January 1st is more than just another day, isn’t it? It’s a time to review the past year and bring new dreams into the year ahead. This pivot point calls for gratitude. I am especially grateful for friends like you who walk with me on this weaving journey!
First up in the new year I have thick and thin towels to finish, and the halvdräll is oh so close to the end of the warp (didn’t quite make it for Christmas). And one little girl is off the small tapestry loom, waiting for final finishing, mounting, and framing.
The little village is waking up. Sun rising. This small tapestry is near completion, and I am happy with the things I have learned in the process. Now, I am preparing a cartoon and gathering an array of Fåro wool colors for the next small tapestry. I may be jumping in over my head with this next one, but I will learn new things to practice.
In my tea and tapestry time (tapestry diary) in the evenings, my intention is to improve my tapestry skills by practicing the little that I know. The concept is to learn by doing. Find what works, and do it more. For example, in the class I recently attended at Weaving Southwest, Teresa Loveless worked with me on the hatching technique. When I came home to this little tapestry village, I wanted to implement that new understanding right away. The sunrise sky, created with hatching, came as a result of Teresa’s coaching and my desire to learn by doing.
Isn’t that how we navigate through life? Take what you know about how to live, and how to please God. And then do it more. Learn by doing. Every new insight builds, not on what we know, but on what we have put into practice.
There is nothing that hinders cello practice more than a good old cello case. Out of sight; out of mind. Many years ago I discovered that if my cello sits out in the open on a cello stand in the corner of the room, I am much more likely to practice. The same is true of weaving on my tapestry frame. By hanging the tapestry frame in a corner of our living room, I have a continual reminder to weave. And we get to enjoy a living piece of artwork in the room–artwork that grows a little each day.
Steve made this simple holder for my tapestry frame. The 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ (2 cm x 4 cm) pine has two dowels, and is fastened to the wall with countersunk screws. The holder practically disappears behind the tapestry that it puts on display.
There is something warmly appealing about a little brick house with a pitched roof and a red front door. A house, treated properly, after all, is a home. With this month’s tapestry diary I am attempting simple little houses, one at a time. These whimsical dwellings could remind you of houses you’ve known, but my houses are made of wool…
This first little tapestry home has a closed door. The sett is not fine enough for detail that could show an open door, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see what’s behind the front door of the tiny house? For most of us, there are at least a few things that we prefer to keep behind closed doors. We have embarrassing and disorderly things that we would rather not reveal.
Think of your heart as a house. Our words reveal what we keep behind closed doors. Most of the time we don’t mean for the words to escape, but they always do. The tongue delivers what is in the heart. The remedy is to keep the heart in order. And then we won’t mind opening the door.
I am getting a late start on this month’s tapestry diary, so I am selecting a smaller palette of colors and a narrower warp. This is doodling with yarn, using a few simple shapes and a handful of colors.
Here I go blending colors and making color gradations again–in miniature. Three strands of red, and then one of the reds is replaced with orange; next, another red is replaced, making it two oranges and one red; and finally, the last red says goodbye and now the three strands are all orange. And why not insert two rows of yellow blends between each two rows of the red-to-orange gradation? The whole thing is a wordless color story. It requires several colors to do this, each one having its part to play. Some colors work better together than others, but every color has a place. Each color strand is essential to the story.
You and I are not here to please and satisfy ourselves. We are here to tell a bigger story. We worship God by using our individual gifts to serve and to function in harmony with others. The resulting woven tapestry, when finished, will reveal the skill of our Grand Weaver.
May you blend well in your relationships, using your gifts.