I open up my wordpress site to write this post and see that almost 3 weeks have passed since the last post! Has reality melted time? Dali’s Persistence of Memory comes to mind. I’ve been busy, but time seems incongruous with reality. Maybe it’s my memory or perception of time that can be faulted. In any case…
It’s time for a new Moonmates tutorial. If you recall, they are free, but don’t let that discourage you from contributing using the pay as you wish link in the sidebar. In these times, all contributions are welcomed. Today’s tutorial is a bit different as we had lots of rain here the week I started working on the video, so I took a little different approach. I think you might like it. I also cleared out all the orders for the moons and ribbon scrap bags so if you were waiting for your moonsets, you may have them now or they are in transit. I also restocked the shop with moonsets.
In the news over the past week was an an announcement that Quilts Inc. was not going to refund vendors for their booth fees from the cancelled Pittsburg Spring Market. Then after what appears to be a virtual landslide of negative social media commentary lashing out at their decision, they found the money, turned that decision around and are now refunding booth fees. I know many who were relieved to hear it! My question is what are they doing regarding the scheduled Long Beach Quilt Festival scheduled July 9-11? They have yet to announce any cancellation of the show- although from everything I am hearing in the city and the state, there will not be any large events happening that early. Lots of vendors are wondering and have sent in booth fees. I seriously doubt that the public will be rushing out to attend large events this soon. I just received a cancellation for a show I was going to do in early October here in LA. If I were them, I’d get ahead of that and announce the cancellation now. The future is very uncertain isn’t it?
Working on moons this past week, I made a little discovery. I became obsessed with the patterns on the little blocking fabrics I was using to make a particular type of moon. I started setting them aside and then altering them in divergent ways. The rain, having driven me inside to work, I started arranging them in variously. I settled on one layout and started piecing them together using Jude’s non-paper piecing method. I have been enjoying the lookback review she is doing on her blog of all the techniques she uses in her work and I wanted to practice a bit with them. Now pieced and ready to attach to a background cloth, I have it hanging on the wall gathering thoughts on how I want to proceed. I’m leaning toward simplicity and see it as a bit of a meditation piece. I think I’ll use Jude’s glue stitch to mount this on the background cloth.
Several pieces have been added to the wall and are gathering thoughts on what they might become. here’s another…
Again, the woven moon is a takeoff on Jude’s cloth weaving technique. The background moon is dyed on an old grainsack that had been repaired. The lower moon is on some old thick silk organza I found in Japan. It looks like a planet with a gaseous cloud swirling around it. Who knows where this one will go? I hope I don’t have to wait for more rain to find out. It might be quite a while…
The post-rain garden is looking really wonderful and flowery. We pulled the rest of the beets and daikon for pickling, making room for more summer veggies. Another round of beets, lettuces and beans are in the works. Seeds are sprouting everywhere. The weed pulling continues…
Since we last visited, the full moon came and went and we are approaching the new moon soon. I’ve been playing with new ideas for moons and they become more complex.
Perhaps you would like to visit the shop?
If you have previously pondered purchasing one of the pieces in the shop under the Zakka category, you might want to take advantage of the marked down prices there. A lot of work went into these pieces and while I hate to do it, they aren’t doing me any good sitting here in my inventory. Maybe today is your lucky day-and mine too!
I went out into the studio today and found this beautiful heart shape in which crystals had formed on my work table. It was a result of a session of making indigo moons in the chem vat. I had to run out and take care of some things without cleaning up my table outside. I had made a few indigo hearts too.
Still lots going on here. Helping someone transition to hospice is walking sacred ground isn’t it? It can be everything…exhausting, peaceful, frustrating, loving, giving, taking and more. But doing a little each day… day by day…
and then a crystalline heart just appears…to remind you.
On this day forty seven years ago I was 11 years old and living in Yokohama, Japan. Our family had earned the privilege of a home leave visit back to the US after having been there since 1965 and my dad having signed up for another stay in Japan.
It was the day my obsession with the moon began.
I had been dropped off to visit at the house of one of my best friends (prior to leaving WA) in Gig Harbor WA. Her mom put on the TV to watch the moon landing which for us -in and of itself something of a novelty since we didn’t watch TV in Japan.
In the closet was her very pregnant cat having a whole box full of kittens. We ran back and forth from the closet to the TV reporting with screams of delight, “There’s ANOTHER kitten!!” Running back to the closet, we named each kitten after the moon mission. We started out with Neil, Apollo, Moon, Lunar, Armstrong, Rocket and others. We started to run out of names! There ended up being 9 kittens in all. Such an exciting day.
It stayed with me all my life. Cats and moons. We can all relate to both in some way. Last night was another full moon. I hope you looked up, just for a moment. If not, don’t worry- it will still be there tonight.
Some things take a long time to figure out. I wondered about this quite some time ago while participating in one of Jude’s classes. Then I set it aside. Recently while working on something new, I realized exactly what this was for. And now I’m wondering again. Getting into the Spirit of things.
I’m redoing my indigo fermentation vat this weekend. It’s been a while in coming. I emptied it out (25-30 gallons) about 2 months ago when I was redoing a fence line that it sat along and it needed to be moved. At the time I was also having some issues with fruit fly larva in the vat and wanted to have a fresh start and see if I could solve that issue.
The vat will take at least a week to ferment to a usable state and in addition I need to receive an order of ground indigo from Cheryl at Aurora Silks. Coincidentally, she is having a sale on the 1 Kilo size ground natural indigo and offers free shipping. I only had 4 oz on hand so made the vat up with that to get it started and will add the rest of the indigo when it arrives in a couple of days.
I am adding a fine mesh cover to the top of the vat since the lid to this container is not a complete seal. Additionally, I am making a large net bag to drop into the vat while dyeing to keep all the organic materials and sludge to the bottom and away from the cloth as I work. It’s really only an issue when working with larger open weave fabrics which I seem to use a lot these days. It saves having to pick out the particles by hand or resort to lots of water wasting rinsing. Water is precious here.
When I disposed of the old vat I balanced the ph with some citric acid down to about 7 and used the liquid on the ornamental drought tolerant landscaping. The rest of the sludge in the bottom I added to the compost and was ready to start again. This vat had been in use for 4-5 years.
I am adding some video of the process of this new vat to the student forum for the online indigo workshop I have in my shop. Here is a little bit of day two progress…
August 6-7 is the final summer indigo workshop at the Japanese American National Museum. Signups are through the museum here.
Last time this is some of what participants did…
And likely,since Jude had been busy with moons, folks have been ordering the moon assortments which has kept me and my studio helper hard at work…
Creating circles of inclusion. Widening circles.
The circle as a natural shape.
A mindset of circles.
Remember when we were children? We sat in circles. We could easily play circle games. Easily drop hands to include another in the circle.
The illimitability of a circle.
There is really something special about receiving a handmade gift from someone who used what they purchased from me to make it. It returns to me transformed. It has new life and energy that has been added. It reminds me why I do what I do and why I enjoy it. When I send something out I get to wonder what will become of it. Sometimes I receive emails with photos or links showing what folks have done or made with their purchases. I receive stories. Some are simple and heartwarming, some are funny, some are sad, and some are transformative. They are all good. There arises a circle -like the moon, a give and take -like the tides, that connects us. So although it hardly seems enough for all these riches, I want to thank you once again. Thanks for sharing your abundance of creativity-with me and all the others in your lives.
indigo moon detail by Therese S-H
mounted on a card, many tiny stitches on indigo and pomegranate by Therese S-H
When I make new things I explore them a bit knowing that once I add them to my shop offerings the receivers will expound upon my ideas or create their own- even better and more wonderfully creative things. This has been an intention of mine for a long time now. I wondered why-how I came to it. I’ve had a lot of years to come to understand why that is- too much to explain in a simple post. It’s enough for me to understand it in my own life.
I returned here the other day to reread this post upon the news that my favorite ceramist Harrison McIntosh passed away locally at the age of 101. You can read about his life here. I can’t really add much to all that has been written about him and his life/work except to say that I have really admired his ability to integrate the two things seamlessly (and perhaps a message to him to tell Woody I said hello).
Harrison McIntosh (screen capture from Google)
And if all this isn’t enough, with everything that has been going on here I did not do my usual announcing or my upcoming (this weekend!) workshop at the JANM. We will be focusing on mandalas on vintage silks and there are still spots available. You can sign up here through the museum-and I apologize for the late notice here.
There’s more, but enough for now…