shop update and sea anemone

this post title seems a little odd i know but i must get the word back out that i am adding new items to the bigcartel shop and i have re-opened the etsy shop.

first some pretty pictures before i get to the messy business of words…

sea flowers


sea anemones tend to stay in the same spot until conditions become unsuitable, whereupon they can detach themselves and swim away to a new location… something to think about.

then there are also new silk flowers…

summer blooms in silk shibori

in addition to spending quite a bit of time this week with a needle in hand sewing with invisible thread, i’ve spent some time dyeing new shibori ribbon and will have some new ribbon combo packs in the shop tomorrow. just need to finish the photos and get them posted up. but here is a preview of one new color-hot tropics…things are heating up around here- and elsewhere too, i hear.

but when i feel the need to cool down, the indigo vat is always waiting. cool cool blue. at the moment i have 3 vats going which i am stirring every evening and taking note of the daily ph. one of the vats is made with cheryl kollander’s sky blue indigo which i wanted to try. it does make a nice blue but honestly i have been doing test swatches with all three vats and don’t notice too much difference. maybe it’s just me. i have a lot to learn. she is having a professional level natural dye workshop in july and although i can’t make this work out for me, maybe you can. she has a lot of experience to share. i buy all my indigo from her- it makes sense to me to buy it from someone who uses her own product on a regular basis. even if it costs a little more-which i’m not even sure it actually does.

i’ll be adding some more blue to the shop in coming days, but for now- i have added aiko there. she is ready to wander off into the world and i hope that wherever she lands we will see a glimpse of her future travels. another aiko is in the making too…

aiko has a moment by the pond as she wonders about the future

frolicking in blue fields…

she came upon and frolicked in, fields of blue flowers while gathering sansai (mountain vegetables)

while gathering sansai...

when her basket was filled, aiko returned home and on the way came across a simple buddhist temple and a great buddha image. it reminded her of her home and the great daibutsu in kamakura…she left a few coins in gratitude of her abundance, said a quiet prayer and lit some incense in memory of her ancestors before continuing down the mountainside.

aiko visits the great mountainside buddha

wondering in silence

since my return i have had a need for more silence. i suppose in part due to all the energy expended in the job of delivering the tour and the need to re-gather energy and move forward.

this is something i did not calculate, as all things cannot be calculated or expected. i gave it my all, i planned, i gathered, i organized, i worried, and in the end found myself depleted which for me is a rather unusual feeling. and as a maker a bit unsettling. in the silence i can gather myself, re-adjust and tune in but life has a way of continually swirling around and silence has been a bit elusive.

in addition, i am questioning (once again) so many things. the road forward is not so clear, paths branching out at odd angles

none really offering any security or safe harbor but then again too much safety has never been my realm.

a quote by Jorge Luis Borges has been ringing in my head-

-don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.

and as of late, this has been my feeling. so for the moment i will share a few things that have kept me wondering…nature has a way of offering solace and beauty in silence.

the order of five

milkweed- a study of polygons

sometimes i think the moon takes hold of me and i overlook the stars…

-so just know that i am working on alignment of one sort or another and will be back again soon.

souvenirs…

along with stories, thoughts, and a renewed passion- i brought back a few souvenirs. mementos really, of the past. but looking forward to the future. somehow.

note the price. this is the real stuff. and you pay for it. that translates to about $850 for the roll. i would guess these were done in Japan. all this cotton shibori is sold by the roll only (full roll shibori was beyond my budget and really i don’t have a need for it but really enjoyed looking at!). no cuts, unless it’s scraps you find around here and there (which i did buy a bit of and turned into some shibori collections for the shop). some others were about $225 for a roll. they were done in China and had typical patterns. an occasional shop (not in arimatsu though) sold the Chinese shibori by the meter. not indigo dyed. these here are specifically for yukata and are more complex…not just the typical kanoko. lots more stitching here. like in the samples i brought back. the really good stuff was available in the high end custom kimono shops i saw around Tokyo. oh my! just fabulous. and very exclusive. not done in China.

the souvenir shop is open again. have a few more things to post but this is it for now. time to be done with the computer.