Tag Archives: black walnut

Warrior Women: prayer flag #11

4 Feb

This morning I’m thinking about a warrior woman–one woman in particular–a scrappy keeper-of-goats living in the harsh yet beautiful desert of the SW.    Not a place for the weak of body or spirit.  I’m joining her this morning in solidarity, vowing to take back what I’ve been relinquishing–stepping out of this small, spiteful drama and reclaiming, to the degree that I can–a sense of perspective–a sense of how it goes.  Viewing the big screen in high definition.onewomancu

warrior-woman

This warrior woman was part of a weaving exercise using a little box as the loom.  She stands on cloth dyed with black walnuts.  Mounted on fabric mordanted with sumac.  Her head is one half of a sampler I made while practicing slow cloth with Jude Hill.  And yes, Jude Hill is a warrior as well.  As was my mother.   As is my daughter.  My sister, friends cousins and nieces.  This is for you.

tikkun olam: mantra cloth 2

12 Feb

Tikkun olam. A phrase that before 5:30 a.m. this morning, I had never heard. Tikkun olam. “Repairing the world.” OK–and I’m appropriating it w/out hesitation because I was asking for a mantra for this cloth, and after 5-6 days, “tikkun olam” appeared. DSC00727

Tikkun olam. “Isaac Luria, the renowned sixteenth century Kabbalist, used the phrase “tikkun olam,” usually translated as repairing the world, to encapsulate the true role of humanity in the ongoing evolution and spiritualization of the cosmos.”  There.  That’s as much as I know.  But I love it.  The thought.  The way it looks in Hebrew:

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At least the way it looks when I stitch it in Hebrew. Tikkun olam.

I was thinking about seeds when I made this cloth. Seeds and spring. Getting materials together to make a grow-light stand in a few days because I don’t have enough “good” window light and I’m ready to start a LOT of seeds. DSC00690

Two hundred of these I’ve made so far. Little biodegradable starter pots. Tikkun olam.

Dyeing Time: Black Walnut and Indigo

12 Sep

I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing this–this communing with cloth thing–but I think for maybe 2 years now. And I’m amazed at how my preference for types of cloth and color has changed. I still have a few piles of “new” cloth, somewhere, but I don’t use it–and the re-purposed fabrics I get–at thrift stores, yards sales, etc.–well, I rarely use them just as they are. I tend to do some thing to them–some thing to change the color. Mute it down. Pop it up. Some thing. And here is my latest cloth, still waiting for stitch. An earth guardian. Honoring sun/moon. Holding things in place. Watching over. Protecting heaven and earth. Fabrics all over-dyed or first time dyed in walnut, indigo, onion skin. Some tin can wrapping. Altered for a particular sense of what? Earth? I don’t know. But it’s where I’m pulled these days.

bird

Two months ago I started an indigo fermentation vat. And NO THING happened for weeks. I even put a light on it for a month, stirred it daily, but really just decided it wasn’t going to happen. And then yesterday, when I popped the lid off the container, there it was–that big coppery pile of bubbles on top of the liquid. So I dyed yesterday. With indigo. Simultaneously I was heating a pot of black walnuts on the stove in the kitchen. And I forgot about it in my indigo bliss. Forgot about it until I could SMELL it–and I was quite a ways removed from the kitchen. This was o.k. The windows were open. Fans on. Magic incense burning. But still. An unexpected delivery from Fed Ex. The driver looking at me with a peculiar expression. Sniffing. Looking over my shoulder into the house. Wondering. I resisted the temptation to explain.

But I did dye yesterday. And here is the cloth wet:

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indigo2

indigo3

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and the finished, dried fabric:

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indigo8

indigo7

indigo6

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Would have posted yesterday but got side tracked. Two weeks ago I was handed two “cicada seeds” by g-son. To keep. To guard. I always honor those requests, so why I tossed them, I just don’t know. But I did. Threw them away. I vaguely remember that I also crumpled them up first, rather intrigued with the way they crunched, like some food snack. Thought about them, then, as food stuff. But the bottom line was I threw them away.

Yesterday after school, g-son told me he needed them now. Needed the “cicada seeds.” Wanted to use them for a class project. In two days. So would I please bring them tomorrow when I picked him up? O.K. Yes. Hmmmmm. So spent this morning looking for more. And found these three hanging in various places, on the stone wall, the wooden fence, and one tangled in a spider’s web. Good. This is good. “Cicada seeds.” Yes.

cicadas

Sitting on top of just dried fabric. Black walnut. And here’s some of the black walnut dyed fabric from yesterday.

black walnut

Stepping Up

6 Dec

For months and months I have been hanging out at various fabric artists’  blog sites–sometimes leaving comments but generally just viewing from afar.  And for several months I have been taking what can only be described as a journey through cloth–and in to self– with the fabric artist Jude Hill at http://spiritcloth.typepad.com.   So now it’s time.  Time  to share.  Time to give back, in a sense, to the community of cloth at large.  Time to reach out and probably time to sometimes ask for help.    But like so much we encounter in life, things are often not as they seem.   So I’m beginning this process having no idea where it will lead but ready to “follow thread” nevertheless.

It has often occurred to me that working with cloth is, in many ways, a metaphor for life.   Perhaps the process of blogging will be the same.  It feels like a commitment to self, a commitment to record the moments in between what we generally call the “big things” that happen.   Those little moments that actually define the warp and the weft of our existence.   I’m guessing that process and perseverance in blogging, as in the creation and re-purposing of cloth, are two elements of equal importance.    So I will proceed now with the intention to continue–remembering the lines of the I Ching:  Perseverance furthers.

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