Friday, March 23, 2012

Home from 'sunny' California....

I spent the past 10 days in not-so-sunny California, where it rained a lot, then turned beautiful just as I was to come home. I was there for a family gathering to celebrate my Mother's 90th birthday.

One of the things I love to do while there with my folks and my sister is to sit and look through old family photos. I take pictures of some to bring home with me and to have in my computer. This is one I had not seen before, of my Mom and me. I was about a year old, and clearly a bit more squirmy than the statue baby.

I came home to springtime. Our apricot trees are in FULL bloom, which is early. Last year, they also bloomed too early, then a hard freeze came, and I didn't have any apricots. So I'm out of jam, and would actually not mind having some fruit this year. Time will tell....

I have some house cleaning to do tomorrow, then will get two of my grandchildren for their spring break week, so plan to have some more family fun. But I also hope to get some weaving done. I have a few studio art projects planned for the kids, so we can all work in the studio together for a bit of their visit time. We'll see if that plan works....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Must stop for a bit....

As promised, here are photos of the progress on the two Nativity tapestries. The right side tapestry has the fox done, and I have been weaving the shepherd's clothing folds and a nearby sheep. On the left side, I am still doing fabric folds, but have also put a sleeve and a hand in, and have begun the background which includes a couple of the many lilies that will surround the female figure.

Including the lower borders, I believe I am at about the halfway point on the two pieces. Unfortunately, (as I was really in a rare weaving form) I will be taking a bit of a break to go visit my parents for a week and a half. I just am hoping the passion to work returns when I get home. Spring is appearing rapidly here, and yard and garden work will steal some of my work time soon. I am very fortunate that those I am weaving this commission for are patient... more patient than I am!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring is in the air, or at least in the trees...

Although Spring is not yet here, there are buds on the still bare trees, though not enough buds to cover last summer's paper wasp nests. This one is well over a foot across. When Spring truly arrives, a big wind will likely knock this out of the tree, and construction will begin anew.

Spring is certainly eminent now: we went to the river trail for a walk, and Mama Owl is in her new nest. It's in the same tree as she was in last year, but she has moved to a new branch. Being in the nest alone so far, she had herself hunkered down so that only her ears show over the top of the nest. I'm not sure her nest construction is completed, as it is not as big as last years nest. Three babies would definitely not fit in this nest. So, either she will make it bigger, or maybe she will lay fewer eggs? We will keep an eye on her, but I will try to keep from posting as many photos of her as I did last year. I'm pretty excited, though, because my grandkids will be coming for their Spring Break, so they will get to see her in her nest.

It occurs to me that both Mama Owl and the paper wasps are quite amazing fiber artists in their own right. Paper wasp nests are truly amazing, especially when you can see the  honeycomb structure inside. Mama Owl's nest isn't quite as tidy this year as in the past, which is why I am wondering if it is still a work in progress. But for her to weave a basket-like home for herself and her owlets in the crook of a tree branch is pretty wonder-full stuff, as fiber art goes!

On my own fiber art front, I have been making good progress on the Nativity tapestries, and am truly enjoying my weaving time. In fact, I haven't been this weaving-obsessed for a long time. It seems that every other thing I am doing right now is just an interruption of what I want and need to be doing in the studio. I will post photos in a few days.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Yeah, that's what I'm sayin', too!

"Well, that's what life is — this collection of extraordinarily ordinary moments. We just need to pay attention to them all. Wake up and pay attention to how beautiful it all is."  Alexander Payne, writer and director of The Descendants  (See entire interview here.)

If life is a series of ordinary moments, and we notice them, they become extraordinary. I'm glad someone worth quoting agrees with me! And really, don't you agree, as well?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Progress...

I have been weaving quite a bit on the Nativity tapestries, but what I have been doing is not necessarily all that interesting to share. On the right side tapestry, I've been weaving fabric, with all it's folds and shadows. It is moving along as tapestries do: slowly. I weave on the right tapestry for an inch or two, then scoot over to the left tapestry to catch up, then start that process over, keeping them with fairly even fell lines, to keep from having warp tension differences. For some reason, the right tapestry is tensioned a bit looser than the left one, so I am struggling a bit with that, as I can't tighten the tension of one without it tightening the other. But so far, knock on my wooden loom shelf, it has not become unmanageable.  I do believe I will think pretty long and hard before warping two tapestries side by side on the loom again, though.

Oh, and "Grace" has begun her journey to California. Have a good time, Grace!