Solstice Musings....

I have never had a mainstream profession so weekends, hump day and major holidays don't have the same significance to me. Between working as a professional gardener, married to a musician and my yoga practice I have an interesting schedule. Late nights, long summer hours and fall shows flow into restful winter creative stretches. But the the past few years working on my natural textiles has really made my lifestyle very interesting. Binge dyeing, random leaf collecting excursions, felt play dates. Just days of "creative juice" marathons. I just looked up at the moon yesterday and realized the summer Solstice is here already! Wasn't I just looking up at the same moon in the lake at Shakerag? That was a year ago! I celebrated this Solstice picking over 5lbs of blueberries with an old friend in Mississippi and gazing at that big moon.
  Which is why I'm sitting for a nanosecond to jot done and keep in touch what's unfolding on my crazy journey. I usually only stop to pause on the equinoxes, solstices, full and new moons. Currently I am celebrating my pitta fire in full summer glory. Firing on all cylinders, shocked when I come inside from my adventures and its so late. The weather has been very fair in San Diego so I have been rocking the house cleaning and art organizing. I had a blast at the Shakti yoga festival in Joshua Tree last month. 5 full days and nights of high vibrations. Saul David Reye and Shiva Rea intensives were truly amazing experiences.
  I'm  getting ready to do 3 days of artshows, and 4 days in Venice beach with Shiva Rea teacher training Prana Danda Yoga. Yes, I can't believe I just put that in print. I am in love and in the process of learning PDY so I can eventually teach this amazing new prana flow practice with a staff. Cool stuff. I'll eventually be fading out the gardening and should be certified in the next two years. Change is scary but life throws you them whether your ready or not. This past year has taught me the importance of balance and wholistic yoga ( old school, with breathwork and meditation) and my artwork need equal importance. Strange, one of the hardest things I struggle with in life but am naturally good at in yoga is balance....hmmmm... *musing in progress*
  I still spend a significant amount of my time cooking tasty healthy food. These blueberries should keep me busy for a few days! My friend Elaine has been a kindred spirit with her kitchen magic. She inspires me and I feel her presence when I'm slaving away on the stove or shopping at the farmers market. I highly recommend you see what she's doing in her kitchen and cookbook at www.radicalrollingpin.com. I spend hours a day in my kitchen then I read her blog and realize others are out there tending the hearth, grounding the soul and feeding loved ones tasty food. Try it, it's hard work but well worth the effort. I think the ritual of eating together is the simplistic way to weave harmony in busy intersecting lives.   Happy abundant Summer Solstice! 



Lichen, like wings.... Whidbey Island, Aldermarsh and Still magic.

" She balanced on a moss covered log with two giant lichen sprouted like wings. Stretching vertical in tree pose, her arms grew like the branches around her.  Raindrops chimed like bells on the marsh...."
  My experience at Alermarsh on Whidbey Island was profound. Whether it was the shift my spirit felt as I shed my fears alone in the dark womb of a sweat lodge or the connection and acceptance from a sacred circle of women. My intuition was untethered and strengthened. The Zen-ness of the land grounded and permeated my being. A meeting with a sister I have no doubt I have known in another life bloomed and filled a much needed bond . A complete and perfect 4 days. I pray it can sustain me till September when the brambles are full and she calls me again by name....

  A big thanks to Joanna Powell Colbert for facilitating and stirring such powerful feminine magic. Gaiansoul.com



Shakerag...Awaken my spirit!

Yes it was the Summer Solstice, and food, creativity, the water and woods at Shakerag was bountiful and beautiful! The farm to table food was cooked with love.  It took me a few days to get into the rhythm of going to class and fitting in the wild schedule. The birds singing between the pathways as I would meander to an early breakfast.  After dye class, I spent some time everyday hiking the woods along the lake, stopping at the stone platform along otter trail to do yoga and meditation. Swimming along with the dragonflies with the chorus of frog singing at the reservoir was my favorite. The weather was perfect! A bunch of us snuck out at midnight to swim and celebrate the Summer Solstice. I led a prayer from the raft that everyone repeated three times. Since I was asked for copies I'll print it below for whomever. It was taught to me by Kathy Jones in Avalon, UK. The human company was extremely pleasant as well. Hard to beat creative gals who are happy and lucky enough to be at Sharkrag for the ride. A lot of the woman I met ( 2 years ago) in the India Flint class were there again. Not all in my dyeing class but we'd catch up at the picnic tables for lunch or dinner. Janet, Maryann, Patricia, Lotta, Judy Lee, Ilsa , Cathy to name a few. A woman I met from NC named Caitley I really enjoyed getting to know, we seemed to be kindred spirits.
 Michel Garcia was a kind, brilliant man. I think his methods are revolutionary for the natural dyeing movement. Sustainable and economical and colorfast! The cotton, linen and indigo methods of dyeing I learned are sure to have a huge impact on my creative toolbox. I may skip my Michigan trip in July to stay home and refine some of these new techniques and go with the creative juice flow I have coming on. I finally feel physically great and I'm ready roll up my sleeves and get dirty again. I have a show Aug 5th then off to San Fransico for some R&R. Burning Man and the Bhakti yoga festival in Joshua Tree is next then off to Taos for the wool festival! Next yearJanet, Maryann and Lotta may join Lori and I there for a stitch&relax getaway. Love Apple and sheep look out, the girls are coming!
 The last day of the Shakrag's two week extravaganza ended with a lot of wine and dancing. We had a blast! Even after I gave up and went to bed, with my nightgown on I had to go back to fetch my shawl when Claire (runs the event and school) roped me in again on the dance floor, in my nightie and all! Lastly, the computer class finally dragged out the male energy which gave boost to all the estrogen bouncing up and down. I gave up again, listening to "Brick House" fade in the background as I wandered in the night. Little did I know I would have the lake all to myself the next day as everyone headed to the airport. I wasn't in a hurry to drive to Memphis so I hung out with the dragonflies and frogs......unwound and grounded, a perfect end to a wonderful fun-filled learning adventure.




A Tidy Home Is Kept By A Dull Woman

You know an artist is in residence the minute you step in my front door. Not because it's dirty, it's just my environment seems always to be in progress, or in the middle of a project I'm creating. I took a break from work and shows for a month to catch up on my mundane life at home as well as sprucing up my vitality. I reveled in organizing some serious catching up in my garden. I tried to balancing going for hikes with Zorba, gardening, cleaning and cooking. Half my day went to cooking, doing dishes and pulling weeds. I whip up some amazing food but also create some serious messes. Choosing to live without a dishwasher or microwave adds to the slow process. I also balanced yoga, mountain biking, carding and washing wool. Afterwards, I cleaned some more, spun some wool and rested. No matter how much I picked up, dust on my floors and a mess would settle back in like a comfy old shoe. I was frustrated it was never "tidy" or organized for long no matter my effort. I have a few people in my life that spend all of their free time organizing and cleaning their homes. They can't enjoy a meal or company until the dishes and kitchen are perfect. They are uncomfortable and at dis-ease unless everything is in its place. I see them unhappy because the people they live with don't share their obsession/passion. I used to cringe when they would visit. I would imagine those judgmental white gloves would be on, looking for offending dust or the misplaced sock my dog left out. I felt like a failure that I couldn't  keep up.  Now I just see my home for what most friends and family feel when they experience it.  An inviting, unique, artsy old craftsman house that is well loved and well used. The hardwood floors are worn like marbled leather. My dining room has dozens of old rose paintings covering its walls to like 3D wallpaper. I have ecoprinted furniture and enameled old gas stove. A garden that is wild and enchanting with its brambling roses, draping angel trumpets and the fragrance of jasmine mixing with eucalyptus. Stone paths, yarn or clothes hanging on wood lattice or in trees. With all the food, art, clothes, people and places I love and travel I was too hard on myself. That is until one day a wise woman (thank you India) told me the saying"a tidy home is kept by a dull woman" and I breathed a sigh of relief! I have many gifts and many faults but I dull woman I am most certainly not! I can accept this......
Ps. I type this with a skein of pygora on my chest I just spun after dinner instead of doing those pesky dishes that can wait till morning! Ha!



2012 From The Desert To Holland, Onward!

I am technically in hibernation mode as it is still January. I was in fact adhering to the discipline and freak act of this thing called resting when opportunities have unearthed me. Well, Ms. opportunity and her consort Mr. heat wave we had here in So Cal for a week.

Let me start after my fall shows ended I was planning to invest some of my show seeds into a workshop, at a place called Shakerag in Sawanee, Tennessee for next June. Shakerag.org is an amazing venue I have attended in the past that cultivates artistic endeavors, nature, and hosts wonderful homegrown food. Unfortunately the costume designer I was excited about backed out. So I waited for another opportunity to come along that would put fire in my belly. Then a woman at my last show who has seen my artistic style develop started to go on and on about an artist I needed to meet, and that I would love her style. She wrote this artist's name down and when I went to look her up some time later, I was so surprised how right on she was! Her name is Claudy Jongstra from Holland and besides being an amazing, accomplished artist AND is eco-friendly, she happens to be having a workshop the same time I was thinking of taking one. It was full at that time but the universe swayed and a month later they called me asking if I wanted to attend. Hell yea! So off went my show seeds in Euros and I am going to felt and eat stroop this June in Holland. Please google her she is a force to be reckoned, modern and old school at the same time. I think she will dig my hand spun yarn and I will revel in her dye garden. Much to be learned and explored....
So the heat wave hit here in So Cal (86 degrees!) and I in my winter sloth mode started mountain biking and hiking again with vigor. This then spring boarded me into designing my flour sack vintage aprons. I had a sew fest at my friend Raelynns for 3 days to get rock'in for the Talmage show. That spurred me into dyeing and stitching, and if i just sit still to spin up some yarn and I am on my way to the finish line.
I am working in Memphis this week when I spontaneously took a Kundalini workshop with Singh Ravi and Ana Brett. Can you say Sat-Ta-Nam, whoa! that experience inspired me into signing up for the Bhakti Shakti festival in Joshua Tree National Park for 3 days in May. So right now my future looks like the Bhakti Festival in Jousha Tree in May, Claudy Joungstra workshop in Holland in June, Swiss Chalet dyeing with Nature walks in Michigan in July, the Burning Man Art Festival at Black Rock City, NV in August, The Taos Wool Festival in New Mexico in September, and then my shows start in October! I am ready to hibernate again just thinking about my busy schedule! Such a blessing really. Just give me good health then happiness and adventures happen. As my good friend Lindsey says with youth, beauty and sassiness- ONWARD!

So everyone, I am meeting 2012 with this mantra ONWARD!