Tag Archives: arashi

wondering leads down new paths… and back again

It’s true, my blogging sabbatical is over.  It was never really “official”, whatever that means, but in the 9 months in which I haven’t blogged here I have been missing it.  Missing you, those of you who don’t partake in the flurry of other social media offerings.

What exactly do I miss about it?  I miss the wordier, more thoughtful, slower pace of writing a blog post as opposed to the quick quip on Facebook or a clever (maybe) image on Instagram.  If I want to give myself a sorry excuse, I will say I have been very busy these past months. I am quite thankful for that as there have been times when I wondered…financially speaking, if continuing was the way to go.  But being my persistent self, yes, once again persistence was the way.

Often over the past nine months I have thought- “Oh!  I should blog about that.”  Then I let it be and carried on in my work and the moment passed.  (Sometimes for the better I will admit.)

Blogging is more like a homemade meal, often with ingredients right out of your own garden. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the rest are more akin to a fast food joint- you’re in and you’re out. Things can happen in fits and bits.  That is what I have noticed.  And while I work out in the dye studio I can keep up with all that on my phone in a staccato-like way.  I can even throw up a photo ever so easily as I work.(Squirrelly Gurl says Hello!) Throw out a comment or two, commiserate, cheer on, congratulate, and send birthday wishes to people (some of whom I actually know!)  But in the end,  it’s the words and thoughts I miss.  Expression in a different form.

So, even if you can only stop in for a home cooked meal every now and then, come on by- I’ll be here stirring the pot a bit.

Some images from 2014 on your way out, great thanks to all who were a part of it- enjoy, create and wonder!!  We need more wonder in the world…

the wondering wall

as soon as the taxes are finished, i can get back to wondering.  and dyeing. it’s has been quite busy here as of late but a shop update is on the horizon! mostly ribbon to start out with but also some lovely old whites.  Jude is also busy wondering in white. I’m going to go there for a bit too. But my wonderings usually end up turning blue.

cranes in the moon-indigo on silk

cranes in the moon-indigo on silk

In Japan, cranes have long been associated with longevity and good fortune. Often a wedding kimono will have cranes incorporated into the design.  This old silk with jacquard crane imagery had me wondering if combining it with a moon might enhance its loveliness.  The moon has long been associated with beauty and the appreciation of beauty in Japan.  I think it makes a handsome pairing.

double arashi

some wondering about more shibori texture.  more of this soon.

first indigo

and the indigo has had its first haircut which has been dried and stored!  these plants volunteered themselves by self sowing.

itajime on silk

and some old silk kimono linings had me practicing my itajime with the fermentation vat

which is really liking spring!

mokume wondering

from the fermentation vat. i’ve been working almost exclusively with it since the beginning of the year.

the chem vat  is off in a corner. i wonder if i will ever use it again?

on my table

and… i’m going to saturday school to practice my Japanese (hence the old かな cards).  this old doll came out of the cupboard to help me design a piece for my friend Donna’s line of mannequins. it all looked interesting lying on the table soI snapped this shot for fun.

that’s it for now- back to finishing up the taxes.  need to get them in asap so my son can figure out if he can get the appropriate mix of financial aid and scholarship funds so he can accept his graduate school acceptance offer from ………

…the San Francisco Conservatory of Music!  (so proud of him….congrats Trev!) cross your fingers for him…it’s an honor and a really big deal. If he can swing it, he will be studying under Jack Van Geem and David Herbert the principal percussionist and principal timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony. He’s making his dreams come true through hard work, persistance and practice.

new work and nightmares…

i had a dream…

i’m at houston and starting my indigo workshop only to realize i had forgotten the indigo. i woke up and realized that it had only been a dream (thankfully!!).  i fell back asleep and had another dream. this time i opened up my freezer and found it full of water (i should mention that this is where i store the indigo). i just got up and made coffee at that point.

this is how i get before a show.  a little crazy.

the other day i spent some time cleaning cocoons for the mawata class.  i am pre-cleaning them for the class (removing the pupae)-seems the practical thing to do considering the class is full and the time restrictions. we will demonstrate the process but will concentrate on making the mawata and even spinning a bit of silk yarn and needle felting some.  made a few mawata too-practicing.

not bad.

i was a little bummed out last week when i had to cut my Quilt  Festival booth back from the full booth i had ordered to a half booth due to finances-but we do what we have to and i’ll make it work.  so if you can’t find me at the booth printed in the directory-which i think was already printed, look for me in booth 1329, my new booth #. or, just look for silky shibori goodness and indigo.

that is all, over and out!

p.s. when you write a post in WP these days it shows you a list of recommended tags (which i rarely use as they don’t really pertain).  one of the recommended tags for this post is “post traumatic stress”. ha! just thought that was funny.  carry on.

it’s compleaticated…

yes, i just made up that word.  it seems to fit things so well right now.

see, i told you-compleaticated.

i’m still taking signups for the in-studio arashi workshop.  i’m starting to think it is a difficult time of year to do this class.  my calendar and yours might not mesh.  holidays and all- not to mention the $.  ah yes…$.

but nontheless, i am am having an arashi obsession these days- more than most. there are a whole bunch of pieces on the poles waiting their turn to be overdyed and steamed and dried.  i can’t wait to get them off and see what they say to me.  the previous pieces were the test/prototype pieces.  they told me what needed to be done next.  that is how i prefer to work. to listen, to practice. looking inward and not out of my realm.

but the poles had to wait and yesterday boxes arrived from WA , were unpacked, sorted, and repacked for TX.  the indigo workshop is filled and yesterday the fabric packs for it were assembled-

i put a lot of thought into these workshop kits.  a lot of time.  i select fabrics that will teach you to pay attention to them and allow you to leave the workshop wondering…what if?

i am looking forward to seeing new faces and meeting up with old friends. katrina, maggie, virginia, jennifer, and more.

speaking of friends, i made some new friends in the workshop in Longbranch.  it was great fun and while the workshop was focused on shibori techniques on silk with the colorhue dyes, i couldn’t *resist* bringing some indigo which was enjoyed by all.  while i was there, i had the absolute thrill of meeting up with an old friend i haven’t seen or communicated with until recently.  we met up and visited our old homes. we originally lived in Gig Harbor until we moved to Japan in ’65 and we hadn’t seen each other since the 3rd grade.

can you find me?

-and here we are at the same place (her old house) just about 50 years later. What a trip.  So fun sharing memories.  At the same time, I missed the Yo-Hi (school chums from Japan!) reunion back in SoCal but will make up for that later.  On FB we are connecting.  AND, schoolgirl friends from St. Maur in Yokohama are reconnecting as well.  We are truly international. Plans are in the making.

And just an update on another subject. The textile studio in Canada recently sent me a note telling me they had removed the classes in question and additionally asked the member to resign.  I want to thank them for making a decision to join us in being part of the solution to what I see as a march to mediocrity in concert with deception and fraud.  Thank you very much! Now we can move past this whole mess.


I think it’s time to harvest the indigo seeds.  Seeds are always a good place to begin.  The day before yesterday it was raining rainbows… rainbows to the west, double rainbows in the east. And buckets and buckets of rain. Imagine rainbow raindrops…splashing down, coloring the world with hope and intention! What could possibly grow from THAT?

seeds from the apple krina and i picked and ate from the old apple tree in the donkey pasture where we used to play.  i wonder….

life…it’s compleaticated.

arashi shibori now…

just a quick post to show you a couple of new pieces.  when i began them i had in my mind’s eye what i wanted-almost.  lots of what i do is like that.  i have it about 80% worked out in my head.  the last 20% comes as i am working on it. i learned a lot making them.

i’m looking forward to making more of these in other colors.  that will have to wait for mid november though.  i’m adding these to the shop  as shown and you can order the make me one option and we can talk about colors.

this is arashi shibori now.

in studio arashi shibori workshop

Lines, pleats, patterns, texture-this is arashi shibori now.

Many have been asking for this- an in studio workshop focusing on arashi shibori technique-

here it is!  (click the link to sign up and for more info…)

limited to 4 only

2 days

Nov 30 -Dec 1, 2013

arashi on silk gauze

double arashi detail

confessions of a dyer

(note** i changed the publish date on this post because Ann had her husband wrap this up for christmas- she won’t see it until then so didn’t want to spoil the surprise!)

yes, i have a confession to make. but before i do i have to set up the story a bit.

one of the things i really like to do is dye a scarf for a custom order. it gives me a chance to see color through someone else’s eyes and dye a color combination that i might not think of doing myself. usually i like the result and always end up learning something new about color. it usually starts out with an email describing the desired color combo like this:

“I’m a purple/lilac/blue/green person.”

so we go from there. and it helps if i have met the person face to face and in this case i had. (in fact, she came along to Japan with us and brought her husband who was delightful and a good sport as well -there were 15 women and just him and our guide Hirata san).

i received the email just a couple of weeks shy of the houston show where we would meet up in hopes of getting together as well as adding this scarf to her wardrobe.

admittedly, i was rushing things but got a piece done in the requested colors. it was lovely but somehow, it didn’t feel quite right. in the rushing i didn’t feel that i had captured her spirit. i have known Ann for a while-since 2008 when she discovered my silk shibori and from the Japan trip and knew her to be playful and light with a touch of pixie in her (no mystery as to why she is a dollmaker). being no time for a “do-over” i packed it up and off to houston we went.

expecting to see her at the preview night, i had her scarf out but tucked back in the display. it was a busy sales night and while i was attending to another customer someone found the scarf i had made for Ann. this gal was looking several over and i decided to just let it play out. surely she would choose another? in the end, she came up with 3 scarves chosen as gifts for very special friends who had helped her through some tough times this past year. and yes, one of them was Ann’s scarf. having made the mistake of having it out i was now faced with figuring out what to do for Ann. i still had many nice scarves available, just not one made with her in mind. some small part of me was saying “now you have the opportunity to make Ann “her” scarf- when you get back and can better focus.”

again, i decided to just let things play themselves out. perhaps another one might catch Ann’s favor when she saw them in person…or she would grant me the extra time to make one more.

it wasn’t until late the next day that Ann came to the booth to visit and see if i had been able to get one made up for her. i told her it had been difficult, to look over what was on hand and if she didn’t see one that spoke to her we would settle on a colorway and have one made for her when i got back to the studio. she found a silk scrap pack that had the colors in it that she wanted and we used that as the guide. interestingly, it was quite different from the one that i had originally made.

so this time i was able to really focus on Ann as i base dyed her scarf a pale lavender, as i ironed, folded, and polewrapped it, as i lowered it into the discharge bath and finally as i painted on the overdyes. my mind went to the times we had shared in Japan, to her husband Doug who graciously took so many photos and shared them with us, to the dolls she lovingly makes. i also loved the name she chose for her business-Ann’s Inner Child. (i don’t think she has kept her website but if she sends me a link i will share it here later.)

this is the way i like to do custom work- with intention and space to conjure up the essence of the person as i work on the piece. many of these are done for special occasions or events, as special gifts for someone. there is a desire to integrate what i can gather about that person as i am making.

so in the end, it all worked out and her scarf is on the way. i am writing this ahead of her receiving it so won’t publish it until she opens it as there is a little surprise in there as well. hate to ruin the moment you know…

ann's inner child

(you can order one for yourself or another here)
there is also the gift certificate option…

a chorus of colors

there has been a lot of singing going on around here lately. practicing and rehearsals for the local college vocal concert.

my music mainly consists of a chorus of colors…

i’ve added a few new simple (kantan) scarves to the shop. perhaps one will find its way to you!