31 December 2015

Delving Into 2016


New Years's Eve ..almost. So many people are getting ready to gather for festivities tonight (perhaps a nap before the partying begins, a new coif, shopping for Champagne?) that I almost always feel a bit out-of-step on this day.

There was a time in my youth when I adored going glam (that's hard to imagine when I look in the mirror these days!), dusting off my formal wear and dancing shoes and chilling not one but many bottles of fine 'champs'. I used to look forward to see how my dates formal attire would look on them too. It was, at that point in time, a festive occasion. Not for the first time this year have I wondered if the holiday season is really fit only for the young....

Somewhere along the line my idea of a good New Years Eve became curling up with a good book and getting into bed by 9pm - about the time that my home states (New York and Connecticut) were watching the glittery ball fall in Times Square. I was never much of a reveler - truth be told. I wasn't fond of getting inebriated, for one, and two, I did not think that having a hang-over was, in any way, how begin a bright new year. My endearing, New Years Eve book fest continues...

Of course being the history buff that I am I like to read about New Years customs from days gone by...some of which, to me at least, feel more pertinent now than ever. Until 1752, when the Gregorian Calendar was adopted, New Years was not celebrated until March 25th..which in other times was also celebrated as Lady' Day and/or the Feast of the Annunciation.

The history channel has a nice little round up of New Years history and trivia here: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years...or Wikipedia does a nice job here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Day


It was good old Julius Caesar who originally though to make January 1st the start of a New Year in order to honor the god Janus.

Times Square in NYC began dropping the glittery ball in 1907

In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth) and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

Throughout antiquity, civilizations around the world developed increasingly sophisticated calendars, typically pinning the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event. In Egypt, for instance, the year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius. The first day of the Chinese new year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice.

Revelers often enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year. In Spain and several other Spanish-speaking countries, people bolt down a dozen grapes-symbolizing their hopes for the months ahead-right before midnight. In many parts of the world, traditional New Year’s dishes feature legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; examples include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States.

Tonight's reading will be finishing up "The Spy Who Loved". It is a riveting biography of Christine Granville...a polish Countess who became a spy for the British during WWII. I learned SO much from this book....it will remain wit me for a long time and has sparked my interest to read more WWII history - something that, hitherto, held little interest for me....other than the French Resistance....they are some true heroes in my opinion.

When I turn the last page on tha book I am finally going to read Rutherford's "London". It has been on my TBR list for such a long time and I am in the mood for a long, historically based, book about one of my favorite places on earth.

Whatever way you celebrate the dawn of th New Year....and I sincerely pray that there are people who still live "puttin'on the Ritz" and dancing and reveling all night.... be safe and call a cab if you need to.

I wish everyone, especially my loved ones, friends and family alike, to enjoy a new year of blessings, light, love, laughter, health, and boundless creativity. Cheers! I may even drink a toast to that before the night is done!


21 December 2015

Respite: Taking A Cue From Tilly

Respite —noun

1. a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief: to toil without respite.

2. temporary suspension of the execution of a person condemned to death; reprieve.

This is what spouse and I are doing this year about the holidays. We are not being grinches or grouchers, but we are taking a sabbatical and enjoying a respite; stepping back and "not doing" rather than doing.

I was curious to see how it would feel to "not do" during this time of the year and it feels a bit "out-of-step" certainly but, more to the point, it is a relief to be able to simply be in the relative here and now of the "everyday" watching the world swirl about and hurry on around me.

I admit that I have become very disenchanted with the hyper- commercialism of the holidays, but it feels like more than that. As I get older I do tend to think more about memorable holidays past and, as could be expected, many of my fondest memories are from when I was a youngster- or at least young adult. Christmas really is for kids I thinks. You make memories that will last a lifetime during the holidays when you have children, but I seem to know many adults who would really rather "not" do the do, create the fete, schlep to the malls or otherwise wear their "Santa hat" in public. Most of us still do it anyway because it has become 'expected' if a little hackneyed.

One friend and his family have escaped to a once in a lifetime dream vacation to the Land Down Under...a great way for the family to enjoy their holidays as a family experience. What memories these will be!

Most of my friends and I have also agreed to forego the holiday madness. I prefer to be sending New Years cards this year and birthdays -or perhaps the Epiphany- will be celebrated with gifts instead. It wasn't until 1752 that New Year's was celebrated on January 1st rather than in March and "holiday gifts" used be exchanged for New Years's rather than in December. It wasn't until 1870 (wow!) that we began to celebrate Christmas on December 25th. In actuality the history of the holidays is far more interesting than simply as a religious reminder for a variety of belief systems. History.com has a great little blurb about it all here.

I am enjoying the freedom to jus sew, knit and play as usual without the expectation of so much wrapping (we still have small gifts for three people that need to get wrapped), card writing, and exercising the plastic. My New Years cards are waiting for me on the table...the envelopes are calmly being written out.

So, until we celebrate the beginning of another wonderful year I am taking my cue from my current favorite feline...taking a wee respite in the middle of the maelstrom!

Tilly and I will be celebrating the Winter Solstice together. Welcoming the gradual return of light to the world.


16 December 2015

If At First You Don't Succeed

I made this quilt - " Smitten", designed by Jen Kingwell, to overcome any lingering fear of "Y" seam construction. I thought that it worked well.

Recently the "project that has no name" included a couple of "y-seam" blocks. The first came off without a hitch- the second, however, gave me a few fits. Basically the center square is fitted into the block with y-seams ....sounds simple enough.

This was my first, machine sewn, block. It worked, the size would have been right,but I did not like the colors and it wasn't all that good so I never even finished it

My second try...not bad...not great. Machine sewn. A bit too wonky for my taste. I may keep it...or may not.

Another machine attempt that, once again, looks okay..it's better....just not great....not perfect......but I'll keep it.

Finally, I decided to give hand sewing this block a try. Yes, it took a bit longer, but not all that much when I take into consideration the time I took to cuss my limited abilities at machine sewing this block!

voila! Perfection. Perfect size, tidy, less wonky, all parts well sized, all points meet as they should! Yes! I'll take it! Success is a worthy goal!








11 December 2015

Modern and Traditional Playing Well Together

One project that I am working on is one that I cannot say much about at this point. The blocks, at least at this early point, are traditional blocks while some future blocks are quite unique.

I wanted to do something different...as in using a non-traditional fabric selection- but then decided that I might as well make a second, more traditional, version as well. That helps me use up some of my collection of reproduction fabrics as well.

For the less traditional version I have chosen a selection of fabrics from Parson Grey, Marcia Derse, and Malka Dubrawsky. For the traditional look a lot of my collection is by Judie Rothermel. I love seeing how differnt the effect is!








07 December 2015

Making A "Carry On Travel Bag"

A good friend has, once again, chided me for being such a laggard with posting. Time seems to move along at warp speed sometimes and I confess that I do forget. Most of the time it's more because I don't feel as though I have done anything that new or interesting...
Last Spring I cut out pattern pieces to make "The Carry On On Travel Bag". I had owns the pattern for some time and had looked forward to making it, but quilt projects and clothing endeavors took first place in my time commitments and the Carry On Bag languished in a corner. I finally decided that I wanted to put the "finished" stamp on this project before the end of the year and so I set to getting it done. I did buy the finishing kit for the bag...it makes it so much easier to have everything that you without having to hunt all over the web for long zippers, hardware and the nice acrylic bottom.

The first thing that had to be done was to quilt the fabrics. I chose to use two different colorways of FigTree "Aloha Girl" (with a third color way for accents). Embracing blue has been a new thing for me, but I am enjoying blue- al but true blue pastels at least! I am very fond of using Annie's Soft'n'Stable as my 'batting. It provides a cushy feel to the finished product and the machine sews through it like butter. Although I used a simple straight line quilting design the fabric pieces are large and it took some time, but I have have always liked using this simple design for bags and it was, I think, perfect for this one too.
The pattern calls for the outer straps to be fabric covered poly-web strapping. I preferred to use 1.5" all cotton webbing which I found on Etsy. It's excellent quality and I am very happy with the results - I just did not want the sheen of poly strapping/webbing and I couldn't really see the benefit of covering the straps.
The instructions for this pattern- as for all of Annie's.com patterns- were/are excellent. Some of the best written ones I have come across. If you follow step by step (and I do use the handy places to check off your completed steps) you can get the job done and done well. I will never fear buying a bag pattern from Annie's.com.
I am blessed with a good, strong, sewing machine but there were times when I think that in the making of this bag I pushed my beloved Janome 8900 to it's limits. I used a size 120/20 needle which I am SO glad that I had on hand. In places I was sewing through 8 layers of fabric, 2 layers of Soft'n'Stable and the cotton webbing (mostly when I was binding the inside seams). Managing the bag at the machine also taxed my arthritic hands at times!
This bag is definitely large enough to use as a "weekend away" bag (unless you are a heavy packer and need many changes of clothes) and it is a great size for a carry-on bag. It is sized correctly for under-seat storage on aircraft.
I am going to look and see if I can find any little feet to add to the bottom...just to keep the bottom off as much of a possible dirty floor as I can. There are pockets galore both inside and out...so it will be easy to have a place for everything. I love it when I learn new things when I make a bag and his one gave me some great (not difficult) new techniques that will be a boon to future projects.
I think that buying the acrylic bottom for the bag (they call it poly acrylic on the website- link earlier in this post). It fits perfectly into the bottom (there is a slip for it that you construct), it creates a very stable surface that will not bend or break as something like cardboard would inevitably do. I was happy with my decision to use cotton webbing rather than fabric covered poly and I now know how wonderfully strong and solid my machine really is.
This is bag that will be used a lot. I would make more I think but first I will see if perhaps I can rent some time and use an industrial machine. It isn't that my machine can't do it all...but rather that I think an industrial machine might be easier on my hands.
I have a few more bag projects from Annie's.com on my "to-do" and "want-to-do" lists and I am really looking forward to the net one! Someone making a bag feels very satisfying to me. I like making useful things and we can never really have too many bags can we?!
  • What was the last project you made that stretched your personal capabilities?
  • Have you ever felt that you were pushing your sewing machine to the motor's limits?
  • What's on your project list for the near future? I would love to know what everyone is up to!

16 October 2015

Gifts Of Friendship That Cross The www Bridge

For many years I moved a lot for business when I worked for airlines...9 moves in 10 years and all, ostensibly, for better jobs and better wages. What I missed out on during those years was being able to put down roots and with roots, of course, come friendships. As I look back on those years I question if all of the moves were worth it. Hindsight is 20/20 of course and it all made sense to me at the time (yes, I can be a bit bullheaded and obstinate at times!). Those years did give me a much greater appreciation for friendships though and, perhaps, that is one reason why I treasure the friends that I now have so very much. In the end, I think, life is about family and friends and not so much the career or the money. I have only a couple of enduring friendships from that period of my life - one who like my "other half" and the sister that I never had...so for that I am most grateful.
The Internet is a great and mighty entity - one that I would not give up very willingly now that we have it- but, let's face it, it has a dangerous, darker side too. Many people that you "meet" on social media and the web are pleasant acquaintances, but not of much substance. I have been very blessed, however, to have found several "online" friendships that endure and grow. I don't understand why I have been so blessed, but I have been and I am very grateful. Recently, two of these amazing women have sent me packages that have blown me away - as much by their contents as by their offers of unconditional friendship and caring. I can never thank them enough for that precious intangible quality!

Jeannie Evans-VanHoff has been someone that I connected with strongly through her thoughtful comments to my blog and through FaceBook. She has been generous with her positive support and her offer of friendship. In the past she gifted with me with wools, felts and and a whimsical book on stitching.

After my workshop with India Flint last month I had mentioned on FaceBook that I was going to go searching for a horse shoe to use in future Eco-dyeing experiments. Not long after a box full of magic and rusty goodness arrived at my door. Jeannie says that this is one of the oddest boxes that she has ever sent through the mail and, well, let's just say that the post office offered a good deal on the heft of this flat rate box!

Jeannie- how can I thank you for the joy and friendship that you have gifted me with? The contents of this box, which include some of your Dad's treasures, is so special..and I know that I will get some awesome results from these cool 'rusty gold' items! Your beautiful shibori will be used for something special...some special stitching project that is small and filled with special memory items...your card is tucked in my journal.

Another special "online" friendship is one that has grown over the years. Judy Hudgins, Knotty Needle to her friends, has been a cheerleader and friend for some years now. She and I both worked for the same airline years ago, although in different areas. I always have said that if I had had the kind of positive support from my parents as she gives me I could have gone places! She is a talented knitter, writer, quilter, mixed media artist and her love for reading rivals my own!

This past week I got a fat envelope (even better than those fat envelopes that you get when a quilt has been accepted for a show!) from her. I had known that she was going to send me some 'samples' of fabrics that she though I would like...this lucky gal lives near some wonderful shops let me tell you! Thanks to some of the previous fabric samples she sent, I am finishing a shirt made that was made with fabric that I ordered after she sent me a few pieces of some lovely rayon batiks. What I had not expected was that the "samples" in this envelope would be yardage! Jeez! How in the heck do I rate for this kind of goodness?!

These are digitally printed cottons from Kaufman California. They feature vibrant colors and a silky soft, drapey, hand. The one below is a homage to my home town (well, I have two home towns really- the other is in Connecticut), New York City. The beautifully featured Emprie State Building gave me shivers...I used to look at it from our apartment windows way back when.....

I guess my point is that friendships mean a lot to me- especially now that, later in this game of life- it would be oh so difficult to re-establish meaningful friendships if I were ever to move again. Friendships really do float my boat. I have many acquaintances, but I cultivate relatively few, true, deeper, connections. These two gracious women, who have always offered their friendship to me across the magic of the www, will remain close to my heart. Thank you both...oh so much!

Hold your friends and family close. Tell them that you love them and care about them...enrich yourself by doing so......


05 October 2015

An Intriguing BOM From Land Down Under- Or "Material Obsession" By Any Other Name

I decided that this coming year would be devoted to re-engaging in my love for hand appliqué. To that end I fell in love with this pattern, called Sweet Surrender, designed by Susanne Cody and sold by Material Obsession (the well known shop and home of Kathy Doughty) in Australia. In order to save just a bit on the high cost of international postage I opted for shipping every other month...so I just received two months in this first shipment. The fabrics that are included are shown below...in their just unpacked bags!

Typically, I am not a huge fan of BOM's. I always seem to want to tweak patterns -if not downright diverge from them- and I often prefer to use my own fabrics. That being said, I was VERY curious to see what fabrics would come from the 'land down under' and so I ordered the BOM..figuring that I could always choose to use- or not use what was sent.

Material Obession does a great job with their BOM's. Directions are clear and well written. Fabrics are well chosen and appropriate (though one piece of background fabric is just too cute to use and I will save it to use in another way). I am looking forward to sewing this project....although can I just say that making almost 1/8" stems will soon become second nature for me ...or at least I hope that they will.....otherwise you may hear echos of some choice words of frustration! I look at a pattern and think "oh gosh ...that's a pattern that I would like to make" and I neglect to notice some of the more niggling details like 1/8" stems! I like patterns with a lesson to teach (witness Jen Kingwell's 'Smitten' that I did to overcome any lingering dislike for 'set in' seams (the dreaded 'y' seams) and so I expect that the stems in this pattern are my lesson...though after finishing the first stems it may not be too difficult anyway....just a bit time consuming. I have, thus far, cheated and made a scant quarter inch stem that I folded to get my eighth inch. This makes for a slightly thicker stem...and it will work for some fabrics but may be too bulky for others...we will see!

This will be my hand-sewing project for the 2016. I have TWO machine projects planned....although the second one may become a half machine and half applique project. The first is the very traditional "Farmer's Wife 1930's" (although I had not planned on doing this one I decided to go ahead with it and also with a 'no guilt' policy if I fall behind) which I joined in order to use up a fraction of my 1930's fabrics stash. You have seen a block or two that I have already posted. Angie from GnomeAngel and Marti Michelle of fabulous template fame are the leaders of this huge project...the FB group,is HUGE!

The second project may have to be kept under wraps for some time...as a larger project within the concept of the quilt is being considered. It is a large, traditionally based quilt that I am going to work in either Parson Gray fabrics (if I decide to let my personal exchequer spring the cash to get them) or else it will become a modern-scrappy version (do you think that 'modern' and 'scrappy' are somewhat oxymoronic?!)

Either way I think that my project for 2016 is pretty well filled...with the exception that I know I will want to make some more shirts when the passing piece of perfect fabric calls to me...

Has anyone else considered what they want to do in the new year? Generally I don't....and for the first time in many, many years my holiday cards have not even been considered much less ordered. This is the month that I generally begin writing em...the envelopes...yes, I am already behind!

For those of you who have gotten read to this point and who use links from within a post....do you prefer :

A link that opens to a new page or

A link that opens within the blog post?

Inquiring minds need to know! Thanks so much.

Cheers to the beautiful season of Fall! Let's all take some moments to stop any the color and scents of the season!





29 September 2015

India Flint and September Gone

Our classroom

Caution! After a long quiet spell, this is a long post so, if you want to, have a cuppa and enjoy this glimpse into a workshop with India Flint....after a brief prologue!

I have done it again! Failed as a 'faithful news updater'. Where did the time go? Once again a gentle push from a friend alerted me to the fact that that time had slipped through my fingers and an update here was sorely needed. September was an unusually busy month for me. Among other, smaller events, September featured an annual quilting retreat to Cle Elum, Washington. It's a beautiful spot in the mountains and the scenery always provides a nice Autumnal counterpoint to our lowland views. A week after I got back from there, my friend, Janet, and I headed to a neighboring island (Lopez) for a magical three day workshop with India Flint. It would have been wonderful if we had been able to just commute to and from each day, but the Fall Washington State Ferry Schedule meant that it would have been neigh on impossible to do so - and so Janet found us a cozy beach cottage to rent. We returned home late Friday night and I am, just now (Tuesday) beginning to feel somewhat 'myself' again.
The garden that was the backdrop for the class.
Before my FM/CFS and pesky chronic back pain issues(from the surgeries), colored my life, I never was much for schedules or routines. My energy flowed as I willed it to - more or less. Now I have to be so much more careful. Routines bring comfort and I carefully doll out my energy in spoon-fulls rather than event-fulls. Going away to do something fun brings with it the knowledge that I will "pay for the fun" by requiring most of a week to recover. My need for sleep and rest skyrockets. While my issues are nothing compared to what many others face, the fact that each day can bring an energy deficit with elevated pain does wear on me. I try not to bring these issue to this site...but once it awhile the truth behind my lack of diligence here might require a mention.

But now - back to the fun in life.........................

I have been a fan of India Flint for many years, but her classes are generally too far away and too expensive for my personal exchequer to consider. When this opportunity to take a class on a neighboring island came up last February I knew that it would be now or never. I prepared. The class itself was called "Wayfarer's Jacket". It is about working a deconstructed pre-loved garmet into a recreated, somewhat visonary, garment that is replete with pockets to hold treausues, words, implements and utilitarian objects. I knew from the get go that this was not really "my thing" but I hoped that I would learn whatever it was that I needed to learn from the class....and I did. In spades.

We were a class of 13 very lucky women from parts near and wide. We included one woman from the host island,  Janet and I from our 'neighbor' rock, 2 from Canada, 4 from Seattle and 4 from California... it think that is how it broke out. It was such a great group of creatives that I felt inspired. There was a sense of comraderie and friendship that permeated the three days. India Flint is one of the most gracious women and teachers that I have met - she has encyclopedic knowledge of her craft, but she is unassuming, well grounded and a throuugh delight. She is attentive when needed and gently guided when she intuits that you perfer to go it on your own (which I think is the vibe that I must whiff of).
A 'pre-loved' shirt becomes a pinafore
 (an apron by any other name).
This was the option that I chose to make as well,
but mine is still in the continuing process of becoming
It felt like sacrilege to cut apart the Irish Linen Shirt that I had brought to work with. Most of the additional fabrics that I had brought were silk chiffon, and silk noil. I had no pre-conceived notion of just what in the heck I would be doing and, truth be told, I did not want to spend more money before I had a good idea of "the plan". Knowing that the jacket option would see little use, I was happy to make an alternate choice- a pinafore which I know will see use. I had to shake myself into submission as I took my scissors to the sleeves and placket of the snowy white linen. At this pointin time my apron is stalled, but it looks much like the image above that was another student's work. I was amazed at how free and easy some of my classmates were with their "scissor hands". They blythely cut into sweaters, precious silks and woolens as they created ruffles and sinuous curves of cloth that were melded and welded onto the vestiges of their original garment. Meanwhile, I was considering how I might put my shirt back together again! I am adding threadwork and embroidery at a slow pace. It will, at some point, become a finished, wearable, item.....yes, it will!
..............and the cauldron bubbled............
Best of all I was able to get answers to so many of the questions that I had about making and 'cooking' eco-dyed bundles. Although I presumed that eco-dyeing would be a logical component to this class I was not sure how much time would be devoted to it. Happily, a large amount of time was devoted to this amazing process.... and all of my personal learning goals for the class were met- and then some.

Our two hostesses were Mz.Christi and Mz. Patsy. Between the three of these women (Mz.India cooked for us too) they managed to feed us royally each day; treating us to lunches worthy fine restaurants. Included were some of the best gluten free breads and cakes that I have ever enjoyed eating. There were rich, delectable soups, tasty grains and salads, rich, lusty, cheeses and crusty breads galore. The setting was a home that belongs in the pages of architectural magazines with vistas of land, forest and seas that delighted my eyes at every step and turn of the pathway that led from the classroom to the house. The path was magical; filled with old growth evergreens, Madrona trunks that twisted towards the sky and mosses and lichens that looked like the homes of fairy kingdoms. The light in these forests was like no other that I have seen locally. I felt so blessed to be a part of this. It was a class, yes, but it was so very much more. A class with India Flint is more of a total experience rather than just an opportunity to learn about her process. If you have the interest I cannot any more highly suggest that you snap up  a place in whatever class you can get to!  Many of India's students travel extensively each year to take on-going classes. I wish I could do that too...especially one tht she teaches in Edinburgh...perhaps in my next life I will be able to!

There was a box of "give-away" garment and fabrics that our hostess, Christi, made available. The dress that is in the image above was one of those orphan garments and it peaked Mz.India's fancy as a backdrop that has now begun it's coloration journey by having our eco-dyed bundles placed upon it to cool before the magic of unwrapping began. I think that what I love the most about this process is the kismet of the color. Yes, one can plan the color a bit by having knowledge of the likely outcome of the plant dyes and by careful placement on the cloth, but the the results are always touched by unexpected magic too.

Many of the students created artful bundles that were festooned with personal "identificatiion tags" like bobbins or beads. Some wrapped their bundles around obejcts that created whisical shapes like hearts (below) and cat heads.

The magic and anticipation are really in the unwrapping of these magic bundles.

It pays to wrap your binding tightly as well as smoothly. There were moments when finding the ends were a nuisance for those of us who used mere cotton string. Some people used velevt ribbons, wool yarns, fabric strips or other means to tie their bundles up. The addition of things made from iron...horseshoes (I need to find one of my own), rusted car chains, copper tubes and the like make for an added touch of magic. The items I brought were very pedestrain...wool yarn and cotton string that look less than glamorous! Below: Janet begins to unwrap her magic bundle.....
Results when some iron (I don't remember what she used) is added to the mix. Rich, dark, greys.
The edge of this amazing dress with it's elaborate stiching (an ongoing journal of life and travels) trinket line fascinated me. It made me wish that I had the height to carry off the long as elegantly...but I think that I would end up looking like a fire plug or a mushroom if I tried it. I do like the ida of using my pinafore as a stitched journal though and tht's my plan....
Can you spot the bundles below that most likely had iron bits in them?

This sun-lit succulent caught my eye. I need to remove those wisps of spider web!

I brought along some silk noil yardage on a whim, but I was glad that I did. I got such a rich variety of color. In this yarage the darker colors were caused by closeness in the pot to some iron but also to Smoke Bush leaves. The brighter greens and yellows are from Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) which I now simply have to get. I put some in the freezer to try later. Our hostess, Christi, brough some boughs for who to sample. I also had added some onion skins to this brew which always delights me in it's range of broens, oranges and reds.
I love the look of the string marks on this piece! There are two 'real' leaves on the fabric for comparison to the prints in green.
Lookit' those greens! A delight!

This is a simple silk noil top that I had made to bring. Once I got there I dcided that it was not suitable for the class, but I decided to dye it. The back of the top is below. I had added a small pleat as a detail and managed to get the effect of having wings on my back. Kismet at its best! This was also the top that I had been stitching on when my left middle finger attracted a through and through encounter with a Schmetz 80/12 needle. I worried about getting the blood out, but it really would not have mattered! Now that I have washed and ironed this shirt it really looks great!
 The front of the shirt below. 
The top part of the shirt is a bit more wet that green areas that are thoroughly dry 
so that's why there is color variation in the photo. 

The end of the adventure featured a champage send-off replete with a lush and luscious chocolate-gingerbread cake - gluten free! It was baked by Christi and was decorated with violets and fresh rose petals (which tasted like velvet with a hint of apricot). 

In all of my years of taking classes this was the event to remember. Gracious women, divine views, hostesses with the mostess', food for the finest restaurants in the world and a teacher who "gives a damn" about her students and the world. What an experience to remember this was. There are thoughts about having a  2017 reunion in Big Sur. Not so much a class, but a respite. If it happens I will try hard to make it.

I learned so much more in this class than just technique. I learned a lot about myself along the way. What better hallmark of the excellence of a class experience is there than that? None in my book!

To learn more about India Flint and her work have a look at her website and her blog.

 A few random images from the special place that we were privileged to be able to enjoy.

Captivating vintage tool
along the edge 
treeline to the sea

If you have made it this far to the end of this long post - thank you for being here. I apprecaite the time you take to read about my small adventures.