Untangled

Untangled

It is ready!

My first book is out in the world. Untangled: A Crafty Sheep’s Guide to Tapestry Weaving has been several years in the making. The idea came from a student in a workshop I taught at the Michigan League of Handweavers Conference probably in 2015. Marge heard me describing yet another little trick I like to use when weaving tapestry and she said I should write a book about those tips. So I did.

Growing up on the edge of the Navajo Reservation

Growing up on the edge of the Navajo Reservation

In my last post I reviewed Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today, a new book by Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas. As part of that post I found myself writing what follows but then felt my own experience was out of place when discussing that beautiful publication. So what follows is some thoughts about my own relationship to Navajo weaving today. You can read the blog post about the book HERE.

I grew up in Gallup, NM. That town on I-40 is perched on the edge of the Navajo Indian Reservation just south of where Lynda and Barbara grew up. Slowly, I came to know a little about Navajo weaving. My parents took us to Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site whenever we had out-of-town guests they wanted to show around. Inevitably that was followed by a trip to Canyon de Chelly. I understood nothing of tribal/US politics as a child. Nor did I understand much about poverty or the roots of the struggles the Navajo people have experienced at the hands of the federal government.

Spider Woman's Children

Spider Woman's Children

When Lynda Teller Pete told me she and her sister Barbara Teller Ornelas were writing a book about today’s Navajo weavers, I knew I needed to get a copy. Lynda an articulate speaker and a spokeswoman for traditional Navajo weaving. I had the opportunity to look at some of the Navajo Textile Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with herself and DY Begay several months ago and her knowledge of this art form is informed by her personal knowledge as a weaver, her experience as a Navajo tribal member, and her study of Navajo textiles at the museum level. I knew the book, Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today, was going to be excellent. Plus it was published by Thrums Books and everything Linda Ligon touches in this business is magic. Photography done by the magnificent Joe Coca was icing on the cake.

If I had to say what this book is about in one world, I would have to say family. It tells a story of family, both the larger family of the Navajo Nation and the particular family of Lynda and Barbara.

Inhale

Inhale

A vacation.

It does not seem like taking some time off should be difficult. Humans need rest.

But I do find it difficult to absent myself completely from my business. It turns out in two weeks there were no monumental tapestry emergencies, my website went back up, and I enjoyed watching my brain relax its anxious grip on whatever it perceives as reality in that moment.

I picked up Krista Suh's book, DIY Rules for a WTF World in a yarn shop recently and it seemed like great deck reading. Right at the beginning of the book. . . .

What happens at tapestry camp, stays at tapestry camp... except for this

What happens at tapestry camp, stays at tapestry camp... except for this

Sweet mountain air, a community of people who love tapestry, and five days of fun.

The Colorado 2018 design retreat was so much fun. We had a wonderful group of people. As an instructor, it is so rewarding to spend five days with people who are able to ask questions both of the other people but also of themselves. They were able to dive into their creative selves and identify what they wanted to work on and then actually work on it!

This was a retreat where I encouraged everyone to follow their own path. This did mean that they had to think some about what they wanted to work on before coming to the retreat and then follow their ideas with some guidance from me and their fellow weavers throughout the week.

A little bit proud

A little bit proud

I just returned from a trip to St. Louis to see the tapestry show at Webster Arts. Warp and Weft is a show of works in tapestry currently up at Webster Arts. The artists have all been students of mine in some capacity over the last seven years. Some are new to the medium and attended a foundations retreat or online class and some have been weaving for decades and attended an advanced design class or workshop or took my color gradations class online.

The video below shows the gallery, my talk, and a rather jumpy walk-through of the work. (I promise I'll get a tripod with a video head one of these days!)

I'm going to New Mexico! What should I do?

I'm going to New Mexico! What should I do?

I grew up in Northern New Mexico and have spent much of my adult life living in and around Santa Fe. I love this area of the globe a great deal and have explored a lot of it over the years. People love to visit New Mexico and I often get questions about where they should visit on their vacations.

I get this question so much I thought I'd better write a blog post about it. Please don't think that that is altruistic of me. It is self defense. I love my home state and I'll happily spend 30 minutes writing someone an email listing all the places they should go. This post is my shortcut for future requests. If you have other ideas especially of fiber-related places to visit in Northern New Mexico, please leave them in the comments.