Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beautiful Cloth

Rainbow dyed Habotai 
While at Arrowmont in 2005, I took an intense 
week-long Shibori dyeing workshop. At that time, 
was painting, sandblasting and building stained glass windows. 
Dyeing and fiber weren't on my radar at all. In fact, 
I distinctly recall standing in the work room wondering 
what the heck I was doing there! (Don't worry, I figured it out.)
Mokume shibori on shantung
  Continuing to dye for a few more years, I reached a point   
where I no longer wanted to tread the path of synthetic 
commercial dyes. I learned about the company Earth Hues 
and discovered the world of green dyeing.
Arashi shibori on habotai
What has me walking down memory lane & pulling out my fabrics?
This past week my dear friend Marjorie gave me a gift
by India Flint (what a power house!) 

It's just like Marjorie to know exactly what to give.
The book brings together my love of dyeing, my interest in 
dye traditions the world over, and my penchant for 
constructing things, especially garments and quilts. 
That "green" and "sustainable" are the cornerstones 
of India Flint's work is the icing on the cake. 
For the next two mornings I soaked up every page 
of Eco Colour. Feeling re-energized about green dyeing 
and the potentialI knew that as soon as the snow melts 
I'd need an outdoor dye lab and all that goes with it, 
from a dyer's garden to a fire pit. 
Well, that same day I spent some time Pinning 
and this appeared:

Kantha cloth, color, patterns, & textures - they all feel like home. 
They speak to me as much as Alabama Chanin's work, as much as 
silk garments from the 1500-1800's, as much as any 
beautifully crafted garment. 
*Sensory overload*
So, rather than sewing bags, toys or quilts for the shop today, 
I'm taking a delightful detour researching & drawing, 
plotting & planning my summer time "green" endeavor. 
What fabric confections will I create? 
How will I fashion my outdoor dye lab? 
What seeds should I order? 
Where to hunt for iron and aluminum pots? 
When the snow melts, I can hunt on the ground for 
fallen branches and decaying leaves. 
I don't know how this sounds to you, but to me it's all very exciting. 

My dear friend Marjorie
Thank you Marjorie for setting in motion 
what will surely be a lovely "green" summer!

If you're a green dyer or have a dyer's garden, 
I'd love any tips, advice or experiences you can offer. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Seeing Red

This just might be my favorite word, and now 
I'm seeing it in red, hot pink and orange a-plenty 
as I stock my Etsy Shop!  
You can now find new landing pads for your mug & teapot,
 or those that belong to someone you love.  
Plus, look for my LOVE mats coming very soon (above), 
just in time for Valentine's Day.
Add favored tea or coffee and you'll definitely win hearts!

 I came out of the Studio in time to see this morning's sunrise. 
Four degrees.
When it's this cold, someone winds up getting 
gently tossed outside:

 Can Stanley say cabin fever?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Intrepid Explorer


I can best describe what 
Pinterest is to me by 
calling it my Great Escape. 
It's a most creative 
time suck, and for that 
reason alone I love it.
Follow me, 
and I'll follow you. Deal?
C'mon, it'll be an adventure!

Wait! What about last week's lampshade, you ask?
Let me assure you the sugar starch method was a BUST!
I've since purchased wall paper paste and I'm pleased 
to report it's working like a charm. While I didn't intend 
for this to become a several week project, I do hope 
you'll come back next week and check on my progress. 
Hopefully, you'll see working lampshade hanging over 
my little corner of the Studio. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Open Studio Sunday

 Lace and the warm glow of orange. 
A welcome sight during these frosty winter days.

 Hopefully this crochet lampshade will soon be 
suspended over my Grandmother's chaise in the Studio.
It will go a long way to turning that corner of my 
Studio into a perfect place to curl up with tea & pretty yarn. 
Cross your fingers because I'm using a sugar starch recipe 
I found online and I'm not exactly convinced it will work. 
Stay tuned....

 My favorite balloon blower-upper.

 Here's a look at what's happening in the Studio today: 
happily drawing & cutting my own stencil. 

 Once my original is drawn and the stencil is made, 
I transfer my design to organic knit. 
I hand cut select areas and then begin the slow but lovely 
process of working toward this end:

And what is all of this for? One of those seeds 
planted a long time ago is finally sprouting
I'm sharing my process with you here each 
Sunday so we can see it grow together.

Have a week full of smiles & do some thing fun!
I hope you'll come back next Sunday to see 
the crochet lampshade, for better or worse.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Open Studio Sunday

"Happiness comes not from having more,
not from having less,
but from wanting what you have."
- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project 

The photo above is an assortment of  
what is under way in the Studio and what's to come; 
stitches from today and fragments of the past.
Logging in countless hours already, 
I'm pleased to say that I still can't get enough. 
An exciting new body of work for an exciting new year -
now that's music to my ears, and so is
Brandi Carlile:

"Dream" your way into a spectacular New Year!

Happy happy every one, 
and I'll meet you here in the Studio again next Sunday.