Category Archives: buy shibori

from there to here and somewhere

Ahhh….time for a blog post.  Seems I’ve been blogging in my head for a few months now. But now for real, here. Let’s see how this goes…

As always, gardening is keeping me sane here- a good time for gardening and sanity with elections (finally behind us here until November) and more of the same old BS of copyright issues, Amazon(this time), and Chinese sellers. If you follow me on FB you may have seen some of these pics but I add them here once more.

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I think I will call it the Sanity Garden!

Regarding Amazon, I had to spend a bit of time playing Whack-A Mole there by issuing complaints to Amazon regarding a network of Chinese sellers slapping my images on over 40 crap products.  Some have been taken down, some strangely remain (how Amazon decides these things is beyond me) and new ones have popped up under new names with slightly reworded descriptions. They all seem to contain the wording “Printed Watermarked Shibori Ribbon” which is hilarious seeing that they stole the watermarked image of mine online and used the metadata info to describe. Yes, folks they are that kind of stupid. Kind folks have added their 2¢ in some of the product reviews. One of the items was a doormat (since removed) which seemed demoralizing in a funny way and another was a brandy flask which I could certainly make of use!  Moving on…

The last Indigo and Shibori workshop at the JAMN was wonderful and filled with good, creative and enthusiastic folks. The next Shibori On! workshop at the Japanese American National Museum is August 4-5.  It has only 3 spots left so if interested please check in there soon! They do keep a waiting list so, if full, ask to have your name added.  Some pics from the last workshop:

Next up at the JANM though is Moth to Cloth Silk Workshop  (sign up through the link)–there are still spots open.  I have some great video and photos of silk production in Japan as well as a collection of tools and implements to explore and use. We will reel silk cocoons purchased from my friend and sericulturist in Japan, Nobue Higashi san as well as make silk hankies for spinning and dyeing (both of which we will do in the class). Cut flowers made from cocoons will also be made. But the real star of the workshop will be the live silkworms that just hatched two days ago and for those interested and willing, you can take some home to watch them spin and emerge from their cocoons.  Here is what they are looking like as of yesterday. At this stage we call them kego and they remind us of hairy ants. I have already found my mulberry sources in the neighborhood and am ready to feed the “tiny masters” as Micheal Cook of Wormspit affectionately calls them.

Moving right along, work slowed up a bit the past couple of months which let me somehow to doing a quick turn-around for a bridal designer in LA whose customer wanted her wedding dress indigo ombre dyed for her one year anniversary. Apparently, the other dyers she had previously used were not available and my name came up. these sort of things are not undertaken lightly as you only have one chance to do it and it must be done right. The dress was all silk and the skirting was 3 layers of different silks.  Here is the result:

In addition, I am filling in with my indigo and shibori teachings at a garment felting workshop by Beth Marx in October that will also include some eco-printing (hers, not mine). Apparently there was an issue with the original teacher coming from the EU and I agreed to fill in with the acceptance of the already signed up students (they all agreed!) Class is full with a waiting list. Interesting to me was that Beth also lives in Long Beach and we don’t know each other.  I’m such a loner in that regard. It sounds interesting.

I added some new shibori ribbon colors to the shop- my favorite is the colorway called CopperPlate. I had beaders who like rich colored metals in their beadwork in mind when I made it.  I also added some shibori pieces I call “A Little Fancy”. Check it out! 

Let’s not make it so long between visits next time shall we?



Website, webshop, & workshops

Spring has taken hold here and the weather is pretty much perfect. Mid 70’s for the past couple of weeks. We enjoy it now while we get the yard in shape and the summer garden planted before months and months of heat sets in.  Then we enjoy the yard in the evenings and early mornings…

It’s too bad I can’t spend all of my time outside right now but I’ve been busy with a couple of projects.  My website has been needing a redo for a couple of years now since Apple stopped supporting iWeb and I have not been able to update it.  I finally decided to switch everything over to a new Squarespace site where I can easily add my own webshop and get rid of the BigCartel shop I’ve been using for the past several years. Of course I am keeping the wordpress blog which you can also access from the new website.

To tempt you to visit the new shop, I added some new shibori ribbon colors and some of the new shibori for you to explore. For all orders over the next two weeks I am including a sheet of bead embroidery beading foundation.
I also finished a new piece and made a little video with it.

I had fun with it, broke away from it here and there for some gardening and perspective. I never really have a solid plan when I start one of these and I think it helps me not get “stuck”. I always give myself permission to change my very loose plan at any time. Often something seems like a good idea in theory but when you get into it you realize it is wholly impractical if not completely impossible. So, a fun puzzle to solve. I also tend to go through stages where I don’t really like the piece but from past experience I’ve learned to push past that and it almost always takes a turn for the better from that point. The point is not to give up on it.  To finish. For me, with beading I find it hard to go back to a piece if I let it sit too long.

The new website also has all the info up for the 2019 Silk Study Tour to Japan. There are still about 5 spots (out of 16) left so… check it out!  I added a bunch of photos from the tour there as well.
The portfolio page is kinda fun and if you’ve been following along for a while you might see some old favorites there. One of the main reasons for redoing the website was so I could keep my Events page updated. There right now are the 3 upcoming workshops at the Japanese American National Museum. I will soon add my upcoming classes at the Houston International Quilt Festival in November.
As always, my website is always a work in progress and I will be tweaking it here and there.

here’s a few photos from around here since the last post…




booth 1620

being well prepared is half the victory

arashi shibori on silk

vintage kasuri and taiten

some smaller bits

materials for the indigo workshop

Shibori ribbon flower kits

Shibori ribbon, of course…

indigo, always indigo

and thank you for the overwhelming response to my workshops. when they fill 2 times over  I understand they get to automatically repeat the class next year.  that would be nice!

and…while I am leading the indigo workshop the very talented Mary Alice Sinton of Blue Bonnet Studio will be working the booth. Mary Alice is a certified teacher of both Traditional Japanese Embroidery and Japanese Bead Embroidery. She travels and teaches many classes. Come by and say hello!
Houston Quilt Festival 2013

and speaking of time…

When in mid August I saw pumpkins stacked outside the grocery store here and orange frosted cupcakes and pumpkin cookies encased in plastic containers upon entering the store I wondered if perhaps I had somehow missed a month or two.   But no, it was still August. Really- Halloween already? Won’t those  pumpkins be rotten and the cupcakes stale by then?  One does wonder.

arashi shibori now

But now here I am not exactly marking time but struggling to organize it.  Realizing that reminding you to think ahead if you desire to order a large scarf for yourself or as a gift for the holidays would actually be a good idea.  This way, I can get a handle on how to better organize my time and material purchases in addition to not taking on more work than I can actually create. I really do hate to disappoint and don’t like to do “rush” orders.  So I was thinking, how best to accomplish that…

And here is what I came up with.
(a reservation system of sorts…)

 You can order your own custom colorway of course by emailing me an image or two that include the colors you like or, if you have had your colors “done” send me an image of the set of swatches from that. Here are a few recent pieces to give you an idea…

I will be taking reserves for no more than 25 between now and Nov. 25th.
Let’s see how this works.

looking from the inside out

just a view of what doing a show can look like from the inside

Mt Rainier from the room (over the freeway) at the extended stay in Fife

we were instructed first thing at the desk not to leave personal items in the car. apparently, break-ins are rampant here.
inside the room though all was good.

a small kitchen so we don’t have to go out much. I await Katrina’s arrival. We are sharing expenses and so forth.

later, we have hauled most of our stuff into the room and are settling in for the week of teaching and vending.
the room is filled with sewing machines, dye, kits, electronics, fancy irons and more.

this is while we are still organized.

it’s less glamorous than it sounds but we are READY- almost. booth set up starts in one hour.

indigo shop update…

Yes, it’s time for a shop update! A few things have already flown the coop-or maybe I should say vat, since this update is mainly for new indigo pieces.

there is (or was) some silk…

and then some cotton, with some patches stitched with silk. and a silk velvet moon.  a great summer weight scarf for casual wear.  boro-inspired- a reminder that no scrap is too small to use or dye.

and then some more silk…double edge ombre’d of course!   100% silk, a japanese narrow width open weave~

~double arashi plus ombre on a silk cotton blend. the ombre is across the width, not the length-I like a challenge…

and how about some moons?  or circles? or circles in squares? or any which way arashi?

all on lightweight silk habutai.



there’s a few more things but you get the idea…most 2nd items ship free with the first…

Like I said in the last post, the online indigo class is continuing and a new group is joining in. Fermentation is in progress!

The weather is warming up here a bit and the indigo vats are liking it.  There’s a bird’s nest under the eve of the house in the star jasmine and all day I can hear them while I dye. The babies yelling for food and the parents yelling at Milo the cat who loiters in the driveway, every now and then getting dive-bombed by the mockers just making sure he keeps a distance…I’m keeping an eye on him as well. Even Milo is wondering. Must be spring.

sayonara sale…

Typically in Japan, when one moves, one has a sayonara sale. That’s just the way they do it there. Also, a sayonara sale is a great place to pick up stuff you need when furnishing a new apartment. Check out the sayonara sale ads in the Tokyo craigslist. Garage sale- Japanese style.

Well I’m not moving in the classical sense but I thought it would be fun to have a sayonara sale prior to leaving FOR Japan. And besides, who couldn’t use a little extra yen on a 3 week trip to Japan? Not to mention keeping the bills paid up while I’m gone. Count me in-and maybe you too if you have been thinking about buying some scrumptious silk shibori ribbon or a silk scarf and just haven’t done it yet. Here are a few of the specials I’m offering:

~3 yard pack of silk shibori ribbon (regularly $45-$15/yard) Sayonara price-$30. (or ¥2280)
limited to inventory on hand.

~the popular and extravagant Chou wrap (regularly $185) Sayonara priced at $120. (or ¥9120)

~my Silk Shibori ribbon flower kit (all you need is needle and thread) reg. price $19.50-Sayonara sale price-$14.62 (will do my best to accommodate your color choice but may sub something close to your preferred color). this is in the Etsy shop. use coupon code SAYONARA2ME to get this price.

Also- I have added in a few of the silk shibori ribbon insect broaches here and here– just a few.

In addition, there have been a number of you who have wanted me to rerun the online shibori techniques class or at least consider putting it up in a PDF non interactive format. So for those of you who would like the option of doing the workshop as a self study class, here it is.

I’m going to be closing the shops- both Etsy and Big Cartel on May 13 thru June 10.
mata ne! またね!

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.

rainy day break

well, i survived another show.
today is rainy and my car is still packed with my booth. i’ll wait for a break in the rain to unload (i hope!) or just go ahead and do it in the rain i suppose.
the surfers in the house thought they would be going surfing today and i decided in my head that i would join them- build a fire in the rain and cook some food, perhaps sitting in the car, stitching or reading while watching them out on the horizon. but they have checked the surf report and seen that the waves are not to their liking so who knows what will happen today? in the meantime, i curled up on a couch and read some more Burchfield. i find a lot of comfort in his writing- his ups and downs, his highs and lows, torn between belief and disbelief. such passion. i read:

August 30, 1914
I sometimes feel, as tonight, that not until I at some time give my passions full play will I ever attain any kind of peace. And yet I fully know that such indulgence brings a worse state of mind. Thus is a man always fighting.

i see my feelings about doing shows changing these days. there are lots of reasons-many having to do with the changing tide of my own work. perhaps it is the moon’s gravitational pull on earth. as if the recent moon work is creating its own spring tides and pulling me towards it. i don’t know.
some of the other reasons have to do with the fact that i am creating work that is simply less commercial these days and still trying to support myself. and the work i am creating simply takes a lot of time. while everyone that passes by my booth is quite taken by the beautiful silk, the riotous colors, the fine pleating of the scarves and ribbon, the price remains higher than affordable to many in this economy. i am still figuring all this out and the current economy is proving quite the challenge. i do find it interesting though that while sales are down all over, costs continue to rise. booth fees, shop rents go up. one would think that in order to keep vendors coming back the fees would stay set or even drop a bit but apparently there are waiting lists (or so we’re told) of many waiting their chance to take an empty space.
i do so enjoy the contact with the customers though- really a necessity for me. if i don’t see them face to face from time to time i can’t come up with ideas that inspire them to use what i do make. one of my favorite things at a show is when a mom will bring her kids in. really. i love to talk to them about what they like to do with their creative time. i always give them a length of ribbon to take away and explore. the way they fondle the pleated ribbon, opening and closing it, feeling its softness- you can almost see the wheels turning in their heads. they pick a color- such unexpected happy fun- for both of us!

-then there are the stories like this-
two women come into the booth- gaga over everything- love this, so beautiful, etc., etc., and upon seeing the silk shibori pocket squares, one remarks “oh! my husband would LOVE these!” sensing a sale, i encourage her to open some of them up and as she does she sees the price ($20) to which she says “he’s not worth the $20!” . trying to recover the moment i say “oh come on now, you don’t really mean that”. to which she says, “oh yes i do!” her friend nods and they leave the booth. thankfully. the stories i could tell. well, as you can see, shows have their ups and downs.
i was heartened however, to sell some of my indigo moon bookmarks (a few left over and available at the etsy shop). they took a moment to stop, look and read the description i had written and loved them. you had to slow down a moment to appreciate them and it pleased me greatly that some people did take the time.

Burchfield later wrote:

September 27 1916
Sometimes I wonder at the Multitude of Ideas I gather- does profusion breed confusion? I think it is rather like the prolific quality of Nature, who scatters seed in such great quantities where only one out of a million may grow.

if i only felt i knew which ones to spend my time and energy on…

on the wane and back again

Lest you think I have not been working and thinking, thinking and working- let me set you straight. Orders shipping out, dyeing, preparing for November shows and some pretty awesome reading among other things going on here. Finished reading “Outliers“while I was in TX and was rewarded with confirmations of many things I previously subscribed to (the 10,000 hour theory) but am far less eloquent than Malcom Gladwell is at verbalizing or writing about. He has some very interesting ideas and stories to tell that illustrate why certain people come to be very successful. He explains that we tend to focus on the individual themselves, rather than the circumstances of time, place, and opportunity surrounding the individual. An easy, fun and great read.
Secondly, I received my copy of Hans Abbing’s book “Why Are Artists Poor? The Exceptional Economy of the Arts”. I nearly snatched it out of the FedEx delivery guy’s hands. Well, metaphorically speaking, I was an eager beaver and know ahead he will be preaching to the choir on this one, but once again looking for some very eloquent, researched and well organized thinking on the subject. He is an artist AND an ecomomist- go figure! A rare bird indeed! This book is taking me a bit more time as it is somewhat more academic but he has some really provocative and brilliant thoughts on the economy of art and myths that we seem to insist on furthering-and not to our own best interest.
And in my stumbling ’round the internet on the subject, I came across this guy whom I found very interesting and you might too. Should you have any gifting needs for chess enthusiasts in your life he has some pretty cleverly funny chess t-shirts in addition to his painting which I found I liked very much. His blog is excellent in my opinion. Watch his video on the location of his studio.

A link to all his YouTube channel is located here– be prepared to spend a little time.
Then on to another topic- copyrights- and this story which Neki at moveable feast alerted us to on FB. In addition to a small donation, I offered to send one of my large shibori scarves to anyone of my FB contacts or blog readers who purchased one of his firepits before Nov. 7th (apparently the deadline for his next court date).
And now I share with you a most amazing exhibit of a painter whom was formerly and completely unknown to me- Charles Burchfield.
CB Insect Chorus
Today was a planned “day off” for me and my guy so we headed to the Hammer Museum in LA to take a look at the much ballyhooed Crumb exhibit– an illustrated version of the complete book of Genesis. This exhibit is getting a lot of press here and after seeing a special on Crumb himself a few years back I was interested in checking it out. Upon entering the gallery, there was a free tour getting underway (which we declined to join) but the docents voice was so annoying and being unable to tune it out we decided to step out and return after the tour was over. And am I ever thankful for that annoying docent tour! We wandered over to the next gallery where we discovered the Charles Burchfield exhibit. It was amazing! The first gallery showed a collection of his early works 1917-1920 I believe, and included the above painting. A watercolorist, he apparently painted a large volume of work during this, his early period (my personal favorite). His use of black was wonderful, and a great graphic contrast in all the pieces in this group. To learn more about his three distinct periods you can go here. The story is fascinating. One of the things I really loved about this show was that there were so many notes about each piece in the artist’s own words. I really felt as if I got to know him through this exhibit. Perhaps more so than any other artist’s show I have ever seen. This one will stick with me for a long, long time. There also are examples of some of his commercial work as a wallpaper designer and greeting card illustrator- as well as some of his personal thoughts on effects of that on his personal work.
Phew! After a brief break, it was off to the Crumb exhibit again which itself was an exhaustive effort. The sheer volume of illustrations is enough to knock you over not to mention viewing the subject matter in comic book illustration form. I could only take so much.
I want to thank the LA Times for their over the top promotion of the Crumb show which led me to find a new painter, Charles Burchfield, to add to my list of favorites!
So, tomorrow it is back to shibori, silk, dyeing and experimenting. Preparing for my SF shows and more. I have a class that needs filling at the SF Bead & Design show- you can go here to check that out and register online.