Friday, December 18, 2009


A drop-in customer requested a red and black rayon chenille scarf for a Christmas gift and of course, I couldn't make just one! I used my intuitive method of designing and quickly whipped a warp on my loom. The last several days I wove the fabric and finished six fringy scarves - no two alike. As always, these scarves are extremely soft and feel so good on! What a perfect gift!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Outside the Box

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to what it would be like for me to not weave all my fabric. This has been a struggle because when I found weaving , I felt I had found a part of myself that had been missing. With my last name Weaver and those who came before me (although it had been lost in recent generations) weaving has been my identity since I took my first class 16 years ago. Although I do other fiber arts such as digital imagery on fabric and dyed silk items, I still think of myself as a handweaver.
Weaving fabric and sometimes dyeing the fabric and then designing clothing from this fabric is time intensive, and the customer often does not appreciate the time involved in this process. I'm realizing that the style I create is often more desireable than the handwoven fabric.

So I stepped outside my box and ordered yards of undyed cotton velour and spent most of the last two weeks dyeing and sewing my newest design - a fun and comfy top. I'm really excited about this piece since I've had many requests for items for larger sizes. This is a one-size-fits-all so anyone can wear it comfortably. It comes in a short and long version - this one works well with leggings - and the fabric has stretch too. Best of all, it is completely machine washable and dryable.

I'm already imagining this in a lighter fabric for spring/summer and new colors.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Warp!

Color always makes me happy and this warp didn't disappoint. When the threads are stretched on the loom before weaving begins, the colors are always more intense. When the weft threads (threads woven across) interact with the warp, the result is a muted or darken version of the original hues. The intensity of this particular warp was a feast for my eyes and for everyone else who walked into my studio this past week. It was one of those warps I hated to actually cut off the loom. Yesterday I did the deed and the fabric is now ready to sew. It will become three beautiful happy garments.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Comfortable Rhythm

I seem to have settled into my usual winter rhythm of setting up the loom, cutting off the fabric, dyeing the fabric, and finally sewing the fabric into various garments and finishing scarves. As I sit at my loom and feast my eyes on the brightly colored yarns on my shelves or the finished garments waiting to be shipped, I imagine new possibilities and designs begin to form in my head. There's always the tension between working on the new ideas that come to me - and repeating what I know will sell.

As this week ends, I feel a great sense of accomplishment after looking around at the finished items. I love this rhythm - this is why I do this. The payoff isn't always monetary but the joy of seeing the work of my hands come to life and knowing each item will put a smile on someones face, if only my own - that is why I do this!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Color Anyone?

I spent last week, just as I'd planned, reorganizing my studio. I moved everything around for a fresh new look for fall. I love it! Everything feels fresh and new and I'm motivated to get back to work. This is the season for scarves and I find myself, as usual at this time of the year, pushing myself to make as many scarves as I can at the last minute.

I just wound a warp in a light blue-gray chenille yarn to be shibori dyed in colors that work with denim. On the main loom there's still the yellow/gold warp which will become more shibori scarves in my narrow fringy design. I must confess, I'm really getting bored with all the light and neutral colors needed for the background fabric in my shibori dyed pieces.I don't get to play with the color until I dye the fabric. So I've decided to plan another project in vibrant colors to feed my addiction to brights - ah yes, that's what I'm talking about!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Many Roads - Many Directions

Oh my, it seems like ages since I last posted here. I just returned from two weeks visiting family in the East. It was great spending time with them again. Fall is so different there with the beautiful colors of leaves, the smell in the air and the moisture. But now I'm happy to be back in my studio even though it's a bit overwhelming.

I have so many ideas, so many options and so many directions I could take. I'm spending this week, first of all cleaning up my work space of the clutter and then planning. If I'm not careful, my creative mind will go in too many directions and create only chaos and frustration. Getting the ideas on paper first and creating the plan next is where I am right now.

It seems the time is right to move forward with my images on fabric - specifically inspirational scarves. I've received wonderful feedback on my "Live in the Moment" scarf posted previously. Thanks to all for the encouragement. I am actively taking the next step to move ahead with more of these and who knows where it will take me. Stay tuned and we will see where this road leads.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Circle-of-Friends Scarf

Well, it has happened again! I've been asked to create another Circle-Of-Friends scarf. I'm always surprised at how meaningful this process is for me each time I design a new scarf.

I thought today might be a good time to describe how my Circle-of-Friends scarves began.

At a time in my life when I needed it most, I was invited to participate in a women’s group. We danced, played, and shared meaningful passages. We spoke of passions, deepest longings and pain. At the conclusion of each gathering, a circle was formed and anyone who wished, would enter. A simple silk scarf was placed on their shoulders as we slowly encircled our friend sending out our silent prayers and wishes.

Later, when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, many of our female relatives were scattered around the country. Feeling helpless, and from a desire to demonstrate our shared support, we gathered the messages we would give if we could be there with her. I incorporated the messages into the design of a silk scarf to encircle her as if we were there in person to show our love. The Circle-of- Friends scarf was born.

With each scarf, my intention is that the recipient find comfort and deep meaning as they face their journey of healing. And the giver, whether from one person or a group -- may they know they have literally surrounded this person with their love.

After receiving multiple requests for these scarves, I'm considering offering these scarves as a part of my product line on my website.

This "live in the moment" scarf will be donated to a silent auction for Longmont (Colorado) Hospital's Health Center for Integrated Therapies breast health campaign called "Be your Breast Friend". The auction will raise funds to further the campaign and potentially launch a nationwide effort to prevent breast cancer.

My daughter, Brooke, is currently doing her internship at this Center and I am thrilled to be one of the contributors to this worthy cause. I feel certain this scarf will find its way to the right person.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A New Season Begins . . .

Today is the first day of fall. The air is crisp,the mornings are cool and I am re-energized and ready for this new season. The only down-side is that the days are shorter, and I need more hours in my day. New ideas seem to be coming at me from everywhere. What to do. . . what to do!!! Where are the weaving fairies when you need them?

On the loom for a few more hours is another flaxies warp. Every warp has its own personality and this one certainly didn't disappoint. Right off the bat, a thread broke which is not a problem to fix with my little film canisters filled with rocks for weight and the end of the thread tucked securely under lid. That's the little white thing hanging off the back of the loom. But then a second thread broke and my fear was that I'd be popping threads for days.
What makes this yarn especially nice and textural is the way it's spun. It's thicker in some spots than in others. The flax part of the yarn also has little fibers that stick out and catch on other threads from time to time, so it can be a challenge to weave. But it was only cantankerous for a short time, and then it was back to business. The final fabric will be vests - I'm thinking, and I'll dye them in shades of red and black.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This Week In My Studio

In spite of a short week, I did accomplish a few things. I sewed the button on this poor purple jacket which had been waiting in the corner since before my move. Now it can find it's new home.

I draped a spot in my back room with fabric and set up lights in an attempt to get good photographs of my pieces for my new website. Alas, my photography skills are lacking. But until I make the big bucks, these will have to do!

I shipped off items so they are no longer hiding in my little studio where I seldom have visitors, much less customers. Although, I was pleasantly surpised to have a couple stop in from Atlanta yesterday. With I-40 on the south side of town, people usually just keep on driving. And even historic Route 66 is quite a few blocks from my studio. So it's indeed a pleasure to have out-of-towners find my little hide-away!

I also finished a few sewing projects that were underway. My newest invention, pictured on the right, is the next installment of the scrappy jacket. It comes to the knees and has deep side vents allowing the fabric to drape and move no matter what size you are. I love this one a lot. But then, isn't that why I make all these things? If I don't think they're great, they usually get made into something else.

And that sunlight shining in my studio is especially nice on these cooler mornings. That pretty much wraps up my week - ahhhh and now the weekend - enjoy all!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jan Jackets

In an earlier post, I wrote about one of my newest chenille garments inspired by my idea person, Jan - thus the name Jan Jacket or JJ.

Plans are underway to have my new website up very soon with photos of all my styles. But in the meantime, here is one of my newest JJs in a mossy/ khaki green. I really like the subtle horizontal stripe across the back.

And for those of us who find our neck and shoulders sometimes just need a little extra warmth, this piece is perfect. It's just the right weight to feel like a soft hug of fabric laying across the shoulders. It's quite flattering to the bustline as well. This piece can go either casual or dressy as a wrap over a sleeveless dress. And as with all the chenille fabric - it's just yummy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Goodbye to Summer

After the slow days of summer, I feel the familiar impatience with myself for all the things I didn't accomplish now that Fall is almost here. In New Mexico the days are still warm but the cool, crisp mornings are a sure sign that the season is changing and it's time to get my newest designs shipped off.

The last three weeks have found me in the studio almost every day setting up the loom, weaving, cutting off the fabric, and setting it up again -- then a week of sewing, sewing and more sewing. My newest creations have been tagged and now are almost ready to go. A sigh of relief and oh, so many new ideas and so little time to accomplish them all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Coneflower Again!

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

~ralph waldo emerson

And with that in mind, I move forward with my newest version of the coneflower photo in my kaleidoscope series. I'm so in love with this piece, I can hardly stand it! You can be sure this is the beginning of many more of these. Now if I could only find someone who loves to sew silk charmeuse!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back in my studio . . .

. . . and it feels so good!

My move is complete, although there are still many boxes to unpack and things to do at home. It feels really great to be back at work in my creative space again where I can temporarily forget all the work still to be done in my new living space.

Last weekend I had a visit from my daughter, Brooke and her friend, Marley. We took a quick day trip to Santa Fe where I visited "Handwoven Originals" in the shops at the Inn of the Loretto. It was fun showing them my handwoven items hung for display in a real boutique. This is me in the picture wearing my short version of the new flax blend shibori fabric vest. They liked this one there, so one of the next warps on my loom will be more of these vests in several colors.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Studio on Vaction!

It's been almost three weeks since I posted. My studio work has had to take a bit of a vacation since I am in full moving mode at my residence. I hope to be back at work in a couple weeks.

At my studio, I left a warp on my large loom with fabric for three Jan Jackets in shades of green. In process is another silk scarf using the kaleidoscope digital image I posted of the white coneflower earlier this summer. This pink sedum flower above (not sure of it's official name) will be one of my next projects.

But for now, I'm extremely busy and enjoying using my creativity to decorate my new home.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dye Pots and More Shibori

Just before heading to Denver for a 4th-of-July weekend getaway, I quickly mixed up two dye pots - one with torquoise and the other with olive green. My latest flax blend fabric was submerged. The base color was a light sage. The shibori effect is very subtle on the turquoise which is nice. But I prefer the olive green with lots of contrast.

With this fabric I created a vest. Here are two versions. I personally like the short length since I love to do layering. And this little thing can easily be thrown on over a tank for a quick summer cover-up or to take the chill off from a too-cool air conditioner.
I took the long version of the vest down the street to ArtSpace where the summer intern, Isabelle, tried it on. I think she looks real cute and retro in this vest. Thanks, Isabelle for being my model.

In the same dyepot, I threw in a pale gold chenille scarf with sections of shibori. I really like how it turned out as well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer is here!

With a few 100 degree days last week and mostly 90s this week, I find myself working at a slower pace. Even with a/c in my studio, I feel less motivated now. I guess it's the rhythm of summer. I try to be okay with this even though I always feel better at the end of the day when I have something to show for my time.

This week I've been perfecting my serger edges for my next digitally printed scarf on lightweight silk. I'll post pictures soon. And another warp was cut off the loom. Hmm, I guess I did more this week than I realized.

Pictured is another kaleidoscope image from a white coneflower I photographed a few years ago.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


As I celebrated Summer Solstice this past weekend - for me a celebration of joy in the fullness of life and the richness of my blessings - I was overwhelmed with gratitude for those who have been a part of my life encouraging me on this amazing journey.

I have been given so much by so many and my heart is full! I am eternally grateful to my mentor and personal angel, Sandy; Jill who stepped back and so generously allowed me to buy the loom 16 years ago instead of herself. It's still my primary loom and has assisted me in creating many wonderful woven pieces. And then there was Josie who invited me to show my work at the Abundance Gallery - my first exposure in a gallery. And my friend Traute who always encouraged and believed in me.

In this season full of life and sunshine, I recognize that I am living the life I've always wanted and give thanks for all those who've crossed my path and been a part of the steps it's taken to get here.

With Gratitude!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jan Jacket

I just returned from another trip to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I dropped off my Hippi Dippi shirts and also left them my newest chenille pieces. This one I call Jan Jacket since Jan is responsible for leading me to this new idea which we both fell in love with. It's not an original idea but I totally love it with the chenille fabric. I created a pleat just above the elbow. This one will be great to throw over a tank in an air conditioned room or on a cool evening instead of a sweater. Photographing this garment without a model was a challenge. Since most of the fabric is in the back, I've chosen to only post this photograph for now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Brooke's Scarf

Here's the same scarf that was draped on my mannequin on my May 29 blog. It was a birthday gift for my daughter, Brooke. And here she is modeling the scarf! Isn't she preeety?!!

Shall We Call Them Hippie Dippies?

Last week I dove right into my challenge of creating shirts from my new flax blend fabric. Wednesday I set up the loom with a pale peach yarn and enough length for two shirts. I wasn't exactly sure how much shrinkage I would have so I made the warp nice and wide at 30 inches. Thursday, I arrived at my studio bright and early and spent the day weaving and was able to cut the warp off the loom - whew! I haven't spent the entire day weaving in such a long time. Sure wish my massage therapist was closer.

Being obsessive compulsive, I had a race with time to see how much I could accomplish before the weekend. Friday found me setting up the loom once more with a light yellow and enough yarn for one more shirt - seemed manageable at the time, but it was a challenge to get it woven and cut off in one day. But I did it!

I spent the evening and part of Saturday morning pulling the threads to create the resist that makes that wonderful shibori pattern. Then I plopped them in two different dye pots. One of the peach fabrics went into a pot of scarlet and the other peach plus the yellow fabric went into a rust/brown pot. I was a little disappointed to discover that the yellow and peach don't really look that different after the final wash. Doing the shibori in dye pots is new for me. I usually hand paint the dyes onto the fabric. But since I love trying new stuff, this is the new of the moment for me.

And after all is said and done, don't these really look like something right out of the past? All I could think of was Hippie Dippie!! Seriously, I think they'll be lots of fun to wear.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Beautiful Day in Santa Fe

I just returned from a quick day trip to Santa Fe. What a perfect day in the city with sunshine and cool breezes. I visited the farmer's market and purchased some beautiful spring mix greens. I had a delicious Spanakopita at the Plaza Cafe, and fantasized about having a taste of all of their simply gorgeous baked goods. Then a stop at Whole Foods and sweet Bing cherries, Trader Joe's for a package of salmon and I am ready for a delicious and healthy food week here in Tucumcari. Oh how I used to take all these things for granted. Not anymore!

I also stopped by Handwoven Originals to see how the season is progressing there with my chenille pieces. I was wearing my newest flax blend scarf which I shibori dyed this past weekend. They liked it and want more pieces with this fabric for the summer. So I'm really excited to get to work producing more items from this great new fabric.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nature Dance

Several years ago while hiking in the mountains of Colorado, I happened upon this perfect wild columbine. On the enlarged version you can even see little flies on the stem. I've had lots of fun being creative with this one.

On the right is a very bad photo of the columbine which has been woven. The digital image was printed on silk charmeuse, cut and woven together. It's matted and framed behind glass which is why this photo turned out so bad - still learning how to photograph this type of media.

For this next idea, I was inspired by a book I saw on quilts. In an earlier life I was a quilter - way before digital images were possible. Since then a whole new world of possibilities have emerged. This next image seemed to make the flowers dance. Check out the center. I think I'll use this image on a silk scarf. In fact, I'm thinking of a whole series of scarves called kaleidoscope series. This is all so much fun and the variety is just what I need to break up my days of weaving and sewing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Correction on the Linen

I discovered that what I called linen is in fact a blend of rayon, cotton and flax. It had been so long since I ordered it, I'd forgotten. It was pretty stiff like linen on the loom but softened up nicely after washing.

Since my first piece, I wove a scarf using plain weave sett at 12 epi. I was worried it would be too stiff, but I really like the texture and drape. This yarn is also a slub which gives it more interest.

For my next project I used a huck lace pattern adapted from Handwoven March/April 2008. This time I used a looser sett of 10 epi. I love the twists in the pattern. After finishing, I've decided I prefer the tighter sett better. And I'm totally bored with these browns and oranges. I think it's time for some color.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Circle of Friends Project

A few weeks ago I completed another Circle of Friends scarf as a gift for a member of my daughter's music group, Safonia. I've done several of these scarves and every time I am once again struck by how emotionally moving it is for me. When I read the messages that are submitted for the project, I'm always reminded how precious our lives are and how important it is to be there for our friends - especially through the difficult times. I don't know the recipient of this scarf, but I know she has been an incredible inspiration to my daughter Brooke and I wish her peace on her journey.

Here is one of the messages that I found especially moving:

As swimmer dare to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit's embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace
-Denise Levertov

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


If you look closely, you will see the tiny bunny we discovered a few weeks ago by our house. The picture doesn't show how really tiny he was. I think he would have fit into the palm of my hand. He's long gone now, hopefully escaping the coyotes by the gate.

This week a new lizard has moved onto our porch and front yard. I'm really loving the pattern on his back. I can see it on fabric. And would you take a look at the length of that dude's tail!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eggcitement 2009

Eastern New Mexico Art Space here in Tucumcari recently held their Eggcitement fundraising event of donated Egg Art.

I am happy to announce that I am now the proud owner of an original Amado Pena painted ostrich egg. His studio and gallery are located in Santa Fe. His work is absolutely incredible. The colors are vibrant in oranges, blues, purples, browns and torquoise. The images are abstract Native American people and artifacts -- very much his signature style. As far as I know, there is only one other egg of this type that he has done which was donated to the last Eggcitement event. I will cherish this work or art and maybe even create a woven fabric inspired by the colors.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Last year I purchased a linen-rayon blend yarn in several earth tone colors. They've been sitting on my shelf talking to me for quite some time. Several weeks ago I impulsively warped enough yarn for a wide scarf. I wove it in a loose plain weave. On the loom it looked a bit like the old burlap feed sacks we used to get on the farm when I was kid. That was a bit concerning! I wasn't feeling too optimistic about the outcome.

But once off the loom and washed and dryed, I fell in love! This fabric is light enough to wear in the summer. It has a nice enough drape to not be too bunchy at the neck when wrapped around as a scarf. I think it will probably soften with wear and washings. I can't wait to get the chenille warp off my loom so I can do more projects with this yarn. I'm thinking lace weave patterns will be the next experiment.