But I haven't been sitting around saturated in envy. In no particular order in roughly the last ten days:
I feel I have to "host/entertain" when people come to see my work; by doing so I miss the chance to listen to what they think. I missed a good chance. It's that old, familiar performance anxiety.
The warp is an unknown wool in black purple from Mom's stash; she started knitting something so some of the balls were crinkly like instant noodles; that's paired with a burgundy/grape merino boucle and I'm threading them in opposites. The weft is purple alpaca I bought from Elann.com ages ago when I fell in love with the color, together with the same boucle. It's been a while since I last used almost the full width of the 4-shaft
Jack. It's been ages, (15 years?) since I planned a 10DPI/20EPI warp,
and I wrapped and checked gazillion times, (21 pairs in an inch,) but it
feels like I should sley the pair together 8DPI/16EPI.
Cherry Blossom blanket I planned for Mom a few years ago shrank too much and ended up much narrower than I had hoped, and somehow became Dad's blanket. But Dad's become increasing frail and I'm afraid he's going to trip over the fringes one day, so I thought to make a ruana with a similar fabric, with boucle in the warp and the weft, but a shortish one so it covers him to between below the waist and not below his knees. I wanted to use Mom's lovely handdyed, handspun blue yarn as a base, but the boucle I intended to combine in the warp (the saturated blue and green one,) was too strong and killed the sporadic natural/brown bits in Mom's, so I lined up all suitable merino and boucles and made a mishmash of a warp. This is going on the 4-shaft loom after my purple piece, and will be woven in plain weave, double width for the back, two layers for the front. I have no idea what is going to be the main weft; there is Mom's handspun green yarn, (not photographed,) which would create a lovely texture but I may, if lucky, have enough to weave about 30cm of the back. It will end up like a patchwork of colors and textures, but inadvertently it's also going to turn into a good stash-reduction project of my nicest wools.
Stash was what Pat and I talked about while we "womenned" the gallery yesterday for a couple of hours. I was disappointed Pillars used up surprisingly little. I now freely admit I'm delusional if I think I can make headways into my current stash in a "few" years; I think, if I stay productive, it's more between five and ten years.
Pat recommended I read "Art & Fear" by David Bayles and Ted Orland some time ago. Last week it popped up on sale at Audible.com and bought it right away, and man, this is good. It's a pre-New-Age, tell-it-like-it-is, short and sharp description of how we may feel/perceive/think as makers and putting them in context. I've never felt fear that I've been aware of, more disappointment or anger, yet this book is exactly what I needed now. I've listened to it twice so far, but wouldn't mind having a used paperback to read, reread, highlight, underline and scribble in the margin.
I'm going home for six to eight weeks in Jan/Feb/Mar, and I've started looking into air fares and schedules. I've signed up to a Kay Faulkner (Australia) workshop in April; it's residential, plus I need transport to there and back, but I've never been to Whanganui and my good friend Joan Rosier-Jones has made it her home a few years ago and I've never visited her there, either. And I thought it may mark a nice "full circle" at this juncture. I just have to weave a whole bunch of merchandises between now and my trip. There is also a "market" day on the last day of this workshop, so I shall schlep buttons, as well as scarves, then. I mustn't forget: I've got the Sketchbook Project to work on before I leave for Japan, too.
Finally, with Dianne and Alison's exhibition opened, I can pick Alison's brain about that same step where I get stuck in the design process. I'm looking forward to that.