Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer gathering at Barb's

Summer is truly here and I can't think of a better way to spend a day than getting together a car full of friends, for a road trip through the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin. Even better to have the destination of our newest fiber friend Barb's lovely country home. We enjoyed seeing her flock of (I believe)Cormo sheep under the watchful eye of Gandolf, her guard llama. He definitely gave us the once over. Dashing fellow.

Barb's studio is the perfect set up for any fiber endeavor and she has her fair share of fiber tools. Anyone with a deadly looking fiber picker, earns my respect. With the kitchen set up in this studio my mind went to all the fun she could have dyeing. And then to make me love her home even more she has the perfect porch to sit and spin on, surrounded by woods

Barb also demonstrated wool combing. Another somewhat life threatening adventure. Anytime you are playing with a tool that has double rows of 4 inch sharp tines, you really need to pay attention. The part where you use a diz to pull the fiber into roving just goes to show once again that wool is magic.


My little demo was the white shawl I had just pulled off the loom. We dunked it in a bowl of hot water to watch it magically collapse width wise because of the Habu wool crepe yarn that I used in the weft. It will be fun to show this off when it is dried, at the next weavers meeting. I love the springy life it gives to what is usually a flat fabric.

Thanks Barb and Dave for your hospitality and a glimpse into your animal and fiber filled lives.

Nan showing some indigo dyeing she did in Japan

Barb's bamboo scarves
Woman's hands




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

spring day at Carole's

Our May weavers gathering at Carole's couldn't have had a prettier setting. Her property is smack dab in the middle of an old apple orchard that was in full bloom. We spent so much time laughing and chatting, eating so much great food, and oohing and ahhhing over show and tell projects; that I didn't get outside for many photos.

This post is quite a bit after our gathering so although specific memories have faded, I can recall laughing so hard that my sides hurt after listening to some of Elin and Bonnies stories. I am looking forward to many more stories that this group of women share each time we gather. There is always something new to learn and I am sure more laughter to share as this group continues our 2nd Monday fiber gatherings. Thanks Carole for hosting us this time.

Oh Barb, how can you finish a new rep weave rug for every meeting???

No one left hungry

A loom with a view

Redbud in bloom/ Anna's new sweater/ Alabama Studio sewing books

Susan's scarf with Barb B's handspun soysilk/ new Avalanche Loom labels/ Kathy's new handwoven yardage

Carole's twill shawl/ baby blanket/ Carole's mosaics in progress/ Judith's next overshot project

I went home and had a talk with my orchids after seeing Carole's

Thursday, April 23, 2015

spring gathering, spring joy

As expected when I decided to invite the weavers to my house for our April get together, there was a threat of snow overnight. If you know my driveway, you don't invite friends over when it might be snow covered; and have them remain friends. However all turned out well and it even warmed up enough to drag our chairs onto the porch and do some sun basking along with some eagle watching. News flash: we climbed the hill the other day to see the nest a bit closer and this year we actually saw some chicks. Oh glorious day! I am very proud for my eagle parents. They have been diligently siting on the nest since mid February.

Rachel was brave enough to join us for a refresher spinning attempt after having taken my beginner spinning class at our fall fiber fest. And I am happy to say that yarn was created! I hope that she is able to join us again.

There was so much good food and merriment in abundance that I forgot to take very many pictures. I did get one of my Apple Cake (recipe from The Smitten Kitchen), while it was in the pan cause I had little faith in it actually coming out of the pan. It did and was pretty tasty. Her cookbook has been inspiring some fun eating, although the popcorn cookies got mixed reviews from my family. It seemed genius to me also that two of my favorite snacks would be even better as one.

All in all life is good. A temporarily clean house, another white warp on the loom (got to get off this white kick), three looms with something on them ( not saying that the boundweave has been on the Glimakra for at least a year) and eagles drifting on the sweet smelling spring breezes. Ahhh...
Bald eagle

Mississippi river,  ice free and beautiful

Magnolia tree just starting to bloom
Denise's twill weaving's, Kris's needle felted guy and my apple cake

the last prom...bittersweet
Winter Birches scarf in linen, silk,alpaca and cotton with bamboo inlay
Popcorn cookies...good in theory

Thursday, March 26, 2015

gathering at Anna's

February's weavers group met at knitter/seamstress/designer; Anna's home in Viroqua. I found it challenging making it past the porch that was filled with her potter husbands wares on display. The whole house was filled with art and pottery and Anna's lovely ascetic. I so love the homes of artists, the walls practically sing with creativity. Barb's rep weave rug looked right at home there. It should probably visit my house too.

Thanks Anna and Greg for letting us fill your home with our sometimes raucous laughter and obvious joy in being able to gather as friends with similar interests. We are fortunate.

Barb's rep weave with Judith's bottomless basket
Greg's pottery studio

This selfie picture cracks me up. We all crammed into Anna's studio. I am the one in the back documenting the picture of us taking the picture.
Barb's rep weave looks right at home here
Knitwear on display

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day at Sylvan Meadows

Our February weavers group met at fellow fiber artist, Virginia's shop; Sylvan Meadows on Main Street in Viroqua, WI. It was a warm and inviting place for our ever expanding group to spread out in, surrounded by lots of fiber and the scent of her lovely handmade soaps. I loved that that a few people brought their spinning wheels. There is something very powerful and bonding in a group of woman being productive and creative along with the more social aspects of our group. All in all, just a good day.

Kris's needle felted bald eagle. A true work of art.
Bonnie's very beautiful rug. Can it really be her first?
Denise's twill scarf
My new Akerworks 3D printed bobbins/ my hand dyed silk hankies/ Nan's  Habu silk/ stainless steel scarf

Denise's cowl

Now, that is what I call a bag

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

playing with images

Viva Gallery is an artists cooperative that I am proud to be a member of, and we recently featured a group show, where we each took home an 8x8 canvas, to go all arty on. Now for the painters, this was not such a "think outside of the box" kind of challenge but as a weaver and sometime jeweler, it was a little bit a stretch.

Since I had of course waited until the last minute, a tapestry image was not going to happen. I have had a chicken laying an egg, tapestry in the works for about 10 years now. So scratch that.

I have always liked the idea of finding a way to combine fiber with one of my other passions, ie; glass or photography. That led to the slippery slope of learning about image transfer so I could print one of my favorite images onto fabric and then include that in a weaving that looks like birch bark, partly because of a cool Habu yarn called Aresco cotton.  So I choose a tree image but also printed a bunch of my other favorites to play with later.

For the transfer I choose to use a method where a gel medium is layered on the fabric and using your image; that has been ink jet printed onto a transparency paper, you burnish it onto the fabric. While this did work. I didn't like that the image was not as darkly black as my moo cards, that I had printed up for hang tags. Long story short, after many trials, I ended up sewing my moo card image to my weaving. Oh well. The show must go on...However I have not given up on the idea of image transfers being used in my weaving.

Using an app called Paper to sketch out ideas for my square

trying out the printed fabric image and not liking it
printed images on fabric on the left and images still on the clear transfer paper to the right
Images laid out on the gel before burnishing
Some of the finished squares