I’m suffering from a poverty of words for the New Year. I continue on in the studio as well as with the Daily Dyer blog. It’s quiet business-wise this year so I ponder what comes next. Maybe with this poverty of words, pictures might be the best…
And here are a few of the sillier things I learned during this year’s isolation … ***** -I can’t believe I never learned to put chicken feet in my chicken soup until this year! (try it!) -Planting seeds every week keeps me looking forward. -I benefited from not being one to have my hair cut, colored or permed- I look basically the same! -Same goes for manicures! My indigo blue nails worked just fine! -Millions of women will probably give up bras and heels for good (at least on the daily). -I can teach on Zoom! It’s fun and sometimes hilarious! (look for more in the coming year) -I enjoy isolation more than most. -I like wearing a mask when in public and washing my hands more (didn’t have a cold or the flu all year)! -I do miss teaching in person workshops, especially at JANM. *****
I wonder what others learned…
But on a more serious note… I’m in sympathy with all the people who lost friends and family this year. Each day brings new losses. Today I read that 1 in every 1000 Americans died of covid or covid related illness this year. I had to look that up-to be sure. A very somber statistic with which to end the year. It simply cannot go unheeded. Add to that the related statistic that 1 in every 17 Americans have been infected with covid. I put that here as a reminder to myself of what kind of year this was-not that we are likely to forget, but as a marker of sorts- a solemn headstone for 2020. May we all continue to carry on, to hold up those who are in need of holding, to console those who suffered loss, and to help heal those who face new life and health challenges going forward as a result. In reality, we don’t need to see the New Year roll over to accomplish these humane acts but it seems that the New Year is a celebration that can unite us in these thoughts, so I offer it here.
Seems I did manage to find a few words. Travel well my friends. Continue to be courageous, kind, and creative into 2021. Love to you all. And let’s keep looking up.
New Year, New Post. Who knows what to expect this year? I know I certainly don’t. Some days it feels as if the wheels are coming off the bus, other days, I can remain hopeful. What to do but continue? Beyond this, it seems like the new decade (apparently depending on how you count your years) will bring lots of changes. As far as my studio work goes, shibori, cloth and indigo remain a focal point. But then again, who knows? What about you?
Over the transition from 2019-2020 I had some ideas that I just could not stop thinking about. You know, those sorts of ideas that you just have to actually do to get them out of your system…and see where they might take you. It was one of those sort of things. So I did it once and am about to do it again just to see. At first, I wasn’t sure about it so let it hang around for a while just to let it settle in. I’m still not sure about it (or much of anything these days to be honest), but after letting it be for a while, I’m ready to do another one. It might be “ART” , so I am cautious…
In other activities, the New Year is always a time when I want to obsessively clean, organize and clear out things. A perfect opportunity arose as there is about to be a new instrument brought into the house. You might be thinking a guitar, or something larger like a piano or drumset (but no, we already have plenty of those). It’s a marimba! Being quite large, it required the cleaning out and removal of the space I was formally using as a desk/office area. Which led to the next room, and the next…you can see where this is going. Huge swaths of things have been removed, sorted, relocated, and cleaned to within an inch of their lives. It really is a great activity for the magical in-between-time after Christmas and before New Years. Also, having the local version of whatever virus is going around helps, as it can be done bit by bit without leaving the house yet leaves one feeling incredibly productive. One last corner needs sorting-the dreaded bead and flower making corner. Perhaps tonight. Tomorrow. One day…
As seems to be the way lately, another week has passed before I finish this post. A welcome and steady stream of overnight visitors, the latest virus going round with the never-ending cough, and a workshop at the JANM. Not to mention local politics as we try to rally around some new blood in our local city council as well as put down a couple of tax increasing ballot measures. All this takes time and the studio work has been suffering! So, here’s to getting this thing done today!! NOTE*** Nope! Didn’t happen… Had to call 911 for grandma who is now in the hospital and also take the cat to the vet for an emergency. I live to post another day…
The workshop at the Japanese American National Museum this past weekend two weekends ago was focused on mandala dyeing on silk. I really do love teaching textile dye techniques and watching the participants skill levels improve. Each person comes with their own direction and focus and my job is more of a coach and facilitator. I always demonstrate throughout the workshop so as to give everyone a sense of the possibilities. Here are a few of the mandalas that were made…
I demonstrated a mandala start to finish to begin with so everyone could have a vision of where they were headed. We begin by folding (be as precise as you can!), then drawing our design(stay simple-don’t try to overthink in the beginning!), stitching the design, and finally dyeing (make sure that dye penetrates through all layers-take your time!).
And then some variations on fold and dye-without the clamping as in itajime…some with stitching, some without.
Not sure if I ever added this here but I did make a couple of useful objects using the silk mandalas and various old silks I had here. The mandalas make a lovely pillow cover.
And now, a glimpse of the garden. Since we had quite a bit of rain recently there are lots of seeds sprouting, many of which are weeds and crowding out the wildflowers. (Winners will be determined in future posts.)
We also had a day where we visited the beach with our guests and saw the sea lion rescue center, herons and the tidepools. Whales were spouting as they traveled along the coast.
Even longer than I remembered, the moon has figured into my work. I was reminded by this photograph. As I recall, I was sitting outside the local community pool, likely babysitting. I did a lot of that in HS. I used most of the $ to buy art supplies, fabric to sew clothes, and parts to upgrade my 10 speed. I’m not sure why my pieces were hanging on the fence here. Maybe some sort of “show”? The piece on the left was my first try at batik. The one on the right was a hooked wool rug from a design I did on paper. Even back then I was fiddling with color and fiber. I was in the 10th grade, so about 16 years young.
about 44 years ago in Burke, Virginia
My sister just digitized a trove of old photos (almost 800). There are some classics there. I pulled a few more to post on FB for the Yokohama Girls. (I’ll tag you there once I get them posted.)
And a special thanks to our dad Cale, who was a photographer his whole life. His collection of slides was immense, many since discarded unfortunately. I wish I had them now- especially the 1000’s from Japan in the 60’s. Would be fascinating to see some of them now.
And into the New Year we continue to travel. I plan on making a giant pot of Pho tomorrow to start the year off.
Travel well my friends. Continue to be courageous, kind, and creative into 2018.
I am seeking to set a mood in my life this coming year. The mood is peaceful, healthy, green (my favorite color!), with blurred edges mostly (but with some straight lines and hard edges for structure). I will fight when necessary, keeping the path in focus through all times.
If I seek to change something in or about the world around me…I will think of this quote:
“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” –Paul Coelho
Additionally, I will remind myself that to recognize life’s beauty is a gift, to share it a treasure. I will seek treasure.
Wonder up- not down.
It’s been a belief of mine that we need more wonder in the world. We need it now more than ever. Apparently, Socrates said, “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” I looked it up and it has been argued that this was actually said by Aristotle, or even Plato as he was interpreting Socrates’ ideas on the matter. Another interpretation yields this- “Wisdom begins in wonder“. No matter who said it, when or where , it is a timeless thought, don’t you think? The Greek word “filosofia” means “lover of wisdom” as in philosophy.
So, I will continue to seek wisdom through wonder. To ask the question- “what if?”
Turning the page now…see you on the other side.
Love, enjoy, wonder-
Ahhh… my last post of the year. I’m just going with the flow…
going with the flow in 2014
I sat down with a length of silk shibori ribbon some beads, a few pearls, a shell or two, some silk and before long a tide pool began to form…I just went with the flow.
Before long, an anemone appeared and a starfish crawled out from beneath some seaweed. The moon in the form of a shell (found on a walk along Hayama beach) turned the tides and the current swept sparkling bubbles of air along on the adventure. A bright star appeared reflected in the calm of one of the pools before waves washed over and changed the composition. Seaweed grasses formed along the edge and swayed with the tidal surges altering my view of this seascape moment by moment.
I want to extend many thanks to so many people who traveled along with me this past year. From indigo and silk, to Japan and back, from show to show, over the internet via all the social networks and email, through workshops here and there, to the folks at the Japanese American National Museum– my, this list could get pretty long! Through yards and yards of silk shibori ribbons I have come to know so many more of you and your myriad talents and passions. Thank you.
Of course there are friends whispering to me in the background like Jude and Dar, and Richard, and Donna, Velma and Wendy, and Kathleen in SF, Fumiko in Japan and so many more of you who put your whole self into this thing called life and making.
Of course I add to that gratitude thanks to Phil who puts up with the daily shibori report -speaking of going with the flow of things around here- and having to move shibori off the keyboards, the drums and the pan on a daily basis. As I write this he and Trev are off surfing during his break from grad school. And to the boys- thanks for being the people you are which allows me to be me and not worry (too much) about you as you find your way in life.
Believe we must-in ourselves and in others worth believing in.
So as the tide ebbs and rolls out on 2013, and 2014’s New Year’s tides surge and swell, I say- go with the flow- become part of it, let it carry you along, be swept away by your passions into a New Year of love, compassion and caring for our world and everything within it.
(happy new year!)
beginning with an open mind which we all have-a skylike mind. A new mind, a new year. a new beginning. a childlike mind. looking upward.
looking beyond boundaries, beyond categories
looking, seeing, and best of all-wondering. welcome to 2012!
a visual “lookback” of this past here at shiborigirl…
and finally, many thanks to all of you here-the community that stops in every now and then to visit, to add a word or two, to agree or disagree-to contribute something thoughtful or just to silently pass through.
may we all continue on in whatever way we do…happy new year!