as the dust settles...

Six weeks ago marked the beginning of a construction project to turn our existing garage into my weaving studio and build a new garage to replace it. The construction crews are gone, taking with them the noise & invasion of privacy, but leaving me with a new studio space & a house full of drywall dust. Dennis & I are doing the remaining finishing on our own, which includes sealing the studio's concrete floor & painting the interior. In about a week or so, I should be able to start moving in. I find myself happy in heart and spirit, but very tired in body, especially with our temps now over 100 every day!
As if on cue, as soon as the last construction workers left, visitors started arriving at the new studio...

First, early one the morning as I opened the window to begin sealing the wood frame, a very large sandy colored spider with chocolate markings and long legs popped over the top & tried to gain entry. The very same spider that made one of the workmen scream like a girl when it popped out at him the day before. Instead of scaring me, I felt quite honored to be visited by a fellow weaver, & I carefully brushed it back outside.

The following morning, as Dennis was turning off the hose after watering, he caught a movement above his head and looked up to see a bobcat kitten hanging upside down from the roof staring back at him. A little later that same morning we had a performance of loud thumps as the kitten had a gymnastics session on the studio's flat roof. Mama bobcat is the kitten that was raised here by her mother 3 years ago & she was the first to play on the roof. Last year & this year, she has continued the tradition by bringing her kittens (we are sure it is her because of her unusual spotted markings). After the roof tussling, the kitten then found a shady area on the roof & proceeded to have a nap.

Last year Mama B had only 1 kitten and we assumed the same was true this year. But upon arriving home from errands this afternoon & entering my old studio room, I was greeted by the sight of what appeared to be a furry body stretched out on the exterior windowsill (the window & wall is completely covered in catclaw vine, which makes it shady & cooler). It turned out to be two furry bodies-- two bobcat kittens, smaller than house cats, in "spoon" position, knocking back some serious Zs. Incredible!

Although it was a struggle at times, I managed to do some weaving during construction--

peace dove, the 4" x 4" piece I was working on for The Peace Project is finished, just needing my signature tag attached to the back. It will fly on its way to be included with other artworks of the same size that are being formed into a calendar to mark each day of the war since its start until the day the war ends.

I also began a tapestry for another Tohono Chul exhibition-- Día de los Muertos: The Gift of Remembrance. I just finished reading a second biography about Georgia O'Keeffe, Roxana Robinson's Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life. I greatly admire O'Keeffe not only as an artist, but as a woman who was extraordinary for her time. I designed the tapestry to be a remembrance of her, entitled recuerdos de georgia (memories of georgia). It will be a mixed media piece, with a tapestry of a photo I took of an old skull on a shed wall at the home of my friend, Janie Hoffman, as the background, and a photo of a younger Georgia printed on twill fabric stitched to the surface. The tapestry's edge will be lined with marigolds, which I will make out of silk paper the way Mexican paper flowers are made, to give the piece the look of a shrine. I started to weave it during construction, but now I can hardly wait to be in my new studio where there will be so much wonderful light. Like a kid camping out, I have dragged in a card table, covered the windows with old sheets (waiting for the solar blinds to arrive), and brought in just enough weaving implements to survive. Dennis has been threatened with death if a single dot of paint touches any of it, so the entire set up gets covered when I am not weaving and moved around to accommodate painting.