Life gets too busy too often and I forget to sit still sometimes. One of my favorite things to do is go backpacking. I think I like it mostly because it is so simple. A few bits of gear, some food, a good pair of trail runners, and the all-important bug repellant and I can spend time in the woods. Last weekend I went up to the Rawah Wilderness in Northern Colorado for three days. It rained much of the time. There has been so much snow in Colorado this year that not only was I camping next to snow banks, but the ground everywhere was mush… and of course the mosquitos love all the water.
In the continuing video blogs of my trip to France, this is episode 9.
The second day we were in Aubusson was a national holiday. But the museums were open so we were able to visit the Cité International Museum of Tapestry. This museum seems to go by several different names. But while in Aubusson I mostly heard it and it’s administration of tapestry commissions in the area referred to as “the Cité.”
In the video blog below I talk about being recognized on a back street from my Instagram feed, seeing some wonderful tapestries including the Tolkien tapestries at the Cité International Museum of Tapestries, and there are some video clips of other favorite tapestry experiences. Enjoy it!
Bootsy is a penguin. She has a friend who is aptly named Penguin. They are the heroines of a (slightly modified) book distributed by Chick-fil-A called Penguin in Love, written by Salina Yoon.*
This little board book was given to Emily and I for our anniversary last summer by good friends. Surprisingly, there were only two pronouns that had to be changed in the whole book to make all characters female. The story features two penguins, Bootsy and Penguin who were both missing their yarn. They set off to find their it, knitting for warmth until inclement weather separates them. The story does not address the apparent paradox that they set off on a journey to find their missing yarn but had enough yarn to knit and keep warm. They both keep knitting while floating on ice floes and climbing snowy mountains and eventually they knit themselves back together.
As part of my tapestry diary, I wove a sketch inspired by Bootsy.** I think there may be two more little tapestries in the Penguin series.
I’ve been a teacher in some form for most of my professional life, but I’ve only been teaching tapestry for eight years. The growth that has happened in my own knowledge of tapestry practice and in my abilities as a teacher has grown exponentially in that time. I’ve gone from an apprentice to someone who appreciates other artist’s practices, but has confidence in her own and can teach others to follow their own paths.
Fiber artists are creative and every day I see something unique and inspiring from one of my students. Sometimes it is a fully-formed tapestry. But often it is the small seed of an idea that someone is trying out in a sampler. My job is simply to offer a little oxygen and water to that seed and encourage the idea to grow and perhaps become something marvelous. One idea leads to another, and a little chain of successes can lead to a whole body of work which enriches the maker and the world.
Making the Fringeless four selvedge warping class has been an adventure. A new online class always is. I totally love curriculum development. I like editing videos especially if I pick up some new skills for each class. And then the best part is when the class goes live and I see people's reactions to it. This class was extra special for me because I got to work with Sarah Swett who is always inspiring and a fantastic teacher. Also, the fact that she regularly makes me laugh is a big plus.
I just finished reading Debra Dean's new book, Hidden Tapestry: Jan Yoors, his two wives, and the war that made them one. I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and the story is far-ranging. It is a biography of Jan Yoor, an artist from Belgium who spent much of his youth with the gypsies and was part of the resistance during World War II. He survived the war, married his childhood sweetheart Annabert, and eventually added her friend Marianne as a second wife to their family. The Yoors moved to America eventually and ran a tapestry studio in Manhattan. Jan designed the work and the women wove it.