Friday, July 31, 2009

Whew, I made it

I stayed up til 1.30 am to finish the postcard tapestry, and mailed it at 11 am on Monday morning. Fortunately I had the backing all ready to go. It's watercolor paper, with acrylic paint thinned down to look like watercolor, only permanent. Of course, once I had hemmed and ironed the tapestry, the backing was not an exact fit, and had to be trimmed a bit.
In an effort to avoid long lines, I tried the tiny post office in North Chatham, Massachusetts. It's just down the road from my Mom's nursing home. I hardly had to wait at all, and the postal worker was very helpful.

Imagine my surprise when I got an email on Wednesday, telling me it had already arrived in Arizona! I expected it to take at least 4 days. Kudos to the United States Postal Service!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Weavers Dilemma

This particular dilemma is unique to weavers. I wove a 6"x4" postcard for "Wish You Were Here," the upcoming exhibit at Tohono Chul Park. It was almost finished when I came to Cape Cod on vacation so I tossed the loom in my car, and brought along everything I needed to weave the hem and do the finishing.

The dilemma is that I can't bear to waste all the remaining warp on the loom, and this is a glorified frame loom, so if I were to cut off the postcard, the rest of the warp would be useless. I hate wasting materials, and I hate wasting time (the time it took to put the warp on the loom). So I said to myself "I'll just weave another small tapestry before I cut off the postcard."

What with all the sisterly activities, and a visit from cousins last week, I didn't get around to starting the second tapestry until a few days ago, so I've been a bit stressed over whether I'd be able to finish it in time to send off the postcard. In addition, the cartoon for the second tapestry is ridiculously detailed, so I had to leave out a lot in order to weave it, even on this 12 ends per inch warp. I don't like weaving at 12 epi any more, it's just too small and picky for my middle aged eyes and hands.

I know I have a few days left before I have to mail the postcard, but I am going home tomorrow, which means a lot of cleaning and packing then a lot of unpacking and catching up on 2 weeks of mail etc. I'm afraid once I get home I just won't get it done.

So now it's 10.20 pm, and I am almost ready to cut off. I just have a little bit of hem left to do, and my back is aching, so I'm taking a short break. If I'm really energetic, perhaps I can hem the postcard and attach the backing, then mail it from Cape Cod tomorrow morning?

Tapestry Bloggers on ATA Website

The American Tapestry Alliance has a new educational article on the website. The title is "Blog Tech," and it's a series of essays by 6 tapestry bloggers, including yours truly, plus an introduction and resource list. It offers technical and inspirational insights into artists blogs, so check it out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Little Summer Distraction

What happens when 3 sisters get together?


Sister Greta is visiting Cape Cod, from Alberta, Canada, a rare treat. Sister Jan thought the bureau in the dining room needed a little updating from its 1968 avocado green “antiqued” look. Sister Sally came into piles of boat plans, old magazines and other boat miscellanea, when her son, Zach (a high school, soon to be college sailor), cleaned out an old boat building business. Sally confessed that she had been harboring a secret desire to engage in Decoupage, and since she’s the baby of the family we decided to humor her. IMG_2021

Step 1: Jan paints the bureau a color called Blue Dragon; after it dries we are all surprised to see it’s the exact shade known in our family as “Sally Blue.” Step 2: All 3 sisters spend an afternoon cutting out the coolest boats, text and diagrams, and piling them in boxes. Step 3: Sally wakes up early one morning and bravely begins arranging pieces on the top and the drawers. Step 4: Gluing with the mysterious substance called Mod Podge, on a hot afternoon (the FIRST hot afternoon this year!), with all the windows closed lest a gust of wind blow away our layout. Whew. Step 5: Adding a polyurethane finish for durability.


We chuckled over a drawing of a “Typical Crew” which had been altered by the designer, with a pencil, adding a shamrock tattoo and increasing his dimensions both bow and stern. I decided he needed a little more expansion in the bow.IMG_2027

Equally amusing are the reminders to “Remember the Stopwaters!” and to “Check for Twist or Warp by Eye.” There are useful diagrams of Boring and Screwdriving Tools, The Right and Wrong Way to Sharpen a Bit, not to mention Perry’s Perpetual Tidescope, showing the Approximate Times for High Water, Boston, 1947.

In this detail you can see the signature I pieced together from scrounged text, on the bottom right. IMG_2028

This being our first decoupage effort, it’s a little rough, but I think with all the boat lovers in the family, it will provide entertainment for years to come.

Just in case you were wondering why I don’t get more tapestry weaving done…..

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wish You Were Here

I love this fiberart postcard exhibit, at the Tohono Chul Park's Gallery, in Tucson, Arizona. The idea is to create a postcard, and mail it, without an envelope, to the gallery, where they are all exhibited. I participated a few years ago, with this postcard, from a photo I had taken at Tumacacori.

That was my first visit to Tucson, I had flown there in February 2006, to drop off my daughter for the Audubon Expedition Institute. We even ate lunch at the Tohono Chul Park Cafe, so it seemed like a wonderful synchronicity when I heard about the exhibit a few weeks later.

Now here I am in 2009, with a half woven postcard. I have not been in the studio in 2 weeks because I've been sick.

I was sure it was flu, and I figured, since I'd had my seasonal flu vaccine last fall, that it must be Swine Flu. After the fever subsided, I continued to have terrible muscle/joint pains keeping me awake every night. Then the rash appeared.....well, considering I live less than 50 miles from Lyme, Connecticut, I should not be surprised that I have finally contracted Lyme Disease. Or so it seems. After 3 doses of Doxycycline, my aches have disappeared.

So, another day or two of lying around, and I hope to get in there and finish my postcard.

This image is from a family visit to the Flagstaff area in 2002.

The photo was taken near Sedona, at the Palatki Ruins, a truly magical place. The contrast between red rocks and turquoise sky is so intense. Visiting Arizona is such fun for a New Englander, I always feel like I'm on another planet altogether! OK, that's particularly true in February; it's not hard to figure out why Arizona is so crowded that time of year!