Friday, June 16, 2017


Just when I was getting really tired of yard and garden work, this happened:

Breadseed poppies, from Southern Exposure seeds. Blooming on 16 June 2017.
Photo by Liz Ackermann.
Aren't they pretty? I thought they were going to be blue, but I'm loving the purple hues. I'll be saving seeds and planting way more of these next year!

In case you were wondering (you were wondering, weren't you?) I have done absolutely no weaving in the past few months. The garden and my family history work have been occupying all my "spare" time. I suppose I'll get back to the studio eventually....

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Still here, still working on the blasted tapestry.

Oh how time does fly!

Here it is 2017 and I'm still working on the sunflower tapestry. Progress is being made. I may even finish it before the end of the decade. Truth be told, I don't get out to the Shanty as much as I should these days.

Lest you think I'm completely slacking on craftyness, let me assure you that I have been carding fiber, spinning, and knitting. And there's that whole gardening thing. And now there's...[ta da!]...

Genealogy! You can read about that at my other blog, Rooted in Elizabeth.

Here is photographic proof of my efforts since last I wrote.

Well, first there were these guys. They sucked up most of my time in December 2015

[and lots of money too!] They were dumped out where I work, and after living on a manky deer carcass for five days I fed them and took them to my Vet's office to board. For three weeks. With the generosity of friends and strangers I didn't have to foot the bill all by myself, but boy was I glad to get these guys adopted out - one through the vet's office, and one through a very reputable rescue group. [I would have loved to keep the Doberman. What a complete goofy love muffin!]

Our own dog is getting older now (14!), but there are still walks and games and sleepovers with her doggie friends. We try to get her to day care twice a week, just so she can have an outing.

Here are some pics of things I made, though not all the things I've made! Must get better at taking finished object photos!

Spun lots of naturally colored wool.

Brilliantly dyed batt from Into the Whirled

On the bobbin
Done! Still haven't made anything with it!

To be carded, and carded fiber.

Lincoln, with mohair locks carded in.
I've been working on blending Ramboullet and Alpaca.
Studio. Birds eye view from the loft.

Sunflower on the loom. I'm a good bit past this part now.
 And around the house:

Strong young men with shovels built our new patio.
We built the lovely surround for the stairwell.
Spinning on the new patio, Teashanty in the distance.

The front garden with sunflowers of ridiculous proportions.
 And so it goes. We do a little of this, a little of that. And, apparently, not too much blogging on this site. I shall try to be better. But....genealogy! Really.

Happy New Year. May 2017 be way better than I expect it to be.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Still here, still weaving!

It's the first project on my new-to-me Shannock Loom!

Sunflower Tapestry : A work in progress

Hello very neglected blog. It's the last day of 2015 and I haven't been here in a very long time.

Well, I'm back. I think. I've got a lot of things in the works these days, but it's all good.

My current project is a tapestry of a sunflower. This is the first tapestry on my new-to-me Shannock Loom. She's a beauty. I still haven't got the whole treadle thing working the way I want, but I don't mind picking the warp as I go.

This project is special not just because it's the first on this loom. It's special because of the yarn I'm using. Most of the weft was spun and/or dyed by the late Helen Bryant, a friend of mine, and a very creative weaver, spinner, dyer, potter, and basket maker.

Helen was very opinionated about, well, just about everything. She had no use for chemical dyes, and was often seen collecting dye plants in the wild. She had no use for purples, blues, or pinks. The blue yarn is some that I spun and dyed myself. I figured she'd forgive me the use of blue in the piece since it was hand spun.

When Helen went into an assisted living facility, a friend brought me several bags of her yarns. I've been hanging on to it for a while. When I was casting around for a design for my new loom my eyes fell on Helen's yarn. I'd been growing sunflowers in my garden, and loved them. It seemed like it was meant to be.

Here's the current project. I've been working on it for over a year now. But hey, I'm in no hurry. Just enjoying the process...

Gratuitous weft photo

Where I left off today, 31 December 2015.
I'm almost to the halfway point. So maybe by this time next year it will be done!

Have a Happy New Year world. I wish everyone peace, happiness, and lots of time to do the things you love!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tapestry in Unexpected Places : Origins

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. Please forgive the poor quality of the photos. I took them with my iPad.

Last summer we were dealing with old dog Pyper's mysterious skin condition. Our regular vet got us a referral to the Veterinary Hospital at Virginia Tech. I had forgotten that my friends Lynn and Bernie had commissioned and donated this tapestry to the Vet School, so it was a special pleasure to become reacquainted with it while Pyper and I were hanging out in the waiting area.

"Origins" was designed and woven by Jean Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie. I quote from the informational sign:

"A husband and wife team, Jean-Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie created this multi-dimensional tapestry to showcase the coordinating dimensions of veterinary medicine and the natural world. It is woven in the classic French Aubusson style, from the back rather than the front. ... The piece has many layers of symbolism and meaning. Serpents are especially appropriate for the College of Veterinary Medicine as they symbolize the vital forces in life and are a long standing symbol of the medical profession. The serpents are entwined to form a double helix, the genetic code of life. Hands represent creativity, compassion and healing - all essential to veterinary medicine. A vast variety of plant and animal life can be noticed throughout the work, tucked away in different layers of the tapestry."

 You can see more of their work at the American Tapestry Alliance web site in an extensive on-line exhibition.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Truckload of Tickle

I never knew you could get tickles delivered! :-)