Did we inspire…?

February 18, 2015

To pick up from my last entry…did we inspire her or what just happened? In truth, we know and we received our authentic taste of the season.

Gethin has discovered a new landscape.

Gethin has discovered a new landscape. He asked to go out & play in it many times during the day.

Everything was ice covered yesterday bringing our world to a stand-still. It also brought quiet, discovery and inspiration.

雪花 (yukibana) - snowflower came to mind, or maybe ice flower.

雪花 (yukibana) – snowflower comes to mind, or maybe ice flower.

seeking “sekka”

February 12, 2015

Sometimes, you have to create your own if Mother Nature isn’t going to accommodate.  Last Saturday and Sunday, certain adventurous women made that work. Their wintery explorations went far beyond what I could have imagined – they were full of the amazing.


Asanoha – hemp leaf pattern in “itajime”


understated perfection

I cannot thank my wonderful students enough for attending, participating and engaging with “the stuff.” It was delightful in so many ways.


a small class, but more room for play

Pullen Arts Center also provided a comfortable, wide open space and other aspects of a studio needed for a dye studio – huge steel sinks and a space for clotheslines. My gratitude to them also for hosting my workshops.

While on the topic, my next workshop will be April 25th and 26th at the NC Museum of Art. More specifics will be upcoming. Currently, information is in the museum’s Preview magazine, it will be available online in the near future.

I suppose the question might be, did we inspire “that” goddess? It remains to be seen, I suppose. I keep seeing hints that winter isn’t quite over for us in the Triangle.  Regardless, 雪花 (yukibana) happened here.

winter’s inspiration

January 29, 2015

Winter isn’t over by a long shot here but I am questioning the weather predictions via my persimmon seeds this last fall. The Farmer’s Almanac said our snowiest periods would be in mid to late January. We haven’t been “snowy” as yet, and I’m wondering – typical for this area.

last January around this time we looked like this.

last January around this time we looked like this.

Still, we are in the cold season and that’s the inspiration for my upcoming winter workshop at Pullen Arts Center.


Will we inspire Mother Nature?

some considerations

January 23, 2015

Back to it after some gloomy, damp winter weather and a bit of a respite. This week, for a few days, the weather turned spring like with welcome sunshine and milder temperatures. The idea of not dipping seemed like a missed opportunity. The vats had a bit of “revamping” with sunbeams to boot.

January dipping

January dipping

Truth be told, I’m preparing for an early February workshop celebrating wintery motifs – an emphasis on sekka/snowflakes and itajime/board clamping. More information can be found here but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.



This month I’ve needed a break, a breather. I’ve taken that point of view as I was “ordered” to do so after giving myself a mild concussion a few weeks back. It has seemed prudent to take things at a more measured pace. However, I’ve returned to old habits – too easy to do. Generally, it’s made me aware that some things need to change.


a crop from a larger photo – early days in Kagoshima. I love the dress and am impressed that she’s wearing a hat!

Another thing occupying my thoughts and activities is a project centering on my mother who celebrates her 90th year in roughly a month. It has involved looking at old photos of her and what surfaces, on one level, is her sense of style. That aspect has carried through her long life.  She always presents herself well.

Over the holidays I read Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible and enjoyed it thoroughly. Between the two, I’ve had many thoughts about my own clothing influences as well as simply considering my mother’s style in the context of her times and the culture in which she immersed herself. Sometimes I wonder “Who was she? What was she thinking?” The stories that come to mind…!

Wishing you the best

December 31, 2014

Shin nen omedetogozaimasu!
Happy New Year!

Mangetsu - the full moon

Mangetsu – the full moon

Wishing all of my readers, friends, family, and the many in my community, the very best in the upcoming year.  I’m grateful to each of you for making this past year a rich, full-life and memorable experience.  Thank you so much.


December 19, 2014

I know, I’m off “schedule” but hey, who’s looking? We’ll blame it on the season, the sky, the temps or whatever works. Routine is not this week. With the approach of holidays or special events, even if it’s quiet, things are still different. That difference or space between, in the sense of stopping to begin again, resting or simply pausing is what I’m looking for.


detail of the gift

There was some small interaction with cloth this last week though – I need it.  It wasn’t what I consider my usual ‘work’ – but a gift. So, the vat was also not neglected and we had some small conversations which we need to continue in the new year.


Kathy’s brie which fed my critique group – there’s message there, somewhere…

Another source of nourishing refreshment – not just literally. The food was delicious, but so was the conversation, laughter and that strong sense of community – my critique group – that has continued to grow over the many years we’ve been together. Sustenance.


a small suggestion of the kimono, obi and other items – a delight.

An old friend gifted me a collection of  ‘treasure’ from Japan. I’ve been looking at the pieces more closely today and sharing their beauty with some friends. One day they’ll move to a different home as they need to be shared, enjoyed and learned from.


autumnal motifs on a favorite silk kimono

Oriba Shibori is finally in place as it should have been long ago. I’ve long had this in mind but some things, even fairly simple ideas, sometimes, take time.

Getting close to that pause…very close.

a short jaunt

December 11, 2014

Last weekend, a short jaunt to Charleston put me in “indigo country”. When I’m there, the draw is history and of course, anything that might speak of indigo and its past.

found this on a morning walk

found this on a morning walk

the old slave mart museum

the old slave mart museum

Time was limited and I didn’t have a set agenda, so anything that turned up was serendipity. Also, in many respects, if indigo was the focus (it wasn’t), historic, downtown Charleston would not have been the place.  Still there were some little treasures to be discovered.

owned by Eliza Lucas Pinkney

owned by Eliza Lucas Pinkney

not historical, but authentic - serendipity

not historical, but authentic – serendipity

One of my most satisfying experiences, though, was visiting the Joseph Manigault house. Our guide was gracious and extremely informative about its former inhabitants, architecture and its significance through the last couple of centuries.

family entrance

family entrance

unusual rounded aspects on either side of the house

unusual rounded aspects on either side of the house

I was surprised to hear that at one point that it came close to being razed for a gas station. Fortunately, it was rescued and has been able to serve other and better purposes.

leading up to the 3rd floor

leading up to the 3rd floor


wreath of cotton

Now, home again and with “things to do” with holidays approaching. The “studio” beckons – the idea of a little focused quiet would do just fine.

ginko & spanish moss

ginko & spanish moss

of a particular season

November 26, 2014


“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” Henry David Thoreau

“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard.” Walt Whitman [he might be thinking of apples, Kaki also fit.]

“On a bare branch a crow is perched – autumn evening” Matsuo Bashō

small discoveries – little treasures

November 20, 2014

This season’s teaching was brought to a gentle conclusion this week. The last pieces were strong though.


autumnal imagery


working with “boshi” – taking it further

Values went deep and patterns were distinct.

intrigue with texture

intrigue with texture


variations in texture, pattern & hue

One thing I found intriguing was seeing how unique each person’s hand is and how it manifested in their pieces. That aspect was consistent from the first to the last class.


stitching in a different context


working with a new challenge – Katano

I suspect this would be more evident with stitching, but I may have to “research” this further. In any case, this has been such a satisfying experience, from the teaching end. My students were a delight – much to be grateful for at the year’s end.


November 13, 2014

One thought with me all week long is simply that the cold is coming. That’s meant “Hurry up and get your dyeing done!” So that was my focus.  As it happens, my class had a week off due to Veteran’s Day, so it has felt like there was more time for other things (as well).

There has been a “project” in the works – more in my mind than the actual doing. I realized that time and temps were slipping away and that this was the week.

Some of these will go to West Jefferson. Others will be in my Etsy shop.

Then there’s been class prep – I’m working on it – enjoying working alongside my students (in spirit), on samples and experiments that my “lessons” seem to conjure up. There’s always a different element or aspect I haven’t considered.



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