It hardly seems possible that it has been almost 3 weeks since my last post here but if you have been keeping up in various other places ( slow cloth, facebook, my online class, my new bigcartel shop, JANM to name a few) you know it has been a very busy 3 weeks.
I have restocked the bigcartel shop with more indigo- 10 sets each of the boro packs, the bookmarks, and the indigo moons. I know there are still a few sets in transit as it took me a couple of weeks to get through the last batch of orders with everything else I had going on. I also rearranged the outdoor wet studio to better accommodate the daily indigo dyeing that is taking place. This next set of orders will all be shipped out next Tuesday, latest! Each new indigo order will include one of what I call my “penny moons”.
Penny moons are just that- tiny little inchies (1.5×1.5) on silk noil made using pennies and of course, indigo dyed. Each bigcartel order gets one as a gift but you can order a set of 5 penny moon inchies all by themselves if you like.
The shibori workshop for kids at the JANM (Japanese American National Museum) this past weekend was really great fun. The main room was filled all day with parents and kids doing crafts make & take style. My workshop was in a separate classroom and was full with 20 kids for the full 2 hours. They really got to experiment and had a lot of fun learning about the different ways one could make shibori. Even the little ones did some stitched work. The itajime is their favorite though. They could make penny moons all day long and never make two alike! they also love playing with the colors and most had never dyed anything before. You can see a set of photos here.
(Just a note- the shibori workshop for “big kids” on the 27th at JANM is sold out)
I have been stitching on a few things- mostly indigo related. I had some scrap indigo cloth left over from the boro packs and thought I would make my own version of a “topsy-turvy” doll. Probably for as long as people have been sewing, rag dolls have been made with scraps. I have two special rag dolls I have saved from the early 1900’s -presumably made by my great grandmother. They are all cloth and one is near threadbare. Both have one black and one white face. My doll is indigo blue and each side has a simple stitched face. I will make a few of these. I’m making one now for Wendy’s kids. I imagine these dolls will be good listeners.
I will also be adding some new spring silk packs in the coming days (as soon as I get some photos taken) which will include what I call “hummingbird silk” -light, airy, watercolor silks for stitching and making.
this month has seen the start of many changes here, not only the beginning of spring here in southern california but in the structure of how i will be presenting both my work and teaching going forward.
first off, i will say that i am making the move from etsy to big cartel. it will take me a bit of time to complete and i will let the etsy shop rest there indefinitely (until i decide otherwise) to allow my regular customers time to get used to the change, slowly. for now, i have opened up my big cartel shop taking jude’s lead with the lunar cycle and offering a selection of indigo moons and some indigo scrap collections.
i call these collections “something boro’d, something blue” . these are fabrics gifted/traded to me from various places- they’ve all had previous lives. i’ve just borrowed them, turned them blue with indigo and created small collections for you to use in your “boro’d” projects. you can read the full description on my shop site. of course there are moons, not too many yet-as they take some time- but by the new moon there will be more. and bookmarks too, a few.
something i made using some of these scraps- a little lavendar filled pincushion-
more indigo fun-
my online class is taking up much of my time this month-from in writing and photographing the lessons, manning the very active forum to the enhanced features i added as an experiment- video chat office hours and videos that complement the lessons. all a lot of work and since i am on the learning curve with some of this ….phew! the students in the class have been very enthusiastic and eager- making it a very enjoyable experience. my goal is to give them some new techniques to incorporate in their own work and to make shibori dyeing less mysterious and more accessible. it still is something that takes an incredible amount of practice to perfect (i’m still on that road myself) and i like that the students understand this.
my personal victory in this class is that i have a 14 year old young man taking the class who has big aspirations in fiber and textiles- he chose “shiboriking” as his screen name in the forums! i couldn’t be happier. he has taken to skype chatting with me like you would expect any one of the younger gen to – they are so very open to technology and its uses. i have plans for restructuring all of this down the road.
it takes time.
yep. it’s my birthday today. thanks for all the wishes coming in from everywhere. it is a time to celebrate- to be thankful for all i have. and a special time to thank my mom without whom this day simply would not be possible (and thanks to dad too although he is only here in mind , not body these days).
going out later for some delish cuban food in LA. spend the bulk of the day working with and on my online class. some great fun and lots of forum activity which is great to see.
finished lesson 2 and working on the video for that now. have a kitty in my lap as i write this. you’ll see him in the vid below. he has a home now but jeeze people- what is with abandoning animals like this? stop it. now.
jude is making some great stuff and including many moons. moons will soon be available on the etsy site. actually, i have three more bookmarks i am going to put up just as soon as i finish this post. bet they won’t be there too long. moons suitable for stitching will be up by monday, next. i like her way of aging via moons. decided to count mine up and found that i am officially 17 blue moons young.
sounds about right.
took a day last week to the LA arboretum to specifically see the african aloe at its peak bloom. fantastic!
i don’t think i’ve ever seen it at it’s peak. such a mass of color and form. lots of inspiration and a nice mental break.
and then there were the japanese magnolias-aka “tulip trees”
and just couldn’t resist the buds- spring comes early to southern california
there are a few more photos in this flickr set.
made a little teaser video while i was doing the vids for this weeks online class. this is just done with the isight camera on my mac. nothin’ fancy. the online class vids are done with the video camera.
hard to go wrong with indigo and a kitten though. going to do an indigo video soon i think. collecting footage now. need more time!
after spending way too much time on paperwork today i finally made my way out to the studio as the sun was going down. it is the first full moon of the year and as such also known as a wolf moon. in addition it seemed brighter than usual so i looked it up online and see that this will be the brightest moon of 2010 due to its closer than normal proximity to earth. interesting.
time for a little indigo moondance.
i was gifted a lovely assortment of vintage fabrics from my friend donna who is trying to cull her collection of such things down to a manageable amount so i got to pick out some things i thought might make friends with the indigo. i started out just test dyeing some various scraps and progressed to a few more indigo moons.
i’m really enjoying the process of working with some of these older textiles. they are mostly cottons and linens with a few silks. i’m learning a lot about how different weaves and fibers work with the indigo. more interesting stuff.
i’ve had boro on my mind lately with all these indigo scraps and ordered “the book” that everyone is getting. i’m starting to amass my own little indigo boro-esque fabric collection right here. got some ideas a-brewing…
indigo rags (sorry for the crummy photo-it's from my iphone)