photoshootI converted my weaving studio into a photo studio for the afternoon yesterday.  That means I have to move all the looms into the spare room/hallway, except the big one, which won’t really fit through the door.  That one gets pushed as far away as possible.  The background paper goes up against the wall, hanging with skirt clips from a shelf above (how convenient is that, not really, I planned it that way!)

I set up my umbrellas, the strobe lights, and covered my dressform with a matte jersey fabric, that is a pretty neutral gray.  And then the fun began….

evolutionfrontevolutionbackevolutiondetailFirst I shot an older piece, from around 2002, that had originally been shot in slide form, and I was never happy with the results.  This piece is called Evolution.  It is an 8 shaft shadow weave, with bands woven separately on an inkle loom.  The vest is a variation on the jacket pattern I use for my classes.  I like the square armhole, it is easy to alter.



Then I photographed the Arctic Sky Jacket.  This is a twill weave structure, on eight shafts, in wool, cotton, synthetic, just about anything I had on the shelf that would work for the color palette I was trying to create.  The bright lime green piping, in case you weren’t following my blog a couple of months ago, is the natural felt edge cut of off a nuno felted belt I made with Loretta Phipps while we connected for the Design Challenge for Convergence 2008.  The pattern for the jacket is from Burda Magazine.  The bound buttonholes and pocket welts are Ultrasuede, and the top stitching is actually couching with a lime green embroidery floss.  I backed the entire jacket with a fusible weft interfacing.

splashfrontsplashfrontdetailsplashbackNext I photographed the Splash Dress, and as you can see, I had a lot of fun with the detail shots on this one.

This dress, a modified Vogue pattern, was made from the two remaining hunks of fabric from the Designers’ Challenge for Convergence 2008 in Tampa Bay.  I blogged about this project considerably, so if you want to see the original garments from this handwoven collaboration between me and Loretta Dian Phipps of Texas, click here.  This was another combination twill weave, 8 shafts, in silk, cotton, rayon, and some knitting novelty, all of which were given to us by the HGA.  The challenge was to come up with a runway ensemble.  I love the simplicity of this dress with the wonderful splash of summer colors.

sandstonelayersfrontsandstonelayersbacksandstonelayersdetailI’m really happy with the way this jacket photographed.  The colors are rich, and the angles of the jacket played well against the background.

This is yet another combination twill weave structure on 8 shafts, I dyed the warps to coordinate with a palette I did called Sandstone Layers when I was writing the color forecast column for Handwoven Magazine. The pattern is from Burda Magazine, and the topstitching is couched with a rayon novelty weaving yarn.  The buttonholes are handworked from a 6-ply rayon weaving yarn, and the jacket is unlined.  The seams are all finished with a hong kong seam finish.  The belt and skirt are purchased.  (The belt was a gift from my dearest friend in the whole world, you know who you are, and I have cherished it and worn it to death for many years.  It remains timeless and coordinates with just about everything in my wardrobe.  The signature on the back of the belt is fading, so I can’t read the artist’s name.)

So, now I have to put together a gallery talk for Wednesday and pray my plane via Houston to Des Moines isn’t delayed.  That would be really unfortunate.


The weight of the last nine months has been lifted off my shoulders, and no, I didn’t actually give birth, rather metaphorically, I finished the Website Success seminar that I agreed to put together many many months ago.  I struggled with this, because there is so much information, and much of it is rather technical and dry, and I had so much research to do.  I still want to run it by a few more of my technical friends, and tweak it here and there, but the 80 slide presentation is largely finished, well in time for my August preview, and I couldn’t be more relieved.  And I’m happy with it.  Course I wouldn’t do anything I wasn’t happy with, but I’m also proud.  This was a huge stretch for me, and I learned sooooo much, mostly that I haven’t even scratched the surface.  I think of web design a lot like weaving.  Weaving can take a lifetime of study, and there are so many different aspects of it to consider.  You can have momentary beginner’s success with a very simple project that a teacher helps you set up, but no matter how old and experienced you are, there is always more to learn.

Now I can focus on the next fires to put out…

yarnsurpriseMeanwhile, the surprise box of yarn arrived from WEBS.  (see previous post).  This is an enormous amount of yarn for $139. including shipping.  And the large $5. cones of cotton flake in the background are in perfect colors to overdye.

Which brings me to the current weather, which has been positively ghastly.  I am looking for some beautiful sunny days so I can start dyeing some of this yarn I’m sitting on, into some beautiful warps that will keep me busy weaving all winter.  Alas, we saw the sun for about an hour this morning, after yet again another violent thunderstorm.  The forecast for the next couple days says sunny in the 70’s, but I’m not buying it.  We have had dreary cold rain for so many days now I’m rather thinking I’m still in Seattle…

The only good thing about all this rain, is the gardens, which are positively exploding with color and greenery and lush tropical plants (I’m talking rainforest here…)  And of course, not to be completely depressing, there is the explosion of the weed plants as well, those that don’t belong where they are popping up.  So, even though the sun is non existent, I managed to snap a quick couple of shots before it has started to rain again.

gardens1gardens2In the first photo on the left, there is a glimpse of our pool, which so far no one has used because it has been so rainy and cold.  Somewhere in there is a beautiful iron gazebo, completely covered with a canopy of vine-y things.  And all of the rain has made the climbing rose bush in the foreground, shed all its petals like snow.  We have lots of outdoor sculptures, largely because we love to collect art and fine craft, and all the walls and surfaces in the house are completely filled, but there is always room for one more out door tchotchke.  And they never need dusting!

The photo on the right has a lovely sculpture in the foreground, called “Drunken Wheelbarrow”.  (Actually we needed to keep it turned on its side so it wouldn’t collect 84 gallons of rainwater which will breed mosquitos).  Hidden in the back of that photo, under lush vegetation is a sizable pond complex of spillways and waterfalls.  It is a delight to hear the gurgling of the water, the twittering of the birds, and the tones of the Monogolian Windchimes my husband gave me for my birthday.

Oops, I’m posting this quick, violent thunderstorm just struck…

2 Hours later…

I’m back, whew, what a storm.  Anyway, I was commenting on how beautiful our gardens were, the latest storm caused rivers of water down and across the yard.  But usually there is a lovely eco system happening, fish swimming in the ponds, frogs hovering just below the surface or on a lily pad, chipmunks scurrying all around, and birds everywhere.  From the height of the balcony out my bedroom, I zoomed down and captured these two shots.

frogschipmunkIn the shot on the left, there are two frogs hiding, can you spot them?

And this little creature on the right, scurried onto a pathway, covered with drenched rose petals.

briWhen the storm started, my daughter and I quick shut down our computers, and then played around in the studio, waiting for it to pass, tidying up the cutting table which was completely out of control.  One of the piles on the table was the mats from the Placemat Exchange, so we took advantage of no electronics for a couple hours, and we got the hems pressed in.  Bri, my daughter sat and started handsewing, notice that purple is NOT her favorite color, <g> and the gorgeous 34 strand knotted ankle band she is wearing, which she just completed over the weekend.

And finally, I’m making slow progress on the jacket.  I did get one of the sleevesbackshoulder in, and the second pocket, but I’m concerned with the fullness across the back now that one of the sleeves is in, and I’m thinking I need to remove the sleeve, undo the shoulder seam and take out the excessive ease across the back shoulder the pattern called for, and recut the back armhole.  The fabric is giving quite a bit, and I don’t want it that slouchy.

sandstonejacketI love the colors in this fabric.  The green wash is so unusual next to the rust, and it is so textured.  If you are new to my blog, I should mention I wove this fabric, from hand dyed warps, and there is more of a description in a past blog.  The jacket fabric  is called Sandstone Layers, based on one of the palettes from one of my fabric forecasts in Handwoven Magazine, and the fabric hung in the yardage exhibit at Convergence Tampa Bay 2008.  I cut some of the fabric into a window shade, which also hung in a functional textile exhibit in Tampa.  I had just enough left to create this jacket.  So here is what I have so far, I only need another sleeve, and the large belt loops.  (And handworked buttonholes…)

Stay tuned…