Saturday, January 31, 2009

First month complete on tapestry diary; 11 more to go!

I've only missed four days during January with the tapestry diary. Those are the white "blanks" that are interspersed throughout the piece. I'm glad to have the 1st to look forward to tomorrow since I'll only have to weave one blip within a field of color. The growing days of the months cause me to have to think... sometimes, I'd rather just weave than think about how to weave my assignment.

Of course, you say... you made the assignment yourself so lighten up! Yep, I could do that and I may find myself doing that before 2009 is over. But right now, this is a young enough activity that I want to do it according to my self-imposed rules.

So... here's the month of January on the loom.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John Updike--1932-2009

Updike quotes:

Art is like baby shoes.  When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn.

Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity.  Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.

We do survive every moment, after all, except the last one.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Writing workshop this weekend

I'm taking off to the big village of Brasstown, NC, to John C. Campbell Folk School for a writing workshop this weekend. It's called "Write Your Story for Your Family"--here's the description from the Folk School website:

Your children and grandchildren will enjoy reading the interesting and unique story of your life. We will spark those buried memories with the use of photos, keepsakes, and by hearing the stories of your classmates. Learn where to begin, how to organize, and how to present the most important legacy you can leave to future generations. This class is suggested for beginning to intermediate students.

Good thing it's noted for beginners as I'm completely a beginning writer. Granted, I write constantly in journals, blogs, sketchbooks and for class handouts. And I read constantly. But I certainly don't consider myself a writer.

My goal for the weekend is to gain a few skills for compiling my family memories. In preparation for this I've been going through old photos that have been hanging around in the family for decades. This morning I came across a few that I'd forgotten. For instance, this photo of two beautiful women, taken in about 1940. These are my Mother (on the right) and her younger sister. They were sitting in the yard of their parent's home.

This one is of my father, taken in Luzon in 1945--as noted in my Mother's handwriting on the back of the photo.

And, here I am in about 1949, even then ready, willing and able to get into a vehicle and go somewhere fun!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A great day for the United States of America

I'm watching streaming of the events... no TV right now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

more of the edit

Here's the current state of my home studio. Still looks a mess... but if you notice it's a more controlled mess than earlier in the month!

So far, I've taken several boxes of things to my other studio, given away a couple of boxes of yarn, some books, assorted files and notebooks from past years at NGCSU, and -- believe it or not -- even taken several stuffed bags to the trash.

The day-of-the-year weaving is keeping me from being too frantic about not having time for tapestry right now. I need to have a better term for what I'm doing, I guess. Calendar tapestry, maybe? Or tapestry of days -- a take-off on the many Book of Days, like this 1869 one, or even the Book of Days lyrics from Enya's Shephard's Moon. But probably the good old utilitarian word "diary" best fits.

So, that's what I'll call be calling it from now on: tapestry diary. Here it is, on the loom.

I'd mentioned earlier that it's 12" wide, linen warp sett at 7.5 epi. It's on the 32" Fireside tapestry loom and the warp is long enough so that I'll have around 40+" in which to weave. During the first week I decided to do ten days across the span, not weaving the same height each day. I'm using no joining method for the slits and I'll decide about sewing them or not after tapestry is off the loom.

It's quite fun to play this game, making up rules as I go--like the blanks to be woven for days missed. So far, the three white areas I've woven for blanks have been because I wasn't out of town, just out of time in the particular day. Since I chose to do those in white, I'll use a different color for the blanks of the out of town days to come in the year.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

as time goes by...

Long time since last post! I'm still "editing" house stuff as I talked about last time and not weaving much at all. But I am spending five to ten minutes almost every day on my year-long tapestry. Here's a picture of it as of today, the 18th of January... let's see, that's only 347 more woven entries to make.

Each day is represented by a small color field, with a mark of some kind to indicate day. I began on the right side and I'm doing 10 across, but not all of the same width or height. So far I've missed three days and filled in a small area of white for that day before weaving the next day's bit.

Cold over the past few days--and a tiny bit of snow last night.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

My husband and I watched an online streaming of the ball drop at Times Square on New Year's Eve. Since we don't have TV access right now, we had both my desktop and laptop Macs set up side-by-side to see which one gave us the best view. The larger screen, of course, was the best view, but then we noticed a nano-second difference in timing... the laptop was streaming faster. So, we turned off the big guy and believe we actually caught the New Year's arrival at about the right time. Of course, the acknowledging and marking of time is only a human thing, I guess.

My tapestry weaving has been put on hold while we try to recapture our house and move back in. We've had major repair and renovation done there over the past year; in fact, my husband, cat and I have lived in my studio house for going on seven months now. I'm glad we didn't have to stay in the midst of the confusion of ripping out plumbing (polybutylene pipes), shower and ceiling below where there'd been water leaks, replacing kitchen cabinets as well as adding new countertops, repainting the whole interior of the house--and that only notes the highlights. We moved here to my studio house, bringing along about a week's worth of clothes and the notion that we'd be getting back to the house in about a month's time. That was before I left for Convergence in Tampa in late June.

Our house was built in 1871; we bought it twenty years ago and did a major renovation then.

This R&R (repair and renovation) began as we were needing to replace the polybutylene plumbing pipes installed at the time of the 1989 work. We've been fortunate that we haven't had too many leaks from the polybutylene pipes through the years--although in 2004 there was a pretty major flood in the room I use as my home studio. Luckily, there wasn't damage to any of my looms or tapestries--only lost a few paper things. That particular repair caused us to have to move everything out of the studio and distribute throughout the rest of the house while we replaced the sheetrock of the ceiling and a couple of the walls, and worked to save the hardwood floor of the room with a complex system of tubes and dehumidifiers. Here's a scanned photo from that particular event.

Now, as we are about to move back home, I'm continuing the BIG EDIT of stuff that my husband suggested awhile back and that started with my things from the attic. I have notebooks and files from my years of full-time teaching at NGCSU that I've thought I might use again. BUT, let's be realistic here--I won't be teaching those courses again and even if I were, I'd need to redesign them after a hiatus of nine years!! And, no--I won't need the knitting books that I've collected since I won't be knitting anything but dishcloths (if even that). Do I really need two or three copies of Handwoven, American Craft, Fiberarts magazines that have gotten into my stash? For some reason, I think I probably won't need about a thousand #2 pencils that seem to have multiplied in dark corners while no one was looking. You know, even my comic books from the mid-60s are looking suspiciously superfluous at this point.

Edit our lives now since we don't have children to do it for us later. All will either go to the estate sale or to the trash can as somebody will have to deal with it after we're gone if we don't do it now!

I said that my tapestry weaving has been put on hold--well, that's not entirely true. I have a loom at the home studio that's been warped for about two years, just waiting to be woven on. So on January 1, I started a new time-passing weaving, same idea as when I did the tapestry throughout the month of May 2008. But this one will be done throughout the whole year of 2009--or at least that's the intent as we get to the 4th day of the year, with only 361 more days to go! Again, no planning ahead of time--just spending a few minutes each day that I'm in town weaving a small area. Once more I've made a few rules and those will probably evolve as the weaving does. First rule is that I'll only use yarn that's at the home studio and whenever possible, from past weft bundle remains saved from other tapestries. Second rule is that I'll indicate out of town days somehow. This morning my though is that I'll use a neutral color for the "blanks". I'll be testing that idea before the month's out since I'm hoping to take a class at John Campbell Folk School during the weekend that Noel will be teaching a spinning class.

So, Happy New Year--no resolutions other than to be resolved to get this edit of life's stuff all done and enjoy the ride!