Category Archives: makiage

it seems as if

Is it?
I don’t know.

But I did finally finish this piece. I had to. Some things just can’t be left undone.

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can they?

He asked me if it was too late to send a thank you card.
I said “it’s never too late to say thank you. or to say I’m sorry-or I love you for that matter.” It’s really a gift to yourself.

Family new and old gathered ’round here these past few days. As far as I am concerned, whoever graces our table at Thanksgiving is added to the list of “family”. My “family” is really akin to a crazy quilt. Made by hand of the finest and scrappiest of materials. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

As far as this piece goes, it goes way back to 2007 when Karren Brito started a makiage challenge on flickr and I was learning discharge. It was just a practice piece. It resurfaced from time to time and I wondered about it here and there. At one point I decided to practice some quilting on it so I discharged some black seam binding with the arashi technique.
At some other point it resurfaced again and I started doing some hand stitching on it. Eventually, the binding and the quilted part were reunited and half the binding was stitched on. A couple of years ago it surfaced again and I started hand finishing the binding. This past summer it made it’s way into my Yosemite bag and I finished the binding.
Yesterday, I stitched on a couple of hangers to the back and cut a stick onto which to mount it. Finally. Done. Only took 5 years.

Seems I’m in this for the long haul.

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-and finally it makes it’s way next week to San Francisco. As a reminder. Of many things.

Online Silk Shibori Techniques workshop

I thought I would remind folks newly interested in learning shibori techniques that my original online shibori techniques workshop is still available in my online bigcartel shop.  It has been there for over a year now  since I originally posted it- many have taken it.  After the first initial run of the class I reworked it into a self-study class for a very fair price of $25 (that’s $5 per lesson!).

Here is the intro to my online shibori workshop:

The beauty of shibori is that it was created in a much simpler time, yet resulted in some stupendous fabric designs and possibilities. It was created out of ingenuity and a desire to have decorative fabrics for the masses. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to make yourself some basic shibori fabrics. In fact, most of what you need can probably be found in your kitchen, your garage or just hanging around the house.

As an anniversary of sorts, I am going to include a 20 minute skype call with the purchase of this class through the end of October.  You can use this call for a review of your work at the end of the class, for one-on-one help on a particular technique, or just to chat.

It’s always a pleasure to encourage creativity and wonder through shibori. Shibori is good for that. It encourages problem solving and original thought-I think that is what drew me to it in the first place and has continued my interest. I am also going to go on into the class and update a few things, perhaps add a little here and there as well.  It’s been a while since I checked in over there.

As always, the online class is always there for you regardless of timezone and time of day. No commuting necessary.  There for you when you are there and ready to check in.  No roll call needed, and you’re never late to class!

My other online classes include:

Let’s Dye with Indigo!

and

Indigo Mandala Workshop with Richard Carbin and Shibori Girl

I give you the techniques and you make it your own! You can be assured that the images I post here, on my flickr, and in my classes are of my own work (unless noted) and not of the work of others. Some examples include:

online shibori class

itajime lesson 1


All week long I have been meaning to get this post to announce the rerunning of my online class, Shibori Techniques on Silk. (click the link for details) The beauty of shibori is that it was created in a much simpler time, yet resulted in some stupendous fabric designs and possibilities. It was created out of ingenuity and a desire to have a cottage industry making decorative fabrics for commercial purposes. Over time, and with practice, this craft has risen to great heights-limited only by the makers imagination and willingness to practice it to near perfection and limitless possibilities.

If there is anything that I would like to get across in this workshop it is that it’s not the materials, supplies, or perfect studio setup that makes the art or the artist. It’s your ingenuity in using what you have on hand in inventive and creative ways that will produce interesting results-often leading you on to the next level and asking you to wonder….what if…..?

tigga inspecting the orinui last from last years class


One of the reasons I offer this online class is to reach out to people who want to take a class on their own schedule or who don’t get out to take classes at shows or other venues. I’ve been teaching various classes online now for 4 years and I’m pleased with the way teaching online has developed. By using video, skype, and private blogs you can organize an online class that has a real community feeling.

I’ve received several emails from people wanting to know if they could do this class in their apartment or kitchen. ( Yes!) This is one of the reasons I like to teach with the Colorhue dyes. They are simple and non toxic and even though they have their limitations (no true red or black) you can easily use them in a home setting or with kids. There are no fumes, no heat or chemicals involved in setting the dyes. I’m also offering a workshop materials kit for those who would like one. Otherwise, you can collect your own materials from someone like Dharma Trading.

stitches from the heart-makiage and mokume


This is an enhanced version of the class I ran last year on Joggles. I have been asked many times when or if it would be offered again. I decided back then that I wanted to have control over my own classes as there were things I wanted to do (like the videos and skypeing) that those sorts of sites didn’t offer. I also like the blog style format for the online classes. It’s much more visual and interactive when everyone is posting their work, asking and answering questions, and commenting and critiquing. Between shows, orders, making, and life in general it has taken me this long to step up to pulling this together! Hard to believe. Likely, this will be the only time I will offer this class online this year. Even though much of the class is already prepared, I always feel there is more to add and will be doing just that along the way. Enrollment is not limited but you must enroll by Feb 28 so I can get everyone set up on the blog/forum prior to the start of the workshop. Get out your wondering hats and let’s have some fun!

feathering the nest-booth 1150

the female moths are busy laying eggs now and i am busy preparing things for my booth at the upcoming Long Beach Quilt Festival. my booth is my nest of sorts for the duration of the show and i like to see it properly feathered.

jude’s spirit will be with us as well. she is sending this and a few other things for proper feathering.

the ribbons are piling up under the full moon-

some threads will make an appearance in the indigo *department*

(cotton and silk-solids, ombres, shibori’d)

also new in the *indigo department* will be a selection of what i am calling Whole Cloth.
larger pieces of indigo fabrics including my sea and sky fabrics as well as shibori indigo.
due to the time required to make these, they are somewhat limited.
they include cottons, silks, hemp, linen, wool and other interesting fabrics.

above us only sky-left to right-sunny, partly cloudy, & June Gloom

i will be posting up more pics as i can but most of my time over the next week is devoted to nest making.

tiny masters and makiage

as micheal so aptly describes silkworms on his famous website Wormspit the silkworms have become my tiny masters. Susan from ito de is also working at raising some too, with varied success. so far i’m good but still i expect i may kill them off at any point in this adventure. here are a few pics at day 5. remember, they were much smaller when they first hatched (hard to believe)-

a few progress pics of the makiage piece you saw in the last post-the front side

back side-

and then the madness that is the drawing up of all these threads- a little more madness than i counted on so to remedy that i made adequate preparations…

it certainly did help-

then the indigo madness began-

culminating in this result-

now before you go all gaga and approve, i have some criticisms of the piece to list. first, while all the stitching lines held and the process in general went well, the overall design is not very desirable for makiage.
hard to tell really that it is a fish (if you didn’t know beforehand). so perhaps a bit too complicated for this size of a piece. i think it would have been much improved to my liking if some of the stitching had been eliminated altogether. while these stencils were fine for kanoko shibori, not all of them will translate well to this application. most though are not this complicated and now that i see this i know better which ones i might choose to use in this way. i will say though that using the powdered (cosmetic grade) ground indigo to brush over the stencil worked beautifully and transferred the design efficiently. i’m going to go through the stencils and pick out a few more that i want to try out. i wonder if any of you out there might be interested in purchasing some cotton marked with the design and stitch them up yourselves… think i will test out the thought at the upcoming Quilt Festival in Long Beach.

off to work…and yes, i do know it is a holiday!

a proper sendoff

all the indigo gets a proper sendoff- a little flapping in the breeze. gives me time to evaluate it and think on what i might do differently on the next one. this time i noticed the moon was right there too, as if it approved of the whole deal.

a whole order might look something like this-

i’m experimenting with some arashi indigo and i think i may have gone a little haywire- nothing new and besides, i like it!

makiage, indigo, and a new Japan silk study tour!

a recent trip to Seattle allowed me to have a little stitching time, something that seems to elude me when i am home at work with all the other things there are to do around here. but in anticipation of the short trip i prepared a couple of things i could work on should i be fortunate to get the chance. i did, and was able to stitch up one makiage piece on a fine lightweight cotton. something someone sent my way that was no longer of use to them. a lovely piece of fabric.

here is the piece in progress- shot next to some lovely hosta leaves at maggie’s house. we don’t grow these in socal-probably too hot and dry i expect-and they were just magnificent.

it is now confirmed and i can now announce some exciting news- the formation of a second Silk Study Tour to Japan in may of 2011! details are in the works and the tour itinerary and costs will be available in PDF form around June 1st. i was in Seattle to work out details and meet with our Japanese coordinator. we had a planning session at maggie’s-

(i started a facebook page for the tour which i will add to soon. feel free to visit it and “like” it if you want to see regular updates in your feed.)

while i was there we practiced degumming silk cocoons and making silk mawata. mawata is a japanese term meaning “spread out”. each mawata consists of a number of degummed silk cocoons stretched over a frame. these mawata can then be used in various ways- for spinning silk yarns, creating silk paper, felting and stitching projects. maggie is teaching a class at the Houston show on how to do this and we were practicing what we learned in Japan last year on the silk study tour. see the complete list of silk experience classes here.

so today i unpacked and got back to where i left off and started pulling up threads on my stitched makiage piece. it is approximately 1/2 yard of 45″ cotton. pulling up the gathering threads is always a little anxiety ridden-one broken thread and poof! fortunately the shibori gods were on my side (plus a little experience and patience) and this is what i was left with-

several dips into the natural indigo vat-

here you can see the piece while it is oxidizing-note the greenish color

and finally-

the exciting part is releasing the fabric from the stitches to see the result- hopefully without cutting any holes in the fabric. i managed to get past this pitfall as well resulting in this:

the whole cloth drying-

just a reminder, i am giving an indigo workshop May 28 & 29. there’s still a spot available if you are tempted…

Shibori Workshop in Chicago

I will be teaching a shibori workshop at the upcoming Chicago Quilt Festival April 17, 9Am-12 Noon.
Details can be found here. I understand there are 10 spaces left (of 25) so if you think you might wait ’til you get there to sign up you might be disappointed. I also read in the business section today that Southwest Airlines has started a “fare war” so you might be able to get some tickets at a pretty good price. I picked up my ticket about a month ago on Delta for $180 RT right out of Long Beach!

I am now preparing for the show, packing materials for the workshop, making inventory for my booth. I will get the booth # posted soon- still have to order my electricity and so forth. This is the first time I have done the Chicago show and with all the costs involved I opted for the first time to get a 1/2 booth. We’ll see how that works out. I may regret it but will make the most of it. I’ll be featuring the ribbon and kits at this show with less focus on the scarves and wall pieces. I’m sharing a room (I think!) with someone although with whom I can’t seem to remember at the moment (mental note- call Maggie and ask!).

One new thing we will be doing is dyeing some ribbon using shibori techniques that don’t result in pleated ribbon (that has to be heat set) but do give some interesting yet fairly quick results. Here’s an example of what I am talking about:
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or this:
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This would make a lovely silk binding on a quilt.

I am planning some great fun for the workshop. We are going to do a little bit of everything-makiage, arashi, itajime, and some of what I like to call invented shibori. I’m a little limited as to what I can afford to haul out to Chicago in the way of materials as shipping costs prevent the shipping of large poles etc., but being the inventive sort I have a few other ideas. This being a quilt show, I will focus on things I think quilters are interested in creating for insertion into quilts.

Speaking of quilts, the journey quilt is coming along- or was at least. Until I decided I didn’t like the thread I was using for the shibori ribbon binding. So now I have to tear it all out and redo it with some silk thread. This is further complicated by the unfortunate fact that I managed to give myself some rather nice burns from steaming on the back of my right hand. The blistering has subsided and now I am just being careful to keep it clean and protected but it is definitely hampering progress a bit. CAUTION: Slow down!! Use the silicone glove that was sitting right there!! Sometimes I need a reminder, apparently.

I have a deadline coming up for an article and samples to be sent for an upcoming magazine issue (no details just yet!) and sent samples to a writer of a new book coming out about ribbon- supposed to be the latest “complete guide to ribbon”. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without shibori ribbon now would it?
I just acquired some silk shantung wired ribbon which I will be dyeing today for the upcoming workshop with Candace Kling. We’ll have to see how that goes- not sure how well it will dye.

Also making more plans for Japan. Found a great little ryokan in Nagoya and made a reservation. We’ll also be attending the Tokyo Hobby Show as guests of one of the exhibitors. That is sure to be an education! I am trying to figure out how to fit in an overnight trip to Mashiko to see the Higeta Indigo workshop. Thankfully, the Shinkansen may make this possible.
The Silk Study Tour will make a stop at the Nippon Silk Center in Gunma Prefecture where we will have the opportunity to participate in a day long workshop on natural dyeing with silk, katazome techniques, and kumihimo. WOW! Wonder if my head will explode on that day. On another day we will participate in an all day workshop with Japanese quilter Noriko Endo.

And lest you think I have to do everything by myself around here, Milo is always nearby ready to help and a real photography buff to boot. Here he is helping to arrange the silk for the shoot by getting completely underneath the pop-up white box I was using and lifting the whole thing up as I was shooting the pics.
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when the familiar becomes new again

I am imagining what it’s like to come to a place in life where everyday familiar objects appear unknown.
Where our mind no longer recognizes simple objects that we once took for granted and in that un-knowingness they appear new, fresh, and intriguing all over again. I think that this state of mind is often what we consider to be “child-like” and often is a state we return to at the end of our lives. It is a state of mind that artists often seek in order to be free of constraints and preconceptions when creating new work, seeing things out of context. It can get out of hand however and become a distraction that doesn’t SEEM to serve much purpose but who is to actually say?

My dad made it to his 78th birthday today and through the morphine that eases the pain I had a short phone conversation with him. Mainly I just ramble on hoping that the sound of my voice gives some comfort these days while someone stands by and holds the phone for him. I talked to him about my upcoming trip to Japan and how I will get to visit Nagoya (finally), a place my parents visited sans us kids while we lived there. (excerpt below from a previous post)

We were truly a Brady Bunch family- 2 families married together combining kids age 6-16. My dad was a photography buff and when we lived in Japan we had the luxury of our own darkroom which we were allowed to use. He used slide film almost exclusively and we are one of those families that have 1000’s of slides in carousels which now need to be transferred. Additionally, many of the slides are annotated and all are numbered! There are some stunning photos of remarkable places in Japan taken from 1965-1972. (not to mention hilarious photos of us kids in the late 60’s-and we thought we were so cool!) Imagine moving to Japan in 1965 with 6 kids ages 6-16! We took many many weekend day trips trips throughout Japan while we lived there. We were very lucky children.

I am thankful for the many sisters who have rotated in and out of his room these past 2 months and my mom who has endured the daily witnessing of his decline. I’ve been through this with a husband and a brother in law before and watching this on a daily basis can seem like some form of cruel punishment while at the same time be very enlightening. Such is life. Without death, what is life?

topography
Well, enough of these thoughts for the moment. I have been inspired to continue on the journey quilt for a new life now entering his 3rd month already! I decided to change the color of the silk binding, using the ecru spring green instead of a blue that I had previously dyed, then lost, and then found again, only to decide that green was the answer. I am hand stitching it on as it gives me much more pleasure and while being a bit slower, not all that much really. I think better when sewing by hand anyway-and being in a think-y sort of mood, it suits. I am surprised at how many tears this quilt has absorbed as well as the thoughts, prayers and emotions it has inspired while I work on it.
edge-in-progress
I am really liking the edging. I imagine little Sol working the edging between his tiny fingers- the silky soft edge giving comfort in some way. It’s small enough (26″ x 42″) that is can be carted all over. I will encourage them to use it, not to hang it or to make it into an heirloom sort of thing. My wish will be that it becomes ragged with use-perhaps it can be reworked and repaired at some future time. It has lots of different textures and topography that I hope will encourage his curiosity about such things.
back-view-of-edge

intersections

shibo-wishing-star

stab-stitches