Category Archives: digital shibori

are we coming or going?

I open up my wordpress site to write this post and see that almost 3 weeks have passed since the last post! Has reality melted time? Dali’s Persistence of Memory comes to mind. I’ve been busy, but time seems incongruous with reality. Maybe it’s my memory or perception of time that can be faulted. In any case…

It’s time for a new Moonmates tutorial. If you recall, they are free, but don’t let that discourage you from contributing using the pay as you wish link in the sidebar. In these times, all contributions are welcomed. Today’s tutorial is a bit different as we had lots of rain here the week I started working on the video, so I took a little different approach. I think you might like it. I also cleared out all the orders for the moons and ribbon scrap bags so if you were waiting for your moonsets, you may have them now or they are in transit. I also restocked the shop with moonsets.

In the news over the past week was an an announcement that Quilts Inc. was not going to refund vendors for their booth fees from the cancelled Pittsburg Spring Market. Then after what appears to be a virtual landslide of negative social media commentary lashing out at their decision, they found the money, turned that decision around and are now refunding booth fees. I know many who were relieved to hear it! My question is what are they doing regarding the scheduled Long Beach Quilt Festival scheduled July 9-11? They have yet to announce any cancellation of the show- although from everything I am hearing in the city and the state, there will not be any large events happening that early. Lots of vendors are wondering and have sent in booth fees. I seriously doubt that the public will be rushing out to attend large events this soon. I just received a cancellation for a show I was going to do in early October here in LA. If I were them, I’d get ahead of that and announce the cancellation now.
The future is very uncertain isn’t it?

Working on moons this past week, I made a little discovery. I became obsessed with the patterns on the little blocking fabrics I was using to make a particular type of moon. I started setting them aside and then altering them in divergent ways. The rain, having driven me inside to work, I started arranging them in variously. I settled on one layout and started piecing them together using Jude’s non-paper piecing method. I have been enjoying the lookback review she is doing on her blog of all the techniques she uses in her work and I wanted to practice a bit with them. Now pieced and ready to attach to a background cloth, I have it hanging on the wall gathering thoughts on how I want to proceed.
I’m leaning toward simplicity and see it as a bit of a meditation piece. I think I’ll use Jude’s glue stitch to mount this on the background cloth.

Several pieces have been added to the wall and are gathering thoughts on what they might become. here’s another…

all across the universe…

Again, the woven moon is a takeoff on Jude’s cloth weaving technique. The background moon is dyed on an old grainsack that had been repaired. The lower moon is on some old thick silk organza I found in Japan. It looks like a planet with a gaseous cloud swirling around it. Who knows where this one will go? I hope I don’t have to wait for more rain to find out. It might be quite a while…

The post-rain garden is looking really wonderful and flowery. We pulled the rest of the beets and daikon for pickling, making room for more summer veggies. Another round of beets, lettuces and beans are in the works. Seeds are sprouting everywhere. The weed pulling continues…

amaryllis and alstromeria

Since we last visited, the full moon came and went and we are approaching the new moon soon. I’ve been playing with new ideas for moons and they become more complex.

new moons for new moon sets…

Perhaps you would like to visit the shop?

If you have previously pondered purchasing one of the pieces in the shop under the Zakka category, you might want to take advantage of the marked down prices there. A lot of work went into these pieces and while I hate to do it, they aren’t doing me any good sitting here in my inventory. Maybe today is your lucky day-and mine too!

As I am able, I will add to this collection of moonish pieces and get some versions of these into the shop. I’m thinking some simple meditation wall cloths would be nice. What do you think?

don’t forget to visit the moonmates tutorial page

until next time-mata ne!

from the letters file…

It’s a good thing I don’t share all the letters I receive as some just make me want to throw something and others make me want to shed a tear. Some are so uplifting, yet too personal or bittersweet at times to publish on the blog.  This week so far I have received one of each.  Just for balance.
Remember Balance? Balance has been a theme here over time on the blog and in reality, everyday.
Which brings me to an email I received this morning.


I ran across a piece of art that I thought was public domain but have traced it back to you. I work for Hanes, and was thinking about using the art “Indigo wall panel” in a panty print but doing it in different colors, modified digitally so that it can be rotary screen printed. Would you grant me permission to use? If not, I will do something different and try to create the look of the technique digitally and that’s perfectly fine. Have a great day.

Thank you either way,



So, basically he is saying that they want permission to use the image of my shibori work as a shortcut to a graphic design to screen print onto underwear.  And if I don’t grant permission, they will “create the look of the technique digitally” and carry on. In my mind, I hear- “we will alter your image enough (digitally) so as to be able to call it our own or derived and skip your permission altogether.  Have a great day!

So what happened to common courtesy?  How about “I came across your work (while searching for patterns in indigo and shibori images online that we could glean for free use of artwork for our commercial product line) and would love to use your image and compensate you modestly (say $500) for it’s use.

I don’t know.  I really don’t know anymore.  Why? When a company that has reported net sales of $5.7 billion in their most recent report has their design staff searching the internet and basically bullying artists(my opinion) into granting permission for use of their works I just don’t know anymore.

So what say you, fair readers?

Should we say yes and allow them to use this artwork knowing that every time we see this pattern on Hanes panties (and we will see them) we will be reminded of the corporately owned world we must now operate within?  It might be a good thing to remind ourselves of this on a regular basis.  It is in all our lives daily in even the smallest of things.

Or should we say no, allowing them to feel like they did the right thing by asking and either remake my design in their own image (costing them a bit more) or even just to continue searching online for some other image they can use without actually having to do more than work the keyboard.

Indigo Blues was published in 2012. Like many images of my work, I find them regularly online without attribution.  This is a detail shot of the full piece that was sold through my online shop quite some time ago. The full image here.
indigo blues

On the other side of Balance, I received an order for moons the other day with an immediate email follow-up note from a fellow undergoing a very serious health challenge.  Having been hospitalized for many recent months he tells me the following:

 I have decorated each room I’ve spent time in– sometimes 4 to 6 weeks at a stretch — with fukuro obi hangings and other silk kimono fabrics,  which have always brought pleasure to me and to visitors.  A calming healing environment visitors would exclaim!    I will continue this “tradition” of Japanese design in the rooms when I re-enter for hospital for the transplant, a “cure”, in early September.  I plan to add your beautiful  moons to the room.  Many thanks.

and I reply(in part)…

It will be a privilege to make some moons for you.  Thank you for your order.

 I can imagine your room…your creating it with a certain peaceful attitude that promotes calmness, enjoyment, and healing qualities for both you and your visitors.  

I will be thinking of this as I dye your fabrics.  My favorite thing to do is to create intentional fabrics that I can infuse with thoughts and intentions for their recipients as I make them. Thank you. Be well, take care…


Of course a special package is being prepared.

“What makes a market work

, for instance, is the marriage of collective and individual intelligence.” Jaron Lanier

From his book, ” You are not a Gadget”. Part one- What is a Person?

I am reading this simultaneously with Dr. Junichi Saga’s “Memories of Silk and Straw”.

An interesting juxtaposition.

Listening to Steel Parade perform by the ocean, waves in the background.
We are indeed, fortunate.

Tomorrow, back to the dyepot.

Globalization-not all I hope for

Coming this October I will be in Houston, as usual, manning my booth at the upcoming International Quilt Festival selling my shibori creations. I will also be teaching a shibori techniques class which I am pleased to report is full. ( If you want to try to get into the class at this point you will have to be put on a waiting list or check the “classes for sale” board on site.)

Additionally, I will be presenting a one hour lecture Thursday morning from 9-10 Am before the show begins speaking to the global issue of connecting traditional crafts and craftspeople to contemporary artisans and their work.
My talk, entitled Silk and Shibori-Touching the past and moving forward requires registration and an $8 fee. If you are a teacher at the show or have other special affiliations I believe the talk is free but you still have to register. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this topic-not just recently but really ever since I started this shibori adventure.

WARNING! Reading beyond this point might bore you to death, cause seizures, bring on depression, or other unforeseen malaise.
(don’t say I didn’t warn you)

Over the past 3 years I have used the internet to learn, inform, and share many aspects of shibori-mainly focusing on Japanese shibori and contemporary artisans as well as my own work. I have happily devoted myself full time to this endeavor and am doing my utmost to make a living at it-combining studio work, marketing and selling, and teaching to make ends meet. I also try to be aware and respectful of the work of others as that is how I too would like to be treated. I find that to be the case at least 95% of the time which adds to my faith in humanity. But sometimes that faith fails me and I feel slightly abused as I did this morning while sifting through my email.

Here is what I saw:

Globalization breathes new life into Shibori craft

Globalization breathes new life into Shibori craft

-most if not all the shibori shown here are photo-shopped copies of my textiles. Their website claims:

“It has been a long and successful journey for fibre2fashion since our inception in early 2000. From 1000 visitors a month we have grown to more than 1.9 million visitors.”

As I have also mentioned before, I am a big fan of Google alerts. Once again I was alerted to an article on shibori-Globalization breathes new life into Shibori Craft-sounds interesting no?. Clicking over to see if there was any new info I might glean from the article (there was not), or to see if it was worth posting a link for my readers here (not in the context I would like it to be), I was no longer surprised to find a commercial entity trying to make a dime off of the use of my copyrighted shibori images. I could go through the usual machinations- contact them, ask for monetary reimbursement for a one time use, request removal, ask for attribution, SOMETHING! I could wait for a response that likely will never come and if it does it will claim they didn’t know they weren’t permitted to use it, didn’t know how to get hold of me, think I should be happy for the exposure-and on and on.
If you get the PDF version of the article, you will see this-also my image:

I might feel differently if there wasn’t a profit motive on the part of the grafter (graft-unscrupulous use of one’s position to derive profit or advantages; extortion.) but the “article” covers no new ground and simply looks to take advantage of the rising interest in shibori to sell membership and advertising on their website. The company, based in India, can’t really claim ignorance as a look at the BOD’s claims a long impressive list of law, marketing, management, and IT degrees (to name a few). One of the board members even specializes in “workshops based on modern research in management, semantics, psychology, behavioral sciences, Western thought and Eastern wisdom. They motivate the participants to realize their full potential, and facilitate successful business agreement, increased productivity and teamwork.” I am sure that my images are not the only ones being “borrowed” nor will they be the last. But I have contacted them and suggested a price for use of my images. Only seems fair. I’ll even gift them some of my silk shibori pocket squares to wear to their next board meeting should they decide on some monetary compensation.

I also might feel differently if I wasn’t working so hard to make things fall into place and create the $ to make the final booth payment, buy my airline ticket, pay my phone bill, order supplies, blah, blah, blah.
So I guess this is another bitch session- sorry about that – just feel the need to get it out and expose this sort of thing once again as it keeps cropping up and getting under my skin. I know I shouldn’t let it. Perhaps they will surprise me and restore my faith in the last 5%-I’ll keep you posted.

On the brighter side-
As a maker I am thankful for so many things including:
-Stampington for seeing the value in the artists they feature in their magazines by actually compensating us for articles and features we write.
-other bloggers (too many to name-you know who you are) for the networking they provide
-Quilts Inc. for careful and knowledgeable management of their shows throughout the years and their appreciation of both vendors, customers, artists and teachers equally.
-for customers who pay on time and allow me to continue my work
-to my etsy customers around the world! including all the men who order pocket squares from me- so nice to include you as members of my shibori world (shipping an order to Dubai today!)
-to the universe for allowing me to be me and do what i do

Thank you!

just working…

I know I have so much more to write about but simply have to be working right now- trying to take and post few pics in the process to keep the flow going here-enjoy!

click to enlarge..

Shibori Girl at Houston Quilt Festival

First, I want to say thank you to all of you who visited me at my booth in Houston. It was such fun to meet those of you who have come to know my work through the blog and flickr as well as seeing and catching up with old friends. What fun we had! And those of you who came and purchased the remaining porcelains and discovered silk shibori- it’s a whole new world of creativity! Yes, I know you’re sad to see them go but as Willie says at the end of Festival, all good things come to a close.

I enjoyed teaching the silk flower making (using my unique silk satin shibori ribbon) both in the booth and at the “make & take” area in the exhibit hall. I snapped a quick photo of some of the finished flowers and will get that added to the post just as soon as I can (I’m still on the road as I write this). Don’t forget the class starting on the 14th where you will learn to make 3 different flowers in two sessions. I’ll be setting up a flickr group for us if you would like to post your flowers as you make them.

For those of you who ordered the new Shibori DVD, the release date is Nov.26 so expect it to ship shortly thereafter. And those of you who wanted Karren Brito’s book, go to her site, Entwinements and order it directly from her.

Walking the Houston Quilt Festival is not for the faint of heart as there are so many things to see-both in the booths and the ever amazing quilt exhibit. Not much shibori in the exhibited quilts though…made me want to make something to enter! I saw an entry from Tricia McKellar (note99) as well as so many beautiful quilts with intriguing techniques and designs. Very inspiring! I didn’t take many photos which surprised even me- just wasn’t time for it and my camera was under the table most of the time. The ones I did take were pretty crummy to boot. I really was focusing on being in the moment and photos were just not “in the picture”. But here’s something that caught my eye-apologies to Cynthia for the poor photo-but you get the idea…..

Some things I saw and really liked: Laurastar Ironing system! OMG- has anyone tried this thing? VERY expensive but an absolute dream to work with. Now to figure out how to justify the cost! PhotoEZ emulsion sheets. The kids have already have used some of them for their band tshirts and they worked great! Perfect for small runs at home-just what they needed! The Silk Experience! I will be teaching here next year and the Maggie from Silk Things was ever so kind. My friends Dawn and Jennifer whose ribbons and trims (Dawn has the deals and Jennifer has the most beautiful and unique trims you can find) were right across from me. You can only find their treasures once a year at Houston!

So much more to tell but it will have to wait……’til I get back, unpacked, and caught up!

P is for Pay it Forward exchange

Jude over at Spirit Cloth was inspired by Heather who was inspired by…………and so on, to send a little something handmade in the spirit of “making” , something which many of us share.

I’m going to participate but in a slightly different way………

There are so many other things to make note of here I’m not sure where to begin. I’ll try to stay focused but you may need to indulge me in a bit of rambling.


Did I mention that Mondays in the 4th grade room have begun? We’re practicing drawing for the month of October which really means we are learning to see. It seems that we always have to spend more time than I would like overcoming the widespread misconception that some of them are “good” at art and some of them are not. We talk a lot about how we all see things differently and therefore we all re-create that image differently in our work. So many kids will come up to you in a class like this and ask “is this good?”. I am getting better at answering this question and it usually involves asking them back a question such as “what do you like about it”, or making a statement like ” I see you figured out how to ……… in this piece”.
Last Monday I brought in 3 white objects, a white rectangular box, a full roll of white paper towels, and a tall cone made of white construction paper. We hung black paper behind it and arranged the 3 objects in a still life on a table draped with black fabric. I brought in a clamp on light to add some dramatic directional light, pulled the shades and turned off the lights.

Each student was given 2 large sheets of manila drawing paper (the school was “out” of white drawing paper!) and a thick black crayon. A large sheet of paper hung off to the side with 3 words written on it: perspective, contour, shading. We talked about these 3 words, their meaning and how we were going to apply them to our work. Penny & myself roamed the room working with students and helping them see as they practiced transferring the image they saw on the table to their paper in front of them. Among other things, we asked them to look for:
-the point closest to them
-the point most distant
-the darkest area
-the lightest area
-the largest object
-the smallest object
-the spaces between objects
-the directions which lines moved

About halfway through, we had them trade places with someone else to “discover” a new perspective and create a new drawing. During this melee, the light was knocked over and the light bulb broke which led to turning on the lights and an opportunity to draw the objects with just the overhead lights on.

One of the most interesting things they discovered was that even though no one in the room could actually see both ends of the roll of paper towels, most all of the students started out their drawings as if they could. We talked about how our brain can sometimes trick our visual system into “seeing” things based on past experiences with an object. We all KNOW the paper towel roll has a hole on both ends so we are relying on that knowledge instead of what we are actually observing .

So here is my invitation:

“I will send a little handmade gift to everyone who goes out and teaches some kind of art or craft to children (other than your own). You can take up to 6 months to complete this task. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return (in addition to paying it forward by teaching a child) is to leave me a comment on this blog about your experience or a link to a post on your blog about the experience.” For some, this may seem daunting, but it’s really not. It doesn’t have to be a class of 32 for an hour on a Monday. That’s just the way I do it. You figure out what works for you in your environment.

Trust me, you won’t be sorry. You may even find it hard to quit!

Won’t go into detail now but the final stages of show preparation are in full swing. Packing the car next Wed., leaving for Houston on Friday. Started an Etsy shop for shibori images (it’s working but needs tweaking and the rest of the images need to be uploaded-not sure when that will happen!) An online class at Joggles starts Nov. 14th when I get back from Houston.
I’ll be missing two upcoming Mondays as well as the homecoming game………part of the business of craft.

kantan style

Photo of Kantan (kantan means simple in Japanese) style scarf display for Houston Quilt Festival show. Preview night is Wednesday the 31st (halloween!) where you can purchase the “pick of the litter” from all the one of a kind handmade booths.

a question..

I came across this as a result of a google alert.
Which led me to this

I wondered if anyone went to this lecture who would share what you heard? I emailed and asked if the audio file was available online or through iTunes as a podcast and I’m waiting to hear.

Working, working, working. Try the makiage challenge hosted by Karren at Entwinements! First day in the 4th grade class is next Monday- starting with drawing. I have lots of photos and no time to post them at the moment.

one year, one day at a time

It all started here one year ago. So much thanks to give for all that has transpired this past year. I started this blog with one thing in mind and ended up with so much more. Initially, I viewed it as a place to keep track of what I was doing, sort of like a journal for myself. I was interested in learning this “blog thing” as well. I soon came to discover that this was a learning tool, a teaching tool, and most rewardingly, a community.
I want to say thank you to all of you who visit and especially those who comment, leaving behind inspiration, encouragement, questions and teaching. Most of you I know only online, a few of you I’ve met in person but the beauty of blogging is that we can connect with others around the world to share and learn and discover. I look forward to meeting more of you as I travel this path.
Special thanks to my kids and Phil who are constantly subjected to shibori on a daily basis- it surrounds us here as we all share this house, artists and musicians alike. My special nickname around here is “shibori-head”. Kinda fits, don’t you think?
More thanks to the special people who populate my blogroll, Karren, Jude, Paula, Yoshiko, Juanita, and a few others I’ve been meaning to add but haven’t gotten to yet- Heather, Tricia, Bruce…… have been invaluable in my education. Not to mention all the blogs I follow as best I can- I’ve appreciated the many points of view.
And then there’s Flickr…..what inspiration! So many folks sharing their worlds through the lens of a camera or the bed of a scanner-wow! Of course there’s the “all things shibori” photo pool on Flickr. Many thanks to all the participants there and the time you take to post and comment and discuss this thing called shibori. I feel that we are only scratching the surface- there’s so much more to discover.

Thought I’d share the stats I pulled down from WordPress this morning:

    Blog Stats

Total visits: 10,667

Total Views: 28,610

Best Day Ever: 337

Posts: 116

Comments: 250

There are some great new opportunities ahead as well as the trip to Houston for the Quilt Festival at the end of the month.
I’m looking forward to seeing lots of past porcelain button customers and creating new customers for my shibori work. I have a class there to teach on using the shibori ribbon as well as an online class at Joggles coming up.

Color me thankful and grateful all days, but extra on this day. Use the Safesubscribe button in the sidebar and send me your snailmail for a special thank you from shiborigirl!