You win some, you lose some…

Actually, forget the winning part, I’m just happy when I’m accepted.  All the notifications are out for Convergence exhibits.  I received a couple of acceptance emails a couple of weeks ago, but was asked not to “announce” the decision until everyone had their written confirmation or rejection letters.

You may remember back in January, that I spent a feverish few days entering shows and applying to conferences, and I’ve heard back from all but one exhibit.  So the count stands at Acceptances 4 :-), Non-Acceptances 7 🙁  That’s actually a 36% acceptance rate, and I’m pretty OK with that.  None of my artwork was accepted this go round, but my garments, and yardage did well along with a couple of accessories.

I already mentioned in a previous blog that my yardage from last December, called “Some Enchanted Evening”, was accepted to the Convergence yardage exhibit, and two of my pieces, the Frosted Florals Dress, and the felted  Celebration Bag were accepted to Fiber Celebration 2010 in Greeley, CO.

I got the results from the Convergence fashion show, and two of my garments will be included, as well as a scarf I wove in the Eye Dazzlers Exhibit, which covers just about every thing else except yardage, fashion, and Small Expressions (which I did not get into…)

In addition, this year I was accepted to teach at all of the conferences that I applied to, including one I hadn’t yet applied to because it conflicted with the ANWG conference.  So I’ll be teaching at Midwest, MAFA, and ANWG, and I look forward to another busy inspiring summer in 2011.  My schedule is as always, available on my website,  There may be some confusion about my web domains, I seem to vacillate between and  I’ve had the weaversew domain for so many years now, I hate to give it up, but the information is the same in both, as one domain is parked within the other one.  Either works, and both will get you to the same place.

I added in this blog post this afternoon, two in one day is a bit much I know, but I was curious to see if something I did earlier this morning might help or heaven forbid, correct the fatal error messages.  I actually went back to the original post where we started noticing the errors, and deleted all the revisions.  There happened to be 10 that day.  I had had trouble getting the photos to all line up the way I wanted them to with the text.  So far, this is the first post in about a month, where I didn’t get the fatal error message about six times during the writing process.  Could it have been that simple?


I just got an alert, my dress, Frosted Florals is on the front page of the Threads Magazine website!  Thanks Tien!

The conference is going well, course I haven’t done anything all day but hang out, chat, and set up my class room.  It is beastly hot here.  I’d say 110 degrees in the shade.  And the poor vendors, are in an airless gym with no AC, and people are dropping like flies.  Still, it is a feast for the eyes, enjoy the photos, looms, yarn, shuttles, books, too much to look at!yarn1

yarn3loomsshuttlesbooksThe cute looms are from Glimakra, I spent a lot of time in their booth, though I’m not in the market for a new loom, I can’t help but be impressed by their ability to keep up with new trends in looms, always thinking and redesigning, and they are always a joy to chat with.

I spent some time with Joanne Hall getting a real demo of their band loom.  I like this loom, and I think I’ll put it on my wish list, it is for making inkle bands, and has a warp and cloth beam so very long lengths of bands can be done without having to rewarp the inkle loom every couple of yards.  Hmmmm…….


I was able to get back to the Faulconer gallery this afternoon to take a better look at the Small Expressions Exhibit, and grab a couple of gallery shots.  gallerygallery2This is a beautiful space, and I enjoyed the intimacy they were able to achieve with all of these very small works, if you can believe, my tiny post card size works are in the first photo  all the way in the corner furthest away from the camera.  Sort of the last pieces on the wall on the left.  You can’t even see there are two pieces side by side.

So I don’t cause you any further eyestrain…

exhibitedworkI got my classroom set up, and I have to say this, I have died and gone to faculty heaven.  I want to be buried in this classroom.  It is high tech, just popped my little pen drive into the system (and after much fiddling, etc.) my presentation came up on the huge wall, I played with the little wall switch for awhile, making the window shades go up and down electronically, the table space is huge, and there is a nice wall in the back to hang my garments for display.classroom

And as I walked across campus, I grabbed some shots of the gorgeous colors in the gardens, I think these would make beautiful palettes for fabric, especially the ones with the greys.

flowersflowers2The keynote address is tonight, it is always a joy to listen to Madelyn van der Hoogt, editor of Handwoven Magazine from Interweave press.

I have to say, I adore mid-western weavers.  They are so great to work with, so helpful, and so kind.  Lots of smiles, and lots of hugs, though we are all doing virtual hugs because of the heat…   And there isn’t a lot of handwoven stuff being worn today, I can assure you.

Stay tuned…

I Made It!

I’m sure you are all sitting on pins and needles (pun intended), wondering if I made it yesterday to the gallery talk. In all my years of airplane travel, I was truly surprised at how uneventful the flight was, easily moving in and out of Newark, Houston, and then the tiny Des Moines airport. I landed at 4:15, grabbed all my bags, and was on the road by 4:30, which by New Jersey standards is the beginning of rush hour. We hit the interstate, and sailed along with what I thought was no traffic at all, and pulled onto the campus of Grinnell College at 5:30. A quick dump of the bags, and I was off to the restaurant, where I had a lovely dinner with tapestry artist Kathe Todd-Hooker, who weaves tapestries from sewing thread) and Pat Spark, who is well known for her watercolor felt tapestries.  Kathe and Pat have a joint business selling books and materials, called Fine Fiber Press.  The Faulconer Gallery director and curator treated us to a lovely dinner, and we all had a fine relaxing time. We made the quick dash to the gallery around 7pm, where a very large assembled crowd had gathered, and I rode in quite the style, the curator’s truck had been glitterized by a group of young people involved in, well, I can only call it something of a performance piece? I give you the “Sparkle Truck”.
The truck was completely covered with glitter. It was very cool.

The gallery talk went smoothly, the equipment all worked, I had some wonderful responses after my presentation, and I have some time today to go back and really look at the show, Small Expressions 2009.

Stay tuned…

Down to the Wire!

Ah, packing day.  I leave tomorrow morning for Grinnell, Iowa, and the Midwest Weavers Conference. The day before I leave on a trip is always a little frenetic, getting everything finished I put on my list, things like watering the plants, finishing the laundry, organizing bills so I can pay them the day I return, and filling up the suitcases with everything I need to bring for the trip.  And because this is a weaving conference, it means pouring over the notes in my files, what I promised for the faculty exhibit, what I promised for the fashion show, what I need for each of the classes, and any supplies I need to bring for any seminar I am actually taking.

This conference has been a little nerve wracking, for a number of odd reasons.  First, this will be the first time in years I’ve traveled without my own LCD projector.  I know I longed for the day when I could fly someplace, armed with only a stick drive or CD, pop it in, and start the presentation.  I have been assured, at great length, that the different facilities I am lecturing in, all have projectors and equipment for both PowerPoint, and PDF presentations.  So, this means back ups of everything.  I have a CD copy in one suitcase, my laptop in another, my stick drive in my purse, and another hard drive in another suitcase.  One can never have enough back ups, and one has to remember to update all of the back ups when one changes anything on a presentation…

This has been another nerve wracking down to the wire experience because of the proverbial overlap of work, coming from one exhibit, hopefully in time to take to the next.  When an artwork finishes up at an exhibit, there is always a lag, as the volunteers or committee get to the packing and shipping of each work.  It is an overwhelming job, and I’m not really complaining, but I asked when I shipped the piece to the last exhibit if they could make an exception and get mine back to me sooner than the contract stated.  That’s always a crap shoot, and I was really lucky, the Frosted Florals Dress made it back to me  from the Surface Design Fashion Show in Kansas City with 6 hours to spare, in time to pack it for the conference.

And then there was the 37 pound box I shipped last week, to someone in Grinnell Iowa.  I got an email notification it was delivered, but what I didn’t know, was that the address I had been given was wrong, and someone called today from the conference to say they retrieved the package from a vacant house.  I’m really glad I didn’t know this until after the fact.  It would have been hard to teach the class  without the handouts and the pattern paper, which were in the box, along with hundreds of dollars of Monographs.

The most stressful of all, that I absolutely have no control over whatsoever, is the flight.  So, here is the itinerary, I fly out of Newark around 9am tomorrow to the hot spot of air travel, Houston.  Home of the summer thunderstorm.  I have a couple hour layover in Houston, and then on to Des Moines, Iowa.  Thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow in Newark, in Des Moines, and I’m sure Houston.  I arrive in Iowa at 4:17, and have a dinner engagement at 5:15 (it takes more than an hour from the airport to the conference), and then I have to give a lecture at the Faulconer Gallery for the Small Expressions Exhibit reception at 7pm.  So you do the math…  The chances of me actually making it for dinner are pretty slim.  The chances of making it in time for the reception/gallery talk are only slightly better.  I’m pretty good at just letting go of that with I can’t control, but I went ahead and followed up with a plan B, I wrote out the whole talk and plugged it into a PowerPoint presentation along with the accompanying images, and emailed it to the gallery.  So if I don’t make it in time, my words of wisdom will be projected on a screen for all to read instead of listening to my lovely voice with a wicked NJ accent.  It is about the best I could come up with.

I am all packed, except for my personal clothing, and files are all copied and backed up.  My daughter has a trombone recital tonight, I look forward to it every year.  The sound of brass instruments including the Baroque Sackbut (early trombone) in a vaulted ceiling church is just gorgeous.  The kids are wickedly talented, and the music teacher, Bob Ferrel, is one of the best trombone players in the state. Here is a video clip of a performance he did at the middle school jazz festival in our town last year.  Skip past the talking part in the beginning.

So, once again, I’m on the road, I’ll be home late Sunday night, I am assured they have wireless in the dorms, oh goody, I get to sleep on a plastic dorm mattress…  But the good news is, I’ll be seeing my friend Robyn Spady again, and my oldest and dearest friend, weaver/designer Candiss Cole, will be only an hour away in Des Moines at a craft festival.  I’m hoping we can connect while I’m there.

Will Daryl make it tomorrow night, or won’t she, that is the question…  Stay tuned…

Sandstone Layers Jacket

I’d like to be able to do a photo shoot of all the new work I’ve done over the last few months, before I leave next week for Iowa.  So it makes sense to focus on finishing the Sandstone Layers Jacket, since I’m so close.  I spent all day yesterday working on it, in between last minute conference details for NEWS (New England Weavers Seminar) and for the Midwest Conference next week.  It’s those little details that can drive you nuts, and end up taking the entire day.  But from my lengthy experience in traveling to guilds and conferences, it is the details that can make all the difference between a success and a disaster.  There are so many things that can go wrong, especially if there is an airline involved, and those things that involve an airline are completely out of my control.  But what is in my control, is my responsibility, and I’m pretty good with the details.  The hardest part here is keeping all the conferences straight, and remembering who I’ve emailed what to!

On to the jacket…

shoulderI took apart the shoulder, as far into the neck as I could.  This pattern called for a back shoulder with considerable ease, and I was able to remove most of the excess ease, and that allowed me room to trim the back of the armscye (armhole opening on the jacket).  So, first I restitched the shoulder seam, with the excess back shoulder extending beyond the front.

armholeYou can see in the photo on the right how broad the back armhole was cut, so I recut the back armhole to reduce the width across the back of the garment.

Once I reset in the sleeves, I tried the jacket on and with a couple of bathroom mirrors, I was able to get a clean view of the back armhole and it looked so much better.  Sorry, I couldn’t hold the mirror and take a photo too!

beltloopsThe next step was the belt loops.  I got these pinned on, but had a real time getting them stitched on, they were so thick, I busted a number of #16 needles, (my #18’s seemed to have disappeared, hmmmm…….)  Usually I blame my 19 year old son when things in the house disappear, they usually reappear in his room months later, but I can’t blame the disappearance of size 18 sewing machine needles on a 19 year old…

I ended up sewing the tucked under top and bottom of the belt loop to the jacket, the belt loops were long enough to get the machine foot underneath the loop and zigzag in place.buttonhole

That leaves the buttonholes, which I saved for last.  I didn’t want to do a fussy bound buttonhole on this jacket, there are too many details as it is, and this is a drapey sort of casual jacket to begin with.  I was hoping to do handworked buttonholes, using a machine made one as a sturdy base for the buttonhole, because handwoven fabric can be too ravelly to support a handworked one.  I spent about an hour figuring out how to do a machine worked buttonhole in my Janome 6600, usually I just use the old fashioned Grist Buttonholer Attachment on one of my other machines, but I wanted to see what this Janome could do.  The size of the stitching of the buttonhole is very narrow (see gray buttonholes below in the photo right), but the ease of doing one that matches the button length is pretty convenient.  Actually this works well as a base for a handworked buttonhole, since the stitching is narrower than one from the old fashioned Grist Attachment.  I took a cone of the same yarn I used for the weft, and did a hand worked buttonhole over the machine made buttonhole, after I cut it open.  I am a real fanatic on this , having been taught tailoring when I was 12, I have a really hard time with a regular machine made buttonhole on outerwear, the cut raw edge looks like a wound to me in an otherwise gorgeous garment.  It is one of the things I point out when I do my infamous fashion show tours of “inside” the garments, at handweaving conferences.

sandstonelayersjacketI still have to actually bite the bullet and put in the buttonholes, (this part is really scary because if I don’t like what’s happening, ripping out a machine made buttonhole is virtually impossible…)  But the jacket is really coming together.  I like it, and am thinking of what to put on the bottom, I have a commercial skirt that I’ve been wanting to recut to a short above the knee pencil skirt, so the mind is off onto another project before I even finish this one, which is as it should be…

I leave you with this wonderful quote from a good friend and weaving buddy, Ruby Leslie from Vermont…

“Either it’s a good time, or it’s a good story!”

I’ll be chaperoning a cruise around Manhattan tonight, well into the late hours, with a bunch of newly graduated high school students, so the above motto most likely will be really appropriate tomorrow morning…