Christmas dinner at my daughter's home.
I have had my student Lai staying with me for the last few days. We had a lovely time together and she made a good start on her tapestry, taking it home to complete in her own time.
Here is how my studio is looking today. Anna's tapestry on the loom, loads of yarn on the table - busy, busy!
It is a long time since I have looked at my blog and put in an entry. My life has been really busy and I have posted stuff on my Facebook Page instead of on my blog. I have decided that next year I am going to try and put one photograph a day on my blog, and practising today, getting ready for 1st January, 2014. I will post three photographs today, so off to a good start.
Here is a photograph of two friends, Inga on the right and Roberta on the left. Inga and I have been friends for many many years as both of us were born in Westport and have known each other most of our lives. It is good to be living much closer to her now since my shift to Hamilton. She lives in Tauranga and we see each other much more often these days. Roberta first came into my life about six years ago when she rang me from Denmark asking if she could come and work with me in my studio. She has just spent the last six weeks as my flatmate here and has also been having some tapestry tuition. I took this photo this morning as she was leaving today to fly down to Dunedin where she will be staying until early May.
Roberta's tapestry of Masango and African girl who was known to Roberta and her husband many years ago in Africa. The tapestry was finished yesterday and I think Roberta has worked very hard to get in finished before she left Hamilton. The plaits were added in after the weaving was finished and we found an African hairdresser who plaited them or us out of a brown carded fleece. It has worked really well and adds a new dimension to the tapestry.
I have been working well on the Duvauchelle's tapestry and have just completed the second third, ready to start work on the boatsheds section. I am pleased with how the kereru (native wood pigeon) looks. He wasn't too hard to weave and the plain blue background meant that it was done in less than a week, so all good. I am also happy with the movement in the water in the main landscape.
The boatsheds will be woven in the section on the right and are very detailed so these will take a lot longer to weave.
Teaching the Grandchildren to Weave
My son's ten year old twins, Brennan and Cairenn have been staying with me and Kris for the weekend and they have been quite intrigued by the tapestries. Brennan had a go on my tapestry weaving the edge section. He is quite a natural working well with his hands and only had to be told once what to do and he could do it.
I made small card looms out of foam card and put warps on them for the kids to make their own small tapestries. Here is a photo of Brennan and Cairenn weaving them.
Progress on Barbara's tapestry. I have started weaving the middle section and this part should go a little faster as it is mostly weaving over and under two threads. Lots of colour changes but it is develooping well.
My longtime friend Peter died about a week before I left Christchurch. I first met Peter when I was 15 years old and he was 21 and we have been close friends ever since. He has been a major part of my life all my life really, and I miss him such a lot. Luckily he didn't suffer for too long and passed on peacefully at the end. I worked on this drawing as part of my grieving process and in his memory.
Well here I am again after another long break from my blot. It has been a very eventful time for me since my last entry in January. February was spent working hard on my cousin Kevin's tapestry as it had to be finished before my shift to Hamilton. I was so pleased to get the work off the loom and here is a photo of my daughter Krista cutting the wefts for me. She and her husband Paul had come down from Hamilton to help me pack up the house and studio so I thought it would be a good thing for her to cut this tapestry from the loom as Kevin was away from Christchurch at this time and unable to do it himself. My friend Serena is helping.
And here it is up on the wall with all the finishings completed and packing materials underneath - empty walls in the hallway.....
The furniture truck came about a week later and my friend Biddy and i were away on our road trip heading towards Hokitika, Westport, Picton, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and finally Hamilton where we arrived safely after having a lovely trip. Since then I have been living with Krista and her family and have my loom set up in a wee area in her home.
I finished the small tapestry which Betty Pears asked me to weave for her. You can see it on the frame in this photo. It was a portrait of her husband's great aunt and was designed by Betty who has been a very good tapestry weaver but is not weaving any more.
And then it was back working again on Barbara Allen's tapestry of Duvauchelles. This work had gone on hold while I was finishing the portrait tapestry and it was rather a good feeling to be back working on this one. The fine section depicting the Onewe Peninsula took me almost three weeks to weave. The sett of this section of the tapestry is 12epi and quite detailed, but I am pleased with how it is looking.
And now I am ready to start work on the middle section of this tapestry. The design is broken up into a triptych with the overlappig panels.
Here are a number of photographs showing the progress of the Maureen and Tony tapestry from its start to its almost finish. Since my decision to shift from Christchurch to Hamilton I have been working very hard to try and complete this tapestry before I leave Christchurch at the end of February. This week it is on hold as I am in Hamilton until next Sunday, so I will really have to work very hard to get it finished. Lucky the most difficult sections are done and it is just a matter now of finishing Tony's jacket.
This first image shows the beginning of the work. The cartoon shows Maureen's face well. The rest of the cartoon is rolled around the baton at the top.
Maureen's face is developing well.
The face is pretty much finished and I have been working on the flowers on her dress. The dress was so complex that it took a long time to weave - lots of small shapes and many colour changes, but I love weaving detail like that.
Tony's hand is finished and I am almost ready to start weaving his face. This was a challenge as I really wanted to capture the wicked look in his eye which was a characteristic of his mischievous personality.
Hoorah! I think I have achieved what I set out to do! I started weaving his face just after the new year.
Tony's tie took a lot of weaving - five days altogether. I thought it was never going to get finished.
And this is where I am up to now. I introduced the bright green background the other day and am pleased with how it lifts the wole work. The finish line can be seen in this photograph so still quite a bit to weave.
I haven't done much weaving over the last couple of weeks what with Christmas happening, then a trip to Westport to stay with my sister Yvonne for a week. I have had a lovely break, and now it is time to get back to work and also to make another huge decision for the rest of my life. I have to shift house in early March as new owners have bought this lovely house I have been living in for the last 12 months and I have to find somewhere else to live. I am seriously looking at going back up north to settle in Hamilton. I need to make that decision in the next week or so.
Anyhow, here are some photos of the last couple of weeks. Christmas Day with family at my little sister Veronica's place. My grandaughter Jenna who will be presenting me with my first great grandchild in March came down from Hamilton with her partner Brent to share our Christmas day. This photo shows Jenna with her cousin Callum. Callum is Veronica's eldest boy.
And here is our Mum on Christmas Day. She hadher 88th birthday yesterday, 4th January.
Boxing Day morning and I was travelling to Westport with my brother Tony Rea. A very early start and here is a lovely pink cloud over North Canterbury, just past Culverden at about 5.30am
And driving through the Rahu Saddle - lovely beech forest in the rain.
My sister Yvonne and I went for a lovely walk along the cliffs from Cape Foulwind to Tauranga Bay. I took heaps of photos of course, and Bruce, Yvonne's husband took the car to the Bay so we didn't have to walk all the way back.
A superb walk with beautiful vistas everywhere we looked.
And now I am home again and back at work. The tapestry is going well. I am now finished Maureen completely and have started work on Tony's face - hoping to catch that cheeky look. My brother Joe took this photo.