art, collage, Coronavirus Chronicles, tapestry, weaving

Afternoon in the studio

^Detail, “Cathedral”

I have managed to get started in the studio again – there’s nothing that I am over excited about happening BUT I have actually started weaving on Cathedral again and glued some stuff down for collage and doodled a pretty good page during a long Zoom meeting.

As far as Cathedral goes, I finally worked out why I couldn’t weave it for so long. The tension is terrible…so uneven and I tried warping and rewarping this sucker for a solid month before I finally said fuck it and started weaving it anyway. So, after all this time and work I became terrified because it is definitely going to have puckers and and crazy tension problems when it comes off the loom, and I just couldn’t bear to think about it. I was already suffering from severe depression and that just added to the pain.

But all that work and time is wasted if I DON’T finish weaving it, and once I get it off the loom I can warp it with a much shorter warp (at the time I was warping for multiple tapestries – big mistake) and begin another weaving. Now the plan is to be less persnickety about the details and get it to a place that is even on the top and finish it as a smaller tapestry.

^Lighting makes a big difference in how we perceive color. I chose the cool lighting on the left.

Today we are getting some remnants of Hurricane Laura moving through but it’s not bad at all. Sandy and I have decided to go to Haw River State Park tomorrow for our adventure since the weather report is a bit better and I don’t want to stop the studio energy.

I do need to remember to take frequent breaks for my back and neck and shoulders. Yesterday my massage therapy studio emailed to say that they will be re-opening soon for existing customers and I hope that my therapist will continue to work there. I have been seeing her for about four years almost every month until after January. I canceled my February appointment due to bad allergies and at the time we didn’t know that they would be shut down so long.

The good thing about working from home most of the time is that my physical problems are much much better, which leads me to believe that I don’t get up and move enough when I am in my office. Here I can take my laptop to the porch, or to the sofa, or to the bedroom, or answer email on my phone. I get up and play with the cats, take breaks lying down if my back or neck hurts. Teleworking has been good for me.

Not doing too well mentally, though. I brood a lot in my bedroom, play games to numb my brain. Read a little. I can’t watch TV or videos for long – I wish I knew why. It would help to have that distraction and to be able to focus on online workshops.

Okay, break over. Back to Cathedral. I am accepting that it won’t be getting into any shows for technical skill, but it is worth finishing, puckers and all. Who knows, maybe I will be surprised.

Coronavirus Chronicles, tapestry

Zoom Thursday

Like everybody else confined to home, I am having a tough time remembering what day of the week it is. I know today is Thursday because I have a Zoom invite to a meeting with my co-workers.

Work emails that I have been accidentally copied on show me how dysfunctional certain other departments are. Our department rocks.

Anyway, while I wait for the Zoom meeting to begin, here’s what I’ve been doing: a whole lot of nothin’. I did send a photo of my caterpillar tapestry to ATA for the (now) online small-format tapestry exhibition Renditions, at the last minute because I can’t remember much of anything these days unless I have it on a to-do list. I have some collages calling my name, but I haven’t managed to get up the motivation.

Budget cuts at work are gonna be brutal. Having to wait for other departments to make decisions until I can do what I need to do is excruciating to me. I’m not a procrastinator when it comes to work – I like to do my part and get it over with.

A lot of departments also like for me to do their part.

Sleep has eluded me for the past two nights. Neck pain has increased since I haven’t had massage therapy since February and the ergonomics of my home office space suck. Right now I am sitting against pillows in bed on my laptop. I have a fabric pack with rice that I microwave that works well for a heat pack, and I have a lot of acetaminophen and ibuprofen on hand. I’m trying to lay off the xanax as much as possible.

I am not feeling panic. I felt panic after Trump was elected. Then we began mentally preparing for chaos. I just didn’t anticipate it taking this form. If one of us gets sick in the next few weeks, I might feel panic. So we are staying home.

We have decided to stop going out for take-out food and supplies, even for curbside pick-up. I ordered a few more things from our local Costco delivery as opposed to Costco online. We’ll see how that goes. I ordered more of the cat food that only Petsmart carries that the boys like, although they have started, very grudgingly, eating the prescription cat food from Chewy that I ordered several months ago. I put a little of it on one side of the bowl and if they are still hungry after eating the food that they like, they now eat it instead of leaving it in the bowl. Pablocito begs for dry food as a treat! I have to give it to him when Diego is asleep.

Later today I will place an order to Deep Roots Market for fresh food. They started a bike delivery service and they made the news!

I realize that the people who pull the items and make the deliveries still put us at risk by them touching them, but we’re doing what we can.

I will have to take Diego to the vet for a follow-up on his stitches next Tuesday though. I hope that they are following social distancing better than they were the day of his surgery.

Okay, enough noodling around on the blog. Time to get back to work.

tapestry

Super Tuesday and a caterpillar

I started hemming the caterpillar tapestry on Sunday and noticed that it wasn’t laying flat and was ready to steam and block it when it occurred to me that it didn’t need to be and should not be flat and rectangular! I am so used to working in 2-D and in rectangular shapes that I had not considered otherwise. It does need to hang for this show (the non-juried small tapestry show at Convergence this summer) in a particular way, so I am stuffing it lightly in the middle and leaving it flat on each end. When I get it back I may take off the backing and stuff it more.

Spring break means that it is very quiet at work, giving my nerves a big break in spite of our offices still being open. I got outside for a little while yesterday and did a bit of yard clean-up. We still need to get some outside help with all the wood in the yard. I had hired our next-door neighbor to help and he volunteered to split wood. Said he loved doing it, then he smashed his finger and broke it. Somehow I need to deal with all this wood. Now I wish that I had let the tree guy take it all away. I was doing him a favor and instead he left it in chunks too big for us to handle…he turned out to be a real jerk. Corey split enough for us to use all winter and it burns very well in our wood stove. I am going to text the guy who dug my garden bed and hugelkultur bed and see if he wants it.

I panicked a bit this weekend when I heard that my friend’s husband is in critical condition with coronavirus. Her mother had pneumonia and was at a nursing home facility recovering, then her husband had pneumonia a few days later. Then he was tested and the whole thing was hitting the news and on Monday the Washington Post reported that one of the two people in critical condition had died. When it affects someone you know and love, shit suddenly gets real. I’ve tried not to pester her with texts but we are still playing Words with Friends and I’ve checked her daughter’s Facebook page and so he must not be any worse.

I realize that it is not nearly as important in the larger scheme of the world, but I can’t help but worry about how the pandemic will affect my Ireland trip, which is less than four months away. I bought travel insurance for the flight but not the art retreat, which was very expensive and I had to pay it in cash from my savings. So I don’t even have it on my credit card. It’s paid for, but what happens if I can’t get there and she doesn’t cancel it? I had it in my head that I had covered it with the travel insurance for the flight, but I didn’t. I’m waiting for my insurance agent to call me back with information. Oh, me.

We went to Oden Brewing last night and played rummy and then bingo. We have become such an old couple! It’s been nice to have it so close by. They are going to host an Irish music jam twice a month. Now if they would just brew another malty stout or porter that isn’t high alcohol, it would be perfect.

If you haven’t voted yet, please do so! Every vote does count, no matter what you’ve heard. Even if your candidate has dropped out, the numbers say something about how you would like for our government to work. And be nice to people who aren’t voting the way you are. Everybody is sick of the sniping.

coffee pot posts, tapestry, Tapestry Weavers South, weaving

Sunday Morning Coffee Pot Post

Wow. So much to write about. Guess I will do a bit of catch-up. I already wrote quite a bit on my personal Facebook page this morning and realized I should have been writing here.

I am on my phone on the front porch, where the weather is perfect. There are some clothes strung up on a line across one corner. Hopefully Diego won’t tear it down today like he did last night. I have started trying to reduce my dryer loads, and there isn’t a good place in the back yard to string a clothesline, but I am going to see if I can make one.

The Tapestry Weavers South retreat was wonderful, and it renewed my excitement in weaving again. The people in this group are such a pleasure to be around. I changed my mind at the last minute when a space came open in Connie Lippert’s wedge weave workshop and I am so glad that I did. Leslie Fesperman, the owner of the Yadkin Valley Fiber Center lent me a Schacht school loom and warp, since I did not come prepared. Leslie and Connie are AWESOME.

I ended up with a piece that I love, called “Mr. Blue Sky.” At first I was riffing off a blue jay feather that I have been using for inspiration in Jude Hill’s classes, and “Mr. Blue Sky” took over my head. I decided to let this earworm guide me. Now I have decided to do a series of work based on the earworms that, quite frankly, plague me terribly sometimes. Turning a problem into a plus.

After finishing “Mr. Blue Sky” at home, I have some warp leftover for a companion piece so I thought I would weave “Bad Moon on the Rise,” a frequent earworm for me. However it is the nature of earworms not to cooperate, so as I wove it changed to “Blackbird,” then “Moondance.” We’ll see. The earworms can influence, but once I get to a certain point they will have to step back.

Since the trip I was stung by a yellowjacket on the bottom of my foot and that misery lasted a week. Work has been busy. Butterbeans have been picked, shelled, blanched, and frozen.

I got to see BERNIE at the Greensboro Climate Strike event! I don’t talk a lot of politics here but I have wanted Bernie for president since before he ever decided to run the first time. This was a real thrill for me.

And then there is the Greensboro chapter of the Tiny Pricks Project. That will have to be another post, another time.

art, cloth weaving, fiber art, New Mexico, tapestry, weaving

Saturday: Chimayo

On Saturday morning we headed back to Chimayo. I wanted to visit Centinela Traditional Arts, the home gallery and studio of the tapestry artists Lisa and Irvin Trujillo. I had seen Irvin’s work at the Denver Art Museum and while we were there, Lisa was weaving on a floor loom and her daughter spoke to a Road Scholars group about the history of tapestry and blanket weaving in the area. The heavenly scent of freshly washed and dyed wool wafted through the building. I miss that. I bought a couple of small purses.

We had lunch at Rancho de Chimayo again, mainly because Sandy had left his credit card there, but also because we really liked it the first time! Those sopaipillas with honey, mmmm.

Then we went to the famous Sanctuario de Chimayo down the road. This church is known for being built on ground that has healing powers. The chapel has a small pit that pilgrims take dirt from and rub it on their afflicted areas and pray. There is a room with a rack of crutches that people left behind just outside the room with the pit. I’m not a Christian, but I figured since I was there it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. So I followed the lead of the person in front of me and rubbed the dirt on my hands, but I had to decide what to pray for. I decided that while I have several physical problems, if I could heal my depression, I could deal with the other stuff. So I asked the Holy Spirit to heal my spirit. So far it seems to have worked!

We stopped by Ortega’s Weaving shop on the way back to Truchas but it was nice but a bit too commercial for me. There were plenty of galleries open on the High Road on Saturday, so we headed back to Truchas.