Becoming December…it arrives,and here, we never know if we will don flip flops and short sleeves or warm boots and sweaters inside the house. This year we are wearing warm shoes and sweaters. Heavy snow in the local mountains is a welcome and beautiful sight from the hilltop nearby. The ginko is busily dropping its golden carpet of leaves on the back garden, mulching it with beauty. Narcissus are blooming early. I even had the first saffron crocus bloom and more are on the way. The pomegranates exhausted themselves (and me!), and the persimmons are ripening daily. I’m sharing them with friends and neighbors and even this (not so) little guy…late at night.
In the contradiction of clashing seasons, hand fulls of strawberries can be picked every few days as they are planted where the sun seeks them out and happily seem to produce year round there-at least so far. The late eggplant and tomatoes are still heavily laden, though with this recent cold streak they will definitely slow down, but are welcoming the rain. The cold and wet has slowed the outdoor studio work but still has not vanquished me completely from getting the necessities done.
This coming weekend is the last JANM workshop featuring indigo and shibori and we will make the most of it. Many regular participants will come together for this year end creativity laboratory. No need to put the link here as it has been sold out for quite a while. There is however a “save the date” list of upcoming workshops at JANM to sign up for as soon as the museum gets them listed. You can view it here. **EDIT** JANM just emailed me to say that the January Mandala Workshop is up on the website and taking registrations. Here is the link. See the full description on the calendar page here.
Two weekends ago I taught an in-studio flower making workshop with a small group. There were some beautiful results…a garden of beauties! I’ll be adding another one of these soon. Let me know if you are interested.
A post or two ago I introduced a new item into the shop-the shibori ribbon beaded necklace kit. At the time I had not finished the instructional video but the orders received kicked me into gear getting this done. I’m offering it up to you here (free youtube video) if you are interested in seeing how this piece gets made. Perhaps you have some shibori ribbon waiting to be made into something beautiful as a gift. I am also adding this video link into the sidebar under the Feeling Free(r) page/list.
I also just added some new Mooncloth card sets to the shop. Previously, I have had photo card sets using images I have taken of my work but these card sets have actual mooncloths attached to the front of the card that can be removed and used in a project. Sets come in 3’s or 6’s, are blank inside and include an envelope. I hope you enjoy them.
I just got back from picking up my son Trevor from the airport. He has been in Japan for the past three weeks on a long awaited trip there to make new friends and surf. It was an exciting adventure and he spent time in Kyushu, Amami Oshima, and Chiba-all prime surf areas. But one of the exciting things for me was that he met up with my long time blog friend Jan Hillstead Fujikawa in Nagasaki! Long time readers of this blog might know her from her blog Oh Brother! (WhereIsSheNow) She started blogging in 2007 and hasn’t updated since 2014 but we keep up through FB and other social media. She’s an expat of over 30 years and I hope I get to meet her myself next trip. But it was kind of her to spend the day with Trevor and he also got to meet her son! In Amami Oshima, Trevor was able to meet up with our friend and surfer Ko, who showed us around Amami when we were there earlier this year. Trevor also started a blog highlighting his trip which you might enjoy. This is his first blogging experience. His blog, day one starts here.
It’s another rainy day here and the rain barrels are already overflowing. The cactus has finally stopped blooming- it was a solid 2 months of nightly blooms! Pretty amazing really. Here are a few photos collected recently from around the garden.
And a few more of some shibori ideas for this weekends workshop…shibori images on greeting cards for the holiday. I did one with a dove but tried to get too fancy and put a twig with leaves in its mouth which complicated and distorted the image making the head of the bird unclear. Will redo… Lesson: when working on small images, keep it fairly simple and use a good fine linen for best results!
Spring has taken hold here and the weather is pretty much perfect. Mid 70’s for the past couple of weeks. We enjoy it now while we get the yard in shape and the summer garden planted before months and months of heat sets in. Then we enjoy the yard in the evenings and early mornings…
It’s too bad I can’t spend all of my time outside right now but I’ve been busy with a couple of projects. My website has been needing a redo for a couple of years now since Apple stopped supporting iWeb and I have not been able to update it. I finally decided to switch everything over to a new Squarespace site where I can easily add my own webshop and get rid of the BigCartel shop I’ve been using for the past several years. Of course I am keeping the wordpress blog which you can also access from the new website.
To tempt you to visit the new shop, I added some new shibori ribbon colors and some of the new shibori for you to explore. For all orders over the next two weeks I am including a sheet of bead embroidery beading foundation.
I also finished a new piece and made a little video with it.
I had fun with it, broke away from it here and there for some gardening and perspective. I never really have a solid plan when I start one of these and I think it helps me not get “stuck”. I always give myself permission to change my very loose plan at any time. Often something seems like a good idea in theory but when you get into it you realize it is wholly impractical if not completely impossible. So, a fun puzzle to solve. I also tend to go through stages where I don’t really like the piece but from past experience I’ve learned to push past that and it almost always takes a turn for the better from that point. The point is not to give up on it. To finish. For me, with beading I find it hard to go back to a piece if I let it sit too long.
The new website also has all the info up for the 2019 Silk Study Tour to Japan. There are still about 5 spots (out of 16) left so… check it out! I added a bunch of photos from the tour there as well.
The portfolio page is kinda fun and if you’ve been following along for a while you might see some old favorites there. One of the main reasons for redoing the website was so I could keep my Events page updated. There right now are the 3 upcoming workshops at the Japanese American National Museum. I will soon add my upcoming classes at the Houston International Quilt Festival in November.
As always, my website is always a work in progress and I will be tweaking it here and there.
here’s a few photos from around here since the last post…
Buddy & Toby
Phil & Joe entertaining at the FOLAR river cleanup
I took some inspiration from this photo (turns out it wasn’t taken at the LA Arboretum but in Herefordshire England-my son was pulling my leg) and also from an email I received from someone wanting me to make some special silk shibori flowers for a sacred event. I dyed up some spring wisteria- summer wedding (kekkon no natsu) colors.
Then I heard the sea calling me. Maybe it’s a pisces thing. Definitely a water (mizu) thing.
Check out the link in the first line to see the current schedule if you didn’t get the newsletter direct to your email inbox. You can sign up for my ribbon and dye class in Cincinnati or the indigo workshop at the Japanese American National Museum by using the links and info there. The online class is gathering and there is just one week left before i close the registration. If you want to see what the supply list looks like, you can see the class setup here. All workshop material kit orders received to date are shipped so look out for yours if you ordered one.
The Silk Study Tour to Japan is filled and I am busy with various details. The gathered group is excited and we are getting to know each other a bit.
I just discovered that I am going to still be in Japan for the annual Arimatsu shibori festival! Held the first weekend of June every year, this is just too good to miss! While searching online for a nearby ryokan, I discovered that Yoshiko Wada has a tour planned to Japan for this event, if you are interested. I did not know of this tour before! It is quite a bit different from ours although it looks like they will also be going to Kiryu. Looking at the page it appears as if there are spots available. I don’t know much about her tours except for what I have read online here so check it out!
So now it’s off to finish taxes and get ready for Puyallup and more…
mata-ne! (listening to Japanese POD101 daily now…)