Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I've been in Colorado, for a class at Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins. There are always interesting things to see and do when traveling, and most classes provide me with food for thought, not to mention outright inspiration, for some aspect of my work. Little do people know how much they inspire me, and the work that I do, and how much I value their comments, sometimes made in quite an offhand manner.

This class was on peyote stitch, bead weaving, cardweaving and wirework. It's a bit of a stretch to cram all these subjects into two days, and people are usually tired (and sometimes cranky!) at the close of each day. The classes are not project oriented, but rather process oriented: the samples each person takes home are mere whispers of the possibilities of each technique.

The techniques are all part of the repertoire of tricks that I have used to make some of the bags:

celtic carpet bag in sun

This is Celtic Carpet Bag, beadwoven with cardwoven bands, 1997.

I spent many years doing a lot of beadweaving. It must have satisfied some small OCD tendencies in my nature. Learning the technique, Maggie Casey had an insight into why I am so happy to be doing knotted pile: it's easier than beadweaving! It *is* some of the same process: graphed patterns, knot by knot vs. bead by bead, and building a fabric out of small components. Knotted pile *does* go faster, and I can dye any color yarn I want, vs. having to use *what beads I can find*. Mind you, hunting for beads is never an onerous task, and I am still lured, beyond reasonable need, into buying more beads. But I do like to use *my* colors, and dyeing helps me create what I want.

I like to say that anything with a hole in it is a bead, and Debbie took that to heart: she brought an angel cake on Sunday, saying it was just a Big Bead! I wish I'd gotten a photo, but by the time I thought of it, it was no longer just a hole, so to speak, as there was a large chunk missing. But yum! Few beads taste as good. Katrina brought brownies too: I blame them both for my dietary lapse. (Thanks!)

It is always nice to see old friends and meet new ones. It's part of the pleasure of traveling: to find the people whom I consider friends, even though we might see each other only once or twice a year. Cathy came by for a brief visit, and on her birthday, no less. She brought her crocheted shawls to show me, and while they look fabulous in the photos on her blog, they are even better in hand. Pictures can only tell us part of the story. The wools, alpaca and cashmere she has used are so soft, the shawls are like a warm cloud. Cathy brought me some of the merino she spins, so I might someday have something just as delicious. Might.

Which brings us to momentum. It takes me a while to recover whenever I travel. I come home with notes and ideas, but also ennui. I have the best of intentions: I wake up with plans. But I can't get back into the rhythm of working, sometimes for several days. I do laundry, clean up the kitchen,and (gasp!) dust. I *want* to get to the store and replenish the larder, but I must need some kind of decompression time. I might have even left something active on the loom, or on the needles, but it takes more time than it should for me to get back to it.

I think it is airplane-related. Whirling through the sky at altitudes and speeds we were never meant to travel, it takes a while for *me* to catch up with my body. So, I will have a few down days.

I need to take digital shots of the bags in the series I worked on for so many years. I have slides of most of them, but slides are going the way of the Dodo. At several conferences recently, slide projectors were hard to come by, but PowerPoint® was available. So, kicking and screaming, I will be dragged into this century.

The end blog result, though, is that I will post a few photos from the bag series, while I wait for the momentum to pick back up.


Blogger ifthisistuesday.wordpress.com said...

Iknow what you mean about momentum; I'm still decompressing from my own recent trip. It just takes awhile to get everything back into gear.


5:18 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

Yeah! Bag series pictures! Wonderful idea.

7:19 PM  
Blogger cindy said...

Your beaded bag is just so wonderful!!!May you get back to your work soon so we can enjoy more of your work.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Downtime after travel is something I have learned to build in to my plans (interestingly, most of my travel is by car but I get the same effect you describe). I think the most effective tool for me to fight that ennui is to have a deadline which allows me downtime for just a few days, then forces me into action after that.

I'm brand new to your blog and enjoying it a lot!

7:19 AM  
Blogger Jean - Scottish Lamb said...

Your work leaves me speechless. Absolutely beautiful!

7:26 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

I'm SO glad you and Cathy got hooked up. And now I get to live vicariously through her visits with you as well as your blog! Cool.

4:47 PM  

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