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Well, either I missed some key info in all of the mass mailings LJ has been sending forth, or my weavingfiber group is now defunct. I can't find them in any searches and their name is no longer provided as a link to my friends page. Bummer. It was mainly a source for good info. I was going to post that contrary to my last contact, my tencel doesn't seem to be leading to breakage. Yayy......

If anyone knows what's up, drop me a line. If any other groups are to be recommended, do the same.

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Latest Overshot

This is the name draft for the Hampton clan. Photoshop liberties taken. 7x7.

Portfolio Site

I have posted the initial version of my portfolio site at [link] -- It will soon (hopefully) turn into susanphillips.net, server gods be willing. The site has long load times, so be warned. I need to fix the pages so that the image layers only load when actually demanded instead of loading with the onset of the page. For now, I just wanted to get the site upped. The other main bug: the mail form appears to be a form, but then loads your own e-mail client when submitted. Anyone know anything about Java? I must admit, I'm stepping into new territory with a Java form and am not really surprised that it hasn't been 100% successful on the first go. At least it doesn't do absolutely nothing. :)

All that aside, please surf on by. There are also a whole set of cards under "merchandise" not featured on my melasdesign site. Enjoy.

Cllllllassy! :)

I went to go weave this evening and discovered that even in brilliant artificial lighting, black and navy blue are extremely hard to differentiate. Better play it safe and just wait until daylight. One thing I did do was unwind the front beam to take a peek at my progress, and I think even tho this project has been extremely boring, the results will be worth it. It looks like a really classy tri-pinstripe pattern together with the light gray.

Keep fingers crossed and toes pressed. I have entered a piece (mixed media) at an open call in Richmond. I should find out tomorrow. ...and yes, there is prize money to be had.

I'm thinking of trying to get a show together, probably aiming at Petersburg.

In as far as 'normal' life goes, my dog is getting ready to go on anti-biotics and a bile-thinner (eek!). Her ultra-sound didn't show anything life threatening, but there is an issue of bilious gall bladder and swollen liver, along with a kidney infection. And I'm now carrying her up and down the stairs, as her right leg keeps sliding out from under her. Poor thing. I really wish she could talk.

cat fur is apparently not easy to spin

I finally got my nerve up to fix my broken warp thread after some encouragement from the weaver's guild I've started participating in. Now that I've woven about 2 feet, I see that I have 2 threading errors, but as fate would have it, I'm quite happy with the interruption in pattern that they provide. The next time I do this pattern, it will be in 8-10 dpi instead of 20 in order to accent the long vertical lines (Ihat's all the pattern is: long vertical lines in 3 colors --- or a set of horizontals if seen from the other side). It would also be a lot of fun to play with highly contrasting colors instead of the blue, gray and black that I picked. As it stands now, I'm jumping at the chance of adding to a friend's business wardrobe for Christmas (I mean, how safe can I get here?) and will hopefully sell the other scarf in which I will add some random horizontal misch-masching.

As usual, I'll post the finished products whenever they get done.

Interesting things at the weaver's guild: a piece made from the weaver's angora rabbit's fur (which died last year), her cat's fur (which died last year) and her poodle's coat (which died last year). I would take it she didn't have an overly good year, but the piece sure was interesting. ;) 

artsy in the end

My artistic stars are aligning or something. I kick-started a selling trend on my wonderful visit to New Haven by selling some of my weaving... actually all that I took up, and I arrived home to a slew of card orders on my melasdesign.com site. Right after that, I was reintroduced to a string of galleries in Richmond which have open calls once a month. Even better than that is the gallery I found in Petersburg, which used to be in Richmond, but had to move due to high rent, where I've actually already shown in the past.

It's funny comparing the Richmond and Petersburg crowds. Richmond seems to be suffering a bit from the hoity-toity, and Petersburg is, well, for lack of a definition, a crowd I feel much more at home with (at least according to the names and pics I see on the website). Going to Petersburg will be interesting, as it is a downtown area that's being refurbished where it was once verrrrry dodgy. Anyway, enough of that. With all this artistic info buzzing about in my head, I've ordered my first print from deviantArt.com (see http://www.melasdesign.deviantart.com and http://www.susanphillips.deviantart.com , which I will enter as my first open call entry, given that it looks good. I've never bought any of their prints before, so I'm holding my breath.

Yet another thing to add to the mix - a new digi-cam which is somewhere between point and shoot and SRL. It supposedly can be used in manual mode and supports camera RAW, so I might actually try my hand at some 'real' photography for artlimited.net - a French site which is heavy on photography and apparently expects mainly, well, more photography to be entered rather than veering into other media. I actually used to be halfway decent... erm... in high school. lol lol

At long last I got the alpaca silk wound onto the loom and have started weaving. 3 shuttles isn't nearly as confusing as I thought it would be. Good thing I'll be in Richmond this week and can pick up some handy dandy silk/wool wash.  

Lastly, a fellow deviantArtist in England has been so dear as to offer to represent my artwork at a pagan convention where he will have a stand. Well... as long as his corn snake doesn't eat him first.

Control vs. BOAH!

A friend made a very interesting observation tonight about how in control and precise one has to be to weave. I found this to be an interesting and accurate observation. Maybe I've just been needing a sense of balance in my artistic life, seeing as how all of my other work tends to be lacking in control and rather all over the place, splish splashy and color laden. Cool thought.

I can think about this every time I sit down to measure the warp for the loom (boring and tedious). I also observed the work flow of weaving, from conceiving the project (lots of fun and creativity) to prepping everything (painfully boring... better be sure to have some good music in the background) to the actual weaving (wheeeeee!!!!!!).

I guess painting is that way for me too. Getting ideas is a good time, but when it comes to the sketching and getting the background in, I'm tearing my hair out. Then when the actual painting comes, it's celebration time! My digital art is the only thing that tends to lack any aspect of drudgery. Strange.

This is what kills me when non-artists start going on as if art is not work. It most certainly is.

seeing stripes

My clipboard full of saved patterns on Handweaving.net erased itself today without explanation. Luckily I had just printed out the latest pattern I intend to work on. Now I'm on to my favorite activity: measuring the warp, and this for 3 colors which do not repeat themselves in big groups. All tips from the fiber group followed, it's still a major pain in the wazoo. The yarn is lovely though. Alpaca silk. Yummy. Maybe I should look into a warping mill? I'm dreaming.

I just nixed a song from Pandora.com solely on the demerits of the album artwork. Whoo boy.

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Flakiness Warning!!! Be Warned!!! ;)

Sometimes I feel like my brother and I get in haunting competitions. I mean as in who has had the most recent or best experience. Tonight he revealed a real eye opener that was more of an encounter than a haunt, but left me feeling out in the cold, since my loom hasn't been haunted as of late. Bear with me folks. Artists are quite often flaky. ;)

As far as my loom goes, it was quite nice to think I had a like minded spirit hanging around in my humble abode. It made me feel like I was maybe serving a bit of a greater purpose finally getting back to weaving. I have kept on weaving at a regular production rate, but gone are the tell-tale movements of the shafts and the ghostly spinning of the bobbin winder. My dog hasn't appeared to be seeing anything unusual lately either. I should probably have considered myself honored to have been visited and know that these spirits have more to do with their otherworldly time than to hang around amusing me. This is especially true if the spirit was my grandmother and not the original owner of the bobbin winder. She was much too practical to hang around dilly dallying.

Enough of that. On to my brother. My brother has been being visited by my dear departed grandfather for many years now. This was a man who meant everything in the world to us. He made our world magical and offered a safe haven when times outside were rough. I'll spare you the many signs. Just believe me. It is definitely my grandad. My brother used to have spells of night terrors which even managed to invade the safety of the environment grandma and grandad made for us. For him to get through the night, my grandfather left a hammer in the room and said 'knock three times on the ceiling if you need me'. When he heard the hammer, he'd come upstairs. Well, today I found out this was apparently also a line from a 70's song by Tony Orlando and Dawn. .... which made it really weird today when my brother was in Ocean City, MD (a favorite getaway with the grandparents) and a 12 or so year old girl came pushing a bicycle in his direction, ringing a BELL and singing that song (of all songs to sing), staring my brother down all the while.

I knew something was up, because my brother called me twice today. It was the first time he had been back to the boardwalk since the 80's. I'd been back a few years ago and know that little has changed in that time. Only the smell of creosote is missing. My brother related the story to me, wondering aloud how in the world such a coincidence would happen. I told him the only thing I knew to say in these situations. Take it as a comfort. Somebody's watching out for you. 

Sep. 21st, 2007

I know I'm in a bad state of mind when I start viewing online dating services. The really scary thing is that there are about 5 guys in my area who through past experience must've enrolled themselves in blanket terms to every major online site there is... and that's about all there is. At the moment I am slightly nauseated.

All this goes to say that I had a wonderful time visiting
smoemeth
 and
wojsvenwoj
 in Connecticut and am suffering (it was inevitable) the feeling of strangulation that tends to come on returning back to Williamsburg. I even sold some weaving! Yayy!

Will warp the loom tomorrow for a rag rug project for a friend. We just finished cutting a ton of strips, and I hope it will be enough. After that my yarn order should arrive. I'll be weaving an alpaca silk scarf in charcoal, navy blue and light gray (which I hear are on the books as being the new 'stylish' colors of the season... am I psychic or what?) and will then try my hand at overshot for Christmas presents.

Sometimes the things that go against your nature hit you in the face. I got a cream pie. I kind of wish my loom's 'ghost' would reappear, because then at least there would be a kindred soul other than my dog here. .... and yes, I know how crazy and pathetic that sounds.