On the Shores of the Tolt River

When I found the bones, I knew I listened to the right small voice, the one who whispered- look- that is where you need to be, by the water with the smooth stones.

The paths were overgrown but used, I had to duck to avoid thorns and spider webs. They still caught at my clothes and my hair. Grateful for the jeans, boots and sleeves I had chosen to wear that morning, I walked carefully, searching for a jumping point across the creek that lead to the river.

I turned a corner and found the bones.

Then a feather, grey and covered with dew. Then another, and another. It seemed that somebeast had eaten well the night before. The feathers were beautiful in their finality.

I knew I was in the right place for my heart to start smoothing over the raw splintered-sharpness it had shattered into in February. February, when she (my Kelly) died.

I found small blue flowers growing, tucked into the tall grasses.

A red leaf, floating by the shore

I piled stones together, for the gone ones, for me- baptizing them with river water, which was warmer than I expected.

One, two, three splashes of water. I took the smallest stone with me, and left another there.

Going back I took a different trail.

The right-wrong one. I didn’t find the way back to the parking lot.

I found blackberries and lichen. I ate the wild sweetness, marveled at the green puzzles.

Careful scrambling over fallen trees, retracing my steps more than once before returning to the river to start again. I took the same path back, or thought I had, but I did not pass the bones again.

Two stones came back with me, and I left there feeling hot and hungry, knowing it was time to move forward.

I drove across corn fields and up mountain roads to a beloved friend's home. She fed me more berries and we took care to sooth each other's hurts. The air up there smelled resinous, clean. The light was clear and bright.

My brother and his wife made me welcome in their lives. We laughed and drank and traded stories over meals and home brewed beer and yards of fabric and miles of walking. 

Life is moving forward, the only way it can flow. I'm moving forward- the way I know they would want me to grow, even as I leave them further behind, they are ahead of me, next to me.

The trip I took- the whole thing- has left me revived, feeling the most Me that I’ve felt in months that feel like ages.

I’m glad I went.

(Seattle, you’ve been so good to me)

{click the photos to see them in their fullness}

Finding the right size for your Karla Dress

Figuring out your size for your Karla Dress shouldn't stress you out.

Really! I promise!

In my last post (the outfit one) I was wearing the XL size. In the photos below I'm wearing a size large. The difference in fit isn't super obvious, but I can feel that it's a little more fitted across my bust and shoulders, especially when I take it on and off. The XL size is a little easier to slip on and off, and has a little more fabric in the skirt; it's also a touch longer.

I hope this helps! As always, feel free to ask me any questions you have (there's a contact form on the About page)

How to wear the Karla Dress

any way you want to! But here are some of my favorite ways to wear mine!  

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With jeans

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Still chilly? Add a button up shirt or cardigan. This combination is one I'm going to be living in this autumn.

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Or just a button up (boots, sandals, sneakers, all of my shoes fit well with this dress)

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Leggings and a pullover! (another favorite combo!) 

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Just leggings, and a back view too

And here is how the fabric moves on you! 

Splashes Dress

The truth is already there

The truth is, you've done the work, measured out the risks and benefits. It's time to put your research and practice to work. You're farther than you realize. Get out there, pull the right thread, and it will all start to straighten out. We use weaving metaphors because they are the truth. Put in the work, throw the shuttle and soon, fabric will form. The path becomes clear. Walk it proudly.

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One for me

I couldn't resist finally making a Karla Dress for myself. I'm glad I branched out of my normal blue and green! 

Silk Windows

I found an old blanket, silk that I had dyed and hand & machines stitched together. It was attached to a base far to heavy for it's delicate nature. But look at it now, the tearing and gaps are perfect. 

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Summer of Basics: Check in!

Ummm... guys- where did July go? As we're rolling right into August, I figure it's time for a check in on my Summer of Basics list! 

It's going really well and has be WAY more fun than I expected, and I was expecting a grand ol' time! I am 100% into making all of my clothes for forever. My new goal (ish) is to order a chunk of fabric every month or so- provided that I've finished the previous project (or am close enough to it that I will finish it by the time the fabric arrives and is washed and prepped). It feels SO good to wear something I've made almost every day- I'm looking forward to it happening everyday! I also need to make more things, so the items I've got done can take a break from being worn nearly non-stop! 

Alright, let's get back to the list. I've been rolling right along, upon review!

  • The Ebony Dress is finished and I want to live in it. I've ordered a 100% linen knit fabric that I'm hoping will also be a good fit for this pattern. 
  • The silk chiffon dress is also done and super fantastic, so light and summery feeling! It'll get it's own post soon, promise! 
  • I've finished my "wearable muslin" Archer button up shirt. It's also a winner. The next one's fabric is here and waiting to be washed and cut. I have to say, this was a fun challenge! So many little pieces and precision. I'll give it a dedicated post as well. I'm so glad I went with snaps! 
  • The red pants are ready to be cut out. I just need to spread out across the living room to do that and haven't had a chance. The muslin I made gave me some great modifications so I'm excited to see them finished!
  • Last but not least the Zooey yarn sweater continues at pace. I've got the back, sleeve and 2/3 of the front done! I had to order more of the brown, since I decided to do my stripes as 8 rows & 6 rows instead of even ones. Totally worth it. 

Whew! I think that's it. OH! I also need to show you my personal Karla dress, it's pretty spiffy and I love it. 

Place (Sacred Space)

I'm newly embracing 'Writer' as part of my self-seen image. It all started when I submitted to Rachel's call for writing to support her thesis work. I pulled out some thoughts I had been playing around with, popped them into her form and hit send. Then I promptly forgot about it. 

Then she let me know my work was chosen to be included. So I sent her a title (after asking her to send back what I sent in- I had forgotten to save a copy!) and while I was tickled, I didn't know what to expect. I imagined the writing she collected would be printed and hung with her textile work, then taken down and tucked away. Or perhaps she'd compile them into a hand-made zine for the opening night. You know, nothing official, but still special.

Nope.

Dudes, I was wrong. She made a BOOK. It has a UPC code and an ISBN number and when I received it in the mail, I was gobsmacked. It was beyond  and totally surreal, to see my name in the table of contents, and see my words printed in a real book. It's called Place (Sacred Space) and it is beautiful.

It was the best surprise. 

The whole thing is thoughtfully pulled together, and I've been savoring the pages here and there. It's an honor to be included in such a collection.

If you'd like one for your own shelves, here's her site.

I borrowed these images from Rachel :) 

Smoothing the Hurt, Feeling All of It

Solace in creation

When the world is upside down and feels underwater

I turn to creating;

baking

sewing

dyeing

sorting colors

clean spaces in the studio

pulling beads out of drawers and hanging the strands on the walls

cutting

tearing

pressing leather into shapes

spending time at the lapidary wheels, communing with stones

tea

ink to paper

watercolors rinsed from brushes

steam curls from the bath

tears down cheeks

oil blends that comfort

There is more, this list could be endless, it is endless, this is but a snippet of soul-soothing. My friends are here, too. The ones that know the hurt deeply themselves. The ones who might not understand, but see it and smooth out the ruffled fur and feathers of my heart. I love you all, you know. Deeply, closely and from far away. I need you just the same, and more every day. Love is the answer, love is the question, love is the path I know and choose in little and large ways. The duality of pain and love takes my breath away, I am learning to live with the sharper edges of love.

When I find a blue feather, lost tobacco, pieces of stone and wood, know that I remember you, you far away souls. I miss you and I love you, my dear ones.

{for my Kellys, especially}
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