Inspire :: By Walid


Mr. Walid al Damirji is a clothing designer based in London's Mayfair district.
He is unusual in that enterprise because his upcycling brand, By Walid, doesn't lean on
a traditional need for massive press coverage or big, glitzy fashion shows ...
Walid's preference is to remain a small, artisanal, cottage industry,
creating the most remarkable (to my eyes, at least) one-of-a-kind garments.

He may not be able to maintain this more quiet approach for long.
His garments are quite incredible and since his launch in 2011,
word has been spreading like ripples across a still pond.

Every piece, made by hand.

~ 19th century Ottoman splendor for the new Murat jacket, Autumn/Winter 2018 ~

"It's a collection of clothing made from repurposed heritage and
antique fabrics, some of which date as far back as the 18th century. And if this
recycling-upcycling concept is unusual, the way it's applied is even more so.
Every fabric used in By Walid's collection is a mixture of many different
repurposed textiles - from 19th-century French damask to embroidered silk kimonos to
Victorian table linen - cut and sewn together by hand on an organic cotton base
with an embroidery technique reminiscent of the traditional Japanese art of  boro.
Each fabric is then hand-dyed before being turned into the final garments.
They are then hand-finished, resulting in pieces that, in every detail,
are one-of-a-kind clothes."

Torn - often shredded - vintage textiles
given a new life ...

The shapes are clean and understated, but oh my, the fabrics can be
sumptuous and often include lace, crochet and beading ...

: : :

........ links to explore .......
By Walid on Instagram
Short little YouTube : Walid on Shape, Texture and Fabrics
About : Bio from his website

: : :

To begin at the beginning of this album of makers,
please click this tag : Inspire-album


Inspire :: Izziyana Suhaimi


When an image evokes an immediate question,
it is doubly powerful when the name of its series evokes yet another.

The looms in our bones #6
~ featuring Moroccan style embroidery ~

The looms in our bones #2
~ featuring Manchu tribal motifs ~

works in progress, courtesy of We Are Scout

Izziyana Suhaimi is masterful with her embroidery on paper
yet unlike so many women who hark back to their family members for stitching inspiration,
she is following quite a different focus.

"Embroidery is traditionally seen as a past-time of women, viewed in the domestic sphere and Izziyana is no stranger to it as both her grandmothers and mother are passionate about needlework and crochet. Not content to draw on her personal and family memories, Izziyana conducted extensive research for five years into the embroidery of various cultures and hopes to give this sacred language of women a modern honor."
~ review courtesy of 'Jack Is Not Dull' ~

The looms in our bones #7

"I enjoy the duality of embroidery, in its movements of stabbing, cutting, covering, building, repairing, taking apart. Every stitch made seems to unfold a story
and withhold it at the same time."

~ photo courtesy of Design Spotlight,
the Raffles Hotel, Singapore, 2013 ~


To begin at the beginning of this album of makers,
please click this tag: Inspire-album


Inspire :: Tsutomu Komine


'A moonlit night underneath my eyelids'

from 'Sankai'
~ Tsutomu Komine ~
Born in Tokyo, Japan, 1973.
In 1997,  he graduated from Tama Art University, Dept. of Oil Painting,
but often works in photography, sculpture, stitch, fiber & encaustic as well.
His mixed media collages (shown here) often contain
sea sand, acrylic paper, tako thread, and hemp string, amongst other things.
Currently, Komine continues producing works
while operating his cake & tea shop in Hitachi City.

There are loads of his images on Pinterest,
but no website and very little information found elsewhere
(with the exception of his gallery show announcements and what appears to be
a quite active Twitter account)
and   most everything about him/from him is written in Japanese ...
which unfortunately, I have no knowledge of.
So in our enjoyment of this work, many of us will have to be content
with his visual poetry instead.
Which suits me just fine.

September, 2017


Inspire :: following a thought born from emotion


Many times over the last months I've wondered why I haven't
been able to bring myself back to this blog. In truth, I've missed it sorely.
This spot used to be like a favorite room in my house,
fairly comfy (without the dust) where I gladly resided with a warm cuppa
(or a wee dram) and a contented dog companion glued to my feet.
But gradually, I grew uncomfortable with spending
time here and rather than push the issue for the sake of continuity,
I simply left the room altogether.  Not unlike relationships in life, I suppose,
where the best move can be to offer distance and reprieve.

Finally, today, I've sorted the reason 'why' I left, after months of not knowing.

I simply got sick & tired of talking about myself.

I do a bit of it still, if I'm honest, over on Instagram, but in much smaller doses
where the emphasis always feels like it's more about the pictures -
for some reason that feels more palatable for now.

I remember when I first started blogging, how difficult it was to express
thoughts and emotions to some invisible audience "out there." A most uncomfortable
position for an introvert to be in, while at the same time a  most perfect
outlet for an introvert (if that makes any sense at all).
Over time - years, in fact - that uncomfortableness waned ... until it didn't anymore
and I found myself full circle, poised in front of the keyboard
absolutely tongue-tied.

So what this all comes down to is that I'd like to reshape a way to be around.

One of my most valued pastimes is perusing artwork produced by those who strike
some sort of chord ... work wherein I find inspiration and/or solace
and which can often produce a launchpad for new creative ideas.
Although any genre has the spirit to pull, my particular love & focus is on textiles
and remains an abiding constant. Gosh, truly, there is SO MUCH amazing work 
happening with cloth; from massive installations, to incredible books, to even
the tiniest bits of recycled scrap embedded in collage. Often this work is made
by names I barely recognize or have never heard of altogether.
I'd like to post some of that work here.
To no set schedule.
To no particular timetable.

I'll call the album, 'Inspire'
and maybe it will do so for some of you, too.
And maybe then we can get back to some jolly good conversations again,
like the ole days.
I've missed that.

More soon.




Sometimes it's advantageous to set a project aside when it reaches an impasse.
I can't remember exactly why I stopped working on this series in the summer of 2013,
but I remember exactly why I started ....
beadwork on naturally dyed cloth
that hopefully could symbolize thoughts I was having about
how we humans guard ourselves.
Not only the different ways we protect ourselves from each other, 
how we wear masks so that our real selves can't be seen or fully known,
but also how we guard ourselves out in the world.
Somewhere there's a list - a long list of words I wrote to itemize all the ways we might do this.
Need to dig that out now
because I think the time is ripe for carrying on with this.


The window as a metaphor


Following the thread of a thought brought on
by this morning's post to Instagram, I made a curious discovery;
I discovered that since my very first post on IG in 2014
I've posted a total of 14 images related to  the window.

Just what is it about them I find so intriguing?

~ view into the woods right after dawn, posted August 2017 ~

A quick hop to googleland took me on a merry journey exploring symbolism.
There was this article in particular, 'Windows: Exploring the History of a Metaphor' by
H. J. Krysmanski

“The ‘window’ metaphor has a long career in the history of art and, in fact, in the evolvement of the human perspective in general.” 

It's long, but comprehensive, with a thought-provoking list of subtitles to choose from:

The Evolution of the Window
The Evolution of the Window Metaphor
Source of Eternal Light: the Gothic Cathedral
Renaissance: the Appearance of the Screen
Light on Privacy: the Windows of Jan Vermeer
Window Dressing: Staging the Theatrical Stage
Through the Looking Glass: Virtual Reality in Victorian England
Space and Time: the Epistemology of Screening and Framing
The Eye: Mirror and Window of the Soul
The Window Metaphor in Islamic Culture
The Window Metaphor in Buddhism and Confucianism
Walls of Glass: the Essence of Architecture
Modern Painting: in Defense of the Classical Screen
‘Peep Show’ and ‘Fensterln’: Folklore of the Windows Experience
Window Shopping: the Commodification of Desire
The Window Metaphor in Modern Science
Journeys through Space: the Cinema Screen
Surveillance: Monitoring the Radar Screen
Archaeology of the Computer Screen
How ‘Windows’ Chanced To Become A Registered Trade Mark

~ bedroom window overlooking the wild Atlantic :: Isle of Harris, Scotland, posted August 2017 ~

So what if I just compile all my windows here, as a group? ... ALL of them
in the order they were posted starting with this morning's, working back thru time.

I'd like to see what their collective voice may have to say.

~ better than the movies, posted February 2017 ~

~ sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, west Cork, Ireland, posted October 2016 ~

~ first crack, posted September 2016 ~

 "It doesn't interest me if there is one God or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need
to change you.  If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand ..."
~ from 'Self Portrait' by David Whyte, posted June 2016 ~

~ after a big swim, posted December 2015 ~

~ sometimes it takes darkness, posted April 2015 ~

~ threshold :: St. Conan's Kirk, Scotland, posted November 2014 ~

~ seasonal changes afoot :: watching rainclouds mass, posted September 2014 ~

~ 9:05 a.m. on 9/05/2014, posted September 2014 ~

~ first evening in Edinburgh :: view at twilight, posted August 2014 ~

~ my friend's house :: needs a wee bit of housekeeping, Newburgh, Scotland, posted July 2014 ~

~ self :: riding the wind, posted April 2014 ~


straight photography,
app-ed photography;
the real, the imagined, the wished for
... the simple 'what was there.'

“Above all, though, windows have permitted man to experience the essence of light, from Chartres Cathedral to the paintings of Vermeer, and to this day even their most mundane use implies some sort of interaction with the unknown and with infinity.”

I don't mind keeping the question open for now.


Minding my maps


Merriam-Webster defines  map :
1 a:  a representation usually on a flat surface of the whole or a part of an area
b:  a representation of the celestial sphere or a part of it

2 :  something that represents with a clarity suggestive of a map
~ the Freudian 'map' of the mind -- Harold Bloom

so I got to thinking ....
could photographs act just as easily as maps of a  life?

If I mapped myself, what might that look like?
And if I focused on, say, my creative life, would it be telling?
Could I show the route from back there 
to here?

So I gave it a try & here's where it led me ...

To the convergence of paper and books

to beads on cloth with an uncertain latitude

towards an elusive north star

with an ever present guiding light

and a dear navigator who teaches all the compass points.

Just a small smattering of map pages - old directions & new ...
so yes,  I can see how I got here

but perhaps the more important question is
just where am I going?

[ this is where a hushed voice offers, "Only the cartographer knows for sure..." ]


Considering a world view


There are many ways to say a thing.

For those of us who don't feel particularly eloquent in the political arena and
are far more comfortable with other forms of expression,
perhaps we can look more closely
at our other ways of speaking.

Because it is my opinion that now, more than ever in my living memory,
we somehow MUST keep speaking  out loud.  It's of critical importance.
So we don't feel lost.
So we don't feel helpless. 

Even the quiet work of hands and heart is not to be underestimated during this time ...
this time of which  -  to some of us  -  is looked upon
as a frightening & uncertain period in our world's history.

Again, there are many ways to say a thing....
and I think we can be a mighty choir if we don't feel so afraid.


Following the thread of a thought


page one ~ from, The Illustrated Glossary of Dye Plants

page two ~ from, The Illustrated Glossary of Dye Plants

page three ~ from, The Illustrated Glossary of Dye Plants

In retrospect, I probably should have named this playful compendium
The Imaginary Illustrated Glossary of Dye Plants
The Illustrated Imaginarium of Dye Plants
for I don't believe this will ever be anything but a little book
that lives solely in my mind, produced for a bit of fun on Instagram.
But I suppose it's been good practice should I decide at some juncture
to try my hand at the real thing ...

Along another line of thought, the title of this post is not original to me.
I'm sure I gleaned it from jude at Spirit Cloth at some point and
I sincerely hope she is given fair credit & attribution from others
for all she offers there.

This is a sore subject with me at the moment ...
the *borrowing* - no, let me speak plain - the stealing
 that I read and see running rampant on the internet amongst
artists, creatives, workshop organizers
and a whole host of wannabes, coat tail riders and ladder climbers.
It's a double-edged sword out here on the web; the need & desire to share work
counterbalanced by all those who are watching, researching,
and will so blatantly 
rip others off

Is it really so hard to come up with one's own original words or works?

Is it that difficult to ask permission first?

Or to put some dedicated energy
into coming up with personal work that is truly authentic
and not just a blatant copy of someone else's work?

I've seen this rampant in the world of photography for years
and now sadly, I see it running rampant amongst the cloth dyers
[eco-dyers, eco-printers, contact printers, natural dyers, and many stitchers],
a tribe I am somewhat new to and a little on edge about of late ...
it's incredibly disheartening.
And I'm feeling the need to take care.


I have no intention of getting into arguments with folks over this subject
and I'm half inclined to close the comments section because of it,
but there are some friends who visit here who I don't want to silence
so I'll leave it open.
Talk to me.