Thursday, May 27, 2010


More than a century ago, essayist and writer Charles Dudley Warner said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” I always attributed that quote to Mark Twain . When I searched online I find both of these men being given credit so I am unsure of the truth of who in fact said this.

It's another rainy, damp, dreary day. I think we've had enough. Everyone is complaining but we are just coming out of a drought and should be grateful. I'll bet if you check back in a month or two the complaining will be about the heat.

I'm busy getting the "reborn & altered" garments ready for a photo shoot on Sat. but had a hiccup by an ant invasion in being able to finish a couple of things I wanted to include.. Yes ants. They invaded my studio. A large army of medium sized, reddish black, slow moving ants parading along the wall. I had to pull everything off the lower shelfs to spray and bait them. I don't have food or anything to my knowledge that would attract them. As I said it has been super wet here so perhaps they only wanted to come in out of the rain. It did look like they were coming in one side of my studio and exiting at the other, sort of a bypass for them. I think they have rerouted themselves as there were none there when I checked this morning. Now I can get back in and reorganize and get things ready for Monday when I have a young woman coming to work for me. This is an experiment for me since I've never hired anyone to work in my studio. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

I had to turn the heat on in my studio and figure it's probably nice and warm in there now so I can get back to my tasks.

Have a nice holiday weekend. Keep dry but don't get sunburned!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A New Etsy Shop

It seems like it's been forever! I have finally opened a new Etsy shop. A new one you ask? Yes. I still have my lasfibers open where I sell my hand dyed ribbons and accessories but this last year I have been taking vintage garments and reconstructing, embellishing, altering, upcycling, and making them become new. I have sold them at a few art retreats but hesitated to list them online because they are garments that need to fit. I have spent a lot of time measuring them and trying to list the imperfections from them being vintage and specifying color in hopes buyers will understand what it is they are buying.

I created a separate shop for the upcycled and vintage garments instead of grouping everything I make (dye) into a hodgepodge. Does that make sense to you?

Anyway, I have just broken the surface of this new shop. I've listed some beautifully sweet slip dresses for sale with lots more to come. It really takes a long time to write the text (which my dear friend Jennifer was a big help) and to measure and get all the pertinent info down, to photo them and then size and crop the photos, name the garment (which my dear sister Jan assisted) because I like that these pieces get named to help tell their story.

I have a series of jackets to list but I need photos of them. I have a shoot set up next week to work with Rachel who I haven't met yet but like her work. Visit her website to see for yourself. I'm real excited about this!

Please take some time to visit my new little shop and if you come back and leave a message here at my blog I will put your name in the proverbial hat to draw a winner for this pile of my hand dyed silk, vintage crochet pieces, some dupioni shibori dyed ribbon pieces, and more. A small stash that you can take and embellish your own garment, or art book, or create something fun with. The drawing will take place on June 1st.

Be sure to leave your email or send it to me privately, some way I can contact you if you win.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paris in my Future

I have been presented with an unbelievably fabulous opportunity to possibly teach in Paris (as in France)!

Last Fall when I was visiting my friend Sharon Kilfoyle and working with her in her studio she said that the Paris American Academy of Fashion, where she has been teaching fabric dyeing and nuno felting, wanted her to take on more than the two classes she's already teaching and she didn't feel she wanted to dedicate that much of her time to be there. She wanted to be able to be home more or to travel back to Japan. She looked at me and said "Why don't you think about taking over one of my classes, we do such similar things". She said "At least come this summer and check it out". I was stunned. I'm pretty sure my mouth gaped open for a few seconds before I exclaimed "Moi?". So "tres chic" of me to answer in French but in reality that's about all the French I know. I never learned foreign language and no French. At least in Spanish I can ask where the party is, another beer please, and where is the bathroom. That's pretty much all you need to know right? As for the French language I know foie gras, champagne, the Louvre, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Maybe that's all I need of that language too huh?

The academy attracts students from all over the world. I'm planning my trip there to meet the director and observe the class the first weeks of September. Sharon says that's when the Mexican students come so "donde esta' el fiesta!" and instead of "fiesta aqui'" it's le parti est ici" (I looked that up).

I haven't spoken a lot of this trip because I don't think I'm going to believe it until I'm there. And there's always a chance this won't work out for me but what's the worst case scenario? I spent a couple of weeks in Paris with a dear friend. Not too bad huh?

Please read Sharon's story here
You can read more about the academy on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Island Walk with the Shadows

I seem to always find time to get out and walk when I visit Kauai. I don't do that at home and I live in a beautiful place but can usually talk myself out of walking. I'm not sure why that is. But here I just get up and go. I have a routine where I walk down the sidewalk through the greenbelt to the beach. I took my camera and was noticing the shadows and tried to capture some of them. The mirror image of my legs as well as the foliage and trunks of palm trees.

Lots of flowering shrubs and trees ..... hibiscus, gardenias, bird-of-paradise, plumeria.

I walk down to the water and beach comb when I get there and then back up Pe'e Road and back home.

On my way this redbird was singing proudly against the brilliant blue sky background.

And the bananas look just about ripe for the picking.

The landscapers have to come out in their bucket ladders to trim the coconuts that canopy the walkways so no one gets hurt. Usually there are young men who know how to shimmy up the tree trunks or they wear spiked shoes to climb and do this chore but these guys went the easy route with the electronic ladder.

It rained most of yesterday but today is another fabulous beach day and tomorrow's the wedding I'm to be in. It should be perfect.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kauai and Waikiki

I've been coming to visit the Hawaiian Islands for almost 20 years and realized the only time I had been to Honolulu or the island of Oahu was to change planes. Michael and I decided to go to Honolulu and see what Waikiki was all about as well as check out other tourists spots.

We flew to Honolulu late Wednesday afternoon and checked into our hotel. An older, established one two blocks from the beach at Waikiki. We immediately walked down to the beach and scouted the area for restaurants. We had dinner at d.k.'s at the Marriott sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean right at sunset. I didn't take my camera so I have no photos.

After dinner we strolled along the prominade listening to street muscians, seeing mimes and other entertainers. The weather was balmy but I couldn't help feeling like I could have been in Santa Monica and not Waikiki.

The next morning as I was showering Michael went out, found a Starbucks (duh?) and returned with coffee and pasties. We then mapped out how to get to Pearl Harbor and we went on our way to take the tours. First of the USS Missouri, then the Aviation museum and final the Arizona Memorial. We were told this could take 5 hours and I was hesitant that I'd want to take that much time to see all that but once we were there we could have even spent longer. The USS Missouri was fascinating, even if it was sobering to watch the videos and relive that history.

We drive back into Honolulu to have a late lunch in Chinatown. We weren't really impressed with Chinatown but we did have a nice lunch at Indigo's. Then we walked over to tour the Iolani palace. The woodwork was incredible and we were surprised to see indoor plumbing .... flush toilets, showers, bathtubs made of copper ....... very advanced as this was built in 1882. They had plumbing before the USA White House did. These were not "Hawaiians in grass skirts with boobs hanging down to their waist like National Geographic depicted them" the docent told us.

We decided we were "museumed out" so we skipped the art museum and drove to Sand Island and walked the beach and sat out on the seawall until we had to go to the airport and fly back to Kauai.

I had taken my camera to Pearl Harbor and then we were only allowed to photo certain things and those weren't really things to photo so I didn't carry my camera around with me anymore. Good thing because we couldn't photo the Palace, no cameras allowed. It was sort of nice to travel without computers, cameras, any kind of electonics, didn't even take my cell phone. Remember how that use to feel? right.