part 1: aaahhhhhhhh! & part 2: warped & ready


That's the sound of the end of summer approaching, the end of the craziness (hopefully), the sound of a studio finally put together (now complete with A/C), the coolest morning we've had since May today (64!), the feeling of fall coming, knowing we are finally going to our New Mexico mountain property for a week, the planning of tapestries to come.

The craziness, besides the studio construction, first involved trying to cope with no A/C in the studio. My husband, Dennis, was hoping I could "suck it up" until we could get one installed in the off season. But, I wasn't sucking anything up, I was sweating. Somehow, when it's 90 degrees, it's hard to do anything... move boxes, move looms, & certainly not work with wool. Providence stepped in, & Dennis was suddenly struck with an attack of kidney stones (I did not wish for this). Although the whole stone ordeal took 4 weeks to pass (pun intended), he only stayed home the first week, but it was quite long enough for him to discover the studio was VERY HOT. Voila, now I have A/C & I've been chillin' for about 4 weeks. He also turned 50 last month & we were supposed to take a mega road trip to celebrate, but our old Roux is still hanging in there & the trip would have been too hard for her. Thank goodness, or else the stones would have made an appearance shortly after we would have started out. Oh yes, & somewhere in the middle of all that, a bobcat kitten decided to come down our chimney & into the fireplace at 2am one morning, and Kathy Perkins & I founded Desert Tapestry Weavers. So, just an average summer.

Here are some images of the studio so you can see how it all turned out...

Well, during that time while I was dealing with it all & trying to get the studio organized, I was so very glad for the blogs of fellow tapestry weavers Kathy, Debbie, Meabh, Marilyn, & Tommye. Visiting all of your blogs really helped me know that soon I'd be back to normal, working at my loom, too! And I discovered another gem, Syne Mitchell's WeaveCast, a podcast for handweavers. You can listen to the episodes, even if you don't have an ipod, so visit her site to learn more. I download them to my computer & listen to them in the studio. One episode has a wonderful interview with tapestry weaver Mary Zicafoose, & all episodes are about fiber in one form or another.

The tapestry I was working on during studio construction, recuerdos de georgia, was accepted for a Tohono Chul exhibit, Día de los Muertos: The Gift of Remembrance & is now installed in their exhibit hall. I went to see the exhibit & it is wonderful. I am looking forward to the artists' reception that will take place in late October. Our local PBS station did a segment on the exhibit that you can view here to learn more about the Mexican customs surrounding Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) & to catch a glimpse of the exhibit. My piece didn't make it into the segment, the focus was on more traditional designs.

This weekend we will load our little tent on wheels (a very small Scamp camper trailer) & head for heaven at 8100' elevation: our little piece of the Sacramento Mountains in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. It will seem quite cold to us-- temps are still in the high 90s here during the day so we will be like shivering lizards in the much cooler 60s & 70s there!

Speaking of lizards, I always take my small loom with me & my planned project is a very magnified view of one of our resident P.L.s (porch lizards) that I was able to snap a photo of.

I am planning to weave it entirely in linens to give it that tight, glossy look that lizards are famous for.

Awaiting my return so it can get underway will by my biggest tapestry yet, opuntia, the second in the monochrome macro series. While not really big by some standards, it will be big for me. I was inspired to go larger by Tommye's works & also by another tapestry friend who lives near Tucson, Bengt Erikson (see some of his work here).

My photo of a prickly pear (opuntia) bloom will be used as the cartoon reference. I tile print it out when I want it to be this large, then attach all of the tiles together. The palette will largely consist of my natural dyed wools for this piece, with colors obtained from pomegranate, ponderosa pine, chaparral sage, peach, carrot tops, & mistletoe. The dark greens are synthetic dyed from Norsk Fjord Fiber.

Getting warped...

A close up look at the cartoon traced on vellum. The photo is still behind the vellum.

See you on the other side of the mountain...