Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mirrix Experiments

One of my relatives who is very familiar with with horizontal looms, but not with small tapestry looms (okay, it was my Dad) was asking me about this new Mirrix loom that I purchased so I'd have something portable to take with me when I'm away from home. Here are a few explanatory photos.
Shedding Device

Warp is wrapped around top and bottom bar and there is a coil at the top that can be changed with different spacing.
Things I have noticed so far:
1. I have a lot of trouble bubbling correctly when the warp is vertical! This is going to take some getting used to or I'm going to have tendonitis before you can say "extensive wrist flexion for prolonged periods of time."
2. The Mirrix is a great little loom! I love the shedding device which seems to work smoothly and effectively. I purchased the Mirrix heddles and they were so easy to put on. I couldn't face the thought of making 200 heddles, so I looked at it as an investment in sanity. Of course I haven't woven much more than this, so maybe I should get back to you on how much I like this loom.
3. The new beater I bought for my foray into vertical tapestry weaving is great. Thanks to Lyn Hart for recommending it! It is the Maggie fork from Magpie Woodworks. I didn't get the weighted version yet Lyn, but probably will get one of those too! The teeth are part of a dog comb and they are smooth and strong. I really recommend this tapestry beater! If you don't believe me, ask Lyn.
4. The first piece I am doing is a design done by a 9 year old friend of mine (well, she is now 10, but she was 9 when she drew this cartoon for me--I'm a little slow at getting to this project which shouldn't really surprise anyone). The subject is a unicorn and I can't help having visions of the unicorn tapestries at the Cloisters in NYC. I sort of hope she'll let me enter it into one of the Convergence shows, but it is up to her! It is her design. What 10-year-old wouldn't want her name on a piece in a Convergence or ATA show? (I realize this probably means absolutely nothing to a 10-year-old who lives in Mississippi, but maybe a bribery trip to SEE the tapestry in Albuquerque would work.) Weaving something realistic is a significant departure from my usual weaving, so the whole thing is mostly a crap shoot anyway. I won't even talk about the fact that this piece is distracting me from the much-needed work I have to do on the body of work for the shows in Albuquerque and Germany for my Bauhaus Tapestry Project.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bauhaus website launched...

The Bauhaus project, Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus, has a new website (huge thanks to Kurt Gardella, Conni's webmaster husband!).
The link is :

This project is a group effort between Cornelia Theimer Gardella, James Koehler, and Rebecca Mezoff (that's me!), all tapestry artists living and working in New Mexico (and Conni also in Erfurt, Germany).

I am so excited about the progress on our project in recent months. Conni has worked very hard to get the shows firmed up and find us potential teaching spots in Germany. She is also responsible for the current project description (see PDF on website) and its German translation. Please take a look at the project description as I couldn't state what we are about better than Conni did there.

We are working on publicity and still looking for financial support for the project, especially for the printing of a catalog of the works for the two shows and the opening and potential classes in Germany. Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center is our fiscal sponsor and any monetary donations can go to them (further info about donation will be on the website soon under "supporters").

The first show is in Albuquerque at Open Space Gallery (The 2010 gallery schedule isn't up on their website yet, but our show will be running July to August) in conjunction with Convergence 2010. The second show is in Erfurt, Germany, Conni's home town, at Michaeliskirche (St. Michael's Church). The opening there is the first weekend in September, 2010.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend (in the USA--and a wonderful weekend in general elsewhere!). This picture was taken on the rim road west of the Rio Grande gorge driving north toward Colorado to have Thanksgiving with my family in the South San Juans.
Wheeler Peak and Taos, November 25, 2009.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What came in the mail today...

What came in the mail today was a new loom. Now I know that sentence makes some of you reading this cringe considering I have a healthy collection of looms already, largely thanks to my Grandpa Mezoff who gifted me all of his and my Grandma Mezoff's when they moved to Connecticut. ("Healthy" might be an understatement--there are two big floor looms and a 60 inch LeClerc tapestry loom... not counting the smaller looms my grandmother gave me and my old Rio Grande.) But current life circumstances were calling for a portable loom and my grandmother's old Macomber workshop loom just isn't technically "portable" since moving it involves considerable swearing and often bloodied knuckles. And after the workshop I took in Durango last summer at the Intermountain Weaver's Conference... and all the drooling I did over those people who just waltzed in the door and pulled their Mirrix looms out of a tote bag (as I was sucking my bloodied knuckles and struggling to keep the Macomber upright), I started considering the usefulness of a portable loom. Then there is the fact that I took a job which requires me to stay in another village one or two nights a week and a planned Christmas trip to Mississippi for two weeks--all of that added up to my own Mirrix. I got the notice that it shipped this morning. When I went to the post office, there it was... a big square box which contained my shiny new loom. Of course this has completely side tracked my work on getting a new piece on the Harrisville... which I think is going to entail some dyeing... hopefully tomorrow as the weather is beautiful again.
Speaking of dyeing, does anyone know where to get acetic acid? I have been using glacial or 56% acetic acid for my acid wool dyes, but can't get it anymore locally as the camera stores aren't selling it--the digital age and all. I really can't find any in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Any suggestions where to look? Or have any of you used citric acid crystals and do they work as well as the acid? Thanks in advance.
The cottonwoods in the Rio Grande bosque are just gorgeous. This is my driveway.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

That which relates only tangentially to weaving...

Beware: right from the outset I am going to say that I do not believe this post will relate in any direct way to tapestry weaving.  By the time I get to the end, I may find some way to slip some reference to yarn, design, or art in there, but I'm not feeling it at the moment.  You might want to stop now if you were looking for something intelligent.

What I do want to say is that I was in my lovely neighborhood Albertsons store this afternoon (okay, it wasn't my neighborhood store because my neighborhood does not contain any grocery stores at all.  There is a bar, a gas station, a winery, 7 churches, and a post office... this time of year there are fruit stands selling apples--which are fabulous by the way--but there are no grocery stores in my neighborhood), and I found THESE:
I realize this might be of no interest to most of the three of you who read this blog at least occasionally, but I was practically jumping for joy in the aisle.  When I broke out in the Hallelujah chorus (the alto line, so people didn't even recognize the tune, sadly enough), I did get some funny looks.  But you have to understand that I have celiac disease and that makes eating somewhat harder than it used to be.  Used to be I could eat just about anything (hold the olives) that I wanted.  Stomach like iron, metabolism like a 15 year old... and then I got sick and now I can't eat gluten... which is in everything except lettuce.  

But recent years have improved this state of affairs because now major companies like Betty Crocker have realized that the gluten intollerant market is full of people like me who used to be able to eat everything and now can relate endless experiences of standing besides tables of food at potlucks and parties, unable to eat anything except the carrots (hold the dip) and praying that someone brought a bottle of wine--and would you pour it quickly because you're not going to eat anything tonight... and that we'll pay just about anything to be able to eat like we used to... so a brownie mix that used to cost $2.59 now costs $7.99... and we don't flinch when reaching for it.  This is survival and we feel like we're in a potentially critical situation and have to have it.  Very smart of Betty Crocker to get on board with this.  They'll make a mint.  And the Cinnamon Chex are heaven.  I haven't eaten much from that bread/cereal group in years, but baby, I'm back!  Unfortunately now that I'm quite a few years older, my metabolism is not quite so high and I'd best be careful with those Betty Crocker "foods" lest when I tell other celiacs that I actually have celiac disease, a glance at my waistline makes them call me a liar.

Attention relatives-who-only-make-inside-out-chocolate-bundt-cakes-for-birthdays: I can have my own now.  In case you don't have it, the recipe is basically devils food chocolate cake mix (please buy the gluten free version--see photo above--lest I end up in the bathroom for the rest of my birthday), a package of Jello chocolate pudding mix, a ton of chocolate chips...  I'll be over August 5th, 2010.

Isn't this dragonfly wing pretty?  Maybe that would be a good jumping-off place for a tapestry design.  He was living in my girlfriend's house and was, this particular day, in fairly poor health on the windowsill.  I snapped his photo and let him outside where he flew off in search of whatever dragonflies eat. (Huh.  Got the word tapestry in here a few times after all.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Taos Wool Festival 2009

I did have the privilege of attending the 2009 Taos Wool Festival.  I have to admit that the animals are my favorite.  Maybe I should be an alpaca owner... or one of those fuzzy bunnies who I thought produced angora, but now I think that is goats... and what is the bunny fiber called?

Anyway, I caught up with some old fiber friends including:
Liesel Orend--a fabulous natural dyer and tapestry weaver who taught me everything I know about natural dyeing.  I don't feel like I know much about natural dyeing as I haven't done any outside of Liesel's classes, but she assures me that I can figure it out... and she taught me well, so she is probably correct!  I'm going to test those skills soon with a natural dyeing project.  We'll see whether or not I need a consult with Leisel!

I met up with some good friends at Weaving Southwest for Rachel Brown's retrospective opening.  The opening was packed.  Here are my weaving friends Judith Mirus and Cornelia Theimer Gardella and their husbands Clarence and Kurt outside the opening.

And here is the new piece I finished.  It is called Halcyon Days and is 14 X 39 inches, hand-dyed wool tapestry.

Gold Hill and Boogers...

This morning I awoke (to a 77.6 pound dog jumping on my legs) at 8am and happily finished my most recent tapestry.  All I had to do was decide on a name, (which isn’t usually difficult but I wasn’t channeling Anni Albers today) but I did eventually come up with something acceptable, make a tag for it (which took 3 tries as I managed to fuse the first two to the towel I was using for an ironing board because BOTH ironing boards in my studio are covered with tapestry yarn), and deliver the tapestry to the gallery.  When I was done with this (and the gallery did seem pleased with 

it), I took that 77.6 pound Labrador retriever on a hike from the Taos Ski Valley… Gold Hill is my favorite TSV hike, but be forewarned if you go, every single hike from that valley with the exception of Williams Lake (which, admit it, is for tourists from the flat lands) is straight up.  Whoever built those trails did NOT believe in switchbacks.

And I must say that I kicked some hiking hiney!  9 miles, 3,000+ feet elevation gain, 5 hours… and that included the chatting time with the 70+ year old couple who were BACPACKING (!!!) and the 30-something hunter from Ohio who was sucking wind at 12,000 feet trying to get high enough to make a cell phone call to his hunting buddy who was supposed to meet him on the back side of the moon.  I realized on my way up that I was doing great… and that finally I must be in shape for backpacking season, what with the 2-3 mile walks up the mesa every day and hiking every weekend to some high-altitude destination.  Unfortunately it is now October and pretty soon the winter sloth will set in and all that sweat will be wasted on eating GF pizza (which, alas, I will have to make myself) and reading books.


It was a beautiful day.  I set out hoping to see the colors changing, but the high-altitude colors have done their thing… and there were a lot of sad little yellow aspen leaves on the trail.  The higher I got the windier it got until I left treeline behind and thought I was going to be blown off the ridge.  I crawled on my hands and knees to the edge of the ridge to get a look at 

Goose Lake, afraid I was going to get blown to Kansas.  The horse-riding hunter I saw 15 seconds later probably thought I was insane.  Seriously the wind was about 47 million knots—and no, I don’t know how fast a knot is although I did sail as a child… I never was good at conversions.  Still I have to ask my German friend Conni how much a Euro is every time we talk about any currency that isn’t the dollar.  Hopefully she takes pity on me and doesn’t reveal this particular intellectual flaw to her fellow citizens when I visit her lovely country next year for our Bauhaus show.

Anyway, the wind was so fierce up there that I had to first dig out the fleece hat I always have in my pack… then realized because of the over-sized craniums that Mezoffs are blessed with (which doesn't really seem to say anything about how smart we are), this particular hat doesn’t really cover my ears very well.  So I was forced to tie the bandana that I had just used for a snot rag over my head.  It was that or be deafened by the wind and probably suffer frostbite to my lovely ear lobes.  The thought of turning back never crossed my mind.  I’m a stubborn hiker babe after all and sometimes sacrifices in the realm of personal hygiene have to be made. But, alas, my nose was still running and so I was forced to practice the farmer nose blow.  I’ve never been able to do this and today was no exception.  I’m afraid my clothing came back smattered with mucus.  (I’ll wash it Mom.)  While at the top where the wind chill must have been hovering around freezing, I found globules of ice in the stone wind shelter.  I’m guessing these are the frozen boogers of the last hiker up there who undoubtedly had to use her snot rag to cover her ears also.

Gold Hill is 12,711 feet high. At the top I tried to send a text message to my girlfriend feeling for all the world like I was on the top of Everest radioing the world that I was still alive.  The wind messed up the signal, and the message, sent back in the Taos Ski Valley parking lot, lost a lot of its zing.  Tomorrow, when I’m back at my loom, my hiking hiney is going to be mighty sore!  

Weaving note:  Last night was Rachel Brown’s retrospective at Weaving Southwest.  It was so packed with people I couldn’t see the art and had to go back today to spend some time with it.  If you’re in Taos this month, stop by Weaving Southwest and see the show.  These pieces are owned by collectors and won’t be shown again any time soon.  Rachel is an inspiration.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Community Gallery Opening

Well, a turn of events yesterday kept me off the loom for the rest of the day.  But I did get a piece in a show in Santa Fe as a result, so I guess that is good.

Go see the show if you're in Santa Fe:
It is called Hard and Soft: Works from New Mexico Ceramic and Fiber Studios.  It is in the Community Gallery which is on W. Marcy street at Sheridan.  The opening is from 5 to 7 tonight.  There are some great pieces in there!  
I know that there are some great pieces in there because I got a sneak peak last night at 3:59 after I arrived breathless and disheveled in the rain clutching my little piece in a plastic garbage bag praying the fabulous director of the gallery had not left at 3:59 instead of 4.

See, I made a little boo boo with this show.  I'm trying not to feel too stupid about it, but really I should have made some entries in my day planner about this event... in which case none of this would have happened.  I failed to write down the day that the work was due in the gallery--which incidentally was actually August 29th NOT September 17th.  But the fabulous Rod Lambert, and I quote him saying, "I work with artists, I know about you guys," allowed me to rush my fool head down there and bring him the work for his last remaining space just in time for the opening today.

As I was running through the rain (I forgot when I told him I could get from Velarde to downtown SF in 45 minutes that not only is there the mother of all construction projects in Espanola, but that I would have to find parking in downtown Santa Fe in order to deliver the piece.   Fortunately for the parking it was raining... and I found a spot a few blocks away--even had quarters in my pocket for the meter!)... a man who may or may not have been homeless tried to engage me in conversation.  Being a kindly person, I usually do talk to homeless people... after all, one of my favorite patients at the county hospital in Reno, NV was a schizophrenic homeless man who's girlfriend (also homeless) brought me a little plastic tree with round decorations on it from the dollar store... best present ever from a patient.  They (the homeless people especially when schizophrenic) have an interesting take on the world sometimes--sometimes they need mental health assistance.  Anyway, this man was polite but after a few seconds, I found myself gasping, "I'm LATE!" and running on, stepping squarely in a large puddle and soaking my leg as I ran down the block toward the gallery hoping Rod had not left me standing on the sidewalk dripping wet clutching my little tapestry wishing I was inside with it hanging next to the tag that had my name on it...  Fortunately Rod, in my brief association with him, proved to be an incredibly helpful and kind individual who did a bang-up job hanging this show!  (And did not leave me dripping on the sidewalk.)

Anyway, it looks to be a great show!  There is some awesome fiber work including a fabulous piece by Julie Wagner, a beautiful weaving by Irene Smith, and some mixed media fiber by 
Kathleen Vanderbrook.  The pottery also looked great in my hurried survey of the gallery--sorry potters, I was focusing on the fiber.  I have a little piece in it called The Space Before Knowing that I wove in 2007.  The show specified pieces that were in the 2 foot square size range, and as everything I've done recently is much larger than this, this little piece got to go to Santa Fe all by itself.  Plus then I got to go and visit the new Collected Works bookstore... that was awesome too.

Go see the show!  It looks great.  I think it will be hanging through the end of December, 2009.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finally back on the loom...

I hate to admit it, but although my grandfather's loom came to me last January, and it has been in my studio put together for months, I have not yet woven anything on it.  I did a small piece on the Macomber (also from my grandfather) --that seemed familiar and safe-- but the Harrisville seemed like a large countermarche beast that needed taming before I could weave on it.  Turns out she is a gentle giant and so far I love her!

I could site endless excuses why my actual weaving in my own studio hasn't so much, well, happened in the last 8 months, but the truth is that life got in the way.  A shift in perspective is called for--weaving is necessary to my soul.  Making art and spending quiet time in my studio is of utmost importance.  Resistance is a creeping, insidious presence that will use any excuse to draw me away from the loom (oh, you're hungry?  Why not drive 10 miles to town to get a Sonic shake?  you have a hang nail on your pinky toe?  that might take several hours to remedy... etc.)

Back to the Harrisville Rug Loom:  For those of you who aren't familiar with this loom, it has a warp tensioning rod on the back that lowers as you weave so the back beam doesn't have to turn at all as long as your piece is less than about 8 feet long.  This feature I love.  It should make the warp tension fabulous... and so far it is!  My only complaint is the lack of locking treadles.  I know this loom was not designed for weaving tapestry, but locking treadles would sure make tapestry easier!  It is a high loom and I could probably rig it to stand and weave if it had locking treadles.

Anyway, I've started a couple quicker pieces for Weaving Southwest while thinking about a more complicated project for my shows next year.

Upcoming shows:
Speaking of which, I have two group shows scheduled in 2010.  The project is called Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus.  I am working with James Koehler and Cornelia Theimer Gardella in a study of Bauhaus art theory and how we have used this theory in our work as tapestry artists both in Germany (Cornelia is a German citizen) and here in New Mexico.

The first show is in conjunction with Convergence 2010 which is in Albuquerque, NM in July. It will be at the Open Spaces Gallery in July and August 2010.
In September and October 2010 it will be at St. Michael's Church in Erfurt, Germany.  More details to come!
There is nothing so comforting as an old yellow lab sleeping in the sun next to your loom...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Art as a practice

I just saw the movie Julie and Julia.  I enjoyed it.  In case you haven't seen it, the premise is that a young writer named Julie Powell is working her way through all the recipes in Julia Child's French cookbook in a year and blogging about it (no, I haven't missed the irony that watching a movie about a blog got me blogging--something I haven't done in a month it seems).

My questions as I left the theater were simply these:
Can weaving be a practice that is done daily like Julie's project?  and what is the value in that?
Is a project like this a good way to learn focus?  Focus seems like a necessary ability for a tapestry weaver or nothing is produced.
How is it that I haven't woven anything since Emergence came off the loom in June?  How does life slip away like that?  We only have this one short and precious life.  To let the days slip by unnoticed is not the way I want to live it.
Tommye Scanlin is weaving a calendar tapestry--one block for every day in 2009.  This idea is perhaps starting to get at my nascent thoughts about focus and having a project that moves you along one day at at a time.  And her calendar tapestry is really interesting!

And there are more thoughts about art as a spiritual practice.  What else can it really be anyway?  Most of us aren't going to make a living off of it, and so I think we have to do it because it is what we love and making art is what helps us see our own soul.

Editor's note (okay, I don't have an editor, it's just me):  I wrote this post on the date you see but am just "finishing" it today... hmmm, lack of focus?  Too much going on?  I have finished a piece since this post.  Yeah!  Ready for another one.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A good day

Today is a good day.  First, my friend Sue gave me a dozen guinea eggs.  They are beautiful and I can eat them.  Second, I'm going to eat leftover spring rolls for dinner that my girlfriend made me when she visited last week... they're good and I continue to be impressed that she could make food like this which seems difficult to me, the culinary-impaired one.  

And third, I got a call from Weaving Southwest today saying that they sold one of my pieces.  The piece was called This Time I Dance (it was the second one in the series)... a piece I wove when thinking about how important weaving was to me and was starting to find some determination toward dancing my way through life instead of slogging through it and wishing I could be doing something I loved every day.  It was bought by a dancer.   I hope she loves it and remembers to keep dancing.  First piece ever sold in a gallery...  I'm kinda thrilled.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Galleries and other anomalies of the space-time continuum...

When I was a wee one (actually probably only 10 years ago, but it seems like I was a kid then even though I wasn't), I admired the tapestries in Weaving Southwest--a contemporary tapestry gallery in Taos, NM.  I first saw the work of James Koehler, Rebecca Bluestone, Rachel Brown, and Karen Benjamin there.  I hoped one day I would have pieces hanging in that gallery.  TODAY is that day!  Yesterday I brought the new gallery manager Teresa Loveless (Rachel's granddaughter) my weaving and she hung one of the pieces on the wall right then and there.  Seems kind of wild to me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Intermountain Weavers Conference

I have just returned from a great weekend at the Intermountain Weaver's Conference in Durango, CO.  First of all you have to realize that I love Durango, so pretty much no matter what went down at the conference, I would have had a good time just looking at the La Platas and browsing Maria's Bookshop (yes, I did have to apply a credit card to be released from the store).  But there was so many more great things about the weekend!  For example, Emily came with me which really was an unexpected and fantastic addition to my time there--and not just because she bought me gluten free pizza!  We stayed in the dorm--flashbacks to Kohler Hall at Lawrence University... cement block walls and gross carpet.  We shared a bathroom with the unestimable Margo who was a vendor and very happy to let me take a shower just a few moments before I dashed off to class in the morning.  Turns out she is also allergic to wool.  Doing conferences with tapestry weavers must be tough!

Fort Lewis College (site of the conference) was doing construction on the student center... Imagine the fiber art installation you could do from this crane!  I had convinced my instructor that using my grandmother's 28 inch Macomber floor loom was a good idea... as I watched the rest of my class slide their pipe and Mirrix looms into canvas bags and jaunt off down the sidewalk, I glanced wistfully at the crane and then, with a little help from a kind weavers husband in the parking lot, hefted it back into the car.  
It is still in the car in fact.  I'm hoping Cassy will lift it out for me and bring it down the non-existent sidewalk into the house where I will glance occasionally at the sampler gathering dust on the loom thinking that I should practice a few more things on it... until one day I just cut the thing off--likely the day before putting a warp on the loom for the next workshop.

  I entered the Intermountain Creations show with the piece I just finished, Emergence.  Here it is hanging in the gallery. This show turned out really well--and many kudos to the women who worked non-stop to hang the show on Thursday and Friday and then tore it down again on Sunday.  It was beautiful!  My piece won a 2nd place People's Choice award.  Thanks you all!

I also entered Fiber Celebrated 2009 which was a juried show.  Two of my pieces were in the show: Contemplative Garden and Inscription.  Here they are hanging in the Center of Southwest Studies (far left is Contemplative Garden and far right is Inscription).  
The gallery and show looked fabulous... 

The reception for this show was Friday evening.  I managed to win an award for best use of color for Contemplative Garden.  I was so excited I forgot to avail myself of the catered reception which apparently included wine! ... and grateful that due to the press of people in the gallery and the lack of any microphone or stage, no one could really see or hear me.  I'm not even sure I remembered to shake the juror's hand (Emmie Seaman).

Here I am with Contemplative Garden in the gallery.  I felt like a rock star after this reception--people kept telling me how much the liked my piece.  You know, that is kind of fun!  I promise I won't let it go to my head. 
 I am afraid I am going to have to start weaving more though!  If you can't find me, I'm in my studio buried in papers hoping a great design will come out of the mess.

The class I took was Color and Tapestry and was taught by Kathe Todd-Hooker.  Kathe did a great job with organization and with managing a class that contained just a few too many beginner tapestry weavers.

Lyn Hart was in the class--so great to finally meet you Lyn, as well as your posse (Jane and Susan).  Also great to laugh with the three of you.  I'm changing the contents of my coffee mug at evening events from now on.
Lyn won the Fiber Celebrated People's Choice award for her piece Canyon Night.  Sorry for this horrible photo Lyn, but you can undoubtedly go to her blog and find a better photo.  The award was well deserved!
Photos of the class working.  Mine is the only floor loom there.  Floor looms ARE good for tapestry!  They're just a lot harder to carry around.  The crazy among us shall remain nameless.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Here she is, newly hung and ready for a trip to Durango this weekend.
48 x 48 inches; hand-dyed wool
10 e.p.i; Harrisville singles, 3 ply

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fiber Celebrated 2009

I'm getting my pieces ready to ship off to the Fiber Celebrated 2009 show and thought I would just mention here that that is happening!
Show specifics are here:

I just realized there are a few little details I haven't attended to... like somehow these pieces escaped official tags... and that I don't have a box that is 50 inches long to ship Inscription.  Fortunately there is a very nice and helpful young man at UPEX in Los Alamos who swears he can help me out with that little problem, and on a Saturday no less (as my week has been nutsy beyond belief and I can't possibly get there until after my morning pancakes day after tomorrow).  And he can even take care of the specifics of paying for return UPS shipping up front.  I'm not even going to get into the reasons I have to drive to Los Alamos for some simple shipping problem.  It is sort of like the DMV thing.... but that is another story entirely.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My cousin Julie

This is not the sort of thing I usually say, but I want to send a big shout out to my cousin Julie.  She is my only living relative (that we know of) who also has celiac sprue.  

My cousin Julie absolutely ROCKS!  (And that IS something I would say.)  She made me (and my aunt and uncle) the best gluten free dinner I've had in forever... something amazing of the indian variety with lentils (she gave me the recipe.  I haven't dared look at it yet as I'm not sure I'll be able to come anywhere close... but maybe by the time I get home I'll get up the nerve to give it a go.)... she also made GF bread which is always a feat.  Add a little wine to this and I was completely overcome with the gastronomic delight of the whole thing.  Seriously overcome.

BUT THEN!!!!  She asked me to go to her favorite restaurant for lunch the next 
day--which I believe was only yesterday, though I'm losing track of time in this whirlwind trip around the US...  The restaurant is in Grand Rapids, MI and is called Maria Catrib's.  I was so impressed with the place (and especially Maria) that I took a picture of it when I left.  Maria who runs the joint brought us GF cookies as an appetizer.  I tried to buy her remaining stock when I was leaving the restaurant, and to my dismay, the remaining stock had gone into my stomach earlier in the meal and there were none to carry away in my suitcase.

I ate a grilled cheese sandwich.  This may very well not be something that impresses those of you who are not gluten intolerant.  For those of you who are, you completely understand me.  I was able to go into this restaurant and choose between something like 12 sandwiches AND I had a choice of THREE different kinds of bread.  I'm teary eyed just thinking about it more than 24 hours later.  And after my cousin returned to work, I had a big piece of flourless chocolate cake--to make up for the fact that I couldn't take any cookies home with me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The joy and pain of juried shows...

I entered two pieces into a juried show this spring.  Actually, I had a stack of shows I was going to enter--I think 5.  The Durango show was the only one I actually entered... largely because I'm going to the IWC conference and thought it would be most excellent if I got lucky enough to get into Fiber Celebrated a second time.  Both pieces were accepted.  Thank you to the jurying gods for that one!  I'm kind of a neophyte when it comes to juried shows and also when it comes to fancier get togethers involving the "art crowd."  Fortunately, fiber artists seem to be a little less "art crowd" people than some of the folks I've met in Santa Fe... and it is kind of fun to see my pieces hanging in different places.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sometimes the hardest decision is...

I'm going on a little trip soon.  The largest decision about this trip so far seems to be what knitting project(s) to pack.  The trip involves some time visiting a friend in the south (I do not anticipate any knitting time during this phase), a visit to my grandparents and aunt/uncle in Michigan (I see some knitting time emerging here), a drive circumnavigating Lake Michigan (I'm flying into and out of Chicago and I do not knit while I drive, honest), and a cousin's wedding in Wisconsin (again, I promise I won't knit at the actual wedding, but I can't make any promises about the reception... kick me if Aunt Matilda thinks I'm being rude).Of course there are three legs to this journey and I anticipate having time to knit on the plane.  I just checked the "what you can bring on board" page on Northwest's website--and indeed they say you can bring knitting needles onto the plane again.  Heaven help us all if someone like me gets cranky due to long lines, irrational airline rules (WHY do you have to take your shoes off to go through security?), and lack of gluten free goodies readily available in airport kiosks-- and starts brandishing her 16 inch #7 circulars!!! ...likely with scarf or hat attached.  Of course there is the possibility of getting trapped in one of those seats in front of the exit row that doesn't recline, squished between the window and someone who, shall we say, doesn't quite fit between the armrests of their seat.  Knitting does take a little elbow room.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We all make mistakes...

Sometimes we don't make the best decisions in life.  Take, for instance, this cabin.  I have some land in Colorado, and about a half mile away at some point last summer, a man came and put up this cabin which is about 8 by 12 feet.  I thought it went up pretty quickly, so I went to examine it after he was gone.  He had put cement blocks right on the sand, seated 4X4s in the blocks (no poured cement as far as I could tell so far) and attached the deck floor of the cabin to those 4X4s.  In no way was this structure tied to the ground.  I believe the man who did this must not be from around here as he seriously underestimated the force of the winds on the south side of a 14,000 foot peak in southern Colorado.  Just this week, less than a year later, this is what his cabin looks like.  I fear he will be unhappy when he returns to put the windows in and inhabit his little summer dwelling.  I hope he likes mice also because they are likely already friendly inhabitants.

We do all make mistakes from time to time--or perhaps just miscalculations of large proportion.  I just hope if I ever decide to build a little cabin in southern Colorado, I'm smart enough to use some concrete.
Mostly this post is for my sister... she'll understand why.  As an architect and city planner, this cabin rankled.  It ticked me off just because it marred my view, being exceptionally ugly and poorly built.  My guess was it would last a few years, but to have the wind push it over in less than a year really boosted my admiration of the ferocity of southern Colorado winds.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Progress on the petroglyph piece continues but seems slow.  One drawback (or perhaps advantage) to weaving on a horizontal loom is that you can't really see the thing until you cut it off.  Here is where I am:
See what I mean?  Doesn't mean much and looks really weird. In fact this image is so disturbing to me that it throws the whole piece into doubt.  Everyone who sees me working on it says, "it'll be just fine."  But how do they know when this is all they can see?  It has been fun to weave, however, and I am looking forward to finishing the last of the 15 inches I have left.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Finally here is a better photo of the piece Inscription.  The first entry about this piece is here with more detail about it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fitness and the loom

I have woven standing at one sort of loom or another for the last 5 years.  I started tapestry weaving at Northern New Mexico Community College (now Northern New Mexico College) working on Rio Grande standing looms.  Then I made one and wove in my own studio.  Now I am weaving on a Glimakra which has been raised on 2 by 6’s.  The secret to weaving standing up (unless you have a walking loom) is locking treadles.  I highly recommend locking treadles on any loom wider than about 36 inches on which you are going to weave tapestry.  Of course if you are one of those “normal” tapestry weavers who uses an upright loom (where you can actually see the piece you’re working on and sit without hunching over like you’re 90 years old), then you don’t need to heed my suggestion.  Your loom already has “locking treadles” anyway.  I’m hoping I can figure out some way to put locking treadles on the Harrisville rug loom I just acquired.  If you’re a carpenter and need a project, let me know.

I like the biomechanics of standing while weaving.  It feels easier on my body, though still hard on the neck and shoulders.  As I approach the tender young age of 37, and considering the prior post about McDinner and Yoga Journal, I have been thinking more about fitness (yes, I know that as a health care provider I should have been thinking about fitness much earlier than 36… but we all think we’re immortal for much of our lives, don’t we?). 

I’ve got this bug lately to learn a little bit about rock climbing.  This may have come from a chapter I read in an adventure book by a woman who solo climbed Half Dome.  Now, I have no desire whatsoever to find myself on a multi-day climb sleeping 1000 feet off the nearest horizontal surface (or at least the one that gravity would take me to should that little piece of metal stuck in the rock upon which my weight is resting fail)… and really that might be more about the questions surrounding the guy who is hanging on his little hammock just ABOVE me on the rock.  I mean, I totally expect that he would pack out his poop—climbers do this on long climbs, right?   But what guy isn’t going to pee over the edge of that little shelf he is sitting on?  I don’t want that particular shower.

But perhaps a climbing wall would be an appropriate place to start learning to climb.  My legs are in fair shape considering I haven’t been inside a gym in at least 9 years—and all that standing at the loom has to help, right?  But my arms are whimpy little twigs that wouldn’t hold me up for a second.  So I was hoping that climbing might increase my upper body strength—you know, so I could look like those gals in the Athleta catalogs.  But I have disturbing flashes of myself hanging from one hand, other arm and two legs flailing for purchase, me hoping that my screams of terror aren’t disturbing the 5-year-old who is 15 feet above me on the wall, and the person belaying me yelling, “You’re only 2 feet off the ground!  Let go!”  Maybe there is a private climbing gym for those of us who don’t own anything made by Prana and who don’t think we could manage this activity with a paper bag over our heads… you know, sort of a private climbing wall for the inept.

Monday, April 20, 2009

McDinner for Celiacs

I'm more than halfway finished with the petroglyph piece I'm working on at my teacher's studio in Santa Fe.  Whoo hoo!  It still seems slow, but what do you expect from a 48 inch square piece.  I have learned that switching from 8 epi to 10 epi is not all that easy, that 48 inches square is a lot of square inches to weave, and that if you don't pull those turns tight around the warp or make your jump-overs snug, the little suckers will exact retribution in the end--your piece will spread like an oil slick when you take it off the loom.  Too much weft is not a good thing.

On my way home from weaving in Santa Fe tonight, I picked up a new bookshelf I had ordered at the furniture store (I know, I know--those of you who know me are thinking, well that is one step down the slippery slope to complete book take-over and we're going to find her buried under a pile of hiking books one of these days... but really it is a small bookshelf, and I needed more space for all the books about treating kids I've had to buy lately to do my job--good excuse, right?  They're heavy--maybe I should put them on the bottom shelf just in case.)... and on my way home I stopped for McDinner at McDonalds.  I was sipping on my carcinogen-laced Coke and eating my hamburger straight out of Fast Food Nation and reading, of all things, an article in Yoga Journal called "Diet for a green planet."  (Those of you who have read books like Fast Food Nation will recognize the irony in that.)

My excuse for stopping for McDinner is that I have celiac disease.  At McDonalds, you can get a hamburger served in a plastic salad container without a bun.  I usually have to tell the clerk three times, "No bun"  (You said no bun?  Huh?  "Yes, no bread please" Are you sure? "Yes, I'll go into anaphylactic shock and die in your restaurant if you as much as let a crumb touch my burger"  This is definitely not true, but putting the fear of god into someone in the food business is my last best way to make sure I don't get sick.)  I was diagnosed in 2005 and found that many things in my world changed after that.  You don't realize how much of our social structure revolves around food until you can't eat just any old thing anymore.  

For instance, potlucks are mine fields (Sally SAYS there isn't any wheat in her salad, but then she remembers later that she used soba noodles, not rice noodles and she is so so sorry), restaurants are a guessing game (can I trust this waiter who refuses to go ask the chef if the ginger sauce has flour thickener, modified food starch, or soy sauce in it?), and your elderly aunt just can't understand why you won't eat her cookies no matter how many times you shout in her good ear that you can't eat wheat (Peat?  You can't eat peat?  Who would do that?).  If you have celiac disease, you know what I'm talking about--the body's revenge for screwing up can be fierce and unrelenting--it forces you to do things like note which public places have bathrooms you can run into without anyone giving you the evil eye for not being a customer.  Just the other day I found myself running across a parking lot and ducking into Wells Fargo because I knew they had a bathroom in the lobby.  If anyone asked, I was going to tell them I was pregnant and it was an emergency.  (That isn't true mom, sorry).

So I was sitting in McD's  reading the latest issue of Yoga Journal and cutting my hamburger with silverware thinking about improving my fitness level and how eating at McDonalds probably condemns you to hell for eternity.  Maybe I can start by getting the 100 pound bookshelf out of my car.  I hope I don't give myself a hernia.  I'm a pretty spry chick, but although it is only 2 feet wide, it is 7 feet tall and made of oak (I know I said it was small, but clearly it is bigger than a bread box)...  Maybe I can store the books in the shelf in the car for awhile.  Or perhaps I can just tell my neighbor I'm pregnant and get him to carry it inside for me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Forever taxes

I'm such a freak, I really was worried I wouldn't get my quarterly estimated taxes out today and I would be left to mail them on the last possible day tomorrow.  I am not good with "last possible day" scenarios.  Fortunately, I very capably made it to the post office today, bought stamps, and put them in those blue boxes they have there where they assure you a postmark dated 4/14/09 will be affixed and the IRS will not hunt me down for the obscene amount of money I had to pay them (turns out being an independent contractor sucks when it comes time to pay those estimated taxes.  The paycheck looks so good before you take out about 40% for the state and fed not to mention gross receipts tax.  And there is something scary called a self-employment tax to the tune of 15.3%.  I couldn't bear to inquire too closely about that one.)  Well, the post office didn't actually assure me that the IRS wouldn't hunt me down, just that they'd do the postmark part of the bargain... and the clerk cheerfully informed me that postage is going up to 44 cents on May 11.  Good to know--also good he sold me "Forever" stamps.

I was hoping to officially start the "weaving business" this year also since I'm getting my feet wet in the health care industry as an independent contractor.  It can't be that different right?  And I already bought Quickbooks and learned how to pay gross receipts tax--and just this week completed my first (hopefully successful) attempt to pay estimated taxes (I suppose we won't know for sure how well I did at this until we see how big the check I have to write at the end of the year is)... so really I should be able to run a little old weaving business and convince the IRS that it IS a business and I should be able to write off expenses (actually selling some work might help with this).  I lost some of my courage on this front with the whole estimated taxes thing, but I'm sure I'll rally.  Hopefully that happens before the July 15th estimated tax deadline where regression could occur again.  I may need some help from Saint Maurice.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A truckload of bribery beer...

Well, my brother-in-law came through with flying colors.  See my previous post about the computer recovery project.  And the post before that about the unfortunate need for the recovery project.  I can now report that the data from my old Mac Powerbook G4 resides in my new MacBook (with some inner urging to get that backup hard drive ASAP as I heard a story about a woman who lost the hard drive on her brand new computer--not a Mac however!  As if that means anything really).  My brother-in-law Luke is officially entitled to his truckload of bribery beer.  I look at this as nothing short of a miracle.  It is all the sweeter as I had written off the data and moved on with my life.  Now I have the chance to go back and make use of those thousands of pictures, and I don't have to rewrite all those pesky things like a current resume (NOT that I expect to need one any time soon), not to mention all the electronic copies of work documents I didn't have and was going to need at the end of the school year.

I decided after a lovely invitation from my sister's mother-in-law followed up with enthusiastic entreaties from my sister to go up to Colorado for the Easter weekend.  I'm not much into looking for easter eggs (unless there is a borrowed child involved), but I am really into chocolate... and of course I love to see my family.  So I cancelled a sacred weaving day and drove up there in a snow storm yesterday.  I got to paint trim in an old dance hall, admire my mother-in-law's LOVELY naturally dyed easter eggs, eat a fabulous Easter brunch, sleep in a fabulous bed while it snowed outside, and the photos below tell you the rest...  Actually, I'm not in this first photo, but the use of the heat gun to get the fire going is legendary in this family when electricity is close enough--especially when you're grilling with wood not charcoal...
That is Luke, Olin, Laura (manning the heat gun), Lynn (BBQ queen), and RuthAnn.

Then I visited this apparent used car lot... which is suspiciously close to my sister's house.  She is quick to point out that not all of the 8 cars in this photo actually belong to them. 

Laughed at Luke's "solar four wheeler"...  long story involving a phone booth and a yurt.

And returned to the Land of Enchantment.  I didn't do one single weaving-related thing until I typed this sentence.  But tomorrow I will!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tipping Point

I read Jennifer's blog post about Ethel Stein a few days ago and today I happened to be in Alamosa, CO where there is a great newstand (Narrow Gauge Newstand--an amazing little bookstore with the best magazine selection I've ever seen in a small town).  I picked up  the American Craft magazine with the article in it and was also amazed that Ethel is still weaving at 91.  I aspire to that!  Anyway, I was thinking about the snowball effect of information
how information gets spread in this time of instant everything.

For example, I read a blog written by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, also known as the Yarn Harlot.  She has something like 20,000 readers and hundreds of comments on each of her posts (see my favorite, laugh until you roll on the floor post here--see December 18th).  That is a lot of people!  I imagine it all started with a few people who enjoyed it who told their knitting friends and before you know it, she has a knitting book on the New York Times bestseller list (Not that she doesn't deserve it.  Her books are damn funny... and of course I've read all 5 of them).  When I was at the newstand today reading American Craft (and a few others that just jumped into my hands), I saw a book called The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  I haven't read the book (yet), but the premise seems to be that there is a moment in time when events happen in a way that everything changes at once.

My last post was about Iowa's supreme court declaring gay marriage legal.  I found out this morning that a few days later, Vermont's legislative body (it was legislative, not even a court decision!) voted to legalize gay marriage.  I don't have all the details of this legislation, but I can't help but wonder if we might be approaching a tipping point.  Apparently there are other states out there considering challenges--New York being one of them.  Perhaps New Mexico, which doesn't have a constitutional amendment defining marriage as whatever generally religious people think marriage (which is, after all, a civil right) should look like, will not be far down the list of places where this is possible.  

Maybe we're reaching a tipping point... and if not, then at least we can continue to laugh at Stephanie's blog.  Thank goodness!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Warning: following post contains politically charged content that has nothing to do with tapestry weaving... sort of like the rest of my life some days.

Dar Williams has a song called Iowa.
The first two lines of the song are, "I've never had a way with women, but the hills of Iowa make me wish that I could, And I've never found a way to say I love you, but if the chance came by, oh I, I would."  Dar was my first folk-singer love.  I sat amount hundreds of people listening to her for the first time in Lyons, CO at the fabulous Folks Festival there in 1996.  I didn't know at that exact moment that I would ever say this about that state but, Iowa, I want to officially say that I love you.  You have followed in the footsteps of your more progressive sisters Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California (and don't get me started on Prop 8--it will be overturned!)...

I am a westerner through and through.  I was born in Alaska and maybe that little fact was enough to make me the outdoorsy, open-sky, mountain-loving person that I am.  But in case you have been out backpacking or stuck under your loom for the last few weeks, as of April 27, 2009, gay people will be able to legally marry in Iowa.  God bless the supreme court of that rolling-hilled midwestern state.  May we all promote tolerance and love of each other in whatever paths life leads us down.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Georgia's mountain

I do a lot of driving for my job.  I try not to take kids in far-flung reaches of the county (and my county is bigger than most eastern states by a lot), but I did take a child who lives right under Peternal--Georgia O'Keefe's self-aclaimed personal mountain.  I love going up to the Piedra Lumbre.  I drove up to see this child this morning and had a few extra moments at Abiquiu Lake.  The water is high, and at 8am on a Tuesday, it is perfectly quiet.

I find myself telling people occasionally that the Piedra Lumbre is my heart place.  I'm not entirely sure what that means even.  We went to Ghost Ranch a lot when I was a kid, so maybe that childhood association has something to do with it.  It is mostly just a feeling I have when I am there... that the place is somehow different and that time doesn't mean anything there among the red rocks and surrounding mesas.  I know many tapestry weavers who have woven images of Peternal.  I've never been drawn to weaving landscapes myself.  All I know is that there is no way I could capture the feeling of the place in a tapestry.  It is too silent, too huge, and too personal.  I'll leave Georgia's mountain for her...  I can't promise I won't climb it again though.  But when I'm on the top I'll say a little prayer of thanks to Georgia for being the woman of the Piedra Lumbre that she was.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Archival or not?

Wow.  It has been a day.  I learned some things today.  Here they are in no particular order:
1.  If you live in northern NM and do home health care, take a vacation from the Friday before to the Monday after Holy Week.  There is a reason they schedule spring break for the kids then.  I had five (that is 5!) no-shows or cancellations today.  I had 5 kids scheduled.  That is 100%... worst day ever in terms of seeing kids.  Remind me to go hiking in Utah next year between Palm Sunday and Easter.  I decided after about the 3rd cancellation that next Friday, which is Good Friday, which I had decided to work, was now a holiday.  I think that is smart.
2.  NM is windy in the spring no matter what.  The kids at the charter school were doing an easter egg hunt and a little kid just got decapitated by a blown door.
3.  Stopping in at the fiber arts center (EVFAC) is always a good way to spend a half an hour when you've just spent your morning standing outside people's houses knocking on doors that don't open.  You can look at the new yarn, chat with the ladies who work there, and maybe have a few moments to sit on the couch and breathe.  This is what I found while sitting on that couch.

From Tapestry Topics (the newsletter of the ATA), Summer 2006, "The Cycle" by Lany Eila.
"...Suddenly I realized that perhaps the medium of tapestry itself is an apt metaphor for our perilous lives.  We spend extravagant quantities of time and energy carefully planning and weaving our lives and work, tucking in the stray threads, guarding against possible dangers, making it all to last--archival.  And yet we are constructing these lives and tapestries from inherently fragile materials; in the former, with bodies and relationships, in the latter, with hair, plant fiber, and color."  She was writing about a piece she did called "The Cycle" in response to catastrophies in her life and the world.

I have spent so much energy in my life making sure the pieces fit together snugly--sewing in the ends so to speak.  And too much time guarding against possible dangers.  My work life is structured and scheduled to the minute.  It is the only way I have found to make enough money in 3 days a week to allow me to weave the rest of the week.  There are days when my meticulous planning pays off and the day goes smoothly.  Then there are days like today.  Can I learn not to make my life so archival?  Probably...  Would that include more chocolate and trips to the hot springs?  We can hope!

I have been designing work lately that seems risky and far from the tapestry I learned in my traditional northern NM teaching.  I have stalled a little at getting any of this work beyond the design table.  It seems so fragile and from some place so far inside me that I am not sure I want it to see the bright light of day.  I am afraid both of what the piece might reveal about me and the possibility that I may never be able to go back
 to what is safe and "acceptable."  Of course, in time, I will move forward.  If we don't grow we grow bored and empty.  It is the waiting for that courage to kick in that is difficult.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More about looms...

I sold my Gilmore.  You may remember this post from last year about my beloved Gilmore loom which I was forced to sell due to the sheer number of looms that were falling from the sky into my lap (all from my grandparents who had to move to Connecticut and abandon their weaving equipment to their ecstatic granddaughter).  I had that loom posted for sale on the internet for a very long time and had resigned myself to visiting it now and then in my storage shed and reassuring it that I would find it a good home--that really I still loved it but just didn't have room for it in my little house.  A very nice woman named Nancy and her husband rented a truck and drove all the way from Oklahoma (a state I have paid little attention to as it has no mountains) to pick up my sweet loom.  The fact that they rented a truck and drove all that way reassured me that the loom was going to a good owner, and frankly, what with tripping over the other two looms in my house (and I'm not even going to talk about the other three looms in the storage shed--no wait, there are four plus two inkle looms--oh geez I need an intervention here), I really haven't missed the Gilmore much.  I hope she has a long and lovely life weaving beautiful fabric in Nancy's studio.  Thanks for coming to get her Nancy!

And in a completely random switch in thought, I finally got around to looking up Saint Maurice on Wikipedia.  Lyn alerted me to the existence of this particular saint after my fumbling invocations surrounding the death of my computer.  Saint Maurice's history is full of a lot of Roman Emperors, bloodshed, martyrdom and a lot of other things that make me squirm, but if you're looking for someone to pray to, he is, according to Wikipedia, "the patron saint of soldiers, swordsmiths, and armies.  He is also inexplicably the patron saint of weavers, dyers, and invoked against menstrual cramps."  I have to agree with Lyn that he could be one useful guy!

And here is my progress on the 48 inch square tapestry (which I'm not revealing the name of it yet mostly because I don't have one--but you can pretend I'm trying to be mysterious.)  That is 20 inches baby!!!  Only 28 inches to go.  The color here is completely blown out and it looks like I just gave away my sneaky warp-tension fixing device (called a T pin).  I'm rolling along at the average rate of 2.5 inches a day.  Most excellent.  There was a frightening moment earlier this week where my teacher suggested that I consider tearing out 3 inches to change a color.  I was praying to Saint Maurice and swearing under my breath at the same time.  We finally decided that leaving the color as it was fit with my intentions for the piece.  The truth is nothing could have made me back out 3 inches on a 48 inch piece anyway.  I know weavers who would have (my teacher is one), but I just can't do it.  I have a lot of patience, but not that much.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brother-in-law to the rescue

I posted awhile back about the death of my trusted Mac Powerbook G4.  I had pretty much given up getting the data back, and stoically refused to think about the loss of all those little bits and bites of data I generated over several years that were gone in a puff of electronic whimsey.  BUT I have an absolutely amazing brother-in-law who despite my frequent abuse of his incredible brain power, continues to help me out with fixing just about anything that could possibly be fixed (and I believe he lives by the mantra that anything can be fixed somehow).  Seriously, this man can make anything run again.  For goodness sake, he replaced the head gasket on my sister's aging Ford Escort (incongruously named Red even though it is bright blue in color) TWICE!  He can fix everything from cars to washing machines to plumbing.  So it wasn't too far off to think maybe he could fix my defunct computer.  He volunteered to give it a go, really he did.  The thing is, it looks like he actually might recover that data for me.  Now it is clear that I worshiped the ground he walked on before this feat, but if he actually hands me a DVD with the contents of my hard drive on it, he will have earned a place in my pantheon of worshiped beings--or at least a whole truckload of bribery beer.  Here are the photos of the gutting of my Powerbook.  I couldn't look.  We started by nesting my computer with my sister's identical computer in the hopes that some sort of electronic synthesis would take place and jump start the ailing computer.  No dice.  So Luke started doing what he does best--he took the whole thing apart.  And there is my hard drive.  Turns out there was probably some electronic glitch in the thing and he actually did get it to spin again... lets hope it spins again long enough to transfer my photos to a DVD.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fuller Lodge Report

Here I am last night at the Fuller Lodge show in Los Alamos (Espanola Valley Fiber Arts show).  This piece is called Awakenings III and it was woven probably in 2005.  People there seemed to like it.  The show was well done especially considering the small space.  They had adequate lighting, snacks (one woman had gluten free chocolate chip cookies!! which made my day), name tags, and some really nice people making sure it all turned out well.  The work in the show (which was juried) was very nice.

And I can report that the staff at the Starbucks across the street is quick and friendly.  I haven't been in one of those since I lived in Seattle, but if you live in Los Alamos, things are a little different than the rest of rural New Mexico.  (For example they have a REAL grocery store--meaning the produce is edible and they even have some organic stuff.  I have to stop there before I get overly expressive about the benefits of living in Los Alamos vs Espanola.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fuller Lodge Show

I am a member of the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center.  I can't say enough good things about this organization.  The people who work there are amazingly helpful and the variety of classes and services for weavers and other fiber people are wonderful.  I think the fact that a place like this exists at all in a small town like Espanola is a miracle.  If you're ever in the area, go and visit. EVFAC has a couple shows a year and I think this is the first time for them to have a show at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos.  I haven't been to Fuller Lodge yet, but I'm going tonight for the opening.  Fuller Lodge has a website where they actually post photos of the work.  Unfortunately the photos aren't fabulous, but I think the fact that they do this for their shows, which go up frequently, is quite amazing.  The website is  Click on the EVFAC exhibit link.  The pieces I submitted to this show are old ones for me.  I like the piece with two panels and the large green circles the best.  That piece is called Meridians and it hung at my sister's wedding at Quarai (an old ruined adobe church south of Albuquerque).  The newer pieces I have I am saving for some juried shows and for the Bauhaus show which may hang before the end of this calendar year.  So it will be odd to go to a show where I have work hanging that I don't really connect with that much any more, but I suppose that happens for most artists at some point.  I feel like I have moved so far beyond those pieces that I'll have trouble talking about them.

Here is a photo which I am including mostly to mark my progress.  This is the piece that I'm weaving at James Koehler's studio and I realize that you can't tell what it is at all yet, but I just want to remind myself that I am making progress!  When that tape
 measure says 48 inches I'll be really happy.  :)  It says just over 14 if you can't read that.

And I went hiking last Saturday north of Taos at Cebolla Mesa.  It was hot down on the Rio Grande river.  There were pasque flowers
 out along the trail (at least I think this is what these flowers are... I'm not a botanist though and could just be really wrong).  Last night we got a couple inches of snow and the school I work at on Fridays was cancelled.  I never tire of getting snow days as an adult... reminds me of the glee of getting them as a child (oh so very infrequently in Gallup, NM).