dog days of summer

We are in the midst of the dog days here. It is miserable to go outside. Roger & Mo have totally adapted to studio life & know how to handle it.

The temps I see posted for most of the rest of the country on the national weather reports fill me with a great deal of envy. Although our humidity has been dropping this week, making the heat a tiny bit more bearable, 105 is HOT, dry or not!

But, I am grateful we have had substantial rains this
monsoon season. The desert is very green right now, with many "volunteers" such as this Devil's Claw sprouting up seemingly from nowhere. If you look into the photo's background, you can see the green "claws" which are actually the plant's seed pods still in their sticky green skins, reminding me of a warped okra. When the pods dry, the skins split & the interior structure curls outward into two curled prongs. The Tohono O'odham use the claw to weave black designs into their exquisite baskets.

I have been organizing my files in the studio & cleaning up, not much weaving taking place. Now that everything is in order, I have started working again on painted hills; I will post photos when I've got more to show! I had started it around the time I went to Alpine for the tapestry retreat, & took it with me to Tselani, but I didn't get much accomplished on it either of those two trips. I am feeling like I will be digging into it seriously now & I hope to be able to submit it for ATA's newest small format exhibit.

In between organizing tasks, I completed my ATA volunteer duty editing the next Tapestry Topics newsletter for the online issue excerpts. One of the perks of doing that is getting to see the newsletter content before it goes to print. Since I just skim it for the excerpts, I get a good taste of the theme. By the time the actual newsletter comes in the mail enough time has passed so that I enjoy reading it thoroughly. This issue is fabulous, the theme of small format tapestries received wonderfully written submissions from many tapestry artists. I am very excited to have three articles that I wrote included in this issue.

I delivered sensia to Tohono Chul at the beginning of the week for the "Please Touch, Again" exhibit which opened today. I am honored to have it represent the exhibit (along with another artist's work) on the exhibit's promo postcard. The artists' reception will be in October & I am looking forward to it because by then the weather should be much more bearable.

I've decided to submit most of my previously completed tapestries for a couple of upcoming local exhibits, Arizona Designer Craftsmen's Craftsmanship: 2nd Annual ADC Juried Exhibition, held at Arizona State University in Tempe, & Mesa Contemporary Arts Center's 30th Annual Contemporary Crafts, in Mesa. Both cities are large suburbs of Phoenix... I can't wait to see if they will be accepted as I am not sure that they have had much tapestry represented in those venues. I feel the need to start spreading my wings locally & get my work into more locations than just Tohono Chul.

Next week, Dennis & I are taking a road trip to Taos for a few days! An escape from the heat! We will have fun exploring around Taos, driving out into the beautiful high desert country, & experiencing some of Taos' eclectic night life & tasty cuisine. We also will go into Santa Fe one of the days we are there to do some sightseeing (I am ecstatic about visiting the Georgia O'Keeffe museum) & to have lunch with tapestry artists Kathy Perkins & Bengt Erikson. Dennis is worried that I will turn the whole trip into a "fiber head" extravaganza. I tried to reassure him, but then I remembered that New Mexico has a fabulous publication, New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails, which is free & maps out rural fiber arts destinations all over the state. I now have a copy of it in my possession... after all, many of those places are right on the way & it would be a shame not to stop, wouldn't it?