Sunday 29 September 2013

humming happily

i'm humming along happily in New Orleans
as a guest of the Joan Mitchell Center
working on a project for an exhibition next year
under the supervision of an old friend
the silk for the project was a kind donation
from my longtime friends at Beautiful Silks
and i have the offer of back-up studio space at NOCCA 
through my lovely friend Nikki Jackson
one thing often
leads to another
 and when i need a break from stitching
music is never far away

later on, wandering home
i step into a flower shop
and am given another present
a twig of Eucalyptus polyanthemos
which, oddly enough
was just what i needed

Tuesday 24 September 2013

colour literally gathered from the gutters

we haven't had to look far
for beautiful colours here at Maiwa
they are literally drifting to the ground from 
local trees [within 200 yards of the dye studio]

no adjunct mordants are being used
leaves and water
paper and cloth
i am having a splendid time
[i do hope they ask me back]

Monday 23 September 2013


there have been some sweet "reviews" of late...

from Christi
and Susan
and even from Maiwa

i'm getting quite pink around the ears.

my host is letting me cook chowder
[i'm afraid i messed up the kitchen a bit]
which helps prevent too much going to my head.


today in class
we took an hour
to focus on one leaf
each of us working with one
examining how it looked
and felt
how it sounded
and smelled
and writing down what that leaf evoked for us
before bundling it into a dyepot

the pix above are student work from today
the single leaf reverence bundles
will be opened tomorrow...

Sunday 22 September 2013

at Maiwa

i left Lopez with considerable reluctance
but warmed by the comforting thought that
i will be back. it really feels like another home.
it's a rare thing to feel so compatible with hosts you've only just met
that it doesn't feel at all out of the ordinary to be sitting over the remains of dinner
reading poetry to each other
and comparing pocket music libraries
it was a very good time
thank you Christi
and Patsy & John Sangster
and all my lovely students

the train journey up the coast
was truly beautiful
through dazzling scenery
now i'm teaching at Maiwa
[again being thoroughly pampered by my kind hosts]
and there is rather a lot of magic emanating from the dyepots

the pavements provided a clue
as to potentially useful material

prunus leaves
literally scraped out of the gutters

the magic of maple
dogwood over prunus over cotoneaster
and good old sugar maple strutting her stuff

Thursday 19 September 2013

my list of special places is growing

i think i may have accidentally nibbled on a pomegranate
metaphorically speaking
leaving is going to be hard

but before i go
i promised the kind folk at the South End Restaurant
that i would mention them in dispatches
in case other visitors to the island want to play it safe
and eat delicious things that are not pomegranates

drop in here to see what they offer

Monday 16 September 2013

Lopez Island

i have loved the idea of islands
ever since i was a small child devouring Arthur Ransome's stories
about the Swallows and Amazons who
sailed to Wildcat Island
and waged war against pirates

i think Lopez Island might be a grown-up version
of that childhood dream


and at the end of the working day
a small and secret cove beckons
i can imagine the two-masted red-sailed schooner
[that i once saw pass under the Golden Gate Bridge]
might anchor at sunset...