Me: "No, all hand woven."
Man: "But in France they use very small individual threads to make the tapestries."
(Which maybe explained why he had had his nose practically on the tapestry, looking so closely at it.)
Me: "Yes, I use threads, too. It's all yarn that's woven tightly together to make the images."
Man: "Well, do you know what they remind me of? They remind me of tapestries."
Me: (what could I say?) "Hmmm, yes, I can see how they would."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Is half a dog better than a whole cat?

Depends on who you ask, I imagine. (And whether they're scooping up the back yard or cleaning out the litter box.) Well, here's our one-of-each, worthless, the both of them, but what would we do without them?

And here's another half, for good measure. I obviously still have a bit of weaving to do before this will go off to Florida to be exhibited! Not miles to go, but a goodly bit yet.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

And now, right here on our stage...

I helped hang the fiber show at the Art Center this morning. Ah, the perks of being a local gal! It will be a very good exhibit, I think. By the time I left at noon, only two walls were hung. They decided to put each artist's work all together on one wall. I'm not sure how I feel about that - there are good things about keeping it together that way, but I personally think an exhibit looks more cohesive if the works are hung to look like 'an exhibit', rather than a gathering of five artist's work. But, anyway...

The wall with my work on it faces people as they come in. To the right will be Sandra Hoefner's large art quilts, which are also figurative, and share a lot of content with my own work. There will also be abstract quilted pieces that are framed, which were being unpacked and hung when I left; abstract felted pieces, which I haven't seen yet; and a very large appliqued fiber collage piece, which will hang from the ceiling in the center of the gallery. I will try to get shots of the whole gallery at some point during the exhibit, but for now, I just have a shot of 'my wall' and part of Sandra's wall.

Monday, February 4, 2008

And now a word from my sponsors...

I got the huge postcard invitation from the Art Center for the Fiber exhibit, and the other events that will take place during the two months it is there. It's a very nice, full color large format postcard, and my "Barbershop Buzz" tapestry is on the front. Also on the front, and I confess I've not seen this done this way before, is a large color logo for a local bank. Way cool, I guess. That puts we artists up there with athletes and race cars. Soon, we'll need to weave the logos in to our tapestries. Ah, but we DO need our patrons, so don't read this as a complaint; just as an amused aside.

I hung the Barnes & Noble exhibit last Thursday, with two of my other 'angels', my husband and a good friend who is also an artist. I was still sick, and so woozie, I didn't really care how it was hung, as long as we finished and I could go home. I went back this morning and tried to get some photos, but the cafe area is SO well lit, I had a hard time. But here are a few pictures to give you an idea of how it all looks there.

These pictures take you in the door, around the corner, and into the cafe, where the exhibit is. Note all the fire alarms we had to work around! Lots of combustable stuff in a book store, I guess.

And... speaking of pictures, I finally set up my outside 'photo studio' to take the slides of the Fall tapestry this morning. I've been procrastinating, hoping I'd not have to do it in nasty cold snowy weather. But, since the tapestry goes to the Art Center tomorrow, I gave in and took the slides anyway today, after yet another snow storm overnight. So, here's what my photo process on my 'fake wall' looks like...

(By the way, in the slides, the garage does not show; the fake wall does not show; the edges of the black fabric behind the tapestry do not show; ONLY the tapestry shows, and it fills the slide frame.)

...and here's finally the 'official' photo of "The Gift".

Friday, February 1, 2008

I am, I said...

Isn't that one of those annoying Neil Diamond songs that you can't get out of your head once it starts? Sorry if I made it start!

I am still here, I think. I have been sick this week. I had what I refer to as the Honduran Flu, because the first time I got it, I was in Honduras, and I get it every time I go there. I get it now here at home, too, unfortunately. I am not a good sick person. Truly, I know I get sicker than ANYone else ever gets, and I come very close to death every time I get this illness. I'm not being overly dramatic here - just sayin' it like it looks from MY bed!

When I get the Honduran flu, I get a fever, and fevers make me see things, hear things, and go places others don't see, hear, or go. It runs in my family. My grandmother was that way. My father and at least one of my brothers and one of my sons have this same tendency. Usually it's unpleasant things, like voices telling me things in Spanish that I don't understand, or dogs from my childhood jumping on the bed and licking my face, or being certain that aliens are coming through the cooling vents to steal my brain. But this time, I had a very pleasant visit. All morning the other day, there were people in my house taking the most solicitous care of me. There was an elderly man who came in every now and again to ask, "How's our patient doing?" And there was a lovely woman of indeterminate age who watched over me, soothing my brow (don't you love having your fevered brow soothed?), and smoothing my blankets. She also once brought in a huge teakettle of boiling water, and set it on the radiator to humidify the room. And then she brought in a warm folded up towel and said it was a 'mentholated towel' to 'draw out the fever' and make my head feel better. I could also hear a woman and a young girl in another room, talking and laughing quietly, so as not to disturb me. I felt very cared for, and it was quite annoying to have the phone ring in the early afternoon, disturbing me, and making my caretakers disappear.

Well, now, if that tale doesn't convince you of my 'uniqueness', I just don't know what will! I am still trying to get my head and my energy back. This illness and yet more winter storms have postponed my Pirate movie trip yet again! Curses and parrot poop!

BUT... there are three daffodils blooming in my Dutch garden today. One might be a jonquil, as I really don't know the difference, but it's different than the other two, as it's a pale yellow with a shorter frill. I did sketch them, though with not much energy.

Back to bed for a bit, I think. Perhaps my caregivers will return... or maybe one of you will come and read to me or play quiet games with me.