Thank you for all your lovely birthday wishes! I’ve been enjoying my Introvert’s Birthday week immensely. I’ve been doing all the things I never make enough time for, like yoga, talking to friends and family that live far away and cooking, while still enjoying the things I’m addicted to and couldn’t stop doing if I tried (ahem, sewing).
Another activity I crave but don’t make enough time for is reading. I’ve been slowly picking my way through Lewis Hyde’s book The Gift (not to be confused with The Secret!) and got to spend a little more time with it this week. Hyde looks at artistic creativity in the historical context of gift-giving in a way that is both highly academic and passionate.
My birthday week seemed like the right time to reflect on what I’ve read so far, that a sense of abundance and connection grows in a community when gifts are given freely. This was something I needed to hear, as I’ve tended to focus on the more negative aspects of gifts that I see – gifts of obligation, consumerism taken to absurd heights, wasteful packaging. When I think about it, though, gifts given from a sense of obligation or with expectations of receiving something in return aren’t real gifts. They’re transactions, or attempts at a transaction. Gifts don’t always need wrapping and sometimes they aren’t even objects. They don’t even need to come from other people; the ability to create is a gift. The products of our creativity can be gifts, too. The online sewing community shares so much knowledge and encouragement, which I find to be a gift in itself.
Having said all that, I’m really excited to have my first giveaway, which will be of the tangible sort! I’m sharing three pieces of silk that I dyed using a couple of shibori methods.
The first is a square piece of habotai that I hand roll-hemmed into a scarf. I folded the fabric many times in a diamond shape, dipping it in brown dye before submerging it into the peach dye.
The second and third pieces are charmeuse silk. The magenta/red piece was created by bunching areas and tying them tightly with string to resist the dye, while the blue pattern was created by pleating the silk and then binding it with string. I can’t remember when the pink dye came in to play – sometimes I go into a shibori trance and my memory blurs!
If you would like one of these pieces, please let me know which one in a comment below by next Friday 4/11 at 11:59pm PST! I’m happy to ship anywhere. Feel free to share a memorable gift (given or received) from your past.
Edit: the giveaway is now closed. Thank you!