The Weaver's Dance

On a loom that whispers, with shuttles that fly
And bobbins that chatter as the hours go by
I'll not lay in one thread of mere chance
As I work in the motion of the weaver's dance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Here's a Mystery!

I have always thought that I was weaving, for YEARS, on my old Structo Artcraft Loom because of this metal plaque which is affixed to the front of the castle....Now, I've been inspired to look into the background and history of my sweet old friend and have found out that it might not BE a Structo at all!!!!!  I'm in a discussion on Weavolution and could not get this photo to come up there, so I'm putting it here for viewing.

Let's see what transpires....I'm not getting upset....really I'm not....discovery is truly being alive, so I'll just live every moment of it!  Many thanks to the people who are helping me in my search!  I'm sending my thanks and Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Texas Adventures"

YEP!  That's the name of this great event in Texas.  My husband, Jim, and I go to it every year.  It's a wonderful show.  Going there is like visiting good old friends and having 3 days to catch is a great joy!  It's well run, well attended and totally delightful.  If you put the name in your search engine, it will forgive my 2 "l"s in llama, and take you there anyway (I just can't stop that second "l"'s all I have ever known as the way to spell it!).

There's just one little problem....not with the show, that's GREAT....what else can I say...I'm allergic to Texas.  I always come back home sick or very sick and, as last year, I am recovering now.  I am grateful that, this year, I kept my voice.

I do recommend going to K-N-E, as a vendor, as a student, as a teacher or as a shopper!  It's well worth the drive to Boerne, Texas, Hyw 46 at the Kendell County Fairgrounds.  Keep watching that site for cues as to when to sign up for something!

Every now and then, I go as a vendor to Kid-N-Ewe and I did this year.  Most years I go just as a helper to my husband, Jim Hokett of Hokett Would Work.  This show is very, VERY good for him and everyone there just looooooooooooves him and the beautiful things he makes.

But, as can be seen in the photo above, I thought it might be fun to go as a vendor, but not take my yardage, so I could be more helpful to Jim in his booth set-up. Things went well and my little half-booth looks pretty good....I used only the front part of the booth so Jim could display his newest production line in the back part with an entrance in there from his booth.  Look at that gooooooorgeous line of saddle stands above!  The right-most was a delivery of an order, but he made many of them!  We didn't know if they would sell at a fiber event that focuses on llamas and sheep, but it was worth a try!

It worked purrrrrrrrrrfectly and I'm so proud of how what I saw in my head actually fit!  I sold some Raggy Cat Pin Cushions, quite a few This-N-Thats, a stole and a blanket, which is MY new line item!  I have wanted to weave blankets and have a line of them for years, and now they have begun!!!!!  My dream was to weave blankets using wool from the wool mill that was located here when me moved here, but that just didn't work out, so that dream when south.  But, now my dream is alive again!

Here is my first blanket....or should I say was, because it sold.  I plan to make another, similar, but never the same.

I thought of the colors of winter here, of snow, of the trees limbs contrasted against the snow, of stones, even of the spent leaves we all tread upon.

Here's the next blanket I wove.  Such fun, what a work-out.  All these will be made on Doris of about her under "With a little help from my friends...." on this blog.

This blanket caused quite a stir, but did not sell yet.  It's the 16-Harness Twill I wrote myself called "Cat's Garden" and I wove the first color, then blended that with the second color, then wove the second color pure, then blended it with the third color and so on.  Lots of work, sometimes 3 shuttles going, complete and total fun.

Yes, that's what I've been calling it in my head, this journey of learning how to "put myself out there" as my friend, Rachel says.  I have been fortunate enough to have someone come into my life and I have found myself repeatedly wondering if she is really an angel.

Angel is just what she is to me, but also, I know that her feet are firmly planted on the ground.  Our friendship grew gently but quickly as though our souls recognized each other.  She is so rare, personifies pure love and is so treasured in my heart.

Rachel and I used to collaborate on creating garments together....I would weave the fabric and give it to her, not knowing what might result.  That fabric would "live" in Rachel's fabulous Moonbeam Studio until it "spoke to her and told her what it wanted to be". Then she would go to work and make wearable art so unique, so inspiring, so incredible.  I felt so proud to be a part of the process.

I have always said that the definition of an artist is someone who overhears the conversations between the heart and soul and is wise enough to just be still an listen....this is inspired by my sweet Rachel. She is fearless, adventurous, totally open to whatever comes to her.  By example, she has inspired me, too, and, early on, had a profound effect on me.  When I taught at the then-named Southwest Craft Center in San Antonio, TX, I often described myself as a 'technician in a sea of artists'. Rachel was instrumental  in me seeing that I am an artist with good technical skills in my field...I gained confidence in myself to believe in what I was hearing in those deeply felt conversations that I had been hearing from age three!

Well, during Rachel's visit this past August I was, needless to say "in heaven" to have her for 2 weeks.  But, more was going on and, after she left, I found myself determined to meet 3 deadlines that I would have thought impossible just a few short weeks earlier...yes, she is so inspiring.

FASA~Fiber Artist of San Antonio....I used to be a member of this delightful group of some of the most sophisticated fiber artists that this country has EVER had! Put those words in your search engine for only the smallest of views of what this group is about.  The FASA Annual Exhibit is one of the Texas shows that Rachel recommended I enter.  She saw a This-N-That in progress on Deedle and said "You should enter something like THAT in the Annual Exhibit! I was surprised to learn that they accept yardage at a fiber art exhibit and thrilled at the chance. I wove a piece especially FOR that exhibit, called it "A West Texas Dawn". Needless to say, this work came off of Deedle and is part of my Desert Daze Series 6.

Rachel took this photo of it because they actually accepted it!  I was sooooooooooo thrilled, I was on Cloud 9 for days!

Here is the other piece I decided to submit because I thought it was SO different from the Desert Daze that I hoped that at least one of them might be accepted.  But they took them BOTH ...okay, Cloud 18 here....I was completely shocked that both were accepted and showed me that they were considered each on it's own merit.

This one is "Blocks and Boxes" and comes off of Stanley.  The texture is so wonderful on this fabric and the black Cotton, silver Lurex and white Rayon Chenille played well off of each other.

Even when she is taking a photo, Rachel makes it "artsy"...look at that moon and the reflections.

Thank you so much Rachel for bringing this into my life.

TMFA~Texas Museum of Fiber Arts....without Rachel's counsel, I would never have known about this!  Get this wonderful title...."Texas By The Yard and Yarn"!  This is another show that Rachel encouraged me to submit pieces.  The one at right, "West Texas Dusk" was accepted and hung (no onsite photo) and has only recently come down.

This fabric came off of Margaret and was in progress (about 6") when Rachel was visiting in August.  She loved it and that's when I heard about Texas by the Yard......"You've just got to put that in THERE," she said.

I forget the actual measurements, but I wove over 4 yards to get a good amount, washed it, completely hemmed up BOTH selvedges, hemmed the bottom, make a self-casement at the top and hand sewed in a hanger.

TFFA~Texas Federation of Fiber Arts.....I also entered this show at Rachel's encouragement and 2 days ago, she and I learned that our pieces will be included in "FIBERWERKS 2012" at the Hill Country Arts Foundation, 120 Point Theatre Road South in Ingram, Texas.  I don't think it would be proper to show my piece here, because this show will not be up until February 4th through the 25th of 2012!

This FIBERWERKS Exhibition will be on display at the same time as the state-wide Texas Federation of Fiber Artists Conference in Kerrville, Texas.

Well, there's my Texas story.....and I'm stickin' to it!  As I am getting stronger, of course I'm thinking of all the things I want to be weaving.  I am going to participate in the Village of Magdalena Studio Tour on December 3rd and 4th, and I haven't even unloaded my things out of the trailer....okay, even in my weakened state I can still MAKE MYSELF REST, count all my blessings and send out happy thoughts, good wishes and, of course,
Miles and Miles of Smiles,  Cat B.