Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When I was pregnant with Cora....

I remember clearly the day Brandon and I found out we were going to be parents. It was May 6th 2006, I was just finishing my junior year at KCAI. I was sitting at a coffee shop, studying for semester tests and it dawned on me that period was a few days late. I was so consumed with my studio projects, dyeing pounds and pounds of cotton yarn for a color study, our end of semester show and studying for last exams for the semester, that I wasn't paying much attention to my body. I turned to Brandon and mentioned that I might be a few days late....actually nine days late (haha). I couldn't study any longer, totally distracted by my anxious thoughts that I might be pregnant. We packed up our bags and went across the street to buy a pregnancy test from CVS.

As soon as we got home we found out the truth, that yes in fact, I was PREGNANT!!!!! I remember that mix of emotions that we went through. Scared. Happy. Terrified. Thankful. Of course we did want to start a family....just after I was done with school.

Once I found out when we were due, December 31st, it didn't take long for me to come up with a plan. I still planned on graduating on time. I just needed to work a little harder before my babe would arrive. That summer I put in six hours of directed study. Perfect timing, that I had a bunch of yarn that I dyed and could use up during my first trimester.

Images below are from the three out of three large panels I wove that summer. I still had lots of yarn left over. Every time I take out the extra yarn from that time, I cannot help remembering all the hours I spent under my loom at school threading and weaving, praying and thinking about my new baby that was coming. And she, my Cora Louise, came three days early on December 28th. It of course all worked out perfectly. I finished my directed study that summer, had my senior show early in November, finished my first semester the second week of December, had Cora on the 28th. Thankfully KCAI has six weeks off for break, that I had a month home with her before I started my last semester.

For six years, I had these large panels stored away, not sure what to do with them. Finally last year, I hung them up in the girls room. The pink, orange and yellow one is Cora's and the pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple one is Emma's.

(these images came from a photo shoot of Emma in front of her piece. If you have never had the pleasure of meeting her, these photos tell you exactly who she is:)

With my RE-Create Project, that challenges me to use up all my yarn that I own before buying new yarn. I decided this past week to use up yarn from these panels. I call this round of wearables, For the Love of Spring. It is FREEZING in KC and I love for the warmth and color of spring. So, I guess weaving with these colors helps a little.

Here are all my scarves.

For the Love of Spring Multi-colored Handwoven Scarf

This image is a project that Cora and I worked together on for her shop. I still cannot believe she just turned seven.

This last image is a detail shot of the third panel I wove that summer that is on sale.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Changes for 2014

Sooooo, the last few months, six actually the whole year, kicked me in the butt. I found myself working so hard with no time to relax. Towards the end of the year, my busiest time of the year, I felt like I was going crazy. My house was a mess, and every room turned into my studio. I had way too many events and I was frantically making. Right before Christmas I asked my mom for advise. I knew things HAD to change for next year for me to be a happy healthy person, wife, mom, friend, business owner and artist.

With her great advice, I moved my girls back into one room where they now share a queen bed and I converted Cora's room into OUR craft room where my little loom is now. It used to be in my kitchen. I know that sounds funny. But when you have a small three bedroom house, you try to use up all extra spaces. For more that two years, I had it at the back of my kitchen next to two windows that overlooked the field next to our house. I loved my view and I loved that I could quickly weave whenever I liked. But I started to see a pattern, especially when I was super stressed out with events. I would choose weaving over doing the dishes any day. Soon my little studio corner started spreading into my kitchen and then dining area and living room. Things were getting out of control. Especially working with Cora on her new business, We Are Going To France.

Now we have a craft room were the rules are we CANNOT do crafts outside of that room AND no little girls can be on my rug where my loom is. I know that might sound mean, but I knew I had to set boundaries if it was ever going to work. I think this has been one of the best family and business decisions I have made in a long time. The girls love working with me. When I am working at my loom, they feel inspired to work on crafts or play Lego's. You can really tell that they love that I have opened my world to them. I also appreciate so much that I can close the door when I am done. Like I said, I had no boundaries, and would choose weaving anytime over doing the dishes. Especially if both loom and a sink of dirty dishes were in the same room.

I also took sometime last week writing down all the show and sales I was in last year. I wrote next to it an arrow up, if it was worth it and an arrow down if I thought it wasn't. About half were worth doing again. This list will be up in my art studio downstairs where my big loom is. I will have to look at it every time I am faced with a possible show. I have been praying for wisdom with my business decisions for the future.

As of right now I am excited about;
* my new scarf making challenge to use up all my yarn that I already own to make all my next scarves. I will be posting updates on my blog and featuring other artist that are up for the challenge as well.

*New one-on-one weaving lessons and dye workshops I will be teaching at the Kansas City Textile Studio starting in February. To sign up, click on this link, Beginning Yarn Dyeing.

*Upcoming solo show at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center for April and May.....yay!!!

*A Mother's Day Holiday Event at Kansas City Textile Studio that will have other mother/daughter makers from Academie Lafayette selling their goods. Cora will be there representing We Are Going To France. And 15% of all our sales will go towards the school. Kim will be there giving a tie-dye demo. So excited about this!!

Pretty exciting events coming up for this year. I am grateful for the new changes. Thanks for all your support and taking time to read this.