New towels, on an all grey warp, mixing in with coral, aqua, cream and butter yellow weft. I'm taking these to the Finder's Keepers Market today, and will update the shop as soon as I can with any that don't find a home! If you're in Charlotte, come out to Noda Brewing (N.Tryon location) from 1-6!
I have a series of shawls I'm still working on. There's a few in the studio, a couple who have found their homes early.
Luxurious fibers- silk, linen, bamboo rayon, cotton, hemp. Lightweight with a touch of ethereal calm. Each creamy white shawl is accented with one color. A color I hand dye, gently given from my muse. Creating a pattern that is akin to ikat; if those patterns were studied under a microscope.
Made as meditation, the shawls are woven from the heart. Sung over with well wishes and reminders to breathe. Love woven through every inch of fabric. Fringe for fiddling with.
Drape it over your shoulders in meetings, wrap it around you at weddings, throw it around your neck as you run out the door, carry it in your totebag. Versatile, strong and soft, these shawls will walk with you, ready for anything.
I hope to make more soon, to complete the first round in this series. Stay tuned. If they're calling to you, let me know and I will make one for you alone.
I start thinking about the end of the year just before Solstice, on my birthday, as we all do. It seemed especially labyrinthine (new word!) this year, with my new year, the Solstice, the Christmas holiday-travel and the New Year feeling like they all happened at once.
It's a time for reflection, self care, beginnings and endings. Excitement, shedding of the old and well known, nurturing of the mysterious new... This year how I create changed in strong, spark-starting ways. This year was perhaps, about finding myself within my art. This year, my goal is to take what I've learned and run with it, scattering it like seeds into the world.
I'm ready to trip over scary things, leap with joy with new skills and connections. I want to hone my craft, to tool, stitch, and weave with confidence and share what I create with you, the world.
It's going to be huge.
These are the things I hope to accomplish in this new calendar year, in addition to continuing to do what I've found this past year. I split them up between art and self, but we all know it's really the same list.
for my Work
- Be in the Studio every day. Even if it's just sitting in the quiet in my grandmother's chair.
- Write more about my real world of creating. The balance of creating what makes my soul sing vs. having a day job, paying bills, learning new methods of moving through my art, sleeping enough while trying to make enough art.
- Explore different options of photographing my work
- Make the clogs
- Paint more, on leather and paper
- Practice for practice's sake
- Collaborate with patrons to make belts & bags
- Weave more custom scarves (this is going to be exciting!)
- Explore wet felting as a cocoon making option
- Teach those who want to learn
for my Heart
- Move my body more often. Be it at the gym, yoga class, or on the living room floor, I found myself missing the quiet of physical, blood-pumping movement this year.
- Bake bread, eat it with cultured butter
- Cook more dinners, and try new recipes
- Keep my heart open
- Remember to breathe
- Drink hot tea (and whiskey) slowly, savor the moment
- Putter about the yard
- Take trips
- Nap in the hammock
- Visit with friends, near and far (dessert dates, letters, phone calls)
I'll continue to explore my mediums, work with intent. I'll snuggle the kitties and humans I adore, drink lots of water, and bake cookies. I will continue to learn to listen to my true-self, and to ask for help when it's needed.
This is just the base of the mountain. I am ready.
What will you do this year?
This scarf is 100% cotton, and was a 100% dye challenge I set myself.
My comfort zone is my beloved wool & silk blend, and wool in general. I've been dyeing these fibers for years, I know what my dyes will do, and can dance with "mistakes" and make them sing.
Cotton is not something I know about. It takes extra chemicals and doesn't respond as vibrantly as wool tends to. I wanted to experiment with cotton as a potential for making bags, and wearables, of course. I ordered yarn, dye and soda ash.
I had no true expectation, so I was pleasantly surprised by the pale mint and blues that I pulled from the dye pot, I think it went quite well.
It is narrow and long enough to wrap a bit, a perfect scarf for the Southern 'winter'.
Want to know what happens when you combine your favorite colors with you favorite yarn and start weaving?
Magic, that's what
Rainbow magic. Serious magic- the colors you dyed go perfectly together, as you weave in and out of the warped loom, blending to get that perfect purple-turquoise-green-chartreuse fade, savoring the softness of the wool/silk blend under your hand.
The FRINGE. Oh, my, can we talk about the fringe? Sweet soft heaven. I may add more...
50%wool, 50% silk, 12 inches wide, 60" woven length, plus 6" of fringe on either side.
It's a major buzzword these days, thinking, doing, walking, breathing, all with awareness. It can get exhausting, if you're not in the right space. It's easier, some days, to go through the motions more robot than human.
It is also an important word, any day, any era, any world. How do you walk through life? With your eyes open and staring up, down, or ahead? Perhaps closed? A mishmash of all of these, depending on the moment, whirling around trying to grasp what's flying past?
Lately, I've been making more of an effort to be aware of my seat in the universe, especially in my studio. If I'm going to create beauty, I want it to be soulful beauty, as often as possible. I know it's an energy flow, and it will ebb and flow with the tides, but I am aware of it. That, for me, is the struggle/goal/inspiration right now. To be aware of my intention when I sit down at the bench, comfy chair, or loom. To work with an open heart, crafting each piece with care and love so that it will fit you the best it can. The more I do this, the more often it works out. Practice works- who knew? (ha!)
Here's where this path has taken me, lately.
a bag and cuff, mellowing out together, soon to be finished.
cocoons, hanging from the ceiling, waiting for their embellishments.
the latest weaving project, color movement through tiny yarn of silk and wool.
This is a collection that celebrates the events that do not happen every day, every week, every month. Those unique times you stumble across, often not realizing it until they are already sweet memories.
I'm opening the shop at 8:34pm EST, tonight, in honor of this rare moonrise over my home.
Every piece being offered up has been made by my two hands, while they may be echoed, they will never be cloned. They are their own, and are ready to be shared with you.
Each piece has been drawn, hammer-tooled, dyed, stitched or woven by my hands. These hands will never come again to this earth. They are different hands today from yesterday, and will keep changing tomorrow.
This work holds pieces of me within them, full of good wishes, calm, and a dash of sass (because, if you're making something, it should have at least a little sass, especially if it's a fox cuff!).
A Blue Moon is an extra full moon, either within the calendar month (as it is tonight) or the third full moon within a four moon season. The first full moon this July rose on the second, and so, we have a modern Blue Moon tonight.
Oh, this scarf was full of peaks and valleys. At the end, I did climb up to the peaks, though I will admit to spending a lot of time in grumbling, narrow valleys, that offered only slivers of sky. Nearly everything was done twice for this beautiful frustration.
Here is diary of this green beauty-beast.
Winding the warp was a breeze after the last weaving projects. Winding off the weft got a little interesting, but I've figured out a good system now, learning success!
The first time I dyed the noil silk yarn I miscalculated the acid needs (aka not enough vinegar for the dye to take, the greens fell flat, and so I dyed it again. More chartreuse, more vinegar. More waiting for the yarn to dry as I paw at its cottony luxury, willing the dampness away. The two greens together reflect the lush greenery a North Carolina summer has to offer (especially after it rains... wishing it would do just that!)
Once dry, I had to detangle the weft yarn because it felt like being trouble (but being dyed twice and not having enough ties around it would do it to any good yarn).
I began the process of dressing the loom with a threading pattern that kind of made my eyes cross (a red flag I totally missed). While winding the back beam I also managed to miss-read what was going on and cut 8 ends short thinking everything was awesome and ready to be tied onto the front beam… it wasn't, that group of ends had popped off the back beam and was merrily pulling forward. Walk away from the loom. Went to mom's for the weekend, glad and sad the loom can't travel with me.
Home again. Re-thread and fixed, begrudgingly glad I didn't try to fix it right away, but stepped back and returned with a better solution. (thanks, late night thought rambles!).
Wound bobbins without issue, things are looking up!
Feeling vindicated, I started weaving the pattern, to find that the sequence caused one edge to be perfect and the other loose and sloppy. I picked everything out and tried again, with something a little different. Nope, still wonky. Pick it out again. Try one more thing, still sloppy. Walk away from the loom.
The next step is to re-do the tie up on the treadles back as they were (familiar ground) to make something that works better, because, damn it, I am NOT rethreading this thing. Harrumph!
What keeps me from cutting it all off- the greens blending together perfectly, knowing the loom can take the fists I've shaken at myself with grace. There will be a scarf coming off this loom in the next week, because I have faith. Faith in the loom, the yarn, and my ability to follow the thread out of the labyrinth of new knowledge mixed with experience.
Finally figured out what treadle pattern would give me nice edges! It's a little wonky, but that's how I work. I think part of my block with this scarf was that I wanted to FIGURE it out technically, in detail, why it wasn't working. And you know what? I don't know enough about weaving yet to know how to do that. What I do know how to do is to work out a system that gives me a beautiful piece of fabric, and I'm ok with that (...for now...).
I wove 40 inches with a nearly constant rhythm, letting the treadle pattern lead the way. Sometimes I lost track, but the undulating pattern of diamonds looked so pretty, I kept going. I can't wait to get this off the loom and finished! Then I can offer it up to you, dear readers, which is why I make. To share with you my view of color and movement, my imperfections, the beauty of fiber.
Woven, cut off the loom, washed, and photographed. The noil silk has a light, cotton-like hand, it's a perfect summer scarf for those freezing air-conditioned restaurants, offices and movie theaters. The pattern is made up of shifting diamonds and zigzags.