Seeing thru paper


When the Lopez Island natural dyers gathered for this season's planning meeting
[ however wine-laden or deliciously food-laden the "meeting" may have been ]
there was a unanimous & resounding desire to next delve into experimentation
with paper.

We meet tomorrow for what we are calling
our 'Paper Dyeing Extravaganza'

I've got loads of prepping to do but as I sat at the computer this morning
looking over my past - and very few - experiences with this material,
I came across a bunch of Diana Photo app composites I'd made a while back.
They provided a bit of inspiration.

Admittedly, I feel awkward & hesitant with paper ...
while cloth feels familiar & welcoming, with paper I'm standoff-ish.
I love its qualities but I don't know or  understand  its workings yet.

Well, we all know the only way to get over that.


Then keep swimming 
& let nature work her very particular magic.


Found while walking


It's possible to determine the seasons here
by what is washing up on the beach.  The tides
bring oyster shells in early summer,
multitudes of itty bitty crabs
and the particular seaweed that prints red on cloth.
Driftwood is plentiful
bleaching & cracking like rough skin in the sunshine.

It's heaven for the dogs.  Quinn is exuberant over her stick-chasing swims
while Isla is content to quietly sniff every log
up and down the shoreline for as long and as far as you'll let her.
Simple pleasures
enjoyed while I beach comb.

A lovely poem flew into my mailbox this morning from American Life in Poetry.
Although referencing the other coast, there's a truth here
to be found on all of them ... and within all of us.
I thought you might enjoy it.

It’d been a long winter, rags of snow hanging on; then, at the end
of April, an icy nor’easter, powerful as a hurricane. But now 
I’ve landed on the coast of Maine, visiting a friend who lives
two blocks from the ocean, and I can’t believe my luck, 
out this mild morning, race-walking along the strand. 
Every dog within fifty miles is off-leash, running 
for the sheer dopey joy of it. No one’s in the water,
but walkers and shellers leave their tracks on the hardpack. 
The flat sand shines as if varnished in a painting. Underfoot, 
strewn, are broken bits and pieces, deep indigo mussels, whorls
of whelk, chips of purple and white wampum, hinges of quahog, 
fragments of sand dollars. Nothing whole, everything 
broken, washed up here, stranded. The light pours down, a rinse 
of lemon on a cold plate. All of us, broken, some way 
or other. All of us dazzling in the brilliant slanting light.

 : : :
photo processing notes:
images shot with iPhone
double exposure created with Diana Photo app
edited on an iPad with Snapseed & Stackables apps
copyright added online with PicMonkey

: : :
... and if you've ever dreamed about walking the entire coastline of the UK
have a peek over on Ruth's Coastal Walk blog.
She's just been to Rhossili Beach
and you will not believe the unspoiled beauty ....


Pennon takes flight


There's quite a lot of rigamarole involved in mailing a package to Australia.
A lot of addressing & declarations & valuing to be done
but true to my word to myself [which doesn't always happen]
I actually made my preset deadline of June 1st, stood in the slow post office line yesterday
with pen, tape & details
and sent my Solace pennon off to Andamooka.

I sure hope she gets there on time.

There's also quite a tale still to tell about creating this little flag for I chose to abort my first version 
covered in buttons because I'd messed up & not followed India's specs.  But I'll leave those details
for another post when all the photos have been edited and I've pulled my thoughts together.

There were attributes of this construction process that I really loved and in the end
flag #2 became a symbolic weaving together of many things I hold dear
and much of what I consider truth.
This was not at all where I thought I was going with flag #1 .... 
this went another direction entirely.
Much more personal,
much more about transparency

where fabric like silk organza can symbolize a veil,
where a narrow strip of indigo dyed cotton from a workshop 4,000 miles away
can symbolize the importance of always moving forward toward
the edges of places,
the boundaries of emotions
or past limits I do not want to set.

All the hours stitching were a gift of time which had me looking deep into what's passed
and reflecting on a whole bunch of tomorrows.  I wasn't to know when I started
that a bit of a health fright was headed my way [all reconciled now].
What began as a peace project aimed out at the world
suddenly became the exact path I needed to find my own.

Now my little pennon is crossing a great expanse of water
carrying my words on her ragged sleeve,
hurrying [through the good graces of the postal system] to join the 
collective poem about to be written
where she'll be dyed a rich blue, hang above a beautiful red desert ...
a most grateful guest of the elements
and time.