Monday 28 January 2013


+   +   +

when my friend Rachelle decided to leave the land of clouds
for the West Island [usually somewhat dustier pastures]
she kindly left a treasure parcel behind
for me to collect the next time i drifted into the city of winds and waters

i arrived in Welly to find that our mutual friend Caroline
[who had been the guardian of the treasure in the months since Rachelle departed]
had kindly delivered it to my helltell.

there were many treasures
including things found, stitched and dyed
gathered by Rachelle over years
[her gathering skills are legendary]

+   +   +

had it been a weekday i would have been tempted to ship my Koha south to await my next visit to the Lud Valley
it wasn't, so i unpacked and repacked.
fortunately i had been travelling relatively lightly 
[bar feeding the book addiction with acquisitions]

in the end i was left with the empty red suitcase
[i did try fitting it inside my bigger one]
and the question of what to do with it.
giving it to the Sallies was a possibility
but i was sure there was a more amusing solution


i decided to step out into the whirled 
and see where the colour red might lead
maybe the red suitcase could follow red markers and
find a new home

drifting along my trail
i found myself on Cuba Street
then wandered a little sideways
through a park with red gates

and saw Global Fabrics in the distance
upon which it occurred to me that quite often [on a Sunday]
there are students and other young folk working in the store
who might be able to use a suitcase

was very happy to give the suitcase a home
+   +   +
after which i followed some more red marks
and went home myself

Friday 25 January 2013

ka kite ano

time moves strangely in this precious green valley
it felt like our few days were weeks
and yet
they passed so very quickly

am packing my bags once again
for the hop homeward

with a warm feeling in my heart.
yesterday i was handed this

which made me very happy
over delicious scrambled eggs this morning
Judy and i decided we should take the suggestion seriously.

i'll be back next summer, to lead a 'shapeshifter' class
in which
we will be re-constructing worn out favourites from the wardrobe
into a new and lovely garment
embellished with dyed silks and wools and lots of handstitching
to sew and dye
something beautiful to wear on special occasions
[standing up and breathing is special enough for me!]
of course we shall also make a gorgeous bag
in which to keep the dress when it isn't being worn

so for now it isn't goodbye, but
arohanui, ka kite ano

Wednesday 23 January 2013

re-polishing the rose-tinted spectacles

Moana unbundling...
Aotearoa may be considered [by some]
to be at the ends of the earth
i suspect that's actually an attraction
last week we had folk from the Cook Islands and from Australia

this week
we have more West Islanders [see the 'A' word above]
from both extremes of east [QLD] and west [WA]
as well as participants from Scotland, the east coast of America
and from all over New Zealand 

when it came to the crunch
we had more applicants that we could comfortably accommodate.

it's been a wonderful journey.
full of intriguing signs and waymarkers
and serendipitous moments, such as

on one of the days at Titirangi
when i murmured something about needing to choose a poem for our morning reading
and Heidi [our gracious and graceful host] slipped a page into my hand
which turned out to be exactly the 'randomly selected'  poem i had read for myself at dawn.
[and then read it to us exquisitely]


here in the green heart of the Lud Valley
we revel in simple pleasures
balmy breezes, songs of beeses

exquisitely prepared and indescribably wonderful food   
[mostly grown here]

 + + +

once again our pots are heated by fire
and while we work at coaxing local colour
into cloth and paper the days pass far too quickly

this evening i too was permitted to play at the kitchen stove
and to harvest the ingredients from the garden
[for those of us of Latvian descent there are few greater pleasures
than being allowed to seek for potatoes in soft earth with our hands] 

Tuesday 22 January 2013

flotsam, jetsam, froth and bubble


The internet is rather like the ocean. A lot of stuff floats about in it that we might never see, hear or know of – but thanks to a clever bit of programming called ‘google alerts’ you can cast a net on an ongoing basis and regularly have an interesting kettle of fish delivered right to your lap[top]
I have a google alert on my name and on a few key phrases. It brings things I want to learn more about to my attention and sooner or later it also tells me whenever my name is mentioned and in what context. It’s how I discovered that the phrase eco-dye had been trademarked and where I read that a person I have never [consciously] met is giving masterclasses in ecoprinting. Perhaps I should attend.
A haul this morning revealed several people referencing my work [thank you kindly] along with the virtual version of a newspaper article in which a person not only used my name [without actually bothering to ask] to endorse their new business venture but also claimed they had been “trained by India Flint”. 
The only people I have EVER trained have been horses and Border Collies…and quite frankly I think it was more the other way around.
When things like that wash in on the tide it’s a bit like being thumped by a drifting log that you didn’t realise was floating in behind you on the same wave. In this instance I feel a friendship has been seriously compromised. If it happens again I may even take legal advice, given it’s a matter of intellectual property, blatant mis-representation and [not to put too fine a point on it] openly trades on my ‘good name’.  
Fortunately today I am by the blessed sea, which has washed away the cares of the whirled and let me float like a leaf adrift on the waters, gazing down through the crystal clear blue to the rocks and sand drawings below.
So many mixed metaphors. 

happily the internet also brought me these lovely words
Somehow it doesn’t matter that I’m not in the Lud Valley – it
feels good that you and your group are working with leafage
while some children at Otaki Kindergarten look at leaves differently and
sip berry tea from agee jars before painting it onto fabric.  Energy travels.”

as well as a link to an article about the workshop this week
my horoscope  [fellow Sagittarians will enjoy this]
Well folks, thanks for reading, have a truly splendiferous day wherever you are…and before you go do please take a moment to swing by Lotta Helleberg’s blog. She has written a wonderful story about sustainability and clothing [and very kindly mentioned me]. and she makes gorgeous ecoprinted paper journals that are well worth your investment...

Saturday 19 January 2013

looking south

i had some time out

while travelling southward

dyed [and lived]

learned [and made] something new

stacked a rock or nine
 after various adventures

i am now on the South Island
very happily settled in with the lovely Keylock family
in their green and gorgeous valley
where class begins again in the morning

+   +   +
+   +   +
 +   +   + 

because the workshops in Scotland [August 2013] have very nearly filled
i am now able to announce
there will be a three-day class in Gloucestershire, UK
August 7,8,9 [please visit the workshops page at my website for contact details]

it had been discussed some while back however as the Textile Centre at Newburgh had asked me first i agreed they should also have first opportunity to publicise their classes

i'm particularly pleased that all is going to plan
because it means i can stay on and be a student in my friend Sandra Brownlee's class

Sunday 13 January 2013


each stick+bundle is balanced carefully on the next and we managed to take them one by one without having anything fall over

i really like the trans-Tasman flight
it's just the right length for dinner and a movie
along with a little string-making

i made a small vessel [to hold water] from a Qantas sickbag

when i arrived in Auckland
a very nice gentleman wished me a welcome home
what more could i want?

we are now two days into class
and it's a joy
at the end of last year i felt a bit tired and wobbly
but so far this week has felt like a kind of reaffirmation of faith
of course it helps that i love being in New Zealand
[Auckland has a gently humid climate much like New Orleans
and i can feel my wrinkles melting away] 

but also
the class is already becoming a kind of "loaves and fishes" event

one participant is married to a patissier...and 
brought exquisite tiny lemon meringue pies today

another brought muka, which she allowed me to soak in a leftover dye bath
tomorrow we will twine some string from it

someone else brought walnuts, a fourth gathered seaweed for class

as for me?
i'm in love. something i didn't think could happen again at my age

meet my new best friend, tanekaha

Friday 11 January 2013

Haystack open studio

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is a unique and wonderful institute 
situated in a breathtakingly beautiful part of the United States

rummaging around in the studio yesterday chasing a few last minute necessaries
i happened upon this page from last Fall's 'Gateway' publication and thought it worth sharing.

sadly my schedule precludes me applying this year
but then that might be greedy anyway, seeing as i had the good fortune to participate in a New Works session there last September

where i worked with paper and meditative repetition

is one of those places that 
[to put it simply]
changes your life.
i'm grateful to have been asked to teach there
and even more so for the quiet five days spent there
devoted to new work

i very much hope they'll have me back some time.


Thursday 10 January 2013

literally the last chance

this summer i've been deluged by emails enquiring about classes
so at the risk of becoming overly repetitive
wanted to remind my gentle reader that in order
to attend a class with me in the Deep South this year
you'll have to be quick,

the class in Brisbane has been full for some time 
and rumour has it that the one in the West has also filled

while i will be cooking for Roz Hawker's class in Goolwa
it won't be dyes
i will not be teaching. 
my lips will be sealed [unless i'm adjusting seasonings]

if you live in the Deep South
and would like to take a class
this is literally your last chance

"the wayfarer's wanderbook, looking into the heart"
a retreat that will take us via windfalls and dye cauldrons
into the realms of poetry [as well as stitching and book forms]
- fear not, sharing your writing with the class will be entirely voluntary - 

in the Lud Valley near Nelson on New Zealand's lovely south island
beginning January 20th

contact details here [please scroll down until you find Judy Keylock mentioned]

[i'm very curious to see if Griselinia littoralis 
will print pink on paper
as well as on cloth...]

and while on the subject of workshops
i've just heard that at least 6 really nice people [who have become my friends
since we met in workshops] have signed up for Sandra Brownlee's class
'Tactile Notebooks and the Written Word'
that will be held in Scotland in August this year.
i'm particularly pleased about this because
Alison and Jeanette [who run the Textile Centre at Newburgh]
took a leap and booked Sandra at my suggestion
even better
timed her workshop for the week after my artist residency there
[which follows on from my workshops]
so that i could be a student as well.