Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rainy night in Georgia... the song goes. And, thank goodness for it! I don't have a rain gauge but hope we've gotten a significant amount of rain since it began during the night. It was great to wake up to the sound of it in the gutters. The drought here is still bad and our water bills have gone up. It seems that our town has done so well in water conservation that the revenues from the water bills went down...thus, the city council decided to raise the rates!! Talk about rewarding the consumer??

Enough whining about that...more pleasant things to think about:

1. Good visit with friends from out of town during the holidays...

2. Not TOO much stress over Christmas week...

3. Nice trip to Birmingham, AL a couple of days ago to see an exhibit at the BMA...

4. And, I'm now back to weaving!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I spent most of today going to my parents graves, putting out flowers for them and also for my sister's daughter, who died as an infant. My Mother died four years ago this month. As it turned out, she was buried on the same day (Dec. 17) as my Father--just 44 years later. He also died in December, the 15th...the year I'd turned 12 and my sister 5. My Mother was devastated at his death; she was 38 and he was 39 at the time. The holiday season since that time was not so happy in our family any more.

Mother missed my Father all her remaining years. While she had great fun at times--she had a wicked sense of humor and really loved slightly off-color jokes--there was always an underlying sadness about her. She got so much joy from her grandchildren, though--in fact, all children were especially dear to her. She treasured times spent with her nieces and nephews, then later their children. Babies were particularly her favorites. Talk about spoiling them "rotten!"

And, birthday cakes! She was famous for her decorated cakes. Icing so sweet it would make your teeth drop out!! Sometimes, too, her cakes would sort of "go south..." Maybe there'd be a crack that developed in one or more of the layers. Well, shoot, she'd fix that by nailing it together with toothpicks and filling in the cracks with icing. Heaven forbid you'd get too involved in a big bite of cake and run across one of those toothpicks! We told her we thought she was setting up booby traps...she'd just laugh.

She'd hide the cake (although EVERYBODY who had a birthday around the corner knew she had one lurking somewhere), then enlist someone (usually the youngest person there--if it wasn't their own birthday) to help her bring in the cake, all lighted with the appropriate number of candles. One year, as she came down the hall with the cake with candles ablaze--I think maybe Jacob was "helping" this time--the smoke detector went off!! She got a kick out of that!! My husband wasn't too happy, though--it was HIS cake that set the thing off!

My parents graves are in a small cemetery in the community where I grew up. So they're buried about two miles from where we lived then. The "old home place" is now falling in but my sister and I inherited my Mother's portion of the farm property--about 18 acres. At the top of the hill on the property sits an old truck--actually, the hull of the truck--parked there by my Father in 1959. He'd been doing some engine work on it and left it while he went out of town on a job (he was a heavy equipment operator--mostly drove bulldozers but could operate just about anything). During that week before Christmas, he died in a tragic circumstance involving carbon monoxide. The repair work, of course, was never completed and my Mother insisted that the truck must remain where my Father had last worked on it. Through the past 48 years nature (and vandals) have helped it along to the state it is now. I've photographed it a number of times through the years because the weathering effects are spectacular, I think. I'd even drawn a cartoon for tapestry from a photo a few years back, gotten yarn for the piece but just didn't follow through with it.

The colors of the truck body are becoming so amazing; possibly I should work with details rather than the whole image. That approach might enable me to handle a very emotionally charged subject in a way that will let me celebrate the beauty I see in the remains.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More about the new weaving underway...

The new tapestry is going fine today; I was able to weave several inches into the border. Tomorrow will bring less weaving time since I'll be going out of town for part of the day.

I was puzzled at first about where and how to put up the maquette that I'm working from so that I could see it for reference, but a solution presented itself as I noticed the blinds at the window. I've clipped the painting up to the blinds with clothes pins and this works just fine.

I should be able to weave most and maybe all of the border before having to advance the warp...a good thing since I'll probably have to have help as I do that. The tension is great on the loom, with the two pawl and ratchets at each beam on both sides. However, to loosen tension at the warp beam before advancing I'll need to have a wider arm-span than I have to release the second pawl at the same time as the first! I may possibly need to see about having a worm-gear installed, as the Fireside looms have, if this turns out to be too much of a problem. Another reason to try out the loom but with something that won't (maybe) take too long to accomplish!

Weaving again!

I'm happy to be finally weaving on the new/old Ruthie loom! I made a few changes yesterday morning on the maquette and felt finally ready to draw the cartoon on mylar. I did that and, after figuring out how to hold it up to begin to stitch it onto the 60" wide warp, got underway with the border.

The warp is 6 epi and I'm using three fold of Vevgarn combined with two smaller wools--the "Mailiss" yarn, also from Norway. I haven't counted ppi but not many, compared to the black walnut tapestry with the closer warp sett. All will be much bolder with this but that's what I want right now--to be able to test the loom, for one thing, and also to work through a large and yet simple design as quickly as I can.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another slide show...

I'm trying the Picasa web album again, this time changing the size of the slideshow. The photos are from last week's visit to Sapphire and the wonderful walks in the woods. I don't know if those with dial-up can visit and view the blog easily with the slide show embedded--if you have comments about that, please send!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More photos from Sapphire: first, Noel & Parker at one of the largest rocks. Then, Parker and I have a rest...after which, Parker and Erika play king/queen of the rock! Last, Professor and Mac in the cabin.

Design inspiration

I spent a couple of days this week at Noel & Patrick's place near Sapphire, NC. Their 150 acre property will be placed in a conservation easement next week. Their intent is that this beautiful place, with springs, creeks, pond and waterfalls will be preserved in perpetuity. Patrick is actively working with the woolly adelgid problem to save the hemlocks and the trees on their property serve as a testament to the effectiveness of the Sassy beetle (Sasajiscymnus tsugae). This hemlock, near one of the waterfalls, was on decline. This is the tree this December, on its way back to full health, HWA in control!

Patrick has made quite an impact in Western NC over the past two years as he's tackled the problem, developing a protocol for release that is exceptionally effective and sharing all he knows with public and private individuals and institutions. Patrick is also working hard to refine a photographic crown density measurement process that should give a very graphic example of the results. With his research and statistical knowledge all of his work will play a major role in saving the hemlocks.

Thursday morning we walked to a recently added 9 acres. Below their waterfall, this property has wonderful outcroppings of rock. These are densely covered in mosses, fungi and ferns of all
kinds. The laurel is dense but they've recently hired a few young, sturdy men to clear along the survey line, making for a walking path that isn't hard to navigate.

I took many photographs--most of details of tree trunks and tree crowns since I'm still investigating the design for the next tapestry.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Studio Day at Pat's house

Yesterday, I spent a great day at Pat W's studio along with Jan A, who'd traveled from RI to GA with her mother to visit relatives. She took a few hours away from family to drive up to Pat's--we both arrived about the same time, had a quick chat and then decided to go for lunch right away since we were all a bit peckish!

After lunch we spent several hours in Pat's studio, looking at her work in progress and some of my pieces, including the current struggle with the tree design. Jan had photos of her latest piece with her that we also saw.

Lots of inspiring conversation about tapestry and design, ATA, the direction of the new version of American Craft magazine, and much more. We three had a fun time in Grand Rapids, MI at the last Convergence in 2006...we did some gallery hopping & lunch, then were all in Jane Kidd's workshop at the ATA retreat. It's good to catch up!

Slide show??

I'm trying out the slide show page element feature. The design process for this tree tapestry is shown in bits and pieces in the photos posted there...I'm going to also try to embed it in this post:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Designing Blues!

I've got those designing blues again...almost every time I begin working on a new design for tapestry I have trouble. I know where the trouble comes's from not knowing if my composition is developing well, if the concept is of enough significance to spend the next few months on it and if the tapestry to be based on the design will be successful.

I like the process of weaving so much that I often rush through the designing. I don't give myself enough time between the mark making to making the cartoon for the tapestry to adequately analyze what I've done. So far, I've been working on this piece for four days.

I spent one day deciding on size and beginning the initial sketching. I use several ways to create the images from which I this method, I use visual references and also work spontaneously with ideas. I looked through my many sketches of trees made in the past year thinking I'd possibly use one of those as the starting point. I found a couple that were possibilities for the long, narrow vertical composition I want (to be woven and then turned 90˚ in the finished piece).

I work on the design the size I want for the tapestry using unstretched but gessoed artist canvas. This time, I began by sketching with soft graphite sticks and also using magic rub eraser as a drawing tool. I drew quickly using large motions...referring to the sketchbook drawings but more sort of "finding" the image on the surface. Using the soft graphite allows me to use a large brush and water to begin to alter the white of the canvas pretty quickly by brushing and pushing the graphite around with the water, turning it into a wash. I also use the magic rub to take out some of the gray, once it's dry.

So, a few days ago I spent a few hours measuring out the canvas, clamping it onto a large drawing board and making the first effort. Like I said, I used the sketchbook images for reference but soon began to work more intuitively as I made the marks, big motions filling the space with bold trunk and limbs--but truncated--cut off by a framing border but with some marks of the tree extending into the frame.

The next day I worked into the drawing, again with the magic rub and more graphite, then a bit more with brush and water. I realized that I'd need to see the whole piece to continue--the drawing board, although large, wasn't 60" long--as I needed for the length of the canvas piece. My work table is that long so I folded the legs up and propped the table upright against shelves, clamped the canvas to that and now have a "drawing board" large enough to hold the 28" x 60" design I'm composing.

So, once the table/board was up I just looked at the composition for awhile...didn't do anything to it for a day or so. But before leaving the studio last night I decided to paint a pale blue around the tree, inside the border space.

This morning, though, I realized it would have to move on somehow and having the blue in place helped me begin to think past the grays of the drawing/wash. As it turns out, there's a wonderful tree just outside the window next to where I'm working! I raised the blinds to look at it and the low morning light was creating beautiful shapes of dark and light throughout the trunk and limbs. So, leaving the blinds up so I could see the tree I mixed a dark neutral using primaries of acrylic paint in one palette, and squirted out a bunch of white paint on another one. Mixing back and forth between the two palettes (really just styrofoam picnic plates) I began to paint over the graphite drawing/wash, looking at the real tree outside as inspiration for light and shade.

So, I worked on this for maybe an hour or so. Later in the day, I came back to it and made a few changes of limbs, painting over some and changing direction of a couple of others. I did that mostly through painting more blue over background, hiding those parts.

Before leaving the studio tonight I decided to measure the border and interior to draw lines for the actual size needed. I'm giving a 5.5" border/frame around the piece--trunk and limbs extending to and being cut off by it. At first I thought I'd leave the border white and indicate the smudging and lines of the partial limbs as I wove...but then decided to add color instead.

Into white I mixed yellow ocher with red and blue, then quickly painted it around the outside border area. Now all of the canvas is covered with color...the graphite is completely gone.

Tomorrow I'll take a look again...I took a few photos of the stages and possibly will post those later. Maybe seeing them out of context and on the monitor I'll be able to see the composition differently. Maybe I'll paint over the whole thing and scrap it all!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lots of work in the studio this week, both by my student and by me. Laura finished three rag rugs on Tuesday night and cut them off the floor loom. She was quite happy with the results!

Great job for first time weaving experience and maybe not the last she'll have as she's planning to buy a small floor loom for her own use.

On Wednesday I put a warp on the same loom, natural color of two weights of cotton, to weave curtains for my doors of the studio.

I like Atwater-Bronson lace weave and used that structure for the threading, weaving it in two different ways for each door. I hadn't used my AVL end-feed shuttle in years so it was nice to try it out again...holds yards and yards of weft and the selvedges turn out pretty well when using it.

I finished the weavings on Friday, washed and dried the fabric, finished hemming and hanging the curtains yesterday. Each were 33" wide by 42" long for the lace area, 46" long each to include the hems/casing for rods.

I also warped the new/old Ruthie loom for the first time. I decided to try the full 60" width at 6 epi but not too long for the warp. The cartoon that's being designed will be turned 90˚ when finished...I'm working on another tree design based on sketches from last year. The width will be 24", so the warp length is 24" plus quite a bit of loom not sure about the amount the loom will use so wanted to be sure to include enough. I have only tied the first stage of the knots and will finalize the tie-on tomorrow.

And, finally...the beautiful ginkgo tree in the studio yard lost its leaves this week!

I mentioned sitting in the yard while they began to fall in earnest. The next day I took photos. When I wove ginkgo leaves a few years ago I did a bit of research about the tree and learned it's one of the most primitive trees still in existence. There's quite a bit of legend and lore about the tree, as well. Here's a quote from a nursery website about the ginkgo:

The Gingko tree, Ginkgo biloba, is the sole surviving species of a group of Gymnosperms that flourished 65 million years ago, the time when dinosaurs existed. Ginkgo trees are also called Maidenhair trees. This tree can have a lifespan as long as 1,000 years. It is the only living gymnosperm (which includes pines, firs, and spruces) that sheds its leaves during the fall.... Tree can attain a height of 100 to 122 feet with a girth of 3 to 4 feet.

I picked up a few of the leaves to scan them...might try a tapestry to include quite enlarged ginkgo leaves in the future....Goethe wrote a poem to a young woman about the ginkgo, pasting two leaves at the bottom of the page. The translated poem reads:

This leaf from a tree in the East,
Has been given to my garden.

It reveals a certain secret,
Which pleases me and thoughtful people.

Does it represent One living creature
Which has divided itself?
Or are these Two, which have decided,
That they should be as One?

To reply to such a Question,
I found the right answer:
Do you notice in my songs and verses
That I am One and Two?

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I just open a letter from Piedmont Craftsmen and it says: "Congratulations. I am pleased to welcome you as a New Exhibiting Member of Piedmont Craftsmen. The Standards Committee reviewed your work, along with that of the other applicants at the 2007 Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair Object Jury, and we're pleased to offer you Exhibiting Member Status."

I'm breathing a big sigh of relief right now. Becoming a member of Piedmont Craftsmen has been a long-standing goal of mine -- and I've been rejected at two other applications in the past! While I felt my work submitted was as strong as I could present at this point, putting work up for review by a jury still makes me nervous. I have great respect for the work of other members of Piedmont Craftsmen, several of whom make up the Standard Committee. Yet I also understand that opinions and tastes differ, as well as knowledge about tapestry technique. So, to have approval given to my work by members of this group gives me a good feeling about my direction.

The new members will be exhibiting in March of 2008 in Winston-Salem. Don't have the exact dates yet but I'll be hoping to have a couple of new smaller pieces ready by that point.

ALSO, I spent an extremely fun evening last night with two "old" college buddies and two "youngsters"--daughters of one of my friends! We met as freshmen at North Georgia College in September of 1965. We all three roomed together, in some configuration, over the next couple of years before I transferred to UGA. Then Beth and Fran spent their remaining years at NGC as roommates. We've all turned 60 years old this fall and this impromptu birthday celebration was just great!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving day...this seems a better time to take stock of things than New Year's Day. So, let me think about what I'm thankful for this year...

I'm thankful for the health and safety of my loved ones; so grateful that the second Iraq tour is over for my nephew. Second, for the kindness, understanding and support of friends and family--those who are near and also those who are distant. Third, for a fine cat who shares his life with us.

I'm also grateful to have had a productive year in both my art making and my teaching--and for the new studio space. I was happy to sit in the yard of the studio yesterday, under the ginkgo tree and to be showered by the glorious yellow leaves as they fell.

I'm very thankful for the rain that came last night...hoping we'll see more of it today. The drought here is very bad and any moisture is so welcome.

We're going to my sister's house for the Thanksgiving feast. My contributions are Mother's famous freezer slaw, applesauce of Yates apples from Noel & Patrick's trees (yummm!), and steamed carrots. These tap the extent of my cooking abilities--I'm sure everyone will be very thankful for all the other goodies that'll be found at Deb's house!!

The year held a major loss, however--the death of my Mother-in-law. She suffered so much pain and so many complications as she completed her journey on earth. Yet, she was a model of compassion for others. She always was interested in everyone--generous, thoughtful and concerned. She was a person of grace and I'm grateful to have known her. Much of what my husband has become as a person was learned from her and I'm very thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I photographed the black walnut tapestry before taking it to Winston-Salem. I'll send the digital image to one of the companies that converts to fact, I may try several to compare the slide quality. The company I used before was very quick, the slides pretty good (as good as my digital image), and inexpensive. I don't think I'll have time to have a professional photographer shoot the piece before the deadline for ATB7 so will need to try to get slides done on my own.

To shoot, I stapled a gray background to the garage door, the light was shaded, and I used a tripod. However, the day was breezy and the right side had blown forward a bit--I didn't realize how much effect that was having until I downloaded the photos after my mad dash to deliver the work last week. So, my selvedges look not so good at the lower edge...the work is really much straighter than it appears (so, this is the point where the juror would have to know the inside of my mind rather than what he/she might be seeing!) This is the reason I will re-shoot once the Piedmont Craftsmen Fair is over, this upcoming weekend.

The garage offered a good place to shoot--cement driveway to put the tripod & camera on along with wood door to staple and nail into. I could have solved the breeze problem with a bit of masking tape to the back side of the tapestry, if I'd been aware of the problem. One more lesson to learn about pushing deadline details until the last minute!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

One of my NGCSU students on Halloween! She is indeed a "Superweaver"... I have a great class this semester. We meet from 5:30 to 8:20 p.m., twice a week. The semester is nearing the end and everyone has lots remaining to do!

This young woman is taking her third class and has been exploring multi-shaft summer & winter weave. She's also been dyeing warps.

The other advanced weaver has her Senior Show on display currently. Her emphasis was lace weaves, as used in function in tablecloths, napkins, place mats, runners, and a large curtain. She's also explored dyeing of warps during this semester.

Enrollment for spring semester, an upper level class, is at 9 now. There will be one or two who drop by the beginning of the class, but I may also pick up one or two more. The administration has approved the purchase of five more looms from another university that's scaling back on its weaving program. If that does indeed take place, I'll have looms available for both beginning and upper level students during the same semester.

I delivered my work to Piedmont Craftsmen on Thursday; the jury takes place on Friday, the 16th around 2 p.m. I'll be attending the fair to demonstrate tapestry on Saturday and Sunday, and also be in the group applicant booth for a stint or two during the weekend. I'll pick my work up at the end of the fair. I'm not sure how long it will take to learn if I've gotten accepted into the organization.

Link to Piedmont Craftsmen is:

Monday, November 5, 2007

Clipping ends at the new studio! I'm happily working here now. I turned in the keys for the other place on Wednesday last week, Halloween--appropriate, I guess. Today will be devoted to the black walnut finishing, including a trip to a fabric store somewhere to find twill tape to stitch the velcro onto...thought I had enough for the width but DON'T! I have plenty of velcro but didn't realize I was out of the twill tape. Since I can't find that in Dahlonega I'll be making a trip down the road.

A few shots of the new place--two are from the center room where I have a small work table, the Tissart loom and the new/old Ruthie loom. The first room has a fireplace, bookcase and small sitting area--as well as a wall of shelves for yarn, the 60" Leclerc Gobelin style loom, a two four shaft floor looms--a small Macomber and a 36".

The Tissart and a view of the corner of the first room with the small Macomber floor loom.

View of the nice, soft chair I found at a local antique mall last year--along with the bookshelf and front door through which I hope to greet many visitors!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The move to my new studio is complete!

The final move of everything to my new place, 106 Martin Street in Dahlonega, happened yesterday morning. I'd been moving boxes and other small things I could lift and get into my car over the past week and arranging on shelves. If I hadn't had that accomplished, I'd be facing a crammed, packed full house this morning! As it is, the looms are placed, most of the yarns and other assorted supplies are on shelves, and--so far--I can find most things (of course, the things I can't find in their new location I don't even know yet that I need!)

My husband had rented a U-haul truck for the move so everything fit into one load. He'd also "enlisted" three friends to help out. With the four of them working, they were able to load up, drive to the new studio (less than 1/4 mile away from the old), unload and be driving off in LESS THAN AN HOUR! Let's see, that was five looms, a small sofa, an arm chair, three tables, small refrigerator, several boxes of stuff, and loom parts...I still can't believe they did it in 55 minutes. My husband has kept telling me, though, that I've done most of the work of moving, with all of the many loads I've made back and forth. I guess he's got a point but I'm still so thankful that he's so very supportive of my work--and that we've got good friends (strong ones, at that).

The Stanton Storehouse, where I've rented the downstairs for the past year, with looms ready to go...all the empty shelves held boxes of yarn and other things I've moved over the past week.

The guys are moving the Kessenich floor loom and also the Tissart loom to the moving truck...the floor loom has a rag rug in progress, a project of a student. We were able to move the loom with no problem to the weaving or the warp.

The Tissart loom has the cut warp ends from the black walnut tapestry still through the reed. There's enough warp remaining so I can retie and weave another small piece.

Here comes the Tissart loom off the moving truck and into the new studio!

The Martin Street studio is a small frame house built in possibly the 1930s. We've owned the house for about ten years, using it as a rental property. It's around the corner from the house we live in and the property at the back adjoins our back yard, with a line of trees between.

The house has only four small rooms, two baths, kitchen but also has attic (with lots of shelves), cellar, and a screened-in back porch.

We've had major renovation done on the house since May and it's good to go for another fifty years or so! I only wish I had that much more time remaining in my tapestry life.

Our cat, Raymond, has been to the studio with me several days and seems to approve. He's a skittish and nervous soul so to have him feel comfortable in the space is quite important to me.

Finishing details for the black walnut tapestry have begun. I was able to work briefly on this on Friday. I've scheduled my delivery day for the Piedmont Craftsman Fair...November 8, so now I must really spend the next few days on this rather than studio arranging.

It's good to be here, though. It feels like a great place and I hope to make productive use of my time here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The move continues today...and I'm touching up some of the paint above the fireplace and beside the built-in bookcase in the front room. I have finishing work to do on the black walnut, which I'm avoiding by working on the move stuff...but I'll get to it later today.

I mentioned Jacob nephew who's had two tours in Iraq now. He's combat camera--and when he's in civilian live (he's Army Reserve) he's also a photographer. The tapestry I said was his, and that's currently in the Artisans Center of VA exhibit, is based upon a photograph he'd taken of a friend of his. The tapestry is called "Jacob's Guitar" and I wove it for him. It was on the loom almost a year because I was using it as a demonstration piece in several different places. He didn't see it finished before he left for Iraq in the fall of 2006, but did see it on the loom and liked it, I think. When the exhibit's over maybe he'll finally get the tapestry in his possession!

I'm searching for a title for the black walnut tapestry and have come upon these two quotes, both from Chapter 4 of the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene. The title of the roots tapestry also came from the Magdalene Gospel. The two are:

v the essence of every nature....

v 31 That is why I said to you, Be of good courage, and if you are discouraged be encouraged in the presence of the different forms of nature.

Now, the meaning of "nature" in the Gospel may be referring to the nature of man...I don't know since I haven't read explanations of the reference. However, the sense of what I'm trying to portray through my use of images from nature is very much contained in both quotations. In fact, the black walnut has signified the cycle of seasons to me as I've worked on it. In fact, the image has grown through a complete season, from scans of leaves I did last fall, to the photographs of the tree I took last winter when the limbs were stark and skeletal, then the drawing/painting I did as I searched for the design during the late winter and early spring. I began the tapestry in April when the catkins and the leaves came out, was working on it in late summer when the first walnuts began to fall...then the leaves were yellowing, the walnuts being broken by squirrels and the hulls left in the yard...and the image changed as the seasons progressed. I've never altered a design so much before as I've worked on a tapestry and I was quite uncertain how it would look when unrolled.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Black Walnut tapestry cut off the loom!

Yesterday was a red letter day in several ways...first, Jacob came by!! This is the first opportunity to see him we've had since his return from Iraq in late September. He only stopped by the studio for a few minutes but just seeing him in person was just great. I didn't have his tapestry at the studio, though, since it's at the Artisans Center exhibit--but he was happy to know it was there.

I'd just finished weaving the last few inches of the tapestry before he showed up and had been out walking around Gold Rush, the annual festival here in Dahlonega that brings in around THOUSANDS of people to our small community. The festival has been held in Dahlonega since the 1950s and originally celebrated the discovery of gold in the north Georgia mountains in 1828. It has grown to be a massive event, mostly with "country crafts"--but there were a few interesting craft booths with pottery and wood working...and many, many food vendors. People come from far and wide to shuffle along with strollers, dogs on leashes, etc.

Beautiful weather for the event this weekend...and by this morning one would not know it has even happened! The local Jaycees sponsor the event but many, many people and organizations are involved. And the clean-up is a major effort undertaken by everyone from volunteer Scout troops to hired hands.

Here's a link from the Dahlonega Chamber of Commerce website to more info about Gold Rush:

So, after Jacob and his friends left I completed the hem of the tapestry, did the half-hitch at the top and invited my husband to the studio to help with the cut-off. The piece is hanging on the wall of the studio right now, put up with push pins. I'll begin the task of finishing later this morning when I get to the studio. Lots of ends to trim and also to stitch away from the edges. A few slits to sew--although I sew as I go, there are usually a few slit areas that I didn't stitch that I feel should be secured. Then, the hanging method will be determined...since this is 8 epi and a lighter weight than the roots I'll probably use velcro for the hanging. Size is 33" w x 53" l.

This photo shows it hanging with cut warps and the hem areas at top and bottom...the inch or so of gray at the top and the beige at the bottom will be turned back.

After dinner I began moving boxes of yarn into the new studio. My lease ends on the 31st at the current studio and now that the tapestry is off I'll be able to have the loom moved in a few days. I'll move what I can carry by myself but probably we'll have a few guys help with the looms and other furniture on one day later in the week.

The tapestry finishing must be completed this week, however, since it's one of the five I'm taking for the Piedmont Craftsman has to be to Winston-Salem, NC by the 9th of November. It usually takes a couple of days for finishing since the stitching movement I have to use as I sew is something tough on my hands.

Yarn boxes and new shelves in the Martin Street studio. Barely visible in the second room are the uprights for the Ruthie loom which isn't assembled yet. I'm eager to get into this studio space and adapt to the new configuration. The Stanton Storehouse space, being a large and open area, has had a great feel to it. Since the Martin Street studio is a small house, the individual rooms will give a different atmosphere for working. All will be well....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Closer and closer to the top of the tapestry! About 2 square feet total remaining. Several meetings and other things are happening during the week so won't have as much time as I hoped but I still am shooting for the 20th as completion day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Black walnut at this point, about 8" from the top of the walnut shell to the top of the tapestry...about 12" from the lowest point to the top of the tapestry. Maybe I'll make the deadline after all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Last weekend was a whirlwind of driving and good times!

The Artisans Center of Virginia exhibit, "Tapestry: People and Places" opened in Waynesboro, VA. Joan Griffin, who's a member of the Center, organized the exhibit and invited several tapestry artists to show with her.

The opening was on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. and Joan took a copper pipe loom for demonstration. Here's Joan heading into the building, loom and yarns in hand!

The exhibit is in the back of the gallery area, a U-shaped space. The five of us: Joan Griffin, Lynn Mayne, Becky Stevens, Pat Williams and me each had several works related to the theme we'd selected last year. Since we all work often in ways related to people and/or places that title seemed to be appropriate.

The center of the space had pedestals of different heights on which were placed the notebook of artists' statements, brochures, and--during the reception, punch and snacks.

Joan talked about tapestry as she demonstrated. One of her students is in the orange shirt at the right of the photo, and in front of her (in the blue shirt) is a student of mine who'd driven up from Shelby, NC (about 5 hours) to see the exhibit!

I was surprised by a former student from my early days of teaching at North Georgia College! She lives in Richmond, VA now and had gotten a postcard about the exhibit, I think, so drove over on the chance I might be at the opening. What fun to see her again after -- can it be? -- 30 years!!

The trip was long--there and back again was over 1000 miles for me and my car. But it was wonderful to get to spend time with Joan at her house in Charlottesville where we talked tapestry into the night. I also was able to visit Noel & Patrick's new babies on the way guineas...lots of peeping! And, the 60" tapestry loom I bought from someone in Roanoke fit right into my station wagon without a well as the long bench that came with it.

The loom is still disassembled and in the floor of the new studio house right now. A few of the critical bolts were left behind (!!) and I'm waiting to see if the former owner can find them and send to me. If not, we've also left messages with Fireside to see if the current loom being made by them, that was designed based on this Crisp loom, has similar hardware. I still have three weeks of weaving on the black walnut so won't need this loom to be functional until later in the fall anyway. AND, it's not like I don't have other looms to keep me busy...after all, I can only work on one piece at a time.

Open house today at the weaving and textile studio of the university...lots to get ready for with that. We hope to show off the studios and work being done to other students and faculty of the school. Always scrambling to protect our turf!