Tag Archives: gratitude

dearest friendlies…(part 1)

It’s been a rough week, month, year! So many ups and downs. I been telling myself I would write a blogpost almost every single day these past two weeks but…well I just couldn’t didn’t. I read your blogs, FB pages, twitter and a few books, and took lots of stitches.
First off, my dear friendlies, one of my favorite FB friends/writers/ NYC poet of life, Michelle Slater passed away. I never met her in person but here, through the blog when she began commenting many years ago. I think she came here via Spiritcloth as many of you have for so long (and even for some, more recently). We had so many wonderful exchanges over the years, through social media as well as the mail. She lived alone in a rent controlled apartment in Manhattan and gave us the gift of so many views of the city she had lived in for over 60 years. She also wrote a blog (actually several) filled with observations of life, photos, and poetry. Just reading the sidebar of her blog could change your life and worldview.
She commented on my blog many times over more than a decade and I will treasure each comment once more whenever I come back to one. In the years prior to our friendliness on FB, she gave me glimpses into her world as they related to mine in her comments but it was only 4 years ago she left me the following comment that told me even more about herself than i had known:

I’ve never made a living at what I’ve loved to do, neither in twenty years of Theater, another ten or fifteen in Film, video and photography, nor as a writer, nor painter, and I only dabbled in cloth. I could blame this on the fact that I somehow managed to eek out a living on the fringes doing this and that, or that I always worked for unpopular causes (feminism, peace, justice etc.), but the truth is I was simply never ambitious enough to pursue money, nor did I have the stick-to-it that’s needed, and now, at seventy three, I’m quite poor in the pocket book. Sometimes friends send gifts, my Social security and small pension from one 11 year position just manage to keep me in internet, phone, electric, and rent (blessedly low after many Landlord battles) and I even get some food aid from a Senior nutrition program. I’m able to go to doctors thanks to medicare basic, but not dentists. I had help to pay for two cataract operations from several generous friends as I live without credit cards. But my admiration for craft and those, like you who manage to somehow make it work is unbounded. The way the 21st Century is leaning into the automated and the digital, outsourcing and growth does look bleak…not to mention the awful political wrangling and the shameful wars…still, I believe that though the artists are as endangered as the polar bear and Minki whale, we persist in another dimension, and that’s as real as the space probes and the industrial glut. Love fuels the enterprise and it’s the best fuel ever to emerge from this earth enterprise.

Michelle in NYC

She was found in her apartment, apparently in her usual chair, when friends noticed she hadn’t posted for several days and wasn’t answering the phone. In my mind I imagine her setting up a new post with a fabulous link or video or simply typing “Goodnight dear friendlies” with a photo view out her apartment window as she did so often.
So here’s to you Michelle… Goodnight with gratitude my friend!
Link to the last video she posted…here.
And my original post (2016) where Michelle left the above comment.

other parts (2 and maybe 3 to follow). comment link is at the top of post.

how far is infinity?

This book Arimatsu Shibori-A Japanese Tradition of Indigo (now out of print and expensive to obtain but check with a good library) accompanied me on my trip to the cabin where I also had the pleasure of reading three other books:

Kira-Kira (thanks Jan from Japan for recommending it!)
Yokota Officers Club (thanks sis for this one! brought back lots of memories!)
and lastly,
Turning Japanese (stumbled on this myself while looking for the previous two)

(all were ordered from paperbackswap.com where you can recycle your books and CD’s for the cost of postage alone and spare the planet a little grief)

Here’s how I read them:
floating in a canoe on a lake far far away from everything.
pure bliss. (thanks to vic & yvonne for sharing this special place with me and my family these past 10 years- it’s been a gift of the highest order and we are grateful)

As I mentioned on FB sometime back when my status said I was “disappearing” and Jan asked if I was “dyeing away” I managed to pack a bit of dye in the bag and deliciously dabble with it and some silk. I came away with this:
fun to play around with some stitched shibori and experiment a bit in complete solitude.



(these were done using the Colorhue dyes which are great for dabbling and “instant” results. Great to travel with- kind of like taking along a sketchpad. I have a few left from the recent workshops and put them up for sale on the etsy site.)

Way back 😉 in 2006 , when I first started this blog I photographed my first shibori pieces on this rock. I made my first shibori samples at the cabin here in 2006. Every year I return to my sacred shibori rock in the woods I cover it with a new piece of work. And take a photo. I recently looked at a few of those first pieces and took stock of the distance traveled between the two points. I am satisfied with the progress so far but realize how much further one can take this if desired.
As Buzz Lightyear would say, “to infinity and beyond!”.

That is shibori for you- that’s life!

As I write this post I realize that this week is the 3 year mark of my writing this blog. I almost didn’t notice the years have flown by so! Hardly seems possible. So many moons ago.

And almost as if in celebration of this date (Aug 29), my article in Belle Armoire has been published. It will hit store shelves Sept 1 I am told. If you are a subscriber, you already have your copy. Much thanks to Jenny and especially Amanda (who is the new Managing Editor ! YAY!) and their lovely photographer Johanna Love. thankyou thankyou thankyou.

-in appreciation and gratitude to everyone who has encouraged and inspired me these past three years,