Tag Archives: mending

this one’s for you…a glimpse of the morning garden

and especially for Judy.  faith, family, and persistence are her constant companions-plus a needle, thread, and some cloth.

it rained!!  and one of my favorite things is to walk around the garden the morning after. here is only some of what i saw…

also gone as well are the natural dyed fabrics i loaded into the shop yesterday- many thanks! the last payment on my little health interruption last Dec. will be paid off! took the whole year but DONE!! where would i be without you?

the shop will stay open for ribbon buyers only through Wednesday.

plus the squirrelleys say hello!

hello!

hello!

patched up and mending

I figure at this point it will be easier to do a blog post than respond to folks individually regarding the goings on here the past couple of weeks.

Turned out that in a follow-up xray for the pneumonia that plagued me from Yosemite through Houston something odd was spotted on one of my ribs that required a follow up CT.  This revealed that yes, indeed, something odd was growing on one of the ribs.  Chances were a tumor and being unable to needle biopsy it, removal was the best course of action.  So a couple of nights in the hospital between Christmas and NY.  All went well and final results should be back this week.  Even though the surgeon doesn’t seem like a betting sort of fellow he actually told me that “99% chance” is that it is benign.  I’m holding out that NY bottle of champagne for that final confirmation.

A couple of things.  It hurts! They did some sort of surgical nerve block thingy which permanently cuts a section of nerves to reduce pain. Thankful for that!   I guess without it I might just drive someone crazy (r). I don’t react well to strong painkillers (nausea) so have some codine with tylenol that takes the edge off.  Everyday brings a change.  Today being better than yesterday! I will be fine.  Eventually. I am up and around. I have a couple of friends going through much much tougher crap than this and I know I am incredibly fortunate. I salute their strength and persistence!

We also had a fun day at the ER on Christmas as Amma (Icelandic for Grandma) fell and broke her ankle, cracked her head and ribs. This was a couple days before my hospital visit.  She is all OK -light break, head staple (out now) and ribs painful but improving.  Main issue is she can’t go home. She lives in a 2nd floor apartment so she is here for the next 6 weeks for sure.

Boy, when things change, they change!! The boys have cycled in and out to help but Phil is here full time to do the heavy lifting. I am indeed lucky as he is patient and a good caretaker-sometimes bossy but i’m told i’m difficult (imagine that!). So for those asking about their orders, things are a little slower than usual.  But still moving along.  After all, hospital bills must be paid along with the usual bunch.
So, moving on…
The dogs and cats have never been so happy to have so many lounging around! Bella likes nursery rhymes with kittens in clothes- a gift from meagan from my childhood kitten fetish-revisiting…

bella

and there has been time for me to enjoy Donna’s book-

Fashion history from the Kyoto Costume Museum collection

Fashion history from the Kyoto Costume Museum collection

I even pulled out one of my favorite collected pieces to look at-I don’t think I’v shared it here (at least not in many many years). this is the inside of a silk velvet cape. special kasuri silk weaving with supplemental metallic threads. it’s a marvelous thing.  every now and then i just pull it out to gape at its glory and finger its textures.
rusched silk velvet collar inside kasuri

Then one day I played with more of the gridded fusible that Carmen Geddes sampled me. I used it for a beaded ribbon embroidery piece I’m still working on but wondered how it might work to tame the ribbon into a more traditional use.  Maggie was always after me to do something like this.  Carmen was kind enough to also send me her booklet which featured a photo on the back of her and her 9 sisters.  I realized why her business is called TenSisters.  Quite the sweet photo! Wow, imagine ten sisters!  In grabbing that link I just read that there were also 7 brothers!!  Oh my! I’m looking forward to meeting her this coming year at Houston where she will be applying her skills to silk in the Silk Experience classroom.

nine patch-

nine patch-

nine patch detail

silver gold silver gold- for some reason I had never done this combo until one of the Italian designers requested it.  I can see how they will enjoy working with this colorway in their jewelry

and because I always enjoy the ghost colors that come up in the discharge process of certain base colors.  they are those colors that appear halfway up the pleat and don’t get drowned out by the overdye.  not all colors have this aspect.
ghost colorsand one more…gore-tex!  in place of that pesky rib I now have some medical Gore-Tex patching me together. kinda cool stuff. inert in the body -like silk.  I have really integrated textiles into my life!

By Abrev improved picture impression (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Abrev improved picture impression (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


I have to add a couple more stories here. Not too long ago I received a thank you email from a gal who had been buying scrap bags pretty regularly. She wrote to say that she wanted to thank me for the ribbon and the dragonfly pattern as she was able to retire a size-able medical bill by making and selling the shibori ribbon dragonfly pins.  she also worked up a butterfly design as well and both had contributed to freeing herself from this burden and she was doing well.  How great is that?

Then, the afternoon of my surgery I was resting in my room and received a wonderful new years note from Wendy with a child’s thank you for some of my pieces that are used in her therapy work.  She told of coming to know the color blue even though she can’t see it and the way she maps life through the textiles. Who is healing who here?

 

 

pressing on… indigo and other stuff

On this hot and muggy Sunday I finish up a large order of the shibori ribbon and wonder. Often when I wonder about what I am doing I take to the vat and gain some perspective.  Besides, I have a couple of workshops ahead of me here-3 that involve indigo and need some wondering and planning time.

today the natural vat has a good coppery sheen but little flower. however, it is dyeing well

today the natural vat has a good coppery sheen but little flower. however, it is dyeing well

Starting off with some moons on old tattered asa (hemp) from Japan got me thinking about what ties us all together on this little planet we named Earth – as well as what tears us apart. 

tattered moon- somedays i feel just like this and am in need of a little mending

tattered moon- somedays i feel just like this and am in need of a little mending

I figure I need to order 30 yards of cotton scrim for my workshop in Houston October 26- done and crossed off the list.  The rest of the fabrics to be used are remnants and scraps I have been collecting of some very lovely old and reused fabrics brought back from Japan.  We will dye them in indigo and apply different techniques- shibori mostly, as well as use our imagination before stitching them to the indigo dyed scrim.  Kits will also include swatches of vintage kasuri, katazome, and shibori.  I will have several very nice vintage boro textiles on display for students to study as well as a selection of books and photos from my recent visit to the Amuse Boro Museum in Asakusa, Japan.

workshops start with me creating a new sample- even if I have taught the class before- I want to be very familiar with it and add to previous knowledge I  taught this class at the JANM over a year ago

workshops start with me creating a new sample- even if I have taught the class before- I want to be very familiar with it and add to previous knowledge
I taught this class at the JANM over a year ago

Pressing on, I make my sample by my own hand, I cut the fabrics, collect the swatches.  As I dye the new sample I think about the room that I will be teaching in, the number of students, the problems that will be encountered by restrictions of such a setting and must be solved before anyone walks through the door to make things go smoothly and find success for all who gather that day in that room. I aim for a version of perfection knowing full well that there will be less than that achieved but aiming high is where I like to begin.  I am already looking forward to teaching this class and its myriad lessons.

My class is called Indigo dyed and Boro Stitched and can be signed up for by going to the Quilts Inc. site for the Houston International Quilt Festival.  The class is # 117  on Monday Oct. 26, 2015 in the online catalog.

I am teaching two other classes there as well- Shibori Mandala Magic on Silk (class #217) and Splendid Silk Shibori Poinsettias (class # 611).
The Mandala class is an outcome of working with Richard Carbin and combines the folding techniques I learned from him with a completely different method of resisting and applying the dyes.
Richard’s presence will be felt in the vintage silk fabrics we will use which were collected by and purchased from him.

The Silk Shibori Poinsettia class is a fun Friday evening class- a good sit down and relax class at the end of a busy week.  Many lovely pieces are sure to be made as gifts for friends and family on this night.
poinsettia

I tried to upload an image of a great little boro piece I brought back from Japan but WP is being fussy right now so it will have to wait until later.  Until then, I’ll add a couple of photos of something I made the other day just to satisfy a need I had-a small bag that snaps open by pinching the sides and holds all I need. I used some obishin between the cloth layers.

It’s raining again now- hardly can believe it! It has been such a gift.  I have somewhere I’m supposed to be so until later-

mata ne!

bespoke…she says

My online friend Scott– artist, map maker, beader and blogger (here and here) recently moved and was destashing some things he had collected along he way. One of which happened to be this vintage tux jacket in a size that was perfect for my son Trevor, who just happened to need a *new* tux jacket.

first, in photos-

bespoke 1918 tux jacket in wool and silk

it had a hole in it. a moth lunched here perhaps…

it had a makers tag

So Scott sent it directly to Trevor who tried it on and was a very happy percussionist indeed!  He brought it with him for mending to the cabin in the woods and lacking the ability to reweave the spot and mend it flawlessly, I opted to open the lining on one of the sleeves and remove a small patch of wool with which to mend the spot.  This is where the fun began! What a marvel of tailoring! This bespoke tux jacket from the early 1900’s is made of wool, lined with silk, faced with various fabrics to shape the garment, with hand carved and dyed vegetable ivory buttons, and mostly hand sewn. The makers name as well as the customers and date the garment’s finishing date(December 5th,1918) was noted on a silk label sewn into an interior pocket. It is a marvel of attention to detail, of craft, of fine materials. It was wonderful to look at the interior of the garment and see the fine hand stitching, the various layer of interfacings and linings used-each chosen to produce a certain effect and with a purpose. And then I discovered the label. I imagined a man being measured and fitted, a tailor doing his best work with fine materials, and in the end a well dressed fellow attending an event with fine and elegant women, removing his top hat, helping her into a carriage…I can get carried away in the moment!

I goggled the names on the label and came up with a few things. J.A. Silverman from Rumania was naturalized in Kansas City in 1898. The tailor AJ Lofgren is listed in old Minneapolis city directories in the early 1900’s.  It seems that tailors moved around from shop to shop and were in demand- usually able to get work when they needed it.

Then today I saw this article on NPR and was reminded that I hadn’t finished this post. It is a graphic on the difference between a $99 suit and a $5000 suit. The comments are quite entertaining.  I especially liked Steve Carr’s comedic and clever reply and rewrite of my comment.  Also, someone has already spoken up to be next on the list should it ever need a new home again.

But of course this all comes down to my ongoing obsession with mending, and belief in using up what we have. Throwing away less, buying less but buying the most quality that we can afford and keeping it longer.  This tux is almost 100 years old and now cleaned and mended, perhaps it will go another 100!

My shibori contribution to well dressed men are my shibori pocket squares-for now, I’ll leave the tailoring to the experts!

mending, again.

last post had me thinking about what gets lost in the rush.  the rush to move ahead.

mending has a way of slowing you down. and besides, i really like the way it ends up looking.

instead of rushing something into the rag bag or even into the charity bag (have you seen this?) you can mend it! and slow down a little bit.

so here are a few new images of recent mending i did while i was away.  seems everyone brought a few things for me to work on-

before the mend

little crosses and a star

small pockets

knee rips

holes from phones rubbing in a pocket-modern problem

pocket patches

this one said “color me!”

crotch rips-extra care and more work

by the way, I updated the workshops and events page.  there is a shibori workshop at the Japanese American National Museum on Sat. Sept. 8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

more mending…

the mending is piling up again…

Image

soon to ready to wear-again

 

i had to send back one item as it didn’t work very well.  it was a pair of faux jeans out of a stretch material. that just doesn’t work well with this technique.  jeans are the ticket. and apparently very cool mended with my indigo dyed scraps-both these are referrals from people who saw others wearing theirs… locally.

i think i’ll post this in SustainAbility…

Image

103º

hot as heck here today- two colors off the poles this morning speak to it-

colorway- 103 degrees hot pink discharged with a red and orange overdye- almost blindingly hot!

Image

hot lava

 

colorway- hot lava  an old favorite that needed restocking black discharged and overdyed with deep red

this colorway always reminds me of the hiwatari matsuri we attended as kids in Japan. kinda burned a memory in my mind…

have some special ordered items to finish that need some handwork so think i’ll cool my heels inside with the air on low and a fan until it cools a bit- lately haven’t been starting out in the studio until later in the day- just too hot!

and last night i saw the international space station fly overhead. it was visible for about 5 minutes as it rose from the southwestern horizon heading northeast and disappearing at  78 degrees at about 8:13 pm.

i wondered what they were doing…

mending mondays

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I’ve decided to group all mending and schedule it for mondays. I’ve always liked organizing my work for production and efficiency and this works for me.
interestingly the mending project has elicited work from far as opposed to near. even though this involves transportation costs I think even that is quite outweighed by the other environmental costs incurred by throwing out and buying new. so mondays it is- a time for mending-likely later in the quiet of the day under the shade of the old avocado tree out back. it’s due to be taken out in the not too distant future- it’s over 70 years old and withering away at this point.

I also like the notes I’ve received from those who were reminded that mending is possible-even preferable- and have taken up needles in hand to mend themselves.

it’s warming up here today and how quickly the wash dries on the line!

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