Posts Tagged ‘Tapestry’

Needs vs. Wants

November 9, 2010

When you wake up in the morning, do you make a conscience decision to do only what you want to do and not what you need to do?    With kids grown, seems house stuff is no longer urgent, weeknight and weekend activities centered around school are over (thank goodness!) and with a job that is sporadic,  I (sometimes unfortunately) have come to the point in my life where I do this more often than I should and what needs to be done gets push aside to accommodate the wants.

But, this is good if you have an insatiable urge to create.

So here are my offerings for the last few days…

a little bird done from the watercolour shown in a recent post.

My very first tapestry done in a workshop given by Tommye Scanlin.  I finished the weaving of the tapestry two years ago but I  tacked down and trimmed it this weekend.  I haven’t spent enough time doing tapestry, I haven’t gotten any better than this.


A page from my sketchbook.  I drew the girl and then watercolored her.  This image was done in  photoshop superimposing her colored face onto the line work.  I really liked the  line created with her shoulder, neck and breast.  I can imagine this image in a tapestry, I want to see if I can actually pull that off…

That’s what I call a need…

Outside Looking In

August 19, 2010

Computer problems this week.  What’s up when you can access your programs thru the task manager but the whole windows operating systems is kerplunk?  But it is the only computer in the house attached to the scanner.  It is very slow and very taxing to use…

Also slow these days is my desire to blog.  My apologies to my loyal followers.  Both of you.  I have been working on some textile art.  Actually started a small tapestry to get back into it.  I was trying to do something simple, but perhaps it’s a little too simple.  It doesn’t  have much pizazz. I will share it when I finish.

I started the little thread art, shown below, last night with a colored pencil sketch and started stitching this morning before I left for work.  I just finished it this evening, easy enough to do when it is only about 3.5″ x 5″.  I used the ever popular house shape.

The first person who tells me it looks like a patch best beware…

this was my week…

May 21, 2010

I’ve been a little lazy in posting lately.  I haven’t been lazy in working though.  Seems like this week has been busier than ever and I am just plum’ wore out!  All I want to do is lay in the hammock and read. Alas, it is raining so I sit in front of the computer and look.

What am I looking at?  Art!  Lots and lots of art!  I am thrilled to be able to easily see what artists from who knows where are creating.  Fiber art is holding my interest this week (who knows what I will be fascinated by next week!).  I have found a couple of links that showcase different artists…

The Studio Art Quilt Associates and Fiber Artists Collective

I am inspired by both!

In my idle time this week I have found two real bird nests in my yard, one in the fern making it difficult to water…

and another one high in a shrub that I can only see from below.

I created a bird to go with my stuffed eggs (from an earlier post).  I painted it, then “un” painted it.  Now I have a dilemma as to what to do with it.  It may remain whitewashed as has a papier mache overly ripe woman from a couple of years ago.  If you have an idea….

And then I am working on a “generations” something or other.  Maybe an art quilt, maybe a painting or mixed media piece, maybe even a tapestry (that would be ambitious).  Here is my start with sketching.  These are women from the past in my family.

And last, a cute little yellow bird that may become thread art to match the other cute little birds in thread.  This study is colored pencil on rough paper.

Going back to the women in the sketch…

Seems as if many people don’t understand why old photographs have such dismal, unhappy people in them.  I don’t really know the technical reasons or if they were told not to smile but I do know that exposure time was longer and holding a smile is difficult.  A portrait with a smile on the face of the person is a portrait done from a photograph.  It is simply difficult to hold a smile for any length of time.  Unless you are a professional beauty contestant.

These ladies look unhappy, but as I was studying them, I felt such a closeness to them, wondering about them, if they were unhappy or just tired with their tight lips (the woman on the left has a tiny infant in her arms).  I decided they were a very happy family even without smiles.  The older woman  even has a small nosegay in her hands.

The older couple on the right are Thomas Marr and Elizabeth Welch, my great great grandparents, photographed in 1908.

Stopped raining… off to read while the light is good.

…in sheep’s clothing

November 11, 2009

You may be thinking this tapestry is not worthy to speak of… but I am rather pleased with it.  The spacing of the warp is further apart and the surface is smoother.  This piece just feels good.  Literally.  I am so in love with wool, I love how it feels in my hands, I love how it smells.   I think I will be a sheep in my next life, but  maybe wool doesn’t always smell that good on a sheep.  Why is there no neutral gender singular for the word sheep?  I looked it up on the Online Etymology Dictionary and I am no more informed than before. 

Design-wise, it could be better. 


I wish the economy would improve for architects.  I want a tapestry loom.

Second Take

November 8, 2009

My reduction print turned into a tapestry.    I stuggled with keeping the warp vertical.  I think I have the warp too close together for the yarn I am using, and have started another, simpler design in an effort to improve my technique. 

I am calling this piece “Medusa with a Migraine”.  She looks as though she could bite someone’s head off.  I think she just experienced her first hot flash.  I did not set out to create Medusa, she just appeared as I wove.  Don’t look into her eyes….


No photoshop touch up, but you did notice the mat hiding the edges, didn’t you?  There are all kinds of ways to cover up mistakes.


What I have discovered…

October 26, 2009

is that a crow, a rook, a raven, and a jackdaw are all basically crows.  Of those four names for a bird that is powerful, beautiful, and tenacious, only raven can be used as a complimentary term.  Remember the Disney show entitled “Raven” or the lead character’s name was Raven?  Maybe you have to have offspring similar in age to mine to even know of what I refer.  Can you imagine a parent naming their child “Crow”?  What’s in a name?  Why did this bird get a bad reputation?

In honor of the week before Halloween, I was going to treat you to the stanzas of Mr. Poe’s classic “Once upon a midnight dreary…” but in looking thru Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, I found some stanzas of a poem called “The Jackdaw of Rheims” by Richard Harris Barham written in 1840 that was tremendous fun to read.  Here is an except…

“The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,

He called for his candle, his bell, and his book!

            In holy anger, and pious grief,

            He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!

            He cursed him at board, he cursed him in bed,

            From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head!

            He cursed him in sleeping, that every night

            He should dream of the devil, and wake in a fright;

            He cursed him in eating, he cursed him in drinking,

            He cursed him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking;

            He cursed him in sitting, in standing, in lying;

            He cursed him in walking, in riding, in flying;

            He cursed him in living, he cursed him in dying! –

Never was heard such a terrible curse!

            But what gave rise to no little surprise,

Nobody seemed one penny the worse!” 

You can visit here to read the rest of this entertaining poem and to find out just to whom all that cursing was directed.  Also of interest to me are the significance of  bell, book and candle (remember that movie with Jimmy Stewart?  I loved that movie and Bewitched which I always assumed was inspired from it)  and Jem Crow (have to read the whole poem).   Guess I need to do more research.


Here is my finished tapestry of the rook.  I resisted the desire to go into photoshop and straighten the skewed edges so I present it to you flaws and all, my first weaving in several months.  I went into the weaving with a needle and floss to mimic the sketch lines of my original watercolor. 

What I have not discovered is how to “return” on WordPress without inserting a line break.  Any help out there?

the Tortoise Vs. the Tapestry

October 22, 2009

If ever a tortoise was in the road when my siblings and I were young, and our father happened upon it, he would stop and we would have a short termed pet.  Short termed because we didn’t keep it, not for other more morbid reasons.   A few days ago, out of the blue, my daughter said she wanted a tortoise.  Wanting to be as good a parent as my father, I saw one today in the office parking lot and took it home to her.  Never mind Suzannah is 23 and not 10.  She researched it, determined it was a red eared slider and held it long enough for me to take some pictures.  She then carried it to the creek and released it back to it’s natural environment.  

I thought I would show you the pictures.  Look at the markings on this creature.  Wonder why God didn’t give us such wonderful natural tattoos, too.  I am thinking this little one may turn up somehow in a piece of art.


I have been working this week but I have managed to get some play time in.  I took Tommye Scanlin’s advice and started a small tapestry of my watercolour of the rook.  Here it is in progress.  Tapestry moves along at about the same rate as a tortoise.


Suzannah found out that a turtle was given by Captain Cook to the royal family of Tonga in 1777.  That particular turtle lived until 1965.  Imagine.

Like Daughter, Like Mother

September 16, 2009

While gazing upon the messiness that I call a studio, my mother saw a tapestry I had hanging on my bulletin board.  I guess if I called it a display board, I wouldn’t sound so junior high schoolish, would I?  (Can I write an aside on an aside?  What do you think of whenever you hear someone say “would I”?   “Hare Lip” immediately comes to my mind.  Isn’t that just horrible?!!!  I cannot even remember the stupid joke that goes with that punch line!!!  I so wish I could choose what gets erased from my memory!)

Okay, back to being an adult.

So my mother, Julia Evatt, sees this tapestry and thinks it would be a great pattern for beading.  She photocopies my tapestry and creates this wonderful little beaded necklace of the image I wove.  I strongly requested she give it to me.  And she graciously did.



2.75″x4.5″  glass beads



 4″x5.5″ cotton and wool yarn

Julia may have beaded this but she is better known for her sculptures, paintings and poetry.  I will share some of those later if she will allow it.  She would want me to tell you that her image is wider than she would have liked.  She actually beaded this on a toilet paper roll and in it’s 3 dimensional plane, what she saw and what was the reality were two different things.  Lesson to be learned, always take into account perspective.

I loved the little beaded image and now have to find just the right little black dress to  pair with it!  For more of my tapestry images (and others too!) visit  This is a blog artist, Tommye Scanlin set up for her tapestry students.  I have posted a few images there.   Visit the archives to find them.

Editor’s note:  Please forgive any insensitive remarks made in this post.  They are the direct result of having survived junior high school.