Sunday, May 31, 2009


Today was all about the cleanup! In fact there are still a few chores to take care of (inventory updates and some straightening in the sewing studio) but the dye area is cleared out and everything is washed and put away...

Now I will have to finish setting up the ETSY listings/photos then I can look at getting back to more interesting projects.

speaking of which...
Yesterday at the shore I picked up some more beach stones

and took some photos of tidal pools

I have a long standing fascination with them and an idea is percolating in my brain.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Lovely Day

I got the dyes all washed out of the scarves this morning,
Delft Blues: a soft light cobalt and a navy

Plum Wine: plummy purple and taupe

Caribbean Isles: 2 turquoises and bright tan

I love the way the complex colors break apart when applied to silk. With cotton you get a literal translation of the color you mix, on silk it is interpretive.

Once I got everything washed out, pressed and folded up I headed out to update/deliver inventory to 2 stores.

After that I headed to Brenton State park in Newport to enjoy the beautiful weather. Aaahhh....

Friday, May 29, 2009


Someone hasn't been to the groomer in awhile, we have decided that it is too stressful for our delicate little girl at the moment...

Unfortunately that leaves us with the task of cutting these meathooks. Something our dog (and 90% of all other dogs) hates. Tonight we tried the Dremmel as an industrial strength Pedipaws tool. It works but its really slow so we are gonna look for a clipper and try the method a friend of our perfected with his paw sensitive pup. Wait til shes dozing, sneak up and cut one toenail and wait til another day for the next one.
Seriously look at the size of those things, I don't have especially small hands... they are pretty average. Those are some good size paws and looong nails.

In other news I did the dyeing tonight. 3 different colorways. Hope they came out alright!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trying a new fold with the scarves on this production run,
not sure how it will work out...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Worn Out

Looks like I wasn't the only one tired out from the weekend!

I found Rasta curled up next to the piles of dyes I made this weekend.
She's been doing really well, she's has gained back all the weight she lost (plus a little) and has grown back a nice coating of fur. Her energy level is probably stronger than her muscles though so she gets really tired out after an active day.

I spent an hour on the ginkos tonight listening to Joseph Campbell.
I recently got myself a copy of The Power of Myth interviews with Bill Moyers
Its interesting to listen to it again after so long, I am discovering different insights than I did the first time 15-20 years ago (which makes perfect sense now doesn't it?)

now its off to bind some scarves...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't Call Me Lazy

I noticed yesterday that I was getting slightly mutinous about doing so much work lately on the production run of t-shirts for the shop. I was up until 1:30 Am on Fri night and spent a good part of Sat and Sun on it as well. It was time to give myself some playtime...
So I pulled out the supplies to work on this out on the porch.
Sticks and Stones doncha know...
I've been wanting to do this for a while now, I like them all grouped up like this.
Hard to see here but the sticks are worm carved too, strange runic writing etched into the surfaces.
I've been learning lately that if I don't listen to that little voice inside my head that is saying "enough already!" what happens is that nothing at all gets done, no work and no fun, and THAT makes me crazy.
So today was declared an actual holiday for me, no agenda. I got up and wandered around my garden taking pictures.
Here is the rose I planted a month ago making very good progress...
Blue Flags in bloom
A peony ready to burst, last year these same flowers bloomed and that same night some deer ate them up like a fat man at an all you can eat shrimp buffet, I wanted to cry. I moved the plants closer to the house ...hopefully that will keep the deer away...
Weiglia in bloom, it attracts hummingbirds!

Not too surprising once I had gotten that out of my system I didn't have a problem setting up all of the paraphenalia for a quick photo shoot of some new products. To finish out the day I will be meeting a friend for a bike ride this evening. Perhaps later tonight I will work on a production run of scarves, but then again maybe not... I will see how I feel when the time comes.
Learning to lay off of myself and just let go and play a little is not something that comes easily to me. I'm so afraid of being thought of as "lazy". Its funny though if I push too hard for too long I grind to a halt. Suddenly nothing happens and even though its not actual laziness it sure looks like it. (far more mentally exhausting though) Its so important to give myself that time and permission to just screw around, it releases something within me and makes me feel content and refreshed, and from there I can get up and get back to the "work " at peace with myself.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dye Paste Printing

Still working on the production run...

Its kind of eating up my creative time lately.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Began folding the shirts for my tie dye production run tonight, still more to do...

Folding shirts for hours gives me the opportunity to listen to Joseph Campbell's Power of Myth series.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Not Many Words


I thought about how shapes relate...

I revised an ongoing project...

I collected sticks and stones...

I began a dyelot...

I went to bed...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Cool Grey Day

Perfect for transplanting, planting, weeding, and trimming

Most of the day was spent in this garden trying to get a handle on the three thugs that I introduced back in year one.
These plants were pretty and free and in two cases I was warned...

Silver King Artemisia and Anise Hyssop were both gifts that I accepted KNOWING that they spread liberally, hell at the time I just wanted anything to grow in the bed.

This fern grows all over the place in the woods here so I dug a few up and popped it into the garden (Duh).

The three of us got along fine for about a year, they settled in and began to thrive, I admired the fact that something was growing, then they got territorial they started to beat up the less robust plants in the neighborhood. I finally realized that me and the garden rake were going to have to form a vigilante force and take them out
It is made harder by the fact that they are quite attractive, their shoots scatter through the bed looking all pretty next to the bleeding hearts and hostas. Beneath the ground though... they crush the competition sending out runners that smother all other life. So each year I head back to the garden and try to weed them out, I've nearly eradicated the ferns, they have been banished to an area of the yard that has erosion issues where their tenacity is a plus. That is where most of the other two end up too but they keep coming back. Mostly because I just can't bear to take them all out, they are pretty and in the case of the hyssop smell wonderful.
Ok now for some quiet stitching time so that I will have something to talk about tomorrow!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Delicate Beauties

Look at what I have growing along the edge of my yard. Lady Slippers, a wild orchid of the area. They are endangered and very particular about where they grow and who can pollinate them... Woodland beauties...

Today I paid off my student loan! I went back about 5 years ago to aquire some much needed computer skills at a two year technical school. Getting rid of that payment is more than a monkey off of my back, its an orangutan!

To celebrate I took myself off to the garden center to buy a couple of things I have had my eye on. This bed has a lovely little japanese maple with varigated peachy orange leaves and a graceful arching habit. I decided to put in a small juniper (blue gray with a compact spikey habit) and a spirea (low mounding in a brilliant yellow color) as well as some low growing sedums, thymes and a lavender all in variations of those three colors. Then I transplanted a hosta in too. Oh and I put in a few moss roses to brighten it up a bit (hopefully, when they bloom)
It has that just planted look right now but I have high hopes for it. Everything I put in is tough as nails and has a strong foliage color. I tend to focus more on the leaves than blooms since mostly thats what you see. I have one very flowery gardening friend who accuses me of buying things that already look dead, ha!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Second Begining

A Second Begining
Originally uploaded by alsokaizen

I'm taking a deep breath and starting to attach the pieces of heatset poly satin to a ground. I froze on this project for mmm... about a year now, it is alot of stitching and I'm not entirely sure where its going to take me.
I've got a concept in my head, and I have some ginko leaves made from a pewter colored poly as well as this black satin. I even have a vague composition mapped out but I've been waiting for all the details to fall into place and lets face it they never do... you just have to leap in and hash it out as you go. Sometimes I am easy with that fact of life but others (as in this case) I get so attached to a desired end that it becomes impossible to go forward.
If you want to go swimming you don't necessarily have to leap into the deep end but you really do have to let go of the side of the pool.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring Mix Results

Here they are 19 swatches made from my spring mix.

I think they turned out pretty good but I wish I had made the orange/rust color a little lighter

These 3 are to be sent to my mom, she wanted 3 fabrics she could use to make me a bag, however I find the rust/green piece may be a bit over the top for my taste so I might just dye another piece to go with the other two... we will see

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Inspiration

This season is racing by. Already buds are forming on my peony and nearly all of the leaves have arrived.
I love the tones of early spring, russet of newly emerged leaves, vivid yellow of daffodils, softly glowing violets and the gorgeous newborn green that seems to glow on days when the bright afternoon sun lights them against storm clouds moving off into the distance.
I dyed this group of fabrics in tones reminiscent of these colors...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Finished Earth Haori

Its done! I'm pretty happy with how it has turned out... there are some flaws in the construction but they are well concealed and don't take away from the overall appearance of the piece. I learned from the first one I made and this one came together much easier.
Like I said this was supposed to be number two of four.
Fire Earth Air and Water.
I am not sure that I will ever get to the other two. I do know I won't be starting them any time soon. There are too many other things to do that are more important to me at the moment. I really enjoy dyeing the fabrics for these haori more than I enjoy sewing them...
Something to think about!
Now what will I start to do next? This is always a bit of a struggle to make a decision...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

In honor of my mom today I am posting pictures of one of her very favorite flowers, Japonica.
Her favorite color is this orange unusual most people love blue or red, but my mom loves this shade of yellow. I don't get to see her often (distance/money/time) so tonight I will set myself down and buy a plane ticket for the wild west of New Mexico...

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Sleeves are now attached and slip stitched, The green twill is a bit tough to stitch through.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Haori the Fudging

Looks like my fudge of the missing piece went OK. I still have to slip stitch the edge (probably this evening maybe tomorrow too)
I'm having fun with the way the two fabrics work with one another.