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Looms and more looms

I can’t believe that it’s been over a month since I blogged. I’ve been pretty busy with my graphic design, art, art project and weaving. I just refurbished a vintage Leclerc Dorothy tabletop loom (left). It was free and all it needed was a little TLC. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will soon.

I also bought a vintage Leclerc Nilus 45” floor room. It’s huge and my whole house is now officially studio. It was a great buy and came with a bench plus lots of extras. Plus, whoever had it before must’ve woven rugs because the beater is weighted. Yay! I am waiting for a new brake coil and heddles. I also need to clean it up and wash the aprons and then I will take it for a short run.

Last, but not least, I bought a spinning wheel. It’s much harder than looks, but I’m hoping with regular practice that I will get the hang of it. Now, if I could only spin straw into gold, so that I am able to pay for all these toys! 🙂

spinningwheel

 

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Wall weavings and a new loom

Montage

I’ve been working on small wall hangings using various recycled and natural elements. The pine needles are particularly tricky to work with. Clockwise from top right: 1) cotton, wool, pine needles, wood, leather; 2) Wool pine needles, leather; 3) hemp, cotton, wood; 4) Wool, pine needles, leather;  5) Wool, recycled sari silk, recycled tea bags, raffia, nettle yarn, handmade paper and watercolor. All are now available in my Etsy shop.

The big news is that I finally got my Saori loom. I am so excited and can’t wait to start using it. Will post photos soon of new projects.

saori loom

Lastly, I finally finished this felted/linen/wool-embroidered and leather wristlet. Now available in my Etsy shop.

It sat on my work table for weeks just waiting for me to put the strap on. Sometimes things just fall by the wayside.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope everybody is having a great week.

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Sunday’s weaving

IMG_1040I like keeping Sundays for myself to play in the studio. I either paint, weave, block print, rust/eco dye or sew. So many fun choices that sometimes I can’t decide. It’s a great time to experiment and not worry about any deadlines. This past Sunday I spent a relaxing day in the studio working with pine needles and wool. The tricky thing about pine needles is that the tips are fragile and you have to be careful not to break any off while weaving. The other hard part is keeping them steady when starting the weave since you can’t really warp them on a loom. I made two weavings, but only one of them (this one) seemed to work. I really like it and will be making more for my Etsy store.

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Roots?

I am super excited that my Navajo loom came today. I won it in a hard fought auction on Ebay. It is beautiful and it is signed by the Navajo artist that made it. While I won’t be doing completely traditional Navajo weaving on it, the idea of weaving on it makes me feel like I am reaching back to my roots. I am not Navajo, but I am part Yaqui. And, while the Yaqui were better known for their mask making and basket weaving, they also made woven blankets. I can’t wait to get started.

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More wristlets and some pouches

 

Happy Monday! Little by little, I’ve been working on items for my Etsy store. Yesterday, I posted about my block printing for new items I am starting to work on. Today, I am posting some finished items: wristlets and zipper pouches. All are made from 100% linen with various embellishments of felting, applique and Sashiko-style stitching. My favorite part of making these is the design and my least favorite is the cutting of all the pieces and putting in the zipper. I’m getting pretty good at putting in the zipper, but I still wish these little dogs I live with could pitch in and earn their kibble.

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Up all night—block printing

 

Sometimes I get on a roll and I just can’t stop. I should have started earlier, but the neighbor came over, so we could walk our dogs together and we decided to have a hot toddy on the deck first  (Honey, lemon, ginger and bourbon). Then, one of my tenants came by with cupcakes, so a couple of hours flew by before the dog walk actually happened. Hence, the late start, but I was determined to try out my new linocut. I worked until 5:30 a.m. and then fell into bed. Thank goodness  it was Sunday and I didn’t have to get up early for work. Well, I have to say I was really happy with the results especially the eggplant color that I mixed. I also finished some napkins that were a housewarming gift.

Most of these pieces will be used for items (hotpads and zipper pouches) which I will be selling in my Etsy shop.

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Coaster upgrade

I am now on my 10th or 12th set of linen coasters and I think these are the best so far. What is different from my previous sets, you ask? Well, the new ones are double-lined with batting and fusible vinyl making them fairly water repellent. The problem with fabric coasters is that if there is a lot of condensation on the glass, it eventually soaks into the fabric and then that moisture reaches the table surface. Adding the vinyl really helps to block the moisture from seeping to the tabletop. It isn’t 100% waterproof, but it is much more water repellent than the previous versions. This does make for more work, but I am striving for a higher end, quality product, not something that you would buy at Target. No offense to Target, I love Target, but I want to create something that is handmade, unique and that reflects my fine art. This set is now available on my Etsy shop.

 

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Off on a tangent

Bento_1_1

Now I’m playing around with wet and needle felting. A friend of mine gave me some beautiful nuno felted scarves that totally inspired me, so of course, I had to try something. I had thought of felting before, but couldn’t figure out how to incorporate it into my work. Most of what I had seen was too corny for me, but once I did more extensive research, I found many beautiful and inspiring creations. I thought for my first attempt I would embellish this crossbody bag I had started some time ago. It’s a pattern I altered from a bento bag pattern. I think it’s okay, but I am hoping my designs will get better with more practice and experimenting.

I’ll post the finished bag when I’m done.

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Linen, block printing and Etsy

I finally uploaded some items to my Etsy site. I have been wanting to do this for a very long time. I’ve reached a point where my fine art and my craft have collided. Here are some of the results:

coasters_1_grp

Coasters. These are 100% linen, hand block printed with hand stitched edges. The image is based on a painting I did a few years ago.

Pot  holders. These are 100% linen, hand block printed. The winter trees also has a hand embroidered detail. It’s a lot of hand work and it is hard to know how to price these. Any suggestions from others that make handmade products?

Hotpad_man_etsy

Hot pad. This is a little larger than the pot holder. The image is based on a native Mexican motif from the Nayarit area.

I design each print using my hand-cut linoleum blocks. They are then inked with water-based ink and pulled by hand. Small variations from print-to-print occur as part of the handmade process. Each piece is a unique and handmade combination of art and function.