Monday, July 22, 2013

Taking Flight...

Somehow, in uploading the photos from our cabin time, I forgot to upload this one, so I'll do it as a 'p.s.'   It is of a Blue Heron flying over the lake at dusk. I love seeing these birds take off! They look so gangly and awkward, but then they flap those big powerful wings and begin to glide on the air!

I, too, will be taking flight! We will be flying to Boston for a week with all of our children and grandchildren. I can hardly wait! You can be sure that my camera batteries will need frequent recharging! I have been known to take several hundreds of photos per day, in this kind of situation, but I will try to control myself, for the grandchildrens' sake. It will take some serious restraint on my part, though, as they are awfully cute!

When I return, I will be weaving non-stop until the June tapestry is finished. Or perhaps I will suggest to our house/pet sitters that they might just work on it while I'm gone? Not sure they'd take me up on that, though, which is just as well, I'm sure.

Have a good time this next week - I know I'll be having one!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Where the Wild Things Are....

At our cabin, we had noticed a nest in the front door the last time we were there. There were 3 eggs in the nest at that time, so we left the front door shuttered, and just used the back door. When we went up again this weekend,  I took my camera and long lens. The nest now has two baby Western Flycatchers in it! We used the back door again, and parked the truck a bit further away than we normally do, to keep from disturbing babies and parents.

I used the truck for a bit as a 'blind' and watched as both parents fed the hungry babies. I was happy to see that their main diet seems to be the billions of tiny white moths that are around the cabin now.

Love my long lens!

We have been having a true monsoon season here for the past week; late afternoon and night-time thunderstorms and heavy rain. The first afternoon at the cabin (Thursday) it rained as hard as we've ever heard it rain there. (And I say 'heard' because that is how we really experience rain there: pounding on the A-frame roof!) After the storm, everything was wet and clean smelling.

This baby robin was out on his own, but not terribly confident looking!

I love these Cone Flowers. The brown part is the flower in full bloom. They are called Cone Flowers because their blossom looks like a pine cone.

Does anyone know what these flowers are? They are new to me!

Because of the recent rains, the wildflowers were blooming and bees and butterflies were feasting on them.... and they weren't the only ones!

After the stormy afternoon, I looked out the window and saw that the sky was also 'in bloom.' I shot this photo from the balcony, up the hill towards another cabin (you can see it's roof line.) I have not altered this photo one bit! (Cross my heart!) The sky was so bright, I was almost afraid a fire was on the other side of the hill, but it was just the sun going down.

Sometimes when I share the big and little things that I love about Nature, I think perhaps I should apologize for filling my weaving blog, and perhaps your time, with the things that I love. But instead of apologizing, I think I will just tell you that I hope my photos will encourage you, too, to go out and see the things in this amazing world that, no matter how small, seem so much larger than the petty things we sometimes fill our lives with.

(All images can be seen larger by clicking on them.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013


This has been a crazy week. Summer is always like this, and I think the truth of it is that summer is my least favorite season, and I am much less tolerant when I am hot and sticky! Yes, S.T.I.C.K.Y!  I live in the desert of western Colorado. I live here for a reason, and that reason is that I lived for the first 28 years of my life in the humid mid-west. I never enjoyed humidity! It doesn't even make my naturally somewhat-curly hair curlier; it makes it go limp, joining the rest of me. Humidity has no perks, as far as I am concerned.

This past week has been humid. I know that, because, number 1: We have a swamp cooler to cool the house, and it DOES NOT WORK well when it is humid, and number 2: I have a humidity thing-ee to tell me the humidity of a room, to make sure the one room that my guitar is in stays a bit more humid to keep it from dry-damage. I've not needed to use a humidifier in that room all week, and, in fact, my guitar is showing signs of too much moisture. 

Not only has it been humid and HOT, but we've had huge booming thunderstorms for the past three nights, and I get absolutely no sleep with a big, hot, hairy, shaking dog sitting on top of me in the bed (next to me is not close enough.)

SO... it's been too hot and sticky and I've been too crabby to go into the studio to weave, though I do have a looming deadline (yes, pun intended.)

I took this week to finish sewing all the slits (from the back this time) on the October tapestry. (Oh, if only it was October! One of my favorite months. No, my all-time-favorite month.) I also blocked it, though since I've been weaving with the marvelous reed-holder on my loom that my husband made me, it came out almost perfectly flat and square! I blocked it anyway, and the next step will be to mount it, like the rest of the calendar tapestries are mounted. 

This fall, during my favorite month of October, the local Art Center is hosting a fiber exhibit, and they want 8 tapestries from me. I have 7 calender tapestries woven, and one on the loom, barely begun. So I need to just ignore the heat and humidity and get in there and weave!

This coming week, we will be going to Boston for a week, so no weaving will get done again. I am hoping the humid weather will pass through while we're gone so I can weave frantically when I get home. That is what it will take, no matter what the weather or the state of my crabbiness.

And I will also get a decent, not-on-the-badly-lit-dining-table photo of the October tapestry soon, too. I promise.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I am My Sketchbook....

I am nearing the end of another sketchbook! I just have a few more page spreads to go, and I will get to begin a new sketchbook.  I am thinking the start of a new one might just coincide with some travel, so that will be fun!

I don't often share sketchbook pages here, or anywhere, for that matter. If I feel that I'll have other people looking into my sketchbooks, I fret over the sketches, and they are no longer fun for me. I do not sketch daily, but almost daily- a minimum of 3-4 times a week.

This sketchbook was begun shortly after New Years this year. The past few books have been in Moleskine's large sketchbooks. They are 5" x 8 1/4" and have a lovely cream colored paper that resists watercolor a bit; just enough to add texture. They come in red and black, and the hard cover is easy to draw on with permanent markers or gel pens, so I 'decorate' them myself. I also date the spine, so I can look at the book while it is on the shelf, and tell when it was filled.

"I am the sketchbook"  Pablo Picasso
My sketchbooks have become very valuable to me. They are not valuable as 'art,' but as a journal of my days, months, years, and moments. I have kept a written journal for a long number of years; perhaps 20 years or more. But these sketchbooks capture things not covered in my written words, or are at least covered in a different way.

The past couple of sketchbooks, I have begun and ended with a self-portrait. It may be sketched from a childhood photo, or from looking in the mirror, but it is fun to look at myself occasionally, and to see the passage of time, both in my face and in my sketching style.

I already have my next sketchbook. It is black. I do not know what will be in it, anymore than I know what will fill my days for the 104 pages worth of sketches. Starting a new sketchbook is, to me, like beginning a new year; full of possibility. In fact, up until this time, I have pretty much filled just one book per year, but I am sketching more now than I used to. I also used to have separate sketchbooks for travel, for tapestry design ideas, for quotes and notes from other people, and for drawing practice. But now all that is in my everyday sketchbook. I like that change, too, as I don't have to go looking through several partially filled sketchbooks to find what I'm looking for.

I have become a very enthusiastic keeper of a sketchbook. And I think, as Martha Stewart would say, that is a very Good Thing.

p.s.  I am not in any way associated with Moleskine. I just love their products! In fact, in going to their site to get the link for this post, I just discovered this journal, which I also just ordered. It is what I have always needed, if I'd only known it!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Just a-Wishin'.....

Strange as it probably sounds, I think of myself as a storyteller in whatever medium I am working in, whether I am weaving or painting, writing or making music. And I tend to get very much 'into' the story I am creating. 

So, today, I am thinking myself in water. It has been really hot lately. It's not so bad here, but I was in the northern California area last week when it hit 110 degrees one day, and topped 100 degrees every day that I was there. Plus humidity that I am not used to, being a desert dweller.  Today weaving water is a lovely way to get past the heat, especially as I am right now weaving very deep, dark, cold water.


I only saw the ocean as I flew into and out of Oakland. My brother and his wife are still at my parents' house, and they plan to go see the lit up Bay Bridge tonight.  My son and his family messaged me the photo above today, as they are on an island off the Maine coast.

Photo from Bay Bridge website
So how can I not be thinking of water? I am sandwiched in a short period of time between visits to the coasts; last week I was on the west coast, soon I'll be visiting the east coast. And during this in-between time, I will be weaving water, and imagining how cool my hot feet would feel as they went skimming along the wet, coolness of a large body of water.

A desert gal can dream, at any rate....

"Starry Night over the Rhone" Vincent Van Gogh (my all-time favorite painting!)

"Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think."  - Robert Henri