Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Quilt Show

The weather on Saturday was perfect for the quilt show. It was sunny, not windy and not too hot either. This was the first time we had attended this event so not only did we not know what to expect as vendors, we didn't know what the show or the crowd would be like. Even though we got there over 2 hours early, we were the last of the vendors to arrive. We got a wonderful shady spot in the sheep pasture where the vendors were set up and people told us all day that we had the most comfortable spot in the place and we had a good location for traffic too.

At 10 when the gates opened, there was a huge crowd of people waiting to get in and it was pretty crowded all day except for about the last hour. It was only open a minute or 2 and a woman came and bought a blanket. That was a great way to start the day. I only hoped to sell one big thing and so to have that happen right away was perfect. We sold a lot of socks and some little knitted pixies that I had made a few years ago when I was still knitting. Then around lunch time, a woman came and bought a tapestry purse for her sister for a Christmas gift. It is the purse that I showed on the last blog entry on my business cards. I was amazed to have sold 2 of the larger items just like that. And we gave out oodles of business cards and had a lot of good conversations with interesting people. I got a lot of positive feedback on my work and that really feels good.

Today someone called from a non profit group in Montana that runs an art mobile around the state to the rural schools. She wanted to have a tapestry for the school year for their collection this year and she really liked Blue Moon. She is going to send me more information about the program but it sounds like a really nice project that would teach children about all the different and varied art forms. This opportunity came from a contact at the show on Saturday so it was a good chance to meet some of the local people since we are so new in the community. And all the quilts were stunning. I didn't get the chance to go around the whole show because it was so busy until the end and then I was too tired, but I did see much of the show. There were all sorts of quilts, some that were complex and difficult to do and others that were simpler but all were charming and all together they created a lot of energy and excitement.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ready for a Day of Quilting in the Country!

All the weavings are tagged and ready to go early tomorrow morning. I'm not sure exactly how weaving will go with the quilters but I figure we all appreciate good fabric so it should be fun. The weather is supposed to be beautiful so there should be lots of people there and a great day for everyone.

My business cards came on Tuesday and they turned out better than I even imagined. Jess did a wonderful job on them.

Here is a photo of my hardworking little Jess

She continues to do an amazing amount of work for the website, advertising and promoting it. It has been fun to see what she comes up with and to work with her.

During the week, I warped the tapestry loom for another 3 small tapestries that will most likely become parts of purses in the near future. It is nice to be working on tapestries again after a couple months break. I like the rhythm of weaving tapestries, weaving bands and then constructing them into bags. It is a good variety and very interesting. After the show, I will be happy to settle down to some serious work and see how much I can accomplish before the holidays.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Beautiful Valley View

We had hiked up to this outlook in Sypes Canyon for a beautiful view of the Gallatin Valley. The storm clouds were just beginning to roll in. By the time we got back to our car, the storm was very near and soon it began to rain. The time we had hiking was wonderful though. This is such a beautiful place to live. But summer is short here. We already had a frost last weekend, so even though it has warmed up a lot, you can still feel autumn in the air.

All week I have been getting ready for the Quilting in the Country show next Saturday. I made labels for all my work so that each one has its name and mine on it. They were handmade and then handsewn on so it took several days to get that all done. From now on, I'm going to label them as they get finished so that I don't have such a huge project again. Next week I have a few more things to do for the show but mostly will spend my time designing and warping a tapestry on a Mirrix loom to take to demonstrate while there. It has been a couple months since I finished the last tapestry so I'm excited to get back to weaving them again.

Last week, Jess designed a really wonderful business card for me and I sent that to an online printer hoping they would be done on time. They are scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday so that was a relief they would be here well before I needed them and also it will be a thrill to see the finished card. When we got back from Kansas, I knew there was just 3 weeks to prepare for the show and I had procrastinated some things until our return, like the business cards, so I'm pretty happy that it is coming together well.

Tomorrow we are driving down to Yellowstone National Park for our first visit there. We are going to start at the Mammoth Hot Springs area and maybe stay there the whole day if we find some good places to hike. Otherwise, we may go on to see Old Faithful too. I can't wait and spent a good part of today fixing food for a picnic lunch. The weather is supposed to be perfect too.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The 100 Drawings Project

Several years ago, I read the book Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender. One of the stories that she writes about made a big impression on me. A friend of hers taught a drawing class, The One Hundred Drawings Project, which was a graduate art class. The students had to choose an object that was familiar and portable and draw it 100 times. On the first day of class when she was describing the assignment, one of the students asked her if she had done the project and she had not, so she decided to work along with the class.

She chose a pot from her studio that she had for a long time. It was one of the few things that had survived a fire in her previous studio and she liked the shape and simplicity of it. Otherwise, it was just a pretty ordinary white enamel pot. Her first few drawings went easily but then she wondered what to do for the next 90+ drawings. As she went along, she realized that the pot's surface was reflective and drew that and what was reflected there and also she drew the pot in various settings and locations. It traveled through Europe with her. So many drawings forced her to try new techniques and to take risks and to push the idea further and further.

I started thinking about this because of my own 10 Purse Project. When I started, it seemed almost impossible, or at least not very realistic. But now that I have 8 done, maybe it will become a 100 Purse Project. The purses are getting better and better, not necessarily in a straight line but generally, there is improvement. Doing the 8 bags has generated ideas for many more and I have learned so much already. I have been successful at incorporating woven bands and tapestry and see huge potential for further development of this. I don't remember ever being this excited about my weaving and anxious to get to it every day.

Last week we were visiting Gabe and Amy in Kansas. We saw their new house and all the work they have done on it in just a short time. We also helped them build shelves and a workbench in the garage which Gabe was really pleased with. It was a fun visit but was over much too quickly.

On the 27th, there is a huge quilting event at Quilting in the Country in Bozeman. The shop is in a renovated carriage house, bunk house and barn and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. For this one day, quilters bring their quilts, and some come from as far away as Japan, and the quilts are hung all over the outside. They cover all the buildings and any possible place to hang a quilt. It is a huge event and people come from far to see it, even planning vacations around the event date. There are a few vendors and I was invited to bring my weaving so I am preparing for that now. I plan to also demonstrate tapestry weaving on a portable loom. It should be an exciting day and hopefully the weather will be good.

While we were gone, Jess got the new purses and scarves on the website and they look great. I have more already that haven't been photographed. Howard will have to take them to work for some quick shots but he never takes the time to set up a good photograph, so we'll have to see how that turns out.