Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Some Photos of My Work!

Here is a photo of 3 bags that I have recently completed. The one on the right was a total experiment trying to incorporate a tapestry and the woven bands to make an interesting and functional purse. I am very pleased with how it worked out and will weave more tapestries in the future to use in this way. This combines all my favorite spinning and weaving techniques into one whole piece and I am very excited about it.

The middle bag was another experiment. I like blue but rarely use it in anything that I weave so it was a challenge to myself just to weave something blue. It was fun and no doubt there will be more blue in my weavings now.

With the bag on the left, I was trying to make a medium sized bag or maybe to some, a small bag, roomy. I didn't want it so deep that the wearer is always fishing around the bottom but I wanted it to be big enough to be able to carry all the necessities and maybe a paperback or camera too. My ideas for this one worked too, so I will be using this arrangement of sewing the bands together again.

My goal was to weave 10 bags and see where that got me. It seemed like a goal that would take forever, IF I ever finished it. I've been working really hard on it and have 8 bags done but now I know I won't be stopping at 10 because I have so many more ideas and I really love making them.

This is Amigo in the light tent. I have a fantastic support group. Jess, my daughter, sets up the photos and takes them and then my son-in-law, Cory, adjusts the color and whatever has to be done to them to use on the website. So when they were here about a month ago, Jess had brought this new light tent and we had it set up on the kitchen table. We were looking at some of the photos on the computer and Amigo climbed in there when we weren't looking and made himself quite at home.

Here he is posing with a handwoven scarf. Jess took about 40 photos of him and he kept turning and posing. Who knew he was such a ham?! Look at the beautiful color of his eyes!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Interesting Article on Creativity

About a year ago, a friend sent me an article by Jean Draper. I think it is from a magazine called Stitch and Jean says she is a hand stitcher. I really enjoy reading articles about other people's creative process no matter what medium they are using. There are a lot of parallels that I can draw between her creative stitching and my tapestry and weaving, at least in how the designing has to take place. Her methods are different than mine and I have learned a lot from Jean, just reading how she works. A couple of the big things that I highlighted are that her work changes very gradually and logically. She develops ideas slowly and maintains certain constant principles from one piece to another. She doesn't allow abrupt changes. That was new insight to me because often I feel I have to have big changes from one piece to another to have it be unique enough, rather than to let a concept develop. The other thing that Jean does and this is not a new idea to me but one I don't follow through enough on is to keep a sketchbook and notebooks all the time. When I do keep lots of notes and sketches, ideas flow better than when I ignore this important part of creativity. I'm sure I am not as analytical as her and none of us work in the same way, but this seems to be an especially important step that I need to work on. I usually work in spurts and when I am working, I don't take the time to write much down or keep good records in the frenzy and then when I'm not working, I guess I don't care because I don't catch up then. However, lately I have been working a lot more consistently and so I hope that I can develop better habits as I progress.

This past week I have finished 3 bags which I had the weaving all done and they were ready to assemble. Soon there should be some new work up on the website.

I am anxious to do some tapestry work soon since they combine so well with the bands for purses. I love the idea of portable art...Why should it just be hung on the wall and shut away in our houses? This way we can enjoy it throughout the day and others can too.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Working Hard

I knew it had been awhile since I last blogged but I didn't realize it was a whole month. In that time, I have been weaving away like crazy and getting a lot done. Not to mention that we bought a condo. It isn't going to be done until the end of January or February but we did make a decision. It is in a 3 story building and our unit faces the Bridger Mountains so we will have a wonderful view from the balcony and all the large front windows. I'm excited and wish that we didn't have to wait so long to move and be settled already.

A couple weeks ago, Jess and Cory came for the weekend and took lots of photos...Over 400! Most of them were of the weavings but Amigo snuck into the light tent while we weren't looking and started posing so Jess had to get a few shots of him. As soon as she sends me some, I will post a few here so you can see what I have been doing. It might be awhile since they are totally redecorating their house and don't have the time now. We had a wonderful time together but the weekend went by way too quickly. We didn't even get all the food eaten!

On the 4th of July, we went hiking and saw a pair of yearling moose. This is only the second time we have seen moose since we have lived in Montana so it is still a big thrill. Unfortunately I had left my camera on the kitchen table. If I carry the camera, it is almost certain we don't see a thing and every time I forget it, we see something exciting.

I am still weaving inkle bands of handspun yarns of various beautiful colors to sew together to make bags. My first bag using the bands and one of my small tapestries turned out great and so I now have another one to put together and this one I will use myself. It seemed a little silly that I am making these wonderful bags and I carry this ratty purse around so I decided to make one for myself. Then I finished the weaving for another bag that is in deep greens and reds which is one of my favorite color combinations so I can't wait to finish it either. The last one I am weaving on now is another one with a tapestry of a mountain sunset on it. Tomorrow I would like to go out and find some special linings at a really nice quilt shop here, Quilting in the Country. It is out a ways, as the name suggests but the shop is in a little old carriage house and she has a beautiful cottage garden around it, not to mention a fabulous collection of fabrics. Then I will head to the bead store and get some semi-precious gemstone beads for them. In 3 weeks, we are going to visit Gabe and Amy in Olathe, KS and I would like to have these 3 bags finished so I can start on new ones when we return. I am having more fun with these bags and every one I do, I get more ideas for the next ones. I need to weave some more tapestries for another batch. That part takes the longest because I have to draw and develop a good design for it and then the weaving takes awhile.

This area has the best thrift stores and Howard is pretty addicted to checking them out frequently for some treasure or other. Last week, he came home with a beautiful wood soprano recorder for $1.50. I have always wanted to learn to play the recorder so I was excited about it. I have been practicing this past week and I really love it. Although, I am torturing the poor thing, I can tell it has a wonderful sound. Usually the cats all hang around in the room that I am working in but I can clear the place in a big hurry when I start to play. I want to learn to play early renaissance music.

Sorry for the long break and I am going to try to write here a little more often. And maybe even have some photos soon!