Monday, November 24, 2008

Rug Hooking Tapestry Designs

It’s always hard to think of a good birthday present for a parent who has plenty of stuff already.

My Mom makes hooked rugs, and she and her pals love to tell people they are “hookers.”

Because of using a walker she had to remove her rugs from the floor recently. The top photo shows 4 of them rolled up on the guestbed.

Fortunately she also has many that hang on the wall or sit on tables, like the birds on the right.

One year for her birthday I gave Mom some of my tapestry designs.

I was curious to see what she would do with these designs from my Flora series.

Flora began with a pastel painting I found in an old portfolio. It came from the same time and place as the Tulipa series: the Duke Gardens, about 1979.

As usual, I made a color copy, then I cut out sections that I liked and wove them as Flora Fragments.
After I had woven 7 small fragments, I wove Flora, the entire image.

This was the first time I had woven from a pastel, and I figured out that if I used one strand of red and one strand of green together I could achieve that blurry effect where the 2 colors meet.

After I took pictures of Mom's versions, I thought that she had reversed the designs; I assumed it was something to do with how she transferred them to her canvas. Now I realize that in fact, both of my Flora Fragments photos are reversed. These are my own slides, converted to digital by a professional photography studio, years ago when I didn't have a digital camera. Apparently they had some of the slides backwards. I can't believe I never noticed before!

Mine were all woven in different sizes, but Mom wove them all the same size, about 3 inches square, and had them nicely framed. They look great hanging together on the wall.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to do an exhibit together, and maybe someday we will, but for now we can at least share a blog entry.

If you look over at the right side of my blog, you'll see one of my Flora Fragments tapestries, and here are two more.

Here are Mom's hooked rug versions.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What a Lovely Birthday Present!

Mom’s birthday fell on Election Day this year.

Since I’m spending lots of time driving to visit Mom these days, I amused myself by figuring out that this happens every 6 years, but that every 12 years her birthday falls on a Presidential Election Day.

Good thing I’m a reference librarian, because when I consulted a Perpetual Calendar, I discovered I was wrong, COMPLETELY wrong! I hate being wrong. I think it’s the leap years that messed me up.

There is a pattern; November 4th falls on a Tuesday at these intervals: 11 years, 6 years, 5 years, 6 years, repeat. I think that makes sense but I won’t try to explain it.

So, it turns out that this is only the third time in her 83 years that her birthday has fallen on a Presidential Election Day. The first time was the year of my birth, 1952, when Eisenhower was elected. The second was in 1980 when Ronald Reagan came into office. Good thing I didn’t know this before now or I would have been even more nervous.

Why is election day on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

Sadly, Mom didn’t get to vote this year, because she’s been very sick for 8 weeks, and we didn’t think about getting her an absentee ballot.

Once it did cross my mind, it seemed unethical to encourage her to vote, since she's extremely confused from large quantities of pain medications.

I know who she was planning to vote for, and I am so glad she got her birthday wish.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Please get well soon!