So here's the story.
Back in the spring at Art is You in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Julianna Hudgins came to play. I hadn't met her before, and she is delightful. A tiny, high-powered, high-maintenance hoot. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Her hair has its own zip code. She brought a bunch of Jewel Looms, the bead-weaving looms she designed, and she did an afternoon tutorial in The Voodoo Lounge. I sat and watched and stitched because I didn't really imagine any time I'd ever want to make a woven bead bracelet, and then I forgot about it because that's just how my brain works.
Move ahead to September, at Art is You in Petaluma, and Tonia Jenny, who had done the tutorial with Juliana back in the spring, let me tag along to a workshop she was taking (thanks to Jane LaFazio for letting me come hang out that day; it was delightful), and opened up a bag and let me look through all the bracelets she'd made in the interim. They were gorgeous. Most of them were intricately beaded, but there was this one:
We met in the hotel lobby the night of Art Trunk, before we could go in and actually, you know, shop, and she taught me how to weave fibers: set up and string the loom, weave the fibers, weave in the ends, finish it off—all of the steps. You saw the rest yesterday: the loom Tonia gave me, one Julianna gave me (at Art is You in Stamford—yes, it's just like family, meeting up at Art is You retreats all across the country), and 4 more that I bought. I know my obsessions well, and I know this is the only way I learn to do stuff: do multiples, compare, tweak, start over, try another way.
Below you can see the ones I've made for myself so far. They all wrap around twice—the loom is exactly long enough to make one this length, and it's exactly long enough to go around my (skinny) wrists two times, which I love.
I've also made maybe half a dozen for The EGE and one for a guy who works at The Wine Rack and wanted one. For those, I use cotton cord and make them sized to fit and close with a hidden snap. Very plain, just a band of color. For The EGE, I've been making them in combinations to go with his appliquéd t-shirts, and he's having fun with those.
OK, now look up at the loom photo again and see the two over on the left. Those are the latest experiment: woven cuffs from a wool/silk blend I got on clearance. I finished those yesterday:
Janice, of Felt Sutra, gave me), and I'm thinking of cutting some of those into ribbon (wider than the ones I have here) and weaving those. If that works, I'm thinking woven pockets for garments. Carol (she doesn't have a website) sent me a box of wonderfulness, and there were two woven pieces in it that made me think, "Pockets!" and that set off a whole new thread of ideas. I've got a ton of stretcher bars (bought mostly in bundles at estate sales long ago) in all different lengths, and I'm thinking I'll try making a bag-sized loom out of 4 of those, with some reinforcement (I'm thinking of those little angle brackets you can screw in, maybe) to make it steady; or I could glue two layers of stretcher bars together.) I was sitting in The Voodoo Lounge yesterday (the original Voodoo Lounge, here in my house, not the one that appears at retreats when we set up a room for hanging out), looking around, and my eyes caught on the built-in shelves set into an alcove in the wall. I hung a curtain rod for orange and pink curtains, and sitting there looking at it, I thought of how easily that space could convert into a loom long enough for a scarf: replace the curtain rod with a sturdier wooden dowel, put another one, reversed, at floor level (reversed so the tension wouldn't pull the dowel from the brackets, since this would all be temporary), make it however wide I wanted and as long as the opening (the height of a doorway, so what? 7'?). I wouldn't have to remove the books or anything; all I'd have to do is slide off the curtains and set up the dowels. Hmmmmmmm.
But for now, I'm going to just play with the blue and green fiber and ribbon and let the possibilities for more experiments simmer on the back burner: I have enough to keep me more than occupied for the next little while.
Oh, I did just snort. Yes, I did, here all alone by myself. I have enough projects going that I should clone myself half a dozen times. I have more I want to start—I dug out a linen top I was going to return to Lana because I suddenly realized how I could totally remake it in size and length, and EASILY. But I'm forcing myself to hold off until I get at least one more thing finished. Just one more, that's all. Then I can start the next three I want to do. Yeah, I know the math doesn't work, but that's the best I can do; I'm disciplined about pretty much everything except projects and cookies, and I'm really trying to work on the cookies. . . .
Thanks for coming by! XO