making things(work out)

even though some things/places are cooling down, i’m heating up and reviving the indigo.


and even though i have a tree full of persimmons and love how they can create such a lovely dye, I can never bring myself to cut them green and not enjoy eating and sharing their deliciousness. plus a squirrel family has taken a liking to them.


a family i know just lost their father.

he was also a husband, a son, & a brother. it was not unexpected but in the moment of loss, seems sudden and harsh. we neighbors and friends do the small things so they can do the larger things and begin to heal this wound. we can offer few words really, but we can be good listeners.

it is in this spirit of healing, of listening, and being of service that we continue on ourselves in our daily lives where everything seems so much smaller and unimportant… but simply continuing remains important.

i took this photograph last week while at the beach- it has special meaning to me and now i post it here for them…

for now, we’ll be here, listening and story-sharing.

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.


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

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.

the time has arrived

The time has arrived…and I have the usual preshow anxiety. I don’t remember this in years past but the last couple of years it really has set in. More so this time- uncertain times I guess.

But all of it will melt away as I get there and just dive into the work ahead. No time for much thinking or worrying-just too much to do. And it will be good to see the familiar faces and new ones too!

capsule hotel for silkworms

The silkworms are in their trays and supposed to be spinning. Some are being downright stubborn. This was very late in the season to be raising them and although there are already about 200 cocoons complete there looks to be about 600 still “thinking” about it. I still have one tray of worms still eating- about 100 or so. These were the late bloomers, the weaker ones, and maybe just a few who refused to grow up. Sound familiar? I have treated them individually as opposed to how they are generally raised in a commercial sericulture setting. Of course when you are raising 100’s of 1000’s instead of 10’s of 100’s one can give more individual attention instead of just letting the weak die off.

I was reminded of our education system several times while cleaning the trays and transferring the worms- taking special care of those who need extra help while still letting those who move quickly to the top of the fresh leaves move along.

I am still feeding this last tray but the mulberry leaves are getting dry as the fall progresses. I hope my timing is not too much of a factor.
So here is their final spot where hopefully when I return I will find them completely and sucessfully cocooned.

silkworm condo highrises

I am very excited to see Noriko Furukawa, a member of the Tama 21 Silk Life group from Japan when I get to Houston.

Noriko (center) will be with us in Houston

We feel especially fortunate to have brought her over to teach for the Silk Experience this year. She has just attended the annual Tokyo Silk Exhibition which brings together art, industry and education all around the topic of silk. This year, the event was held at the same sericulture farm we visited this past May. They put on a special show for us when we were there and this recent show expanded that even further. I was told that the topic of farm owner Koyata-san’s talk at the event was our Silk Study tour visit this past May. He is now in his 90’s and starting to slow down. We were told that he will no longer be raising silkworms there again but we hope for a successor to step in.

Dr. Ninagi Osamu, professor of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

I will be putting everyone on notice that nothing will be shipped until mid November at this point. I will still be booking time for special and custom orders to work on when I return. I think the best way for me to do that is to ask you to consider using the gift certificate option in the bigcartel shop. That way, I can book the time for making your item(s) and not oversell my time. It often happens that way around the holidays- special orders are requested and there just isn’t enough time to get them all done. This option might help me manage the amount of custom orders I take on. At the show I often take on custom scarf orders as the color selection dwindles. And of course, you can just give the gift certificate itself as a gift and know that I will work with the recipient to create something special.

Thanks for following along…see you on the other side.