Signature Style

It started when Doni and I started pondering online stores recently, that we need strong "identities" to be successful in the ether, and color palettes are likely the most straight-forward way to establish such, at least in the first instance. (Doni, do feel free to chime in if my memory is wonky, not or later.) I found myself having to think back to where I started and how I came to be where I find myself now.

In the beginning, sometime between 2000 and 02, after I left my office job I had a very hard time imagining what it's like to "be" a weaver; I knew what route I wanted to take to learn and improve my weaving, but not working in an office, not working for an organization, boggled my mind. And lacking weaving classes in Nelson, I went to free small business seminars.

I wasn't sure if I saw myself or my weaving as a business, but I needed to learn a few things about tax implications and my responsibilities, and these seminars were as good a place as any to get structured guidance. But many other classes focused on marketing, and I cooked up lists, mind maps and gantt charts picking out my target market, the image my business was to portray, and narrowed down my products based on these results. I wanted to focus on "older" women as I also entered that group, and people buying gifts for such women; my products were to be "elegant, exquisite and expensive," and for that, I aimed to weave fussy, (as Jacquard-like as possible,) designs in good-quality skinny New Zealand wool within a very narrow range on the color wheel. I also had in mind Japanese silk for later.

Because I didn't/don't dye, my colors were restricted to what a few weaving yarn sources in New Zealand stocked, and many had, say, between five and seven colors, usually some greens, teals, wine/burgundy, and lighter blues if I was lucky. And the occasional mixes that may have included purple. The colors between sources, on the whole, were so similar if I got a merino from one source and possum/merino/silk from another in, say, teal, the slight difference in hue/value or texture created exactly the kind of "subtle" look I was after. So, though the hues were not of my choosing, the overall look suited me. And work in New Zealand colors sold relatively well in New Zealand. Imagine that!!

I met Wellington weaver Brigit Howitt at Bonnie Inouye's workshop in May 2002 and later that year, after having attended Convergence, Brigit sent us an email quoting one Randall Darwall. Some years later when I saw publicity for a weaving workshop by a man with a similarly long and difficult name, I signed up immediately; little did I know he is known for his use of colors! That's not at all he does, but it was what he pushed in his workshop. Oh dear. Using five colors was a big deal to me, but fifty?

Randy had individual advice for all of us, and mine was to be my own apprentice because nobody could give me a formula. Half of me wondered if he didn't know what to say to such a newbie, (everybody else in class had been weaving for 20, 30, and 40 years,) and if this was the catch-all advice; half of me knew exactly what he meant, and this is what I've been trying to do for the last seven years. And a month.

Over the years, I have been encouraged by friends and gallerists to try such recklessness as asymmetry and complementary colors and though it takes me a long time and perhaps more resolve than normal, I now routinely do these, as well as making warps without color or threading plans. I find I'm becoming less attached to my perception of my weaving, that I'm willing to give most things a go. I also tend to get bored quickly so I don't want to stick to one thing, that I need to try something unfamiliar from time to time. While in discussion with Doni, I even wondered if I have lost my thing, and whether I have no instincts about my colors any more. And I decided that as a developing weaver, it didn't matter. I'm more interested in challenges and enjoyment.
This is the third piece from the very vibrant warp; the weft is a medium-value silk/cashmere mix; though the purple appears dark, it doesn't overpower the warp but the luster in the silk lifts the hues and values in the warp collectively and individually.
Here are the warp I made a month after I came home and weft candidates, and my first reaction when I gathered these was, "How stunningly boring!!"  I shall try to weave one or two sympathetic-colored pieces, and then one or two tingly pieces; I have enough warp for three. (My first floor loom came wrapped in the purple sheet!)
But wait, here are the fine wool skeins I bought in Japan in March, and I couldn't stop thinking about possible combinations and I started winding them in balls and handling the skeins in general in preparation for a series for the very near future. (The orange at bottom right are my new socks.)

For now my color palette is "all over", Doni, and my style, wonky selvedge. And don't forget the "slow." I am leaving you in charge of more intelligent meditation, but, oh, it's so fun stepping back and discovering that some of my biggest obstacles were but mere pebbles looking back.


Rock/Hard Place

When I was at the Refinery this morning, retagging all four scarves that didn't sell at their special show and reworking the paperwork, a woman came in to browse in the gallery shop, did the rounds, picked up an artist's business card, and rang the artist as she was walking out the door. I didn't hear the rest of the conversation.

Goodness knows it's hard to make a living in art/craft, but then I'm not naive enough to imagine she called him to, errr, congratulate him on his lovely work with such urgency. I, too, have been asked for a lower price than gallery prices but I don't undercut galleries, and if/when ever I open up an online shop I will put the same price for like items, and/or make something very different, real one-offs.

As aficionados, a lower price is always nice, and I get a kick out of meeting the people who made an item I like. But then as makers and buyers, there is bad manners, isn't there?

When I was away, the second, (I think) Art Expo took place in Nelson. I went to have a look last year at their inaugural, and it was big and crowded and had a lot of paintings. My understanding is, the people who took over the old Arts Marketing hosts this, but I haven't kept up with them. If the group/event felt craft-friendly in my view, I may have considered taking part in the good old Martin Rodgers days. What I've been hearing on the grapevine is, the Expo as a whole did good business and some artists made a killing, but galleries in town are struggling as a result.

The thing is, we makers have to sell our work and make money. And it's not a bad thing for makers to talk to people and gauge what they are after, even if "they" (and it's always "they" and now "we") have bad taste, don't understand what we're doing, or heaven forbid, think it takes just a couple of hours to weave a small scarf; I know we've all heard this.

But still, as suppliers I think we have an ethical responsibility. Galleries selling my work know me and my work to varying extent, and I stay in touch with them to let them know my thinking behind a series or what I've been thinking. Galleries in general work hard to present pieces/makers as unique/personal to seduce visitors to part with their money. Mine are my agents.

I repeat, I don't know the rest of the conversation from this morning. Maybe the lady wanted something bigger, or in red; maybe she just wanted to see where he works. Maybe the artist told her he can't possibly withdraw the work from the gallery and sell it to her for less. Maybe they went to grade school together for all I know. But I can't deny there is the possibility a maker gets deposited between a rock and a hard place. And they come without warning.

End rant.



Not in its prime, but was when I came home, the white banksia rose is growing through/around/inside the fig tree as I intended 10+ years ago. It may need to be pruned hard this autumn as when the spring/autumn wind blows, it almost brings down the top half of the fig tree. This year was its best flowing year, and in a certain light on bright spring evenings, it looks like one of Vincent's flowering trees.
Not South of France, probably not the same species, but again, in certain light and mind frame, I can imagine swirly skies and stars all around right from my living room. From what little I know of trees, this is something like a Douglas Fir.
Structural scaffolding and subsequent contouring as shown by Ronette on Friday.
I was aware that on Week 2, I wasn't exactly doing the scaffolding as instructed.
In the exact weft yarn and approximate pattern I had intended all along for this warp but the yellow green wasn't as saturated/blue as I had envisioned in my mind and the resultant Piece 2 is not as brilliantly saturated as I had intended.

Yet, not discouraged; rather, continuously stirred to keep weaving and thinking about color combinations.


Mom's Birthday, and Copyright, and Styles

Today is Mom's 83rd birthday. She has a special date with her weaving students, first lunching at their haunt in Kamakura, (don't know the place; they never took me,) then probably a lovely stroll in that old city, ending up at the house of one of the students who moved in July. It's within walking distance from her old place, so within walking distance from the rest of the group, but it sounds exciting!

Now get ready to laugh out loud. 

I was so tired on Sunday I didn't do anything except to vegetate in front of the telly and play computer games. Sunday night I was so cross with myself for being electively-unproductive I couldn't sleep. So on Monday I was exercising by 8AM, did two stints on the loom, baked ciabatta and finally got the hang of many small holes rather than few big ones with that wet dough, and even cleaned the stove top at around 10PM. Came yesterday morning, and I was so sore I couldn't move. LOL, I had to lie down on the floor with a towel under my spine to breathe, even though my exercises aren't that vigorous. At all. And though I did a mild version of my exercise in the morning, I  blahed out until 3PM, when I got really cross with myself and cooked dinner. That was about all I did all day. But dinner was yummy: beef and soy bean patties with seedy mustard on many grain toast.

Let me see. The lesson learned is, aim to be productive but not too much? I can't stop laughing because part of me thinks I just can't win; another part of me think it's OK to go slow; another I'm old and slow is the only way I can go; and alas, another part of me thinks I'm just being lazy as usual. But Saturday's Diabetes workshop got me motivated about undersizing, and ideas for projects keep coming and I just want to work. The thing is, while I was weaving on Monday, I wasn't tired for the most part. Well, to be honest, I was thinking I was starting to get a little impatient, but I kept going because the weaving was going well.

I've read before I go to sleep as long as I can remember. And because of this, I have this strange notion that reading for pleasure is a bedtime thing. Ergo, even when I feel blah, or my body can't move due to excessive physical activities, (you're supposed to LOL here,) except for weekends and sick days, I don't feel right about reading for pleasure during the daytime. I can't explain this further than to say it's a conceptual habit. This is one of the things I'm trying to change; I mean, Sunday and yesterday, had I added up all the blah hours, I might have finished the current van Gogh book and started on the next.

Not that I'm in a rush - I'm enjoying the current one very, very much.

As well I've finally started to grieve for Dad when and how I want to. I've been home over a month and I'm back to being me-as-I-know-myself and the waterworks have been free-flowing. Which is not all sad but rather satisfying and I almost enjoy missing Dad without being told I shouldn't because it leads to as many good thoughts as regrets, if not to closures of sorts. And it's nice to live with a husband who really liked Dad all along. Though I still get confused being called Dad's Girl. People have often been called that since I was 13, never Daddy's Little Girl as it wasn't that easy, but I don't get why people think that.

* * * * *

I've been peripherally following the Congdon vs Foster "debate" about copyrights. If you don't know about it, this and this are good places to start as he and those who comment include relevant links.

In my weaving any inspiration is so diluted/distorted by the time they become cloth I don't seriously worry about copyrights infringements unless I want to post a picture/idea here, or if I want to download, print and put something up on my wall, even if Ben's the only other person likely to see it. Then I ask and nobody has declined my requests so far; nobody has asked for payments/contracts. With photos this is automatic, but I have to be mindful about retelling or regurgitating ideas.

Ben and I get request for pictures for student projects, a wedding program/proceedings (yup!), or other for- and non-profit pursuits and only once did we ask to be paid. (Ben had a photo used for a wine label. Unfortunately it wasn't a great year so they changed the label the following year!) Our standard answer is, "Go for it and best of luck." Oh, but we did ask if we could have a sneak peak of the wedding PDF because we were so very thrilled, and it was used beautifully.

I hate having my photographs stolen and I have asked to have it taken off places. I don't want money for it, I just think it's like folks coming into my house with dirty shoes on, (my house is a no-shoes zone.) I just think it's rude. But then I think, sometimes, I have to come to terms with the fact if I put something on the Internet, it's in the public domain regardless of legality. 

And then there is the issue of drafts. I don't mind sharing and I post a lot, because I am almost a card-carrying member of the "There is nothing new in weaving" school of thought. Still, when I see drafts very similar to something I worked on in many shafts, I can't help my heart skipping a beat.

I think weavers have less to worry about than painters and quilters and textile artists, but it's something we must be aware of in this day and age. Then there is the schism between the American perception of what's "legal" and the somewhat fuzzier understanding in New Zealand, though the latter may be moving closer to the former, and the myriad of values and hues in-between. And then there is that ridiculous notion of an image/idea being 30% (or whatever number) similar or different.  

I've been reading a lot about how van Gogh "copied" other artists' works, except his way of copying is very much in his own style, worked and reworked. In fact, he's copied and reworked his own sketches and paintings as well. With my Cubism thing, (I am going to post about it because it was utterly interesting even though I got absolutely nowhere,) and even my figure drawing going back a few years, I did find copying works I admire useful in my learning. I've been thinking how much of copying and reworking "in the style of (insert-artist-name)" is allowed if I were to, for example, take part in a drawing exhibition.

* * * * *

Doni and I've been discussing one's signature/style, which has coaxed me to think of a lot of things I haven't thought of in a while. Or ever. My thoughts are so fragmented I need time before posting on the topic but it's been wonderful reflecting.

I am less hung up on my perception of "my style" largely due to circumstances relating to selling and availability of things and opportunities where I live. I'm less worried about not being able to tell you what "my style" is. I don't know if this is a bad thing or a good thing, but more than ever I now see myself as a developing weaver, because at least I can see the changes from project to project or from series to series. Even if it includes regressing with techniques. More on this later.

But what is your style? What do you hold dear in your weaving? What says, "this is your/my work?" and nobody else's? Do tell.


A Shift Approaching?

I wrote to Dot this morning I sense a shift in my attitude/mindset towards life/making and I’m trying to observe/reflect/put it into words. It’s just a faint scent of a precursor to something which may be nothing. Or a big shift. In short I'm focusing on good things rather than the bad.

As regards Dad, and Mom, there is so much to regret and I still replay specific scenes when I could have "done better" but either I force myself switch to recalling good memories with Dad, or rehearse how I would behave under similar circumstances in the future with Mom. I find these rehearsals helpful, sometimes. And I'm ignoring all instances when Mom told me I'm "wrong" to feel this way or that. In other words, I'm trying to go with what I think/feel is good/true.

In drawing, I didn't mind so much there were so few familiar faces, (I didn't know anyone in Japan in any of my classes, right?) nor that my drawing may have been different from others or not strictly adhering to Ronettte's instructions; it's not that I didn't mind, I didn't worry.
As regards weaving, forever I aspired to be a technically exemplary weaver in the first instance, because it felt easier than aspiring to be arty without art/weaving school training. Over the years I concocted tricks/practices focusing on technique but none worked long term. In fact, looking at bits and pieces in my house, I sense my technique peaked a few years ago and started slipping more recently. And with it, my patience, and the import technique has in the whole of my focus.

I don't know if I'm lapsing, or focusing. I know I'm coming around to practicing what I repeatedly said to Mom, that we haven't got forever so let's stop wasting time on things we can't help or enjoy, and concentrate on what works or what we love. It's been a pleasant surprise to find I finally bought into what I preach, because I preach a lot of good things. LOL. Anyway, in short, I've not been spending time lamenting bad technique/backtracking which is my norm, but protectively/optimistically concentrating on what comes naturally/easily to me. And I find I'm back to that pompous and yet earnest idea of the inevitable cloth. Or something like it.

Am I taking the easiest way out; I know I haven't got but patience to focus so much on things I don't enjoy particularly now, so bad or good it's probably unproductive to dwell on it. I also know I've denied my instincts and went not with my first choices for nearly a decade while learning the "correct" way to design, to the point I don't have instant/instinctive first choices lately.

The good thing is, I feel lighter having shed whatever I have shed.  As if I've regained movement on my limbs. So typical I can go on and on about what's wrong about this, but only a couple of sentences on what's right. LOL.

* * * * *

I'm feeling tired after the doctor's appointment and a good deal of work on Thursday; first time back in Ronette's drawing where there were only two from the old days, (two others were away for the week,) and running errands and staying in town until 8.30 waiting for Ben to finish work Friday; and a 3/4 day Diabetes workshop on my own Saturday, (Ben went in March.) So I'm taking it easy today, perhaps cooking, perhaps weaving, perhaps reading. Telly, DVDs.

I'm still enjoying reading van Gogh biographies and looking up artworks, artists and places mentioned; I feel tempted to spend some time writing fiction or practice drawing or even painting, but have resisted so far because I just want to weave, (you know the feeling;) I've been cooking from time to time, but not gardening; luckily, by Friday afternoon, even though I still had symptoms I knew my hay fever has started to clear. Yay!

While working on Thursday I had a very good cry about Dad, 6.5 hours to be exact, all saved up since the evening before I left Nelson in May. And throughout I just kept weaving and working, and remembered as many funny things as sad, because there were tons of funny things in his/our lives. That was a good cleansing process. And my face didn't puff up as much as I expected.


* * * * *
One weaver rejoices in the most tenuous of connections with her hero on the other side of the planet. I got this from Better World Books, though. LOL.


Wednesday and Thursday

I went to see Dr Tom this morning and have in my hot little hands the hay fever nose spray plus eye drops that don't interfere with the spray. It'll take a few days for them to kick in, but my body, and especially the brain, are on their way to functioning more or less in a... functional manner. Beats being brain dead, which, if you suffer from hay fever, you'll understand.
I finished the first of Not-Laharya. The top half is A-side, the bottom half, form the yellow band, is B-side. Unfortunately the portion I wove on Monday were beaten too hard and you can see the squashed diamond shapes. Yikes.At least the colors are more or less accurate on my screen.This is only resting so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the wet-finishing.
I started the second piece; the weft is in three greens, and I can't improve the colors any more but the real deal looks so different from the above pic. Oh, well. I'm weaving this in the original draft at the bottom; I thought long and hard about the floats of 9 but any effort to remedy it made the draft less attractive, and when washed the long floats were fluffy and lovely, so I decided to go ahead with it.

Yesterday I washed the two large pieces which were waiting forever, plus two biggish pieces I withdrew form the Refinery recently. They sat in the gallery for much too long. I think one is going to turn into a bag. 

Tomorrow morning, I go back to Ronette's drawing class.


Speaking of India

Last Wednesday at the appointed Skype time, I had the computer on but not Skype, and missed my face-to-face with Mom. I'm happy to report that when we reconnected this morning she sounded very much like her old self. The house sale is taking a detour, but for the better we hope, thanks in large part to my baby brother. But Mom's really been into weaving, (she has a new silk warp on,) and is thinking more about traveling to India, perhaps in a year's time. If she can wait that long, I may even tag along, or she may meet me in Australia. It's fun to imagine both scenarios and look up textily places in both countries. Mom knows how to Google now.

I did wonder if my having stayed home too long delayed her getting back to this stage, but no use dwelling on that. So we move on.

On days when I can't seem to do much, I've been trying to cook or clean the pantry. About a year ago when I decided we need to eat more healthily, we bought ingredients with which I cook, (dried beans, for starters,) but from which Ben shies away. This weekend I wanted to eat beans, so I soaked them, intending to make a curry of some description. Ben volunteered last night, and man, oh, man, did he outdo himself. Again!
We love animal protein, both land and sea. We also like vegetarian dishes. And we also love curry. But I let me tell you, he got the proportion of the beans, veggies and spices just right last night, so the result was spicy and tasty but not overpowered neither by protein nor spieces. Bliss!

Right, work-talk.

I made another cashmere warp to be tied to the current one.

I tried to count the number of end in this warp I made before mid-October last year, again, but after four tries, I get four different numbers. And I can't find any notes or even scrap piece of paper.

This baby/picnic/couch blanket and my purple one have been waiting to be wet-finished, but either I use up the hot water doing laundry and dishes, or I haven't had the stamina for it.

The foreseeable future is going to be a lot of catching up and filling the gaps of the last one year. Which I don't mind. I just want to be on the loom.

I've also been playing with my Weaver to Weaver goodies a bit. They are like Linus' security blanket. Does anyone want to give that another go?

That was SO the Wrong Decision

Almost three weeks ago I rang my doctor's office to make an appointment. I wanted a prescription for hay fever meds, but I also wanted him to look at this bump on my head from, I think, when I walked into a pillar in my parents' house in Feb. Dr Tom is a popular doctor so I knew I'd have to wait three to five days to see him, and Ben's busy so the appointment would have to be on a morning when he doesn't have a meeting, and Tom was to be away for two weeks during his children's school holidays. So, this Thursday at 9.15, or would I like to see a locum? No, I'll be fine, thank you; two weeks isn't going go make much difference to early signs of hay fever. Right?


I tried to fool myself with regular eye drops and minor-irritation-skin-creams until the weekend when the spring gale blew and blew and blew and I was finally laid to rest and regret, regret, regret. Mind you, our gale wasn't as bad as elsewhere; down around Christchurch there are homes without power this morning and they're expecting even of the stuff.

Whenever it was last week when I was in town, I thought of going into a pharmacy to ask if the same stuff can be had without prescription, or get interim relief, but I didn't feel the need to rush. I also had one full bottle of the med, and an unused thing of allergy eye drops on my last day in Japan, but the former went into a box to be posted, and the latter into the rubbish.

So my brain may have been paralyzed long before the latest spring gale. My heart is so willing to work, but my body says no, and my head is... on a holiday somewhere. So, thank you for your kind words to the last post, I am most definitely not pushing myself to do anything. I'm forced to take my time. Though I would like some having-done's right about now so I can feel that mild , happy having-done-ness.

I have been cooking a little. It's been cool, and I feel like cooking when it's cool. I'm also trying to go back to the mind frame of last Nov/Dec when I resolved to cook better and for us to eat healthily, and if we can wing it, loose some girth along the way.


But not to worry too much. It's raining today, the air isn't filled with pollen, and it's lovely and cool. I don't have to cook dinner possibly for the rest of the week. And my mind is working a little better this morning. I might go make some warps.

I have been weaving some, too. This is the first of the Not-Laharya, about 140cm woven, though the picture looks a little too yellow and somehow alarming. It's nicer than this.
And you must watch this video courtesy of Debbie Herd; it's nearly 50 minutes, so make yourself a hot drink and sit comfortably first.


These Days...

I'm finding myself doing things Mom did, and being annoyed by things about myself Mom did about herself. I make snap judgments without checking facts, which I think I've always done but tried not to while in Japan to lead Mom by example. LOL. I'm also checking things twice and thrice just to make sure I've got it right, which is good, but ending up with misunderstanding. Case in point: good friend Claudia is moving to Sydney and I'm really sad. She sent us an invite to a farewell weeks ago so I had it on my calendar for last Saturday forever. Came last week and I wondered if she had costume/theme requirements, because she does sometimes, so I reread the invite and "found out" the do is at 6PM on the 6th, the Sunday. So we got all dressed up and went to the venue which was closed on Sundays. I even blow-dried my hair so it looked pretty good until Monday afternoon. And now she has no spare time before she leaves, so... BOO HOO to me.

For the last two weeks I've been tired, not tired-tired, not sick-tired, but just blah-tired, and I've wasted a lot of time gazing at the telly or playing repetitive computer games. Except the couple of hours many days I garden, but I don't last very long. My weeds are so healthy this year they don't come out easily and after about 90 minutes my left arm starts to shake. Last Thursday I had to quit abruptly because I got pins and needles instead of the shaking. That and the rain has put a temporary stop to my good intentions outside, and I feel useless and lazy.

More recently, I've been doing anything in preference to nothing productive. You know, small things; just keep moving instead of sitting on my regular position. So my cashmere thrums are now sorted. All my empty paper bobbins are in one ice cream container. All my collage material is in one box.

But you see, I was so good turning to collage to settle my mind in Japan, why can't I do the same here???  Gee, I was productive in Japan, even though I wasn't aware of it then.

Perhaps now I''m only procrastinating, finding the big things on my list too overwhelming?

Sometimes I have to relearn the way I usually do things. I had my first full day in town yesterday. Yesterday morning I had to think of what I usually carry in my bag; I had to make sure all the cards have been taken out of my Yen wallet and into my NZ$ wallet; I had to make a list of places I must go, (I usually do this, but it took longer.) I had to recharge my phone, and found out the last time I looked at the 2013 diary was January 24.

The clincher was, during the day while seeing many friends and retelling where I've been most of this year, I had to stop and hear myself speak to make sure I was speaking in English.

Most days it feels as though I never left. Some days it takes me a bit longer to recall.

* * * * *

The only productive thing I seem to be able to slip into has been to read about van Gogh. I caught myself being interested not only in the stories and the flavors added by different authors, but in what is omitted. I believe it's impossible to have a "definitive" version of a person's life, anyone's life, even in , (or especially in?) autobiographies, because a life is never just dates and places and names, but interactions, and that includes view points. And with a complex person like Vincent, I see that many authors are being scarily selective in what they include/emphasize.

In the many books and documentaries I've read/checked so far, there was only one mention of  bullfighting in Arles, for example. Apparently, the best matador (of the day?) is supposed to cut an ear off his kill and throw it to the spectators for good luck. And Vincent went to see bullfighting as he painted the spectators.

And now, I'm seeing some Vincent-esque scenery in Nelson, which is a nice in-between place between Yokohama and Nelson. This is at the back of The Suter yesterday.


And this Makes Perfect Sense to Me

Since I was home in Japan, I've been hoping to weave, weave, weave and make money, money, money to: 1) fill the hole made by three trips, (Ben*1, Me*2) to Japan so far in 2013; 2) to save up for another trip to see Mom late next year; and 3) maybe, just maybe, go to (the East Coast of) Australia and finally meet some of the weavers with whom I've been communicating for many years.

At the same time, Nelson summer has been snarling at my heels, scaring me into weeding and tidying at a relatively steady pace for me. But this place is in a worse shape than our usual bad shape, and a small patch whence I started which used to take one day to tidy has taken so far 8.5 hours and looks to be almost halfway done.


And I get far more tired than justified by the average 1.5 hours outside, and my left arm sometimes starts to shake after two. In fact, I've been not tired-tired, not sick, but just Blah-tired for almost two weeks and this week I was unable to make myself do very much. While weaving, collaging and even drawing ignite my creative mojo and I can't stop good, happy ideas overflowing, gardening overworks something else, and I can't stop this rapid slide show in my head for days afterwards. The slides aren't even of textiles; they are tutorial step-by-steps on how I should proceed in my garden!


I have been reading when I can. It takes me longer to understand what I'm reading, but it's another van Gogh biography and eventually this works. Other times, I've been watching-but-not watching much too much telly and DVDs, or playing simple computer games, just to stop the slide show. I bet there is a-chicken-or-an-egg component in my blah-tiredness.

Back to my money-making scheme. Very opportunely this week, Refinery Artspace decided to have a tenth anniversary sale, allowing us to submit up to four works to be sold at the reduced 10% commission. Just what I needed, right? Well, first it took me three days to read the instructions, print the requisite paperwork, reread the instructions, fill them, messing them up, sticking blank address labels and writing over them. And then I thought, folks at the Refinery, past and present, have been really good to me, so why not let them have the whole lot? Isn't this a nice way for the world to go around, giving what/when I can? Or am I feeling a bit too guilty about the cushiness of my life, compared to my family in Japan, compared to Vince?
Anyhoo, today, I clipped the ends of the fingers, labeled, and put tags on the four cashmere piece I wove in Japan. It took me all b100dy day, but I got it done. They'll be delivered tomorrow.

And somehow this makes perfect sense to me. Does it to you? Be honest.


Not-Laharya Sample 2

Apologies for the color combinations; I needed to test weaving drafts so I aimed to kill the warp colors. I still can't see very well the first (bottom) three, but enough to know the second is no go. The last square-y one was a product of Ben's one-liner.

After the first sample Ben and I were discussing bigger motifs, but to do that I assumed I'd have to rethread, which I don't mind but it would  have taken up time. I now know, and Ben knew without knowing he knew, that in the first instance I automatically visualize warpwise design/everything, so naturally, to widen the motifs/units, I felt I needed to widen the threading repeat/unit. When he mused, "what's wrong with big sideway designs?"

Ummmm. What?

So I tentatively made this draft, and sampled it along with more same-olds, and Bingo, the boldness matches the mood of the warp even though the each unit isn't that big. Again, because Ben said, "you could cluster motifs and make them look big." I knew that. And the look of the cloth is moving further away from the original cloth, but the mood not necessarily.
I shall weave with wefts seen in the first sample, probably the light yellow green to start with, but there are so many variations and permutations of this draft that would work in this instance I'm going to have a bit of play with it first. 

Do I need to pay him consulting fee? I'm weeding "his" garden again this morning; does that count?

PS: Both samples are cushy, airy soft, not "slick", which to me is discordant with the look of the cloth, but I'm not sure if I need to spend any more time thinking about this.

PPS: Two airy red warp threads broke so far. I'm been contemplating resleying to 16 or 15EPI, but that will further squash the design, and make the cloth wider than I would feel comfortable weaving. I could resley half and sample. Hummm.