The best advice


Gareth Bate with his  Jewel Net of Indra  installation.  Gareth is Festival Curator of the World of Threads Festival and
Exhibition Curator of Memento mori.   Photo: Saglara Kitchikova

Gareth Bate has some fabulous things to say.
He outlines some mighty fine advice for artists
including how to work with curators ...
how artists are chosen,
how artists should handle rejection ...
a treasure trove of useful information with an interesting point of view.
I think some who stop by here may enjoy reading his take on things
as much as I did ...

At the very end of the interview there is this gem:

What's the best advice you can give to artists?
The best advice I've ever heard for artists came from Art Dealer and Blogger, 
Edward Winkleman:

"Make work that is impossible to ignore."


Pizza for breakfast


The weekend was stacking up to contain some possibly
wild weather,
forecasters detailing a big cold front headed our way
gliding down from the frigid Fraser River Valley in B.C.
One never knows living out in these islands
which way the winds will end up blowing,
if an "event" will or will not actually happen,
so yesterday while a few flakes drifted over Little Pond
I took some photos.
That cluster of bare alders in the center is a simple armiture this time of year
but gives a welcome view deeper into the woods.
I love how lichen puts a fluffy blanket on the willow grove back there.

Then, this morning there was this.  It's wet & sloshy but oh, so pretty.
I ate leftover pizza for breakfast [gluten free & spicy],
drank strong coffee
and decided to not do the laundry after all.
It's that kind of Sunday
and I may not get out of my sweats all day either ...

I'm working on my piece for India's celebration book & this is a good thing
because [you know I have this problem with completing things]
she's set a deadline ... March 19th.
Maybe with an end date I will actually  finish  something.
I'm a little nervous
although forging ahead with great determination.

I hope she receives a tidal wave of submissions
so the book will be very
And if you're reading about this for the first time
& happen to be one of her former students,
the details for participating can be found  HERE.
What a wonderful project for her to offer everyone ...


Lately I've been filling my head with poetry before going to sleep.
Here's one I like from last night:

What The Dog Perhaps Hears

If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
and the long brown sound
of cracked cups, when it happens.
We would like to ask the dog
if there is a continuous whir
because the child in the house
keeps growing, if the snake
really stretches full length
without a click and the sun
breaks through clouds without
a decibel of effort,
whether in autumn, when the trees
dry up their wells, there isn't a shudder
too high for us to hear.
What is it like up there
above the shut-off level
of our simple ears?
For us there was no birth cry,
the newborn bird is suddenly here,
the egg broken, the nest alive,
and we heard nothing when the world changed.

by Lisel Mueller ~



Richer from the collective experience


This batch of cloth work, an eclectic mix of naturally dyed pretties,
was produced in one afternoon by six pairs of hands
it just makes my heart sing.

With kind permission from the Lopez dyers,
I'm showing their work today.  Oddly enough, seeing it assembled like this
- one big joyous riot of color & bold experimentation -
well, it kinda makes me feel a bit emotional.
This is history.  Our history.
And what began as a shibori stitching group now has evolved into
a group of rather passionate natural dyers
[still some shibori, mind you, but no longer the main focus].
In two+ short years there has been some mighty fine dye mileage,
if I do say so.

From metals to mordants,
 from indigo
to   in-the-pot-too-long ...
the dye waters have been tested, cursed and blessed.
But mostly    blessed.

These are from last summer, late July,
and India was coming soon to teach 'Wayfarer's Windfall Cloth.'
It was to be our last dye session before the workshop.
Two pots were set on the boil;  a 3rd pot, an afterthought with peach leaves, was added later
 and for a real treat,
an indigo  vat   pail  was also on hand.
Here was the blog post I wrote about the day, caught red handed .

 These photos are what they made ...

... a group favorite from the day ... beautiful greens from the peach leaves.

This to me is the very best of what comes from working [playing !] in a group
of like-minded friends,
where each person
brings their own creative desires and wishes to the day,

yet throws them into the big collective idea pot
so that everyone
grows richer from the combined ingredients.


... for photo buffs:  all pix shot with Hipstamatic app on iPhone
Loftus lens + Ina's 1969 film


Wild skies in the atmospheric river


We have the most wonderful weatherman here in western Washington.
He's an avid blogger and not only is he entertaining, 
he contributes boat loads of useful information; 
often, nothing short of a compendium of
fascinating weather facts and details one has never heard of before.
So today I'm borrowing from this fine fella - Cliff Mass - because his latest post,
seemed to explain all the wild stuff I've been seeing recently
u  p       t  h  e  r  e 

Unlike some of the other local forecasters who tend to concentrate more on
what's happening around Seattle,
Mr. Mass seems to [almost] always get it right when it comes to
us island folk further north "up-Sound."

Darn helpful when seawater is your highway.

As for that, sure is nice to have the ferry Captain do the driving out there ...

I love when you can see it raining miles off in the distance ...
dependent upon which way the wind is blowing,
you can know if it's coming right for you
or not.

Always good to know when a big storm's heading your way.
Wind gusts last night topped 50 mph, but we were ready for it.

The only casualty ... my old  3Gs  iPhone finally bit the dust.  Or should I say
in keeping with this post,
sailed her last voyage?
Trouble's been a'brewing for some time, 
what with going all wonky at the most
inopportune moments,
then crashing every time I tried to take a picture.
I may have app-ed her to death [is that possible?].  My penchant for playing with effects
is no secret around here,
but whatever the cause, at last
I finally have the excuse I needed to upgrade.

oh boy.


linking with Skywatch Friday [because it's Friday in Australia  ;>]
where you can see beautiful skies from all around the world ...


this moment :: across the Strait, 56 miles


{  this moment  }
A single photo
~ no words ~
capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
~ SouleMama


inspired by the Friday reflections at Amanda's

:: linking also to Friday Finds over at Kim's place ::


What would grandma say?


Most domestic functions I learned from my grandmother who stayed home with me
while mom worked.  A single parent, mom struggled out in the corporate world
and I swear, if it wasn't for her sense of humor
I'm not sure how it all would have turned out.
I fall back on humor as an antidote to this day while the skills I picked up from grandma
had a somewhat more practical use [not that humor isn't practical, of course].
Mom couldn't even sew a button or hem a skirt,
but she wrote shorthand faster than the wind.
Grandma could darn socks, crochet lace edges on pillowcases and rewire a toaster,
yet you'd never find her leading a meeting or typing legal documents.

Interestingly enough,
of all the skills I remember about my grandma, I don't recall that she ever canned food.
Sort of odd, considering she concocted the most delicious candy from scratch
and baked up a storm ...

I've often joked that I'm the last American woman of my *certain age* to remain
unknowledgeable in the arts of canning.  Somehow this particular practice escaped me.
Or perhaps I took off running

because I thought it was too much like chemistry!
Which I failed in school, by the way.

So it's not surprising that it's taken a simple, straightforward presentation of the subject
 to, at last, venture forward ...

Meet Bubbies, Classico and Mezzetta,
charming chaps who are my first foray into the   easy   art of canning.
Thanks be to India Flint, who has successfully
nudged me into one of my last remaining domestic unknowns.

Still, you may notice that the following recipes do not adhere to,
shall we say,
what you might expect from a "food" pantry
but are preserves of a very different kind ...

Bubbie's recipe:
* toss some iron bolts into the bottom of a jar
* bundle frozen black [dark purple] violas, madrone bark
and 4 rusty landscape pegs into a scrap of pre-wet
old linen shirt
* stuff madrone bark peelings around the edges
* sprinkle with aprox. 1 heaping teaspoon of fireplace ash
* fill with water; let sit, then top off to within 1/2 inch of lid
* close lid tightly

Classico recipe:
* bundle dry purple Norway leaves and metal bits inside pre-wet scrap of old cotton shirt
* repeat with cotton eyelet blouse front & stuff both into jar
* pack the edges with additional dry maple leaves
* fill jar with leftover dye bath from lobster mushrooms; let sit, then top off to within 1/2 inch of lid
* close lid tightly

Mezzetta recipe:
* Add 1/4 cup of year-old copper/vinegar mordant to jar
* bundle rose leaves & metal bolts inside of pre-wet 60/40 cotton/silk blouse
[note: rose leaves were frozen/defrosted/re-frozen before use]
* stuff remaining rose leaves around bundle
* fill with water; let sit, then top off to within 1/2 inch of lid

The rest of the process can be found in this little treasure of a book,
and for those who might ask,
I did not pre-mordant any of the cloth.

Now, to wait.
I may wait as long as six months before opening the first jar ...
textile archeology was not made in a day, as they say.
In the meantime, India has set up a virtual pantry OVER HERE.
You may wish to peek at all the interesting stuff accumulating on the shelves.

One of the plaques on the 4-H shelf above reads,
"Keep canning and canning will keep you."
Why yes, I think it just might ...