Saturday, November 19, 2011

Just For Fun

The Potter's Guild Show is behind me and with a little more time on my hands, I couldn't help myself, I had to play a little bit. Here are some pieces from my dye pot this week. They remind me a bit of ink blot pictures.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Jacket in An Afternoon

I started out the week working on this warp. Bor-ing! Even though I know the final fabric will be dyed to make more of the Boho jackets, I still was totally bored.

So for a break, I let my eyes wander to my yarn shelf and impulsively grabbed cones that spoke me. Then I did a bit of wrapping and laying yarns together. I used thin and chunky chenille yarns along with two ribbon yarns and some thick and thin gold rayon. I liked it so much, I couldn't wait so I pulled out my warping mill.

How quickly I distracted myself but what fun. Here are the warp chains ready to set up the small loom for my next wide scarves. So I did just that, set up the loom. . .
. . . and this morning I started weaving it. I got about a half a scarf done when I got bored again. So what do I do, you might ask? Well, I saw some shibori dyed flax fabric from last year that I had stuck on my shelf because I didn't have a clue what to do with it. And my Ah-ha moment. Earlier this summer I designed new a
jacket in chenille. I knew I wanted to tweek. Well, below is my next version of this jacket. I love it! And I also love it when the creative juices are flowing like this. This is my new favorite. And it all came together in an afternoon! Now if I could just get the weaving elves to come in tonight and weave off the boring stuff, I could make more fun garments to wear!

Front View Side View

Detail of fabric

Saturday, September 3, 2011

At Summer's End

Summer has come to an end and even though it's taken me away from my studio, I've had a blast traveling back and forth across the country. I always return inspired.

And again we embark on a road trip - this time to San Diego. While Carl attends a conference, I have the luxury of exploring the city. And it also just happens to coincide with the San Diego Quilt Expo at the Convention Center. I'm excited that I'll be able to attend this quality textile event. What quilters are doing these days is so inspiring to me. I'll be packing my inspiration notebook in my bag for sure.
And just so you know I really have been working in my studio too - here's a photo of one of the pieces I've recently done. This is very similar to my large poncho. It's not as wide over the shoulders and has a seam under the arms to create more of a garment although very loose. I added a shibori dyed and fringed border for the sleeve effect. For a cool evening, this one would substitute nicely for a sweater.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Boho Jacket

Here's my newest -- introducing the Boho Jacket! I started with a warp of flax blend and wove the weft with rayon chenille. I used light colors of yarn which just about drove me crazy since I get extremely bored weaving light colors.
I decided to play with folding and wrapping to resist the dyes. Okay, it's really tie-dye but I think it works with this style. Here are the cocoon-like pieces just before I placed them in the dye bath.

For the sleeves, I used office clips. I really like the little lines they created on fabric. I dyed that piece in black dye but with the yellowish undertones of the base fabric, it looks more brownish-black.

Dye pots processing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vacation Projects Finished

Vacation has ended and thanks to this project, my hours in the car flew by quickly. After almost 15 years of carrying these little balls of yarn around with with me, they have finally become something I can use. As I always do, though, I'm second guessing myself on the placement of color. If I could unravel it and start over again, I'd use a different approach. But I really think it works just fine the way it is.

For variety, I packed my drop spindle and practiced my spinning. Here's a picture of the balls I spun from the sample pack of Merino wool roving I bought at Fiber Fiesta. The ball on the front left is Merino and silk. I have much to learn before my spinning is perfected but I had fun doing it.

And now it's back to studio work. I'm dressing the loom and preparing my plan for the month ahead.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Birds, Grapes And a Bit of Studio

When we returned from our summer vacation, I discovered that the birds had mostly stripped the grapes from our vines. Yep, there's one of the guilty party above.
They pecked through all the little brown paper bags I had carefully placed over each grape cluster. I know - whaaat? Okay, Google is usually my friend! And maybe it works for other people, but the birds here in New Mexico are way too smart! With the few surviving grapes, I'm trying a new trick. I've attached empty plastic strawberry boxes.

So far, they've kept the squirrels out of my tomatoes so hopefully it works for grapes too. It's our first year and I'd like to at least taste the grapes.
Now, ten days after our vacation to Michigan, we're off once again - this time to Denver. As you can imagine, I've had little quality time in my studio. I did manage to design a new garment out of my flax-blend/chenille fabric.

The warp is a thick and thin yarn of flax, rayon and cotton. The warp is my usual rayon chenille. It's a much more casual fabric than the soft and luscious warp and weft rayon chenille garments and not nearly as pricey.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Little Balls of Yarn

I found these balls of yarn hiding in my old trunk while unpacking my studio. I've been toting them around with me since the 90s waiting for the perfect inspiration which so far had elluded me. They're the end result of a color triangle dye study I did while studying fiber arts. Sixty-five different colors of 1 ounce balls of yarn, to be exact. They started as a natural gray 2-ply worsted wool from Brown Sheep.

Over the years I would pull these out intending to weave or knit something, but I just loved looking at all the beautiful colored balls together. Several times I even began a project that I didn't like so I unraveled it and and once again stored away these little balls.

At last, the time has come. I've begun knitting this 10-stitch blanket I found on Ravelry. I'm not much of a knitter. I'm the one who starts knitted projects and never finishes them. But once I figured out how to literally turn the corner on this one, I decided I really like it. A road trip is in my near future and this seemed like just the thing to take along. Hopefully I can post pictures of the finished blanket soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I never realized how much of my life I'd spent holding my breath until I took my first yoga class. Since then, I mostly am aware of my breathing. But I seem to have stumbled across a old pattern of breath-holding this week.

I took on a project a couple weeks ago, excited and full of creative energy. I jumped in head first hardly coming up for air at meal time, eating in gulps at my computer. And everything flowed perfectly. I couldn't sleep at night imagining my perfect end result and eagerly began each workday. Obsessive compulsive you say? Yep, and huge adrenalin rushes as each new idea sprang to life. Not breathing yet.

And then, it all took a nose dive. Last weekend I began to run into one problem after another. Appropriate for Father's Day, in my head I heard my Dad's voice say, "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all." That was his way of encouraging me to do a good job. But somehow it got translated in my brain to, "If you can't be perfect, you might as well quit!" Now really! I'm an adult and I know better, but my gut was in turmoil and things went from bad to worse. I fought with this all week and was a basket case by Thursday when I finished the project. I felt defeated. Still not breathing. Achy body, headache, verge of tears all because I hadn't allowed my breath to help me find my center and my real truth. The truth is, I know few people will see the imperfections that I see. I gave it my all and I did the best I could do. I didn't quit.
I went to yoga this morning and breathed in deep. I feel much better today and am taking a much-needed break. I know that being a perfectionist is not a bad thing when it comes to my work. The challenge is to break the old pattern of beating myself up when things don't go smoothly. I even know from experience, sometimes the unexpected end result is much better than the planned results. And there are always lessons to be learned from the mistakes. That's not a bad thing. And there's always a new week to begin again.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Flower at My Door

The shelves above my sewing area and my desk are in place and most things have found a home. Unfortunately, the yarn shelves will have to wait a little longer since I'm working with a deadline on another exciting silk project -- more about that later.
But in the meantime, I couldn't resist this Mandeville that I found on sale this week. I think it's perfect just outside my new french doors.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Studio

Evidence of construction is still everywhere, but my new french door makes any mess tolerable. And my loom has found it's new home just inside the door. The natural light is amazing.

Take a look at the artwork I hung above my loom. These are woven fabric photos of my great aunts' quilting and my grandmother at her sewing machine. How could I not have become a fiber person?

Back In The Saddle Again!

. . . and I couldn't be happier! After a very, very long hiatus, I finally have my very own creative space.

Things are still in a bit of a shambles. I'm waiting on my handy man hubby to help put up the shelves this weekend. In the meantime, the yarn and notions are still in boxes and a variety of things haven't found a home yet.

But I set up my sewing station and couldn't help myself -- I started designing.

After the Fiber Arts Fiesta in Albuquerque last week, I visited my friend Joann Winkler at Vintage Cowgirl in Old Town. She has some of my garments in her boutique. I was so inspired after looking at her new selections for this year that I sketched out a plan for a new jacket. So yesterday, I pulled out my inspiration notebook and using two pieces of rayon chenille fabric which had been woven of the same warp but different wefts, I began to cut and sew. Today I have a completed garment. Yeehah!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Studio -- soon?

I'm still homeless from my studio but as the season turns to summer, my inspiration has returned and I breathe a sigh of relief. This is what I've been waiting for. After months of seemingly no direction, I find myself with my notebook beside me jotting and sketching my new inspirations for weaving and silk images. I can hardly wait to unpack all my long buried yarns and supplies and get back to work. I must say, I am grateful to have this little spot right in my own backyard. I know it will have been worth the wait!

Photo: Dragonfly at Bitter Lake, Computer enhanced and manipulated

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bamboo Baby Blanket

Many weeks later . . . yes, I'm finally back at this blog, amazing!

Since I last wrote, my grandson decided to join us early which meant I had to quickly finish weaving the bamboo baby blanket. I cut it off and finished it the day before I left for the airport. I was in Pittsburgh for several weeks to help with the baby. I was thrilled to have this opportunity and to deliver the new blanket in person.

And now my studio is painted and finish work should be completed next week. I'm ready to be back at work in my own space again. Updates will follow soon, I promise.

Friday, March 4, 2011

In the Meantime

My studio is progressing. I've hired someone to drywall and in a couple of weeks I should have the walls painted and the floor finished.

In the meantime, I wasn't sure whether my new grandson-to-be would make his appearance before I could weave his special blanket. So I temporarily set up my loom in the guesthouse bedroom.

The blaket is almost ready to be cut off. And there's just enough yarn left to weave fabric for a matching pillow for big brother.

In addition, I've been teaching myself to spin with a drop spindle. This bit of roving is all that is left of the two ounces of baby alpaca I purchased. I think it wants to be a scarf. My daughter, who learned to spin at age 12 should be proud of me!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deja Vu

Yes, I've been here before. . . hummm only about three years ago in a little town called Tucumcari. I'm once again remodeling and remaking a space for my studio, not to mention trying to find out who I am in this new town with new people, places and experiences. I can't say it's been easy so far. I'm sick to death of moving! Don't care if I never do it again! Wait a second, didn't I say that last time too? How quickly I forget.

Nevertheless, I am now a resident of Roswell, New Mexico, a small city of about 50 thousand with real stores, not much traffic, fabulous art museums and activities and little green men hanging around on Main Street (only four blocks from my house and studio-to-be)!

My husband, Carl, thinks if we can do a job, why hire someone. Since he's working full-time, guess who was assigned to insulate this week. Actually, I'm proud of the job I've done. But I really don't plan to install the dry wall, thank you!