Monday, November 3, 2014

The Squirrels are right! Time to stock up.

For the last several months most of my art practice has been focused on experimentation and development of classes. I have learned a lot, and I have taught a lot, and it has been good. 
It is now "that time of year". You know - Fall, with all its new energy. And stockpiling. Savoring every last bit of sunshine and color. We know. We know what is coming. Months of cold and gray. Wisely we break up the long dark months with celebrations. Festivals of light and food and glittery gifts. 

In the spirit of all this I have been stockpiling too. Warm and cozy scarves, and tiny waxed linen coiled baskets. 
 This bounty of goodies will be at Grove Gallery starting this week for our annual Holiday Art show. We host a couple dozen fabulous guest artists, in addition to our regular membership. Some artists, like myself, focus on making fun and affordable gift worthy items.
Please come! Pick up a coiled "Evil Eye" to protect your loved ones - or a handwoven wool (but not scratchy!) scarf to warm a neck. The preview opening is Friday, November 7, but the show is on until the end of December.

Grove Gallery and Studios
325A Grove St
East Lansing, MI 48823

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I am out of my studio this week. I am up at the lake, preparing to remove one house from our property so that we can build another one. This exercise is occupying much of my time, energy and brain.

However, I still get time each day to do a bit of art work.
This tiny  bit of wedge weave is inspired by meeting Connie Lippert at the MLH workshops a couple of weeks ago. Let me tell you - this is addictive. I photographed this outside, because it reminds me of irises.  However, I think this would also make a good wedge weave composition:
This was taken at the end of my dock, and might give you a clue about why I have decided to live here. 

I am going to reluctantly admit that Summer is winding down. There are five more days that I  consider to be SUMMER. I have lots of teaching fun lined up for this Fall - which in my mind starts in September, right after Labor Day. 

If you are interested in knowing my teaching schedule, please click on the link above. Next up is "Shibori loves Indigo" with Shanna Robinson at NCMC.  On Saturday, September 13 we will weave some fabric with a resist pattern woven right in. Sunday morning will be all about pulling those resists, and dunking it into the indigo pot. Thrilling! I might have to have something ready for that pot.  If you would like to come learn and play with Shanna and I call North Central Corporate and Continuing Education at 231-348-6705 to register.”
The cost to participate is $90. I ask that you arrive with your loom warped with undyed natural fibers. 

Then, right after that is the great Fiber to Fabric Weekend at Interlochen.  Grab a friend and join us for this early Fall Fiber retreat in northern Michigan.  

Just before the Interlochen weekend I will be installing "The Great Felt Lakes" at Grapids Irrigation for Art Prize.  If you come to art prize this year, please try to visit my installation, and leave me a note so that I will know you were there! 

A change of season usually instills in me a new energy - and I am glad for that, because, this Fall,  I think I am gonna need it! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Interlochen Fall Farm to Fabric Weekend

Here is a project I have been working on with Leslie Donaldson and a few others over the past few months. Registration is now open!

Playing off the “farm to table” concept, the Interlochen Fiber Arts Weekend will focus on Michigan’s growing “farm to fabric” movement and offer multiple hands-on experiences. 
Friday, September 26, 2014 to Sunday, September 28, 2014
Registration Fee: $175 (Friday panel and Saturday luncheon included)
Sample what the fiber arts have to offer and learn more about Michigan’s rich fiber resources and opportunities at this celebratory gathering for all skill levels and interests. Playing off the popularity of the “farm to table” concept, the Interlochen Fiber Arts Weekend will focus on Michigan’s growing “farm to fabric” movement. Offering multiple experiences for fiber curious attendees as well as those with more advance fiber arts knowledge, the weekend will open with a panel presentation on Michigan’s growing fiber-shed movement and will then lead into a series of unique, hands-on, mini-workshop sessions on topics such as natural indigo dyeing, sample and gauge garment design, wet felting, beginning drop spindle spinning and drafting for weaving (please visit the daily schedule to learn more about these exciting opportunities--some mini-workshops will have supply fees to be paid directly to the instructor). A Saturday luncheon (lunch is included with registration fee) will feature a presentation on textiles in the world economy and at home. Participants will also have opportunities to enjoy regional vendors and receive one-on-one technical troubleshooting assistance from guest faculty. Join us for this unique event as we focus on, and celebrate, the growing fiber arts movement in Northern Michigan.
PLEASE NOTE: It is highly recommended that you download the daily schedule to review mini-sessions and select your choices BEFORE clicking the registration button to enroll.
- See more at:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

HGA Convergence, over too soon

I returned on Friday from the biannual conference of the Handweaver's Guild of America in Providence Rhode Island. It is now Sunday afternoon - and I am still in recovery. A little bit tuckered out - but a LOT inspired.  I took two classes, both in areas that I have some experience in. First was Pick up Pizzazz with Deborah Jarchow. This class was about how to use pick up sticks to create warp and weft float patterns. It was lots of fun, and I made a couple of exciting discoveries. I am looking forward to the next time I teach this class - I will have a new trick or two to share.

The next class I took was color gradation techniques for Tapestry with Rebecca Mezoff.  We only had two days to explore her many techniques for shading and gradual transitions. I wove as fast as I could, barely stopping for lunch either day. Man did my back and neck hurt! The pay off is that I have a decent size sample, illustrating some of the techniques. The class was certainly not long enough - but maybe long enough to  know that I would like to study with Rebecca again.
 Our warping challenge here is that the loom has to be clear on the bottom, top, front and back for a continuous warp. It took us awhile to figure this out. Who knew coffee cups are good for something beyond holding my coffee?

I am teaching "Foundations of Tapestry" at the upcoming Michigan League of Handweavers conference this August. Here is the official description:

Materials Fee: $20 (Covers Weft and cartoons) Number of Students: 12
Skill Level: All levels (Appropriate for new weavers)

Tapestry is a weft faced, plain weave fabric with discontinuous weft yarns that make an image. Traditionally created for drafty castle walls, ancient tapestries were traded as commodities, partly because some of the threads were made from silver or gold. Tapestry has survived as a fine art media to our current day, with exciting new work taking on contemporary themes.
In this 3-day workshop we will focus on the foundations and building blocks of tapestry techniques. Class will start with building a good warp, heading, and hem. As warp spacing is closely related to weft size and grist, I will supply the weft in a selection of hand dyed colors. Our building blocks will include basic slit technique, weft direction, warp and weft interlocking techniques, along with a discussion of choosing the right method for your design. We will also learn diagonals and diamonds, horizontal and vertical stripes, curves and hatching.
To make sure that we cover all the basic techniques, I will be supplying cartoons to work from. On the last day, time permitting, we will work on cartoon development for your next tapestry. The last topic covered will be finishing, mounting and caring for your tapestry.
Students should bring:
  •  tapestry loom, preferably with a shedding device. I like the Mirrix looms the best. Schacht and Ashford are also good choices. If someone wants to build his or her own loom, check:
    http:// brennan-ma Loom.htm
  •  12/6 cotton seine twine. Our tapestries will be ten inches wide with a sett of 8 ends per inch. I don’t know the size of your loom so I can’t specify yardage, but one 4-ounce cone or tube should be plenty. (Available at Yarn Barn, and other places I am sure.)
  •  Straight Pins for pinning cartoon to warp, laundry marker for marking warp,tapestry bobbins (optional), scissors – small, tapestry beater (kitchen fork in a pinch), plastic kitchen trash bags for heading.
  •  sketch pad and favorite drawing implements 

    I guess I should also add brick or books or coffee cups to elevate your loom while warping! 

    There are five spots left. Visit the Michigan League of Handweavers website for more information.

    I have started a new tapestry, as part of my ongoing series of small format improvisational tapestries. These little works are reflective of what is going on in my life, and works as sort of a diary.  Here is the beginning of my latest:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

A trip to Grand Rapids under heavy clouds turned into a wonderful adventure. First, lunch at San Chez, while watching the storm pass over Grand Rapids. The sky went from gray to nearly black while we shared our tapas. The hostess  came to our table to tell us where to go if the alarms should sound off. For any of you who have odd eating restrictions, San Chez is wonderful. They have five separate menus to address the most common food allergies. And the food? Delicious.

My lunch companions were Megan Blysma, associate director of UICA, and Deb Cholewicki, manager of Grove Gallery in East Lansing. After a wonderful lunch, Deb and I enjoyed a personal, behind the scenes tour of UICA. It has a wonderful theater, four floors of art, and will soon have a member lounge for meetings.There is also a space for artists to hold workshops, and more. It is a great building. Wonderful! The *business* reason for our visit to UICA was to drop off artwork for the gift shop. You can now find wonderful work by Deb Cholewicki and myself at the UICA gift shop. I am beyond thrilled!

After our UICA business was completed (thank you Jacqueline!) Deb and I headed over to Grapids to see the space that will host my Great Felt Lakes during Art Prize this year. There will be several other  lake and water themed pieces there at the same time. I am so happy to be working with this wonderful company. They had 5000 visitors to their site last year. I am going to need lots of paper and many, many pins. Aaron had a great idea of how to include the sound portion of my installation. Thanks Aaron! I have a bit of research to do. You know those graphic codes you can point your phone at, and get more information about stuff? Anyone out there know how to get those? How to use them?

Great Felt Lakes and Sutra/Suture  are currently at Grove Gallery for a short amount of time. If you would please go over to Grove Gallery this weekend, and share a memory of anywhere in the Great Lakes region, your memory will go to Art Prize! Grove is open Thursday - Sunday. Located in downtown East Lansing.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bruce Metcalf pokes the bear ( the art/craft debate)

I am pretty tired of the old "Art vs Craft" debate. After lots of churning it around in my brain, and listening to how others work the issue out, I came to a  definition that works for me.
Art is the idea, craft is how it is made.  There, done. Years have gone by without giving the question another thought.

Then along came an article in the June/July 2014 issue of American Craft by Bruce Metcalf. He opens his article with this statement : "Craftsmenship often doesn't matter in the contemporary art world. It should"

Major flashbacks to my grad school days when I was chasing after an MFA. Beauty and craft were rather discouraged, even in my field of fiber. I was often told my work should be more raw. More visceral. The focus was on concept - which is OK, but as Metcalf points out; "The art world has scrupulously avoided stressing the necessity of clear ideas. Critics give artists a pass. Bad ideas are everywhere." I would go so far as to say that unclear ideas were encouraged. A concept too easily discerned was seen as not interesting enough.

While I find his four points of what makes good art thought provoking, I am working in exact opposition to that on my current series of tapestries.
His last of the 4 points; " The last component is exercising control over composition". Nope, I am not doing that. Not right now.

I will keep this article to read again, and probably again. It makes me think about art/craft a little bit differently. I see value in the way I am working now, because it is what I need to do. Art making is ultimately about the maker. The deal I made at the beginning of this commitment was that I cared about the making as an exercise, and I would relinquish control over the outcome.

Here is the latest progress.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A good day for Krokbragd

I mailed a rug off to my daughter Kristin for her birthday last week. Yesterday she called to say how much she loves it.
I made it for her because she said she wanted one. That ploy usually works pretty well on me - try it sometime! She wanted one because she saw the one I made for her sister and her boyfriend, (who happens to be of scandinavian descent), and I felt their new apartment needed some colorful rugs. I am told the cats love to play slip and slide on the rug.

While trying to research this weave structure, I didn't find much. I am sure there is loads of information out there. I just didn't find it. My best information was a paragraph in Peter Collingwood's Rug Book.  So, I proposed an article to Handwoven Magazine based on using Krokbradg for it's potential for designing on the fly.  I am thrilled to say, that article has hit the stands.
You can find a copy here:Interweave Store

I was really happy to figure out how to execute Krokbragd on the rigid heddle loom - using 2  5 dent heddles, you can make a very sturdy rug, by repeating the 3 basic shots, and playing with color combinations.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Love, Support, Hammering and Hanging

These are just a few of the benefits I have enjoyed as a member of the Grove Gallery and Studios.

Recently I have been taking a look back at work I did many years ago - as part of the process of finding and feeding the artist in me.  Around this time, a small room became available - temporarily - at Grove Gallery. This seemed to be an opportunity to show some of my older work, in a new way.

Hence - an installation mashup of "The Great Felt Lakes" and Sutra/Suture.

The Great Felt Lakes, made of white industrial felt, is a fairly accurate, hand cut profile of the great lakes. It has always been shown on the floor, along with an invitation to write a memory of times spent at a spot on a Michigan Beach, or port, or a boat, and pin this memory to the location on the big felt map. These lakes have traveled extensively around the country, and I have hundreds of written memories.

Sutra/Suture is the stencil of the 15' piece of felt that the lakes were from.  A warp was hand sewn back in - very laborious stitching (hence suture). Plastic produce bags were collected from local Grocery stores, sliced into strips and woven into the warped lakes. It is meant to be a meditation on the impact our daily lifestyle has on the health of our larger environment. The word Sutra here means " a thread or line that holds things together".

Because of the size of the room, this is the most intimate showing of these pieces yet to happen. The lakes literally clim the walls. Sutra/Suture hangs like a curtain.

My best hope for this showing is that it will draw in many people who want to celebrate their own experience of our great State and our Great Lakes with a memory to share. It is up now at Grove Gallery, but for an undetermined amount of time.

325A Grove Street
East Lansing, MI 48823

I recommend calling before visiting. The gallery will be open longer hours this weekend for the East Lansing Art Festival

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Does listening to music boost your serotonin levels? I  read somewhere that working with your hands does. I have experienced the increase in happiness that comes with using my creative powers. I just have to say there is nothing on earth like working in my studio on a sunny day (now that my studio has windows) with music I like turned up way too loud.   Happily in the flow. Loving life. In my own sweet little world. I want to attribute it to practicing my art form - but maybe it was the turkey salad I had for lunch.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Art opening on May 4 at Grove Gallery!

One of the very best things I have done for myself, since the selling of Woven Art, has been to join the Grove Gallery Artist Co-op. It is situated next door to Woven Art in downtown East Lansing.

I actually had the idea of Grove Gallery almost 6 years ago. The space next to Woven Art had been empty for quite awhile - and that's not good for business. I wanted a lively, creative business to fill the void.  I had the opportunity to work with the City of East Lansing, and CRMC, our landlords, to dedicate the space to working art studios and gallery space. Once it was up and running, I returned all my energy to running and growing Woven Art.

Time went by, I sold my shop to the wonderful Meg Croft. She is continuing the growth and creative inspiration that is Woven Art.  Last December I submitted an application to join Grove as a working artist. I am most happy and grateful that they took me in.

The artists that are Grove Gallery are friendly, supportive and inspiring and talented.  It is exactly where I need to be as I continue my transition back to full time art making.

From April 18 to May 18, Grove Gallery is featuring the artists that are new this year. That's me! Also  Jack Melangton - a photographer from Ann Arbor, and Sue Hale, a fiber artist who lives on the west coast of Michigan.  A diversity of art forms, that work oddly well together, thanks in large part to the display genius of Barb Hranilovich and Gretel Geist.

Thanks to all of the Grove artists for the warm welcome, and the new arty energy that comes from hanging out with art and other artists.

Please consider yourself invited to the opening reception on Sunday May 4. You can come in anytime - the show is up. However, I will also be there for the opening, and there will be yummy refreshments. I would love to see you.

Friday, April 4, 2014

On how knitting makes the world smaller

Gary and I were at a bar on a small island, very far away, about a week ago. It was open mic night, and the talent was varied and amazing. Gary struck up a conversation with our table mates, and somehow worked it in that I am a knitter.

"Susan - we have a knitter!", said Suki.

Susan immediately came to welcome me and struck up a conversation about knitting. I told her that I have loads of experience helping knitters, as I used to own a yarn shop. I enjoyed ten years of picking up dropped stitches, deciphering patterns, and mostly giving encouragement, and boosting confidence.

Before long Susan had invited me to come back in a year, stay with her and knit with her island knitting group. I am charmed and thrilled. I also found out that she had taken a class with Sarah Peasley, who happens to be a very good friend.  So - small world. Small, friendly world if you are lucky enough to be a knitter!

I have experienced the power of knitting as an ice breaker before. It happens often in groups that expect you to be a knitter, such as the major knitting conferences, or at retreats. But occasionally I get to meet another knitter under other circumstances - and every time, gain an instant bond. 

Here is a picture of tapestry #3 in progress. Only about 3 inches more to go. Though I started this over two months ago, it seems to have the feel of the ocean, and maybe the beach.  I didn't plan it that way.

Sunday I am teaching a double heddle for the rigid heddle loom class. There are a couple of open spots, but you need to have a remeasured warp ready to go. Call 517-203-4467 for more information.

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 MLH Summer Workshops

You are invited to participate in the Michigan League of Handweavers’ three day workshops taking place from August 8-10 at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.   For many of us it will be a hard choice to pick only one of our eight gifted instructors.

Dawn Edwards is back to teach Explorations in Nuno-Felt and Eco-Printing.  All skill levels will experience the magic of felting silk and wool into a lightweight scarf which will be enhanced by eco printing.

In Wynne Mattila’s class, Finnish Runner/Cotton Rug Technique, students will take home a table runner which they designed and wove in the Finnish rag rug style using cotton fabric strips as weft.  Students must be able to warp a loom and read a draft.

Connie Lippert will teach Wedge Weave Fundamentals.  In contrast to most weaves, which are woven on a plane horizontal to the loom, wedge weave is woven on the diagonal. This results in a weft-faced product with many distinctive characteristics and exciting design potential.  Student Level: Intermediate.

Inge Dam’s class, Tablet Woven Side Borders, will teach students to weave tablet borders simultaneously with loom weaving, adding  a unique art edge to your work.  Students must know Plain Weave.

Jenny Schu will share in her class, 3 Day Beaded Leaves and Variations,  her stunning technique for the basic beaded leaf component and variations that you will use in the design of your jewelry or embellishment in your fiber work.  All skill levels welcome.

Holly Brackmann comes to us with Dyeing without a Dyepot: Disperse Dyes
Students will learn to use copy machine transfers, yarn transfers, rubbings, monoprinting, Thermofax screen printing, painting, stamping, foiling, stitching, resist and collage techniques to produce endless design possibilities on a variety of fabrics.
No dye experience required.

Nancy McRay will teach us Foundations of Tapestry   Learn to weave an art tapestry with discontinuous weft yarns that make a designed image on plain weave fabric.  Please bring a tapestry loom with adjustable tension and a shedding device.  Beginners are welcome.

Rosalie Neilson’s class, It’s in the Warp: Color & design in Rep Learn how blocks of Rep threaded on four or eight shafts, can be combined to expand the design possibilities of warp-faced Rep weave.

MLH presents to you, a talented group of instructors who are eager to show you ways to broaden your knowledge in extra ordinary ways.

For more information and to sign up visit

Monday, February 17, 2014

Interlochen Summer Adult arts programs

Yes - I am on the schedule with two classes - dyeing your own yarn, and Beginning Rigid Heddle Weaving. I love being in the Traverse City area, and I love planning and teaching classes. I am pretty happy about Summer at the moment. 

I enjoyed my part in helping plan these classes with my friend Leslie Donaldson - the fiber arts programs are just some of the wonderful art classes being offered for adults on the Interlochen campus this Summer. The best part is - this is not all. We have some other plans forming right now!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I agree with Anne Lamott and Woody Alan about this one thing: the importance of showing up. Once the decision has been made to put all your eggs into the creative basket - be it painting, writing, weaving, or whatever, all the trolls and devils come to the surface. 

Why does this matter? 

It isn't any good anyway. 

You are just making more stuff that nobody will care about. 

The only way past these monsters is to show up anyway. Show up and do the work. Try not too judge it too harshly.  

This has become my process and my practice since selling Woven Art  - my yarn shop. I work hard to set aside judgement, and just show up in my studio every day. And it is working. I am working. Often I do not know what or why. I believe part of my growth as an artist will be to become more at ease with this uncertainty. 

I take refuge in teaching. It is pleasurable, and a measurable achievement to share knowledge. It also requires that I study - to deepen my own knowledge of the field. Another pleasure. 

Pictured here is the second tapestry in my series. I did not know when I began it exactly what it would turn out to look like. I find myself surprised every day. When you look at this, understand that it is woven from the bottom to the top.  Warm tones turned to dark, with a glaring contrast - the final strip of blue really took me by surprise. 

Now I get to start another one next week. No idea what it will be - but I will show up to make it all the same.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tiny Toes

I have been knitting baby socks since last Wednesday, when my grand daughter Teagan decided to come into the world. Her toes are just too precious. I must cover them in cuteness. The yarn is a left over ball of Zauberball Crazy, from my stash. There is quite a bit left - so I am just going to knit  unmatching socks until the yarn is gone. The pattern is called Baby Socks, by Bianca Boonstra, available as a free download on Ravelry. They are fast and fun, and with the crazy yarn, all a little bit different. 

Tapestry progress:

The second in my stream-of-consciousness series is centimeters from being complete. The time frame for this one began around Thanksgiving, which I celebrated on an organic farm in Tucson with my daughter, husband and friends. It was woven through the increasingly cold and snowy winter, the Christmas ice storm, and subsequent power outage. It marked the unexpected passing of my brother-in-law, and will be completed shortly after the recent arrival of our newest family member.  I can see the influence of my life and experiences reflected in the progress of this piece.  I think I should rotate it to the right 90 degrees for hanging. Tilt your head to the left to see what I mean.

I am beginning to think about the next one. Planning ahead is not allowed in this process, but I have been dying brighter colors for the handspun weft. Can't wait to see what happens in my next tapestry.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Teaching Schedule update

I have some busy months ahead. I have updated my teaching schedule - so if you are interested, you can find out more by clicking on that tab, above.
In addition to a full schedule of classes at Woven Art, I am very pleased to be teaching Foundations of Tapestry this Summer at the MLH conference in Holland Michigan, August 8-10. I don't have all the details on that yet - so stay tuned!

I am very excited about new fiber art opportunities springing up at Interlochen College of Creative Arts this Summer. You will find a whole host of wonderful classes for adults at Everything from Mountain Dulcimer to Drawing to Encaustic painting to, ahem, dyeing and weaving. And knitting! There is even a fiber arts package that includes:

Dye your own yarn - Nancy McRay - June 29
 in this class we will dye yarn using several different methods. If you buy the whole package you can, if you choose, use your very own hand dyed yarn for the weaving class, or the knitting class.

Jewelry Beading - Jenny Schu- June 30
 in this class you will make a peyote stitch bracelet

Beginning Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom - Nancy McRay - July 1
  learn how to set up and weave on this very simple, but potent loom

Beginning Knitting - Sarah Peasley - July 2
 learn all the techniques to get you going.

Lots of you have garden plans to cheer you through the long months of Winter. I am warmed by the thought of all the classes I get to teach, and all the fun places my fiber art takes me.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Polar Vortex

The Polar Vortex is no match for Lucy the wonder dog. She is here to save you from the bitter cold, entertain you and play fetch with you until your arms fall off. When I am not playing with (as in taking things out of her mouth) my Lucia, I am trying to figure out how to work this:
Introducing the newest loom to my studio - the Little Weaver from AVL.  She is adorable! 16 harnesses and 15 inch weaving width. I have her all threaded up in a 16 shaft point twill. We are still working on computer and software incompatibility.  I am hopeful I will have that resolved by the end of this week.

When I am not playing with those two I am working on a collapse weave scarf on my Jane table loom from Louet.  I must finish this by tomorrow, as I will be allowing a student to borrow this loom for class. Yes - weaving class starts tomorrow - I have 7 weavers. So great!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back yard deer

So many people are posting pictures of the deer that frolic through their backyards - I just had to share mine. This gets fatter with each snow fall. I wonder - is he munching on our tree?

Kelly and Murphy loved the rug I made them for Christmas, and sister Kristin liked it too. I have the very early starts of Kristin's rug to share today. Here is the warp going onto the loom.
Wrapping the warp in inch wide bundles around the front beam helps hold some tension on the warp as you wind on - a trick I learned from Sherri Smith while in school in Ann Arbor. 
These are the main colors. Plus a few leftovers from the previous rug. Lucky me - as a dyer, I can just head down to my basement to make the colors I want. This rug is going to go live in Tucson where the sunsets look like this:

All over the sky.

Monday, January 6, 2014

High Wind Alert

The transition from 2013 to 2014 has been challenging, and thrilling. I had the good fortune to have my children and their others home for Christmas - 7 of us in all. The first of them arrived Sunday, to a cold dark house. Our home was a casualty of the great ice storm of 2013.  We were able to locate a generator - and except that we couldn't run the dishwasher, or the espresso machine for fear of blowing out the furnace, we were pretty comfortable indeed. Yes, we hand washed dishes for 9 days in a row. No microwave. No TV. Internet limited to what we can get from the hot spot created by a cell phone. Those last three things are still true. I hope to get hooked back up to civilization on Thursday. I will have to live without a microwave until I can get to a big box store with a good selection.  Currently my city government has declared a snow emergency, and is prohibiting any non-critical travel. You see, after the ice cleared, and the power lines reattached, the blizzard of 2014 occurred. The picture above is our back yard. We have terraces. Yes we do - you just can't see them under the foot of snow. 

The biggest event for me in 2013 was to sell Woven Art. I nurtured and shepherded this yarn store and fiber arts education center for ten years. The last 6 months have been spent developing n.anne design studio. 2014 will be proving time. I have a few big things going on:

Grove Gallery Co-op has agreed to let me join as a working member and my first day is day after tomorrow. I will be working there about once a week, and selling my finished artwork and wearables.  I really need a community of artists to bump around with. Grove Gallery is full of artists I like and respect.  I plan to learn a lot from them - I hope I can share some knowledge of my own in return. 

I am helping to plan a fiber arts event at Interlochen, near Traverse City for June 30-July 2. I will be able to share more details later, but at this point it looks like I will be teaching a dyeing class, and a Rigid Heddle Weaving class. Sarah Peasley will be teaching a knitting class. Part of our plan, to encourage fiber explorers to take multiple classes is to structure the dye class to create yarn to knit or weave with.  We are also working on plans for a second fiber event in September. 

I have been invited to teach a three day tapestry workshop at the MLH conference at Hope College in August. Titled "Foundations of Tapestry", this beginner to intermediate class will begin with good warping techniques, and work through various shapes and joins. 

I have several classes in the works to teach at Woven Art - my floor loom weaving class begins January 30. It is currently full - but if you are interested, please call Woven Art to get on the waiting list. 517-203-4467. 

Though the past few weeks have been far from normal, I have continued to work on tapestry and spinning. Here is a view of my current tapestry in progress - beginning in November through the few lines I wove this morning. Looks a bit like a transition from Fall to Winter.