Birthday weaving for Holly
detail of Birthday Weaving for Holly
Two of my closest friends had birthdays yesterday, which is nice. What is even nicer is that we live near each other so we could have a big celebration with noisy poppers (that scared my dog who was shaking under the table), delicious food, and good conversation which included many facts about September 14th and fifty years ago, since Liz turned that magical number. Did you know that Barbie turned 50 this year? Or that the first "successful" Russian moon landing happened on September 14th when the craft crashed into the moon?
While I was in the middle of weaving these two birthday weavings, I told Liz I wasn't going to weave any more birthday weavings--and I remember thinking, she knows I am bluffing. But apparently not. Both Holly and Liz were appropriately surprised, and appreciative. Me too. Going along with my theme of gratitude from the previous blog posting, I am so grateful for these two wonderful friends who encourage me in many ways, especially to stay positive and to remember to laugh--so making weavings for them was a pleasure. I tried to consider what I thought was appropriate for each of them, at the same time to develop my idea of weaving the flowers in my garden. I called Holly my garden guru, since she has taught me lots about these flowers, and she is the one I will go to when I need more information.
Birthday Weaving for Liz
Weaving seen on an angle
detail of Birthday Weaving for Liz
In the summer between first and second year of graduate school, at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Liz and I presented several lectures/hands on demonstrations of weaving processes used by Safavid weavers in conjunction with the exhibition, Woven from the Heart, Spun from the Soul, curated by Carol Bier, shown at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Remembering that Liz loved one of those textiles that had poppies, I decided to do my own version, starting with an image of poppies from my front yard. Weaving on a 60/2 silk warp (I did get this confirmed by Redfish Dyeworks) and using metallic wefts (gold for Holly's weaving and silver for Liz's), as well as silk wefts, I achieved a quality in these fabrics that shimmers and changes depending on the angle at which you view the weavings. It means that different viewings will reveal new details. I thought it was like a hologram, but another friend said it reminded her of a computer screen, a simile more people will relate to today.
I was really into baking yesterday. First I made a poppy seed cake (to go with the poppy weaving). Then I made an apple pie. Then I made ginger carrot cupcakes with marzipan carrots on top of ginger orange cream cheese frosting (recipes from Deborah Madison and Martha Stewart). If I had more time I would have kept going (banana cream pie sounded good, something chocolate came to mind). I thought it would be nice to have an obscene amount of sweets like some over the top wedding celebration. Fortunately time ran out and we just had abundance.
Apple Pie, one of three desserts