Archive for the ‘works in progress’ Tag

Shifting Tiles

Previously, on this blog, the La Sierra Yarn Mural was under construction. It was installed on April 1 at the La Sierra Community Center, 5215 La Sierra Ave, Riverside CA.

laSierraComCtr2

It will be on display until May 18.

LaSierraYarnMural1-72

 

On Tuesday, the 2nd of April I realized that my next deadlines until May and July (more about those later). Then I realized that it was a good time to do the reorganization I’ve been needing to do in My daughter’s old bedroom and my two studio rooms. We have three 80″ Billy bookcases filled with her books in there. I have gotten tired of having all of my books and magazines on shelves above the windows in my studio; and lately I’ve been wanting to get all  that material down where I can reach it from standing on the floor. I’ve also been wanting to start getting all of my magazines digitally, and to stop collecting all of that paper. But that may be a topic for another day.

A few months ago I ordered 5 archival, acid free boxes for Samantha’s books. So, last week I began boxing up the books. Of course, if I was going to store 5 boxes of books in the backyard shed, I needed to rearrange a few things out there to make room. Which I did, and managed to get the 5 boxes up into the loft in the shed.

At the same time, YBLA has had a slight storage crisis. Since Yarnbombing 18th became Yarnbombing Los Angeles, we have been meeting, working, and storing all our stuff in Arzu’s 18th Street studio. Arzu moved on from YBLA in January, she needed her studio space back,  and we needed to get the stuff moved. Through the course of events, this week became our deadline for moving all the stuff and finding new places to stash it. Carol took a bunch of the stuff to her grad-student studio, and I promised to take the plastic bins of extra granny squares. We went to haul stuff on Saturday, and it turns out there were 10 bins of grannies, and two more boxes of knitted pieces.

My house is like one of those little plastic puzzles we used to have as children, the ones with the little square tiles inside a frame, with one missing. The challenge was to shift the tiles right, left, up, and down into the one empty space until you got them in the right order and a picture was formed. If I was going to fit 12 more bins of  YBLA stuff into the frame, then I had to get Sammy’s books out of the “guest room.” I had my two card tables in Studio B (my son’s old room) where I had parked a bunch of books, magazines, stuff until I could move it. I have gotten most of my books and magazines into the guest room. Five boxes held 1 1/2 of the bookcases worth of books. I ordered more, and am waiting for them.

IMG_3357

I moved all of my bags of yarn to the shelves above the windows where to books used to be, so that only soft, lightweight stuff is up there. I folded up my card tables, and put up one of my folding work tables in their place, on the risers so that it can be work space. I was able to put all of my collection of trash art supplies under that table, finally clearing out the middle of the floor of Studio B. My photographic area is now accessible again.

IMG_3359

MoveDonationsBUT, none of this got me the space to store the YBLA bins. While I was organizing my personal stash of trash, I broke down all the empty boxes I wanted to keep. I keep and reuse boxes – you’re not surprised, right? This gave me the idea of breaking down all the empty boxes in the shed.

This gave me the space to shift YBLA’s leftover yarn that was in the closet in Studio B.

ToTheShed

 

 

 

 

 

 

EmptySpace

So, off to Santa Monica I went to get the bins of grannies.

binscar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bins in car

And viola!

bins in closet

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, I haven’t shown the current condition of the guest room. A few things from Studio B are currently in there (The 6′ store mannikin and the photographic lights, and – oh yeah – two big bins of thrift store sweaters), and the kids are coming home this weekend. But, its only Tuesday. . .

Into Spring

I’ve already discussed what an unreliable blogger I am, right? so,’nough said?

here is how my Fun a Day project turned out. I ended up with 27 flowers. It was actually, really lots of fun. It did jump-start my creative work for the new year.

My Fun a Day flowers.

My Fun a Day flowers.

The other benefits were the connections: I met some wonderful new people, and reconnected with some old friends.

IMG_3230

The opening was over two nights, February 28 & March 1.

My next fun project was a car cozy for my minivan. This was for the Santa Clarita Art Slam on the evening of March 6th.

IMG_3241

The next two projects to come up, and what I’m currently involved in, are public art projects with yarn. David Orozco, of Yarnbombing Los Angeles, and I created a large yarn mural for Riverside Art Make.

IMG_3255

The project kicked off on March 8th with a community workshop at Raincross Yarn in Riverside. The assembled group began dismantling thrift store sweaters while Ana drew a cartoon of the hills above the La Sierra neighborhood. At the second workshop on March 16, we assembled the background of the landscape.

IMG_3267

Our last workshop was March 23 at Riverside Art Museum, where we added orange trees and other details to the mural.

 

RAM_3-24_WKSHPThe mural is scheduled to be installed on March 31.

 

 

On March 22, Yarnbombing Los Angeles launched our latest project at Manhattan Beach Creative Art Center. We will be doing a yarnbombing of many trees around the center along with a community tapestry and an exhibition of other yarn artworks in the gallery.

Our next two community workshops will be April 26, and May 3, both at 1-4 pm. We will also be working on the yarnbombing and the tapestry at our regular stitching sessions on the 3rd Saturday of the month at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

flyer

Helen and Tiffany working on the community tapestry.

Helen and Tiffany working on the community tapestry.

MBTapestryPano

A community tapestry woven into a beach volleyball net.

MB_YB3girls

Charlotte, Jane and Judy working on tree wrappers for the yarnbombing.

 

Thirteen Through Seventeen

it’s kinda funny to see those numbers spelled out like that isn’t it? Do you know why?

It’s because, in writing, one is only supposed to spell out numbers from one to ten. Any number higher than ten should be written in numerals. In a text, one would write 13 – 17.

flowers 13-17

flowers 13-17

And here they are: flowers 13 – 17. I got a little bit ahead last weekend when I made six flowers. But a couple of those were heavy denim from some jeans, and I made my right hand sore. So on Sunday I rested.

We had a Fun a Day meeting in the space where the exhibit will be held on Friday, February 28, and Saturday, March 1. It will be a pop-up show with opening receptions both nights. The tentative time will be 7-10 pm both nights, but that is not set in stone yet, so watch for announcements.

Here’s a note: anyone who still wants to can join in. You don’t have to have made 31 of anything; you don’t have to have worked on your project for any set amount of time. There really are no rules. It is meant to be fun; it is meant to be a jump-start to your creativity for the new year. the official descriptions talk about how Fun a Day is meant to be a fun way to be creative during the coldest, dreariest month of the winter. . . It’s really hard to say that with a straight face; and this is the time of the year when we really mustn’t gloat about the weather.

However, it may be pretty grim in parts of the Southland this evening. Some boys went and started a fire in Glendora, it’s being called the Colby Fire. For any of our non-California readers, it’s been windy, dry and hot the past few days. We were under Red Flag Warnings, which means extremely high fire danger. The fire grew very quickly, some homes have been lost, lots of people evacuated.

I went up to the Topanga library yesterday morning, and I could see the smoke in the basin, over the top of the hills. The way the air currents flow from the inland to the ocean, the wind carries the smoke into the LA basin. I remember in ’03, when I was working on the Envisioning the Future project out in Pomona, and they had some awful fires in San Bernardino and Riverside. I could smell the smoke in Mar Vista – something like 60 miles away.

oddly, the valley was crystal clear today – I mean crystal. warning: this next part may contain some cattyness. But, shhh, don’t tell. We must let the people over the hill keep their illusions of the valley. (dont’ tell them how much you paid for your house, either.)

Fun A Day Reseda

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I’m doing Fun-a-Day, Reseda as a new project for the new year. Fun-a-Day is a project that started on the East Coast a few years ago as a fun, creative, exercise for the coldest, dreariest month of the year. Chloe Cumbow, a recent refugee from there, brought Fun-a-Day to Reseda this year.

The idea is to pick a creative project – it can be visual art, writing words or music, cooking, dance, collecting something special, anything – and do it everyday in January. Then there will be a show/exhibition/presentation at the end of February. IMG_2938

there were some meetings in November and December. I’m not sure, but I think someone could still join in if they wanted to. FAD has gotten an agreement to use a space for the exhibition, and the next meeting will be this coming Thursday, the 16th at 6:15 pm; at 7143 Baird Street in Reseda. They advise to bring a chair if you don’t want to sit on the floor.

I decided to do something fiberous, of course. And crochet, because all I want to do lately is to crochet. In December I went out to Riverside to see my son and his girlfriend, Jessica. Jessica has recently learned to crochet, and she wanted a pattern for a flower. I took my copy of 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet. IMG_2950We picked out this lovely coiled rose, and it became my motif for Fun-a-Day.

I decided to use up a bunch of old clothes i have had sitting around with the intentions of cutting them up someday. Knowing Irv and I were going to be gone the first 8 days of January, I started early. I had 8 flowers done by the time we left for our cruise on Dec. 29.

We got home this last Wednesday, I went to the doctor Thursday. I came home from the Caribbean with a sinus infection. On Friday I realized I was already 2 flowers behind. I cut up a bunch of jeans and t-shirts. I made two flowers Friday evening and another five yesterday, including two from blue jeans.

The first 11 flowers.

The first 11 flowers.

Today I needed to rest my hand and I decided to document the process.

In the wee hours of the morning I had the thought, “what if I kept going after January; what if I made a flower a day for a year?”

no. 12

no. 12

Here are some process pictures.

A denim pant leg

A denim pant leg

IMG_3055

t-shirt sleeve

IMG_3056

Sweet Zoe sleeps in my studio

Hello 2014

yeah, I’m really bad about updating my blog.

Let’s see how quickly I can cover the past 8 months: the dog, Zoe, sweet Zoe, turned out to be a very fearful dog with fear-aggression issues. She barked and barked at anyone who came into the house. She barked and barked and barked at the kids when they came home for a visit. She barked and barked and barked and barked at the sounds of plumbers and painters at the houses across the street. The UPS driver doesn’t want to stop at our house any more.

Doesn't she look sweet.

Doesn’t she look sweet.

The upshot is that we spent lots of money on training, and now Zoe wears a citronella anti-bark collar all the time. She has learned to not bark all the time, which keeps her calmer. I can allow her in my studio rooms (the former kids’ bedrooms on the front of the house, facing the street), and she doesn’t bark, bark, bark at the windows. She can keep quite when visitors are in the house, she can even be in the same room. But she’s still very fearful, and won’t allow anyone to touch her. She won’t make friends with anyone. She went to the kennel when hubby and I went on a cruise over New Years, and she didn’t come out of her enclosure the entire time. She wouldn’t eat breakfast, only at dinnertime. Otherwise, she’s really sweet.

i finished the window shade fabric, and if I may say so myself, it looks great.IMG_2061

The shades aren’t completed yet, as we want them to be motorized, and finding the mechanisms has proven to be a complicated process. it was late in the year when i finished weaving the fabric, then I went on my Nicaragua trip (another story i will have to come back and tell someday soon), then it was the holidays, and now suddenly it is the second week of january.

Over the summer I became more involved with Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, the perpetrators of CAFAM Grannies Squared.

Next post, a new project for the new year: FunaDay Reseda

IMG_2938

Romans & Grannies & Dogs – Oh My!

Whoa, it’s been almost two months since I checked in here. From where I left off last time:

I got the 45″ wide warp for the window shade fabric on the loom – not without some glitches (of which I’m just going to stop reporting all the details; since I’m afraid I’m beginning to sound incompetent). I wove a  62″ sample and cut it off the loom to show the clients. Why 62,” you might ask? Why not weave a 12″ sample and not risk wasting that much of my materials? 62″ is long enough to be a shade if it wants to be, and it gives the clients a fuller picture of what the fabric will look like. It can be difficult for non-weavers & non-fiber-people to visualize something that doesn’t exist. I threaded the loom with a 3 yard leader warp. My warp is 8 yards, of which there will be very little waste at the back end. The project requires about 4 yards, finished, for the two 42″ wide shades. If I don’t use the first 62″ sample, I’ll still have plenty of warp; and the finished fabric should have plenty of extra for wiggle room. 

first sample

Anyway, the clients put the sample up in their living room and they love it. Now all I need to do is to dye another two pounds of the cotton flake weft yarn, and 2000 more yards of fabric strips.

Oh, and weave the remaining 6+ yards of 45″ wide fabric, then tie on the 36″ wide warp and weave 16 yards of fabric.

Piece of cake.

At the same time, I have been participating in Yarn Bombing Los Angeles’ Grannies Squared project to cover the Craft and Folk Art Museum with granny squares.

Definitely check it out on YBLA’s Facebook page.

At some point a couple of months ago, I was at one of the Stitch & Bitch session at the museum. Someone mentioned that they were looking for some kind of crochet-related pin to give to their 100 Club, the people who had crocheted 100 or more squares. The solution was obvious to me instantly, and the wire grannies were born. They only needed 50 of them.

IMG_1859

Wire grannies for the 100 Club.

I have made pins, necklaces, and I’m in the process of making earrings for the CAFAM gift shop.  My wire granny jewelry will be there late next week, along with other granny square themed merchandise, in time for the opening on Saturday, May 25th, at 7 pm. YBLA will be having a Photo Op across the street in the park at 5 pm. I will be there with the wire grannies for the 100+ granny contributors. 

AND. . . somewhere in between my last post and this one, I did something really stupid. I must have had a stroke or other mental defect, because we got a

IMG_1827 IMG_1849

stinky dog.

I’ve got to go crochet wire granny squares. Hopefully I’ll see you on Wilshire Boulevard, next Saturday.

Last Post of 2012

Wrapping up 2012. It was a good year. I had my work in some wonderful exhibitions; I was invited to apply to California Fibers, and joined that group; I curated an exhibition at Los Angeles International Airport; and I was selected to produce a coiled piece for the Wells Fargo Green Team Trophy.

Since my last blog post, I finished the second token for the Green Team Trophy. It will be going to the Los Angeles Virtual Team.

2ND_TokenE2ND_TokenA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have woven some samples for the window shade fabric. I will soon be meeting with C & A to look at them.

IMG_1568

IMG_1569

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just yesterday I shared a triangle loom weaving adventure with some friends from my local guild, the Southern  California Handweavers Guild. A little group of weavers came together at Michelle Gannes’ house to learn how to weave on triangle looms. I had been curious about triangle weaving, so I borrowed a loom and joined in. I came home with my triangle about half woven and finished it in the evening. And the result was, well . . .

triangle 2. . . slightly appalling.

I figure I’ll probably add some embellishment to cover that mess in the center, then crochet an edge which will help compensate for the failure at the bottom point. As I’m thinking about it, If I use a nice bright complimentary color for the edging, it will pull attention away from the technical difficulties. Then I’ll wear it in my studio when I need a little something to keep my shoulders warm, and never take it out of the house. It will be fine.

Looking forward to 2013: along with the window shade fabric, and never weaving on a triangle loom ever again, I’ll be doing at least two more tokens for the Green Team Trophy. I’m going to attend Stitches West in February in Santa Clara, CA.  I’ll need to step up work on my Designing Weavers annual project in order to get it done by March, April, or May. I also have workshops and classes scheduled on my teaching roster thru May.  Then there is the SDA conference in San Antonio in June.

What else? I’m sure I’ll find some other things to get into – I’ll let you know.

Out in the Valley

A couple weeks ago I mentioned three things I had underway: my Designing Weavers piece addressing opposites, preparations for my Exploring Twills workshop, and the samples for the window shades.
November 17 & 18 was the twill workshop out in the Central Valley of California, and it was a great time. First, I had good weather for the drive out to Exeter, CA. Second, the Handweavers of the Valley are a lively and fun group of weavers.

I stayed with Judy Trimble at her beautiful home in Porterville. Her children are grown and she lives alone. Judy’s house has a room with two looms in it, just as every house should have, don’t you think?

There were 15 in the workshop, all at different levels of experience, and I had a great time spending two days with them.

I haven’t been able to work on the window shade samples. The week after the workshop was Thanksgiving week, which included Irv’s and my 25th wedding anniversary.

I have made a little progress on my DW piece, but not much.  The truth is I have more than three projects going at any one time. The Wells Fargo Green Team Trophy is an ongoing project that I needed to get a coiled piece completed for. This project came about during my long hiatus from blogging. Here is my Green Team Trophy,

Stash of Trash

and here is the second token, which I’ll be shipping soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems there are always side projects. This is one of the eight harness twills from my workshop. It will be a scarf, and it will be a gift for our Chanukah party on December 8th. 

This loom is sitting on a folding table in my dining room, and there’s another one on the dining table. So I not only need to finish the scarf as a gift for the party, but I’ll also need to get the looms out of the dining room so people can sit down to eat. And there’s a Baby Wolf in the living room I’ll be wheeling into my daughter’s bedroom. One of these years I should just leave all of the looms out and have everyone take turns weaving on them during the party. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Without a Paddle

So, progress. I have gotten the warp for my window shade fabric samples on the loom, and have started weaving. The warp is made up of about 10 different white yarns in different combinations. The fabric will be white with accents of neutral tans, grey, and a touch of blue.

But before I got this far, I had an adventure winding the warp – well, not quite. I averted an adventure. I saw that I was headed down a dark and mysterious path, and I retreated to the safety of What-I’ve-Always-Done. Here’s what happened:

You see, years ago – many years ago I acquired a warping paddle. . .

There it is. it’s just lovely. I think it’s maple, it has a nice finish, beautifully beveled holes, it feels good in my hand. There is just one teeny, tiny thing wrong with this warping paddle.

I don’t know how to use it.

I thought I knew: put the different yarns through the holes, run the paddle back and forth around the pegs of the warping board, wind 12 ends at a time instead of one end at a time. Alrighty then. I wound small balls of my combined yarns. I found 12 different bowls, cans, and boxes for my different yarns (or multiple balls of the same yarn I was using more than once over the 12 end “repeat”). I stuck the 12 yarns through the 12 holes, I knotted them together, I looped them over the top peg.

Then I brought the 12 yarns, neatly separated in two rows of six, past the first peg of the cross – and I stopped. How to make the cross? How do I get the bottom yarns to go over the second cross peg, and the top ones to go under it, With only two hands?

I was using one hand to hold the knotted ends on the beginning peg, and the other one holding the paddle. The 12 yarns were hanging slackly, feeding from 12 boxes, bowls and cans on the floor at my feet. I seemed to be missing a hand I would need to also hold the yarns with the minimal tension needed to keep them from falling off of the warping board. And then where was I to put the paddle when I needed my hands to untangle the yarns when they tried to wrap around each other on the floor?

It was ridunculous (a more extreme form of ridiculous). Clearly I am missing some crucial piece of information.

My sample warp is only 96 ends. I just ran it one end at a time, the old-fashioned way, and got it on the loom.

It has been a while since I’ve woven on my floor loom, and I felt I needed a warm up, so I started weaving with only the white yarns and fabric strips.

This piece is based on the window shade fabric I wove for mine and my hubby’s bedroom, but it is stiffer and tighter.

Our fabric has some fuzzy yarn with mohair, and some thick and lofty wools.

But Candy and Adam don’t want the same design as our window shades.

They don’t want the heavier wool yarns that zig-zag across my shades. Good thing, because I don’t have any more of those. The fuzzy mohair yarn doesn’t exist any more either – which is also alright because it’s not right for Candy & Adam’s living room.

I thought the sett at 8 EPI was too tight, so I resleyed it at 6 EPI. I want this fabric to be a little weft faced. I also decided I’ll just use one yarn in the warp. All the different yarns I used don’t show up. So the hassle of running a bunch of different yarns in the warp has no pay-off in the design. I have a lovely thin perle cotton that I got from Newton’s Yarn Country at Convergence this summer, and I’ll need more of it. Fortunately, Newton’s Yarn Country will be at WeFF on Sunday.

This, my weaving friends, is why we make samples.

beginnings for the first sample on the loom.

What’s Next?

Again, it’s been a while since my last post. I did clean my studio. It took much less time than I imagined it was going to. Then I launched right into my next set of projects; and those are:

Woven fabric for window shades – for cousins Candyce and Adam; 18 yards, two warps, two different widths.

A new workshopExploring Twills

Designing Weavers 2013 annual project on the theme of Opposites.

I will be leading the Exploring Twills workshop for the Handweavers of the Valley in Exeter, California on November 17 & 18; and for the Southern California Handweavers in (the San Fernando Valley) Los Angeles, on March 9 & 10, 2013. I have compiled a notebook of twill drafts that range from beginner/easy: 4H Straight Draw to intermediate/more complex: 8H Elaborate Twill.

I will be demonstrating one of the twill patterns at the SCHG Weaving and Fiber Festival (WeFF) at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 3350 Civic Center Drive, Torrance CA. The hours are 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. This is a fantastic Fiber-centered event. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never been, and you’re interested in anything that can be done with fiber, you need to check it out.

There will be a wonderful variety of demonstrations throughout the day. My demonstration times are 10-11 am; 12-1 pm; and 2-3 pm.

The window shade fabric is in the very beginning stages of design. The warp is going to be a variety of white yarns with white fabric strips, and white, tan, & light blue yarn in the weft. I’m going to make some samples first with some different treatments for the weft.

I have about 10 different white yarns. I’m currently working out the arrangement of yarns for the warp.

 

 

 

 

 

I also have a coiling project underway. This is the 2nd token to go with the Wells Fargo Green Team trophy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a piece started for the Designing Weavers Annual Project. Here’s a sneak peek, but I’m not going to show too much of it.

%d bloggers like this: