winter in the desert

Winter is here.... one of my favorite winter sights is our startling blue winter skies framing the now golden leaves of our pomegrante tree & the dark red, leathery hulls of the fruit hanging empty after the birds' fall feasting. Our lemons begin to turn yellow & weigh down the branches of the lemon tree. This same tree was the "babysitter" during the past spring & summer for our bobcat kitten who is now half grown & has a new little sibling. Desert life slows as the solstice approaches & I eagerly anticipate the lengthening of days after its passage.

My etsy store has finally generated a sale; my weaving guild craft market sales were minimal. So, my venture into the world of production apparel has had its rise & fall. I believe I am really meant to weave tapestry, but I will probably do a few shawls here & there occasionally as I enjoy weaving them with my naturally dyed alpaca.

This is my current tapestry in progress, the 2nd bird in my desert birds postcard series. It is a verdin, a bird which is very common here, but often overlooked.

I have a few other tapestries planned as I have goals of submitting works to several exhibits in 2007, so please come back after the new year for more photos!

Here's wishing everyone a peace & love filled end of 2006!


cooler temps have arrived & my Etsy store is open!

While it is still pretty warm here in the desert during the day, the nights have been cooling off. I've needed a shawl to sit outside for my morning coffee, the birds have been singing with joy, & we have been invaded by clouds of butterflies visiting our blooming plants---Aaaaaaaahhhh!!! The coolness is a relief after our hot summer, & I have been very busy weaving for my new Etsy store which is now open-- http://desertsongstudio.etsy.com (to go there, click on the link "visit my online shop" located on the right under "about me"). I'm also weaving items for my weaving guild's booth in the Tucson Museum of Art Craft Sale which is held every November. I have even managed to squeeze in a little tapestry weaving time in the midst of the weaving frenzy. I will let the photos tell the rest of the tale........

A stack of my tofu thinny scarves-- tofu because the fiber is made from manufacturing waste from tofu production, & thinny because they are skinny & thin, just right for the desert & other warmer climates! I am also weaving them in other soy fibers, cotton & organic cotton, & merino wool.

Bamboo tablet woven belts.

My shawls are woven in naturally dyed alpaca, cotton, & organic natural colored cotton. The fibers for this one were dyed with marigold & madder root.

Weaving progressing on my first piece on my large upright floor tapestry loom -- a rug woven from some of my natural dyed wool. The colors you can see came from using trimming from our chapparal sage.


summer is finally coming to a close!

It has been a long, hot summer, with most time spent inside weaving! My busy weaving assistant, Roux, is demonstrating how we cope with the heat. But now temps are only climbing to very tolerable low to mid 90s (which is heaven compared to 110!), nights are cooler, & the white wing doves have left-- a sure sign that fall is coming! I have been busily weaving scarves, belts, & shawls in preparation for the Tucson Museum of Arts craft fair in which our local weaving guild participates twice a year, in November & March. Pictures of those will be posted soon!

Here is this year's bobcat kitten, hiding in our lemon tree while mama forages for dinner. We've had a bobcat family here every summer for the last 3 years-- one of the many desert residents we are fortunate enough to share our home with!

My other project this summer was the restoration & construction of this old LeClerc tapestry loom that I bought in the spring. It stands 5'10" & has a weaving width of 45". She was in rough shape, but with a little TLC she's now warped & I have my first project started--- a rug, which I am weaving with some of the fiber I dyed back in spring--see the color palette below.


welcome to desertsong studio!

This is the back ramada where I do natural dyeing & these skeins are the result of my first dyeing session of the year, back in May. The fibers included in this batch were wool, for tapestry & rug weaving, alpaca, & silk. All are naturally dyed, some with plant materials harvested from our 5 acres here. I respect all plant life & do not kill any plants during collecting, unless they are parastitic & need to be erradicated. With our 100+ degree temps in the summer, dyeing is best done in the spring & fall.The next dye session is tentatively set for November!