Old photos, lively spirits

I have spent the past week sorting, scanning, labeling, and gently restoring old family photos. Like “The Velveteen Rabbit,” they are creased and faded and scuffed, but the very fact that they have been preserved over the decades is testament to their strong spirit. How many old photos get lost or discarded over the years? […]

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Zula: old adventures reborn

Meet Zula, newly awakened from the realm of old socks and sweaters. Kind of a variation on The Velveteen Rabbit: if you treasure your clothes, even as they begin to wear out — if the natural fibers have soaked up all the joys and sorrows, all the thrills and spills — they can find new […]

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Indigo Batik, Round 3

One more t-shirt for Jim. Another length of experimental linen. Zeroing in on soy wax as my go-to resist, djanting as my go-to applicator. For this round, I dipped my two items in the indigo pot three times each. More dips is how you get deeper color with indigo. T-shirt I’m trying to be more […]

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More indigo: t-shirts

[1] Jim hates sleeveless shirts because he thinks his arms are too skinny, but warm days and gym workouts demanded more than his single 1980s Cayman Islands souvenir shirt. And it became another excuse for me to play. We bought some white shirts. Best result: doodling in melted soy wax with a djanting–an Indonesian “pen” […]

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Decolourant: more play

I mentioned carving stamps as play, then I used a couple simple ones with soy wax as I prepared for indigo-day. By today, I had read enough book chapters and watched enough videos to try the Jacquard decolourant I ordered some time ago. (It used to be called “discharge paste” but I guess people thought […]

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Indigo daze

After puzzling through a maze of dyes and resists, yesterday was the day to go indigo. I allowed myself the luxury of a “purification ritual” — cleaning up the outdoor workshop and annointing it with peppermint spray to drive away the spiders. The space, if not sacred, at least has to be respectable. Even though […]

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Permission to play

I want to live an enchanted art life. But real life (RL) interferes. Phone calls must be made. Bills, paid. Business emails, sent. Shit, arranged. I usually let these pile up till I have a conscience attack on a Friday afternoon, but then figure “I’ll do it all first thing Monday morning. Swear.” This past […]

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Coneflowers and friends

On the sunny side of our cabin, we have hundreds of cone flowers (Echinacea), with a few black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) and rampant oregano (Origanum vulgare). The cone flowers are very congenial. They sleep until the hyacinths and irises have had their showtime, then grow tall and burst into flower. Their blooms are long-lived. The bees […]

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Dye Painting. Meh.

Today was doodle day on my experimental yard of linen. I went through my winter sketchbooks and found some great motifs. I followed instructions for making “complex colors” (adding complements to primaries — blue + orange, red + green, yellow + purple). My blank canvas was ready. I was surprised that my thin dye mixtures […]

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Focus: Dive into Dyeing

One cure for Summer Hyperactivity Disorder is to devote multi-hour chunks to a single project — go deep, get it to a logical stopping point before veering off to the next shiny object. For months I’ve been planning to make a simple shirt from hand-dyed linen. I have the linen. I have the pattern. But […]

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