food, friends, fire, family, a roof, ice cubes, music, warm clothing, ideas, you...
but I won't because I would get really sappy in short order
and nobody wants that.
information and time.
At least the time part.
In my early 20s when I was a caretaker on a ranch in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness,
I got up at 4 AM, even when we didn't have hunters, to spin yards of yarn before the other work began.
Clearing trails for the Forest Service a few years later, my pulaski, shovel, sleeping bag and freeze dried food shared backpack space with elaborate knitting projects. Every break meant I could take off my hard hat
for 15 heavenly minutes and give myself to hand spun wool, sweat smearing the graphite on my graph paper charts.
Neither job was particularly yarn friendly, (nor ice cube friendly but that is a subject for another day). But I had a prized copy of
Knitting Without Tears and from its pages understood that I had a right to my obsession with this work and these materials, and for that I am forever grateful.
some arriving unwanted and uninvited to rock my world.
I was embarrassed to check Understanding Comics out of the library when it leapt off the shelf into my hand. What would the librarians think of me? What would I think of myself?
Thanks to Scott McCloud, however, I think I'm the kind of person who reads, weaves, draws
and (apparently, though this is still too new to confirm), embroiders comics.
I'm only a little bit shy about it.
Other books awash in ideas have also insisted on being in my life,
though it turned out I couldn't read or learn from them
until I started to write the darned things myself.
But since my job is to chase ideas
and I never know what an idea will demand,
it behooves me to give them some time at the start.
Some are seductive. Others scare the crap out of me.
The best ones usually are scary, or embarrassing, or both at once
and it is imperative to be polite, be they well-groomed or grubby,
essential to offer them tea and cookies if I have them,
and beyond important to not be irritated when the less cheerful ones refuse to go away.
The thrill of exploring a new skill, or adding a twist to one I think I've already mastered,
of finding new books or blogs or websites,
of opening myself up to possibility
(including the possibly of being mediocre, or even pretty bad at whatever it is),
is beyond anything I can describe in words.
It's particularly great when it all turns out well.
It's particularly useful, when it doesn't.
Even if I am sure I won't use the information or idea for a while, if ever,
it pays to be polite and listen for as long as I can stand it.
A person just never knows when or how something that has been sitting around for ages,
or shows up out of the blue,
will be exactly what she wants.
The ATA Blog tour.
Janna Maria Vallee of Vancouver Yarn and chair of the upcoming American Tapestry Alliance's Tapestry Unlimited: International, Unjuried Small Format Exhibition
has created a blog tour with six instructors sharing tapestry techniques.
Click on the links above (or Vancouver Yarn link below) for more details and to see the fabulous promotional video.
The Blog Tour Line-Up
December 23rd: Vancouver Yarn
December 30th: Rebecca Mezoff
January 6th: Terry Olson
January 13th: Mirrix Looms
January 20th: Elizabeth Buckley
January 27th: Sarah Swett
I will be focusing on value in tapestry, a topic dear to my heart and of tremendous importance in most of my tapestry work to date, and though I haven't the least idea what I will actually say when the time comes, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share some stuff I've learned that might be of use to someone. And if, while talking about grey scales and such, I happen accidentally go on about the bliss of a tensioned loom, finger picking or wool warp, please know I can't help it.
You can sign up below to receive weekly updates on the tour
(this is separate from my mailing list)