Monday, July 23, 2012

Recycling in the Studio

I love re-purposing materials. Weavers use a lot of paper when putting warps on the beam.  The paper acts as a separator for the layers that are wound onto the beam.  This keeps the yarn from snuggling down into the previous layer which in turn causes tension problems.  Tension problems can cause an irregular cloth that will do strange things to the finished cloth.  Tension problems are the "bane of a weaver's existence"! It is to be avoided at all costs. Unless of course you do it on purpose! (There is always the exception for the sake of design!)

Since these papers don't last forever when they get used day in and day out, a weaver needs a fresh supply. Now it can't be just any paper.  The weight of the paper makes a difference.  Too thin and the yarns will still sink into the previous layer.  Too thick and it builds up on the beam and long warps will not fit. It also makes it difficult to keep each layer tight.

OK, so what is the right paper.  The answer --------- Packing paper!

Now you can buy it at a packing supply store which I have done but I am always delighted when packages come and they have this great packing paper in them which is filling up the empty space in the box.  Voila! Eureka! New supply of paper to use when beaming the warps! Maybe a little crinkled but no problem.  Just iron it, roll it, and put it in my stash of paper, sticks, raddles, and lease sticks bin waiting to be used.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Creme de la Creme Models

Scarves by Judy Connor Jones

When I was in college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, I joined Tri Sigma sorority.  During those college years it was the women of this sorority that were my support system.  They nurtured me in all aspects of life as one knows it on a college campus.  They encouraged being philanthropic, gave advice when needed, and supported high academic achievements. But it wasn't all serious. Spending time in the suite on Friday nights for "Chef's Surprise" was always a great way to relieve the stress of the week.  Creativity abound as we took turns being the "Chef" of the week.  The menu was always hush, hush until you entered the suite.  Tuna noodle casserole (remember that?) was always a favorite!! Also on the lighter side was running back to the suite after classes to watch a "campy" little soap opera called  "Dark Shadows".  Oh how we loved watching together as we booed and hissed and felt sorry for Barnabas Collins.  Since this soap was broadcast live there were aways the inevitable "live bloopers".  Technicians would appear creeping slowly in a lowered position in front of the camera as if no one could see them. Or trees in the set would fall over when one of the actors would lean against it. We had such fun looking for these mistakes.

After college and we all went our separate ways, a group of us remained in touch.  We traveled together to The United Kingdom and through Europe. We were in each other's weddings. We celebrated and welcomed each others additions to our families. And now we grieve together as we deal with aging parents and the outcome it brings. Some of us moved farther away but we always stayed in touch.  We had a tradition of trying to get together at least once a year for a "sister" reunion. We named ourselves "Creme de la Creme" (tongue in cheek, of course!)

The last reunion of Creme was 2006. Our lives have taken directions that have prevented our getting together. When the movie "Dark Shadows"  came out, the e-mails started flying!  Remember when? Who went to the suite to watch the soap?  Wouldn't it be fun to see the movie together? One thought led to another and then Creme 2012 was in the works!

So last weekend I flew out to Ohio to be with my dear friends who I have not seen for a long time. Amazing how even though it has been 6 years, it was like the other day when we all were together. These women are the ones who, besides my family, know me better than anyone else! We have a lot of history together. So how did the weekend go?

The Inn at Dresden

For starters shortly after we arrived at The Inn at Dresden, Dresden, Ohio (former home of the Longaberger Basket founder) a terrific storm came up.  The sky got very dark, it started to rain heavily and tornado force winds blew furiously, over turning furniture, blowing shingles off the roof, and knocking down trees. A PVC pipe went flying from somewhere on the Inn and I expected to see Dorothy and Toto flying by with it!  And then it happened!  The lights went out! All electricity went out! The AC went out (90+ degree temps). The pump which ran the well went out!  You know what that means?  No water to flush a toilet or shower or anything! And champagne wasn't going to help this situation a whole lot!

So we lit candles and said, we can deal with this. It will only be a few hours (maybe........)!  OK it wasn't too long before we realized that it might be days! So our gracious Inn Keeper helped us find other lodging which wasn't an easy task as half a million people in central Ohio were without electricity.  Thank you Burke for finding 5 of the last 7 rooms left at the Hilton Inn Express - in - wait for it - ZANESVILLE, OHIO, home of the Y Bridge.

So we made a caravan down the road to Zanesville, with stop lights out and all manor of debris and destruction along the way.

We were sooooooooo thankful to have a place to stay and soooooooo thankful to Burke for finding it for us.  If you are ever in Dresden Ohio, stay at The Inn at Dresden and tell Burke I recommended it. I'm sure he will remember the group of women who were having the reunion that weekend!

So once we were settled into the Hilton, the weekend could begin. One thing about this group is we love to do something crazy and silly and just be girls again!  Knowing how much they love to "ham it up", I asked them if they would help me out and model some of my scarves while I took pictures.  I wanted to get photos of average ordinary people wearing my scarves so those interested in my work could see them worn by someone other than a model.  And believe me this group is not camera shy!!!! So ham it up they did! They were the perfect models. Thank you my dear Sigma sisters.  You did not disappoint!!!!