Today, I needed to exhaust the green dye bath. here are the two skeins chosen for the honor:

One, a handspun natural that I found at a garage sale, the other, a seafoam green coned yarn that I was given (and have tons of), neither of them particularly soft. I really am happy with the pale green skein.
I expected these to turn out kelly green like the original dyelot, but when I went to rinse the bucket, I found that the blue dye had adhered to the sides, and the rinse water was coming out very very blue. I saved it, and it will be the basis of my next dyelot. It is interesting, the different dyes must have different weights or something.

I went ahead and joined the flickr group, freeform knit 365, like I need another project. The premise is this: one commits to do a bit of freeform knitting and photograph it, each day, for 365 days. I will say only that my pieces are going to be small until after the holidays. I couldn’t resist the challenge, though.

Check out this cool postcard from Hamburg.

It’s like one of those Richard Scarry Busy books! It makes me long for summer and a journey.

the fun post!

Now for the photos! the quirk in the camera is fixed and I don’t have lug the whole tripod around with me, so, I’m been snapping away.

first of all,

Go take a tour of the Yarn Museum! A collaborative project spearheaded by pinkveneer. It is greater than great.

here is one of Opal’s latest pictures:
I love wool
Heh heh, I thought it said, “I Love Wool” when she gave it to me…

One of my new favorites on flickr is gooseflesh. her embroidery of insects is really really cool. (BTW, when someone’s photos say “all rights reserved” I imagine it is bad form to drag the photo off for posting on one’s blog? Someone tell me. Until I know yay or nay, I leave you to click the link to see the pictures…)

I was given some luscious yarn by Margaret of Margaret’s Handdyed Yarn. See:

Behr and Jama bought me this when they were here:

I love it.

Okay, signing off. See ya!

musings, on art

I have been enjoying flickr a lot lately. If you, dear reader, are on flickr, and I don’t already have you listed as a contact, please post here and tell me! I hardly ever read blogs, but I love to look at pictures and read the little stories there.
I wish I did read actual blogs more. But I have such a hard time sitting in front of the computer for stretches long enough to check up on them all. It feels a bit one-sided, though, wanting readers, but not being one. Selfish.
Enough self-deprecation. that’s not what I came here to talk about! I came here to talk about my latest thoughts, about art. I have been keeping a paper journal, as it is much easier to access than this one at any given moment, all that competition for the one box, you know. also, I can draw in it, ideas and such, as well as copy in favorite patterns, etc.

Watched the film
A Bookshelf on Top of the Sky: 12 Stories About John Zorn
the other day, and while it was not the greatest film IMO, Zorn himself is inspiring. Check it out, if you haven’t already. His music too. (Other musics of the day, Bill Frisell‘s Blues Dream, and my friends brought me a disc of the group Fishtank Ensemble.)

anyway, back to musings… I have spent all these years doing all this work on areas of my life related to emotional maturity, personal accountability (well, still working on that one), honor, you know the qualities that enable me to be a tolerable partner and decent mother. I am getting that stuff ironed out to a level I can live with, and my mind is turning to focus on my artistic life.
Recurring question: what do I want to achieve as an artist? Too big of a question really, but here are some thoughts: push the margins (clich-ay), jolt myself and ultimately others out of the comfort zone, but that sounds sort of painful— more like expand the idea of what is Possible. Create new realities, of course. Entertain.
Up until now, I have mostly done this through costume, and rather inadvertently at that. It requires little discipline. But it thrives on an audience, I seek an audience. I need an audience! I am after all, a dancer first and foremost, and grew up in the carnival that was Isla Vista with all it’s street theater and Borsodi’s Coffeehouse bohemia…
I am such a late bloomer, I am not close to achieving the things listed. maybe I never will! haha! I continue to develop focus, on single projects, on translating vision into something outside of myself. I keep learning skills to aid in that translation process. Also, I am growing a new mindset, releasing ties to worry, and building trust in my calling.
this is all enough right now. even though I am in a tremendously expansive phase, with ideas pouring in so fast I can barely sort through them all, (some fucking Delusions of Grandeur, too, I tell you…)
I am trying to remember the quote, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilites. In the expert’s mind, there few.” and let this life unfold.

Behr and Jama were just here for a visit. We had fun, and did a lot of shopping! Unfortunately all the photos from their visit are on Jama’s camera, and we couldn’t figure out how to get them onto my computer. Perhaps she will email me a few.
I am having a hard time making lists and projecting out plans without a cigarette. I need to do a bit of overviewing, but it’s like slipping around on ice wearing sneakers. Tobacco gives me a grip. sigh.

Not my super latest projects, but unblogged until this moment…

a super top secret gift for someone, on the blocking board:

fun with acid dyes 1:

fun with acid dyes 2 is in the form of a huge ball of green yarn that took the dye much more evenly than the roving. Less salt more vinegar. Currently being knit into another super top secret gift…

Opal is making her first mix cd for her class gift exchange! This is a big moment in my heart.
The chaos, documented:

Some wardrobe remix for you today. Clothes have always been my favorite creative expression. Opal tells me I am dressed too young for my age, however.

Thanks for the Mme. Moriarty, Kate! It smelled like burned plastic on me, a bit. Weird. Much nicer on Alice. Anyway, I’ll try it again. Funny card, too.
I am seriously considering a 4 or 5 day vacation in Portland. Instead of driving hundreds of miles, when really all I want to do is visit ALL my people in PDX. So brace yourselves, Portlanders! And make ready your couches!

Okay I need to go make something. To eat, to wear, to sell. My inventory is being depleted with the holidays and there is naught to replace it with, yet…

I have been a busy person. I have not updated in so long, and there is too much to say in one post. Some highlights:
I went to the PDXEtsy fair on Nov. 19th, and sold very little, but had a wonderful time. I got to hang out with Kate. I sold the dotty tee-shirt to a lady who was very very hyper. It suited her well. We joked (Kate and I did) that I only sell a thing 2 years after it has been originally posted.

Here is new hat:


The girls and I got a great package from my pa:

All stuff he got for us in Poland. the bag with the spiral is from a company called Seven Wishes. You have to click on the polish language version of the site to see the collections, but it is worth the language barrier to check out the cool clothes! Unfortunately I couldn’t drag any of the photos so that I could post them here, so you will just have to go look.
Other things in the package were a hat from the Polish maountains, a shepherdess hat just for Alice! A great puzzle of vintage games, many stamps form Poland, thank you so much! and some more magazines: Shift, What is Enlightenment, Utne. If anyone wants to borrow some mags from me, just ask. I like to pass them around.

Here are the girls after the memorial for my mom:

and again

The white coat Opal is wearing was made for my mom by Grandma Rose. I had after her, than Alice, now Opsk.
Thanks to Anna for taking these photos.

what else? I have been making gifts. And shopping for them as well. I love buying presents! I can’t show those things off as they are gifts, and who knows who reads this blog?

I have to work today…it is a bad idea to go dye some roving I bought from midnight and lulu?
Nah, I’m going to do it! I have been making such headway on my ongoing stashbusting. Time to beef it up a bit. heh heh.

creativity required.

ugh, busy. I should say, Yay! busy!

Making these bottle bags like crazy, here are a couple more:

I am hoping they sell. I have a feeling they will, ’cause they are so pleasing, but I haven’t tested it yet. I am sewing on spec at this point! I am patiently waiting for etsy to come back up with the new V2 so I can list a couple. A day.
Have I mentioned that I am feeling this sense of satisfaction as I continually chip away at my out of control stash? These bags are an excellent way to achieve that end. My stash rather owns me, and while I am grateful for the abundance, I am also tired of being overwhelmed by the enormity of it. The more rickrack and hem binding and buttons and oddballs of yarn and 5 X 12 pieces of cloth I can use the better.

And a new little hat:

Now I need to go make more business cards. And some promos, little notepads with cloth covers.
There is the PDXetsy fair coming up on the 19th!

>>insert random fact: John Lurie is the greatest.

We are all abuzz with excitement at the possibility of moving to Astoria. Not leaving the Skamokawa place empty, no, Mark will stay here for work et al, but I need to be getting my youngest daughter into a better school since school is what she wants. Alice will benefit from living in town, as well, although we are wrangling out the details for her high school years. She loves unschooling. I think we are going to be placing more emphasis on curriculum if she doesn’t end up in the Institution. At any rate, she will for sure take advantage of the program that allows high school students to spend their last two years at the local junior college. The girl will take off given access to college curriculum.

speaking of Skamokawa, one of my neighbors at Twin Gables B & B put up a Skamokawa blog! Ain’t it beautiful round these parts?

Hallo, here I am, post funeral, or scattering of ashes…
Human ashes are slippery. Very alkaline, I suspect. I didn’t know that.
Mercury retrograde is over. My juices are flowing again. And neither am I too blue, right now, anyway. I find it fascinating that certain seeds sown in my life are fruiting now, in November.
No fruit, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November…
Not so here. There are birds. Juncos, to be exact. And in my heart there is a fruiting. The coming of age of a lack of urgency, just like I talked about cultivating. Here is all rainy, and my mom dead and all, and nought but two bottles of stout in me at 3pm, and all seems as it should be.
I have been sewing steady for several hours. I got this idea that wine bags would sell, and they are such a nice way to play with simple fabric combinations. They are quick, too, and may fill that low priced product niche…here is the first set. I have made several more since. You’ll see.

I just like making something that will be so useful and complement a lovely warm moment…the giving of a bottle of wine.
Of course, I’m a beer drinker myself. BTW, I didn’t get too drunk th’other night. Didn’t want to.

I didn’t finish the funeral dress, you know. Of course. I did get the slot seams done, and I like the skirt so far, but I really didn’t have the creative spark in me at the time.
I ended up modifying some black clothes for a Berlin inspired outfit, for a decadent and tough woman. Pics to come, when my uncle sends them. My camera is of limited use, having a broken battery door, and therefore it is wedded to a humongous tripod. Not exactly portable.

Well, the complaints are coming in from a petulant 13 year old about lack of a proper meal, so I’d best get on it eh?
See ya!

sunday comes and sunday goes

Today I am sewing the dress I am going to wear for my mother’s funeral.
I’m doing okay, everybody. I just need to get through tomorrow so I can quit smoking.

Here are my pattern weights:
my pattern weights

The skirt section of the dress will have slot seams and godets. I am putting off doing that part because I am nervous about trying something new. I don’t have a pattern for the bodice, so I am not sure how it is going to turn out, but it will be fine, I’m sure.

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who has sent me and my family prayers and thoughts over my mom’s death. I never knew how much I would truly appreciate those vibes.

The funeral will be Monday at 11, and after that, the kids go to spend the night at Lily’s house, and we will have the wake at Mary Todd’s Worker’s Tavern. I imagine it is my duty to get shitfaced drunk; hopefully the idea will appeal to me more on Monday than it does today.
After all, it was my mother who said at my wedding reception, “I’m not leaving til I fall down.” and she didn’t either.
So, I guess I better buy a fifth of Wild Turkey. sigh.