Wednesday, March 17, 2010


As much as love peyote stitch I have been pushing myself in new directions lately.  Part of that is because of the Huib Petersen workshop that I took in February.  This is the first of my own pieces that I have finished with what I learned from those 2 days.
The stitch base is from his waterlilly pad, but I wanted to make a surface with it.  My friend Shelly help pick out the button on it (which is from a collection on antique buttons my mother in law gave me for christmas). 

Once I got the button on, I wanted to do more, which normally isn't my style but I looked through my bead stash and kept going.  I inserted fancy beads in the middles, but wanted to integrate a little more of the brown/coppery color.  This led to another idea that I learned from Huib, stitching along edges to pull a piece together and make it tighter.  I stitched in the coppery beads along the outside edge which not only led to making the piece tighter, but making it ruffle out too.  I think in the end it looks like a deep sea anemone.  It has really grown on me the past few days and I can't wait to make one in another color.  This was really meant to be a sample, but I don't really do well with making just a sample, I love having a finished piece that I can wear.  So here's my productivity on St. Paddy's Day! 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Studio Cleaning....

There is nothing like getting back into the studio after it's had a good cleaning.  I just pulled a new tapestry weaving off of the loom and there my loom sits.  Thrums hanging on for dear life, part of the leftover warp still tied on.  The debate as to wether I can get another 10-12inches of weaving off of it, or is it healthier to start over?  (Yes, we're heading into a full year of being married and I'm still weaving on the warp for the bridesmaids wraps that I made!)

But my process for tapestry weaving can make a mess, and the last piece I wove left my studio looking like the usual war zone.  As I have tried to describe to people, I use my whole yarn stash.  I actually do this consistiently enough that sometimes I run out of a range in a certain color (normally green).  So I will have cones of yarn strewn across the floor, balls of yarn in color ranges in my "organizer" and general odds and ends arond the studio.  There's something meditative about restocking my yarn, getting everything out of the way and having that blank, clean studio to work in again.  It's also amazing what you does a pin get this messed up???

I even cleaned off my small desk surface space to reveal some document organizers that I bought!  Up they go and the contstant battle with staying organized continues.  I don't like to look too organized though, a nice wall of color, design, inspiration, is great for my creative soul.

Ah, that's better, now my loom is ready for me when I come back from Europe (I really can't start another project right now!)

There's just too many projects with too little time!

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Looking Back" Tapestry

So I did finally finish my barn-themed tapestry.  I'm still getting used to it, sometimes it takes me a while to decide how much I like a piece after I have pulled it off-loom.  I had been looking at the back of it for so long!  It is inspiring me to take some of the design elements into my next tapestry weaving, mainly the circular areas.  Any feedback would be great!  You can see it in person at the Technology Innovation Center in downtown East Lansing, MI right now, through May 21st, 2010.   The opening reception for the show will be this Sunday, 12-4pm.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beadweaving with Huib Petersen

My first bead workshop ever!  I owe a huge thanks the the Great Lake Beadworkers Guild for allowing me to join and get into the classes without ever having gone to a meeting.  I know, I need to make it out there for the meetings.  I was kind of nervous going into this class.  I have been beading for 20 years, but I have had no formal training so I did not know at what level I would be beading in compared to the rest of the class.  Would I be way behind? Would I be taking up a bunch of the instructors time in trying to understand how to do something?  It was quite the opposite.  I feel that I can truly say that I have a firm grasp on how to put beads together and even in following other's directions.  I am also a very fast beader.

I haven't officially finished a total piece from the 2 day class but instead learned new techniques and how to utilize them.  I have done angled peyote stitch with the Russian Leaf stitch before and Huib has taken this to a new level.  The above image shows the flower petals before being pulled together.  Below is after you stitch the centers and edges. 

The pattern for the workshop was a water lilly, mine still needs the next 2 layers of petals and to be put together through the center.  I did make a finished lilly pad which is really pretty.  It also made me utilize bugle beads in a manner that I have never really thought about. 

I have started in on a dragonfly wing to learn how to graph out the angular peyote and do increase and decreases.  My brain is whirring with ideas for these new techniques.  But when I got home I had to finish my tapestery weaving!  So here this project sits, waiting to either be finished or set aside so that I can make new fun pieces from my own designs.  I cannot wait to get my own piece finished so that I can share pictures and my appreciation with Huib.

Weaving and Life Update

I'm close to the end of my "Yes And" weaving commission. I can see the end of the cartoon and the warp. I was on a roll weavin...