Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The trip that finally happened!


We finally were able to take the trip to New England that my heart attack at the airport had delayed. Our flight was the same one we had booked before, very early in the morning. I brought a small sketchbook with me, to use as my travel journal, so sketched for a part of the flight, to pass the time. (I am not fond of flying, and having a heart attack at the airport did not improve that.) Our flight agenda took us through Texas, then on to Boston, where our son and puppy, Milly, met us at the airport.


After a great day and a good night's sleep at our son's family's house, we left the next morning to drive to the Berkshires. We stopped along the way in Concord, one of my favorite spots, for coffee and a pumpkin donut, and a bit of a walk-around.


Our next stop was Amherst, which was a bit  out of the way, but I wanted to at least see Emily Dickinson's house, then go to Eric Carle's Museum of Illustration.

Eric Carle's studio makes mine look downright tidy!

I loved seeing the original paintings from some of Eric Carle's children's books, and there was another exhibit there of the  lovely book illustrations by Claire A Nivola, whose work I had never seen, but will be looking for.

We traveled on to our lodging in Lenox, which happened to be right next door to Edith Wharton's home, The Mount, which was on my list to visit. We walked through the beautiful grounds and gardens of both our lodgings and The Mount, then went to find dinner.

That was our first day in The Berkshires, with more to come....


Monday, August 7, 2023

Every little thing is gonna be alright!

 I was hoping to be adding sketches and photos from a trip to New England now. But that is not to be. We went to the airport, checked our bag and went through security, and settled in to wait to board our plane, when I had sudden and severe pain in my chest, and down my left arm into my hand. We waited awhile, took something for heartburn, then an Excedrin (the only thing we had with aspirin in it) but nothing helped. I finally told my husband I could not get on an airplane, and we called 911. I had indeed, and surprisingly, had a heart attack, so ended up in the hospital, instead of in New England.

I had a couple of stents put in blocked arteries, was given a bucket load of medicines, and was sent home.

I was pretty discouraged, but a friend brought me a decaf americano and a flamingo bubble machine, and we sat on my porch, enjoying ourselves ‘anyway.’

I happened to hear Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ and decided it is my new ‘theme song.’ I am playing and singing it every time I reach for my guitar.


And I am trying to let myself notice things that give me Joy, like noticing the view from my doctor’s office waiting room window.

I have good days and not-so-good days. Good moments and a few not-great moments. Don’t we all have them? But this is my message to you-oo-oo…Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing’s gonna be alright!

Friday, July 14, 2023

Summertime, and the living is….HOT!

My life recently has been showing up mostly in my sketchbooks. We went to Kansas to bury my Father, and I sketched on the trip. I also sketched the very small town we lived in for a few years when I was young, from a few photos my brother took. (below)

July is apricot season at our house, so I sketched some, based on a Cezanne painting that was probably peaches. The rest of this 2-page spread was done at our cabin, where dragonflies were busy (hopefully eating mosquitos) at the lake and caterpillars were busier than usual at the cabin (sign of another big winter?)  You can tell that the fishing wasn't great, because I was actually sketching in the boat, with my pole in the water, attracting nothing at all.

I have been trying to sketch more, and to fuss less with the outcome. In fact, I have not been using a pencil or eraser, but have been jumping right in with ink or paint, as I did on the spread above at the cabin. I've also been doing as much from life, not relying on photos. The end sketch is not great art, but I really believe it captures how I feel about whatever I'm sketching much more honestly, than it would if I were sketching from a photo and being concerned about making it 'look good.' 

Yesterday we went out to the County Fair. Every year, for a long time, I'd said I wanted to go sketch the animals at the fair, but, with parent concerns, etc. it just never happened, so I was determined to go this year, in spite of the heat. I only took a small sketchbook, a black pen, and 2 charcoal pencils; a black and a terracotta one. I sketched the 3 goats and the pig onsite, but added the girls with their animals when I got back home, with colored pencils. I am not very experienced at sketching in public, so wanted to not draw a lot of attention to what I was doing, and sketched the animals very quickly and simply.

In addition to sketching quite a bit, I finished and cut off the large tapestry on the loom. It is resting on the dining room table, waiting for me to complete the finishing process. I have also warped a small loom to weave a tapestry postcard to be mailed to another tapestry artist when it is complete. 

I am trying to find my way back into the world of creating, after long years of primarily being in the caregiver role, and, in many ways, I feel like I'm starting at the very beginning once again.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Come see us, if you can!

I have a few tapestries ‘out there in the world’ right now, which is a big change from the past few years, when the pandemic made all exhibits online only. This one, “Yin/Yang” is in the 14th American Tapestry Biennial at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee, May-July of this year.

“The Duet” and “Tapestry Arch” are both in the 2023 Biennial of Textiles exhibit at the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning in Duluth, Georgia, now through July 15th.

This small tapestry, “The Caregiver (selfie#3)” will be in the Handweaver’s Guild of America’s Small Expressions exhibit, July, 2023-June, 2024 at various locations.

Right now, I am weaving daily, attempting to get to the end of a large tapestry that has been on my loom for much too long! I have set myself a deadline of having it off the loom by the end of July, though right now it is not quite at the mid-point. It is a dark and brooding tapestry, conceived during the pandemic and while I was dealing with difficult family times. I need it to be finished, so I can weave something light and cheery!

In the meantime, I am sketching almost daily, and have a few sketches that might become small tapestry ‘sketches.’ 

If you do happen to run across one of my pieces on exhibit, let me know, OK?


Saturday, March 11, 2023



This afternoon I did this self portrait to end my current sketchbook. I have made a habit of beginning and ending my sketchbooks with self portraits. It is a way of checking in with myself, to see how things are going. 
I am not really a fan of 'selfies.' I do not have a 'selfie stick' for my phone. I rarely take, or even like, photos of myself. (I also confess to deleting many of those my husband takes of me.) But the sketches I do of myself are not to capture my image, as much as to capture my mood, and even more, to capture my life at the time.

The Sketchbook
This past week I posted on IG this tiny tapestry (7x7") that is a 'selfie' of me, sketching in my sketchbook. In fact, here is another confession: many of the tapestries I have done, though they may not look like me, are 'selfies' in that they are about my life, my interests, my beliefs, or my moods. That is probably true of most artists, if they are honest.
Acadian Autumn,  Selfie#1
This tapestry (8x10") is a selfie of myself as a photographer. It was done at a time when I rarely went anywhere without a camera. It is Me, as an Artist.

Not the Enemy,  Selfie#2
The above tapestry is of me, during the years that I marched in several Women's Marches, and marches for intelligent gun control. It is Me, as an Activist. It is also 8x10".
Yesterday. I cut the third selfie from my loom, of a masked Me. For three years, I wore a mask as I cared for my father during the pandemic. It is Me, as a Caregiver. It is being blocked right now, but I will post it when it is ready. It is also 8x10".

These small tapestries are woven journal images of my life. They are bits of me, in time, and in tapestry; the medium that is also Me.



Thursday, November 17, 2022

Long time away, not much happened….


I have mostly been busy doing family ‘maintenance’ for the past months. But I did manage to recently rewarp the Shannock, as I felt a strong need to weave. I listen to those strong urges, because to ignore them results in more stress than I can handle!

My favorite season is passing rapidly. This view at our cabin is already snow covered. It has been one of the prettiest falls here; maybe because we needed the beauty so badly after the past hard years!

I have finished a few small tapestries, and several have been sent out on exhibit. 

This tiny tapestry will be in the ‘Teeny, Tiny, Bold’ exhibit, opening soon at the Rountree Gallery in Platteville, WI. The exhibit runs through February 4, and is a part of Artist’s Sunday, on November 27, and a reception on December 2, from 4-7 pm. I would totally love to be there, but ‘family maintenance’ here will probably not allow it. If you happen to be in the area, send me a photo, ok?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Little Things….

Sometimes life throws a lot of Big Things at you, and it seems like doing anything at all is beyond you. That is when you need to do little things. I have been doing little things for awhile now, and they are keeping me sane. (I do not use that phrase lightly.)

The tapestry of the Queen of England, above, is a very little thing! It is postcard size, about 5x7". It was woven for the ATA postcard exchange, and sent to England last summer. I share a birthday with the queen, and was, in fact, born in the year (on her April birthday) that she became queen. So I loved making a tapestry of her in our Platinum Jubilee year!

This tapestry is a tiny bit larger, about 7x9". It is called 'Things That Go Bump in the Night' and was just sent off to the Tiny But Mighty exhibit, hosted by ATA in Knoxville, TN this summer. This was a bit of fun to both design and weave!

The little tapestry above is still on the loom. It is about 5x7" and was woven for Mother's Day, as I remembered my Mom, who is no longer here to give flowers to.

The sketch is from my sketchbook. I have been feeling uninspired and out of ideas, even small ones, for awhile now. But I did the little sketch from a vintage photo, then decided to warp up my tiny loom and weave it. It will be a little thing, too, at about 7x8".

When Life gets a bit too big.... I reach for my little looms. What else would a weaver do?

The trip that finally happened!

            We finally were able to take the trip to New England that my heart attack at the airport had delayed. Our flight was the same on...