Woven Women- She Walks in Beauty Like the Night

I love the poem, ‘She Walks in Beauty Like the Night’ by Lord Byron….

To me, it’s about being aware of how we walk through the days AND the nights of our lives-

Walking each moment in attention to the beauty that surrounds us,

and the beauty that exists in us, and those whose lives we walk with.

Also, it makes me think about the ways we treat the night in our culture.

We’re a little (or a LOT) afraid of it, aren’t we?

We need to light it up and make it not so dark, not so scary,

not so much bigger than we are…..

And, so, I made this Woven Woman, with all those thoughts, and oh, so many more,

in my mind.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

‘She Walks in Beauty Like the Night’  was woven on my 8 inch Mirrix tapestry loom at 8 epi and 4 epi (I wanted to add a lot of texture, so I took a chance and by going with what is considered to be a whalloping HUGE scale of weaving.

It was a challenge to accept what I was doing, but I loved what I learned in combining the 2 different ends per inch ratio- always excellent to learn new things- Yes!)

Her arms were woven on my 4 harness loom at 30 ends per inch.

The narrow bands at her shoulders and wrists were woven on my inkle loom.

I drew the face, hands and feet on Baltic Birch plywood and cut them out with the bandsaw, sanded, sanded and filed the edges.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Then I burned the pencil lines with a special rheostatic wood burner that my lovely, brilliant husband, Jim Findlay, LINK designed and built for me.

Next step was to do some encaustic work with laying color in with beeswax, and melting it in (without setting fire to everything, ahem- that does put a crimp in the day….).  Then, layers of acrylic paints, more beeswax, and then  the wooden pieces were all varnished.

I drill holes in at their edges so they can be stitched securely into the tapestry.

‘She Walks in Beauty Like the Night’ is just over 36 inches tall.

I am enchanted with weaving words these days, which has all manner of challenges, but it has absolutely captured my imagination.

I find weaving words to be utterly delicious, and phrases and fragments of favorite poems are jumping up and down, leaping through my dreams, marching through my mind or dancing on the edges, demanding to become Woven Women.

So, what am I to do?  Warp up the loom and keep weaving, of course!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

My beloved daughter in love, (light of my son’s life, my dear friend, and a total treasure), Alliston Findlay, is a master hand spinner.

Her handspun yarns are the richly shaded blacks in ‘She Walks in Beauty’.

The irridescent threads that I used to weave the words are from Kreinik threads LINK

Weaving tapestry with bundles of metallic threads (I used 3 or 4 strands of the metalics and blending threads held together) is VERY slow and definitely challenging, but SO worth it.

When I was steaming the tapestry after it came off the loom, I was VERY careful, as I was worried that I might melt the threads.  Luckily, they stood up to the steaming and finishing process just fine- whew!

Finishing a tapestry is one heck of a lot of work, but that’s another story.

For now, let me leave you with the wish that you, too, will walk in beauty like the night, through all the moments of your beautiful life!

PS:I was told last week that Lord Byron wrote the poem because he deeply honoured and respected a young woman who struggled with cerebral palsy. Apparently, this made it difficult for some people to see her true beauty.  This makes me love the poem even more!

If you check the comments, you will see a link to poets.org … check it out!  (Thank you, Gene!)

Here is the poem in full:

I.

She walks in beauty, like the night 
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright 
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

II.

One shade the more, one ray the less, 
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress, 
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express 
   How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

III.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, 
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below, 
   A heart whose love is innocent!

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A small video of my ‘Woven Women’ tapestries

Yesterday, a dear friend helped me to hang some of my ‘Woven Women’ tapestries at the Blue Chair Cafe in Edmonton AB.

They will be hanging at the Blue Chair for the months of September and October 2014.

I took a small video after the show was hung….

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Woven Women- And All Shall Be Well

One of my most favorite prayers is Dame Julian of Norwich’s …

“And All Shall Be Well, and All Shall Be Well, and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well….”

This prayer is a mantra that I repeat to myself through thick and thin, through the darkest nights and hardest moments-   we all have them, and they are transformed into a wellspring of compassion, but, oh my, how incredibly challenging it can be at times to navigate them.

Thank you, Dame Julian, for these words to live by…..

I love weaving words, and have done many woven homages to Dame Julian.

But, this is the first time I have woven her prayer in tapestry-

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

She is approximately 36 inches tall.

I wove the central tapestry panel on my Mirrix 8 inch tapestry loom at 6 epi.

The side and back panels were woven on my 4 harness floor loom at 12 epi.

On her face, there are bits of sea glass, fragments of pottery and seashells, as well as driftwood.

 

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Woven Women tapestries- Seven Ravens

The story, The Seven Ravens, by the Brothers Grimm inspired me to weave a tapestry.

I have been working on it for more than 5 months, and I am thrilled to have finally (!!!) finished it!!!!

While I was weaving it, I tried to remember to take progress pics, so I could make a little video showing how it grew.

I wasn’t very good at remembering to do that, so the pics really lurch and skip, but c’est la vie- sometimes, we lurch, don’t we?

And, now, thank goodness, it’s finally done!!!! yay!!! done done done!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

And, here is the little video showing how it grew:

I am now delighted to be warping up for a new tapestry- yay!

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Woven Women – Three Sisters

Three sisters of the heart- tapestry/mixed media pieces that I wove and fabricated this summer:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

On the left:  Woven Women- Asking for Miracles 36 inches tall
Center: Woven Women- Edith’s Song (no regrets) 31 inches tall
On the right:  Woven Women- Small Bird Sang and All Was Forgiven 36 inches tall

Woven on my Mirrix tapestry looms (16 inch wide loom and 8 inch wide loom).

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Woven Women-Asking for Miracles

Night and day for the last couple of weeks, I have been weaving up a storm, finishing Part 3 of  Rebecca Mezoff’s online tapestry workshop.

And, I have just finished: Woven Women- Asking For Miracles, which is built around the sampler that I wove for Part 3:

 

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

The dragon ship on her chest is based on images in the Bayeux tapestries, and the tree of life is based on a fragment of the Overhogdal tapestry fragments that I saw in the Viking exhibition at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC in July.

Both of these historic tapestries are actually embroideries on neutral backgrounds, not woven.

But their imagery is just so marvelous that I find them really inspiring and love sketching elements from them.

For her head dress, bodice construction, cuffs and hem, I used narrow bands that I wove on my double slotted Swedish rigid heddle loom.

Her head, hands, shoulder medalions, and feet are plywood.

I drew, cut out and burned and painted all the wooden elements.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Her earrings are made from beads, vintage buttons and reproductions of Viking coins that I bought in the Museum gift shop.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

 

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

‘Asking for Miracles’ was woven on my 16 inch Mirrix tapestry loom and is about 36 inches tall.

And, that title?

Well…. there are a lot of things happening these days that could use some miraculous energy to set them to rights…

you know, the wars, the devastations that are being wrought on so many levels and in so many ways on our precious little planet.

As I weave, I often meditate on sending out peaceful, healing energy…. the stuff that miracles are made of, after all, so to be honest, I think that when I am doing this, I am asking for miracles…..

and may your life be full of miracles of healing, wholeness, wonderfulness in every way!

Miracles.

Yes, please.

 

 

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July 2014 Tapestry Diary

I’ve been so busy catching up since we got home from holidays that I forgot to post a pic of my July Tapestry diary.

Here it is:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

The title is: ‘Questions’.

It’s 3 inches wide by 5 inches tall.

I wove it on my wee copper pipe loom at 8 epi.

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Woven Women- Small Bird Sang and All Was Forgiven

When we went on holidays in July, I took along 4 small looms- My Norwegian Cradle loom, my 8 inch Mirrix tapestry loom, my wee copper pipe loom and my tiny peg loom.

I warped up my Norwegian Cradle loom with fine cotton to weave a narrow band, using my Swedish double slotted rigid heddle.

The heddle is actually too wide for the Cradle loom, but oddly enough, this worked well in a quirky way.

I wove and wove and wove and wove  as we drove for many, many days, with the Norwegian Cradle loom in my lap:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

The cotton thread in the narrow band is in the same colors that I was using to weave the sampler for Part 2 of the online tapestry course offered by Rebecca Mezoff.

I knew that I wanted to have narrow bands as part of the figure that I was weaving, using the sampler as the body.

And here she is: Her name is:
“Small Bird Sang and All Was Forgiven”.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Her body is the sampler that includes the techniques that were covered in Part Two of the course.

I wove her arms separately, using techniques from Part 2 as well.
I have included driftwood from our beachcombing at the ocean, as well as found objects.

Her hands, head, feet and the archway panel are cut from Baltic birch plywood. (Lovely stuff!)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I burned the features with a wood burning tool, and then painted and embellished with encaustic.

She is 36 inches/90 cm tall.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I wove her body first, then re-warped the loom and wove the arms separately.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Her body and arms were woven on my 8 inch Mirrix tapestry loom, which I also took along on holidays, as it’s a fabulous little traveling loom.

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Tottie Tomato meets the Quimper Hittys

Tottie Tomato and I are enchanted by the magical blog: Quimper Hittys LINK

When we went on holidays at the end of July, Tottie Tomato and I (Tottie Tomato, Pinkie and Blue Bear always travel with us),  were delighted to be able to meet the Quimper Hittys and their charming Mamma.

Quimper Hittys’ Mamma bravely scrambled in under the rosebush and cedars by our trailer to take pictures of Tottie Tomato and the Quimper Hittys that had hopped into their traveling basket.

Bravely, say I, as Jim had been eaten alive by the fierce rosebush when he stalwartly anchored our awning, while being pierced by the lovely rosebush’s monstrous thorns!

Luckily, the rosebush allowed us to take pictures of our girls together.

And, I took pictures of the Quimper Hittys’ human as she got the girls posed together.

Tottie Tomato and Perdita Quimper Hitty especially took to each other.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

They were both so pleased to meet another doll of greenish hue!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

Tottie Tomato was delighted to meet Min,  Agathe, Constance and of course, Perdita.

Mungo Hitty had come along to see what all the excitement was about, but balked at being photographed.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

It was a wonderful morning, sipping tea with a kindred spirit!

The Quimper Hittys gave Tottie Tomato some very beautiful gifts, which she showed admiringly to Pinkie and Blue Bear, as well as Wee Charlotte who lives in my traveling tatting case:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

There were other splendid gifts, and I will tell you about them very soon :)

And, I hope that you are sipping tea with a kindred spirit, too, perhaps admiring a tiny pot of lavender and marveling at

Mouse Melons!

 

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The Fairy Door opens again

Tottie Tomato and Peggotty Caroline heard sounds coming from the Fairy Door down by the apple tree.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

What’s that?

A hand!

A hand opening the Fairy Door?

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Oh!

A new friend!

Tottie Tomato shakes hands with Victoria Kjersten Hitty, known as ‘Tennie’, but, Peggotty Caroline is so excited to meet their new friend, that she throws her arms around Tennie in a welcoming hug.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Tottie Tomato and Peggotty Caroline decide immediately that Tennie Hitty is going to be a good friend.

Sometimes, you can just tell, can’t you?

And, they are  thrilled that Tennie has come through the Fairy Door to live in the studio with them.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Tottie Tomato and Peggotty Caroline are very interested to hear all about how Tennie came to be behind the Fairy Door…. I’m sure she’ll tell them all about it over a lovely cup of tea.

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