inlay 9 underway

It has been raining intermittently, yet steadily, for almost 4 days now, a very good thing in the desert. It is always so amazing how quickly things can change here... for the last 2 days, the temps have not made it out of the 50s, yet just before Thanksgiving we had some days near 90. The birds outside seem to enjoy wet weather so much, increasing their usual cacophony of birdsong while they are feeding at the feeders. The studio windows have been continually streaked with rain & because of the flat roof I can hear the rain if it is coming down hard enough. The clay canales that drain the studio & garage rooftops have been continually trickling & at times gushing water. The surrounding mountains are either lost from sight when the clouds engulf them, or they are strikingly illuminated when the sun manages to peak briefly through the thick cotton of rain clouds. The Catalinas have also had brief dustings of snow on their peaks which melts quickly if the sun stays out for long.

On the Shannock frame loom, inlay 9 is finally in progress, after a bit of tweaking of the design. Inspired by Tommye's latest post, I'm including images of my designing as it progressed. I don't sketch very much for most of my tapestries because I use images that I take with my digital camera & then trace the main shapes & outlines onto vellum to use behind the warp. But, this tapestry is geometric, so I had to head for the graph paper & then to my CorelDraw.

Here, my first conception while I was still in the process of choosing the palette. I had originally envisioned it as a horizontal design...

Which I then transferred into CorelDraw & modified to come up with the final design & palette, with some of the shapes changed & the alignment now vertical...
Here the final design has been transferred to graph paper with yarns attached to their respective color areas. I can keep it near the loom to track of each shape's dimensions; since the overall size is 9" x 22" & it is such a simple design, I didn't want to waste paper & ink printing a cartoon out from my printer.
With each new tapestry, I tend to try to incorporate a tapestry technique that I have not used much before so I can push my envelope a bit & become more proficient in my weaving skills. In earth & sky, it was pick and pick-- in this tapestry it happens to be interlocking joins, which I felt it was necessary to use because of the precision of the shapes & the size of the slits that would make it difficult for me to control draw in or "bulge out". Two of the shapes are using a wool yarn that is much larger than the other wools, bamboos, & cottons, so I am weaving those in basket weave (over 2, under 2) to compensate. Although the overall design is simple, I find that the preciseness of it requires that I am very mindful of all of my joins & selvedges.


busier than a one-legged woman in a butt kickin' contest!

If you didn't know that I pretty much grew up in the South, the above phrase should be a good clue, although I have "genderized" it & cleaned it up for public consumption... I have other phrases that aren't really printable here. Let's just say I have to assess who is within earshot before those phrases are uttered.

So, what have I been doing???....
Doing my volunteer bit for ATA (I help do the excerpts for the online version of Tapestry Topics).

Gave a fabulous presentation to my guild, Sources of Inspiration, to share the experience & how I benefitted from attending a Sources of Inspiration workshop at the Desert Weaving Workshop back in January taught by DY Begay, Madeleine Darling-Tung, & Barabara Heller. The guild awarded me some CE funding to help with tuition & the presentation was how I was to "pay them back". I say it was fabulous because I learned to use Power Point for the first time & because everyone seemed to love the presentation... at least I didn't see anyone "pecking corn" (the jerking movement one's head does when one is nodding off while sitting upright). Thank yous to DY, Madeleine, & Barbara for sending me images to use!

Volunteered for an entire day at the Tucson Museum of Art Holiday Market in our guild's booth. The first half of the day I was a sales person & the second half I demonstrated tapestry weaving on my little Mirrix. So much fun to be around people ALL day & I picked up a few trinkets as well while Dennis stayed home to tend Roux.

Had a peaceful, happy, Thanksgiving with just myself, man, & dog. We thought we would be euthanizing our little old Roux instead of enjoying turkey... it has been 16 months since she was diagnosed with bladder cancer & now according to her recent bloodwork she is going into kidney failure. She is 14... we decided to fore go the horrible treatments, which would be torture for her, just to eke out a few more weeks of life & instead we are letting her enjoy a normal dog life for whatever time she has left. We thought she was headed downhill after the lab reports, so I made a call to the vet to discuss options for at home euthanasia... that evening we walked into the bedroom to discover her "paddles up", rolling around, wrestling with toys & pillow, just having a merry old time. Entirely living up to Dennis' description of her as a "tough old bird". I think she knew there was a big, juicy bird awaiting roasting in the fridge! As of now, she is still hanging in there & enjoying life.

Went to Vail to visit my friend Bengt Erikson & help him out by taking some digital images of a couple tapestries he didn't have images for. He & Bill will be moving away soon, to Santa Fe, since they discovered they are not happy here in the heat & in the isolated area in which they live after relocating from the Pacific Northwest. And, I bought his 2 ft. Shannock collapsible frame loom from him when I discovered he was interested in selling it! He primarily weaves on his 6ft. Shannock now. To see more of his work, visit the online ATA exhibit, Tapestry On The Edge.

Above, a detail of Bengt's Rincons.

Made the decision NOT to torture myself trying to crank out opuntia for submission to ATB 7. I decided instead to torture myself by cranking out a small tapestry for another upcoming Tohono Chul exhibit, Earth, Air, Fire, Water. This newest tapestry, earth & sky, is from a digital image I took when Dennis, Roux, & I were hiking along the base of the Vermillion cliffs during a trip there in '06. Bengt is also submitting his Rincons for this exhibit, so I am hoping to have his tapestry there to keep mine company! For more on tapestry & torture, please visit Kathy Spoering's blog to learn more about this fiber-related affliction. Remember, Kathy, we love to weave!!!

Was offered & accepted my first teaching job by the Bisbee Fiber Arts Guild! I will teach beginning tapestry weaving, & my first workshop will be in March of '08. I am in the planning stages now...

And, finally, I have started a new tapestry for yet another Tohono Chul exhibit with yet another looming deadline, one I just couldn't pass up, Turquoise. I will be weaving it on Bengt's old Shannock, since opuntia is languishing away on the Tissart. The header is started & my palette & design are ready. It is a geometric design, inlay 9, rectangular in shape & composed of 9 geometrically dynamic squares & rectangles based on a 9 inch square in 9 different shades of turquoise . I love turquoise jewelry of all kinds & this design makes me think of inlaid rings & bracelets. The "9" denotes the number of letters in the word "turquoise" & I chose the shades based on pieces of turquoise I own. I will post images of it once I have woven more!
The desert has finally settled into winter... after weeks of temps near 90, just at Thanksgiving the weather turned & since then it has been very pleasant 60s & 70s during the days & 40s at night. We had a giant storm roll through a few days ago, rain all day & all night, the most we've received in over a year and hopefully more on the way with the upcoming front on its way here from Alaska!

After this flurry of activity frenzy passes, I hope to be able to return to work on opuntia in a more leisurely manner, since it is the biggest tapestry I've woven so far. I plan to submit it in the Juror's Choice exhibit that accompanies Arizona Federation of Weavers & Spinners Fibers Through Time conference being held in Tucson this coming April. I should have plenty of time, right, Kathy?