For years I've wanted to know how to spin paper into yarn. Thanks to Sandy Webster, I can now do that thing. She showed me a simple way to spin and referenced me to Susan Byrd (link to a Youtube video of paper spinning) for further information and instructions. A good source for Thai Kozo paper is at the Dick Blick online site, for I discovered that any old so-called mulberry paper won't necessarily spin well. Below are a few trial spins. I colored the white kozo paper with some fabric dyes I have on hand. The samples are resting on a surface type cinder block (only about 1 1/2 inches thick) which is supreme for getting a tight spin. Susan Byrd has the whole dang big block in her demonstration. Just saying.
Here's another tapestry from my self-made book, The Moons of 2015. This one is for January 4, 2015. In my enthusiasm for the diary-like idea, I made two drawings for this full moon. At this time, I'm still completely unaware that my husband and I will be moving to a continuing care retirement community.
There's more information about that moons book at the 11/15/2018 post--(see way below).
Since no one wants my knitting efforts, I need some other hand work to do while waiting in all those medical places I am frequently prone to be in. I've taken up embroidery and it is satisfying. Combining embroidery with constructing books produced this book, "Taming The Ox," which is an adaptation of the ten steps to enlightenment probably painted by a 16th century Chinese Buddhist monk along with his commentary which I downloaded from the internet. Surely copyrights don't last as long as 300 years.
Anyway, my objective was to have images ready to embroider so I could practice stitches. Which I did. After embroidering all those ten paintings, I felt like there needed to be some color painted on them since the embroidery looked scanty. After all that huge amount of time spent, these 10 steps wanted to be in a book. See below.
I started making this book during my workshop with Sandy Webster. The idea is to "take a thread for a walk" as Anni Albers was once instructed to do. The gray thread is hand-spun paper on which I've written my thoughts about our current cultural and national situation. To spin this paper, I wrote on Thai Kozo paper, cut it into strips, dampened it, then rolled it into "yarn." It was a way to "vent" my frustrations and fears It All.
In December 2014 I decided I'd draw a picture on every full moon for the entire year of 2015. I did that. As it turned out, 2015 was a year of significant transition and upheaval for Larry and I. In March, 2015 I had thyroid surgery, and as I was recovering I realized that if both Larry and I were down and out sick and needing expert help, we couldn't get the level of care that we'd need while living in Clarkesville. Plus, our daughter had moved to Decatur from Seattle. By October 4, 2015, we'd down-sized and moved to a continuing care retirement community near Atlanta. That's some fast foot work, friends. Here are some photos of the book, "Full Moons of 2015." I plan to weave most, if not all, of the full moons of 2015.
Here is the first full moon drawing of 2015.
And, here is the woven tapestry of that image.
I spent Nov 4 through 10 at JC Campbell taking a workshop with Sandy Webster, "Books That Are All About The Stitch," which was combining paper and fiber in a book. My goal for the workshop was to get help with how to design content for books I want to create. We went up and down, back and forth about what I wanted to "write" about. Dementia. This is the book I made. I spun Thai Kozo paper into yarn after I had written on the paper my feelings and thoughts about dementia.
Yesterday after waiting over an hour to be seen by my chiropractor, Ethiopian food appealed to me. Yelp said one was 2.9 miles away and a 13 minute drive.
Another car with two women in it pulled into the small parking lot in front of the Ghion Cultural Hall on Cheshire Bridge. They went in and sat at a corner table. I sat alone at another table--the restaurant was empty except for us. We got our menus. "Excuse me," one of the women said. "Do you know anything about Ethiopian food? We don't know nothin' about this kinda food. We need some help." She had an unusual accent (Bulgarian? Russian). "A little," I said. "Well, come sit with us! Come on," she said. So I go sit with them. I explain that the food comes with a huge tef pancake and everything is stews. Lamb is usually a good choice if you like meat. They order lamb and I get the veggie plate.
The waitress/cook brought our lunch on one 24 inch tray lined with tef pancake and all the stews we ordered on top. There were extra pancakes rolled up on side dishes. "Tear off a piece of pancake and pinch up some stew in it. Eat. No forks will be given," I say. "Oh Lawwwd," says Mavin. "This is delicious!" This is a Blessed lunch. The Lord is being good to us!"
We trade some personal information. Mavin's mother just died in August and she's recovering from that. Hillary is basically single, having broken up with her boyfriend. Mavin was born and raised 20 miles down the water from New Orleans and her accent is perfect wonderful Cajun. Hillary is thinking of moving to Atlanta from her north Georgia town.
We order coffee and it comes when we've finished our meal. The coffee has been freshly roasted and prepared here in the restaurant; it's in a carved black pot with a rose colored, carved wooden plug. The waitress lights a frankincense rock that's on a little bed of straw. As the smoke of it reaches us, an elegant man in a lovely brown suit who had come in a while after us, stands up and comes close to explain that an Ethiopian mother would shoo her children away, saying, I want to enjoy my little time with this kaffu. The frankincense is for calming before the coffee is drunk. A relaxing ritual. The three of us inhale the exotic smoke and smile at one another. The man also explains that when the coffee is finished, there is a residue in the bottom and if a fortune teller is present, your fortune can be had by analysis of the coffee dregs. I wanted to ask him if he can tell fortunes, but I don't. He is too much like a professor rather than a fortune teller.
of 99% of the drawings I've made, mostly in the very early hours of each morning--with coffee, right after writing in my journal. I used to have them loose, in portfolios or packed in those plastic sheet protectors in large notebooks. They were all over the place. Way messy. Way too hard to try to look through them. Once I began making handmade books, my approach changed. I saw a video on youtube about how to bind loose pages and got to work on binding all these small (usually 5 x 7 inches or so, give or take) drawings into books. The bindings of the loose drawings are the ones with the horizontal stitchings on the spines.
Here are 3 newly bound books. I'm waiting for my inner designer to come up with some sort of title to put on the covers.
This tapestry took me way longer to weave than one of that size ordinarily does. Not sure I like it. About half way through weaving it I became bored with it. Please note: photo is of very rough, unfinished state and still warm from the cutting = ) I have yet to make a few adjustments. BTW: what would look better—knotted warp ends or make them disappear? I tried the thing about weaving in every other warp end, but that doesn’t work when half hitches have been applied. Size: 38 x 34 inches.
Pat enjoys designing and weaving tapestries, designing and constructing books, knitting, cooking, and fooling around in Atlanta, GA. Member of the American Tapestry Alliance, Tapestry Weavers South, Southern Highland Craft Guild, Southeastern Fiber Arts Alliance and Atlanta Shambhala Meditation Center.