Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Museum of Western Art


Museum of Western Art is in our backyard.  This past week we attended an open house for their special exhibit with Becky Crouch Patterson, artist, author, designer as she celebrates 
"Lukenbach Legacy:  Hondo's Daughter"-- Hondo is historical owner of Luckenbach!
if you haven't heard of Luckenback, then here is some history--this town is a state of mind! you must listen to the song too --
back to the museum open house event
Becky opened her first one woman show with outstanding fiber art and oil paintings.
We enjoyed meeting Becky, sharing a glass of Newsome wine with her as she
shared a couple of her stories about her life growing up in Luckenbach light

Machine embroidery pieces "Women in Blue Bonnet"

Close-up of lacework on the collar

Machine embroidery "Picasso's Blue Boy"

42"X 54" "Angels on HIgh"

55"x36"  "Feria de las Flores"

"Make Me An Instrucment"

36"x48" Hondo's Sheep in Sunset"

96"x72"  "If you Love Me Feed My Sheep"

60"x72" Best People on Earth Are Dogs and Horses

36x48"  "Wears No Man's Brand"

I didn't take photos of her paintings, which were colorful and beautiful--

Becky calls her fiber hangings "tapestries".  But, what is a tapestry? 
a piece of thick textile fabric with pictures or designs formed by weaving colored weft threads or by embroidering on canvas, used as a wall hanging

Here is what I call a tapestry.

Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven by hand on a loom. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike most woven textiles, where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are typically discontinuous; the artisan interlaces each coloured weft back and forth in its own small pattern area. It is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design.

What do you think is a tapestry??

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Great Balls of Wool!

 I can hear the song in my head—“great balls of fire”  

 as I plod through my wool fiber that has accumulated over the years. 

How often do I wear wool?  All most never since I live in a warm state—oh, we do have ‘cold snap’ occasionally that lasts maybe one or two days—otherwise, there is no need to have bins of wool fiber. What to do with all that “stuff”.  I don’t want to throw away!  I could stuff pillows with some.  Or compost, if I had a compost pile.

I’m going to make balls!  Yes!  Great balls of wool!  Balls of felt!  which will be perfect to use in the dryer--then I thought, I have a baby in the house at times!.. He would love playing with these super soft wool balls.  And when thrown, no damage would be done!

Here is one bin of wool--dyed wool fleece and carded roving

I begin to roll the fleece into a small tight ball--'squirrel' moment!  Look at the crimp on that fleece!  This would be so nice to spin--
Gotta to stop thinking about the spinablility of the fleece and stick to the action at hand!
Keep adding fleece to the small ball and keep rolling until there is a large size ball.
You're saying "why are pantry hose involved?"  THis is my lazy way to make felted balls.
The traditional method means lots of soak and rolling in hot soapy water.
Lazy way--panty hose!  Do you know how hard it is to find panty hose in this day and age?  how many people wear panty hose anymore?  I did find these knee highs--will work fine for this task.
TAke that nice tight ball of wool and stuff into pantry hose
Tie a knot tightly!
Stuff as many wool balls into the panty hose, tighting between each ball.
Next, here comes the fun--throw into washing machine with hot soapy water (I usually wash towels in the load--gives the balls some friction)  When the cycle has run, pop into the dryer!  
Did say it was the lazy way to felt?!

Ta-da!  Great balls of wool! 
All felted and freed from panty hose trappings!  Easy peazy!  Still more fiber to use!  Back to making great balls of wool!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022


My husband will say that I’m definitely “warped” most of the time!  

But, in this case, I'm only becoming 'warped' because I'm sleying/threading my loom!
And there are times, I've not engaged my brain--therefore, taking me longer to really
thread the loom!  I tend to wander to other thoughts--"Squirrel" moments!

Usually, if I'm planning on the same pattern, I tie one warp onto the pre-existing thread--seems to be a good method--
until, there is a problem with a missing thread OR in the case of the last warp three threads were
sleyed into one dent instead of just two!
Of course, I didn't catch the error until five yards had been woven off!
oh, well, I can live with some mistakes.

Now, I want to rectify that error for this threading!  Slowly, I go--
I spent several hours winding warp on the board.
I wanted to sit down to wind threads--pulled out some shelves from my fabric cart--
worked great!  
It seems all is well!   it's a go for tying up and throwing the first shuttle--then it happen!

I missed a dent!  can you see the problem??  well, I can!  Sticks out like a sore thumb!
But, I'm weaving away--put down the hem thread first, same as warp, wove with my handspun brown cotton; added an indigo dyed blue warp
 thread for accent--
must use up all that spun cotton from the tour de fleece event.

I tell myself, it'll all come out in the wash!





Sunday, July 31, 2022

Keeping Track?!

 How do you keep track of your knitting?  Especially if using charts?  I like charts—once you become familiar with charted symbols, your brain co-ordinates with your hands to make knitting a breeze.  

For years I used sticky notes to underline where the row was.  Brown headed daughter gave me these long sticky notes.  Now, I’m low on the long ones—so the colorful post a notes will work.  Just takes more of them— One problem with sticky—after moving the notes several times, all the sticky won’t stick any more!

The other day I found my magnet board!  Where had it been—right under my nose, of course.  Once again, I pressed it into service. Those long magnet strips work well—don’t move them any though when off to the side!

Another problem—can’t use the magnet board for more than one project at a time.
Then, I remembered There was an app for that!  
KnitCompanion is free app that allows you to import a pattern and is a way to underline your knitting row.

If you check online, you can find other methods that will keep track of your knitting—but, for me—
Back to the sticky notes!!  Besides, post a note comes in such pretty colors!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Watercolors on Cloth.

On a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona to visit my brother several years ago,  I took a detour to a quilt shop--of course!
the guys were playing golf and I have no interest in hitting that little white ball, watching it soar, 
waiting my turn to hit it again- using up four hours time!
Quilt shop is much better to spend four hours.
During that visit, I purchased these hand painted four panels from a local artist, Roberta Rogers

I didn't want to frame the panels so saved them for future ideas.

I decided to take the panels and make them into one large banner for over the headboard of our
master bed.

The banner added color to our mountain home in Colorado--loved looking at the scenery
every day.

And there were reminders of Arizona and the lovely saguaro that grace the landscape

Ahh, the colors of the Southwest!
Evidentually, we moved from that mountain retreat to southern states and I had
no idea what to do with my SW banner--into the storage bin it went--just recently, when
stash diving, I found the beautiful watercolors again.
I inched my way through the panels with a seam ripper, dividing the cloth from the panels--
once again, I'm waiting for an idea to hit my brain so I can again display theses
one of a kind paintings.


Monday, July 25, 2022


Story of a long journey!  A seeminly never ending journey!
You see, I've been spinning brown cotton for years!
It all began when I planted a few brown cotton seeds
to watch them grow into lovely plants that produced a
lovely bloom, in turn to produce a boll of brown cotton.
Brown cotton is short staple, takes some practice to spin

This cotton came from Acadians who exiled from Nova Scotia and settled in
Southern Louisiana and had many hardships overcome .  Read their story here

While I was education coordinator at one of the Louisiana plantations, we planted
brown cotton for public viewing.  Of course, since I had the smooth ginned seeds,
I planted some in my home garden, year after year!
Hence, when I picked the bolls, they were saved till I had a large quantity.

Usually, I would hand card, which takes alot of time and patience.
Somehow, my friend and I stumbled upon a mill that would card our cotton for us!
That was a huge YAY!
Before, we could send to the mill, all that cotton needed to be hand ginned.
Brown cotton has smooth seeds, which pop out easily, but still takes some time.
Meanwhile, I met a group of senior citizens, who were looking to plant some cotton
in their garden--we stuck up a deal--if they hand gin my cotton, they can have the
seeds for their garden!  Worked perfectly--beneficial for them and me!
So off, the ginned cotton went to the mill
This was 2.25 lbs.
Several months later, This arrived at my door step one bright sunny day!  My brown cotton
all carded into nice long rolags!

Look at this luxious fiber!  no bumps, no debris, just nice cotton ready for
the wheel.  That story began in the 1980's and now I'm still spinning the
'aged' fiber for Tour de Fleece!

Easy to spin once you have the niche--I use a long draw method, which allows me to 
sit back in my chair, treadle away and feed the cotton into the orifice'
browns cotton, being such a short staple, needs lots of twist so set your wheel to fast
and go!  I know I make it sound easy, but after all I've been spinning cotton fiber
for onto 40 years now!

Here are the fruits of my labor during this Tour-brown cotton plus one bobbin of spun angora fiber in the background.  I spun that one bobbin of bunny fluff to satisfy myself but truly love spinning cotton better.
So, I spin on Forevermore!
Happy treadling y'all!


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Mother’s Birth-day!

Today is Mother’s birthday!  She is 102 years! 

She is still in fairly good health, lives in Assisted Living facility in South Texas.  She has lived a large portion of her life in RGV (Rio Grande Valley). 

She’s not much for socializing but she comes to common area every day to keep abreast of activities. 

Happy birthday Mother!!