September 30, 2010

Out of the (Indigo) Blue...Shibori Girl

Oh my Stars. Let me begin by saying that I am following my instincts.  I said at the beginning of the year that I would, and I am.  That means, stepping out of my semi-shy self and placing myself among the people that I admire.

There is a world of beauty in textile-arts.  And, although the people I know, are leagues ahead of me, I'm gradually  learning.  So what I see for the first time, merits my comment!  Being a part of the Slow Cloth Group, piloted by Elaine Lipson, is educating me in ways that are exciting and inspiring. Artists and Teachers have joined, and each day I can count on hearing about an exhibit, an article, a favorite book or seeing something new in the photo gallery.

One of the artists that has captured my spirit is Glennis Dolce/Shibori Girl.
Her blog is beautifully written, her words and photographs always make me smile.  Glennis is a talented, educated/and established contemporary artist, living in Long Beach.  She creates the most beautiful hand-dyed fabrics and ribbons.  But, the production doesn't end there, her gallery is filled a variety of items that she's made with her textiles.  Using techniques that she's learned through her studies and experiences, she shares with us, the world of Indigo.    What is it that Rachel Zoe often says? "I die"!   I find myself looking at Glennis' fabrics and say, "I die for Indigo"!   (This could very-well be my last blog post!)

This year I became interested in a couple things, the life of a Silk Worm and hand-dyeing fabrics using plant materials.  Funny that I should be lead right back to Shibori Girl.   I've since read her posts with interest and enthusiasm!   In a recent post, I was moved to leave a comment.   

Then, I heard from Glennis.  At first, I was floored.
My blog looks like this and that, due to a hundred patterns that I am willing to try.
More importantly, the blog is filled with a hundred fish, what will she think?

Well, I am happy to say, it is, about the fish!  

I found it interesting that Glennis grew up in Yokohama, Japan.  Can you imagine the beauty and artistry that must have influenced her? She has collected fabric fish from Japan and shared pictures with me.   As detailed as I imagined they would be, the fish are beautiful.  And, as I was sending back an email to her...Glennis surprised me with a gift. She offered me some of her fabrics for my fish.

Turn me upright...I am Blessed!

I told Glennis that it will be difficult to take scissors to these....

All of these glorious pieces will be a part of a fish collection!

Last year I met an artist/teacher, who had served for years as an art show juror.
She told me, as I was showing the Fish Charms for the first time, that the fish would be hands-down, approved.   I was delighted to hear this because the idea of Fish Charms came from above.   And, as the fish have done in the past, (it brings out a general happy discussion) our conversation turned into an art lesson.  I can still see her hands flowing through the air, as she described the sketching of fish.
~Fill my life with these moments, I love it.

You see where my path is leading me?
My life is in the middle of changes, I am no longer raising children, the kids are grown and leading exciting lives.  My hubby says it's time to spend all the energy that I want, into the direction of producing my whimsical fish.  He's experienced first-hand, the joy and enthusiasm, as I sell them ( my fish are here and there, including Europe).
Okay!...after all, I do have over 10 years of experience in making them. I can do this.

After the surprise visit from Shibori Girl, I am convinced that it is time to focus.
All the signs are there.  I've learned enough/and am comfortable to say, the Asian tradition of giving fish (art) , is exactly what I am about.  Every fish that I've ever made, I've asked a blessing over it; and hoped that the fish would bring happiness.  If you look up the tradition of giving's wishing one prosperity, which to me, is happiness.

I decided long ago to not worry about selling these fish...just make them.  It was a wise decision. I've enjoyed the experience of meeting people, seeing their responses. Basically, the fish sell themselves.  Well, almost!
I think it's a combination of the fish and my spirit.

If I've kept an accurate account, men go gaga over these just as much as the women do!

The last few days have been spent choosing a new fish to craft.  I think I have picked out one that is exciting and beautiful.
Stay tuned.

If you would like to visit Shibori Girl, her blog link is here:   Shibori Girl
She is to hold an Indigo-Shibori-Silk workshop at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, October 2, 2010.    If I was in the area, I'd already be signed up!

Then, have fun shopping for Shibori Girl Indigo and Ribbon:
Shibori Girl at Big Cartel
Shibori Girl Etsy

Glennis...Your kindness and generosity has not been wasted.  I (deeply) appreciate the gifts and look forward to using the fabric.  The first Indigo Fish Charm is yours!


  1. how sweet jessica- i really had no previous knowledge of you or your work until you left a comment on my blog but something just told me to send you some indigo fabrics-an instinct i suppose. it's good to follow them! so often we are too busy to really listen to ourselves and this is a reminder to lengthen the quiet moments so that we can hear our own heartbeats.

    i also didn't mention that being a pisces and drawn to water-making indigo fish just makes perfect sense to me!

    thank you for so many kind words and i will look forward to your future endeavors-

  2. I look forward to combining our efforts, Glennis! These pieces are filled with good energy and are playfully showing me just how to display them! Piano Keys...I have a piece of Piano Keys - I loved that post!
    Since I can go on and on with each piece, I'll save some comments for each fish. I am more enthused than ever, I'm taking the visions and energy of 3 artists, Nicki Lee's RavioLee Dreams Laces, Shibori Girls' Indigo and JessicaSews Fish...and making an item with traditional gift-giving qualities. This will be a wonderful collection!

    ...I have more people than anyone, raise their hand and say, I'm a Pisces! I love it.
    You have the ocean right there as perfect.

    Well, up to now, I've just been a Small Fry! I'll have to get up an account with Etsy and grow!

    Thank You So Much.


  3. check out big cartel too- i actually prefer it.

  4. Looking it up...thank you!

    Have a wonderful workshop this weekend!

  5. Hi Jes! First let me say that I love, love the new look of your blog and the direction you are going - your writing has changed somewhat and I can tell the creativity is just flowing from your fingertips!!!

    Second... I'm a Cancer and ruled by the moon...and as you know love the ocean and all its beauty. Most of my CQ over the past couple years has been based upon the ocean and I always seem to feature what else "fish"! I am thrilled for you that you have found the one thing that delights you and am excited to see where this leads.

    Now to go explore Shibori Girl - I can't wait to see what this talented artist creates... I so need some new inspiration.

  6. Hello Nicki Lee ~smiling~

    Thaaaank you! Yes, a page has turned! For years, I have told everyone around me to focus, study and achieve your goals. All the while, storing my goals in my journal.
    When I went to change one color on the blog, I found that I couldn't and I couldn't undo what had just happened. I stared at the computer for a bit...considered ending the blog altogether. Eventually, I looked at the blog options and focused on the words "blog layout designed by...". It then hit me, have someone do what they do best and spend your time doing what you do best. So, I picked this one!
    Then, I needed to re-format a lot of the posts and I found that I had a bad habit of sharing pictures with no text. Maybe I figured I didn't have anything to say or I was too shy to say it? I want people to enjoy what I'm sharing, but realize now that it lacked my spirit. It was like, want a picture, something to inspire's a picture.
    It's not how I do business. When I do a show, I display the items in a fun way and share...myself. It's why the fish sell well.

    So, why then were a lot of the blog posts so blah? Maybe because I don't know who I'm reaching. I share a lot. I think people are visiting.
    Now, we'll find out! Because, I'm going to share my spirit, my voice.
    ...I'm stepping out of my semi-shy self!

    Oh, I'm a Libra!

  7. Hi Jess! I'm still trying to get used to the fact that you're no longer in the PNW! Looks like you're going to have a lot of fun with all that Shibori fabric; can't wait to see more fish. Hugs to you.

  8. Hi Judy...How are you?!

    My spirit moves between here and there! We were out on a drive and I picked out a couple places that looked very PNW!
    No one exaggerated about the beauty here. The Fall colors are incredible. I've shared some pictures on the other blog, A Turtle's Journal.

    I have sketched out several Asian-themed designs for the Shibori Indigo Fish. I am enthused about how they will look!
    Without knowing why, I brought my books, Quilting with Japanese Fabrics by Kitty Pippen and Japanese Inspirations by Janet Haugh. ^j^

    I'm in the middle of a Christmas order...Angelfish.
    I will be sharing pictures soon!

  9. Jessica,
    Enjoy your new look and enjoyed reading this post. You are in a new era of your life and finding peace and enjoyment through it. The shibori fabric is just lovely and perfect for your new fish creations. Have fun!

  10. Thank you so much, Kathy!
    You know, every special gift that has been given to me in the last year, is right here with me! So, I feel like I have everyone's good energy around me.

    It's hard to quit at the end of the day, I'm so enthused. ^j^

    Hope you are at the end of your class now! Hugs!

  11. I finished my class but I'm reviewing now to take the certification exam.

  12. Kathy, Study! Hope you can take the exam before the weather changes!

    I'll share my Fall pictures with you since your camera is having problems.



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