Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's been a circus around here!

My husband decided to celebrate his 30 years in business in this wonderful community by throwing a big party.  And the party idea soon turned into a home-grown circus complete with elephants, lions, fire juggler, strong man, and much more!
The point of all of this hoopla was not just to celebrate his three decades with a small business in Dahlonega but more importantly, to honor the continuing efforts of several local non-profit organizations who do so much good in the community.   Thomas said it best in the local paper:  "Our main goal on circus day was not to raise money, but to celebrate.  Celebrate 30 years of doing business in a wonderful, generous and caring community.  Celebrate the great work done by these non-profits, and to celebrate the time and efforts donated by all the volunteers it took to hold this amazing event."

Months of planning and work preceded the event, of course.  And many, many volunteers became involved as the date approached.  About a week before circus day we began working on the entrance flat.  The design was drawn by an artist in the community who does lots of work with the Holly Theatre.  Using my projector, Jim's drawing was blown up onto the flat constructed by Jeff.

Thomas, Jeff and I all drew the projected lines, then Jeff cut out the shape--free hand, using a dry wall saw!  Just amazing that he could do that with precision and practically in the dark!!

Next came the painting.  Another local artist and a good friend, Harry Shubert, did the primary painting, giving life to the balancing elephants that Jim had drawn.

Circus day came and the clock showed next performances:

The local park was filled with people of all ages and costumes--here's my sister!

The non-profit groups had booths of activities... like this version of "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader" -- the consequences if you weren't, you see here!  Folks willing to take on the questions included city council men, a state representative, and our sheriff!  I don't think any of them walked away from their turn dry.

Food belongs at a circus, of course, and there was popcorn, sno-cones, hot dogs, and cotton candy...

An important part of the fund raising was a "reverse raffle"--600 tickets were sold at $50 each, and prize winners were selected at 100th, 200th, 300th, 400th and the grand prize was the last ticket to be drawn.

My husband and me as space people:

All in all, the day was one of great fun--very much a corny, small town event.  And my husband loved pulling it off, but he was ONLY able to do it with the tremendous help of a ton of people!  That's one reason we both feel fortunate to have spent three decades in this wonderful place and to see how much many people help out, as they can, through efforts to aid organizations like the Lumpkin Family Connection; the Community Helping Place Food Pantry and CHP Free Clinic; NOA (No One Alone); and the Holly Theatre.  Here's to the next thirty!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Feathers have FLOWN from the loom!

I finished weaving the top of the feathers today and by 5 p.m. was completing the half-hitches across the top to secure the weft.

My niece came by around 6 and we cut it off together.  Here it is laying out on a sheet on the floor... it will rest here for a day or so before I work on the half-Damascus that I'll use for the warp ends.  In the meantime, I'll flip it over and start snipping off the wefts so the ends are about an inch + long.  It's hard to photograph right now--this was taken while standing on a chair so it appears to be a shaped tapestry but it's not!

The piece is about 49" wide x 55" long, sett is 8 epi of 12/12 cotton seine twine; the weft is primarily three strands, two of Vevgarn and one of 20/2 worsted.  Some embroidery floss and also linen were used in the shafts of the feathers and in the soumak lines in the background.  The tapestry was on the loom from November until today--about seven months.  I can't say how many hours are in the weaving of this piece but I've woven from one to five hours daily when I've been in town.  I've had almost six weeks total of out-of-town activities since November that have kept the tapestry on hold at times.  But I'm quite happy to have completed this stage of it.
Studio clean up tomorrow!  It's time to sort the yarns used, unwind bobbins, and strip the loom of the remaining cut warp.  My next push will be preparations for my Penland class that starts in about  five weeks time.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Ok... time for a haircut. And I do mean Hair Cut! I'm about to cut a tapestry off the loom in a few days and thought it was time to get the scissors to work on myself, too. No... didn't actually cut my own hair (wish I could). More later from the tapestry front.