Any weavers out there?
Donald and I were the lucky recipients of a wonderful loom a year or so back. It's gorgeous!
I took weaving lessons many many years ago while we were still in Atlanta. At the Chastain Arts Center
(a place I really love), Dream Weaver Studio (sadly - no longer in business), and from master weaver and lovely lady Betty Smith who was a long time instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School
(another place I really love). While I was taking a class with Betty, she introduced me to her friend and neighbor - another Betty Smith. Betty Smith, Musician
. This is from her webpage:
Betty Smith has performed, taught and shared traditional music of the South for over thirty years in concert halls, festivals, workshops and classrooms. She combines her musical roots and talents with her skills as a communicator to present musical experiences which have been described as 'unique' and 'magical'. With her extensive collection of Southern, Appalachian and British ballads, folk songs and hymms - she takes her audience on a cultural voyage.
While trying her best to teach me to weave, we would listen to recordings of Ms. Smith's music. One of my favorites was a poem by Byron Herbert Reece
, Georgia's Appalachian Poet, which Ms. Smith had put to music. The Ballad of the Weaver
. These weaving lessons will remain dear to my heart for a number of reasons - Betty and her husband were lovely people to spend time with. Interesting and wonderful story tellers. I will always remember them with great fondness and be thankful for the things I learned from them - sadly, weaving didn't seem to be one of them. Oh, I tried. And I tried. Once the loom was dressed, I loved throwing the shuttle and watching fabric appear like magic. But I just never got it.
Just. Never. Did. Get. It.
I rented a small loom from Betty and brought it home. After much head scratching, reading
Betty's notes, reading Deborah Chandler's wonderful LEARNING TO WEAVE
book, I had my loom dressed and settled in with a smile to begin the, to me, fun part of weaving. I threw the shuttle a few times and oddly, I was done. What I thought was going to be a nice long scarf, was instead a piece perhaps long enough to wear as a headband. That was it for me. But the weaving bug had grabbed Donald along the way.
The loom went back to Betty's house. My fascination with the process continued and I did manage to do a scrumptious silk boucle shawl which I still love and cherish. But this was done in the Dream Weaver's Studio with more help from the resident weavers than I should admit to. Dressing the loom just makes no sense to me. There's a good deal of math involved. NOT, by any means, a strong point for me. There's a lot, I think, mechanical aptitude needed. Certainly not a strong point of mine, but absolutely one for Donald.
Years went by and whenever the occasion might present itself at which I was able to watch someone weave, I would be totally entranced with it all.
As we all know, God works in mysterious ways. Right? And this wonderful loom found its way to us.
And it sat.
and it sat.
and it sat in our sunroom for over a year.
and it takes up a huge amount of room.
but, it's also beautiful.
Then as luck would have it, at one of our neighborhood get-togethers, the subject of weaving came up. Seems one of our neighbors also has a loom and has done some weaving in the past. He and Donald got to talking and next thing I knew a little spark found its way into Donald's always curious self and he's reading about the loom. Asking questions. Searching out things on-line.
And so we made a little trip to Asheville, NC
Asheville is wonderful. There's more to Asheville than just the Biltmore Estate
; although that's pretty awesome, indeed.
The downtown area, unlike many cities, is vibrant and full of lovely little restaurants with outdoor seating, funky shops and galleries and a fascinating mix of architectural styles which the city embraces and honors.
There's a great little well-known bookstore/cafe; Malaprop's
, which has this fun piece of sculpture in front.
And right down the street from Malaprop's, is EarthGuild
- ta DA! A place to buy missing,
needed and wanted parts and supplies for The Loom. We spent a fun hour or more here. Donald found everything he needed, including knowledgeable folks to answer all his weaving questions.
And being surrounded by all the gorgeous fibers was more than I could stand.
I don't knit very often, but every once in awhile the urge will hit. How could it not in a place like this?!
Here's what I got. Won't this make a fun and sassy scarf?
And before we know it, Donald will be weaving beautiful pieces like these -
O.K. - Next stop.
Accent on Books
. Artisan booksellers since 1983.
This is where the Official "Clothes Lines" Launch Party was held. And a lovely event it was. And a fine time was had by all!
Huge thanks to Byron Ballard and the entire staff for a wonderful evening.
Byron tells us about 50 people attended the launch.
Me, Celia Miles and Byron Ballard
(What's more fun than cuddlin' with your honey in a bookstore?!
This was a lovely, lovely day.
Topped off with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants - The Italian Restaurant
in Pineola, NC
life is good. Posted by Kaye Barley at 7:59 AM 9 comments
Labels: Accent on Books
, Asheville NC
, Donald Barley
, Kaye Barley
, Meanderings and Muses
On Friday, November 13, 6 p.m. there will be a reception honoring "Clothes Lines" from 75 Western North Carolina women writers; edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham .
Several of the contributors will be doing readings.
Celia and Nancy will discuss the process of collecting the pieces and editing the book.
This event is free, open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Saturday, September 12 was a fun day!
Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham invited all the women who contributed to Clothes Lines to a Coffee/Tea and Cookies Party. It was an opportunity to meet one another, exchange hugs with old friends, take a few pictures and enjoy the camaraderie of being part of a lovely endeavor, of which we're all quite proud.
Thank you Celia and Nancy for a lovely, lovely day.
Mr. Bill Mosher took some terrific pictures which can be found at his webpage, including this one -
I think Celia and Nancy have some plans cooking for upcoming gatherings and I look forward to them. What an honor to be involved in a project with such exceptionally talented women.
Friday, September 4, 2009
This book arrived in today's mail -
Lovely, isn't it?!
AND - -
lookee here -
How cool is that?!
As you can see from the title page - 75 western North Carolina women are featured in CLOTHES LINES
- Edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham.
Many of the women included are local or regional names I'm familiar with, some I've admired from afar, some I'm only now becoming aware of. I'm quite honored to be included among them.
Three of the women, however, are giants in my mind.
Novelist Joan Medlicott
, author of the award winning Ladies of Covington series,
Novelist and poet Isabel Zuber
, author of SALT,
North Carolina Poet Laureate (2005 - 2009) Kathryn Stripling Byer.
Am I over the moon?! you bet.
I have been a huge fan of Joan Medlicott's for a number of years and snatch up her newest Covington novels the minute they hit the shelves.
Isabel Zuber's "Salt"
is one of my favorite novels ever. One that I reread with some regularity.
Kay Byer writes some of the absolutely most perfect poetry I've ever had the joy of reading, and her words enrich my life.
It was through Kay's blog, "Here Where I Am,"
that I learned of the call for submissions for this anthology, which is the second edited by Celia Miles and Nancy Dillingham. The first was "Christmas Presence, from 45 west North Carolina women writers,"
published in 2008.
This submission call was for " The Clothes We Wear . . . stories, memoirs, essays/reflections, poems for an anthology about the garments we wear — metaphorically, symbolically, literally---from hair bow to bra to Birkenstocks, from christening gown to prom dress, from waitress uniform to nine-to-five stiletto heels"
and I immediately thought of a piece I had written for Meanderings and Muses about needing a little red in my life
. Not allowing myself to think about things too much for fear of getting cold feet, I revised it and sent it in. Still not allowing myself to think about it too much, I was tickled beyond belief to hear back from Celia and Nancy that my piece had been accepted.
Had I known that Ms. Zuber, Ms. Byer, and Ms. Medlicott were to be included there is no way on God's green earth that I would have given any of this a second thought. Which says to me that sometimes we just need to put aside our fears - our lack of confidence in ourselves, and just say "oh, the hell with it," and stretch ourselves. By stretching myself, I've been granted an opportunity to be a part of something that I'll always be proud of. And that's a lovely thing, indeed.
Note: some of you have sent emails wanting to know how to get a copy of Clothes Lines. My copy of the book is, I believe, an early release, and we're all supposed to get together next Saturday to discuss "stuff" at a "Meet & Greet Tea." (won't that be fun?!!) I'll find out about distribution then, I'm guessing it will be available through amazon, along with our local and regional indies (I'll keep you posted). BUT - in the meantime you can order copies from the publisher - Catawba Publishing or from the editors: Celia Miles - firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy Dillingham - email@example.com