Look what Amy’s doing now!

Amy-for-the-cure-bagThis is what Amy said:

I have just finished one of the 2 little cell phone bags I am making for my daughter and my hairdresser to donate to their Breast Cancer 3 day walk auctions. There are a lot of hours put into this one but I do love the Mirrix. Part of why I like it is because I can carry it from room to room or elsewhere. I have a hard time sitting in one room for long hours. I need a change of scenery quite often.

Reading about how Amy likes a change of scenery makes me think of the new contest that Mirrix is having. Read about it below from their Facebook page.

Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Looms Claudia’s Birthday Month Contest! Ends August 30th, 2010. “My Mirrix’s Day Out. A Contest.” One of the great things about the Mirrix family of looms is their portability. Even our biggest looms can be picked up and thrown in the back of the station wagon.

Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Looms The smaller looms were designed to be so portable that no one would think twice about taking their Mirrix to the beach or a soccer game or that workshop across the country. We want to know where you’ve taken YOUR Mirrix.
Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Looms Take a picture of your Mirrix somewhere fun and exciting (on top of a mountain, on a sailboat, at the top of a famous landmark, at work… you get the picture) and email us that picture with a short description of the location. We will choose one winner and put all our contestants pictures in an online gallery.
Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Looms The winner will receive:-Everything to make a beautiful bead cuff bracelet-Ten small but beautiful skeins of Claudia’s own and-washed, hand-dyed, hand-spun tapestry yarn. -Two inspiring books: “The Sea” and “Myths and Folktales” (Check out our store for more information on these fantastic books.)-15% off your next order of $100 or more (you will receive a special code)

The Cube

BoxYou may remember my attempts at weaving a box. I am embarrassed to show this, but it’s finished. I promised warts and all! It’s very lopsided. Below are some while-in-progress pictures in which I tried out various line techniques.


What to do differently:

  1. Have a template of the square
  2. Know in advance how the edges will be stitched together


  1. Weave in silk or mercerized cotton
  2. Line box
  3. Plan for a lid and fastener

A mishmash, hodgepodge, potpourri, mélange, or as they said in the 60s, a mixed bag

With temperatures around 102 or above, we’re moving kind of slow around here. Presently, even the humidity is low. So, explain to me why the pollen count for fungus is so high. As I’ve mentioned before, allergies have not been my friend this year, and I can’t remember the last time I have had allergy problems. So the to-do list went by the wayside, and tasks that don’t require a brain were worked on today. I’ll have to drag out the list another day, since the temps will continue at their current status quo for the next week or so. Oh, well…


Exhibit of Moroccan rugs

“Beautiful isn’t exactly the word for these things; I’m not sure what is. Some of them are garish and weird, though their exuberance is irresistible.”

I have been interested in electronic textiles, but more with LED lights than other more interesting possibilities. Below are a few links about electronic textiles. I’m not sure about fibers that hear and sing, like the one pictured below. Link is here. image

And then there’s Talk to my Shirt

More electronic textiles via Lynne Bruning, the textile enchantress.

I’m not exactly sure I remember the sequence of the following, but they seem to have a pattern. First is an installation from a gallery in SoHo.

image Polly Apfelbaum, "Ice" - dyed velvet at D'Amelio Terras
525 W22th St. Apr 25-June 6 '98

Then there’s the YouTube video of Polly Apfelbaum installing her exhibition and here is her website.

Then there is this from Hand Eye magazine about art that lasts just a moment.

imageCourtesy of Birgitta de Vos

Buddhist monks have highly sophisticated sand mandalas and Indian women have kolam.

And all of the above bring to mind the beautiful sand painting that Native Americans do. Below is from Wikepedia.

image Navajo sandpainting, photogravure by Edward S. Curtis, 1907, Library of Congress

Old Postcard

Postcard showing creation of large Sandpainting

And for just zany appeal:

This from Tracy Zeller Designs. If you really want to see these chairs in all their glory, go to here site. Pictures are larger, and the close-up is bigger.

imageLooks like one could get a massage sitting in this chair!image According to Newsweek, we have a creativity crisis. Have they seen this chair?

And then we have A Year of Dressing from the Land.

image Rebecca wearing sweater dyed with coffeeberry holding her handspun naturally dyed yarns. Photos courtesy of Paige Green.

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Breakfast list, Perspective, and Color

CloudsAt Convergence I took a full day photography workshop with Gregory Case. I now know what to look for in the camera that I choose, plus a lot of other things to do when taking pictures of my work. I’m sure it will require practice, which, of course, is the problem.

After seeing the Abstraction exhibit at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, I was reminded again of the nuances of color and perspective. The painting that I liked better was one of her seashells, but I can’t find a picture of it anywhere. It also was done in varying shades of white, gray, and black, similar to the painting below. The one below is also on display, titled, I believe, Abstraction, White Rose, 1927.imageThis mini poster is 14”H  x 11”W, and is part of the Georgia O’Keeffe Abstraction exhibition, currently on display at the museum. 

While I was looking for a copy of the seashell picture, I found the painting below from the Chicago Institute of Art. It’s all about perspective—and color!


Black Cross, New Mexico, 1929

Oil on canvas

99.2 x 76.3 cm

The Art Institute of Chicago Purchase Fund, 1943.95

Thanks to Kimberly for the breakfast list below:

  • Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro – Boise, Idaho
  • Bijou Cafe – Portland, Oregon

Anybody have more to add?

Convergence I

I tried to limit my shopping at Convergence, but still came away with some irresistible items. But before going on, take a gander at the beautiful booth that Weaving Southwest set up. A picture cannot do justice to the wonderful hand-dyed yarns! Yummy, yummy!WeavingSouthwestBoothHere’s Teresa and Rachel Brown. Rachel is the founder of Weaving Southwest. Teresa Loveless is the current owner and the granddaughter of Rachel. Doesn’t Teresa look like she’s having fun with the Rio Grande spinning wheel?Teresa_RachelI had contacted Susan at Yarn Barn about buying some heddles for my Mirrix. She graciously stuck them in her purse for the trip to Albuquerque, and now I have not-homemade heddles for when I warp next.

From John Marshall I bought some Instant indigo . Since I likely won’t be using it soon, John recommends keeping it in the freezer. He is such a nice man and very generous with his knowledge and expertise.

I have previously bought some paper yarn from Habu without any idea of what to do with it. Below is a “paper” yarn from 100% linen. I have the gold and red.Wide PaperWidePaperColorsAfter looking at the yarns again and seeing others that appealed, I have decided that I will make an unplanned textured tapestry piece on the Mirrix. The picture of the yarn below comes from Habu Textiles. On the label it says: Vegetable root sizing silk. Below is the quote from the Habu website about this yarn.

Very plain, but with a beautiful sheen. This yarn dyes very well and works perfectly as a warp yarn. It is quite springy, so suited for a sculptural knitted pieces or even basketry.


This is a

“paper” yarn. A small pieces of linen paper is sandwiched between the nylon core.


If these yarns work out, I may get some that I can dye in small sample sizes. However, there will be no time to warp the Mirrix for a few days, plus I have one more Text weaving to try before cutting the current warp off. After being gone for many days, the coming week is full. One of the items on my list is to pick wild mustang grapes. It’s jelly time!


I always think about color, probably constantly. Combinations that I like, colors to weave, a striking photograph. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth posted this on their Facebook page. Now, the blurb is not what caught my attention, of course; it was the PURPLE!

Based on the classic book, these adventures star Harold, an inventive and curious toddler with thoughts, desires and feelings typical of any child his age.Purple-Crayon

Color Schemer

ColorSchemer2Color wheels are ubiquitous. Most of us have used them. Many have studied color theory extensively. I have to admit that I have not had that opportunity and often I regret that. However, as a friend of mine said, every time she thinks about color too much, she doesn’t like what she’s done. I have those same feelings and much prefer to go by my gut, or more politely, instinct. Or maybe just call it going by the seat of my pants. That is a saying, right? That’s not to say that I don’t use color tools. I do. I’ve mentioned my favorite computer program before, Color Schemer. With this program, one can take a photograph and find the colors in the picture. One has the ability to choose a different area if the color shown isn’t quite right. I know there are online programs, but this is the one I like and use. In fact, Color Schemer has an online version also, but I’m not sure if it’s as full-featured as the one on my hard drive.

Color-Star I also like Itten’s Color Star, even though Color Schemer does all the same things. With the Color Star, I can be seated at my design table and pull up some Color-Aid papers to go with combinations on the Color Star. But whatever the Color Star shows, and whatever Color-Aid papers are pulled out, the “gut” still rules. By the way, Color-Aid papers, which have color screen printed on them, are NOT inexpensive, and it used to be that they were difficult to fine. May art suppliers like Ultrecht have them, and I noticed that even Amazon carries a set.

image What made me start thinking about color is this blog post about purple and orange—maybe because I love those colors also? The above color combination came from Terri Stegmiller’s blog post.

Since I keep finding more stuff with color I love, this will have to continue to another day.

In the ikat-tying world—Color is a little iffy. That is it never exactly turns out as anticipated. More about that later, also.

In my Mirrix-weaving world—Color is determined by the butterflies and other leftover hand-dyed yarns, which also affects what I weave.

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Deciding what part to weave

Sometimes I doodle around in my sketchbook and come up with an idea for weaving, but it may be too large or I may not really like the whole thing, but do like a small section. Sometimes there may be a photograph that has an element to incorporate into a weaving. I thought about this when I ready something posted on the Tapestry 2005 Yahoo group about using a frame to decide on what to weave. I do the same think but it’s not a frame. I bought as inexpensive piece of precut matting as I could find and cut it into to L-shaped pieces like the ones below. Mine are white, but of course, white wouldn’t show up here. With two pieces I can slide them around to different sizes, overlap them if necessary, and am not even limited to a rectangle or square.

Framing On Elaine Duncan’s website, you can see her process of deciding which section of a photograph to weave. The link to the complete post is here. Elaine is working on a small- format series of tapestries called Art in Nature on her small copper loom. Of course, the Mirrix would take the place of the copper loom for me. While you’re there, take a look at Elaine’s tapestries. They’re gorgeous!

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A face next?

I’ve been thinking about weaving a face next on the Mirrix. Not a realistic face, but a bright, colorful one of bright not-natural colors. For the hair, I envision coils of yarn in several colors, somewhat Medusa-like. I’ve done coils before—I just don’t remember how I did them. Maybe if I can find the sample, I will figure it out. But about the face, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not sure about the fiddly small parts, things like eyes, mouth, etc. All necessary parts if you’re going to do a face! With faces in mind, I did a Google image search for faces. Well, folks, there’s lots of images of faces out there!PaintingThere’s this one by Belinda Eaton.

Or maybe something with Photoshopped like the one below, except with brighter colors. The link for this one is here


And there are many Faces of Africa photos. The one below has its source listed as a caption.


This one came from National Geographic. I love the elegance of the women in these photos. And the hair is kind of what I’ve been talking about doing, but longer and more of it—and of many colors.Aftrica2 And, I guess I could always adapt the pumpkin face idea.

Pumpkin And here’s my own computer creation. Maybe if I make the eyes bigger and only make a single slanted line for the nose, the fiddly parts will be simpler. In the meantime, look at this tapestry by Emöke-emöke. Go to her website, scroll over the pictures to see the texture in her work. Really very interesting and beautiful. And the coils—love them!



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Amy’s Work

Despite having a really hard couple of weeks with personal family tragedy, Amy has been working a little on her Mirrix project. I know from my experience with a death in the family, concentration goes out the window, so Amy is doing really well to be able to weave at all. If you look at the right picture in its larger format, you can see what she is doing with the beads. I really like the texture of the various yarns she is using and the way the beads outline the curve of the white on the upper left. And besides the “shiny” of the beads, Amy has used what looks like shiny, metallic yarns. In the left picture, you can see how she’s going about the process, the tray with her beads, etc.Amy_Work2Amy_Work



Below is a picture of the blue yarn all tied up for ikat. Before I removed it from the board, I tied two labels of cut up Tyvek envelopes at bottom left and top right which say:

Board #2 Bottom left

Board #2 Top right

Ask me how I learned that this labeling is important! This is important, along with the twining to keep each peg section in order. My first attempts at ikat were chaotic to say the least. I am now working on the red sections.


Take a look at the pictures from the exhibit below. I’d be interested in which one you like best, if any. There are several that fascinate me, like the ones called Mane and Spice Skulls. Interesting concept and works.

Dead or Alive: Nature Becomes Art

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Text, Science, and Matisse,

Spiral_close-upI’ve been thinking about the text and weaving. In looking at the soumak pseudo spiral above, this may be the best method of making text. Curves are much easier to obtain, and one might even get a cursive-type of writing. But I really wanted wider letters, so I tried the what’s shown below. Before deciding what to do next time, I will have to change the orientation of the letters before weaving. Then I will also probably try some blockier type of font, maybe something like this, without the little curlicues at the bottom of the t.










Imagine working for seven years on the same project! Now I know that Matisse was working on other projects at the same time, but gee, don’t you just finally say enough already? In the NY Times, there is an article about how the paintings of Matisse evolved over time—not the usual study from one painting to the next, but the study of one painting and how it changed to the final product. Of course, this type of reflection that brings change to a project is not possible for most of us weavers. How many looms with unfinished projects do we have room for? However, I’m sure we’ve all looked back at a finished work and thought how we’d do something differently. Maybe that’s what leads to a series. But is it something we’d do differently, or just an advancement on the original idea?

Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society, New York

“Bathers by a River” went through a seven-year evolution as Henri Matisse continued to make changes, which can now be traced by curators using X-ray technology.

The following is a quote from the article about how this exhibit came about and the process of studying the various works.

The exhibition’s organizers, Mr. Elderfield and Stephanie d’Alessandro, the curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where the exhibit was first shown, focused on 26 paintings, drawings and sculptures, which they examined with new digital imaging techniques, laser scanning, ultraviolet illumination and up-to-date computer software. They also tested paint samples and studied fresh material unearthed from the artist’s family archives in Issy-les-Moulineaux, a Paris suburb.

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Real life steps in

Real life brings allergies–I didn’t get as much done as I had planned. Real life has a way of interfering sometimes. Probably because of the almost daily rain of the past week, my allergies have really kicked in. I can just imaging the rampant mold floating around in the air, multiplying as we speak. This is July in Texas? However, here in this part of Texas, we hesitate to complain about rain, since we get desperate for it in the summer. And, I really do love rain—just don’t know what blew in with this latest front that has brought us moisture! I shouldn’t complain; I haven’t had any problems with allergies in years, but still … who wants to feel bad?

Real life event #2—the tread on my tires was getting pretty thin, and you know it HAD to be bad for me to even notice tires! When I last had the car serviced, they told me the tires could probably go until the next service, about 5,000 miles, but the tires worried me. In doing the price-checking/research, I discovered more about tires than was even imaginable. Speed ratings. Rolling resistance. Summer tires. Winter tires. All season tires. Who knew? Since I have a hybrid, some of these things are more important than others.Text_x

I am hoping that the allergies abate enough that I can take advantage of some of the special Members’ Month at the Kimbell. I especially want to go the the Omni Theater for the Van Gogh film. Sigh heavily, feeling sorry for myself…maybe tomorrow.

How disconcerting is this—the NYTimes article about spy exchange. Is this a John le Carré novel or what?

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