Friday, November 27, 2009

November Color

Life Looms Large put out a suggestion of showing the color for different regions of the US and even the world.  I loved her idea and have been looking at different color combos in nature.  Here in South Carolina, we have many of the colors one would expect for the fall…  imageimageimageimage I also looked for those one would not expect.  I am surprised by cool colors in the fall…image the red hat ladies would love this, but I didn’t expect it in nature!image the Chinese tallow always puts as many colors together as possible!image deep purple of the sweet gum with burgundy, yellow, green and redimage then the pale yellow with the red of the coral bark japanese mapleimage And then here is the confused… azalea…image ornamental cherry tree….image the morning glory…image One last of Lake Jocasseeimage

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Weaving with Bamboo (and Even Silk!)

Hey – hey – can you believe it – I’ve actually gotten to adding bamboo to the warp on the Leclerc loom!  I chose to try to cut them with a pipe cutter since they are basically round.image It worked rather well when the place I choose to cut was round, but not so when there was a flat.  I was able to create about 15 sticks to the right length before the blisters started to form.  Oooo – gotta find another way and I think it will involve power tools – like a chop saw!

I did put the bamboo in as they were cut.  I also started with smaller ones and increased them as I went.  I found it took a number of them to be in place before the warp would hold them in place.  In fact as each new piece was woven in, all those beneath it would need to be packed down and then repacked with the next.image In the end I was able to place 11 in the warp.  And here we are…image

It’s been a few months since I’ve mentioned weaving with silk.  I became stuck once I hit a wall with the tree that I started in September.  If you don’t remember (and I’d be surprised if you do!), it was a two wedge weave sections side by side.  The wedges were woven in the opposite directions so gaps were found in center of the weave.  I found when I reached the top of the tree, I had made a rather large mistake.  The background is pick and pick yellow and white.  At the top, I had wanted to tie the two halves together with one wedge across the top.  It turns out the I did not have the yellow and white in the right order in the second half.  The only choices I could see is to start over or to tear it all out.

I was just not sure I liked the piece enough to tear it out or to even begin a new one.  So it has sat unattended.  I’ve learned that when I hit a wall with something that my heart is not quite in, I often move to other things.  I was hoping for some inspiration and yet I walked away from it.  What do you do when you face that wall?

Inspiration did come one day.  I wrote “joy” in my journal.  It was simply a word in a sentence, but the shape I had created made me stop.  The “j” and the “y” sloped to create a triangle.  I abandoned the tree and moved to joy.  So here we go!image

Other links:Getting Closer…   Leclerc Warping – Part 2

The Room of Strings

Sunset at Sand Key, Florida

I did finally make it to the beach for a sunset.  Being on the Gulf of Mexico, pictures would be easier to take over the water.  I chose to walk out to the end of the key.  And here was the adventure along the way….

First the squirrels laying out by the pool greeted me.  I found later they have a friend who brings them peanuts at the pool.

image Halfway down the strand, there was this seagull and then another just standing there facing into the wind….image image I finally looked up the beach and here were easily 50 birds of different varieties all facing into the wind.  A few had their heads buried under the wings. 

image I was able to get to the end and around them without scaring the group, but another man looking for shells sent them flying.  Fortunately, I was at the ready with the camera…image At the end of the key, the sun slowly sank into the gulf as the pelicans and dolphins came fishing for supper.image I wasn’t so fortunate to get the great pictures of the dolphins – or at least you couldn’t not pick them out from the waves in the pictures I could get.  Not a bad ending to the week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunrise at Sand Key, Florida

I often get up early, but I cannot say that I do it with enthusiasm.  This morning I voluntarily did so.  I’m at Sand Key Beach, Florida across the intercoastal waterway from Clearwater Beach.  Sand Key faces the Gulf of Mexico.  Here was what greeted me this morning…

from the hotel roomimageand on the beachimage imageimage  In the community park next door…

imageimageimage Isn’t the dew amazing on the flower???

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting Closer…

Time seems to speed by and it often feels like nothing is happening with the weaving.  That is not true, but sometimes just how I feel.  In any case, let me tell you what is happening.  In the last weaving blog entry, I wasn’t sure about the header and the weft protection.  I received great suggestions and encouragement.  I did begin with a little nylon as weft with each of the groups.  I used the “highly scientific” method of using the end of sharpened pencil as my measuring stick for how high to weave each group.  (Somehow I’ve lost my ruler – just another reason to go shopping at Hobby Lobby!)  Anyway – here are a sample of the groups along with my latest idea on how to hold this together when I take it off the loom – paper clips!  No not the spiral wire kind – I’m using the big black mechanical spring kind.  My intent is to hold these groups temporarily.  Once off the loom, I want to work with each group one at a time removing the paperclip and nylon weft and then choosing some knotting method from Collingwood’s book.

So with all the groups ready, I’m a needing to get some bamboo in here.  I did finally finish taking the branches off the last one.  So now what?  I decided they needed to be washed from their time outside in the weather and then maybe wipe them down with mineral oil.  I was shocked almost immediately with how wonderful they looked.  All the colors deepened and sharpened.  I was nearly speechless.  Not quite though – I ran inside and asked James – How can I make this more permanent???  He made a few suggestions and I decided to try using Tung Oil.  The Tung Oil will penetrate into the wood unlike other varnishes or lacquers.  So one by one they were cleaned, dried and oiled and then propped up against the fence to dry overnight.

That’s about 1/3 of them – and I’m beginning in a very small way to understand those who choose to spin their yarn before they weave!!!  But isn’t it worth it – look at the before:

image and after:

Next is to figure out how to cut them without splitting them and try out the weaving.  Then I figure the next hurdle is – how will this wind up!  Hee, hee, hee – what fun!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Some Kind of Wonderful

imageShadow and I go for a walk through the town cemetery at least 3 times a week.  It’s a safe place away from traffic and isn’t a bad place for training.  We often meet new dog friends there.  We’ve walked through there with all our dogs over the 15 years we’ve lived here and it’s amazing how many things one can miss.  I always appreciated this headstone because it is very different from most of the rest, but just recently I actually read what was on it.image

If you can’t see it, here’s a detail:image 

Spiro Christoff

Born May 17, 1889 Prilep-Macedenia, Yougoslavia

Died Aug 21, 1956 Greer, SC

I now wonder what’s the story.  Who was Spiro and how did he end up in Greer, SC?  Where exactly is Prilep?  What I found is that it is now the Republic of Macedonia on the northern border of Greece.  Prilep is almost central.  You can check out the Google map.  The photos from there are quite scenic with the mountain ranges.

As far as Spiro, he may have been driven out during one of the world wars.  The fact that it says Yougoslavia, makes me think WWII, since the Kingdom of Yugoslavia did not start until 1929.  But after the war, he didn’t go back.  I like to think he fell in love.  What do you think?

I’ll leave you with this headstone.  It catches my eye, because, of course, it reads Penland and reminds me of the school in Bakersville, NC.  Again, I finally read the stone and was shocked at what I saw.  Do you see it????


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tapestry Articles in fibre quarterly

fibre quarterly in Canada focuses on tapestry this issue§ionid=28&id=46&Itemid=107

If you are just interested in seeing the tapestry pieces, these show some stunning works.

from the Moon Rain Center

Canada Tapestry Network

Monday, November 2, 2009

LeClerc Warping – Part 2

The saga continues with my new-to-me loom.  This is a continuation from Part 1.  I can now say that it is warped, but I now wonder about the header.  Suggestions are DEFINITELY welcome!
With the warp beamed, I was able to set up the sections of warp through the heddles and reed.  There are four warps to the group and I set the two outside into one harness and the inside two to the other.  image The groupings of warp are 3 inches apart, so I set a tape measure on the reed to tell me if the placement was correct.imageI was rather proud of myself when I finished the last group, until I realized that I had not sent the warp over the castle before heading into the heddles.  This is one reason that I’ve chosen this simple warping – mistakes like that are not hours in the undoing!
I tied off to the bottom rod.  Tommye Scanlin has a great tip in tying off the bar to the front of the loom to get the first round of tying off complete.
Here we are over the castle, through the heddles and all the groups checked out for being in the correct harness!  imageI then inserted 4 of the spacers within the warp and spaced the warp out correctly.imageWith that you can see here the outside/inside order of the groups and hopefully can imagine what will happen once I start placing the bamboo in there.
imageThe next step is generally to put in a header and some sort of weft protection (something to keep this from falling apart when I take it off the loom).  I’ve thought about tying off a small portion of warp at each group, but wonder what you all think?
Still plugging away at preparing the bamboo, but hopefully I’ve got enough to get started and see where the next roadblock is!