Thursday, November 29, 2012

Home again...

The photo above is of the postcard that the Church of the Nativity sent out for the presentation of the Nativity tapestries. I've never had a tapestry officially blessed before, and I am looking forward to it. If you are in the area, come see them installed! (They chose top cover the image to not 'give away too much' before the event.)

I am home again, after spending a bit more than a week with my parents in California. Being in sunny California, with everything green and flowers still blooming, does not get me in much of a holiday mood. 'Tis the season for cold and snow, though it is not very cold back home yet either, and there is no snow. But I am trying: I have put holiday music on this morning. As we'll be traveling to see both of our sons and their families over the next few weeks, I need to get in the mood, and get at least a little bit of shopping done! And I need to not stress over it. (I am not a very good shopper. When I come up with an idea, I can never find the item I've thought of in our small town, but I do prefer to shop locally if I can.)

(By the way, after reading JK Rowling's latest book, (which I cannot recommend) I have decided that parentheses must be the current punctuation of choice for writers. She used parentheses within parentheses and some of her parenthesized asides were pages long!)  (It was just one of many things that annoyed me about that book (though I am usually a JK Rowling fan, having loved the Harry Potter books.))

(I am seeing how useful these stupid parentheses can be!)  (Stop me, PLEASE!)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ready, set, but not quite a GO yet...

Loom warped: check  ✔

Yarn stash sorted for the yarns for the next tapestry:  check  ✔


 Needed yarn ordered and arrived in the mail: check  ✔

Maquette ready and cartoon drawn up to size (only a portion shows in photo): check  ✔

Can you tell by the yarn colors that the next tapestry will be the October one of the calendar series? The colors are truly beautiful, and they look like my favorite time of year. So I'm ready to begin, but the start will be delayed a few weeks as I go to spend some time with my parents in sunny(?) California.  (The question mark is because I have seen the forecast for the next week for northern California, and also because the last few times I've been there, it has rained the entire time I was there!)  Sooooo;
Suitcase packed: check  ✔
Umbrella and rain jacket in:  check  ✔
Knitting, sketching, and photography stuff in:  check  ✔

And I'll let you know when I start using those yummy yarns!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Walking Away....

I just dropped the Nativity tapestries off at the church for which they were commissioned. They will be installing them, and there will be a presentation of them from the commissioning/gifting couple to the congregation on Sunday, December 2nd. They have asked me to talk for a few minutes about the symbolism of and inspiration for the images.

As I left the building, I felt a familiar sense of loss. I have felt it before when letting a tapestry or a painting go to a new owner. In fact, it is very much like the feeling I had when I let each of our 5 foster babies go to their adopting parents. With the babies, I knew they were not 'my babies;' I was keeping and nurturing them for someone else. But a part of my heart went with each one of them. It was the same with these tapestries; all along I knew I was creating them for someone else. But they have been a BIG part of my life for over a year-and-a-half (much longer than we ever had any of our foster babies.) 

Now, I know. It sounds stupid when an artist compares the creation of a work of art to 'giving birth,' or caring for a child and then letting them go. Or comparing the letting go of that work to, for instance, seeing your own children go off to college. But I have to say, sometimes there is some comparison in the artist's heart. I have woven little bits of my life into those tapestries. During the creation of them, my Dad had a stroke and my Mom broke her hip. My concern for them as I sat at the loom weaving is woven tightly into those tapestries. Toward the end of the weaving, my brother passed away. My grief is a part of the tapestries. I spent precious times with children and grandchildren. I turned 60, and my son took me to Paris. The joy and amazement and wonder of those events are woven between the tight, colorful wefts. My disappointments, worries, celebrations, aches and pains, fears and prayers are all as much a part of the tapestries as is the wool of the weft and the cotton of the warp. When we hung the two tapestries to see where they should be installed, I looked at them, and saw all of those things hanging there. You may see Mary and her baby Jesus and some animals and flowers when you look at the tapestries. As I look at them,  I feel my life events, and I hear Jim Dale's voice reading Harry Potter, or a lovely quiet British accent reading Jane Austen to me. I hear the voices of my siblings and my parents, as we dealt with family events and concerns. I took all that today, hung it on walls that I will not frequently see (as this is not the church I attend), and turned my back on them and walked away. The time has come to let them go....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Autumn's Leaves Greet Winter's Snow....

 Saturday evening we were surprised by the first snow of the season. It wasn't a big snow; just enough to let us know that fall is passing away, and winter is coming...

Our old apricot tree, which dropped it's brilliant yellow leaves when the snow came

...enough for the fallen leaves to shout their last bits of autumn brilliance before colors become muted and disappear into the greys of winter.


So I spent some time painting the last bits of autumn. This was a little piece I did 90% of en plein aire  at the lake where our cabin is several weeks ago, and I added a bit to it in the studio on Sunday.

I have also drawn up the cartoon for the next calendar tapestry, and it is also rich with the colors of fall, as it will be the "October" tapestry. So keep visiting here, as I will be posting it in progress as I begin weaving it soon!

We are having the roof of our old house re-shingled, and the noise is keeping Booker right under my feet. I don't usually let him in the studio, as he is pretty hairy. So we are trying to work that issue out, as I avoid tripping over him all day long. So far, we spend the loud scary days out running errands or in the basement, doing laundry or knitting. I'm hoping it won't be too much longer before the roofing is done, so I can be in the studio during daylight, weekday hours again! The roofers are trying to beat winter as well, so hopefully I will be in the studio by next week. Booker and I are keeping fingers and paws crossed, at any rate. In the meantime, we are keeping warm and enjoying the beauty of the transition from one season to another.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What the World Needs Now...

Just a bit of love on this day of stress. When we cut wood a few weeks ago, this was on one of the fallen aspens we gathered. A true gift from above! 

I am keeping these two logs, but am not sure what I'll do with them; other than share their message with you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nativity Tapestries

The Nativity Tapestries are ready to hang. They are each 20"long and 40" high. I will be posting about the symbolism in each tapestry here in the next day or two.

These tapestries were woven for the Church of the Nativity in Grand Junction, Colorado. When they are installed there, I will post a photo of them at their permanent home.