Did you know?

A "Pandula" is a flower which blooms only in one's imagination.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back to my roots...Tapestry weaving.

March 10, 2012

As most of you know I have been in something of a creative funk.  My mojo has been broken for just about everything except the Pine basket weaving.  I do love making baskets, but to be honest it gets redundant at times just going around and around and around.  Especially since I am now in the process of making the second commission basket...which is in the same colors as 4 others.  Five baskets in the same colors and stitch are getting the better of me.  I was craving some fiber arts.

So in that vein I tried to work on my backstrap.  I have a white and charcoal double weft double weave piece going...just couldn't get into it.  I tried lashing to the frame, hooking up to the table, etc...nothing was satisfying me at all.  Not to mention it crowds up my room and further more makes my injured shoulder ache.

Sooooooo I went to Home Depot, bought some wood and threaded rods and made myself a smaller version of my (waaaaayyyyyyy to large for my room) larger tapestry loom.  Now I have warped it up and put it right onto the little table Carol bought me for $5 at a thrift store in Georgia.  (Best little weaving table ever, home made out of scrap so you can't "hurt" it, and it folds up when not in use.)

I haven't been particularly inspired to do something specific so I just went with what yarns I had here available...lots of cotton of course.  lol  Wash cloth bright white cotton for warp and then I needed to decide on a technique...i.e. a pictorial (not my best thing), cartoon, graph, stripes, well you get the picture.

Then I had an AHA moment.  I remembered that I had read about 'Wedge weaving' on ravelry in the Saori group forum.  Having done alot of weaving similar I thought I would give the formal instructions a try.  The technique is associated with the Navajo Indians and it is supposed to give a scalloped edge to the finished product once it is off of the loom.  So not alot of worries about the edges being perfectly straight.  Remembering of course that straight edges are most difficult in tapestry weaving.  

So far so good, I have pictures of the first part of the weave.  I am using directions from the Rachel Brown book "Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing Book".  I even like the colors, the pin and the green are Acrylic and wool, I have no idea what made me think they were cotton....But anyway, the colors go well together and I am excited to get to the next section where the diagonals will go in the other direction.

I have no particular plans for this piece when it is complete.  It is 7 1/2 in. wide and the warp is 38 in. long.  I can't wait to see if the sides scallop like they are supposed to!  

Stay tuned, and I will keep you posted.


So far when I loosen the tension there is no scalloping.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Completed Pine basket.

March 6, 2012
I have completed the first of the two commissioned Pine needle baskets.  I was asked to duplicate the one I did for my sister...you know, the one I forgot to take pictures of before I gifted it to her.

So here is a picture of what it looked like, for the most part.  The center is Pine branch slice like hers, but the wrapped coil was the absolute first coil done.  I couldn't get it to work this time, so after days of effort and frustration, I just did a couple of rows of stitch work and then wrapped.

The russet is #10 mercerized cotton crochet thread double stranded and the dark brown is waxed linen.  I used closed coil wrapping, the v stitch and the fern stitch.  It has a 7 in. base and 2 in. tall sidewalls.

I absolutely love working with the waxed linen.  It is really too bad I can only find it in dark brown here in St. Augustine.  Even then I found it at the local Hobby Lobby, and as we all know I work at Michaels.  lol  None to be had there although we do have the artificial sinew aplenty.

Pics...From the top.

From the side...

From the bottom, believe it or not my signature and the date is signed on the back.  So sorry for the glare.  I wax the wooden center's and I couldn't get any better shot than this.  In this next one I also think you can see some of the green needles I like to incorporate.  I dry them in the house so that they retain their color.  I am told that with time they will turn brown, but kept out of direct sunlight the green lasts a very long time.

Still one more to go.  I think I might reverse the color of the threads next time.  Dark brown for the body and russet for the trim.  (I am a bit bored with these colors in general, I think this is the 5th basket using russet as my base color.  I am indeed looking forward to using another color when these two baskets are completed.)  The center will probably be Cedar.  Stay tuned folks, same bat time, same bat channel.  LOL

Friday, March 23, 2012

New tapestry loom's.

March 3, 2012

I have assembled a few new smaller tapestry looms...however, I am still very uninspired to weave.  All of my supplies have been put away for a while.

I just thought you might like to see the loom itself.  I sit comfortable with this in my lap in my recliner.  The part closes to me rests on the arm rests and the end down at my knee's is on legs to make it at a slight incline.

I have since reassembled this loom with different parts and the weaving itself was cut off and discarded.

Back to Pine needle baskets. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My friend's have been busy.

February 28, 2012

My friend's have been busy.  Especially the ones with power tools.  Below you will see pictures of sliced tree limbs with drilled holes for Pine needle basket center's.  I am fully loaded up for a while!

I have some round Oak that was cut for a childhood project for Cub Scouts and sat around in my friend's shed for many years .   (I heard him outside with a chain saw while I was visiting and asked if he could slice a branch for me.) Since he already had the wood all her husband only had to drill the holes for me.  Beautiful, and already dry and seasoned. 

I also got the thrill of seeing some of my first cross stitch and crochet pieces in their home being used as we speak, years after making them.  It makes me so very proud. :-)

Then I had already called another friend and asked him during one of his trips to the woods (he is an avid outdoors-man) to keep an eye out for a piece of Cedar for me.  He cut and drilled about 25 pieces for me. Some I even stripped the bark off of.  WOOOHOOOOO!  

We were cooking out using some split Oak instead of charcoal and I asked for a couple of slices of it also.  They are a little larger and triangular in shape.  I hope I can actually get a different shape than just round with those.  I can pine needle coil for a long time with all of these centers.  I really like the aesthetic that they give to the basket.

Here are a couple pictures of my loot.  At the top are the Cedar slices.  Of course you can see the triangular ones and they are Oak.  Then you see the round seasoned Oak...the little squiggles are bark from some of the Cedar.  At the very bottom my last two pieces of Pine slice.  They will all be sanded of course and I have found that the sap in the Pine is very difficult to sand without an electric sander (too bad mine is in storage).  I am doing them by hand and that is why I am looking into other wood options.  The fact that they are free is incentive also.  I do favor the Pine though in keeping with the Pine 'theme'.  My labor, the sanding, is free also...lol.

Here are some close ups...later I will show them to you when they have been sanded as an 'after' shot.

And guess what?  My sister showed mine off and as a result I have two small commission baskets to do!  I think I will make a few samples and place a sign in her restaurant and at her booth in the farmer's market for 'Customized Pine baskets', your choice of thread color, type of wood center and size.  Wish me luck.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Finally! Weaving!!!!

 February 22, 2012

I finally finished my piece that has been on the loom bars since before the car accident in November.  And I have also warped up a piece for dbl wft dbl wf (embedded double weave).

Here is the simple warp float piece from November.  I just had no inspiration at all and wanted to see if I could manage to weave with the injury to the shoulder.  However, I do love simple warp floats and the colors here just pop against one another.  I did do something new and leave the stripes inside the motif, and warp floats galore on the outside.  Just simple diamond's but good practice.  All in all I am pleased.

 It will be made into an envelope bag.  Here I did a test run of the folding.

The dbl wv is in bright white and charcoal gray...so far I have only done my signature heart as I have two commissions for pine needle baskets I had to get a start on.  No pics of those in the other thread as they will be as close to the first one that the lady saw as possible.  Boring, but money is money, I am glad for the work at all.

As for this weaving, I have 19 pattern threads (after creating border's that hide the weft well) and am trying to decide on whether to do something of my own in motif or maybe some Bedouin motif's from Laverne's charts.

Yesterday I got a wonderful couple of phone calls from Georgia.  I sent my socks that were a little too big for me to my friend Dana, you remember the two tone blue and teal ones done not long ago, and I sent her fella Steve a Pine needle basket.  Both were well appreciated and I feel good to have been able to do something nice for my friend's.

All in all a good day!


Friday, March 16, 2012

A little chit chat and update !

February 16, 2012

After several trips to the Emergency room I think I have now been properly diagnosed and I am on the mend.  I am back to 2 walks a day with my pup's and I am not in bed all day or in pain.  YAHHHHOOOOO!!!!!

Yesterday a friend took me to have breakfast at my sister's cafe and I gifted her the latest Pine needle basket.  Last week I gifted her a couple of weaving's I did for her while I was in Georgia.  One was the diamond Celtic knot work pattern I got from Laverne's blog.  My sister loved it and the basket, saying that my weaving  just keeps getting better.  Too bad I have no inspiration for it of late.  I did manage to complete the warp that was put on the backstrap back a day before I got hit by a car on November 7.  That warp is #3 maize yellow, #10 myrtle green and #10 royal blue.  I just did simple pick ups, and the band is 32 in. with fringe and 2 in. wide.  It will probably be made into an envelope bag as the colors are wonderful together.

But as usual, I digress.  After breakfast we ran a few errands and then went out to gather pine needles.  We went to the woods where I used to live to find that roads had been paved and you couldn't even tell where my mobile home used to sit.  Bummer.  As a result most of the pine needles we gathered were green and it was difficult going as I was in sandals and we had to tromp through the woods.  Another bummer, briars and it is so warm here that the snakes are definitely already out.  We didn't see any, but were very aware of our feet.

One of the most delightful moments of the day was when we found a piece of a Pine tree on the ground with its star like blooms still attached...what was surprising was that instead of the usual brown or gold color these were the most beautiful shades of purple and lavender.  They were stunning and breathtaking.  I can't believe I didn't think to take out my camera and get a shot of it.  If I can find a shot like it on the web I will post it.

Found one.  It says on the pic that this is a Slash pine bloom.

Won't let me copy the picture but here is the link.  Notice that purple/lavender.

Work has taken many changes and I have a job on a technicality that went in my favor after missing so much work.  

I did pick up some needle point for a couple of days, thinking it would be physically easier and less messy in my space, but alas, I am just not fiber inspired at this point I guess.  I think maybe there is a little burn out going on here due to the fact that I was totally submerged in it while in Georgia.  Loving every minute of it of course, but maybe I am just out of steam for a little while.  Weaving has always been my creative mainstay so I am sure it will return at some point.

Meanwhile, I am the pine needle Queen!  I started another basket day before yesterday, and didn't like the results so I took it apart and then got sidetracked without trip to the woods.  I spent the rest of the day organizing and removing the tops of the pine needle sheaths.  I like to get them all ready before I start the assembling of the basket.

So for today, the plan is to start the basket over and watch a little tube while hanging out with my pup's.  Lacy is getting so old and she hasn't been feeling well of late.  Wiggles on the other hand keeps me pretty busy lol.  

That reminds me, it is time for a puppy hug...



Steve and Dana received their pkg.  A Pine basket for him and hand knitted socks for Dana.  Both were well received and I am so proud to think of them using these pieces on a daily basis.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Closed coiling on Pine Needle basket.

January 23, 2011

I have decided to make myself a basket for my Pine needle coiling tools.  It will be on the large side, made with both FL and GA pine needles.  I have a very nice Pine slice for the center and I am experimenting with various threads.  

I am going to attempt to make holes along the top rim for sliding my scissors, pliers and such into.  I am thinking of making a small pin cushion and mounting it onto the basket somehow also.  This basket will be larger than my previous creations and I think it should have a lid/top and handle.  

So far I have tried polished hemp in deep dark brown, hated it, drags too much to make traditional stitches no matter what I slick it up with.  I have tried paraffin, soy wax and even thread heaven, NOTHING MAKES IT WORKABLE.  :-(  I did accomplish some wrapping with it, but I have no desire to try to work with it again  with Pine needle work, so this would be the only spot of it...not much for help for the design factor, so I will probably redo this basket start...again...already done it several times.  I also discovered that the wrapping, since it completely covers the 'core'(i.e. pine needles) takes much more time than the already time consuming stitching....bummer.  I also like being able to see the pine needles...so I switched to the v stitch in my faithful #10 double threaded Russett (while I love the color I am a bit tired of it since I have been using it so much, bummer again).  Then I went back to the coiling in #3 Copper Mist. 

My thoughts were, dark brown, medium brown, light brown.  Not looking like it did in my head and I can't make up my mind if I even like it.  Notice that the anchor stitch of the copper mist wrapping, goes down into the Russet...don't like that at all.

I am posting a picture, but it may vanish after today.  I put it aside for a couple of days and I don't like it any better today than I did when I put it down.

Feb 16, 2012 update!

Took this apart and re-worked the entire thing.  It turned out beautiful, but I have gifted it to my baby sister and not only did I forget to take pictures, I forgot to sign the back :-( !  But she loved it and I have started another.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inspiring friend.

March 10, 2012

As all of you know I follow a blog called "Backstrap Weaving", by Laverne Waddington.  Her last post was about teachers and it got me to thinking...about my teachers.

Although Laverne is one of them, I have another who lives closer to my heart and her name is KraftyMax.  I was a nail tech for years and Max was one of my very faithful clients.  We have been friend's ever since. There came a time when she asked me to be in her wedding, of course I said yes and that has been many years ago.  I have know her since before marriage and children and still find her to be an incredible artist and influence in not only my art, but my day to day life as well.

She is such a generous spirit.  One day, after taking a bad fall off the top of my dump truck (in another life I operated heavy equipment) and being out of work for over a year Max said to me "Look what my mom sent me!"  It was  Mirrix loom and Christmas was fast approaching, and I had noooooo money.  Since Max does bead work, bead work is what I started out doing.  Weaving beads as a matter of fact.  One day I tried yarn instead of beads...and I have never looked back.  I actually never wove beads again either, lol.  She has helped enable all of my arts to be honest.  Everything from cross stitch to sock knitting.

When that loom had to be returned I decided to build myself one, thinking, and not knowing any better, that any loom should do any weave structure.  Whatever, I didn't even know what a weave structure was at the time.  But build one I did!  A Navajo loom, with enough time and reading (Thank heaven for the internet, cause we don't see much info about weaving here in St. Aug., FL) I also made modifications.  Bought and refinished a piano stool to sit up to my loom on, had friends gift me things like spindle's and Navajo hand carved fork's.  And yarn, forget about it, I had, and still have tons to choose from Thanks to the same folks.  I was being enabled all over the place.  lol

Yep, it is friend's like Max who make the world go 'round.  I don't know what I would do without her and I hope that I contribute to her life in some small way also.

There are many others who have taught me and inspired me along the way, but Max was the first.  I love you Max, I hope I remember to say it often enough.  

Here you can see a piece of her beautiful hand bead woven work.  She only does one of a kind pieces that she designs herself and beads them herself.  I love these little neck purse's!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Steve's basket and some new books.

January 18, 2012

Started a new basket 2 days ago.  This one will be for my friend Dana's fella, a place for him to empty out his pockets when he comes home at night.

His favorite color is green and I used a Poplar center.  Here is what I have so far.

I have the best, most supportive friend's in the world.  Last week I got pine straw in the mail from Georgia, this week I got two basket weaving books from Max in Jacksonville.  I love you guys.

Both books are very informative.  The one on the right is superb for letting me know what to harvest from my surroundings to continue my basket experimenting.

I also went out and cut my first bamboo for playing around with.  I had no idea it would be so tough while so thin and tiny.  I also had no idea it would be yellow.

So now I have Georgia Long leaf pine needles, Florida pine needles, split leaf philodendron sheath harvested from the yard, sliced pine and poplar buttons for starter points, bamboo (don't you just love the little knobs!) and palm frond.  I am on the look out for Muly grass (aka Sweet grass ).  Look out boys and girls!  Here she comes.