Tuesday, July 12, 2016

All of a sudden

This book has been sitting around for probably over a year, waiting to be finished. Under massive pressure, I managed to complete packing for many different travel segments, do a bunch of admin, meet Judy for lunch, load my car, AND finish this book! Tomorrow will demand more stamina than I may possess: an 8-hour drive, unloading the entire contents into a different vehicle, riding with 23 dresses, 3 books, 4 ducks, and 2 teapot on the train and subway, walking to my photographer, and then riding out to see my niece.

My biggest wish is for a great night's sleep. See you on the other side.

Monday, July 11, 2016

West Coast for a fleeting week

I flew home two nights ago after a brief visit to California. After a July 4th parade in Ohio, I flew with my sweetie for a mini-vacation in San Francisco for two nights. Tam was able to meet us, which helped SO much because she is much more qualified to be a tour guide than me. Then I rode to Oakland to teach a hanji craft class on the Mills College campus.
The course was actually for Middlebury's School of Korean, which operates at Mills during the summer because the Vermont campus is maxed out with eight other language schools. Mills is home to the Arabic, Italian, and Korean schools.
The second group of students was quiet but intent on making very involved creations. Did I mention that this is an immersion program? This meant that my lectures, instruction, and handouts were all in Korean. I've taught Koreans in Korean, but this was a whole new challenge, teaching without the luxury of lapsing into English, to a mixed group of levels—a few were complete beginners and I'm not sure how well I did at reading eyes, signing, or drawing pictures, but I think everyone got something out of it.
Campus is beautiful and very peaceful, especially when school is out! After teaching, Helena visited for dinner and an evening cup of tap water (I had nothing else to offer in the apartment since I was only staying for a night myself). Richard picked me up in the morning for tea and a drive back to San Francisco for a luncheon of textile artists and appreciators at Barbara's beautiful home.
After packing everything up again, with the addition of Richard's homemade raspberry jam and some leftover homemade biscotti from lunch, I rode to Davis. The train was stuck at Berkeley for half an hour due to police activity on the tracks ahead, which gave me time to catch up on what was happening in the world, which was a thousand percent heartbreaking and horrifying. But I finally was able to relax for two nights in sunny Sacramento, visiting with two friends who now live minutes away from each other. I always feel like no time at all has passed when I see Katherine, and especially appreciate her counsel, which is even more valuable during transition points like this one. Steph just returned from her Fulbright year in Korea and we talked for hours about her experience and her plans to open a hanji store in the US.

I'm pausing briefly now to pack the BIG load for Maine. I have just one more day before the drive to NY, and then journey to Haystack at the end of the week. I can't wait for the cooler temperatures, ocean, and magic of that place.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Procrastination is the best motivator

I could have done this for months, but I guess I needed the pressure of leaving town to finally do it! This is my teapot getting ready for some persimmon juice.
It was old kakishibu from powder that had coagulated and was in my fridge since last year, which I put into the blender with boiled water and alcohol.
Before smoothing the chunkiness
After, and in the drying process. So glad to be able to check something off of my list!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Going fast

Less than a week until departure, which provides the push to get things done that have been malingering for over a year. Yesterday was entirely too hot, but today cooled down enough to test a mini foil stamping machine I bought last year accidentally (oh, auctions).
I think I did this last night but it was so hot I can't remember. It's weird but I'm glad it's done. All that's keeping me from urgent admin is one more book. Hoping that comes to me quickly.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Going slow

I managed this one after all of the website nonsense, and it was funny to be shaking my hand afterwards, wondering why it was sore. From sewing! My eyes aren't completely recovered from all the computer staring but I'm hoping to lay low for the next week in preparation for traveling coast to coast (California, NYC, Maine).

Monday, June 20, 2016

The leaf has finally turned

Gigi from my last hanji class was so taken with spinning paper thread on my bobbin winder that she went home and repurposed a hand drill she had at home to continue making thread over the summer. This is one of the best possible outcomes of teaching.

Meanwhile, after a very challenging month and a half of calling tech support almost daily for calls that lasted over an hour each, I have finally erased my old site and replaced it with something slightly less outdated. See? Since I was hacked, I was an easy sucker and paid for the extra bells and whistles to protect the site from future hacks. Fingers crossed that everything will be fine for a while, and that I can get back to making dresses and being a more sane human.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Turns out my website has been hacked, and in the process of trying to upgrade my server, Google has de-indexed it, so that it will never show up in a search if people search for me. AGH. Now I'm trying to hand build a new site, even though I am not a web developer.

So, I only got this funny looking one done this week. My friend said it looks like a bag. Like, it was a paper bag. That's not true, but it did come from an old piece I took apart, and I did try to see if I could do it without cutting the sheet, just sewing it together. That doesn't really work but it was an excellent experiment.