Category Archives: houston quilt festival

onward…

Some random pictures as I prepare for the show coming up.

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Pomegranate and indigo on various cloth -a new boro-esque scarf in the works

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remember those porcelain bits with edges softened by the sea? some wristlets in the shop.

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and one more finished and sent off…

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prepping fabrics and materials for the indigo workshop in Houston (booth 1620).

just a glimpse.
onward.

marking time

Seasons mark time like nothing else.  The visual signs all around us are unmistakable.

fall

persimmon

-the feel of the air in the morning and again in the evening. Sounds also turn the corner into fall.

And here at my desk I also must mark time.  The time that orders must ship, the time that show prep begins and materials must be sent off.  Schedules for next year are already filling in.  I do that as if I know how things will be when that time rolls around.  I laugh.  Ha!  What if?  We don’t know at all but here we are making plans.
The world seems so uncertain.

Just in case,  Richard and I are planning a new in-studio workshop (details coming), I’m planning dates for shows and other workshops in the new year.  And also a couple of trips are in the works.  I’ve been asked to coordinate two adventures in Japan next Spring. One is a private group of friends returning to the past in a way- sharing old memories and getting to know each other again in the present.  A reunion tour.  I hope to make it a very special time for all.
The other, is coordination of a short extension tour for Maggie Backman‘s Cross Culture Tour.  I have to say, when and if I get to be Maggie’s age, I hope I have her enthusiasm, energy and spunk.  This is an idea she has had for some time now.  It grew out of her love for sharing Japan, silk, and learning with others.  For quite a number of years now we have realized that while we are introducing gaijins (foreigners) to Japan through our own “Silk Road” via the Silk Study Tour to Japan, there were an equal number of Japanese who were interested in what we were doing.  And while Maggie was bringing in teachers from Japan to teach in the Silk Experience classroom at the Houston Quilt Festival and while Japanese visitors to the show were signing up for silk classes…she wondered…

-what if…? What if she organized a tour that combined US teachers and Japanese teachers and included both Japanese and American/foreign students in a bilingual workshop in Japan.  So here is what she has put together:

Cross Culture Tour to Japan

My job is to lead and coordinate the tour extension but I will also be around to lend a hand when needed during the workshop portion.  The US teachers are Katrina Walker and June Colburn.  Japanese instructors are Masako Wakayama and Noriko Endo.

So take a look and wonder…and imagine marking time between now and then.

where to start?

Hello.  That’s a good place to start.  Yes, I’m back.  Here. Houston almost seems like a dream!   A wonderful show and ever so busy for me on all accounts.  My sincere thanks to everyone who came, who sent in pieces for the silk exhibit, and who took my workshop.  We did have a great time!

Let’s start with a little slideshow of the silk exhibit…

Having never curated and organized an exhibit before I was pretty much winging it but in my mind’s eye I had an idea of what I wanted to communicate to viewers of the exhibit. It was also interesting to work with the exhibit staff at Quilts Inc. and see their process for receiving materials, setting up, breaking down, and returning items for the exhibit at large. Many thanks especially to Ginny and her crew who were assigned to this exhibit (they confessed that when the various exhibits were assigned they drew the short straw! in the end it wasn’t as bad as they thought-just different than the basic quilt exhibit).  Thanks Ginny and crew! I got to learn a lot through organizing this exhibit.

a couple of shots of the booth-

Unfortunately, when I returned I got the flu- put me a few steps back and then it was off to see my son Trevor’s senior recital-wow!

pre-concert run thru

junk percussion piece run thru

loved this piece…

timps

drum and block set up

many of his young students came with flowers…sweet

-and then back home where I am still catching up on emails and orders. Also many proposals and fees for next years events are due any day now.  Yikes!

Oh, and another great indigo workshop at the Japanese American National Museum last weekend-

Glenna came with her own wonderings-about temari.  She played and devised a way to indigo dye the base for a temari. Quite inventive.  I can see the possibilities now! If you are looking for a new craft to spend some serious time at check out the possibilities of making temari! I even want to try my hand at it-at least once just to gain a basic understanding.   She gave me a lovely sample of her work as a gift-I love it!

temari ball -a gift from Glenna

The gift of home grown cotton was actually from the Houston workshop-got it mixed into the wrong set- but it is beautiful and has seeds that I have separated out- I want to grow a couple of plants just for fun.

The indigo is all cut and each participant at the JANM workshop received a seed packet in their materials kit. Perhaps some indigo will be grown in spring!  As for the rest, some was bagged for gifts, and the rest of the seed was collected for next years crop.  However, it looks like there may already be some dropped seed sprouting out back already!  We’ll see…

indigo seed as a gift

indigo seed for next year

More to tell, but must end it here for now- have a wonderful holiday full of thanks and giving, of friends and family.

new work and nightmares…

i had a dream…

i’m at houston and starting my indigo workshop only to realize i had forgotten the indigo. i woke up and realized that it had only been a dream (thankfully!!).  i fell back asleep and had another dream. this time i opened up my freezer and found it full of water (i should mention that this is where i store the indigo). i just got up and made coffee at that point.

this is how i get before a show.  a little crazy.

the other day i spent some time cleaning cocoons for the mawata class.  i am pre-cleaning them for the class (removing the pupae)-seems the practical thing to do considering the class is full and the time restrictions. we will demonstrate the process but will concentrate on making the mawata and even spinning a bit of silk yarn and needle felting some.  made a few mawata too-practicing.

not bad.

i was a little bummed out last week when i had to cut my Quilt  Festival booth back from the full booth i had ordered to a half booth due to finances-but we do what we have to and i’ll make it work.  so if you can’t find me at the booth printed in the directory-which i think was already printed, look for me in booth 1329, my new booth #. or, just look for silky shibori goodness and indigo.

that is all, over and out!

p.s. when you write a post in WP these days it shows you a list of recommended tags (which i rarely use as they don’t really pertain).  one of the recommended tags for this post is “post traumatic stress”. ha! just thought that was funny.  carry on.

(R)evolving

Again, another post sparked by a series of emails with a customer and reader of the blog.  No details as the specifics are not important, but in the end it came down to the topic of the evolution of ideas, of creating, and remaking an idea into something you can call your own.

This morning I woke up and for some reason the word revolve was in my head.  I believe it is because of this conversation with Emily and even a post a few back and a very good comment by Cyndi who said:

I used to attempt to copy a very spiritual artist’s work because her paintings were beautiful, yet seemed so effortless. My work was pretty but unsatisfying. After struggles and deep pain entered my walk, I looked at her work with fresh eyes. It meant far more than brush strokes and technique.

The risk of putting something out there is that we can’t dictate how every individual will experience it. For some it may appear a simple craft to replicate or an effortless painting of pretty mixed colors. The journey stops in mere practice for them. However, the beauty of the connection of the feathers and their place in a greater context is priceless. For all those who may copy your work, you have touched something within them with the desire to create. For others, they may go for a walk on the path less chosen and find feathers and blessing enough to make a pair of wings.”

So, another reminder and thank you to both Cyndi and Emily – teaching and learning are like chickens and eggs.

It appears that I am in a (r)evolving phase in other things as well.  It’s left me feeling kind of blue and a little bit deranged.  I have lots of work to do and will be updating the shop with some indigo in a few days.  Trying to catch the last of the summer indigo…you never know when summer starts and stops around here.

i’m still listening to this one…

Also taking some time is the upcoming silk exhibit in Houston.  Here is some information on it:

I’ve never done an exhibit before and am feeling my way through much of it.  If it ever happens again, I’ll know what to improve on for sure.  It’s not over yet.  The folks at Quilts Inc. have been very helpful and supportive as has both Maggie and Katrina.  But I feel the pressure for sure. These things all sound good and exciting in the beginning but there is always a point (for me) when  I begin w o n d e r i n g . . .but I think it’s pretty well under control now.Phew!

There are many exciting pieces in the show- John Marshall was kind enough to lend this silk shibori piece-

yardage tied and died and shaped into a decorative lobster. likely a wedding gift. and a kimono using the same fabric. thank you John Marshall!!

 

Mood, indigo moon

Been very very busy. Lots of indigo and the online workshop.

Late night out in the studio- finishing up moons on linen. Have a few great indigo packs that I’ll get up in the shop when I have a minute.

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Folks are starting to gather for the 2013 Silk Study Tour. If you wish to be added to the second email we send out with tour info please click the link in the menu above and sign up through constant contact- make sure you add yourself to the tour list in addition to any of the other choices.

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Milo and the crickets are keeping me company in my moon-making tonight

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Apparently, this will be ready on may 10 and there’s going to be a party. this is called fancy moonshine.

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Goodnight Moon

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High Desert Silk Experience

With everything going on here it seems I neglected to do a quick write-up on the HDSEX (as we call it). It was a great drive out to Utah where we met up with friends new and old. Even old moon friends. Spotted this old friend when entering the canyons outside St. George on the way in.

canyon moon


The class set-up at Superior Threads was excellent and in the second session June Colburn, Katrina Walker and myself held our session in a round robin format with everyone rotating among the three of us. My focus was shibori dyeing and we even did a bit of indigo. Everyone was treated to a bit of history-we used the kanoko stencils and tools which are about 100 years old to transfer designs for stitched shibori.

old tools of the trade

we did some pole wrapping on silk…and discovered it takes more than two to tango-

it takes 3 to pole wrap!

or maybe it takes 4

really, it justs takes a little practice.

We had a great time with Noriko Endo who enjoyed some dyeing fun too! as many teachers know, you don’t get a chance to TAKE classes very often and Noriko took time after teaching in session one to take our session. I got to teach her some shibori!

noriko does shibori!

June treated everyone to a great presentation on kimono and had lots of kimono to illustrate her stories. I tried to take some video but the light in the room was too low but trust me, if you get a chance to hear her lecture on kimono you should do it. One day, she will write a book.

june spells out the history of kimono

and as in all things, there is an end and we said our goodbyes to Utah and will all meet again in Houston in October!

maggie, bob, me, katrina, noriko, & june

and a drive through zion ended the stay-