Category Archives: Personal

Getting inspiration

Getting inspired

I was taking a picture of the design incised in this concrete,

Concrete

when I decided I liked these toes better.

Toes

Copper table

This circle of books was actually very colorful, but shooting through the glass gave them a bluish  cast  

Circle of books

E ver eaten feng sushi?

Feng Sushi

Self-portraits, remembrance

Spring flowers

Remembrance

Besides the arrival of spring, March is remembrance month for me. On March 6, 2011, a very important person in my life died. Every time this anniversary rolls around, I wonder if I shouldn’t do something special in remembrance, but the truth is, that not a day goes by that I don’t think about all of the good times. That’s how I honor him.

Photography

WSJ ad

I’ve given this some thought before, but today when I saw this ad again in the Wall Street Journal, I decided it was time to go back and look at my photography class self-portraits. I’ve mentioned this class before. It was one of those between semesters short courses, very intense, and I loved it! We had a key to the darkroom and developed our photos. Remember film?

Self-Portraits

One of our assignments was to take self-portraits as objects.

Books from school for a degree in Spanish and Education

Since I was in school, I think this particular photo is self-explanatory. The next one includes a Wedding Ring quilt made by my aunt, a Raggedy Ann made by my mother, jeans, perfume (something that I know longer have in my house), and a book on childcare. This was the other half of my life at the time. School and family.

Miscellaneous objects

More self-portraits

Another assignment was a self portrait as a member of the opposite sex. Hmmm…these could be a bit Freudian.

Tractor

Hammock

Now obviously, at least to me, I don’t plan on weaving any of these images, but the one about objects that represent ourselves is an interesting thought to pursue. Going back to the WSJ ad…can you envision the outline of a head with images of objects that represent you? What would they be? Could color represent those things as well as the actual objects? What about various shapes? 

What objects represent your life right now? Think about what would have represented you in various decades of your life. How have they changed? Have any remained the same? I’m curious and would really like to know.

 

Thinking about color and green chili stew

Basket made in guild program

Color! Isn’t it wonderful?

The dyeing of yarn is almost as good for me as the weaving. Almost. There’s just something magical about pulling those yarns out of the water and seeing beautiful, glorious color!

The other day I read about Tien Chiu’s experiments in what she calls cube dyeing. She has quite the project going, something that I admire, but also know that I would never have the patience to conduct. Really, go check it out.

Quilters like color too

Tien mentions Carol Soderlund, who teaches what look like great workshops on dyeing. Some of my quilter friends have gone to Nancy Crow’s Art Retreats, and that’s where I first saw anything about her workshops.

Facebook strikes again!

Red

Ever take one of those quizzes on Facebook? I succumbed the other day, and although I really don’t agree with the analysis of my personality, I like the color shown. A weaving of some sort? I’ve actually been thinking of a series of tapestries based on color. You can see what color you get here.

And then there’s the finishing

I’ve got these itty bitty 5-inch pieces that need to be finished, several of which are in shades of blue. As I was pinning them to a press cloth thingy for steaming, I thought about stars. So, I played around with pin heads.

Sky

And now for green, as in green chili stew 

My friend Claudia True publishes a calendar each year with copies of here paintings and recipes. If you sign up for her newsletter, you receive a free mini cookbook. At some point, I received a recipe from her for Green Chili Stew. My son and daughter-in-law have developed their own recipe for same, so I adapted parts of both recipes and made my own. Now it seems to be a small compulsion. I have two quart jars in the fridge, so that’s what I have each day for lunch. Maybe I’ll be sick of it soon and move on to other recipes. What’s your winter go-to recipe?

Finally, weaving again!

Ikat yarn drying. Why do those whites look so yellow? 

Finally

Yep, section 3 has been measured, tied, dyed, balled up, loaded onto shuttles. Let the weaving begin! I did try a few picks, and it works! Here’s hoping all the other sections are correct. They were when I checked, but who knows if my brain was in the correct place. My only other news is below. Been a dull week full of “have-tos.”

Amarylis

I forgot!

What”s on the loom

Crazy time

It’s been so looney tunes around here, I forgot what day it was. Between spending more hours in the studio and setting up a new computer for my mother, well, you get the picture. All the same, I am really pleased that skipping the computer until afternoon means that I’m getting more work done–with enthusiasm!

Always the finishing

I’m spending my evenings doing finish work and/or working on a small piece. Unless I am too tired, that is.

Does a clean studio mean a clean mind?

Unfortunately, I am now into the cleaning the studio portion of my week. That means that anything that pops into my head is so much better and must be attended to RIGHT NOW. Now why would that be, when I find such treasures as this one? There’s lots of stuff in there that I don’t want anymore, so I’m putting it all into a big bag to sort through and donate later. I’m having a visitor later this week, so it should look at least a little bit presentable.

Beaded emboridery

Studio time

Just starting the orange crosses

Crosses in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red stripes and broken warp

Here comes purple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing habits

I’m trying to change a habit or two or a million, but the for today, the main new habit is getting into the studio before checking email, etc. Because I don’t just stop there. It just goes on and on, checking one thing after another. A complete time-suck!

My new habit is getting into the studio immediately after coffee and newspaper time. That means it’s still dark when I take those steps. Often, lately, that means starting a fire for warmth. The form this habit has taken for now is to weave for an hour, have breakfast, then 2-3 more hours in the studio.

Getting stuff done

I am also doing other stuff around the house before getting to the computer. In fact, I am writing this right now at around 11:50 AM and have still not checked my email. For whatever reason, once I get to that email place, I’m a goner as far as accomplishing much. What’s up with that? Does anyone else have that problem?

Finished! Well, except for all the warp ends, steaming, fixing those broken warp ends, etc. Perspective is off in the photo.

Choosing color

You can see the weaving progress in the images above. When I first started those red stripes, somehow in the middle of the night, I became convinced that they were the wrong color of red, that I needed to dye some “deep red.” The next day, I dug out a bit of leftover deep red, and realized I had the best color after all. When I looked at the dye formula for the stripe I had woven, it was a combination of deep red and scarlet.

Around the house

Have you heard of Instant Pots? That amazing all-in-one pot that sautés, slow cooks, pressure cooks, makes yogurt, and changes the sheets? I had been looking at one, but couldn’t make myself click the button and buy it because of the price. Right before Christmas, Amazon had one of those one-day sales, so at half price, I clicked. It’s taken a bit to embrace this pot, but I think I finally have.

I have a stove top pressure cooker, and I like it. However, my brain requires constant vigilance with it. I like the little pressure thing on top that jiggles and makes noise. I have to set my timer because otherwise, I go walkabout. And I don’t dare get too far from the stove.

I finally got brave enough to try the pressure cooker with the Instant Pot. It’s wonderful! When you want to make a stew, you just press the button for stew. It pressure cooks it for a preset time and keeps it warm when the time’s up, all done silently. I cook pintos on a fairly regular basis, and there’s a bean button for that. Today I’ve cooked garbanzos for hummus. Yum!

Experimenting

I’m still experimenting with some small pieces that I hope will be at least kind of three dimensional. What’s going on in your part of the world? Working on any habits? New something around the house? Cooking anything different? 

 

 

Woo hoo! 2017, here we come!

Blackeyes for luck in the New Year. I cheated and had a Texas Caviar in the store.***

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

I gave that up a long time ago, but I was thinking about that as I drove to the grocery store. My family and I are going to London later in the year, and my knee needs to be better for that. Now, there’s nothing I can do for the bone-on-bone, but I can strengthen the muscles that support the knee. So, I was thinking…strength and balance for the new year. But then I realized that could be a good think for many areas of life.

Strength

Strength to do the hard stuff, to say no to things that don’t support what you need, to work when you’re not in the mood, take risks with your art.

Balance

Balance has always been difficult for me, being that all-or-nothing person that I am. One thing I need to balance is my social life (or lack thereof). This means I need to get out more, meet more people, say no to taking the easy way out and staying home. So yes, the knee needs to be improved, but so do those other things. Do I dare say this is a resolution? Thinking ….

Pulled warp

Experimentation

I am doing some experimental weaving and plan to continue in 2017. The scary part is all the time spent on the experiment and then what if it doesn’t work? Does that come under “strength” from the paragraph above?

wood in my new wood rack

Because it got down to 14, I decided it was time to stop putting off the new wood delivery. In the past, the wood guys have been sketchy at best, but this time there were reviews on Nextdoor about a new (to me) wood guy, I took the plunge. Chuckwood’s was great! It was really interesting to watch them stack the wood, like really good rock layers. Then there’s the new wood rack, made by my grandson, with help.

Then for no reason other than I like shadows, here’s a picture of a wall in my kitchen.

Shadows, just because I like shadows

*** Follow the link for the recipe, but leave out the tomatoes. Jícama really gives it an extra crunch.

New homes

Let’s hear it for new homes!

Several pieces have found new homes lately. Here’s just a few pics of their new home situations.

Zebra in its new home

Zebra in its new home. I really like it on this red and yellow floor.

Ancient Symbol

Ancient Symbol in its new home

Headin' Home

Headin’ Home hanging on wall. By the way, that’s a loom in the foreground.

And in the category of…why do I do that?

Orchid

Orchid

 

… meet my new orchid. I love orchids. Some people are able to keep them going and they bloom year after year. I’m not one of those people. Still, they’re worth the on-sale price for some beauty and joy, however long that is. This is not its real spot, but the other one wasn’t good for pictures. Not sure if this spot is an improvement–notice the wrestling photographs in the background? They just say, put an orchid here, don’t they?

Last week

Fall Series: l-r: Fall 2, 29 x 4", $232 Fall, 24 x 7.5", $360, Zig Zag Fall, 28.5 x 4", $142

Fall Series: l-r: Fall 2, 29 x 4″, $232 Fall, 24 x 7.5″, $360, Zig Zag Fall, 28.5 x 4″, $142

I frantically finished the three small pieces above to get them ready for the open house on Saturday. They turned out pretty well, didn’t they? I’ll probably do some more while I decide where I’m going next. These are completely freestyle, some that I don’t do often, but still the finish work is consuming. Maybe I haven’t found the right system for this kind of work yet.

So then these things happened:

–the printer stopped working, and I had things to print for the open house
–ran some errands, including getting a new printer at Costco
–came home to discover that my electric miter saw and other important time-saving electric      tools had been stolen–needed the miter saw to cut display boards
–the temporary bridge fell out of my mouth (I stuck it back in)
–after researching the Costco printer, returned it because it doesn’t do images well
–bought new printer just like my old one (it did a good job, and I had had it for a while)
–went to dentist to get temp bridge put in place again (while I was there, the permanent bridge  arrived–Yay!)
–returned printer to Costco
–bought a new miter saw

Scenes for the studio open house

Panorama

Panorama Photo credit: Carolyn Bernard Young

Carolyn

Carolyn taking a break alongside her pottery

Beaded collar

Guest wearing a beaded collar-isn’t it amazing?

 

A confluence of events

A bunch of unfinished small pieces

A bunch of unfinished small pieces

It’s a giant conspiracy!

I’m late with my blog post, but I managed to get up early to do it. I processed and uploaded some pictures, adding two pieces to the store, and then started on the blog post. That’s when I could no longer access the site. Oh, well… it is Wednesday at least.

The week has brought several planned and necessary things, and a bit of the unexpected. Like hospital visits. Working on my mother’s computer. Then there were the planned. Getting the new and very expensive bridge started, an urgently needed haircut, a gallery opening in which I had two pieces, but forgot to go, and tah dah! setting up for the Holiday Open House in my friend Carolyn Bernard Young’s studio. The home of Earth to Art pottery. You can read about it on the home page and here. That’s Saturday. Then Sunday is the spice dinner. I’m doing the mango salsa, which should be fairly easy. One of the dishes this time is Peppercorn Ice Cream. Unfortunately, I won’t be tasting that. I gave up all sweeteners. That means no more Diet Cokes or ice cream.

Ancient Symbol, Green, wool, dyes, cotton, 38.25 x 28.25 inches $600, ©Sherri Coffey

Ancient Symbol, Green, wool, dyes, cotton, 38.25 x 28.25 inches $600, ©Sherri Coffey

Ancient Symbol, Red, wool, dyes, cotton, $600, ©Sherri Coffey

Ancient Symbol, Red, wool, dyes, cotton, 38.25 x 28.25 inches $600, ©Sherri Coffey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goals for the next couple of weeks

  • Finish at least one of the small pieces above and decide how to mount it
  • Get my finances up to date, something not done for several months
  • Get started on one of the large prairie pieces
  • Work on a grouping of small blue pieces

Will it happen?