Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3~ July Trip 2014



We headed up the coast from Morro Bay to Big Sur.
Big Sur is one of my most favorite places on earth.
I was so excited to go hiking there.

This is the trail the boy chose:

When we were there, the whole trail was open so we did the full 4.5 miles 
of the lollipop trail.
These maps may give you a better idea than mine above.

We did walk over to the waterfall too,
but I'll save that for another post.

This way please!
The website said 'tricky' and they were right.
With a hand now and then from my guy or the boy,
I did just fine climbing (and descending) the 1600 foot elevation!

Here are some of the many, many pictures I took.
It was a gorgeous day and a fantastic hike.

For full effect while looking at the photos,
listen to this Beach Boys song (in a separate window):
California Saga: Big Sur

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93Gl7DmmNvE
10.4 minutes

Looking up
Brick-a-Brack Bark
Babbling Creek
Branches as warp
1st view of the ocean
Juxtaposed trees
Babies
Tall
Make way for man
Happy Me
Warnings at the top
...I will be sharing the view and the rest of the photos in the next post.
I know for some of us, including me, too many photos make a computer load very slowly!
So, with that said...gorgeous view to come!

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Some Weaving History

After reading Jude's bit of the story of her history with weave...it made me reflect on my own experiences.  I may have had some childhood exploits with weaving...but those I don't recall.

*As always, click on image to enlarge*

What I do recall is how I've mostly woven with young children aged 2+ years to pre-teens.
I wove in preschool classrooms, school-aged summer programs and Week of the Young Child celebrations.  I wove with very young toddlers.  I taught one special 10 year old boy how to make his own medicine bag.  He took to it like a fish to water and was so very proud with his completed bag.

School-aged one week summer program, collaborative weaving

The center (I still have this one too!)

And once, I presented a workshop with a friend/colleague, for Early Childhood Education professionals at the National Association for the Education of Young Children annual conference.  We called it "Fibers in the Classroom".  My friend presented the quilting (cloth) portion and I did the weaving portion.  We had a blast!  At one point as I was presenting and questions were coming and a real back and forth of ideas was blooming, I remember saying, "If it has holes, you can weave it!"  Haha

Week of the Young Child Celebration


But so true, really.
I've had children weave on combs, straws, warped hula-hoops and plastic laundry or strawberry baskets, chain-link fencing...and more.
Weft materials have included cloth, rope, leather strips, thin branches, yarns, ribbons and probably more I don't remember!
I have a big fat notebook of ideas to use with children (or adults!).  All of the twig postings seen on the forum and FB remind me of some of my favorite idea pages in that notebook.

Sisters weaving together

And, really that is how I see myself, a child-like weaver.  Because aside from the basket and medicine bag weaving classes I took as an adult...with other adults...most of my weaving has been done with children.

I think that is a very fine thing.

Sharing the loom

Two of my preschool classrooms (same school) had wonderful floor tapestry looms donated!  We made great use of those.  They were always warped and available for use.  Sometimes parents would stop and weave with their child during drop off or pick up times.  I loved seeing that!  One of the classrooms got the idea to weave long (over 12 inches) very thin twigs that fell from the trees in the play yard.  I liked seeing that too!  That's me in the photo above, weaving in a  3-5 year old classroom.


Classroom Documentation

I made this loom out of a wood frame intended as the bottom of a basket.  I rescued it and many others from their impending trip to the local trash facility!
Then I gathered this paper mesh material from the recyclable items in the staff lounge.
I tied it to the wood frame.
I created a PVC frame, tied on the new 'loom' and taped the whole thing in a large sensory tub.  I then placed a variety of weft materials for the children to choose from in the tub itself.
My best memory of this experience (aside from the few parents, like the one pictured, who wove with their children) is that these almost two year olds came up with their own way of weaving.  They would stand opposite each other, one on each side of the loom and "pass" the piece of fiber to one another.  Once the child had received it, she would then 'pass' it back through a different hole in the mesh, thus 'weaving'!  Soon after making this discovery, the children learned which peers liked to weave and would ask each other, 
"You want to pass to me?"
I can't think of a better invitation than that!

Classroom documentation
I still have this woven loom, as I can't bear to take it apart 
and don't quite know what to do with it!

Close up
This one was given to the child who did the most weaving on it.
She was so interested, she wove everyday!
I sang a little ditty with these 3-5 year old children.
"In and Out the window, in and out the window, that's the way we weave".



The children would choose a piece of yarn and weave it in.
Over the course of the summer program, they filled the whole 'loom'!


I found this in my weaving ideas notebook.
I think I got it when I went with a friend, who is a weaver, to a weaving conference.
Now...THAT was cool!
There were displays from all the local weaving guilds.  Each one was given a particular set of colors or a theme to work with.  The work presented was creative, unique and technically exquisite.  There were also many vendors.
I really enjoyed that experience.

Unfortunately, I no longer remember where I got this, nor who to credit.

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip down memory lane with me.
Maybe you've picked up an idea or two (if you work with children yourself or to be adapted).

Happy weaving everyone!



All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2001-2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

2~ July Trip 2014


There were so many succulents everywhere in town. 
This flower was right outside our motel room.
There was such a large variety...all so unique.


We stopped to see the elephant seals.
They are large and loud!



3 turkey vultures stand at the water's edge





I love all the different shades of their colors here



I wonder what the view will be on the next post of this wonderful trip?!!  
Hope you'll join me!

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

1~July Trip 2014

Lucky...Lucky...Lucky
We were very, very lucky to have a few days with the boy and his girlfriend.
They had traveled from their home in the east to the coast here in the west.
We met up in Moro Bay and did a day trip into Big Sur.

We waved goodbye to our oddly diseased sunflowers...super hot weather, and off we went.
Notice that the sunflowers are currently headless.  We think the squirrels have been busy.

















Some of the sunflowers never even got 
all of their petals.
                                                                                          Some got their petals, but ended up brown right away.   We think an insect of some sort was at work here.  We also had diseased apricots this year.  They were all covered in odd brown spots and split in half and fell off the tree, before they could even ripen. We did not get even one apricot this year.  So sad as they are the most delicious apricots usually.

This is the first post of trip pics.
I took lots of photos, so I am breaking it down into a few posts!


We stopped at Lake Cachuma.
Look how low the water is!
This is what drought in SoCal looks like.


So dry, but still pretty.

Once into Moro Bay, we of course had to walk out to the "rock"!
Girlfriend's friend lives nearby and went with us.
She is a naturalist and had lots of local information to share with us.
She even shared the surfer's secret hand sign for "three towers & the rock"!  haha


We walked by some street art and dipped our feet in the quite cold ocean water.


Believe it or not...this is a sculpture and not really an old truck seat!
Isn't it realistic?


Brrrr...


I had to laugh at the way this bird was standing!


I gave my son his great-grandfather's WWI discharge button.
My mom wore this on her charm bracelet my whole life.  In her last summer, she had the charm bracelet taken apart.  She then had my sister place the charms in little plastic bags with labels as to what they were.  This is the one she always intended for my son.  I picked out a couple for my daughter too.

A.S.K 1918
After driving north and walking about the wharf for about three miles, all four of us were tired!  After dinner, we called it a night, so we would be rested and ready for our big hike the next day!

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Are Memories Like Old Chairs?

Memories are like old chairs, haphazard, dusty and easily forgotten


I was cleaning out some computer files today and came across this piece of writing.
 Not even four years have passed since I wrote this.
What really caught my attention is that 
I did not recall this event until I was 2/3 of the way through the story.
Even then it was hard to conjure up what I had felt that day.
Why?
At the time, this obviously made such a deep impact on me 
that I wrote about it the same day.

I thought I would share it here, to honor this man under the yellow tarp.

I also came across some journal type writing. Far too raw for this space.
What struck me with most of those is that those writings could reflect today's life circumstances as well. 

What can be learned (if anything) from all of this?
What can be seen in stories lost or found or stories endlessly repeated?
What message can be embraced from the stories once remembered again?

Overall...do these lessons matter?

Only partially protected from damage caused by the elements
 
December 15, 2010

The early morning fog, peaceful in its uniform gray is suddenly alight with flashing blue lights, piercing in their intensity.
Coming upon a traffic signal, I witness a myriad of police officers and a yellow tarp covering a mound in the shape of a human being.
Is it?  Could it be?
The opposite traffic lanes are closed.  The officers are busy with measurements and interviews.  Orange cones mark a fallen sweatshirt.  Police cars block the intersections, but not the yellow tarp.
I want to know what is happening.  I wonder about the tarp.  I feel trapped in this morbid scene.  I inch forward, willing the light to turn green.  I wish to get away.  My stomach feels queasy and knotted all at once.  I feel angry that with all of the blocking of spaces, the police have left this shape, this human shape in the middle of the traffic lane for all to see.  I lament, why do they not block the yellow tarp?
Finally the green light shines through the fog and I am able to move down the highway.  I drive for three long blocks with no opposing traffic.  Just the quiet and the questions in the eastbound lanes.  As the miles pass, I slowly relax, but I cannot shake the image from my mind.  I see the yellow tarp for many, many miles.
Eventually, my day continues, but when I get in my car to drive home it all comes back to me.  I begin to wonder what the scene will look like on my return trip.  I am sure the lanes will be open.  I am convinced there will be no visual reminders of the morning’s event.  My mind wanders until the radio news story breaks into my thoughts:  A man, a Filmore resident hit while crossing the 126 highway at Central Avenue, 56 years old…dead on the scene.
Dead on the scene.
So, that was him under the yellow tarp.  A man the same age as my boyfriend.  A man with a family.  A man crossing the road during the holiday season.  Dead on the scene.

I suddenly realize that I will have to drive over the exact spot in the road as I make my way home.  I will drive over the spot where the yellow tarp man had laid dead.  I feel so uneasy, but there is no getting around it as there is but this one highway home.  I unconsciously wiggle, trying to shake off this realization.
As I come upon the spot, I look at the pavement.  I see nothing to show of the morning’s tragedy.  I hold my breath.  I drive over the spot of asphalt and glance quickly in my rear view mirror.  I still cannot detect anything that marks it as a place of sadness, a place of loss.
Then it hits me; others will travel back and forth, over and over, without knowing what took place.  An additional sadness washes over me as I marvel at the fleeting nature of life.  And I wonder, how many other spots on the road have I driven over?  But then I think it wise, not to know after all.

Old chairs held within, not to be disturbed
All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2013

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Considering Weave

Considering Weave has begun.
The newest class with Jude Hill.
One of my favorite things about these classes 
is how inspiring Jude and the other classmates are.

I like the part where everything connects, 
where I see the lessons, conversations everywhere I go.


So, after the first post, I went for my lunch walk...
as I headed down the sidewalk ~ I saw the sidewalk as the 'warp'
and the driveways intersecting it as the 'weft'.

You can't really see the driveways here, but you can imagine.

I am almost finished with the latest 'medicine bag'.
Some of you may have seen it over on the forum.


There is only about one inch  to be woven.
This one is for a friend who is moving away.

It has a story begun.


I like the way the colors change in the sunlight.





Anyway, when I first started it, I was considering the ocean.
This friend lives near me, which is near the pacific ocean.
I was thinking of the soft sand and blues from my days spent
commuting past the sea at dusk.




But, as I continued those colors began to represent the desert as well.
This seems fitting as she will soon live in a desert locale. 
Either way, it symbolizes our connection to the land, to one another.
It's a good gift for a friend.

I'll show it to ya'll when I finish it.
Thanks for looking.
~Nancy

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014