Happy New Year!

We brought in the new year with art on all sides, Jeannie weaving and Kyle painting until after dark on New Years Eve, then back at it again on the first enjoying the bright morning sunshine on the 1st.

I (Jeannie) have been keeping track of how much I've woven since 2015, though I've never actually gone back to my notes to compare them year over year. I knew that I hadn't been able to weave very much this year as the building of our new space drew most of my attention, but I was curious how much different my creation was in a purely statistical view. So here it is, a satisfying look at the numbers. (Note the peak of my neck and shoulder pain was 2016-2019, not a coincidence)

Yardage woven in
2023 - 3237.5 inches (269.8 feet) of warp 40.12 pounds of fiber used
2022 - 3892 inches (324.3 feet) of warp 41.7 pounds of fiber used
2021 - 5334 inches (444.5 feet) of warp 51.9 pounds of fiber used
2020 - 5161 inches (430 feet) of warp 46.6 pounds of fiber used
2019 - 6183.5 inches (515.3 feet) of warp 61.6 pounds of fiber used
2018 - 7553.5 inches (629.4 feet) of warp 76.8 pounds of fiber used
2017 - 7692.5 inches (641 inches) of warp 74.1 pounds of fiber used
2016 - 6670.5 inches (555.9 feet) of warp 58.3 pounds of fiber used
2015 - 6,922 inches (576.8 feet) of warp 61.6 pounds of fiber used

For a total of 4,387 feet (1337 meters, 1.3 kilometers or .83 miles) woven from 2015-2023
512.7 pounds (232.5 kilos) of fiber used

One more little note from Jeannie.

The finishing work for this all organic cotton-linen piece is almost done and it will be up for sale very soon. I will be sending another email with all of the information and also posting about it on social media.

a hand with a light grey sweater carefully holds the hem of a large piece of handwoven brown, red, orange and yellow piece of fabric being sewn on a Juki sewing machine
Finishing work on the all organic cotton-linen piece by Jeannie Ortiz

Roadside Art

Full moon rising to the north-east in a frame of our new space coming to life

The strange cellular marshmallow, oblong meringue, bulbous top-hat (with no brim), fluffy pill, or very round voluptuous lumpy potato painting leaning against the wall was Jeannie's gift from Kyle over this holiday season. A giant surprise for that super special creature.

This work originally stood as a sentinel on the side of the road between Socorro, NM and Truth or Consequences, NM. We caught glimpses of it speeding by at freeway speeds on our endless journeys along the Rio Grande Valley. Each time we would see it we'd admire and wonder - what is that weird thing?

A few years ago it fell over - succumbing to the wind and that fate which all wood encounters in the desert - brittle, dry rotted and structurally compromised. We were sad to loose this friend along our trips and we schemed that we should go get that fallen art, out there on the side of the road in the desert. A dream which disappeared with the wind as we rolled down the highway knowing our list of things TO-DO would never fit in such a frivolous mission.

Just before Christmas Jeannie drove over to Tucson to see her 98 year old Nana. Kyle waited for about 45 minutes to make sure she was gone and had not forgot anything and then jumped in the 4runner and pointed the machine up valley to go get the art. A quest to bring home the best surprise gift ever.

Pulling over to the side of the road Kyle made haste to the art lying in the desert and then, upon getting to the piece, he realized it was much bigger than imagined. Zipping by at 75 mph objects look much smaller - in real life this art is 4' by 8' - a full, thick and heavy sheet of signboard. One of the legs which once stood it upright was still attached to the painting and with this in place it was too heavy for Kyle to lift to he got a socket wrench from the car and removed the half dozen lag bolts. At this point, the painting was just light enough to lift and so in a hulk like moment it was hoisted up on top of Kyle's head and he marched the work back to the car and slid it sloppily up onto the roof of the 4runner.

The work was strapped down and the return trip was uneventful, though, exciting. Back home Kyle knew he had two and a half days to get this finished and so he set to work restoring the plywood of the painting which was de-laminating. Hours of gluing and clamping and gluing and weighting ensued and now the work is reasonably stabilized. He also built a simple frame for the work which put it well over the weight a single person could move so a friend was enlisted to get it into the house.

Jeannie was set to return the next morning and so Kyle carefully taped all the issues of "The Ink" newspaper he could find at the gallery together to create a giant piece of 8 foot by 8 foot wrapping paper and late that evening finished wrapping this mega present!

Our house is tiny - 400 square ft - and so this wrapped package took up most of the living room. Giggle worthy is the best way to describe the next couple of days as Jeannie pondered just what was in the giant present. We hosted a small birthday gathering for a friend and all whom came joined in on the anticipation while sitting on the floor because the present took up all of our seating space. There was no way to deny this giant object.

A woman stands in a small room next to a giant present.
Jeannie with the most giant present ever! (Had to be taken with wide angle on the camera because our home is tiny and the gift is huge)

The unwrapping was a stunning surprise with Jeannie fully and totally spellbound by the contents, followed by a couple of days of glowing adoration.

A woman stands in a small room next to a giant painting.
The artwork unwrapped!

The best gifts are always the ones that have the most meaning and this piece of art, worn out and falling apart is a reminder to us of the joy and adventure we have lived since moving to Truth or Consequences, NM and setting up our little home.

Happy New Year!

The large concrete exterior facade of a building with two red doors, one on ground level and one on a second story, a women is in the upper doorway, a man below.
Kyle and Jeannie as seen by a friend as he walked down the alley of 312 Main.