A REFLECTION ON 2018: Progress and Beyond!
Last year around this time marked 1 year of creating and writing on this site! It was fun to look back on that first year with a post featuring the top 10 highlights. While, this year marks year 2 of this creative journey, I feel like the word to best describe the year is: progress. As a small business owner and artist, and I feel especially grateful today simply because of progress:)
Today, I found the time to reflect on my top 10 highlights of the year. I hope you will enjoy hearing more about this year's progress and how those "wins" big and small contributed to an overall feeling of achievement and happiness. I would love to know more about your journey too. In what ways have you made progress?
Last year, we celebrated this benchmark with a Thanksgiving giveaway and this year, I would like to offer all of you 10% off of everything in my shop (including workshops) for this weekend ONLY!
This year, there have been so many changes! The biggest of which was our moving to a new house after 10 years. Because of the move, it felt like we shed some old attachments and let go of a lot of accumulated belongings! For this list, I will share my top 10 highlights of 2018.
My top 10 (in chronological order:
1. Honed my focus on textiles, fiber arts and work in Indigo shibori
2. Perfected the Art of the Indigo Iron Vat
3. Launched my Indigo Pillow collection inspired by our family trips to Northern India and Japan
4. Visited the birthplace of Shibori textiles, Arimatsu, Japan
5. Forged new friendships through shows at CAFAM, Renegade SF, and Renegade LA!
6. Bought a new house and began renovations in an historic neighborhood in L.A.
7. Began hosting small group Private Indigo Workshops through Airbnb in our new garden
8. Hosted Creative Sundays: Natural Dye and Aromatherapy workshop at Saddlerock Gardens
9. Reached 1000 Followers on Instagram, then hosted another giveaway!
10. Created my first ever Natural Indigo Shibori Kit, so that now you can use indigo at home and explore a variety of shapes and motifs that I find essential to the art-form
*** Bonus: I committed to a meditation and mindfulness practice. I can feel myself taking that practice with me throughout each day and applying that to my business.
This weekend be sure to check out the flash sale, if you are looking for handmade textiles and pillowcases- there are limited quantities available! If you are local to Los Angeles, please come say hi in person this weekend at the California Folk Art Museum Holiday marketplace. When you try the Shibori Kit or the Iron Vat out at home, DO share your pics! If you post them on Instagram kindly use the #shiborikitsla, so we can all see! I will have a handful of kits with me at CAFAM.
Lastly, I want to hear from you: what projects personal or professional have you been working on this year? If you have a moment, would you please share something that you have achieved and/or something that you are working on right now?! I learn so much from each one of you. Lastly, it is amazing what we can accomplish in one year, and exciting to think about what more you can do within the next 5 years! What long term goals are motivating you?
A Natural Dye and Aromatherapy workshop
When Flin and I designed this workshop, I was searching for a medium to compliment natural dyeing in a relaxed and interesting way. We wanted to create a retreat-like experience for all guests that embraced natural surroundings, and imbued a peaceful feeling. We considered all things autumnal: the smells of the vineyard, the colors of the sky and feeling of the harvest. Everything from the weight of the fabric scarves to the essential oils of the season was a consideration.
A few short days after the workshop, unexpectedly and tragically fires broke out in the area, so in this way our memory of the day is bitter-sweet. While we are grateful for the perfection of that day, the duality of nature is not lost on us and that feeling of abundance is contrasted by our mourning for all losses incurred.
Yet, in the spirit of gratitude and resilience, I would like to share a few photos of our special day, in hopes that we will be back at the gardens as a community embracing the beauty of nature and it's resilience once again.
Additionally, I have reached out to the Gardens to see how we can be best of service in helping the people rebuild and the environment restore in some way.
Many thanks to Amelia Tabullo photography for capturing all of the beautiful moments of the workshop day. There were so many that I wanted you to see that I put them into a gallery.
A big thank you from Flin and I, to everyone who attended the workshop, making the day even more special and unique. Our March workshop date at the Gardens will be announced soon. You can join my mailing list below to receive all workshop updates.
In the meantime, I noticed that the Malibu Boys and Girls Club is accepting donations on behalf of the City of Malibu along with equestrian relief for fire victims.
Up next, I will share tips on Dyeing with Indigo and Madder root as we did in the workshop and how to use them in combination. If you would like to experience live indigo work, you can find me at Renegade Craft Los Angeles on December 8th and 9th.
How to Create an Iron Vat for Beginners
Even before I began working with natural indigo, I had always been an admirer of those deep indigo textile pieces. Today, I am going to share with you my favorite Natural Indigo Vat, that I feel is friendly to beginning indigo artists or even those of you who wish to explore Shibori patterns in an afternoon. First, a little background on how I came to use the Indigo Iron Vat.
As you may remember, I hosted my first ever Shibori workshop event mostly for friends. My friend Amelia and I, had discussed sharing our knowledge and skills to learn something like an art-form or craft in an afternoon. With my background and experience in art education, the idea of hosting a workshop, came to me organically. For the first class, I used a beginner's Indigo kitavailable by Jacquard. I often keep this kit as a back-up for parties or events, although I have shifted to using a completely natural kit with no synthetic reduction agents (they can be quite smelly, so be sure to work in a well ventilated space or outdoors, if you prefer this first kit!- my kit includes a few additional shapes and uses and all natural recipe- read on down for all the details!)
Next, I attended a block-printing workshop out in the high-desert, and to my surprise that day we dipped our textiles into a fructose vat, which I write about here. I set out working with the Fructose Vat for many months. I found it ideal for one time use over the course of an afternoon, I had more challenges when sealing off the vat to prevent oxidation or rebalancing the vat. Now, I enjoy working with the Ferrous Vat a.k.a. Iron Vat for long-term use! To my surprise one of my five gallon vats, has been fermenting an creating beautiful blues for quite a few months and I simply store it in the shade in my garden. Occasionally, I mix up additional stock to add more pigment to the vat.
HI, I'M HILARY.
A Day in the Life, is where I share inspiration for a handmade lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile techniques, and the best of California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable artful home. I offer creative workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my workshops for creative people like you!
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