Archive for November, 2009

Bling special
November 27, 2009

Bling gold scarf detail

Thank you to the readers who have shown interest in my gold Bling scarf  (see detail above, full-length views on my Gallery page, and this link to an earlier post about it. )  Because of your interest,  my favorite complex,  labor-intensive scarf design in now back in stock.  I have a limited number of 9″ x 60″ black/gold Bling scarves available and I’m offering them for sale at a special low price of $155.00.  Like all my scarves,  they were meticulously handwoven in the USA.  Fiber content is 61% rayon chenille and 39% (an unusually soft and drapey) glitter yarn.  I also have one black/silver Bling scarf left (shown below)  available in the same size,  for the same price.

Bling silver scarf detail

If you would like more information on either of these scarves,  please send your request using the contact form  below.  I will be happy to e-mail you my how-to-order-scarves sheet,  which spells everything out.  (There is also a special wholesale price for retailers,  so if you have a store and might like to sell my scarves,  please contact me for wholesale information.)

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2009 Weave of the week #43: Mexican tablecloth
November 22, 2009

Mexican tablecloth

I’m taking a break from my blogging break to say “happy Thanksgiving.”  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so this week’s featured weave is a food- and wine-stained Mexican tablecloth, handwoven in vaguely autumnal bleached-pumpkin colors (shown above),  that I have used for years and will use again for this holiday meal.  As is too often the case,  I don’t know where I bought it,  or when.   I assumed that it was Mexican because the stripes and the figure in the center look Mexican, but it wasn’t until my friend Penelope said that she thought it was Oaxacan that I started to do research.

I was in Mexico years ago,  before I knew anything about the country’s extraordinary textile history,  so I unfortunately missed going to Oaxaca, but while I was researching my tablecloth, the magic of the internet brought me to Norma Hawthorne’s website link here.

Norma Hawthorne is an American woman who has a deep love and appreciation and knowledge of Oaxacan culture.  She conducts weaving and natural dyeing (and painting and documentary filmmaking) workshops in Oaxaca,  so I sent her an image of  my tablecloth and asked if she could identify it.  She thought (correctly,  it turns out) that it might be from Mitla but suggested that I contact Eric Chavez Santiago,  Director of Education of the Museo Textile de Oaxaca link here.  Here is his interesting reply,  reprinted with his permission:

“For what I’ve seen,  it was hand woven on a treadle loom [they were brought from Spain in the 1500s];  these tablecloths can be found it Mitla,  Xochimilco neighborhood in Oaxaca City and the valley of Ocotlán.  The color combination is not exclusive to one of these places,  they traditionally use machine-spun cotton threads for warp and wefts,  dyed with synthetic colorants.  About the design … I know it is a traditional one  (the pattern is still being woven with variations).  I cannot see all the tablecloth in this picture,  but I see a man figure;  when they have couples woven on them they are used as wedding gifts,  sometimes families ask the weavers to weave the names of the couple into the tablecloth.”

Writing about my tablecloth gave me the opportunity to look at it more closely than I had before,  and it is a beautiful and ingeniously designed textile.  I’m not going to apologize for the quality of my photograph — there should be medals for even trying to photograph a 6-ft x 4½-ft tablecloth in a Brooklyn apartment with an amateur photographer’s 3-ft x 3-ft setup.  But here is a small selection of close-ups:

I am very grateful to Norma Hawthorne and Eric Chavez Santiago for being so generous with their time and their expertise.  The pictures of Oaxaca and its textiles (and its flowers) on their websites and blogs make me want to book a flight immediately.

Back to Thanksgiving.  Here is the photo that motivated me to take a holiday break from my hiatus:

Why did you give ME potatoes?

I wanted to share this photo,  which I took back when I was still using black-and-white film and serving jellied cranberry sauce out of a can,  and our beloved Puffy,  turkey’s number-one fan (shown above),  was here to celebrate with us.  I don’t miss film,  or cranberry sauce from a can,  but I miss Puffy profoundly (and his week-long vigils in front of the freezer with the frozen turkey in it — how could he smell a frozen turkey through a refrigerator door?),  and am truly thankful that I have this picture.  I hope that we all have a warm and delicious Thanksgiving — and now,  alas,  it’s back to my blog break for me.

Hiatus
November 3, 2009

homeI will be taking an indefinite break from my blog, and I miss it already,  but it’s the only way that I can finish my website, which has been “under construction” for years  (that’s my home page above).  I will post from time to time, when I just can’t help myself, but, hey — gotta work. When my site is up,  I’ll post the good news — and the link — here.

My subscribers will automatically be alerted when I start posting again,  so if you’re interested, please subscribe, or send me your e-mail address, so you’ll know when I’m back.  Thanks for reading,  and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Fern