Posts tagged #Michelle Hoffee

Living and Dyeing; the name unfolds....

Living and Dyeing is much more then a clever name people love to "get" when they see my work. Everything I do, is the foundation of what makes my art. Anyone who has seen my home, gardens, (obviously my clothes!), bike, tasted my food, can see my alternative views reflected in everything around my life. Color, composition, whimsy, and random things most people don't see, but I see, and try to transform them into something beautiful. Any way I can flex my creative side, I'm in my zone. I sputter in a few things, like computers, writing (I am dyslexic), social media, and business in general. I realized early on, trying to help my dad at 14 in his office, I had a severe allergy to the whole concept of typing, cubicles, and fluorescent lights. That was also the year I went to the Smokey Mountains for spring break, and had an epiphany I was going to have a career in Nature or out-of-doors. Needless to say I skipped typing in high school and headed down an alternative, leaf-covered interesting path.

   My life has been unfolding to bring balance and shifting the "LIVING" part of this equation. I expanded my art in the world when I started spinning exotic fibers, and sharing at art shows and galleries. That allowed me to be exposed to more art, techniques, and people that have given me more tools to reflect and color my life with. The best part, are the beautiful souls I have connected with on this journey. You know who you are! One glitch in this process was my "pitta" constitution and creative fire being overstimulated, causing a huge physical imbalance that really gave me a health scare, forcing me to examine a holistic approach to expressing myself and listening to my body instead of leading with my head. That "heady" space of creative sparks, and obsessive "I want to do another one and another one and another one" idea, flowing into another until you neglect, food, time, and rest. This overstimulated, ungrounded mode lasted for two years. Especially after immersing in some workshops with India Flint and Michel Garcia. I used to regularly hike, mountain bike, and daily yoga until I fell into an all consuming creating frenzy. I think India once commented to me " is there anything you haven't dyed?" Nope, I think I did experiments on everything and anything I could get my hands on. My playful ideas, and energy are a powerful flow channeled in this creative process. When I over did it, I created non-stop almost everyday, neglecting much balance and I became extremely sick. First my adrenals went out of whack. My thyroid tanked. The worst part was I threw out my neck, causing chronic pain affecting every almost every moment, especially sleep, sitting, and even meditation was painful. This wake-up call, which I thought would never heal, took two years to improve. I had to diligently soul search, get very quiet, and pay attention to my Prana (life force) daily. What enhanced my capabilities to listen to my body, stoke the inner fire or cool it when needed is Shiva Rea and her partner Demetri Velasaurs. As Shiva puts it so eloquently, I am "Tending the Heartfire" now with fierce protectiveness. Ayruveda is another keystone for my well-being. This process has allowed me to overcome health issues, mental blocks and open me up to my fullest potential. Being present, listening to the subtle energies (in my heart field and not my head!), have enhanced not only my health, but my creative flow! I didn't know how much the two are interconnected and interrelated. I feed my soul, my soul feeds my art, pretty simple; Living and Dyeing. 

 Now it's unfolding.... 

 My gardening career in Memphis is coming to an end (my client is retiring) after 20 years. It has been the life line for my freedom to pursue art without the equation of money or fear in any decision making. Now I am opening up to what comes, what life brings and I'm going with the flow. I'm finishing up my yoga certifications, and excited for my Prana Danda Yoga intensive in Boston for a week in July. I'm going on a Native American camping retreat with Shiva Rea in Malibu in August. Reflecting and diving deep, coming full circle with two years training with her and Demetri. This Fall I have my first co-teaching movement meditation/sacred art project at a women's retreat on Whidbey Island in September. I'm hoping to get into the Chicago One-of-a-Kind show in December- a big push and commitment for my designs! On the horizon, next year I'm co-teaching eco dyeing and textiles in Kerela, India on an Ayruveda Retreat- whoa! I'm looking at these amazing opportunities as just getting out there and sharing movement, art and connection. Big changes, big adventures, Universe I am ready for what comes next!


Living and Dyeing *Art* Textiles* Movement Mediation* Connecting with Nature and People*

Mudra in Memphis garden.

Mudra in Memphis garden.

Costa Rica 2015, last day of Prana Flow 200 hour intensive with Shiva Rea.

Costa Rica 2015, last day of Prana Flow 200 hour intensive with Shiva Rea.

Big changes, my new puppy girl Freya. A vibrantly sweet and fearless soul. I'm in  my handmade 'Sura' dress.

Big changes, my new puppy girl Freya. A vibrantly sweet and fearless soul. I'm in my handmade 'Sura' dress.


   I am so grateful for the opportunity to be on the cover of Altered Couture and featured in Belle Armoire magazines. As an artist, I pour my heart and soul into the textiles and artwear I make without expectations how they are recieved by others. It is extremely fulfilling when others appreciate and truly see what I do- beauty in nature reflected with art. Thank you, all of you who understand and support my work, and the time involved in handmaking of wearable, one of a kind art. Cheers!




Indigo Binge


Michel Garcia is changing the way we use natural dyes especially indigo. I was overwhelmed when he taught many eco friendly and fascinating multi color stamping, resist and natural techniques last summer at Shakrag, Sawnee TN. Finally, after a short break in my yoga teacher training and felting play dates, I set up an Indigo dyepot to experiment with. Excited about my new outdoor gas stove, I heated a pot to dye wool, some new felted pieces and some cashmere shawls. Hail the summer Shakti energy and to Indigo dye experimentations!

Posted on July 19, 2014 .

Creating My Own Sparks

Creating my own sparks for Independence Day.

whew! Just last week I was flying through he buckwheat blooming, the dried fox tails chiming in the breeze, biking Daley Ranch is as close to how I feel flying in my dreams. I spent the new moon contemplating and churning my new designs ( see my new white dress on my "Works in Progress" page) I birthed during a full moon creative binge around The summer solstice.After a few nights hiking and biking Daley Ranch I headed to work in Memphis, taking a much needed textile pause and got my hands dirty in the earth while the waves of the mid afternoon thunder storms rolled in every day. It was strange basqing in the abundance of moisture while my home in Southern California is so dry. I experienced nature's extreme opposites and enjoyed both their smells and beauty.

 Back home and happy to finally end the drought of my journaling experience, as my website is relaunched-yay! I had been unable to update, blog or add photos until I got a new computer, new softwear and the time to put it all together thoughtfully. Released in tantum so I can celebrate my first publication of my artwork/artical in Belle Armoire magazine. Luck will have it they found me on Flickr and gave me an invite. That chance meeting lead also to another artical and cover shot on Altured Coutoure magazine to be released in Aug. The process of creating multiple one-of-a kind designs and writing was intense but really gave me the nudge to get some of my work out into the world. My site goes live as I type (crossing my fingers) so I'll head back into my kitchen to sneak some of the fresh blueberries I picked in Mississippi last week. My kitchen is overflowing with summer season veggies and fruit ready to be devored for tomorrow's celebration Independence Day.

P.S. Grateful for independent Artists whom are free to express themselves and the tribe that supports us!




Biking the trails at Daley Ranch. Buckwheat blooming.


Full moon on the summer solstice at Daley Ranch. Hiking with Zorba.


Hand picked at Nesbit Plantation in Mississippi. Two buckets made it in my suitcase home for the Fourth of July. Um, yea, I like blueberries with everything!


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!