packing up for a show

one of my least favorite things to do for a show is packing things up and getting things out the door to a show. what to take? will i need this? how heavy is this- will it cost a lot to ship? what have i forgotten? do i REALLY need this?

too many decisions!

but i always seem to get it done. i don’t always remember everything though and i leave my workspace looking like a train wreck. i really don’t like that. not to mention waiting for things to come back from the show and having to put it all away in an organized manner.

but here i am again and as i was going through things for my classes, my booth etc. i came across a large bin of pins. i used to make these as both buttons and pins (they are tack pins) and they were very popular. people still ask me for them at shows but it doesn’t work for me to bring them when what i do now is so very different. too much explaining.

they are sweet, make a nice little gift, are porcelain and hand painted. i am going to make an effort to fill two needs with one deed and make them pay for my shipping expenses to houston so have put them in the bigcartel shop at a sweet price! they are there in sets of 8 in various collections. i will include an extra two of my choice with every set. as far as i can tell, it will cost me 20 sets to get my boxes shipped off to houston (and that is just one way!) i also have some of these if you are interested- they are a bit more and i don’t have time to photograph them…email me if you are interested and i’ll figure something out…

picture buttons cabochons

meanwhile, the silkworms are munching away…

holding the moon

holding the moon-Seikai Kunii

i thought this to be a good image for today- just 5 days from the next full moon. this calligraphy is by Seikai Kunii. i actually thought he was more well known but after googling him i could really not come up with anything. i have a book of his works that i purchased from him at a gallery show in LA many years ago. he was born in 1916 i believe. the kanji for moon is 月 (つき) read- tsuki and also read as getsu, the word for month.
my old friend Woody introduced us to Kunii’s work when i was a ceramics student and also studying japanese language, calligraphy and art history. Kunii’s statement for this calligraphy reads:

“I attempted to find it in the phrase the pathos of things in this world from the viewpoint of Buddhism.”

i’m sure it suffers a bit from translation but several things struck me when by *chance* i happened to open this book today.
in Japanese, the phrase mono no aware or the pathos of things embraces the Buddhist notion of impermanence.

and on this day, as the world says farewell to Steve Jobs and gives thanks for all he created and the vision he shared with the world, i dedicate this post to him in gratitude. i also found this quote from The Tale of the Heike Clan as translated by McCullough (1988):

“The sound of the Gion shôja bells echoes the impermanence of all things; the color of the sôla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline. The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.”

of service

being of service

with all the stories in the news these days about people in need, corporate excesses, dysfunctional government, abuse of power, and more- i am reminded each time i serve “the tiny masters” how important it is for those who have the power (ie money,control, and mulberry leaves) to have compassion and make sure that the gap is not too wide.

each time i clear the frass from the trays of caterpillars there are those who, for whatever reasons have not made it to the top of the pile and need a little extra help to continue on. that might mean i move them by hand, give them a little more time, and save the tenderest leaf tips for them. sometimes, no matter what i do a few don’t make it but in the end i know i made the effort. and in the very end, most will spin a cocoon.

each time i raise a batch of silkworms, i realize how dependent they are on me to collect fresh leaves each day for them, to keep their trays cleared of frass and worm poop, to keep them at the correct temperature and humidity. their very lives depend on all of it. and if i succeed, they will spin large lovely cocoons in return for my efforts.

time for a little reflection…

i have been recently studying Utagawa Hiroshige‘s ukiyo-e and really enjoying his work. the moon appears in many of them and i was inspired to do a few
small (7×14 ish) indigo pieces. kind of a continuing on of the moon pieces i’ve been doing. along with transparency, i think reflections will figure into some of the upcoming pieces. we can use a little more of both as far as i can tell.

reflections on an indigo moon

i’ve really been enjoying this.

silkworm samba

the silkworm cats are really starting to grow now. i started with 500 regular eggs and 200 reverse (striped). the reverse should spin golden cocoons which will be interesting. in the end though, it doesn’t matter the color of the cocoon as the color is in the sericin which is ultimately removed when silk is processed.

reverse cats at 2 weeks

a neighborhood tree generously gives its leaves to feed the tiny masters.

i can’t wait to hear Noriko Furukawa’s lecture in houston- it’s all about silk in your life. here is something you can do with silk cocoons.

a little shop update-indigo sky and more

i’ve put a few new things in the shop this morning..
(go straight to the shop and view all new items on one page)

mainly, some indigo sky fabric: 4 -1/2 yard cuts of cotton lawn sky. each comes with a little indigo silk sky as a thank you.

sky on cotton lawn

also, some more silk shibori ribbon combo packs each comes with a clip of one of the new organza ribbons

3 borealis baby!

and some indigo diffusion organza ribbon with an indigo solid blue sky ribbon to match. i’ve been experimenting with indigo a bit. wondering and what-iffing. something new…
included just for fun is a silk cocoon i raised last time

shiborigirl indigo organza ribbons

also, one of the carry the moon bags remains. these are really special-one of the favorite things i have made i think. i’m really looking forward to keeping one for myself out of the next batch. i will also add that i like making practical things that can be used every day. this is one of those things.
wrapped in something special.



i am making more to take to houston. i will be in booth 903 next to my friend jennifer who has some pretty fantastic vintage ribbons and across from helen gibb of flower and ribbon fame herself! i think we will have a ribbon and silk party! flowers too~
my houston class schedule is:
~monday october 31 all day shibori dye class (and indigo too)
class # 110 9am-5pm still a few openings
~wednesday november 2 fashioning fabrics in silk-flowers & insects class #243 9am-12 noon-
sign up here at the Quilts Inc site.
even if you don’t get into one of the classes, come visit the silk experience room during the lunch break to see what the silk experience teachers have to offer. we usually try to have someone in the room and available during that time.

folks are still adding themselves to the group for the high desert silk experience.

on the horizen~ the JANM has asked me to add a two-day workshop in january (the 21st & 22nd). this in addition to the one already scheduled in march.

and here’s today’s photo of the tiny masters:
day 4

tiny masters day 4

many moons (and kittens) ago

i was recently reminded of a time in 1969, when humans first landed and walked on the moon. being all of 11 at the time and back in the US for a brief “home leave” visit from Japan, i visited and spent the night with a friend and her family on that very day. but it was more than a moon landing and walk on the moon that made that day so momentous in my 11 year old mind.

my friend’s cat was having kittens. lots of kittens. 11 eventually, and we named them all after the astronauts, the moon, apollo (of course) and anything else we could think of related to that day.

when i think back on it, we must have seemed out of our 11 year old minds really. running back and forth down the hallway from the living room where the tv was broadcasting images of the moonwalk, to the back bedroom closet where kittens just kept streaming out. sliding on the wooden floors in our stocking feet us girls would scream, squeal and run back to the living room to report each arrival before running back to the closet to check on the next. we were running out of names!

i had never seen a live birth before and forever after i think of the moonwalk and that day on July 20th 1969 as a day of infinite possibilities.

so, with that memory in mind, i made up a few little indigo moon bags. some days, you just want to carry the moon around with you (just for memories-and other things too).

in -the shop now.

and speaking of births- 2 new batches of silkworms have hatched. remember the little moon marks the last ones had? i have once again become slave to the “tiny masters”-just for a while…