Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stepping Gently

 A window view in Washington, NC

Summer is such an amazing time,
there is so much to do,
a relaxed feeling each day,
beautiful sunshine,
vacations and mini getaways,
hot temperatures
and an awakening of the spirit.

People seem happier
more relaxed to me!
There are gatherings with family,
vacations and times to slow down from the norm.
More books are read for sure
many more naps in hammocks, right?

Even my Josie Grace finds time to chill

It is already mid August
and I find myself wanting to step gently
for the rest of the summer.
My tapestry camp is over
(and I looked so forward to that!),
we were able to sneak in a day trip to the OBX,
it was our first trip this summer :(

Finding time for a little play at the ocean

We have had so much going on
with our family this summer,
and we are learning to appreciate
each and every day and moment.
Stepping gently has taught me so much.
I look at the wonder around me
and appreciate all that I am seeing!
Here are just a few of my favorites:

My birthday is fast approaching and I will be 60 years old!!!
It will be on August 21st
and I must say it is a very special day this year,
there is a full eclipse!
I call that pretty special don't you?

So in the meantime,
I will continue to look at my surroundings
with a keen eye of appreciation
for all that I see,
I will step gently and quietly,
calming my heart and my spirit each day.
It is so important!

I am totally smitten with my new
Midori Traveler's Notebook,
and am recording my thoughts,
dreams and desires inside the pages.
I'm sketching, writing poetry,
collecting quotes and so much more!
It goes everywhere with me,
and it feels so good in my hands.
Have you heard about them?
They are all the rage for journalers these days.
Here is a link to the one I purchased!
(There is something yummy about red leather!)

Last, but NEVER least ...
I am weaving a little bit each day,
making my time at the loom special.
I have committed to weaving something each morning,
and I must say it starts my day off perfectly.
Weaving always calms my spirit
and I can get so easily lost in the process.
I am still trying to finish up
my woven sampler I started
at Tapestry Camp a few weeks ago,
I'm not rushing at all,
just trying new techniques
and working them out.
My new Lani 8" loom is portable,
and I am enjoying weaving time
outside on the deck!

Weaving row by row and learning along the way

My finished sample of techniques

Dear friend stop and pause,
if only for a moment.
Enjoy this season of fun and play,
relax your spirit,
find time to step gently . . .
Look at the beauty around you
and embrace what is right in front of you.
Don't be too busy,
distracted by your phone in your hand,
put it down,
embrace a slower pace.
Summer is a gift we are given,
what are you doing with it this season?

Donna Lee

Monday, July 31, 2017

Tapestry Camp ... How I spent my summer vacation

Our greeting when we reached the top!

How lucky I was to spend five days this past week,
July 22-26, 2017
at Tapestry Weaving Camp
an amazing tapestry artist and teacher!
It was held at the Colorado State University,
Mountain Campus,
in Pingree Park.
(Elevation 9000 feet!!!!)

I left home at 4:00 am on a Saturday,
and returned at 2:00 am on Thursday morning.
It was so worth the travel journey to get there!
You see studying with my online teacher in person 
has been on my bucket list for quite some time,
and the journey I walked before the workshop,
well ... let's just say I was having my doubts
as to whether I would actually get there!
But I did and it was a dream come true for me!

I bought a special woven journal for the experience
and began writing in it right away,
at a beautiful Starbucks in Fort Collins,
waiting for Rebecca to pick me up!
(By the time I returned home, the pages were
quite filled up with notes, sketches and things
I didn't want to forget!)

"Being a Tapestry Weaver is certainly a gift"

 I just loved seeing this sign!

 "Blue Spruce" cabin ... My home for the journey!

 What a beautiful campus it was!

Our days were full for sure...
First day was traveling and settling in,
and getting my body adjusted to the high elevation.
We gathered after dinner at the lodge where our classroom would be,
 getting to know each another,
sharing who we were, our tapestry journies
and what brought us to the retreat.
We were all so happy to be there at that moment.

The first thing we saw when we entered
the classroom were tables of yarns,
full of colors and arranged by weights,
different brands ... 
what a feast for the eyes!
We were free to try whatever we wanted,
it was a candy store for weavers!

Yarn Yarn Yarn!

We settled into our places for the duration
and began class the next morning!
Each morning we woke early,
and breakfast was served at 7:00.
The walk to the dining hall was always
full of laughter and great conversation!
Of course, I had to stop along the way
to take a few photos!

Thanks to my rookie Carole for taking this photo in the Aspens!

Each day we had time to weave,
Rebecca gave incredible lectures and slide shows,
Rebecca gave demos of weaving techniques,
we laughed, encouraged each other, shared our work,
shared resources and ideas.
Then there were times you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet,
as we were all working hard on our tapestries.
There was no cell service, limited wi-fi and no email.
"The out of touch" was a refreshing lesson to learn.

Here is a pic collage of each full day I was there,
you can see glimpses of my experiences each day
that I created for my Instagram:
(I didn't get to post till I came down off the mountain)

Final Day!

On the second full day we hiked up to Denny's Point,
and I must say it kicked my butt,
but it was so worth it!
We took time to stop, enjoy the beauty,
drink water, take pictures
until we reached the top!
We were constantly on the search
for our next tapestry inspiration.
There is so much beauty around us,
if only we will see!

Ready to head UP!

Tapestry Hikers here we go!

The view from the top

Just sit here for awhile, rest your weary self!

 Another view from the top

Small treasures everywhere!

So I guess you can see I was thrilled with
each and every moment of my Tapestry Camp.
Rebecca put so much effort into
making it such a great learning experience for us,
and we learned from her, soaking up all of her knowledge.
She never held back and shared freely;
how I appreciate that in a teacher.
If you ever get the chance to take a workshop from her,
You can also learn from her with her online courses,
and just invite her into your home,
anytime you like!

 A Demo of Eccentric Weave (my favorite)

My view for the slide lectures

Rebecca wearing the Tapestry Cuff I brought to her!

So much to say,
So much I experienced,
and I will never forget the awesome time I had.
Now I am home and remembering it all,
trying to put it into words just doesn't do it justice!
Whether it was taking my loom outside to weave,
or finding a quiet moment to spin,
gathering with an amazing group of weavers,
spending time with Rebecca,
creating a tiny little tapestry,
that took hours to create,
it was all so worth it!

 My 8" Mirrix Lani came with me on the plane

 My color gradation work and some pick and pick in between

 My Tapestry family for five days ... how I miss them!

 Spinning with a view and finches everywhere

I only know I left a small piece of my creative heart
in Colorado!
Thank you Rebecca for having the gift of teaching,
the knowledge to share,
and a heart as big as can be!

My heart was full!

Thanks for sticking with me,
I know this was a long post,
there was just so much to share!
Hoping your summer vacations are wonderful too!
Till next time . . .
Love more, Rest your soul
and find time to be creative,

Donna Lee

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Taking a Summer Hiatus

Him and Me Always!

Here it is July and it's already three quarters over!
I honestly don't even know where it went!
It has certainly been a summer of adjustment and sorrow
after losing my precious father-n-law.

As you know, I pride myself on living the creative life,
however, not much creativity has been happening
around my studio lately.
I miss just playing around with my paints and yarns.
I can't even tell you the last time I art journaled
or just read a book.

All is good!
I will be headed to Colorado in just a few days
to a Tapestry Weaving Workshop
with my online teacher and mentor
and I am super excited!
I will be staying at the
Colorado State University
Mountain Campus
and soaking up as much
inspiration as I can.
I can't imagine five days
of beautiful mountains, fellowship with weavers,
hiking, sketching and tapestry weaving for days
Pinch me now please!

I am sure I will have lots
to tell you about later.
For now I am taking
a blogging hiatus ...
time to restore the writing soul,
rest my heart
refresh my spirit.
See you again soon,
I'm anxious to see all the good that comes from 
stepping away
and listening to my heart.

Donna Lee

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Living the Woven Life

Threads are a part of my daily life

I have just finished a one year position
as part of the Mirrix Looms
Social Marketing team.
I must say it was quite an honor to work
with Claudia and Elena.
An extroidinary Mother and Daughter team.
I learned a lot about marketing,
social media and how to even use a new
blog software called Hubspot.
Everything in life is a learning experience,
is it not?

I wanted my last blog post for them
to be one that was heartfelt.
I believe I accomplished that ...
I entitled the post
"Living the Woven Life"
and I spoke about how it is to be
a Tapestry Weaver today,
what it involves
and how it is to live a life
creatively each and every day.
How to slow down and
truly enjoy the weaving process.
For me, it is a gift to have returned
to this art form, and I am grateful.
Rather than state it all here
I would love for you to visit their site
and read it,
even if you aren't a Tapestry Weaver,
I do believe you will enjoy the read
and apply the thoughts to other parts of your life.
You can find the post HERE . . .

My handwoven pouch giveaway 

I wanted to do something special for Mirrix Looms
and I created this handwoven pouch necklace
and wrote two blog posts about how it was
designed, created and woven.
At the end of this month,
a lucky winner will get this pouch,
full of love and inspiration tucked inside.
In a previous blog post of mine,
I wrote about the joy of giving to others ...
you can read HERE ...

It's certainly been a heartfelt week for my family and I.
I lost my precious Father n Law,
who suffered from ALS with strength and dignity.
 Emotions are flying right now,
and trying to put into words how I feel can't be done.

How important it is to live your life well,
to be content with where you are at this moment,
to treat others with consideration, love and respect.
I promise you can't go wrong if you do.

I am hoping that your week is filled with good things,
and happiness finds you at every corner.

Donna Lee

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Getting things Accomplished

Small tapestry finished from my Hokett Loom

Looking at the calendar,
marking it with dates and obligations,
I truly can't believe it is mid June already!

The calendar is filling,
My youngest son turns 34 tomorrow!
Vacation is coming soon
and travel plans are being made.
I am so excited to also be
taking my Weaving Mentor 
in Colorado this summer!
Four days of fellowship, inspiration and weaving!
I get goose bumps just thinking about
how the trip just fell into place.

I have had a lot of creative projects
going on at the same time
and I must say ...
it sure feels good to be finishing them up!

I have finished many needlework projects 
and I love each one of them!
For those of you who follow me on Instagram,
you can find them all there!
The quietness of holding my needle
compares to nothing else!

Stitching over one thread on 32ct linen

I want my summer to be free and easy,
so I had a to do list of what I wanted to accomplish!
I was extremely busy creating a handwoven pouch
for Mirrix Looms,
it was a two month blog project
and now a giveaway for one special weaver!
You can read all the details here ...

My finished Pouch woven with hand dyed silks

I have just finished a year long commitment
as a Social Marketing representative
for Mirrix,
and I must say it was a wonderful experience.
I wrote my last blog post for them this week,
and hope my final message will be a good one!

In the midst of a busy life,
our Wynn family had an amazing surprise
of our fourth grandchild being born,
3.5 weeks early!!!!!
Her beautiful name is Zoey Brett Wynn.
She was in the NICU for a week,
allowing her lungs to get stronger,
she is home now and doing amazing!
I have to say how full and blessed 
my life is right now!

First time I got to touch our sweet one

This past week I was able to pick up the
woven Tapestry Cuffs I had finished
weaving a month ago ...
I kept staring at them unfinished
and it was as if 
they were just asking me to complete them!

I had six different cuffs on my Mirrix 

My first completed cuff

When I sit still for a moment
and think about all that I have accomplished,
it feels really good.
I am one who doesn't like things undone.
All of my projects were fun,
but I must admit I was in over my head
"I want to do this and thats!"

I'm learning to slow down a bit,
breathe and enjoy the day.
I have my projects finished now,
books read, blog posts written
and now I want summer to just roll in.

I have returned to my Zentangle® practice,
it had been awhile!
I can't remember the last time
I sat during a lunch hour
and practiced my meditative drawing!  
It felt really good to have my pen in hand!

Lunchtime drawing

I have learned that accomplishing creative tasks
feels good from the inside out!
I also know that working on so many 
things at once is overwhelming.
I need to pick and choose what grabs my
creative attention from now on.
Lesson learned ... step lightly,
do less and enjoy every moment!

Summer is a time that we naturally slow down.
Why is it we have to wait until the summer months
to learn this lesson?
What are your summer plans?
I would love to hear

Donna Lee

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Creating something for someone else

My finished woven pouch

I have been working on this Handwoven Pouch
for a few months as a fun blog post/giveaway
I have had the pleasure of being a part
of their Social Marketing Team this past year,
and I wanted to finish my commitment with a fun weaving project.
A year flew by and I enjoyed being a part of the
Mirrix Team immensely.

I had such a fun time working on it,
and as I was creating the piece,
I was learning new weaving techniques along the way.
Tapestry Weaving is all about learning
and growing in this art form.
From the beginning design and planning stage, 
to choosing the correct sett and fibers,
learning to fix and reason out my mistakes along the way, 
visualizing a finished product,
and learning to take some weaving shortcuts.

Weaving, Learning and Taking Notes

I have learned so much from being a Tapestry Weaver,
so any time that I can spend at my looms
is a wonderful thing!
I am a Seeker,
always looking for ways to learn something new,
experience new things
and share my knowledge along the way.
Tapestry Weaving is a gift to the soul,
a quiet path taken with myself.

Adding some Rya knots to the front flap

As I finished the project I had designed,
I wanted to do something for Mirrix Looms,
as a way of saying thanks for the past year.
Thanks for choosing me among all the applicants,
for trusting my written word on their Blog each month,
and for supporting my efforts.

I decided to give the pouch away to one lucky winner!
Claudia and Elena (Mother and Daughter team of Mirrix)
 were thrilled with the idea!
So they decided during the month of June,
to give a discount for Spencer Treadle sales,
and at the end of the month,
they would draw a name of one PERSON who had purchased
a treadle during the month of June ...
honestly I can't wait to see who wins!
Sometimes we need to give to others,
Pay it forward ... It just feels right!
That's what I wanted to do with this fun project!
So inside I tucked a message ...
"Weave Tapestry"
I included a pink quartz stone ...
extending a gift of calmness and clarity.
There was a lot of love tucked inside.

Small treasures inside

I learned a lot from this project:
*How wonderful it is to design something
from start to finish
*To work out design ideas on my own
*I know I love weaving fine settings
with beautiful silk threads
*How good it is to share your work with others
*Sharing your knowledge, weaving and talents
with others is a good thing.
*Creating something for someone else feels down right awesome

I look forward to the end of June,
may the recipient love the pouch when they receive it,
as much as I loved creating it.

When you are given the chance to share,
please do it!
Giving is a good thing;
not for the recipient but for YOU!
Growth comes when we extend ourselves,
give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Donna Lee