Grey-Warp Towels

New towels, on an all grey warp, mixing in with coral, aqua, cream and butter yellow weft. I'm taking these to the Finder's Keepers Market today, and will update the shop as soon as I can with any that don't find a home! If you're in Charlotte, come out to Noda Brewing (N.Tryon location) from 1-6! 

Working, Warping

Adjusting tension, measuring yards, tying knots, cranking the yarn through, detangling as I go. 

Suprises

 

We had half a snow day in Charlotte this past Sunday. I woke up to steady flakes and a decent ground cover. Not expecting it to last, I carried on with my morning weekend rituals, tea, starting bread to bake, weaving quietly. 

It kept coming. The snow was piling on to branches and blossoms alike. I grabbed my camera, slipped on clogs and a coat and managed to capture these strange little images. 

Snow on cherry blossoms, such a lovely combination of opposites. 

Perfect timing

I've been noticing little gifts, sparks of reminders to breathe, stitch, walk, breathe.

Two herons flying across the road, beautiful and gangly

A hawk zooming through trees

Hooting of the barred owls outside

The different types of daffodils in our own yard

Being invited to share more than I submitted

This Shaker song, posted on a new-to-me blog, which I learned years ago, when I was in choir. It always makes me happier to hear the tune, and, as it turns out, reading the words also bring cheer. 

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

(by Joseph Brackett, 1848)

If you don't know it, do take a moment to look up the tune, it's bright and humble and sounds like springtime.

I hope you are well, in your world

Dogwood.jpg

A Brain Full

I had the delightful honor of learning from Lisa Klakulak of Strongfelt fame a few weeks ago. Not only did I get to learn techniques that would've taken me ages to figure out, but I got to spend time in one of my favorite places, Asheville NC. 

study one

study one

I lost track of how many times my brain exploded within the first few hours of the four-day workshop.

Study two, mid-felting

Study two, mid-felting

She presents techniques and goes into mathematical formulas to figure out how to manipulate the wool to do what she wants it to do. Seriously awesome, if you're interested in expanding your understanding of wet felting, get thee to her workshops! 

Study three, compared to original resist template.

Study three, compared to original resist template.

Thank you for sharing so generously, Lisa!

Kelly Call

I had more written, about this loss, and deleted it. I said what I needed to say this past Sunday, in front of so many who were also touched by Kelly's light. I also still needed to acknowledge this here, with you. 

Kelly and Chance, at our wedding (she made the cake, of course)

Kelly and Chance, at our wedding (she made the cake, of course)

l miss you, my dearest. I don't know how I'm supposed to renovate the kitchen without your guidance, or where you wanted to go on the cheese tour. I know I will always value every second I spent with you, and I love you. Every time I bake, I will think of you. 

We will be okay, great, even. But we will never be the same. 

Spaces Between. A Reflection

Where do they come from, your cocoons? What are they?

These are questions I get everytime someone sees my work, sometimes it’s the third, fourth, or tenth time they’ve seen the cocoons.  They’re puzzles to their viewers, and puzzles to their maker as well. The night at Goodyear Arts, I was happy to attempt to answer these questions over and over again. I got a closer to the truth of them, and for that, I'm grateful all over again. (My favorite part was telling people they could touch the cocoons, gently. It was the BEST.)

I struggled to tell people what they are, because I don’t understand fully where they come from.  I found myself (a hand talker) reaching into my ribcage to hand them the answer instead. I explained that instead of giving each a public name, they were meant to be named by each viewer. To hold the space they need most in their heart. To go home with whomever connects the deepest. 

As to what the cocoons from... They come from within, from the place of truth and magic and ancient knowing. I am the vessel, not the sculpture.  They tell me what colors they need. I ask them more questions than I receive answers.  They let me know when they’re finished. Sometimes they need to rest. Or maybe I need the rest, so I can listen and hear their whispers more clearly. Other times  they get loud, demanding attention. Picking at my brain when I’m not working on it, like an itchy tag on a dress. They take up space, holding intentions and reminders in each nook and cranny.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath before I start stitching. Letting my mind settle, like leaves after a breeze. Letting my heart ease, and open to the task at hand. My hands wander, working with my eyes in search of balance between wool, beads and stitches.

The physical weight of embellished wool felt calls me forward. It’s just as much about the needle pushing through the fibers as it is the finished piece.

They’re meant to change the room they’re in.  Holding their own space for the viewer, changing how we react to the familiar room.  Hanging things from ceilings has always fascinated me, how it can make a large room smaller, or a tiny space more welcoming. There’s something about it.

Fiber arts are my heart’s work in this lifetime. The medium is transformational and broad, challenging my boundaries and comfort zones. I adore that something so soft and gentle can push me so hard to find my Truths. 

Spinning in Sunlight

Fingering to lace-weight, spun singles in Merino wool. Plans for weaving, to see what happens. It's been nice to spin again, falling back into the rhythm of wheel and wool.

Wearing myself

It all started when we got new wardrobes in our bedroom last year. Our 101 year old house seriously lacks in built in closet space. With the addition of clean, white storage space for my clothes I suddenly found myself judging what 'should' be allowed to hang there. 

My taste in clothes hadn't changed, but my priorities had. I didn't want to fill my new wardrobe with quick fashion that I knew would only last through the season. I wanted handmade, durable, high quality clothes to fill that space! 

I realized that my wallet wouldn't support that decision. Not all at once. So I started searching for patterns that I could sew myself. I found Sonya Philip, of 100 Acts of Sewing. She's amazing, what started out as a personal project has blossomed into a rolling movement. Her patterns are written in the clearest language I've EVER seen. The lines are simple, perfect for a basics-loving lady such as myself. So I took the plunge and plunked down some digital dollars and waited for my pattern to show up. (I had fabric in my stash already). 

When it arrived, I traced it out onto tracing paper, and started laying it out on the fabric. Naturally, being me, I made some changes, deepening the neck scoop,adding inline pockets and a facing so I could avoid bias tape. When I sat down to sew, it felt like I blinked and had a dress! It was SO quick and Sonya's directions were easy to follow along with. 

The next week I made another.

I wanted to make MORE, but was having trouble finding fabric I wanted to wear. That's when it dawned on me. If I ordered raw silk fabric, I could not only SEW my own clothes, I could DYE them too! 

So that's just what I did. I sew them first, saving the hemming for after the dye pot. Then I plop them into the pot and let the dye do it's work. After the dress is rinsed and dried, I hem it with coordinating thread. Presto, tunics and dresses I love to wear, that are handmade and let me explore my passion for color. I'm proud to hang these in the wardrobes, and can't wait to continue my collection of handmade clothes. 

Ok, not my best photos, but I'm really excited about these, and didn't want to wait any longer to share with all of you :) 

*I have permission to use Sonya's patterns as a sizing guide, with my own alterations, should you need a raw silk top too.

*if you're interested in sewing for yourself, here's the link http://100actsofsewing.com/shop

 

Holy Rock

Not music.

Stones.

Having the honor of learning to use grit and electricity to turn beyond-ancient earth in to pure beauty. It surprised me how quickly I fell in love with this medium, I usually shy away from engines in my art.

I am stunned, how deeply I've been touched by this magic. How much I missed it when I was busy stitching up cocoons. It may be cold out, and my machine may be in the shed, but as soon as I can stand it, I'll be out there. I'm ready to learn more, to hear the rugged hum of stone on wheel.