Thursday, 28 November 2013

giving thanks

giving thanks for things

thank you for all the friendly emails from folks who assure me that they do like to swing by this sometimes vacant lot in the hope of a story and for the kind words they leave in return

giving thanks for kind friends who have loaned me a baritone saxophone for the rest of my stay here in Portland

though the squirrels in the ceiling are not impressed.

giving thanks that i had done my yoga on Sunday morning
so that when i was affected by gravity on these stairs

and landed suddenly at the bottom
bent the wrong way and with my head making contact with the door jamb
i was properly flexible and nothing broke. not even the spectacles that fell out of my pocket

also thankful that i had a bag of frozen leaves in the ice-box
[frozen leaves make a much better ice-pack than frozen peas]

i think it was the Dogs Above telling me
slow down
look before you leap in
a timely reminder that we are really about as durable as a splash in the river

giving thanks, too, that i will be going home at the end of next week
home where my folks are
home to a long-overdue reality check
where my chillun will poke me if i get too full of myself
where my cat will [i hope] leap on to my suitcase
and glare at me, defying me to touch it [the suitcase, not the cat. she will require pats]
and where i can go and sit down in a paddock at sunset
knowing that sooner or later
a certain chocolate coloured someone with big feet will wander up behind me
blow warm grassy breath down my neck
and then rest her big velvet muzzle on my head

it will be summer
and warm
and i am going to spend most of it in this dress
that i have worn so much, the cloth along the seams was disintegrating

it is cotton, the kind that is fuzzy inside
bought for a song from a purveyor of remnants
because it was stained. [chuckles]
so after mending
and before dyeing

i drew on it with remnants from the kitchen

a turkey baster is useful for writing
[and for transferring indigo if you are attempting to emulate Hiroyuki Shindo's pool-dyeing methods]
and you can make moonstones
i love moonstones

even the ones that don't last

the dress turned out rather nicely
with a pleasant contrast between the SilkyMerino repairs, the silk stitching
and the worn cotton background

even the interior is nice [above and below], so it is now reversible as well

i dyed some cloth for labels in the same pot
ready to stitch with my name and a numerical code
that identifies the garment. something to do on the long plane ride.

the traditional Japanese saying "never throw away a piece of cloth big enough to wrap three beans" translated here to "use the little leftover bits for labels"


and before you ask
i have no idea what made that mauve

words of wisdom
found at Imogene and Willie

i'm taking that one to heart.

Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. India, you are at the top portion of my gratitude list this year. I have enjoyed having your spirit so close by and getting glimpses of you here and there. I have changed for the better because of your teaching which goes so far beyond cloth. I doubt I will ever alter a piece of cloth with out saying a word of gratitude .... For the natural world and for you. So happy thanksgiving to you India. hugs!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, dear India. Grateful for you, and glad you soon will reunite with your flock at home. XO.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you dear India! I'm glad you have not broken anything taking a tumble down those stairs. Enjoy being back at home with your loved ones! {{hugs}}

  4. 'Second Skin' arrived yesterday and this posting today...I'm happily reading between Thanksgiving preparations. Welcome to our table, here in Houston, Texas!

  5. I'll probably forget to tell you when you are home again but that shot of your friend in the water is beyond magical.
    Have a look at my gratitude post below the peacock.

    1. Silly old bat, got my photos mixed up, it was the light in the splash one I meant while in my mind I saw the stone stack standing in clear water.

  6. Glad you made the trip to the base of the stairs unharmed... and that your work is proceeding with its usual gloriousness, and that home is getting nearer.

  7. thankful for you
    and all the BEauty that flows from here
    hoping you slow down and avoid falls
    what would the whirled do without India
    happy and safe travels home

    blessings to you this Thanksgiving!

  8. Thanks for giving us so much of yourself, your wisdom, your knowledge, your humor, your encouragement, this blog and the found, stitched and dyed blog. Simply put, thanks for the inspiration you provide not only via the dyepot but by the way you live in this whirled. As the Irish say when one leaves and returns, "safe home" and may your joys abound as you reunite with your family and loved ones.

  9. So glad you're back and not damaged by the trip down the very steep looking staircase...have a good safe trip home.

  10. ahhhhh such colours of thankfullnesses -- happy tripping back to this side of the pond -- happy summer basking -- happy cat hugging -- happy quietness and restfulness xxx

  11. Last time I said I needed a break I literally got one, shoulda done my yoga. Be careful what you wish for they say.
    Love Love Love your work and I'm happy you had the frozen leaves in your pocket!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you too:)

  12. happy thanksgiving dear one. i'm in toronto with wendy and soon aimee, too, for a non turkey holiday, which is also my birthday this year. which means your's is just around the corner. happy happy november!

  13. and, please watch those stairs. i'm glad you're ok, and please tell me your head didn't hit.

  14. Happy Thanksgiving to you! At this point of pausing to reflect each year, I am thankful that I had the chance to meet you in person this fall, and be inspired to keep working in a sustainable manner. Enjoy your last few days in Portland.

  15. Gravity can have a nasty way of winning. Glad you bounced. Another thing to add to my list of Things For Which I Am Grateful.

  16. Gravity can have a nasty way of winning. Glad you bounced. Another thing to add to my list of Things For Which I Am Grateful.

  17. I about lost it at the chocolate colored someone with big feet.

    With profound gratitude on this particular Thanksgiving. xo

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  19. Safe travels homeward lovely soul.....
    Very pleased your noggin and sundry other elements of your anatomy are intact after what my father used to call an "arse over teacup" tumble down those steps. Truly scary, and yes, SLOW is the remedy.

    Deep bow of gratitude for having met you, learned from you, and journeyed along with you on this creative path. You are one of a kind, and the deep integrity with which you approach your art/life is a true inspiration. Big hug, and hope it's not terribly long till we meet again.

  20. Happy thanksgiving, Favorite Bear. Safe travels to your home!
    - sus

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  22. dear india , Happy thanksgiving to you too, ups good nothing more happen on the steps ., enjoy you dress , happy for you very soon returning back to your AUS and all yours . See you in blue 2014.

  23. I'm grateful that you are still in one piece after your tumble and relishing the thought of something chocolate on big feet breathing grassy breath into your hair.... and oh I'm grateful for those earthy colourful prints which always fill me with awe. On this side of the world I'm grateful for rain and cooler weather for a while.

  24. thankfully your in one piece

  25. Thank you India, the three days spent with you at Ruskin Mill are one of the highlights of my year

  26. I give thanks for your blog post today filled with adventure and I sneak away from family and football in search of a little quiet.

  27. Hi India,
    as this is about Thanksgiving: THANK YOU for teaching me a glimpse of your plant-nature-ecoprint-wisdom in Scotland this year.
    THANK YOU for so many amusing/interesting posts on your blog ..they are the highlights of so many tired mornings.
    And if you feel the urge of revisiting your "Koffer in Berlin"
    (maybe a workshop???) I would love to be there.
    Safe trip home - eva

  28. Thank you India for continuing to share your journey with us...and for having done your yoga that morning! So glad you landed without injuring yourself. Enjoy the rest of your time on this side of the pond. Safe travels home!

  29. I am so thankful to have found your blog, through Jenny Dean's post just now.
    It was a big splurge for me money wise at the time but this past summer here I bought your eco color book which was a referral from a magazine article I had read.
    I sat down and read your book cover to cover in two days-it was so inspiring and full of new adventures in dyeing for me. I have collected bags of frozen flowers to try some of your techniques this winter.
    So glad you did not get hurt from your long fall down the stairs-ouch. Enjoy returning home again a new follower Kathyinozarks

  30. Oh, India, the more of your electronic scribblings I read, the more certain I am that I love you, that you are my kind! I too have a freezer full of leaves, petals and berries of questionable edibility but with powerful dye properties. I began boiling, blending and stitching young, and now feel strange without the scent of a pot in my backyard, doing what it will to the salvage I obtain.

    Your soul, words, expertise, aesthetics and experience are so valued to me.

    Keep on with the lyrical wilderness, my generation is coming around!

  31. That dress looks lovely India! So glad that you are ok after tumbling down the stairs, good thing you were nice and bendy