Category Archives: cherry blossom festival

in the air…

Lots of thoughts rumbling around here since the last post. This is gonna be a longer post, so settle in.

various tomato seedlings transplanted up and getting a bit of a slow start due to cooler weather but it’s warming up now.

Spring is definitely in the air. And so is hope in many quarters. Spring always is in the very heart of a gardener and I’m no different. Like Spring seasons, life is slowly changing and renewing. Many people are getting vaccinated, getting out and adjusting to what currently is. Just being here is good. In fact, quite wonderful.

Hirata san sends me photos of the beautiful cherry blossoms in Kamakura and I’m having hanami natsukashii (cherry blossom viewing yearnings)…here are a couple to get you in the mood. We have our itinerary for the Silk Study Tour set for 2022 and are looking forward. The photos below show the new cherry trees approaching the Hachimangu shrine. It is just gorgeous with all the trees in bloom! This approach was reworked just a few years ago and is a lovely walk down the center of the main street.

I’ve struggled to post often this past year, instead letting thoughts congregate a bit before getting them written into the ether. That doesn’t mean that they are more clearly expressed with the passage of time, sometimes I think it is quite the opposite! Too many thoughts blend, are forgotten and so on, but today felt right so here we are. Sometimes I take short notes for the blog on my phone to remind me of something I want to write about and sometimes I don’t, letting the thought return like a butterfly to its host plant if it works out that way (speaking of butterflies, the caterpillars of the clouded sulfers have gone somewhere to pupate, I know not where) and the praying mantis oothecae should be hatching any second (haven’t seen the babies yet).

Fresh on my mind right now are my beader friends in the Czech Republic (CR) who write me that they are suffering greatly from their government’s misconduct and irresponsibility in regards to COVID. I felt so sad hearing her description of their situation there. Vaccines are extremely limited, and lockdowns are very strict beyond what science would rationally dictate. People feel stifled and rebellious and somewhat hopeless. They look forward to a new election in October, she says.

“forbidden to move out of our districts, forbidden to work and not compensated, forbidden to socialize, forbidden to breath without a mask even if there is nobody around us in a 100 metres range(328 feet), forbidden to leave our homes between 9pm and 5am… and god knows how long til the end, because the government has literally NO PLAN”

I know she won’t mind my sharing her words here anonymously. I can be so absorbed in my own world here, listening to others broadens my perspective. I love that we have become long distance friends sharing our worlds. At the end of our conversation I shared the music of Joan Armatrading (a long time favorite of mine). I’ve been listening to her music today in the studio after Maura in India (Mustard Seeds Kolkata) featured a song on her FB post this morning.

Seems we lost a number of writers in March, notably Beverly Cleary(104), Norton Juster(91), Larry McMurtry(84), and Marianne Carus(92). My kids and I enjoyed their work and say a fond farewell, having left us with many good reads.

My heart was warmed by a message/conversation received from the mother of a son who credits me with far too much- but as we say, we never know what good a simple act of open-heartedness can give rise to. She credits me with reaching out to him as a young teenager who was struggling greatly and saving his life but it was her perseverance and love that brought him to meet me at a show in Houston (they lived in IN) and to encourage his interest in textiles and art. It is to his credit (and hers) that he graduated with a degree in art and is now teaching art in a HS in CO and just got accepted to grad school. He is out and doing what he loves, being who he is. How can you not love that?

It’s haru basho in sumo right now and today is the final day. We enjoy watching sumo here (I love looking at the silk gyoji costumes with their jaquard weaves and wonderful color combinations) and love watching both the juryo and makuuchi divisions. In a lower division called sandanme one of the rikshi (Hibikiryū) suffered a horrible injury perhaps resulting in paralysis (yet to be determined). The resulting uproar over treatment of rikshi injuries has resumed in sumo and is very justified. If you follow sumo, you know what I am talking about. Japan needs to step up. Tradition is one thing, humane treatment of rikshi is another.

Here in CA people over 50 are eligible for vaccinations April 1 and everyone over 16 is eligible April 15. Some areas have already opened to over 50 and we just received our first vaccination here. We still need #2 in 21 days plus a waiting period but progress is happening and workshops will again begin this summer! I am noticing how it is affecting my mental well being today. I feel inspired and more alive. I hope you are taking advantage of vaccinations in your area so we can all move ahead with safety and more peace of mind. This is a time to consider the future and reinvent many things.

Speaking of the studio, my recent post on the paid blog was quite interesting (apparently only to me-haha) yet I’m not sure if subscribers are reading regularly. Makes me wonder about that path. I won’t be doing this again, methinks. All posts there are password protected unless you subscribe but I thought I would “unprotect” this one to share here. It’s about indigo and madder and what I am making now… moonfire! March moons are all about madder and indigo. Today is the full moon as well as a shop update. Moonrise last night was spectacular here. Are you watching where you are?

I also was listening to a video I came across that resonated with me by George Monbiot who promotes “feeding the world without devouring the planet “. This also applies to textiles and clothing which continue to be a resource problem. As the planet goes, so go we. We survive by walking a fragile line of coexistence with nature. The planet will outlast us surely, but by how much? That is up to us.

In the meantime, I continue to dye. I have been dyeing madder and indigo. On a frustrating note, my aquarium heater in the indigo vat is out of commission again. I think that the high pH just does it in and results in its early death. They seem to last less and less time these days (this one just 5 months). Maybe this is the answer? Pricier than replacing the heater but…less wasteful if it lasts a couple of years. The weather is heating up now (81 degrees today) so a heater for the fermentation vat won’t be needed soon. I have been sorting through old cloth and over-dyeing in both indigo and madder to create some interesting cloth sets for the shop. Moonfire sets are also available there. A little diversion is always fun. I love how madder complements the indigo. I can imagine the projects that will be made from these cloth sets. From my imagination to yours…

and in the end, a look back to an older post.

oh so tired…..

will update on the cherry blossom festival in a day or so. 800 silk shibori squares in 2 days……
must go to bed so i can get up and teach shibori in the 4th grade classroom in the morning-
april is textile month-Yay!
if you’ve never visited my other blog…. go here

Cherry Blossom Festival

I will be demonstrating various shibori techniques Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles at the 7th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo. Everyone is welcome to stop by and try their hand at dyeing a square of silk using the various materials I will have on hand.

set up for CBfestival
various clamping devices,string,beads,dyes,brushes,sponges,silk,etc….



-a couple of samples I made up quickly to test out the setup. to see a few more, go to my flickr page.

Here are some facts on the festival-

WHEN: APRIL 5th – 6th, 2008
HOURS: Saturday 4/5/08 – 10:30 am – 6:30 pm
Sunday 4/6/08 – 10:30 am- 5:00 pm
WHERE: Streets of Little Tokyo district in Downtown Los Angeles

The Cherry Blossom Festival Southern CA is a free admission event to the public and located
in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles. We had between 16,000-20,000
attendees at the 2007 Festival and was named as the #1 pick in “Five Worth the Drive” in the
Auto Club’s Westways Magazine March/April 2007 as well as listed as 1 of 4 Cherry
Blossom Festivals to visit by Family Circle Magazine in their April 2007 issue.

Components include:
• Main Stage – Live entertainment of Japanese Dancing, Taiko, Kimono Fashion Show,
Runway Fashion Show, Teachers Making a Difference Awards, Senator Daniel Inouye
Leadership Awards, George Kiriyama Educational Excellence Awards and variety of
performances in dance, singing and music.
• Kids Activity – Crafts, Storytelling and Inflatable Games.
• Hawaiian Village – Hawaiian entertainment and Hawaiian crafters and exhibitors.
• Cultural Pavillion includes: Photo Document Exhibit of WWII Internment Camps;
Kimekomi Dolls; Sashiko and Shibori Exhibits to name a few.
• Martial Arts arena with non-stop performances and Martial Arts History Museum.
• Ondo Dancing on San Pedro Street
• Craft, Corporate and Commercial Vendors
• Health Expo
• Cherry Blossom Food Court

So if you are looking for something to do this weekend, come on by!

See what people are saying about the festival on Yelp!

GO METRO! to the festival.

mono no aware and shibori

“mono no aware” is a japanese term most simply translated to awareness in the transient nature of things. shibori is like that to me. yesterday’s pieces while bound and tied for drying held a certain transient beauty for me, and an anticipation of what they would or could become when unbound. when unbound, some pieces delight me while others dissapoint and i must be satisfied with the knowlege that their transitory beauty existed for a brief time and i was there to see it. ahhh….the cherry blossoms are nothing but gutter flowers now.

Teaching shibori at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Here is a picture of the Washington Monument yesterday- cherry blossoms in full bloom! My sister sent this along as they enjoyed the Washingtom DC version of the cherry blossom festival. I use to live there too and miss this blossom viewing which is at it’s peak there this weekend.
As for our cherry blossom festival, here are some photos of yesterday. Penny & I were busy all day helping people make 3 x 3 silk shibori squares.

dsc_0564.jpg very crowded all day.. mini shibori drying on rack
dsc_0566.jpg happy!
dsc_0569.jpg i think he made about a dozen
dsc_0572.jpg pokeman boys like shibori..we made pikachu yellow!
dsc_0574.jpg practicing and thinking…
dsc_0576.jpg this little girl was really experimenting..

-if you missed us yesterday, come on down today- 11- 4 pm. we’ll be there- mata-ne!