Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More on New Mexico

Saturday morning I took a brief driving tour of Albuquerque’s Old Town, in search of the Rattlesnake Museum.

ABQrattlesnake-museumWEB Old town is lovely, and the museum was on my itinerary because my favorite celebrity, “TV’s Craig Ferguson” has a rattlesnake mug he got there.

It makes a good conversation starter on the Late Late Show. The Museum is really just a small gift shop with some tanks of snakes in the back room. I do like snakes, so it was fun. ABQrattlesnake-web

The best part of Convergence is the Vendor’s Hall, with all the yarn, books, textiles, looms, spinning wheels etc. This would have been a good time to leave the credit cards in a safe place… I had a great time chatting with the folks in the Glimakra booth. They have a new cute little counterbalance loom called Julia. It’s tempting. I bought a skein of gorgeous very thin Swedish wool called Mora, that is perfect for tapestry. Unfortunately it only comes in a large skein, but I’m using a lot of black, so that’s what I bought.

I missed the Weaving Southwest booth, and now I wish I had tried the Rio Grande spinning wheel, it is very intriguing. I always loved spinning on the great wheel at Slater Mill, when I was a tour guide there. This one is similar but you get to sit down and use a foot treadle. 4. spring profusion

I visited the Convergence exhibit hall, and saw my own tapestry hanging in Small Expressions. The Eye Dazzlers exhibit was also great, and included one of Tommye Scanlin’s tapestries, called “Spring Profusion.”  Isn’t it wonderful? I love the earthy yet ethereal colors, and the spirally ferns are so expressive.

I also got a look at the preview of the Navajo Rug Auction. So many stunning rugs.

KatheKonaPinkWEBThen Marcy and Tommye and I drove to Village Wools to see Kathe Todd-Hooker’s show. I had to make a concerted effort to ignore all that gorgeous yarn calling out to me as I walked to the gallery in the back of the shop! 

I have seen many photos of Kathe’s tapestries, and a few actual tapestries, but seeing a bunch of them all in one place was awe-inspiring. These two tapestries, “Kona Pink” (left) and “So Many Chances” include threads that came from my mother’s life long collection of sewing thread. Kathe-SoManyChancesWEB Kathe says she used Mom’s threads in the deep greens and turquoise, and in the orange in another tapestry “Kona Orange.”

We lived overseas for 18 years, and Mom sewed most of our clothes, as well as evening wear for herself. Her collection came from South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and England.

When I inherited her sewing stuff, I sent a bunch of the threads to Kathe, and I’m so happy she has been able to use them in creating beauty.

Next up, the opening reception for the show Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus. I had the address which I had copied from an email I received from somewhere listing all the exhibits. We had GPS in the rental car, so what could possibly go wrong? I’m still wondering where that address came from, because when we arrived, about 20 minutes SOUTHEAST of Albuquerque, this is what we found. ABQBauahaus-not Yes, a dirt parking lot with an RV and some guys on dirt bikes. The real gallery was about 20 minutes NORTHWEST of the city, so we didn’t have time to get there before ATA’s Enchanted Evening social back at the Convention Center. So far we had missed 2 excellent exhibits, and I was really bummed out.

ATA-social4Enchanted Evening was a nice chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.  There was a dinner afterwards at a very nice restaurant. Then Sunday was the ATA Forum, “Unraveling the Creative Strand,” with slide lectures by James Koehler and Lynne Curran. Both are amazing artists, and their talks were informative, entertaining and inspiring. After the forum we took off for St John’s College in Santa Fe, for the ATA Educational Retreat, “Tapestry Enchantment.”  More on that in the next installment!

Farewell Our Furry Friend

xerox Xerox was the best kitty ever. She was always gentle and loved sleeping on our laps. She never peed anywhere she should not have. She never climbed on the kitchen counters, never mind stealing the chicken that was defrosting on the counter like other cats!

She loved to be outdoors, at least in warm weather, but never had a flea! Apparently she was immune. We should have cloned her. She was an incompetent hunter and never caught anything but crickets until she was 8 years old and accidentally cornered a chipmunk. Xerox in Oven

Then she would occasionally leave us a mouse or chipmunk that was completely intact, just dead. I think she played with them til they died of fright. She only weighed 6.5 pounds, so even in old age people assumed she was a kitten.

She was an expert at sneaking into closets, attics, or anywhere else that was behind a closed door. You’d open the door briefly and never see her sneak in, then 12 hours later you’d wonder “Where could Xerox be?”  The most impressive was her recent venture into the warming oven!

Tapestry Class TAIt’s hard to get used to being catless after 16 years and 8 months (actually we had 2 other cats before, who lived to be 16, so it’s more like 32 years). I keep looking around to make sure she’s not hiding in my studio before I close it up. I imagine I hear her calling me from outside the kitchen door, or asking me to put water in the bathtub.

Yes, she loved drinking out of bathtubs and sinks.

About 4 months ago she suddenly went blind. It was obvious when she started walking into walls. Xerox-with-Geraniums

Blind cats also vocalize, which is a bit different from the usual meows. More like AAARROOOL. When she went blind we discovered she didn’t hear very well either. The vet told us her retinas had detached and were all folded up, possibly due to kidney disease or high blood pressure.

She still seemed to enjoy life until last Thursday, and we enjoyed her company so much.

We miss her terribly.