Tapestry Diary: The cabin that burned

One of my favorite walks at CSU Mountain Campus in Pingree Park is the long valley loop. It goes by the Far Away cabin and of course I always thought it would be great to live there for awhile. This year when we arrived for the Foundations Tapestry Retreat, the staff told us that the cabin had burned down the week before (no one was hurt).

I have continued to do a tapestry diary of sorts to remember events and places. Last year I had noted my wish to weave that cabin in my tapestry diary journal but I never got around to it. And this year it was gone.

Here is a photo of Far Away from 2018.

Far Away cabin, CSU Mountain Campus, 2018

And here is the cabin this year.

Far Away cabin, CSU Mountain Campus, 2019 about a week after it burned

I decided that this year I would weave a tapestry diary piece while teaching the retreat and I actually managed to finish it while on the mountain. The cabin is surrounded by Caution tape and that figured prominently in the design.

I keep a small paperback sketchbook for my tapestry diary ideas. Small and paperback so that I can bring it with me when I travel to write down ideas. Mostly the ideas look a lot like the page below. Sometimes I’ll sketch in color ideas with colored pencil. More often I’ll just jot down ideas in words. For example I might write, “make this part red because it made me angry” with an arrow to part of the design. In this case, I first thought I’d weave the piece in landscape orientation but then I realized that the yellow CAUTION tape was really what I wanted to emphasize and I didn’t want to weave the whole word. So I zoomed in on the tape, turned the drawing sideways, and just made the cabin a sketchy bit of black farther back in the picture plane.

I warped my tiny four selvedge loom for the piece with the help of this chicken. (Also, that book, On Trails by Robert Moor is fantastic so far!)

I started weaving this on the cabin deck one day at lunch. This day was the sunniest day of the week but the wind was very spring-like and I soon had to relocate inside because my yarn was blowing off the table.

Far Away tapestry piece started on the cabin deck at CSU Mountain Campus, Colorado.

A little more progress a few days later. You can see the bright yellow CAUTION tape with just the top side of the ON indicated. I’m paying attention to the value of the greens I had. There were four of them in my bag and they all got used in this piece. But I wanted to make sure that the forms showed up against each other so choice of which green to use where depended on their value more than anything else.

I really wanted the sky to be the beautiful blue we get high in Colorado. But though I searched every bag I brought for a stray ball of sky blue, I had none in the weaversbazaar yarn I was using. I didn’t want to wait to finish the piece until I got home, so I mixed a light valued lavender with gray for the sky. You can see the logs of the burnt cabin in the weaving now.

Below is the piece completed but still on the loom.

Rebecca Mezoff, Far Away, tapestry diary piece woven while teaching the Foundations Tapestry Retreat in 2019

And here is the piece hiding among the student accomplishments of the week.

Tapestry diary piece hiding among the amazing student work from the Foundations Tapestry Retreat, 2019.

The Foundations Tapestry Retreat at CSU Mountain Campus outside of Fort Collins, CO was wonderful. You can see my thoughts about it in THIS blog post.

Do you do any sort of tapestry diary practice or travel weaving? Tell us in the comments below!

I wrote about my tapestry diary HERE and have had many posts since. You’ll find them peppered throughout the blog with more to come this summer as I’m out and about.