Thursday, December 24, 2009

A message of Hope!

I love this time of year! This year we are very blessed to have my son and daughter-in-law here along with my husband's sister. They all live in Florida and we have managed to have 18-20 inches of snow on the ground for a White Christmas. We've enjoyed sharing a cold snowy New England Christmas with them around a warm fire. We will also have our other son and future daughter-in-law here on Christmas Day. We are blessed to have family that can be with us.

For me, Christmas has always been more than just a holiday. It is a time of waiting for Promises to be fulfilled, for Wonder to stop me in my tracks, and for Hope to be reclaimed. For me it is about God's wonderful and abundant love for all humankind. That love was and is being fulfilled in the promise of a baby, the wonder of a night long ago, and the hope for a better world where relationships are not broken, nations work together, the poor are rewarded, and peace reigns.

I've been starting to work more with Ecclesiastical Installations within the church worship service. I have a strong belief that a God who creates would not have created humans in his/her image without giving us creative abilities. I have been working with my own church to bring that creative ability forward in the lives of the members. This Advent season we have collectively been creating a mosaic. Each week during the worship service pieces of the mosaic were added. The final installation will take place tonight at the Christmas Eve service. Stop by First Baptist Church in Plymouth if you want to be a part of this experience.

As a message of hope I want to share the pictures of the progression of the mosaic with you and wish you all the Hope, Peace, and Joy that a living Creator wants all his/her children to have.

What ever you celebrate at this time of year, may you experience the presence of the Creator and the glory of a night long ago.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Open House

I had a wonderful time at my Holiday Studio Open House. The studio was decked out with all my handwoven creations. People came and purchased for which I am very grateful. I was able to connect with the people who buy my work on a more informal and intimate basis than at a show. I might add that the cookies and Wassail were excellent!!!! Those chocolate snack cookies seemed to disappear fast! I'll share the recipe with anyone who would like it. Just send me a note in the comment section.

Many people are curious about the Wassail. It is a hot spiced recipe that I make using cranapple juice, pineapple juice, and spices. Wassail is an ancient English custom. The master of the English Household would drink to the health of those present with spiced ale. The phase Wass Hael or Be Well was repeated as each drank from the bowl of Wassail. My punch is spiced but none alcoholic!

Congratulations to Linda Tassinari who won the door prize which was a wide chenille scarf valued at $85.
If you missed my Holiday event, make sure you come next year! You might win the door prize!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Holiday Studio Open House

Come join me this weekend at my Holiday Studio Open House. You can Holiday Shop, visit the Studio, enjoy a cup of Wassail, and enter to win the Door Prize.

I have been working on some necklaces and pins based on the Eco-Green necklace that I did for my weaving guild's challenge this past spring. They are a smaller version of that necklace and will sell at gift giving prices. They are made from pieces of my handwoven fabric and items from my "stash of stuff"! I will be showing them at my studio only. Here are a few pictures to peek your interest.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November Skies

Have you ever noticed in November when the trees have turned red and orange and the sky becomes a beautiful grey blue color when a storm is either approaching or ending? The sun casts a back light and the sky becomes this gorgeous color against the backdrop of the trees. Everything is back lit and the colors become more vibrant.

A few weeks ago this was happening outside my studio. Every time I tried to capture it on the camera the clouds rolled in and the sun went away. I wanted to try to mimic those colors in a scarf using Barnett Newman's technique of "Zips". I have talked about him before. He was an abstract expressionist and in his paintings he developed a technique of introducing a second or third color by painting what he called "Zips". They were lines of color, usually unexpected but very pleasing.

Here are the results of my efforts.

There are actually 3 scarves here varying in color from a lighter blue to a charcoal blue color. For the "Zips" I used a variegated yarn which goes from a spice orange color to brown to red and along with a forest green variegated yarn.
I am very happy with the scarves.
I will have these scarves at my show this weekend in Duxbury, MA. If you are in the neighborhood, come visit my booth. You can get more information by going to my website,, and linking on Duxbury Art Association’s 37th Annual Craft Showcase.
Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 09, 2009

"Art on the Pews"

What a lovely little show this was! Unfortunately, very few people came to see it. It was their loss as the work presented was excellent! There were 21 artists in the show, both fine art and fine craft and live continuous music performances.

The people from St Peter's Episcopal Church couldn't have been nicer. They did all the right things. They had volunteers there to help unload and load. They had people there to help with set up if you needed it. They provided grids and lights for those who needed that for their set up. And they provided the boards to go over the pews for those who used tables for display.

They went over and above to help where ever they could.

The breakfast they provided on Saturday morning was a virtual feast! And they gave awards and door prizes to the artists! They treated us like gold!

I felt like I made several friends, both artists and congregants. This was such a contrast from the treatment I received at the last show!!!!! They definitely were the "Craft Show Angels"!

I made a few sales, enough to cover costs but not enough to be profitable. It's too bad because these are the types of shows I as an artist love to support. The unfortunate side is I need to make a profit and there was so little traffic and it seemed like so little potential for my buyer to show up that I have to think long and hard about doing the show in the future. What a dilemma.

How long do you stay loyal to a show because you like the people? Right now with selling so hard the business hard edge, I am afraid, must prevail. Any thoughts on the topic?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Off to the Show!

Today is the first day of the "Art on the Pews" show in Cambridge, MA. I will be setting up my display this afternoon and the show starts at 4pm and goes to 8pm.

If you are in the Boston area, stop by and visit me in my booth at St Peter's Episcopal Church.

You can get more information about the show on my website,, and linking to the "Art on the Pews" site.

I'll try to remember to take pictures so I can put them on the blog.

Here's hoping it will be a good show!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Show Buzz!

I'm on a roll now doing fall shows. Some have been very good and one in particular was very bad. The weekend didn't start out promising as the weather people were forecasting rainy, windy, cold weather. In other words, a Nor'easter! And this was an outdoor show! Saturday was actually a nice day, a little cold but the sun was visible for most of the day. However, sales were not good. Sunday turned out to be a miserable day. Remember that rain, wind and cold! Well add snow to the mix! The event coordinator would not let exhibitors leave or close the show despite the fact that very few people came through the gate and those who did, I discovered, thought it was an indoor show! They too were not happy to be trudging around in such horrible conditions. So my question is where do you draw the line between keeping a show open and risking the health and well being of not only your exhibitors but also your paying guests? When threatened by a promoter that if you leave you will not be invited back to a show, do you suffer and risk inventory, display equipment, and health being ruined or compromised in order to be invited back?! Where is the concern and respect from the promoter for the artist and their work? After all, we are the ones who are bringing in the gate fee!

When telling my banker about my horrible weekend, she asked if they had paid me to be there or did I pay for the space to sell my work. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! A light bulb went on when I said, I paid for the space! What's wrong with this picture!

I have more respect for myself and my work than to be subjected to the "power control" driven promoter who has little regard for the artists who make the event a success. If you want to know what show it was, write your e-mail in the comment section and I will e-mail you privately. I cannot recommend this show because of the way we were all treated when the weather and going got rough. A little understanding and appreciation would have gone a looooooooooong way.

I tried to take a picture of the snow coming down as we packed up the car. The video was on accidentally and I must have turned the camera sideways. I can't figure out how to rotate it. The rotate buttons don't work for the video clip. If anyone knows how to do this let me know. In the mean time, just rotate your neck!!!!!!

The snow flakes were silver dollar size (remember silver dollars?!)

My next show is indoors! Yeah! It's in Cambridge, MA at St Peter's Episcopal Church. The show is called "ART on the PEWS"! I love that!!! I'm looking forward to being there. Stop by and see me if you are in the area.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Show mania!

This time of year is always stressful as most of my shows happen now. This year I've taken on a very agressive show schedule. I have a show every 2 weeks from now until the first weekend in December. I have never done that many shows before. I usually only do one a month from September to December. So am I crazy or what!!!!? Trying to keep up with inventory is a real challenge. In one month's time I sold 33 items. It takes me a whole lot longer than one month to replace 33 items! Weaving is not a fast craft! Anyway, I am so happy that show sales have been up but I only wish now that there were more hours in the day or I didn't need so much sleep.

So, if I don't write on the blog very much it's because I'm glued to my loom or sewing machine or have fallen asleep at them, one or the other!

My show at Wheaton Arts in NJ last weekend was very good. I love doing that show. I get to sell my work in a great place (Wheaton is a working glass blowing village) and I get to visit with artist friends and family. The only thing I don't like is the long drive down and back. My husband does not go with me as he has to work but I am very grateful for friends who help me set up and break down and provide my night's shelter and food. Their cat, Tripper, seems to look after me too! He's more like a dog than a cat!

I am so happy to see that show sales are picking up again. I had one of my better years at Wheaton this year. However that presents a dilemma as this week I needed to send items to the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen's Homemade Holiday Show in Lancaster, PA. I also have a show next weekend in Woodstock, CT. I am frantically trying to replace those 33 items and have more to send off to PA!

Check out my show scehedule on my website, You'll see why I am working night and day in the studio.

Till I can write again.................................................................................................................

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Show Musings

I did my first show of the fall season this past weekend. It was at Mad River Valley in Waitsfield, VT. This is the third year I've done the show. What a beautiful place! Each year sales have gotten better and this year was no exception. It was my best year there! Attendance at the show was up and so were sales. My new jackets and collapse weave scarves attracted alot of interest and sales. I am encouraged to move ahead with these designs.
The weather was beautiful all weekend long. You couldn't have asked for better.

One of the fun things about doing shows is seeing artist friends again and meeting new ones. It's a special community. My husband was sick while we were there and so many of my fellow craft's artists offered to help with anything I needed. It was comforting to know that I was not alone. I am so grateful to all those who came to help me. Fortunately he felt well enough to help me break down at the end of the show, but I know that if he hadn't I would have had lots of help.
We made it home Sunday night around 11pm. It felt so good to fall into our own bed!
My next show is October 3 & 4 at Wheaton Arts in Millville, NJ. I'll be working hard between now and then to have more of my new items. I'm encouraged that the economy is picking up.
Hope to see you at Wheaton!

Monday, August 10, 2009

This and That!

The bookshelves are back up and the books are on the shelves! Putting the books away gave me a chance to get reacquainted with my books. I have a lot to inspire me!

So, the only thing left to complete the clean up of the bookcase debacle, is to replace the under cabinet lights which were broken in the fall and the drawer system next to the desk. That also was broken in the fall! Someday it will be complete but right now I need to concentrate on getting ready for my fall shows.

I've completed 3 scarves using the collapse weave technique. It is an interesting technique and can be explored many ways. My scarves are woven using a 1/3, 3/1 twill structure. The yarns used are Zephyr 2/18 wool silk and HABU wool crepe. The wool crepe must be woven very loosely in order for the yarns to move and cause the collapse. It does not collapse until it is washed and fulled. Here are pictures of how it looks on the loom and right after taking off the loom.

You can see how loosely woven it is.

Here's a picture showing the size of the yarn. The sewing thread is on the left. The HABU yarn is next to the arrow, and the Zephyr is on the right. The Zephyr actually is thicker than it looks here but not much thicker. You can see how thin the HABU wool crepe is next to the thread.

Here is the scarf after it comes off the loom. It still looks very open and flat.
After gently washing the wool crepe shrinks up and the scarf collapses! Here are 3 finished products. What's the verdict! Do I have a designer scarf on my hands?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Collapse Weave

I've had several cones of HABU wool crepe sitting on my shelf for a long time. I have tried several times to work with it. Most of my attempts have been unsuccessful. It is a highly over spun wool and has the wonderful ability to collapse fabric when used appropriately. It is a beautiful yarn from Japan and loves to twist back on itself.
It's very nature makes it difficult to wind onto a bobbin. And if it is a humid day - FORGET IT!
I recently bought a book on collapse weave by Anne Field. After reading it I did some experimenting. Here are pictures of my sampler using Zephyr yarn which is a wool silk blend and the HABU wool crepe for the collapse.

The weave structure I used was a 3/1, 1/3 twill. Most of Anne's book deals with the collapse in the warp. I wanted the collapse in the weft. The wool crepe yarn used in the weft needs room to move so the picks per inch are very loosely woven allowing the over twist to move when wet finished.

I see possibilities for scarves using this method. I want to experiment more with this but for now I think I have the beginnings of an interesting scarf.

What do you think? Remember this is a sampler not a finished product. I welcome an exchange of ideas on how you have done collapse weave.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Green Project

My weaving guild has had a year long project for each member to design a project involving something Eco-green. The items are to be displayed at the New England Weaver's Seminar which meets every other year. Each member guild is responsible for a display representing a study or emphasis they have had throughout the year. It's a worthy challenge but like all things it always takes me to the deadline to come up with an idea!

As I was thinking about this I kept coming back to my stash of small woven pieces of fabric which are left after cutting the garments that I make. I also have a huge stash of buttons and vintage costume jewelry. After being inspired by a necklace in "Marie Claire" magazine I designed a necklace using these elements. Hope you like it!

What do you think? Should I make more? I have loads of interesting items in my stash, not to mention lots of fabric scraps!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Well, June has been a whirlwind of a month! We arrived home from the wedding, went to a Boston Pops concert (which was great), helped with the decorating for our church's 200th anniversary (First Baptist Church of Plymouth, MA), hosted friends from Sweden for 6 days, and hosted my weaver's guild picnic in the back yard. Whew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm tired writing about it! But it was fun!!!!!

However we had a slight disaster in the middle of it all. My bookshelves in my office fell off the wall! Yes that's right. They fell off the wall! We had been out to the church's anniversary celebration (thank goodness I wasn't home or at my computer) and when I came home and went into my studio, the books and cases where everywhere except where they should be!!!!!!!! What a mess! Books were all over the floor and the bookcases were precariously sitting on top of my flattened monitor and desk! My monitor was damaged along with several other office items. Fortunately the computer itself was safe. Of course the only book that was damaged was the most expensive one, "Memory on Cloth" by Yoshiko Wada, which she had signed!

(At this point we had dismantled the bookcases and picked up some of the books. Believe me it looked much worse!)

Set backs are hard to rise above! It has been a struggle to get the business going again since moving to New England. This year has been difficult. The loss of a whole box of my inventory along with the loss of sales due to a bad economy have been hard enough. Now the damage to the studio which home owner's insurance will not pay is sometimes more than I can deal with at one time.

It does make me question what to do next. It does make me question if I am doing the right thing. It does make me question the work that I produce. I know this is my artist insecurity speaking and I sometimes feel like Scarlet O'Hara when she said, "I'll think about that tomorrow!". But, since this work is so much a part of me, I must also like Scarlet build again and "never be artless again no matter what"! (I took a little free license with Scarlet's words but the meaning is the same)
So the beginning and building process starts all over again. Stay tuned for the rising!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I just got back 2 days ago from Florida where my son was married. What a beautiful wedding! My husband and I had a great time meeting our new in-laws, entertaining the wedding party and guests at the rehearsal dinner and of course at the wedding and reception. We danced the night away. It was a great celebration!!!!!!
The wedding was held in beautiful Siesta Key Chapel. Our family has many connections with this church as it was the place where my husband's parents became members after moving to Florida. Their remains are buried in the cremation garden at the chapel. Their spirit was very present and I'm sure they were looking on.

I also, several years ago, was commissioned to weave the alter cloth for the chapel. It is a simple white linen and cotton fabric woven in a bird's eye twill. The pattern repeats the window and cross at the front of the chapel.

Ben and Erin have since joined that church, so the family connection will continue.

Dancing with my husband, Jeff.

Dancing with my son, Chris, the best man.

Dancing with my son, Ben, the groom.

Yes I had tears in my eyes but not for long as it was so obvious that these two were so much in love. They were both beaming through the ceremony! They experienced some hard times when Ben's fiance had a very bad car accident. She miraculously did not suffer serious injury but did need surgery on her knee ligaments which required a long recovery period and a lot of help. It was a true test of their caring and patience with each other. When the minister said the words, through sickness and health, she commented on their journey through the rough times and their love through it all.
We feel so blessed to have added a daughter to our family. She is a beautiful smart young woman and I am happy to finally have a girl to talk to!!!!!!!!!

So, here's to you Erin and Ben. And "may your days be good and long upon the earth!” (quote from a Navajo wedding blessing)

Mr and Mrs Benjamin William Jones

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Getting Ready to Fly

The baby birds are getting ready to fly the nest! Two of the birds flew away when I opened the door. Here are the other two waiting for their turn.

This morning when I gingerly opened the front door a crack, I was able to get a picture of one of the birds getting ready to fly. I took the picture quickly so as not to scare it away.

I don't know if they come back to the nest or they are gone for good. I also have not seen the 5th bird.
It has been interesting and fun to keep track of this one family's progress.
It reminds me of how my own family has grown, from birth of my 2 sons, the growing up years and all the nurturing, and the leaving the nest to build their own lives.
My youngest son is getting married the end of this month. We are so excited to be expanding our family. I know I will be tearful at the service as I think about all the joys, love, heartaches, laughter, and new adventures my son and new daughter-in- law have in store for them. The cycle does go on! It's a GOOD thing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

They have feathers!

The baby birds now have feathers developing. It won't be long before they leave the nest.

Anybody want to name them? Two are pictured here. I saw one more peaking out but didn't want to stay too long as the momma was getting nervous.