Tag Archives: etsy

and now for something a little different here…

While I still have a couple of post drafts started about the 2019 silk study tour that I just can;t seem to get finished (too much video and photo-sorting bogging me down) I’m here to catch up with other goings on around here.

Obon is in the air! Maybe you had a chance to attend one in your area!

Last weekend we had our natsu (summer) shibori workshop at the JANM. It was a great 2 days of shibori dyeing and discovery. I am so pleased that so many return again and again to further their shibori skills there- and wonderful to see so much progress. The participants who are new to the workshop get lots of suggestions and encouragement from returning practitioners- so fun to see. New friends and new connections.

egg,rice, spam,nori,brown gravy-coffee!

We had our Sunday morning Shibori Breakfast Club at the Aloha Cafe in Little Tokyo which got us off to a good start fueled with coffee and a delicious breakfast. Sandra introduced us to their spam musubi loco moco style which was really good. Never was a spam eater but I do like a good musubi now and then. Spam has a history from WWII and is a favorite ingredient in several Okinawan dishes and also made its way to Hawaii and the Philippines as a meat staple when times were tough and meat was in short supply. I recently put some cans of spam into our earthquake kit…

There are several upcoming workshops at the JANM…a plant dyeing workshop in September (kusakizome) which is sold out with a waiting list, a repeat of the komebukuro making workshop that we did in January (think there might be some spots still open for that), and on December 7&8 another shibori and indigo workshop(not yet listed on the JANM calendar)- good timing for making some personal holiday gifts.

I also have lots of yarrow so we will have a couple of yellows to play with. We’ll stick to mostly yellows, blue(sukumo-composted indigo), and madder for the red/orange and shift the colors with mordants and overdyeing. We’ll add some avocado skins and pits as everyone wants to try that. We will work predominately on silk but I’ve decided I will bring some assorted fiber swatch packs for everyone to test with. We will be making a dye swatch notebook. I will bring seeds and cuttings so if anyone wants to grow their own, they can. A few of us will get together prior to the workshop to prepare some of the dyestuffs and stock solutions as it does take time.

I planted the marigold seeds before deciding on doing this workshop(fortuitous!) and was thrilled at how well they have done. They are the large bushy type- not the small cute six pack starters sold at the local nursery-so LOTS of big flowers,plus they have kept pests off my nearby veggies since spring. I have tons of seeds to share at the workshop as well.
The madder is a bit trickier- it’s about 4 years since I planted it and have never really dug it up. I’m having to soak the area (I didn’t plant in a raised bed with nice soil) to be able to get the roots out. I will relocate it after this! The sukumo is some I brought back from Japan and really only have enough to do a small light vat but that will be enough for our purposes here.
The pomegranates are looking great and will be ready by late September so that will be deliciously perfect! We’ll have some pomegranate juice to sip!
I’m saving avocado skins and pits in the freezer as are others signed up for the workshop and might see if I can also get some eucalyptus trimmings from the local trees.

Outside of this, the garden is producing nicely-tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, parsnips, potatoes and more. The night blooming cactus is just getting started with its nightly display among the jasmine scenting the air-in the past 5 nights alone 91 flowers have bloomed. Quite spectacular! Last night 40 were open and the sliver of a clouded moon peeked out from behind.

it’s kind of dark and most of the blooms right now are high above us. this cactus is about 25-30 feet now -planted in this location about 25 years ago. I’ve had them since about 1982 or so. I can enjoy them now from my second story window! They used to be in a 12″ pot!

Aside from this, I added some ribbons to the webshop, finally-and some flowers too!!!

I was barely using Etsy over the past year and along with many other smaller sellers of handmade there, are not happy with their decision to only prioritize searches for items with free shipping offered. Now we all KNOW shipping is not free. On Amazon Prime, one pays an annual subscription for “free” shipping. We pay one way or another. Etsy’s suggestion to sellers was to raise the price of items and then to include “free” shipping. How very transparent of them, NOT! The only thing I have in my etsy store are the shibori ribbon scrap bags. So in order to show up in searches, I priced the scrap bags to include the shipping-for FREE! haha. Right. I disclose all this in the listing by the way. The real drag is that if a customer wants more than one, they pay the higher price for both. Not cool. So I recommend going to my website where you can buy all the yardage you want and in the colors you want and it all ships to you for one combined price anywhere in the US ($4). Unfortunately for CA buyers, on Etsy, you also get charged sales tax on shipping now, where you didn’t before (and you don’t on my website as per CA resale laws). Anywhoo… sorry for the mini rant but just wanted to put that out there.

In other news, mills in China are discontinuing weaving certain types of silks. Silk satin for instance. The times they are a-changin’….

wherever you are, i hope you have a gentle summer.
may calm winds blow, peace prevail
and children continue to sing, dance and wonder!

mimicking indigo’s maddness

recently i have been interested in what can and cannot be done with other dyes when trying to duplicate an indigo look or feel. i ask myself why use indigo when using an acid dye might be quicker and thereby less expensive.
i want to see what i can do with the indigo that can’t be done with the acid dyes (and other dyes for that matter) . having been out riding my bike lately during the cooler hours and when there are virtually no cars on the street (midnight or so) i’ve been seeing the moon on the wane.

indigo on the wane

indigo on the wane

it seemed appropriate to consider the waning moon in terms of an itajime piece acid dyed black and double discharged to effect a waning moon. here is the whole piece-
indigo on the wane
i like the effect and the discharged black does mimic aspects of indigo’s madness.

the moon is waning and a second derangement has evolved-this one a bit darker.
darker derangement2
i wonder what the moon has to do with it? when i open the vats and see the metallic film on the surface of the indigo it’s like looking into the night. makes me think i must go out tonight and under the spell of the moon look for it in indigo’s silvery reflection.
i think this one is spoken for so it most likely won’t make it to the etsy shop but here it is in full:
darker derangement4

i also took an afternoon and made up a bag to carry the moon around in. it’s all lined in silk and all the fabric (both cotton & silk) are indigo and shibori dyed. it will be up over at the etsy shop ($120) most likely until the show sets up next wednesday. enjoy-
carry the moon

silk lined inside-rigid silk covered bottom

silk lined inside-rigid silk covered bottom



As a diversion this morning, I delved into chaos theory, randomness, and the butterfly effect via various links and searches wondering where to find true randomness in our everyday lives. It was harder than I thought!

Along the way I came upon this quote by writer Gordon Webber which expresses something that helps me stay in a creative state of mind:

To dare every day to be irreverent and bold. To dare to preserve the randomness of mind which in children produces strange and wonderful new thoughts and forms. To continually scramble the familiar and bring the old into new juxtaposition.

To remain mindfully child like can really help foster creativity. Helps to see the ordinary in a new way.
-me messing around with some base dyed hankies and some finished shibori pocket squares-getting into a playful mind in order to come up with some new marketing ideas.

Surveying the back yard to see what transpired in my absence I saw this-
which reminded me of all there is to be thankful for.
Then, I visited with Timmy3 (see Timmy2) who was recently delivered to us by a neighbor who found him struggling at the beach. (He’s a red eared slider and lives in fresh water.) I enjoy his company now that there aren’t any kids running around the yard anymore-
this little scene actually brought a tear to my eye thinking about all it was speaking to me.

Random.org has some testimonials on how their random number generator is used by creative folk here.

Well then, here are my numbers as generated by Random.org for the OHOW giveaway:

-which translates into:

Diana at Idaclare
Christy at Sweet Tidings
Diane at Lavender Dreams
who have all been contacted and asked to send in their shipping info. They will each receive one of the items pictured here.

There were just so many (272) responses that I haven’t really been able to do the project justice by visiting some of the other participating blogs until recently. Here are a couple that moved and inspired me and maybe you will like them too:
Tammy at Spirithelpers– great photography!

Magpie (just magpie) at A New York Magpie’s Beads– images, thoughts, and moments added to the thread

Still catching up- filled all my backed up Etsy orders today-

Participated in a live Etsy store critique to see what that was all about. Good intentions don’t equal results. Sorry, but it’s true. And not everything is wonderful. Doubt I’ll do that again.

Made a Shibori Girl Studios fan page on Facebook.

I have to say, I’m into FB. Not only can I keep up with family, the kids who are off to college hither and yon who have been part of this household since kindergarten, I am making new connections with customers and artists around the world. I’m planning on meeting up with a fiber artist FB friend in Japan this coming May when I go on a tour with the Silk Experience (more on that next post). I’m also “friends” with several of my new male pocket square customers. One of which I see each day wearing one on CNN! Kinda cool! Also one of my latest customers is an appraiser on one of my favorite TV shows- Aniques Road Show.
So, how’s THAT for random?