Category Archives: flowers

silk cocoonery florals

When inspiration hits you just have to go with it.  No matter what else seems to be on the agenda for the day ~save life or death.  Such was the case these past couple of days as I experimented with my fresh cocoons and new (old) zakuri.

I learned a few things:

First- the zakuri works just fine-  the operator needs some practice!  Secondly, I may want to use more cocoons for reeling my silk.  I used 6 and while beautiful, it was quite fine and I had trouble re-reeling.  Michael from Wormspit and Karen from  Entwinements both chimed in over on facebook to give a few tips.  I’ll improve next time surely!

Also, never one to waste silk-especially that which I raised here, I ended up cutting the reeled silk off the zakuri and making use of it for some silk cocoon flowers.  Now those who have known me for some time really do know that most anything you put into my hands has the possibility of turning onto flowers.  Some kind of genetic thing is all I can figure.  The cocoons didn’t stand a chance.  Actually, I had done a few  test flowers with the shibori ribbon using cut cocoons as centers a while back. Never did photograph them as they sold at some show before I got around to it.

strawflower like…

magnolia-esque

dandelion

Can’t wait to make more but other things need to get done first. Put these in the shop for now…

make a silk shibori poinsettia broach

it’s always nice to make something by hand, either for yourself or as a gift for someone special. this silk shibori poinsettia broach makes a great holiday accessory, a lovely (wearable) package decoration, and perfect hostess gift. i like to have a couple on hand ready to give at a moment’s notice.

Buy Now

this is the DOWNLOAD ONLY for making the poinsettia floral broach.

the instruction is formatted as a PDF with video links. please consider your ability to watch internet media when purchasing.

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if you would like to purchase the materials kit WITH the PDF instructions, then this is the item you want to purchase:

buy it now in the bigcartel shop
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and if you are in need of one already made up and ready to go, you can order that here.

post show posts…

so much has transpired since the last post that perhaps i may break things down into some smaller bite-sized bits. don’t want to overload you and maybe it won’t seem too overwhelming for me. i write posts in my head these days and somehow so many of them just don’t seem to make it to the keyboard…

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starting from now and working backwards…
finally got all the boxes and junk from the show unpacked and put away. always a job i dislike. organizing and putting things away led to cleaning out and sorting and eventually purging and getting rid of some things that just don’t make sense to hold onto. but it really feels good to get things back in order. still, the outdoor studio awaits.

the best part was i unpacked some more of that great linen from Carola and a few goodies from habu textiles (some steel and silk yarn and some tsumugi silk yarn). am thinking to make this with it:

and perhaps ombre dyeing it with indigo in the end. big plans…

you can find the pattern here.

if you are a fan of my facebook page you know we’ve been having some silly fun with the silkmoths over there. they have been emerging, having sex and laying eggs all over the place. it’s like a silkmoth bordello.

there seems to be so much to keep up with…on so many levels. during the last 1/2 hour of the houston show i decided to try making a poinsettia with my silk shibori ribbon.
now if i could have done this BEFORE the show…but noooo. it did come out quite nice and while the silkmoths have been having their fun i made up a few more-just to get the hang of it. not too difficult really- just a little time consuming-each poinsettia has 10 separate parts plus the beaded center! but won’t they look great worn at a a holiday gala?

do you want to make your own? i will make up some kits if you think you do…it takes almost a full yard of holiday red silk shibori ribbon and 3/4 yard of the green silk organza. basically, it involves making lots of leaves in different sizes and stitching them together. if you just want to order the holiday red shibori ribbon and go it on your own….click here

next post…some exciting news for the Silk Experience and more about the Houston Quilt Festival. also, an interview with Noriko Furukawa of the Tama Silk 21 Life group. like i said, too much for one post. need to keep the sales rolling on in the background while everything else also gets done.

noticing

i have been doing more wondering about transparency. often things happen for a reasons that i can’t see until later. it’s like i have to peel away the layers to get to the understanding of what was really happening when i misjudged it to be something else. like the milkweed plant in the back yard.

you would hardly guess that those tiny little polygonal flowers would turn into big puffed out hairy balls and then split open to send seeds out on the breath of a breeze, floating upward in gravity defying flight. a few succommed to gravity and landed in the pond where they seemingly danced on water with the sky reflected beneath their myriad feet.

but usually there was a hint, a seed, a knowingness of some kind that i chose to overlook or just accept in the hope that it would pass or that i was possibly wrong. but i have found that mostly my intuition has served me well. it has in fact even saved my life on one occasion when i really paid attention. i’m paying more attention again. and keeping better company.

speaking of good company, Art Unraveled was good company and i had a chance to meet many new folks there. the vendor day was fun and a pleasure to see many unique artists that don’t pop up everywhere. a real treat.
we had a colorful time in the dye workshop and even did a quickie indigo vat. all the participants were new to dyeing and were quite happy to get their introduction using the colorhue dyes. they learned about various types of silk fabrics and had a chance to see how each type dyed. we made moons together and now i have more moon friends!

after the event was over i had a little time before the drive home to relax and enjoy catching up on my favorite blogs and online haunts. i noticed jude had been busy inspiring others to join her magic feather project so with a needle close at hand i joined in…


and in the end a beautiful sunset entertained us on the drive back home through arizona and california deserts. my, it was hot!

shop update and sea anemone

this post title seems a little odd i know but i must get the word back out that i am adding new items to the bigcartel shop and i have re-opened the etsy shop.

first some pretty pictures before i get to the messy business of words…

sea flowers


sea anemones tend to stay in the same spot until conditions become unsuitable, whereupon they can detach themselves and swim away to a new location… something to think about.

then there are also new silk flowers…

summer blooms in silk shibori

in addition to spending quite a bit of time this week with a needle in hand sewing with invisible thread, i’ve spent some time dyeing new shibori ribbon and will have some new ribbon combo packs in the shop tomorrow. just need to finish the photos and get them posted up. but here is a preview of one new color-hot tropics…things are heating up around here- and elsewhere too, i hear.

but when i feel the need to cool down, the indigo vat is always waiting. cool cool blue. at the moment i have 3 vats going which i am stirring every evening and taking note of the daily ph. one of the vats is made with cheryl kollander’s sky blue indigo which i wanted to try. it does make a nice blue but honestly i have been doing test swatches with all three vats and don’t notice too much difference. maybe it’s just me. i have a lot to learn. she is having a professional level natural dye workshop in july and although i can’t make this work out for me, maybe you can. she has a lot of experience to share. i buy all my indigo from her- it makes sense to me to buy it from someone who uses her own product on a regular basis. even if it costs a little more-which i’m not even sure it actually does.

i’ll be adding some more blue to the shop in coming days, but for now- i have added aiko there. she is ready to wander off into the world and i hope that wherever she lands we will see a glimpse of her future travels. another aiko is in the making too…

aiko has a moment by the pond as she wonders about the future

dyeing from nature’s color cues


back in the spring i planted these glorious sunflowers and they have been blooming profusely next to my outdoor workspace for the past month. much to my surprise i had unintentionally placed them right where they would grow up and be viewed from the inside- out the window over my kitchen sink. i have been enjoying them so much. everyday they are right next to me as i work at the indigo vat and as i dye and steam colored silks and in the morning when i make a cup of coffee or do the dishes i see them from inside the kitchen.
i recently dyed up some silk organza for flower work and as i often do, i just let my imagination run with the moment as i poured dye over the fabric. without intention really, just letting intuition and the moment lead me on.
so i guess it was no real surprise that one of the colors ended up mimicking the colors of the flowers i see everyday. but still, somehow i was surprised.
i wonder what i will see today…
maybe it is related to what Jude is doing here.

more about listening to your own voice and less about “trends” and other such things.