Sun Rising

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.

Sun Rising. Small tapestry project on Freja loom.

Little woven village at the start of a new day. Sky is developed with hatching. Small ojos form three birds in the sky. Freja Tapestry Frame.

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.

May you enter a sunrise season of life.

With pleasant anticipation,
Karen

6 Comments

  • nancy ryan says:

    I love your tapestry!!! I also adhere to the concept of learning by doing. I was recently asked by a guild member to translate a rigid heddle draft into multi harness. Have I done this before? No! But learning something new as I am doing it is a thrill for me.

  • beth says:

    Karen! I am also a learn-by-doing person! For example — thank you for your encouragement when I reached out to you a few months ago and shared my intention to make some rosepath rag rugs! I enjoyed the process and the results were a great inspiration to try even more new things!

    • Karen says:

      Way to go, Beth! It is so rewarding to learn new things. It’s wonderful that you ventured ahead with the rosepath rag rugs. Can you send me a picture? I would love to see what you made! OH I just remembered… You DID send me pictures! They were great!

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • linda says:

    what a giggle! I love the birds. the tapistery is great. Learn it, do it, teach it. that’s what makes life fun. now your ready for prespective houses, shading, and changing pictures into a woven masterpiece. along with your tea and weaving remember to LAUGH after all it’s only thread and can be changed if needed. Love,Peace and Joy. linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I’m glad you like the birds! It was fun to add them in the picture. I am planning my next small tapestry to be a landscape scene. Little by little making progress.
      Thanks for your encouragement.
      Karen

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Tools Day: Tapestry Frame on Display

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.

Tapestry diary of little houses.

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.

Pine holder for small Freja tapestry frame.

Pine board has two dowels on which to set the tapestry frame.

Tapestry frame holder.

Accessibility is the secret to daily tapestry practice. To prevent the tapestry frame from being accidentally knocked off its holder, it is placed in a corner of the room that is not in a walkway.

Super simple tapestry frame holder.

Tapestry frame holder is attached to the wall with two countersunk screws.

Small tapestry diary of little houses.

Tapestry diary for July is a village of little houses.

May you have reminders to practice your art.

In progress,
Karen

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Little Woven Houses

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

Start of small house small tapestry.

Tapestry diary for this month starts with a little house.

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.

Red door on a little brick house.

Red door on a brick house. What is going on inside?

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.

May your house be a home.

With heart,
Karen

4 Comments

  • nancy ryan says:

    I love your idea of a tapestry diary! I’m very interested to see how this progresses!

    • Karen says:

      Nancy, the tapestry diary idea is one I am borrowing from other tapestry weavers. The main idea for me is to weave a little bit of tapestry every day. Two accomplished tapestry weavers that I admire have amazing tapestry diaries – Tommye Scanlin and Janette Meetze.

      Karen

  • linda says:

    do you know about “Cartoons” and inking the warp for a taestry picture? It helps a lot. can’t wait to see the houses finished. LPJ, linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda,

      I have used cartoons a few times when I have done pictorial images. I am inking the warp for the little houses on this tapestry. It does really help!

      Karen

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Every Tapestry Has a Story to Tell

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.

Tapestry frame with small monthly tapestry diary.

Tapestry frame hangs where we see it daily. Art in progress.

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.

Two picks of weft create a wavy line.

Two picks of a weft color (or blend) create a wavy line. A single pick of a color creates a dotted line.

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.

Better together,
Karen

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Tapestry Diary Mistake and Remedy

If you must be in a hurry, then you probably won’t enjoy handweaving. Your hurry up condition will be put to the test even more so with tapestry weaving. And when you make mistakes, the errors can usually be remedied, but it always takes more time. Have patience.

Back of finished small tapestry.

Small tapestry is finished when close inspection reveals a critical omission–there is no twining at the bottom edge of the weaving.

I meant to have this piece finished two months ago, but that’s another story. Now that I have finally woven the last pick I am so eager to take the tapestry off the frame. Wait a minute. What? I forgot to do the twining at the beginning of the tapestry? The twining is essential; it keeps the weft in place when the warp tension is relaxed. Okay, have patience, Karen. Do what needs to be done. Add the twining.

Twining added at bottom of small tapestry.

With little space in which to manipulate threads, the accidentally omitted twining is added in.

Twining added at bottom of small tapestry.

Added twining is pushed into place at the bottom of the small tapestry.

Small tapestry diary. Karen Isenhower

Finished view. Now that the added twining makes a pleasant oultine, I like how the tapestry looks on the frame loom. I may leave it on the frame one more day.

Patience is a virtue. What do you do when your patience is put to the test? Especially with important life issues. Trust in the Lord and be still. Waiting patiently is better than fretting. Is it possible the Lord has some finishing work to do in us, requiring patience, before we move on to the next assignment?

May you find errors while they are still fixable.

Love,
Karen

14 Comments

  • Sandy says:

    Karen, do you do any finishing on the back?

    • Karen says:

      Sandy, I will make an edging with the warp ends when I remove the tapestry from the frame loom, but I don’t do any other finishing on the back, other than trimming all the yarn to about 1/2″.

      Karen

  • kath says:

    Your tapestry is awesomely beautiful and thank you for the life lesson on patience, it comes at just the right time. I have been working on patience for a good while now….I have found it with my fibery fun, now to incorporate it into every day life.

    • Karen says:

      Dear Kath,
      Learning patience is a continual lesson for all of us, isn’t it? Your sweet compliment makes me smile. Thanks!

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • Trish says:

    When I think back I don’t remember being taught the virtue of patience when young or in school. So it’s nice to be reminded that it’s ok to go slower and stay calm… I’m learning the outcome is better in what I do and how I feel about myself and my work. Thanks Karen.

    • Karen says:

      That’s a good point, Trish! I think you are right–the outcome IS better when we slow down and stay calm.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      Karen

  • Carrol says:

    Karen your tapestry is such a beautiful artistic work of art you are so gifted and thank you for sharing your fabulous work. Yes that word patience certainly does arise quite often a great posting to remind us of it , as weaving does give us another avenue to practise it, I find the continuous developing and faith of telling myself …that everything in my life will unfold as it should ….slows down the anxiety to calmly work it out. Bless you Karen

    • Karen says:

      Carrol, Thank you!
      I appreciate hearing everyone’s thoughts on patience. It is worthwhile to give consideration to things that make a difference in how our lives function. I am so happy you’ve added your voice to the conversation!

      Blessings to you,
      Karen

  • linda says:

    LOVE the tapistery. I believe patience comes with age. As we get older we come to understand doing a project right may take time and we are ready to give that project that needed time. Along with being a weaver I’m also a knitter and a Quilter. My friends that quilt are always in a hurry to make the next quilt so they have their quilts machine quilted. i, PERSONALLY, hand quilt because I spend the time quietly reflecting on the person the quilt is for hoping they will some day know how much love, patience, joy and happiness went into their quilt. Weaving is the same The planning and the correcting to make the project the right size, for me, takes a lot of thought. threading a thousand ++threads of 20/2 for the warp takes me forever. I can only do 50 threads a day. the weaving is ,in a lot of cases, mindless work unless it’s a new complicated pattern, but it all takes patience to make it come out right. God given or insight from ageing ,patience is a blessing we hopefully will all attain. LPJ, linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda,
      Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you like the way it turned out!
      I’m grateful that God designed us to gain insight as we age. And I’m grateful for the insight you share!
      Love,
      Karen

  • Colleen says:

    Hi Karen,
    Beautiful work! Too bad you have to take it off the loom as it makes a fine frame.

    I am dealing with major challenges right now (newly widowed and new health issues) such as do I stay here or move. If I move, where on earth should I go. If I stay how will I care for the house and acreage. I find that my textile and fiber work are calming and help me to remember to be more patient with God. I can lose my self in the work and have the peace of mind for extensive prayer and conversation with God.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Colleen, I like it on the frame, too! I have to remove it, though, to start another tapestry. It could get costly to purchase a new frame loom for every new tapestry. 🙂

      It is sweet to hear how the Lord is carrying you through your time of waiting and seeking. I’m sorry for the hard things you have had to go through.
      Love,
      Karen

  • Amy says:

    Hello! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work! I wondered if you would grant permission for me to share your images in a small Sunday School (with credit), accompanied by the Tapestry Poem? Thank you for letting me know 🙂
    Amy

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, Thank you for asking! I would be honored for you to use my images for your Sunday school class. The Tapestry Poem is dear to my heart.

      All the best,
      Karen

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