Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When the weather outside is snowy……..

Saturday the Philadelphia/South Jersey are got its second largest snowstorm in recorded history.  The official reading at the Philadelphia Airport was 23 inches, but at our house some of the drifting brought the total to about 3 feet.

It has been several years since we have experienced a large snowfall.  We’ve been snowbirds, hiding away in Florida and escaping the wrath of winter.  I was awed by the beauty of the snow-covered trees and bushes, the icicles hanging from the roof and the patterns the snow makes as it covers everything in sight.  Needless to say, I grabbed my camera to capture some of these wondrous sights. 

So why did we leave 80 degree temperatures to come back to the cold weather?  Well, it is a tradition we started a few years ago as we began to spend more time away from family and friends.  I guess you could say that we came Home for the Holidays which include my granddaughter Lindsey's birthday, Hanukkah celebrations , the engagement of my daughter, Melissa to Josh, and spending New Years Eve with good friends.  All good things!!!

So what does one do when you are snowbound?  Well……..I spent the day framing my Polychrome Mountain tapestry.  My hubby was kind enough to make the frames after his snow blowing duties.  (See, I even gave him some projects to keep him from getting bored.  Although, he did inform me that would soon be time Sunday Football on TV.  I guess he has earned the rest.)

I covered the frames with a layer of flannel fabric over which I put a layer of cotton fabric.  I secured each layer by stapling it into the frame.  I positioned the completed tapestry to the top frame with push pins and then stitched around the edges and into the covering with cotton thread to secure it to the top frame.  I then attached the top frame with the tapestry to the bottom frame by screwing them together from the back.  The instructions for doing this can be found on the Archie Brennan/Susan Martin Maffei website.

finished tapestry

Polychrome Mountain

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


At long last I have finished my Polychrome Mountain tapestry.  I started it last November.  I woven it from a picture I took at Denali National Park in Alaska several years ago. It measures 12 1/4” H x 14” W  and is woven at 6 ends to the inch with 5 strands of Appleton tapestry yarn. 


Why, you ask, did it take me so long to complete this work?  Well….I am the world’s worst procrastinator.  I can pass the loom many times a day and yet for some reason won’t sit down and weave even a few passes.  It’s not that I don’t like weaving, because when I get immersed in it, I just love it.  So in order to cure myself of this affliction, I have decided to set goals for myself.  Starting in January I will keep a tapestry journal (such as Tommye Scanlin has been doing) and give myself some structured deadlines.   I will make these monthly goals, maybe weaving one small project a month. The loom is already warped for this ongoing tapestry diary.  I am considering having a theme for the entire year’s weaving.

I also have a loom warped for the small format exhibition sponsored by the America Tapestry Alliance in conjunction with the Handweavers Guild of America’s Convergence in New Mexico in 2010.  The theme of this exhibit is “Enchanted Pathways”.

The cartoon is already marked on the warp, but I wouldn’t let myself start weaving until I completed the mountain.  There is a deadline of March 15, 2010 for submission of the project.  Since I will be sending the participation fee in by January 15, 2010 and because several of my tapestry group members are also entering the exhibit, I will feel the pressure to get this completed and in the mail on time.

So now I will begin the finishing process.  I will trim all of the ends in the back, make some fishing touches on the front and secure the warp threads.  I will then cover a wooden frame ( made by my husband) with flannel and then another fabric over it.  The final step will be to sew the tapestry to the covered frame.  And Voila….the tapestry will be completed.IMG_1269


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Arts 101

Thursday night I became a book artist for one evening though a three hour immersion in the Jaffe Center for Book Arts at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. The program began with a screening of a 25- minute video about the Jaffe Center for Book Arts and the amazing collection of artists' books that is the core of JCBA. This was followed by an in-depth viewing of some of the artists’ books in the collection.  The art books are made from paper, fabric, glass, wood, lead and other materials.  They are of all shapes and sizes and from traditional book format to 3-D creations. The smallest one was a complete leather bound book about 1 1/2 inches square. Here is a small sampling of some of the books in this unique library.

Afterwards, we moved on to the JCBA Letterpress Studio, where each participant printed a sheet of paper from handset wood type. These sheets became the covers  for a book, a brief history of the book arts,IMG_1260 that we bound by hand in the Single Signature Pamphlet stitch.


The Jaffe Center offers various bookmaking workshops during the year which I plan to take advantage full of.

Be sure to surf the JCBA Collections interactive page to view some of the amazing handcrafted one of a kind or limited edition books housed in this fabulous library.  After clicking on search by title or artist and making a selection of a book, you can then view individual pages from that book.  Enjoy!!!

And on the WEAVING FRONT………………..I am nearing the completion of my polychrome mountain tapestry.  Look for another post soon.