Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Grandma Clancy aka Bridget Rogers-Clancy

I couldn't find any photos of my grandma with her fox stole but it was so fun looking through the old family photos and re-seeing my grandma. She died in 1980 (I think), right after I had left Michigan to live in Santa Cruz, California. We are a very large, unsentimental family and I didn't go back for her funeral. That was the way we did things but now that I am my own person with a larger view of the world, I would definitely go and I know that I should have gone.

I loved and respected my grandma. I knew she was cranky sometimes and I knew she was a little bit comical with her blue-grey hair and her terrible baking skills (she would give us muffins that we would use as ammunition in play wars), and the way she would stay in the kitchen long after a meal, eating the leftovers while she cleaned up. But I felt very close to her and intrigued by her.

The grandchildren would get to stay over in sets of two or three for weeks sometimes. I stayed with my cousins Maureen and Kathleen who were twins. We stayed in the backroom in a big bed with a white chenille bedspread. My grandma taught me the proper way to puff a pillow and make a bed. There was a crucifix over the bed that opened up and there was a small "relic" inside a little compartment and some "holy water". We were not supposed to touch it but we could not resist. At bedtime my grandpa would come in and tell us a story about leprechauns. he would say not to get out of bed or they would bite our feet. We were terrified but thrilled by the magic.

They gave us oatmeal or cornflakes every morning and my grandpa would always try to trick us into drinking butter milk - we never fell for it because we could smell it a mile away. They always had coffee percolating in a stainless coffee pot on the table and we had orange juice. The sun would shine in on the little kitchen table and onto the little shelves filled with my grandma's extremely cool salt and pepper shaker collection. It seemed like a little piece of heaven. To this day, I only like oatmeal the way my grandpa prepared it - thick but unstirred, a little salty, a dab of butter in the middle, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and milk floating on top.

My grandma taught me how to knit. We played with her button box, and her fox. She washed our hair in her sink in the basement. We visited the two bachelor brothers and their poodles who lived next door. We walked to the Kresge's dime store and she would let us each pick out some little thing. I would find some toy for literally about a dime. We were always well behaved but we had so much fun in what seemed to us an adventure away from our parents.

As I look at these pictures, I realize how much I am like my grandma, how much I was influenced by her. She was an individual, a strong woman, with dreams and aspirations. She left her home in Ireland to start a life in "the New World". She always cared about her appearance even when she was old. She had taste and style even if we didn't always understand or appreciate it. She loved her family. She loved to have a crowd together to eat and talk and laugh.

I miss her. Time and distance give one perspective but it is important to think about the whole story even when you are in the drudgery of some of the immediate moments.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Textile Tuesdays : #11 Furry Fashion

When I was little, my grandmother had a fox stole. She was a stout, no-nonsense Irish immigrant woman who raised 5 children in a working class neighborhood in Detroit and this was one of her little bits of luxury and glamour.

We used to play with the string of foxes when we went to their house to visit or to spend the night. It had two foxes with heads, tails and feet. The mouth of one opened and closed to attach to the other one when you wore it. It could be considered cruel fashion, creepy or disgusting, but as a child, I just thought it was beautiful.

Nowadays I prefer "faux" fur. I am not sure how eco-friendly it is. It's not natural and it may be more polluting, but nothing is killed in it's production. I would normally prefer wool - but there is something fun and cozy about a big furry stole, hat, or vest. Big furry coats and boots remind me of glam-rock or the 70's and 80's. There is also something a little exotic about it like it is from Russia or Mongolia.

I am completely opposed to the idea of fur coats. I can't begin to write about the bloody industry of fur, especially wild and endangered animals. So, it is sort of an ironic, playful statement to wear an outrageous fake fur item - the more obviously fake, the better.

The neck warmer is from Karmology. The giraffe hat is from Brown Bunny by Iris. The blankets are by Urban Mutt. The Roses Are Red is modeling her necklace with her fake fur hat.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas and Boxing Day

Last night, after all the festivities and visiting, we got in our PJs and got into bed. It was the old routine and that made it seem like just another night. The excitement of the holiday seemed to fade so fast. I was left thinking: what now? what do we have to get excited about in the next several months of winter? I was a little sad as I fell asleep. We had another vacation type day today. We read our new books and ate more cookies and chocolate. We went to a friend's house for a little visit. I worked on my sock some more - I am at the toe now. Then I suggested we go out for pizza. Normally, I would have made another big meal for Boxing Day - just an excuse to get through more fancy food and indulgence. In the past, we might have had more friends over to keep the excitement up. But I just don't seem to have the energy or motivation to do that right now. Maybe it is the aging thing, or maybe it is just a phase. I enjoyed the way things went but I do wonder if I am getting old, lazy, and boring, or if I am slightly depressed or in a slump.

We had a great day on Christmas. The morning was exciting, cozy and sentimental. We got up at 6:30, had freshly made Stollen and coffee, and opened presents slowly, savoring each thing. After lounging for a while, we got dressed and drove 50 minutes to my sister's house where we had lunch/dinner, went for a short hike, lounged some more, then came home. Simple and sweet.

It is traditional for us to have a small scale, family oriented Christmas. The girls love the routine and predictability of all the things we do all December: get the tree all together, decorate it, advent calendar, Christmas cards, shopping, making presents, baking cookies, setting up Sylvanian scenes, listening to Christmas music, getting home made flannel PJs, reading The Night Before Christmas, and getting up on Christmas morning while it is still dark out.

These rituals mark the passing of time. Even though a lot stays the same, things do change. Sometimes we are in different places, like London or Australia. We all look a little bit older each year and are at different places in our lives. We can't help looking back nostalgically and looking forward with expectation.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

seeing spots

I like watching the t.v. show "Monk". It just wrapped up its final season and ended the story. At one point, Monk was poisoned by someone who wanted to kill him. He knew something was wrong when he started seeing spot.

I am just seeing them since I wrote my recent post on polka dots. Now I am noticing them all over the place. I went with my husband to a matinee today to see "Up in the Air", the new George Clooney movie. It was really wonderful - sad, sweet, humorous, insightful. I really enjoyed myself and would have been totally absorbed in the story except I kept noticing the polka dots on his tie, then I started noticing all the tie patterns and all the fabrics, textures, patterns. I know I'm not poisoned but I guess I am just obsessed with textiles and pattern. I liked the small pink polka dot on a navy tie.

More Dots, More Snow, More Cookies

I found these photos in my archives. The green bag is one I made a year or so ago. The other things are just items I favored. I think the rose and dot bag might be Kath Kitson.

It snowed again yesterday so the old piles of black, melting snow have a new layer of fluffy white frosting for Christmas.

I stayed in my PJ's all day yesterday but I will take a shower and get dressed today. I guess I'll wear my brown skirt since it is the most lounge-worthy. My big accomplishment yesterday was making more Christmas cookies. I made my mom's traditional Snow Balls with walnuts, butter sugar and flour - they are like a short bread. But I added cardamom and finely chopped fresh rosemary. I had been wanting to try something in this new strange spice combo trend.

They are delicious.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Textile Tuesdays : #10 Polka Dots

I won't go into a long essay on the history of the design or the name. I wasn't able to find an exact answer, but you can go to this link and get an unofficial summary: The Word Detective. This has more to do with the name and not the design. My guess is that uniform dots in a uniform pattern is too generic to assign it to any one source; kind of like the stripe. I bet there were polka dot type patterns in Babylonia.

Anyway, what I do want to say, is that I love polka dots. I love the combination of the fun, cosmic, round dot arranged in an even, organized, respectable order. Usually it is printed in fun colors with white dots. But it is equally fabulous in black, pale pink, or even tan, and the dots can be colored on a white or different colored ground. The dots can be tiny, pin dots or gigantic, one inch dots.

I am thinking here of fabric and clothing but the polka dot pattern has been used on pillow, curtains, dishes, and toys. It is typically playful but has recently been used in post-modern design as an ironic, nostalgic backdrop.

I like the big dots that are in style now, but I have to say that my favorite is dotted swiss. Does anyone besides me remember what that is. My friend recently showed me a photo of a cactus and I said it looked like dotted swiss. She had no idea what I was talking about. I am planning on making a stuffed cactus sculpture out of dotted swiss (if I can get my hands on some). I will post a picture of it when it is done.

I guess it might not technically be a polka dot since the dots are not completely round. The kind I like best is round because the dots are printed on and flocked with some cheap polyester fuzz. Maybe that is not technically a dotted swiss. I like to make up my own rules in these and other matters so, I am sticking to this story. I wonder if I could make my own flocked dots out of natural fuzz on organic cotton. That would be really cool.

The pictures at the top are by: , Jesse Mosher, Apron Anatomy, and LA Drama Queen. The collection is from an etsy treasury made up by Retro Labs. All of these people are on

Monday, December 21, 2009

Daily Life in a Southwestern Town

Yesterday was a typical day here in Flagstaff. It was a Sunday and the girls are on break from school so we all slept in till about nine. I love sleeping in, especially when the days are short and the sky is grey. We all lazed around the house all morning, drinking coffee or tea, eating toast and cookies. The house is so full of sweets right now that we have to spread the eating of them throughout the day. I worked out and I made the girls work out to my bollywood video - just to get them moving a little to burn off some of that sugar and restless energy. We talked on the phone, plans were made, and the obligatory straightening and cleaning of the house occurred.

The girls worked on a craft project with a friend who came over. They made hair clips out of bottle caps, buttons, etc. While they were doing that in the kitchen, I was making their pajamas in the workroom. I make them flannel p.j.s every Christmas. I have done so since they were about 1 year old. I ignore and resent the "warning" on the flannel. We have photos of them every year in their new p.j.s on Christmas eve. I like this tradition but the girls like it even more. I plan to do it till they leave home. My mom did the same for us and there were 7 of us girls!

In the afternoon, both girls got separate invitations to sleep over at their respective friend's house. (I don't normally allow this as a rule, but these were both families that I am close friends with so that is the exception). So we unloaded them at their various destinations, gave them the reminders of the usual rules... and said good night.

David and I were happy to be able to have a date night to do whatever we wanted without any responsibilities. We did have some errands to run - get detergent and blank CDs from Target, fill the gas tank, get some videos; it was crowded and yucky with tired people and crying children - then we headed downtown to go out to dinner.

We heard about a new restaurant and wanted to check it out. Since this is somewhat of a tourist town, there are loads of restaurants, but there are very few that we actually like and frequent. I am a good cook so I am picky about taste and quality. I also like a nice but casual, fun but not too loud, friendly and warm atmosphere. We were excited to find that this new place could be added to our list.

We had a delicious dinner and came home for dessert, a nightcap, and a video. It may sound like old-stodgy people entertainment, but we loved it. We did watch "The Hangover" which was surprisingly funny and well done.

Upon reflection, I considered this a very successful day here. Mundane, yes, but nothing bad happened. No one got in a fight. Little things just seemed to fall into place and small tasks were accomplished. Nothing earth-shattering or transformative, but when you re-focus your expectations and slow down to the pace of a small town, you find entertainment and satisfaction in smaller, simpler things. Is this called "settling"? I don't know.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I haven't been writing as consistently as I would like to. It has been six days and that is not good. This blog is supposed to help me get used to working in a routine and to develop my writing and creative thought processes. I don't know how much it is working but I must say that I have enjoyed just going a little easier on myself since my Japanese class ended. I am feeling pretty sane and relaxed as I go into Christmas.

This should be one of the busiest times of year for my bag sales and I should be frantically sewing more and more bags to keep my shop full. But, I guess I was lucky that my October sales were low. I have been selling, not a huge amount, but steadily since Thanksgiving. Now my inventory is low on my ETSY store so I am going to try to put up a few more things.

There was an article on the front page of NY times on-line last night about sellers on ETSY. They were saying that some make over $100,000/year. To me, that is no longer a hobby or a novelty. Either they have employees or they are working 16 hour days, or both. I would like to consider my business a real job, but I also want to do it so that I can have balance in my life between my family, my friends, my work and my own self-maintenance.

I know it sounds corny, but at this point, I am just persevering, putting my faith in the universe, and trying to be happy in the moment. I am off to sew. I'll write more after Christmas - I promise.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Last night I couldn't get to sleep. I had coffee during the day and whiskey before bed which made me groggy but wound up. I was thinking about my blog, my writing, my life in story form. The last few days I haven't written because the girls were home on snow days and I didn't have the space I needed to write. I was thinking though, about how to describe life in this southwestern mountain town. I felt like it was much easier to write about my world when I was living abroad. Here, I feel like I can't separate myself out so my writing seems more like just reporting. I want to be genuine but also somewhat transcendent of the mundane.
So, I was lying in bed thinking about how I could do this. I didn't really come up with a solution except that I should try as hard as I can to express the details and the feelings that go with the story.

This snow storm was quite a story. Apparently, it was the biggest dumping in 29 years. We do get deep snow every winter but this was fast and the winds were up to 60 mph. It sounded like the blizzard scene from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. The power went out temporarily but came back on, thank God! I would not have wanted to feel the chill of cold walls, floors, and furniture and our meager wood pile is buried under a drift in the backyard. I suppose we could have dug it out and sat under blankets all day. But we would have had no tea! Anyway, we were able to stay warm inside.

It snowed heavily all day Monday and through the night. By Tuesday the skies were blue but it was about 20 degrees and the driveway and doors were covered in drifts. Snow had gotten embedded in the screens. Around 10 o'clock we started the big dig out. I made the girls go out first because I knew they would be restless by the middle of the day and I wanted them to get some fresh air and exercise. Also, I feel they need to share in the responsibilities especially when it seems there is more than even the four of us can handle. They whined and objected but finally went out and made a good shovel wide path down to the street.
Then David and I went out and started moving mountains of snow. One of the problems was the wind blowing it in our faces as we threw it. The other problem was that there was nowhere to throw it. Everywhere was at least waist deep. Everyone was outside with shovels and snow blowers. The plows had gone by on the main street and there were a few cars going by tentatively.

We were at it for about half an hour when this man came up with his snow blower. He plowed through the sidewalk and then started in on our berm. (When the city plows the streets, they push all the frozen, compacted snow to the side, blocking the ends of the driveways and creating a large, semi-solid embankment). He had a heavy-duty bright green and yellow machine. Any machine buffs will know that means a John Deer! (John Deer actually has a copy write on that color of green.)

I have to say I felt like it was a little bit of a super hero coming to rescue us and the man was a bit of a saint. He didn't have a beard, but it still seemed like proof of the spirit of Santa to me. It would have taken us all day to make a path just big enough for one car and we would have been sore and possibly injured for days following. Instead, he cleared the entire driveway with clean edges in about 20 minutes. I didn't even know who he was! I asked his name and where he lived so I could bring him some cookies later or some small token of appreciation. He was going on to help other people after he left us! It was cold out and plow or no plow, moving the snow was still work!

Was this a lesson in civic duty? No. Was it an example of kindness and caring? Maybe. Mostly, it struck me as an act of generosity. So often we encounter meanness, or we react to situations with a mean spirit. Especially in tough economic times, everyone is trying to figure out how to tighten their belts. Well, maybe the philosophy of openness is the right one - creating a positive flow, allowing the space for good things to happen. Personally, I am going to try to keep the chain reaction of generosity going. It could be a smile to someone who seems down, a kind word to my kids because I am not exhausted, a more positive attitude about where I live, or just saying yes to something I might have otherwise said no to.

The girls are back at school today and Christmas is coming up fast. I am really looking forward to this festive, happy time of year. I am thankful. I am feeling like it is good to be where I am right now. I feel like the story is unfolding and it's not too bad. The next chapter might be Europe, Seattle, or Japan, but this Arizona chapter has its own meaning and its own charm.

Monday, December 7, 2009


David is outside sweeping snow off the roof in the hopes that it won't start leaking into the ceiling and walls. It has been snowing big wet flakes all morning since about six. The girls had a snow day from school and are still in their pajamas. We have about a foot so far and it is expected to be 2 feet by tomorrow. The cat came in with little snow pompoms stuck all over her tummy! Still she begs to go out! She is an adventurer!

I had my final final in Japanese today. I will get my grade via e-mail and I will not have any more contact with that class. I feel a sense of accomplishment and relief, but also a little bit of sadness that it is all over. I probably will never see any of those people again except the teacher. I plan to take 102 next year.

I was nervous about my final this morning and wanted to get it over with. But, I was also nervous about the snow!! I really did not want to drive in it. So, I decided to get bundled up and walk. It is about 2 miles which is not that bad except that it was blizzarding and the deep snow requires trudging! Anyway, I bundled up and walked. I actually wish I had my camera because it was so beautiful to see the dried weeds sticking out of the white snow. The way home was harder because it was up hill. I felt elated when I got home. The endorphins and the excitement of having finished my class left me feeling good and I have just relaxed the rest of the day.

I treated myself to a shortbread cookie from Scotland and a shot of whiskey at three o'clock. There doesn't seem to be much else to do but look out the window. The snow really is so beautiful when you are warm inside the house.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


We are expecting the first big storm of the season tomorrow - 1 to 2 feet of snow with high winds. I have my written final in Japanese at 10 a.m. but other than that, I would be happy to be stuck in the house for a few days. We got loaded up on groceries and we got some extra DVDs. I have some good books and I still have my socks to finish knitting. I got my latest orders out to the post office so anything else that comes in can wait a few days. The girls would love a snow day and we could sure use the moisture.

The only thing I need to do is some Christmas shopping and I can do that on line. I plan to buy a lot from ETSY. The girls gave us their lists today and they were small and sweet. It is nice that we all feel that we don't want or need a lot of things this year. I always make the girls pajamas. I have done it since they were born. Now that my class is over, I can concentrate on doing more sewing and getting ready for the holidays. We usually celebrate Christmas and Hannuka because my husband is Jewish. The more cozy festivities the better. When the girls were little I read them a great book called "Light the Lights" about a mixed family and how both of these holidays bring warmth and light in the dark of winter.

Since we lived in London, we also celebrate on Boxing Day. We were amazed at how much the English celebrate. I always thought Americans were known for overdoing it at the holidays, but the Brits add a party element to it that really takes it to another level. We absolutely loved it! All the food and drink, parties, decorations and theatrical performances, all steeped in traditions. I'm not sure how old a tradition the balloons and disco lights at the children's party was, but people seemed to expect it and we went along with it happily and with an open heart.

I'll write more about our holiday traditions later but for now I will just say that my mind is on the preparations and I am glad that the snow is going to help make it seem more immediate and exciting.

In times like this though, I am very thankful for what I have. A warm house, a healthy family, relative security and modern conveniences. I also have low-tech conveniences like blankets, candles, boots, mittens, snow shovel, fireplace, etc. I don't know how well my skirts are going to hold up if I have to walk two miles in a blizzard to my final. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


O.k. All the hemming and hawing seems like a strange false memory now. I took my oral exam in Japanese!!! I practiced a lot, I memorized as much as I could, I gave myself positive self-talk, I kept my expectations in check, and I think I did pretty well! It was a 10 minute conversation with another student in an empty classroom with the teacher. We had basically scripted it out but tried to pretend that we were having a spontaneous meeting. The teacher was nice and said we did a good job when it was over. Now the written final on Monday seems minor and I am not worried at all because I am pretty sure I will be getting a B no matter what.

When I think about why I wanted to just quit, it was because I was afraid that I would completely blow it and have to deal with a humiliating experience where the teacher would think I was a fuck up and the other student would be pissed at me for ruining their conversation. I also thought that I had gotten what I needed out of the class and that doing the final couldn't possibly accomplish anything except stress and an empty sense of accomplishment.

The good thing that I really did learn is that there was something else that I could get out of it. Yes, I finished. I didn't quit. Socially, that is considered a better outcome. But, personally, I learned something much more important. That is - it wasn't that hard. The task was definitely doable and the stress was mostly internal, not external. If I had just assumed that there was no way I could quit, then I could have focused on doing the work and that would have made it even easier.

It all reminds me of two different situations where I (and I think most people are the same) got to a crucial point and said "I changed my mind! I am not going ahead with this! Get me out of here!" Can you guess what I am referring to? One case was at the top of a roller-coaster just before it dropped. The other was during child birth when labor reached transition. Obviously, there is no backing out from either situation. This is probably a good thing or no one would ever be born.

I don't know why I am prone to stepping back from the finish line. I certainly like to take on challenges and adventures. Maybe I could find out the answer if I went through psycho-analysis. (Dr. Freud, do you think I equate success with death?) I have no problem putting a book down without finishing it. I have loads of beautiful needlework projects sitting in boxes 90% done. I always leave the last bite on a plate.

Well, I am finishing this Japanese class and I am still sticking to my 4 skirts. I wore my brown skirt today with a black top so I could project calm. The photo at the top is of a Japanese inspired bag that I sold a little while ago.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's Up?

I feel like all of my creativity has frozen up under the stress of my oral exam in Japanese. I am just holding my breath. I am studying hard and trying to stay focused, positive, and calm. I met with my study group yesterday. The teacher assigned us and we will be randomly paired to have a 5-10 minute conversation in Japanese. They are all so young and seemingly unruffled. I think a few of them are happy to get by with a passing C or maybe they don't mind cramming at the last minute. They act so confident but don't know any more than I do. Their behavior is a bit of a puzzle to me and I wonder if it is just a happy facade. The fact is, I am older and wiser and I should focus on my strengths and experience. I do have a master's degree and have had natural child birth twice, after all.

We are studying again today and I really hope that my brain doesn't overload or have a senior moment. I also hope I don't get self-conscious with stage fright. This is, after all, for me. I am glad that I didn't give into my fear and quit last week. It really isn't as bad as I imagined it would be and it is good that I found that out.

I almost couldn't fall asleep Sunday night worrying about it. I am trying to work out to relieve some of the stress. I want to get a new dance video from the series of the Masala Bhangra Workout. I loaned out my old one so I did a yoga video that I have. I was so sore in my shoulders the next day from doing the Downward Dog that I felt like someone punched me all over my abdomen. I do 2 miles on my treadmill about 4 days a week but that doesn't help my upper body and I am getting pretty bored with being in the garage.

I am trying to stay pleasant and positive at home because I don't want to create more stress and because my family are all being pretty great right now and I want to do my bit to continue that. I am trying to create domestic bliss by doing the laundry, making the beds, driving people where they want to go, and cooking nice meals. It is nice to sit down to a yummy, nutritious meal. Being vegetarian requires creativity to avoid boredom and to get a balanced diet. My latest favorite thing is Lundberg mixed wild rice cooked with veggie bouillon or Za'atar spice.

My younger daughter was doing a project on Denmark and we baked little fancy apple cider cakes. I was so worried about them sticking that I sprayed too much spray oil in the pans and almost set the oven on fire! Now I have to clean baking soda out of the oven. I was proud of myself for remembering that baking soda is the thing to stop or put out an oven fire. I must have learned that in 7th grade home economics. I actually learned so many things in that class that I still think of. One thing is - always make sure there is nothing in the oven before you turn it on. Another thing is - if you find something in your food when you are eating with other people, quietly set it aside so you don't ruin everyone else's meal. I try to teach this to my family but they still want to shriek "eeeuuwww... look what I found in my food! gross!! etc."

It will sink in eventually and I will love them either way. They will really have to practice their manners if we go live in Japan. My daughter said, yesterday, "did you see how the Japanese student held her fork so formally?" At least they are noticing. I have a lot of sympathy for them working so hard in school now that I have been through just one class. Being a student is tanoshi (fun) but also very muzukashi (difficult).

I love this little bag that I made out of fabric that I got in Tokyo. It is sweet and perfect for winter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Textile Tuesdays : #9 Silk

Once upon a time, there was a Chinese princess sitting under a Mulberry bush, drinking tea, when a cocoon fell into her cup. As she pulled it out, she noticed a long, thin thread spiraling off of it...

The story of the history of silk is as amazing as the fiber itself. I don't know if this legend is accurate (It comes from a children's book), but it is true that silk comes from the cocoon of a moth caterpillar called The Silk Worm. It is also true that it was originally produced only in China and its source and production was highly secretive. Somehow (legends vary) it was smuggled out of china. If you have read the book Middlesex, you will know about the Mediterranean history with silk. It seems women are always smuggling worms and cocoons for the sake of luxury and commerce.

The Silk Road (the route of commerce between the Mediterranean, Middle East, India and Asia) was responsible for the growth and interchange of the great, ancient cultures. The production of silk is intriguing and novel. While the worm is usually killed before it can become a moth and chew through the threads, there is a type of silk called Peace Silk where the moths are allowed to live. There is some debate about whether it is worth it to let the moths emerge into an unhealthy and short life. The blog True Up has a nice little post about it.

I was never very interested in silk. I thought of it as something that was used in fancy gowns, a luxury only for the wealthy. When I learned more about it, I became very enamored with it. It reminds me of porcelain, another material that I love, in that it is fine and delicate yet stronger, more beautiful, and more enduring than its rougher equivalents.

A thin piece of silk can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It can be washed (if you don't mind loosing some of the sheen) and is quick drying. This, along with it being very light weight, makes it great for traveling. And, it feels fantastic against one's skin.

From an artist's perspective, it is also wonderful. It absorbs dyes easily, comes in a huge range of formats - from thin fabric to thick yarn for knitting or weaving. Even the cocoons can be dyed, cut and worked into textile artworks.

Silk fabric is most noted for its drape, its feel, and its shimmer. So many great designers and artists use it. From a Chiffon cut on the bias to a thick Dupioni cinched up, it has stood the test of time. Kimonos, saris, evening gowns, and underwear, these are just the beginnings of the things you can make with silk.

The pictures at the top are of my bags made of Dupioni silk, a silk wrist cuff from The Roses are Red, a silk baby carrier from Lil' Peeper Keepers, a punk/goth wedding dress from KM Kostumes, a chic silk top from artlab, and some dyed cocoons from Larkspur Funny Farm.