Vernal Equinox

Happy First Day of Spring!  In the northern Hemisphere, spring officially started at 7:44am.  Course you couldn’t tell it by looking outside!  This is the picture outside my balcony when I got up!  Little puffs of heavy snow on all the buds.  It was quite lovely.

snow1snow2I woke up this morning a little later than usual, since I was up until 1am Thursday night processing the last of the 32 pages for my sister’s website.  I FINISHED IT!  What huge relief to be able to finally say, I’m done.  I expect there to be edits and changes and updates, but those are usually quick fixes, the bulk of the work is done.  The site is up and running in its entirety, and after looking at a couple hundred magazine looking shots of gorgeous homes, I’m a little depressed by my average 100 year old home I’ve happily lived in for more than 25 years,  it is beginning to show signs of neglect…  Could it be I am too busy weaving and having other grand adventures to deal with painting and repairs?

Anyway, my sister’s firm, Ebeling Noe Associates is very happy with the new site, and I’m hoping it helps her connect with some future clients.  I really enjoyed getting to know her work over the past 10-15 years more intimately, and I have a huge respect for what she does.  After all, she is just my younger sister…

Now I have to tackle my woefully outdated website, and one for my weaving guild…

Sunday is my husband’s birthday.  He will return from his ski adventure with our son tomorrow night, so far no broken bones…   Anyway, I took the day off to run around and shop for some things for him, I had been doing research online all along for ideas, who had what at what price, the internet is good for stuff like that, and I took today to do the final shopping.  And I had a coupon at Kohl’s and with their sales, I managed to do some serious damage to the charge buying some new things for myself!  You see, it all started with the cancer thing.  And the weight gain from the chemo (yes I know it was 7 years ago), and then the instant menopause, and the weight gain from that, and then the tamoxifen for five years.  Apparently now that I’ve been off Tamoxifen for over a year, my body is strangely returning to its original shape before I had cancer.  Which was pretty thin.  So over the last year I’ve dropped 12 pounds.  I know all of you are rolling your eyes, this would be a good thing under normal circumstances.  But all my pants were too big.

So, armed with my coupon, I hit Kohl’s with a vengance, and bought pants in my new size, and a couple pairs of shoes while I was at it, because my favorite pair of travel wedges broke last fall, and I haven’t been able to find a pair that are comfortable to walk and travel in all day for a week or more, so I had to buy three that had possibilities and I have until June to break them in…

You can tell I was really roughing it today.  And I did manage to get my husband quite a few gifts while I was at it.  Please note that I almost never shop.  I make clothing last for years, and largely if I shop, I buy coordinates to wear with my immense wardrobe of handwoven jackets and tops.  But the pants thing was a really a problem.  So, just like that, problem solved!

As I traveled around today, doing my shopping thing, I loved going into stores, fresh with spring merchandise, garden centers waking up, fully stocked, after having sat in my studio for the last week with my nose in the computer screen.  I even picked up a handful of packets of seeds, for the cold weather crops, lettuces and such, I always have such high expectations for a garden, and as my life gets out of control, so does the garden, last year it was decimated by the groundhogs, who tunneled in from the outer fence perimeter, so I always have to wonder why I bother?  I bother because it is important to keep trying, and I love to watch things grow and eat what I plant.  So, depending on the weather tomorrow, it is suppose to be a high of 51 degrees and sunny, I’m hoping to get quite muddy and clear the garden of the winter debris and plant some seeds.

The sand paper seems to be holding the friction brake on the loom  I mentioned a couple days ago.  Thanks for all the great suggestions on what to do.  I did stop at the local bowling alley on my way to the High School Thursday night, to pick up a bag of rosin, which Sandy Gunther from Weaver’s Cottage suggested as a surefire way of getting a non metal friction break to hold when it starts slipping.  Alas, my bowling alley pro shop was out.  So now I have to search further, but for now, I wove a bit into the second mat, and all seemed secure.  Stay tuned.

And one final note, I spent the afternoon on the phone with Sandy Bowles from the HGA.  She very graciously spent hours pouring over my Design Challenge presentation, all 80 slides, and had some wonderful editorial suggestions, cleaning up some copyright issues, and helping to point out things that weren’t quite clear.  So I’ve made the changes, will send her the final copy, and hopefully get my HGA Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and then I can add it to my webshop and offer it to any guild that would like to present it as a program without having to fly me in!  And I’ll be writing a very condensed version of it for the Summer Issue of Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot.  I’ll keep you posted…

California Day Two

lunch1workshopThe weather here in Riverside California is beautiful.  Not too hot, and yet we can sit outside and eat lunch, and enjoy the trees full of fresh citrus, and the California air!

Here I am at my new favorite place for lunch, The Upper Crust on Main Street in Riverside, having the best Pastrami sandwich I’ve ever eaten, and some mean French Onion Soup!  I’m having lunch today with Sandy Gunther who is the coordinator of the conference.  She also owns the Weaver’s Cottage and Redfish Dyeworks.

The workshop is going well, the students are so energetic, and creative, and the jackets are really moving along.  They are showing signs of working too hard, but handweavers keep plowing on, and it will all be worth it in the end.

dream_weavers1dream_weavers2After the workshop, I met up with my California friends, all part of a group called Designing Weavers.  I would so love to belong to this group, but sadly, living on the east coast, it would be hard to make the meetings, which is a requirement.  We jumped in the car, and drove from art opening to art opening, starting with an exhibit at Riverside City college called Dream Weavers, were a number of my friends had work. The first picture shows work from Cameron Taylor Brown and Nancy Gary Ward, and the second photo shows some fantastic work from an artist I didn’t know, using a positive/negative hooking technique to allow light to pass through and show images on the wall.  Her name is Ashley Blalock.

dream_weavers3julia_morgandesigning_weavers1We piled in the car and headed to the Designing Weavers Personal Best Exhibit at the Riverside Art Museum, which is housed in a gorgeous building which I understand was the home of architect Julia Morgan.  The way the work was displayed in and around the architectural features of the home was amazing.  Here are a couple photos showing a jacket by my friend Mary Saxton, and Chenille Wrapped tubes by another friend Deborah Jarchow.  I met Susan Lasch Krevitt who had a wonderful fiber construction, and happily posed for me with it.

100tapestry_weaversOur final stop was the Riverside Convention Center, where the conference juried exhibit was on display, along with the faculty show, where I had work.  In an adjoining room, I came upon a quite unexpected gut wrenching exhibit of four huge panels, mounted with the tapestries of 100 Tapestry Weavers in a 911 Memorial.  I could have spent hours looking at all the powerful tapestries, and reading the essays written by each artist.  The installation was coordinated by tapestry artist Monique Lehman.  I understand the exhibit will travel to China next.

I’m going to post this before I run out of battery on my laptop, or I lose my signal in the Marriott lobby!