Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dyeing with Sea Water

I've always wanted to try this. The kind of dyes I use (procion dyes) require salt & soda ash. Having thought for several years that I might try dyeing here I finally brought my dye powders and some soda ash. 
Over the past two days I made 3 batches. The dye jobs were uneven because I chose to fold the fabric before putting it into plastic baggies. So of course I got fold effects-- some parts lighter some parts darker according to where the cloth was in the folds.

The first batch were shades of a yellow/green I like.

The colors were true. So sea water worked!

The next day I did a red & a blue.

Today I think I can squeeze in one more batch before going to see The Artist. I haven't decided on the colors yet.

I look forward to working with these new ones. So far they look inviting together.

I forgot to add that collecting sea water was a funny adventure in itself. First, I am fishing large plastic containers out of the recycling bin at the condo. Then I find that open-necked bottles allow for quick-filling in the surf. Pop bottles got modified. I seem not to want to get knocked over when I'm doing this. Then there are the looks I imagine I am getting when I am doing the fishing & the filling. It is all, I think, so Daphne!

Finally, a detail of the new finished by-hand quilt.

That's it for now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Eyes Have It

Thank goodness!!  I'm cleared for reading! What a relief. I was so afraid that I had blown the laser repair & had not been strict enough with myself on my eye-activities to keep my laser 'stitches' stitched down.
I was afraid I was in for a big scolding, or self- scolding.

My sewing machine is repaired & about to be FedExed back to me. It will feel good to get back to other sewing projects. I will finish the totally-by-hand quilt very soon, so good timing. 

I am glad the being-held-back period is over.
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One of the Maui pleasures is feasting on Aloha Shirts.
This is a new theme. Since a brake for great textiles this is a natural collection. Here are some of my best Aloha Shirts so far:

I had just made Sal & Jobst say,"We've decided to sell our Maui property."

Well, that goes to show you that as usual, Life Happens. We are free to change our minds, situations change, and sometimes we suddenly Just Don't Feel Like It.

That's it for now.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mistakes & choices

Well, since I can't do much reading because of my retinal repair & my sewing machine is being fixed in Honolulu, I found out that I am allowed to sew. So it's been hand sewing for the past week.

I have this overlapping quadrilaterals idea that I've been brewing for a while.

It started out looking like this:

This got sewed down and excess fabric behind was excised so I wouldn't have too many layers to quilt through.

Something was missing. So I added a bit.

Oh yes, you can see green patches & a deep red rectangle pinned in. I decided it 'worked'. Sometimes I don't really know why, but I go with what I think & see.  At this stage you can see frayed edges of the patches.

Since I have no machine I'm going to appliqué all the shapes down. The sharpness of the corners disappears when I do that. Other wobbles happen too. Life happens. 

It's almost quilted pretty tightly so there is lots of ripple texture which is dreamy to touch. However there is an oops where the red rectangle was placed on the black square.

Where the big stitches are is a split with stuff showing I don't want anyone to see.
I don't like to backtrack so I decided I would test out a few patches to see which one worked best. The quilt got put up on my mirror with scotch tape and photos were taken to audition patches for the role!

Black patch.

Yellow patch.

White patch.

Different black patch.

There were 4 other patches that were disqualified right away. And of the four semi finalists: I think
* the first one is too dark. 
* the yellow patch brought the tan squares more to life. 
* the white one is the same pattern as the black square underneath, so that that might work.
* the last one is the same fabric as the other black rectangle, but I kinda think, so what?

Now I'll ask George. He's good at stuff like this. I want to see if he sees these choices as I do.

We agree. I'm not surprised. The yellow patch wins. 

That's it for today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

4 Days of Kona Wind

 It's strange how exhausting the incessant wind is. I can't quite figure it out: is it the roar of the waves, difficulties with doors, and salt spray everywhere?

But it's exciting too. Some thing new is happening.
The last Kona storm last year I took this picture.
You see that barge out there?

Well, this morning it broke loose & came ashore.

I got an excited call from a neighbor. George & I went down to look.

Lots of talk on the beach about this event. I noticed a Coast Guard there & asked him about it. This flat-bottomed boat is meant to go ashore on beaches. It will be towed off sooner or later. No damage probably.

There were other things to notice too: the beach erosion, flotsam, and a blowfish.

George gives a measure of how much sand has been washed away-- 4 feet's worth -- at that part of the beach. (He quipped about only being good for being a measuring stick!)


Beaches are about impermanence, for sure. That's part of their charm. Well, & also there we get glimpses of eons & as close as we can get to infinities.

That's it for today.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

After Laser treatment

Two days ago I had my laser treatment. My retinal tear is all stitched down with laser-dot- scar-tissue. The dots are white now, but will gradually turn black.

The process is a strange combination of high tech & surrealism, helping a patient by, in a way, assaulting them. Assault with the patient's co-operation! Like mammograms, dental work & cervical checks.

I am so glad it's behind me. Tomorrow I call the Aloha Eye Clinic to find out what else besides reading & big exercising they don't want me to do. What CAN I do [aside from TV]?

Meanwhile I am totally taking stock of how important my seeing is to me.  I've been taking pictures like crazy.

Today we have a strong Kona Wind, blowing in the opposite direction from our normal trade winds. 2-3 feet of beach sand has gone into sea & will gradually be brought back by wave action & tides.

Down the beach from us there are some wonderful small sand dunes dancing in this wind.

Oh, the magic of natural sculpture. Rapture!

Then there is the foam-in-the-sunlight on our morning walks. I love this froth. Latte-of-the-sea, don't you think?

Finally, I got some really nice pictures of Ellie, Gene's wife. She forgets how beautiful she is, but as elders go she's right up there!! Here's one.

She & I have conversations about wrinkles & about not knowing ourselves in the mirror. I love her wrinkles!
Well, & I'm not as partial to my own.

That's it for today.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Tonight George & I had supper down at the BBQ. It was a beautiful balmy night & we were almost the only ones down there. Sublime sunset brewing.

George cooked a steak, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms whole, & corn with husks.

And while he was doing that I went down to the water's edge & shot pictures.

Oh my! Copper kept on coming to mind.

This was my starting point.

It never used to be that the camera would take such fast pictures that you could freeze the look of water. I love this!! No blurry waterfalls any more!

I can't say enough about how fun this was. Pure loveliness. George said I looked happy when we sat down to eat. Hardly anything beats beauty & a good meal with good company!

Tomorrow I have laser treatment for my torn retina. I will try to remember THIS when I am struggling with THAT.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

7 minute blog entry

Gene & Ellie are coming for supper & I realize it has been a l.o.n.g time since I made an entry.

A week ago I went to an eye clinic on a hunch because I had experienced a singular new event with my eye. It turned out the event was a tear in my retina.

So my eyes are suddenly very much more important to me.

I am working on two or three new quilts when my sewing machine fell ill. It is in Honolulu now at the sewing machine doctor. It's too early to show you work in progress. I am, in the meantime, forced to do handwork and t.h.i.n.k.i.n.g!!  This is good.

So Here are some quick photos of my latests here.

My favorite Paia window, retaken.

This is the work of a man named Pascale, from France. He's a sculptor & I am MAD for his shapes. I love the simplicity/complexity of them.

7 minutes are more than up!!

That's it for today.