Monday, November 21, 2011

Summer Weaving - finished

Wide scarf/shawl - cotton Curley-Q & 5/2 twist

Hand-dyed silk scarf (kit)
A dear friend once told me that a blog post showing her art was, for her, the final step in creating the work. 
Long overdue, but finished. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ready for the Holidays

A few months ago we received a request for a custom woven piece - our first commissioned work. Pretty heady stuff for a rag-tag bunch of museum volunteers. Our charter was to create a table runner for a rustic dining room table that was 103 inches long, plus some overhang & fringe. 

It came off the loom last week, we tied the fringe this morning and TaDa - it's done and ready for Thanksgiving (our target was for Christmas). 

A combination of two fabrics gave us nice cranberry reds with a hint of mint. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Neck Tie Rug Finished....

....about 3 months ago (bad blogger).

Anyway, the rug is wonderful and a topic of conversation around the museum (even made a guest appearance at the local Rotary Club meeting).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Silk Tie Rag Rug

Owen's neckties are all skinned out and strung up like so many animal pelts ready to be dried, sold to the fur buyer and fashioned into a fur coat. (That is the single most similar experience I can conjure up from my six decades of doing strange things.) Bear skin rugs, I've seen, but making a rag rug out of silk ties - that's different.

And, it's going to be unique rug, too.

As we started working with the ties, it became obvious that the wonderful Polyester ties of old just are not working - way too stiff and bulky (at least compared to the luxurious silk). So, our bundle of tie/rag critter pelts is now reduced by nearly half. Since we're getting a little less than one inch of rug per tie, it's going to be a pretty short rug unless we set our traps and catch some more ties. I think they might be nesting down at the goodwill store. ;-)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Warp On!

The Ideal loom is warped, with a little help from my friends. Of course, Elliott stops by just as we're finishing up...

There was a suggestion, after seeing how great the newly warped loom looked, that we just leave it alone, forget about weaving Owen's silly necktie rug - put the loom on display as artful museum decor.

It is pretty, but weave we must.

Dr. Jim kept tension on the warp threads as we wound them on. Being a horse person, it looks like he may have had some experience driving a carriage with 4-in hand.

Don't you just love the way the red & black play together.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

And, for my next trick...

One of the regulars at the Museum has an extensive collection of old neck ties that he would like woven into a "rag" rug (seems like making a sows ear out of a silk purse to me, but whatever). After mulling this over for several months now I decided that the unusual nature of the raw materials, required unusual warp materials and weaving techniques.

Red and black pearle cotton is being threaded so that it can be woven with a "log cabin" technique - one side of the rug will be predominately red, the other side black - a reversible rug with as much sheen on the warp as the ties it's made of.

Off to the Gift Shop

All finished and looking for a new home. We had a good crew of Museum Quality Weavers last week - fringes tied off, hand-woven labels sewn on.... But wait, there's more!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bitter End (of a warp) - Home Sweet Home: Rugs 25 & 26

It appears that we have come to the end of our warp or in nautical terms to the bitter end. But it has been a sweet run for this warp. We wound on approximately 25 yds of warp last September and have been rewarded with seven months of weaving and eleven "museum quality" cotton rag rugs - most of which have already been sold in the museum gift shop (at least three of them were sold before they could get that far). Not a bad investment donated materials and volunteer labor.

Here's a look at Rugs 25 & 26. Plus (learning from history) we were able to squeeze a couple more placemats out before we really hit the bitter end. Sweet!

With a little help from our friends, these will have "hand woven" labels sewed on and be For Sale in the gift by the end of the week.

Another - Loom With A View

It's ok when a hummer interrupts your concentration - the new weaving room is working out just fine, thank you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

But wait, there's more....

The big roll out of the previous post gave you a first look at Rugs 22, 23 and 24.

On the same morning, we rolled out a great set of placemats and a matching table runner.

Teal Rugs #20 & 21

The solid teal fabric was so effective (and plentiful) that we did a d0-over with the second multicolored warp on the Ideal loom. It's a total winner - wish we had another 50 or so yds of this fabric....

Oops, Just for the record - Rugs 18 & 19

Not to be overlooked are a couple of multicolored beauties that came off the loom shortly after #17.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Labels make the difference

Rug #17 is officially finished now and ready for sale at the Museum Gift Shop.

Many thanks to Tracy for the great labels.

Also finished and for sale is our latest placemat and table runner set - cool colors for lunch on the screened porch or patio. Spring is indeed almost here - overnight lows in the 40's and the daffodils are getting restless.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fresh off the loom - Rug #17

I've been trying to think of or "see" our museum rag rugs in new ways. This end view catches my fancy - slightly abstracted - bulbous, like the balls of rags we started with.

A somewhat more traditional view shows four stripes of simpatico coloration and equal width in a regular rotation - quite a nice rug altogether. The photo doesn't do justice to the visual depth created by the "wave" of warm to cool colors - standing on the rug, you might perceive a ~ one - two inch trough between the warm and cool areas of the rug.

very cool rug

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An Exciting Big Year

2010 was a great birding year for HB & Me.

201 species for the year (21% more than 2009).

10 new life list birds, including this feisty little Broad-winged hawk we had a chance to meet up close and personal. (photo credit to HB)

2011 is off to a good start with 51 species so far, and a new life list bird - the Bonaparte's Gull.

Though not technically a great photo, the dark trailing edges on the wings and the ear spot on this immature Bonaparte's Gull clearly distinguish it from the larger Ring-billed Gull flying with it. We also saw several mature Bonaparte's flying around in the area, almost walking on the water - they were about as beautiful as gulls get - a truely memorable sighting.