Archive for the ‘Methow Valley’ Category

Last night we went to the opening for the new show at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, titled “Reflections on Water”.  There was a pretty good turnout.  Daughter Gretchen is visiting from Medford, OR so she was with us, and we went out to dinner with good friends afterward.

Reflections on Water exhibit

I submitted three pieces for this show.  It seemed to me that what I have been weaving since spring just naturally lent themselves to the theme.

Handspun throw (weft is handspun, warp is organic wool from Jaggerspun) and a rug woven with Pendleton selvages:

Tencel and cotton shawl:

As for the smoke part, we are smothered in it right now owing to our 2 local fires and all the smoke coming down from the widespread, terrible ones in British Columbia.  Not looking like it is going to let up any time soon.


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Tonight is the opening reception for the new show at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, titled Connecting Threads.  The description from their website:  “From the utilitarian to the purely decorative, fiber art is one of humanities oldest art forms. This exhibit will feature the wide range of modern fiber arts including, but not limited to, weaving, art quilts, felting, basketry, soft sculpture, embroidery, and hand-dyed textiles.”

They set it up this past week and it is pretty wonderful.  I went in on Wednesday and took a few pictures of my two extended manifold twill shawls in 20/2 perle cotton and tencel.  Also the small blanket or throw that is a series I am starting using my handspun yarn for weft, with Jaggerspun Green Line organic merino wool in 4 colors for the warp.

There are some woven jacquard pieces that appear based on photographs, very elaborate.  I hope the artist is there and I can find out more about these.  The labels say “handwoven” but are done on a computerized jacquard loom I presume.

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A friend rather pointedly told me that Twisp of Fate seems to have gone dark.  I am so far behind that it seemed pointless to try to catch up, in a way.  But to summarize….

Most of July was spent on a road trip to Oregon in our 1973 Airstream with the 2 cats, Juno & Stormy.  We visited family and friends in Medford & Ashland.

Rick’s birthday at La Pine State Park

Rick with daughter and newest great-grandchild

then headed east to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and Steens Mountain, where we were too late for much bird life at the refuge, but at a perfect time for a drive up Steens Mtn to see wildflowers, views and a couple of herds of wild horses.

near the top of Steens Mountain

wild horses

then farther east to the Owyhee country where we did a lot of driving but did visit an interesting “ghost town”, Silver City Idaho, and saw some fantastic geologic features.

then worked our way north via Baker City to the Wallowa Mountains and towns of Joseph and Enterprise (which we first visited last year) – where among other things we took the tram ride to the top of Mt Howard above Wallowa Lake, continued to eat well in camp, and did some light hiking.

The cats did well despite some long days in the truck, and the heat!

Our last night was at Potholes State Park in southeast Washington, a beautiful park at the Columbia Basin wildlife refuge, to which we will return.

“Airial” at Potholes SP

Early August brought a gathering of my side of the family from California, Colorado and Maryland to visit our dad and the rest of us.  We took the Airstream over to Anacortes for 5 days to join in.

four generations

Along the way, I’ve woven some new rugs:













entered 4 handwoven items and 3 skeins of handspun yarn into the Okanogan County Fair

Been to the wonderful new Barnyard Cinema in Winthrop a couple of times… a brand new building with a beautiful space meant for screening movies and other events, and only 2 miles from our house!

Fall is in the air and it finally got cool enough at night to warrant an extra blanket on the bed, which is this fabulous quilt my sister made and gave to us back in August:

High Country quilt

That’s it for now!  I will try to be a better blogger going in to the fall.




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We stopped by Confluence Gallery in Twisp this morning to see how the new show looks.  They did a great job, as usual!  Here is the poster for the show, which runs July 1 – August 5.  That’s my dearly beloved in the center picture.

Basically they paired Mary Lou Harris’s photos (taken in our studios) with examples of our work.  There are 10 artists involved.  Here are a few general shots:

Jeremy Newman & Allison Ciancibelli, blown glass;  Hannah Viano, prints and paper cutouts

Robin Nelson Wicks, clay figures

Nicole Ringold, jewelry and Perri Howard, mixed media

Barry Stromberger, metal work

Rick Swanson, woodworker, and Ken LIbby, photography on metal

Katie Swanson, weaver

Rick’s special piece for this show is the coffee table made from Oregon walnut that he has had in his wood stash for 25 or more years.  He is calling it the Hologram Table, because as you walk around it various sections change from light to dark, depending on how the fabulous grain is picking up the light.



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Just a quick post to show pictures from a fun event we attended last Saturday.  The TwispWorks campus continues to evolve and turn into more and more of a community asset.  Please visit their website if interested, but here is a little blurb:

TwispWorks welcomes businesses, non-profit organizations, artists, craftspeople and the community at-large to the 6.4 acre campus to share, collaborate and celebrate the vibrant culture that makes the Methow Valley a special place to live, work and visit.

They recently finished the conversion of some of the old asphalt parking lot into an outdoor community and performance space, called The Plaza, and had the grand opening last Saturday.  Most of the artist studio and small entrepreneur spaces were open, as they always are on Saturdays especially in the summer.  In addition, there was music and fun for the kids in the new “splash pad” and elsewhere.  The Fork food truck was serving up yummy food.

I didn’t get pictures of everything! Sunflower Catering was showing their almost completed new kitchen space (remodeled from basically an equipment storage shed).  The new owners of Old Schoolhouse Brewery in Winthrop opened a new taproom there, and are looking at options to expand their brewmaking facility in another yet-to-be-remodeled space.


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We set up the new show at Winthrop Gallery this week.  The official opening is this coming Saturday, June 4, and it will run through July 25.  The title is “Obliquity:  Our Tilt Towards the Sun”.  The four of us wanted something general that we could work around, and because the summer solstice occurs on June 21 in the middle of our time period, we thought a “summer” theme would be good.

The seasons are caused by the angular offset or obliquity between the Earth’s axis of rotation and a perpendicular to the Earth’s orbital plane with the Sun.  As a result, at different places in the Earth’s annual orbit, the northern hemisphere is tilted towards or away from the Sun to varying degrees.  When the northern hemisphere is most tilted towards the Sun we have our summer solstice and the longest day of the year.   So hopefully this explains the title!

Obliquity posterHere are a few pictures I took at the gallery yesterday:




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I finished weaving the new set of plaited twill scarves this week and took them off the loom at the guild room.  There are seven of them, each with a different weft color on the “Sea Scallop” warp – this is a colorway I did once before, about 4 years ago.  Really, it has been that long.

They still need to have fringes twisted, and then be washed and pressed, but I am pleased with how they turned out.  I need to get at least some of these completely done by mid-May for photography, as I am hoping to use this for the poster for the show at Winthrop Gallery that opens June 1.  It will be a bit of a challenge since we are going away for a week, but some way or another it will be done.

sea scallop woven

I also got a warp onto Kingston, my 32″ Macomber at home, to start some placemats (also for the WG show).  The warp is leftover rug warp – I have many little spools with some warp left on them from winding the 50-yd warps I use for rug weaving.  These will be plain weave, but alternating 1/2″ strips of cotton fabric with a novelty yarn.  For the first ones, I am using a length of fabric I must have bought decades ago under the delusion that I would actually sew myself a shirt or blouse!  I am alternating this with a rayon chenille.

placemat fabric 1

placemat 1 May 2016

The flowers continue to come out in the yard – larkspur, some yellow flowers (sorry, I don’t know what they are!) and the bitterroot are just getting started.   Rick took some pictures for the home tour booklet this week:

20 PV May 2016 1

and last week we saw a fantastic sunset with Mt Gardiner in the background:

sunset 28Apr2016

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How We Work

The Winthrop Gallery put up a new show this week, with the official opening on Saturday.  Open to all members, it is titled “How We Work:  Winthrop Gallery artists & the creative process.”  Those of us who submitted a piece or two were asked to provide a statement to be mounted on the wall, which could include photographs.  It was left very open so it will be fun and interesting to see what people came up with.  We can’t make the opening on Saturday because we are headed over to La Conner and Bellingham for the weekend, but I will stop by there today to see how it looks.  Here’s the poster:

How We Work poster

I finished off a rug warp last week and have wound a new warp onto the sectional beam, although it isn’t threaded yet.   Here are some of the recent rugs:



R252 & R253

This is the one I was weaving when we took the picture for the poster – and one of these is in the show




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This is shaping up to be a spectacular year for wildflowers, one factor being all the snow we had last winter.  It has warmed up quickly and melted off fast – the Methow River is a raging brown torrent this week.

Our signature wildlflower, the arrowleaf balsamroot (called “sunflowers” by the locals) have come out strong on the hillsides this past week.  We knew we had to get out to see them before they started to fade, so this morning we did the Lewis Butte hike not too far north out of Winthrop, off the Gunn Ranch Rd.  In addition to the balsamroot, the lupine were well along.  I’ll let the pictures say the rest…

Lewis Butte 4-20-16 a

Lewis Butte 4-20-16 b

Mt. Gardiner in the background

Mt. Gardiner in the background

We did it as a loop, with the steepest part (an old jeep track) at the beginning.  We aren’t in the best of shape but we made it!  Maybe next week we will try Patterson Mtn, as we were told it is a little farther behind Lewis Butte in flower development.

Weaving update

I took 7 plaited twill scarves off the loom at the guild room over a week ago, and have been doing the finishing work at home.



Then over Sunday and Monday I wound a new warp onto the sectional beam, tied it onto the old warp (the blue/green colorway) and started the first scarf.  I haven’t done these particular colors for about 4 years and I am excited to see it again – I call it “Sea Scallop”.

sea scallop warp

sea scallop started


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A Beautiful Display

Last weekend was the Methow Valley Spinners & Weavers Guild annual show & sale.  As usual, our guild meeting room was transformed into a beautiful display of our work.  We often fret that “we won’t have enough stuff” – ha!

We did a good job on the advertising this year – newspaper ads, newspaper article coverage, radio ads, and many flyers put up around Twisp and Winthrop.  There was a good turnout and it was quite successful!






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