It's on the list...

My dear friend Robin posted a map she'd made the other day, of the divine feminine creative cycle. (go find it on her social media accounts, her sites are well worth the time). She asked where we all landed within it and I found myself on the Bottom. A place of slowness, "dark around the edges" and low energy.

Her working points were sweetness in the dark- "rest, singe to the plants, express gratitude, honor other's work, review your own". So here I am, honoring her work, and lemme tell ya, it is mighty work. She and I have worked together for almost two- no... maybe three years? It feels like no time at all, and yet, like we've been dancing towards the truth for millennia. She's the real deal. 

The next point in the cycle is the Way Now. I can feel it coming, rolling gently like fog across a field. I'm ready to be curious, to move my body slowly, dancing in the thickness. I am ready for lists about lists, keeping track of what's interesting and where they might lead. The creative rabbit hole is a sacred place to land in.

I will keep this cycle close to my heart this year. A light to remind myself how to move forward, to get both stuck and unstuck. Stillness and movement have balancing virtues. I think this year is about diving deep into that dichotomy. 

creation and rest

delightful happiness and tearing grief

sweet and bitter

dark and light

color and neutral

wet and dry

whole and worn

warm and cold

Working with Robin, directly, or using the tools and light she helped me develop is always worth it. No matter how hard the work seems, the reward is always truth.

 

 

Puzzling

I’ve been experimenting in patchwork lately. It started as a way to use as much of the off-cut fabric as possible from the garments I’ve been making. It’s a double waste to do nothing with hand dyed fabric. I also wanted to make a new round of ornaments.

And so, patchwork pretties were made. But I found myself quickly fascinated with the puzzling together of colors and shapes, the same pleasure as a puzzle, but without any reference image. (Click on the images to see them bigger, if you’d like to get a closer look.)

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They tie in closely to my watercolors and I have no idea what to do with the panels made so far, but have some ideas... I’d love to know what you’d do with them!

Last night

I’m sitting in the studio, listening to Shawn’s music as he reorganizes his massive record collection. I’m fighting a cold that’s trying to move into my head. Fidgit is pestering me on and off for affection, snuggle breaks are my favorite breaks. A scarf has been woven in a day. It feels good to have it off the loom, to have the loom empty, ready for a new project tomorrow, in the new year. 

Most of my work has been in patchwork these past weeks, well, that and a new pair of thick wooly socks. The patchwork is a puzzle with no picture. This medium reminds me of watercolors, moving color and shape around until it’s pleasing. Adding details and large swaths as needed, to keep things interesting. I am looking forward to where this path of sewing will take me, to see where it intersects with painting and everything else. 

Tonight is it for the year. The last night. I hope if finds you warm, safe, and content.  I hope you know when to rest, when to stoke the fire in your belly that drives you towards the truth. May the year be peaceful, and may you have the strength to carry your burdens, and to put them down when it’s right to.  

If you find yourself with different ‘new’ year anniversaries as the calendar year unfolds, give room for celebration, for quiet contemplation.  

May your year be happy, dear ones!

xo

cat

Thirty Four

Today is a marker for another year. Thirty four.

There are so many starts in year, endings too. So many anniversaries of things that fill hearts to bursting, and those that lay them out cold and low. The light increases, all the same.

I find myself content, and dusted with a deep missing of those who passed away. I missed my Kelly arriving to our party early so as to have the best opportunity to eat the sausage balls Shawn makes. I felt my heart full to bursting having our friends fill our home. I am so lucky to have found these humans, generous, caring, quirky. Everyone celebrating their own strangeness.

Grief and birthdays are an interesting mix. I walk with firmer steps on the path of making and sharing. I am feeling closer to the truth of me, and will keep stoking that flame. The new year is full of the past, and just as full as what's to come. The struggle is to stay present, and not get tied up with thinking to long, to hard. When I find myself feeling this way, I know I have a bevy of souls to reach out to, to ask for help from. Each one is a gift, every day.

And so, to sum up all this birthday pondering, my dear ones;

I love you.

Thank you for being you, and letting me be me.

Slow Fashion October

With the first week of October over, I realized that I had unintentionally joined in to Karen Templer's Slow Fashion month. I've been wearing at least one piece of me-made clothing every day this week! Below you can see the photos- as I realized too late that I was wearing handmade a lot this week I don't have any outfit photos. But it happened, for real. 

I love knowing that I can make it a whole week wearing my 'own' clothes. Now that I've done it without trying to, I want to do it even more! First things first- I need to clear out a lot of old clothes that I've been hanging on to for too long. Things that don't fit in my wardrobe either by size or style. It is a task I've been putting off in favor of more exciting things- refreshing the studio, for example. :) 

If anyone's interested, here's how I wore all of these:

Blue raw silk Dress No 2.- rose belt (made for our wedding) leggings, grey boots

Black Tee Dress- leggings, saddle tan shoes

Sweater- tank top, pencil skirt, leggings, motorcycle-style boots

Pink-Black Karla Dress- Black archer shirt (I really need to photo that thing), leggings, new black boots

Green raw silk Dress No.2- Jeans, motorcycle-style boots

Apples

I took myself to the mountains of Virginia. In search of an orchard that I hoped would be quiet- no doughnuts, no hayrides. Just mountains and trees, with a soundtrack of bugs and heavy fruit gently dropped into buckets. Peace and quiet and a wide sky. I missed Kelly the whole way there, there were so many late summers we talked about hopping up the mountains to go apple picking... so I went by myself, so she could be there too. 

Oh friends, I found the place. Simple, just unkept enough.

It was cool in the shade and warm in the sun. The golden delicious apples were just that, and the orchard owner couldn't have been kinder, or more passionate about his apples. 

I'll be back next year.

Now... time to make some pies! 

Reflecting on Reflections

I've been noticing and being distracted by reflections lately. A lot of the time, especially in my studio. Maybe it's the new layout, but the light popping off my iron or loom as they move keep catching my eye. It's the corner-of-the-eye stuff. There one second, gone the next. 

I'm not sure what this new noticing is about, but maybe I do, deep down. 

I'll be keeping my eyes open, I'm doing my best to pay attention.

Navy Blue Galaxies

I love how the dye took to this dress! I have a few more on deck that will also be blue, I can't wait to see them pop against the autumn leaves this fall! 

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)