Suitcase of yarn

Any time your packing list contains the words, Suitcase of Yarn, you know you're going somewhere fun. This is not a teaching trip though. I'm headed to Arizona to be the artist-in-residence at Petrified Forest National Park for the month of November. I'm going to the desert to do some tapestry designing. I am so excited about this, I gasp a little when I think about it.

How often do most of us get the opportunity to step away from the business of art and actually focus on making it? As a tapestry weaver, I can only bring small looms with me. Even so, my plans include at least three portable looms in addition to the bag full of Hokett looms I will undoubtedly have. I have a project in mind for those little looms.

Saturday morning: I am here! What an amazing place. I was here as a kid, but my memory was of the petrified logs, not of the amazing desert landscape. I arrived in a driving rainstorm yesterday. It rained all the way from Gallup and I watched the arroyos start to run over those 70 miles. First trickles, then red streams, then raging brown rivers.

I opened my creative space for the next month and looked out the window and saw this.

For today, I will sit and walk and watch the desert. I am also certain my shoes will be very very muddy. What a miracle.

P.S. For those loom-y among you, the final count was two Mirrix, one galvanized pipe loom, two copper pipe looms, and four Hoketts. Seems like enough, right? In my defense, some of those are for visitors to try during my presentations. Plus the suitcase of yarn and the pile of drawing supplies of course.

P.P.S. The little legs you see peeking out from the baseboard in one of the above photos are those of the lizard I found while unpacking. He found his way outside this morning after biting me. "Mostly harmless" is what I would call him.

P.P.P.S. A big thanks to Lyn Hart who was my inspiration to get this residency. You can see some of her amazing desert tapestries on her website,