how's that for size

when i first saw the tiny kuchulu spindle on velma's blog, i knew i needed to lay my hands on one. just think of the possibilities; keep it in the purse and spin when waiting, packs light for airplane travel (and is under any bothersome length requirements), light and small enough to fit in even the littlest purses. ah, such simple joy!

yummy yummy

once one figures out the prime time to cut up a mango, life gets really good. vanilla ice cream served with fresh ripe mango.



i've been having weird beachball cursor issues on my macbook, which led to the discovery that my hard drive is failing. so new posts and responding to emails may be an issue for a little while as i figure out what to do. blech.



i love getting packages in the mail. today was especially nice, as what was in the package totally rocks! after four weeks of waiting, mina perhonen? and pieces are mine.
just browsing through the pages, exquisite image after image, my creative juices are flowing. color palettes, prints, processes, all at my fingertips. the mina perhonen? book was just published earlier this year and is definitely worth the price tag. i know already that i will be going back to it time and again for inspiration in my work. it covers earlier work through to f/w 2010/11.

pieces is a reprint from a 2003 publication dedicated to an exhibit of work at the spiral garden in tokyo, and is in both japanese and english. the text is inspiring and lends insight into the creative and ethical background of mina; though most of the photos are reprinted in color in mina perhonen?, there are those which are not. the value of this book is in the words, more so than the photos.

as the price for each is about the same, if you had to choose one, i would go with mina perhonen?. ah, i drool.


the things we find

i was undoing a hat which, once completed, was too small for my head. i didn't feel like gifting it, as i'm greatly enamored of the yarn, so i unknit it to be put aside for another project. while pulling the rows out a form took shape and i suddenly saw a jelly fish!



i love the moment right before sleep, when the brain is no longer distracted by sight, and solutions are found. i had a particularly beneficial moment of inspiration a few nights ago, and solved the puzzle of how to finish my little weavings in an aesthetic way. essentially, mounting them between pieces of wood, and creating an open-backed frame around them. the backs of textiles are sometimes more interesting than the viewable side, so why not make it available?

the 1 inch width also allows you to perch the pieces on a bookshelf, instead of being constantly mounted on a wall. i am awaiting some cherry wood for a richer frame that would look amazing next to some of the weavings, and am quite pleased with this solution.

sometimes i wonder if i should try my hand at wood working, as i am oftentimes inspired by details such as dovetailing and butterfly joinery. lately i've been obsessed with all the varieties of wood there is; pink ivory, amboyna curl, zebrawood, cocobolo, purpleheart, bubinga, vera. it doesn't help that there are so many exceedingly fine drop spindles and shuttles being made out there with such nice woods.

reading the past

i find myself turning to favorite books when i'm feeling bored and pointless, or if i need a diversion from real life. even though i've read them several times before, i enjoy revisiting their world. perhaps there is some comfort in knowing the ending, and knowing that the words on the page don't change; a solidness to the often fluidness of life.

sometimes i come across a favorite book from years ago and it seems new again; random areas i didn't remember, even though the majority of it is familiar. now and then a past favorite annoys me, and i find my enjoyment of it dimmed. there's a bit of sadness to finding a story that doesn't live up to it's foggy memory. but for each time this happens, there are books which stand the test of time, and are added to my bookshelves for easy access.

my "old faithful" list of books:
the blue sword, robin mckinley
a knight in shinning armor, jude deveraux
the changeling sea, patricia a. mckillip
howl's moving castle, diana wynne jones
sunshine, robin mckinley
get off the unicorn, anne mccaffrey
chalice, robin mckinley
ombria in shadow, patricia a. mckillip
a perfect arrangement, kay gregory
circle of pearls, rosalind laker
the ghost belonged to me, richard peck

have you any favorites you turn to when crisis or boredom strike?

pages softly turning

for the last guild meeting we looked into book making, choosing one of four types to create during the meeting. i have some experience of making books by hand, and readily enjoy the process. in the last few weeks i've come to be inspired by the work of wake robin, and feel the growing urges to retry my hand at making more organic freestyle books.

the book style i chose to make has an interesting spine setup whereby the individual codex are slipped into a separate threaded piece which has been glued to the spine after the inside cover paper is laid down. this style is quite useful, as you would be able to carefully remove the pages without ruining the book (in the off chance that you made an error while using the book and a page needed to by torn out; believe me, this happens to me a lot).

i've had these two papers for many years, and bought them at separate times, so i'm quite happy at how well they fit together. the rice paper for the pages is actually one of the earlier additions to my collection (having purchased them at a university store in new york about 10 years ago). at times it is quite useful having a hoard of art supplies!


dyeing haze

some of my dyeing efforts on wool roving are complete, so i carded them together for a particularly lovely batting to spin; two greyish purple shades of logwood, three shades of kamala, and one beige shade of lichen. i was hoping the lichen would be more pink, as the densely packed ammonia soaked lichen concoction was a bright pink, and at first i simmered it on low for an hour (resulting in the palest tan), then let it soak in fresh dyestuff for two weeks (only to get a slightly darker beige).

but the bluer logwood came out lovely, and the sunny strength of the kamala is nice. i threw in some purple sparkle while i was spinning to add some charm, and i quickly discovered that it is quite fun to add things while spinning. i would love to try some core-spinning, but the orifice of my old saxony wheel is too narrow to allow it. i wonder if it is possible to core spin with a drop spindle?

these colors are lovely, but i miss the sheen of silk, and the slightly more intense colors that fiber seems to acquire while dyeing. well, i shall carry on!