WEEKEND RECAP Block Printing in Joshua Tree
Last weekend, I attended a block printing workshop in a remote and beautiful setting in the Joshua Tree, California desert.
I had planned on doing this weekend workshop for quite a while, and this time I got lucky enough to sign-up for the first one of the season. Last weekend's trip out to Joshua Tree, California was largely due to this class offered by Lily and Hopie Stockman of Blockshop textiles! This workshop is described as an immersive day of hand block printing using traditional techniques learned from master printers in India, and it totally was!
Are you ready for a little peak into the hand block printing process? I tried to capture and document some of the magic for you, while staying focused on the creative part of designing an original hand printed textile. Hopefully, you can make it out there to attend too one day soon. Until then you can come along me:)
One of the exciting things about this block printing workshop was that we had the opportunity to use natural indigo dyes. I signed-up not knowing about that and was pleasantly surprised and excited as we watched Lily preparing the dye vat. She explained her process and gave us a lot of good info about keeping a natural vat.
Everyone was excited to see the white cotton scarf with triangular motif going into the dye vat.
To get started with printing, we practiced on paper as our blank canvas.
Exploring the beginning of a wavy pattern.
Then, all of a sudden it was all like eat, sleep, stamp, repeat and we all became block printing machines.
Later, I loved how the indigo blue looked held up against the desert sky. The pale blue color reminds me of Georgia O'Keefe and the open desert skies that she painted in her lifetime. Hopie described the first dip in indigo as a cornflower blue. Next, all of the printed pieces were hanging out to dry.
I did a second printed pattern in black with red ink on a silk scarf and printed more freely.
Side note: I really want to dye my denim shirt that I am wearing too!
Here is the last one that I made after dyeing it in indigo. I find myself wearing this print a lot lately.
It was a beautiful day well-spent out in the dreamy high desert that is Joshua Tree.
Additionally, I find myself valuing more about the experience of creating things in a workshop or studio setting, more than the experience of shopping for things. How about you?
Please check out these related posts here:
ORC WEEK 4: Choosing Paint
Hey there! I can't believe that it is already Week 4 of the One Room Challenge and over here I am starting to really feel the crunch. I hope that you can help me make a few quick decisions!
For those of you just tuning in, here is a recap of what's happened over the past few weeks.
Week 1: I came across the challenge while searching for boy's room inspiration and working on my Children's Bedrooms board for my son.
Week 2: I decided to join in as a guest participant, to share ideas, along with posting updates every Thursday. I began with sharing Boys Room Inspiration boards.
Week 3: I shared Boy's Room Product boards, product links in and took the plunge with ordering some of the things, crossing my fingers that everything I ordered would arrive by Week 5 of the challenge!
Starting out 1 week behind, did not work in my favor, so now I have to really focus on how to make the biggest impact on the space, in a hurry! Fast forward to today, Week 4: walls: framing photography and choosing paint.
One way, I wanted to decorate the room was with the use of large scale art photography, paint color, and lighting. Those simple updates that can absolutely transform a space.
Our first piece of fine art photography arrived last week, printed by the amazing Swedish company, Photowall that offers free worldwide delivery. They do photographic prints on canvas as well as wall murals. I dream of having a wall mural of my own design printed by them someday. The photo print arrived on a roll, ready to be stretched onto the canvas. You may remember this magical wildlife photo from the Product Board post. It features Icelandic ponies. I love the lighting and the colors in this photo and can't wait to see them in the room.
This ORC post is made possible in part by Photowall~see links below!
It took me about 20 minutes to assemble the canvas frame, wrap and affix the artwork onto the stretcher bars. Once it's in place, the photo looks crisp, while the canvas looks painterly.
Ta-da! We love this print so much. We are also going to have additional photography in the room. I am having the prints made as we speak, while looking out for the perfect light wood frame or rustic frames for those photographs.
Meanwhile, I am pretending to have an actual project list and hoping that it all comes together in part this weekend, when we paint the walls (exciting!) and put together the bed (not exciting!).
For the walls, I had been thinking white or gray or green? Then, I heard from many of you, who also said gray or green. I narrowed it down to these 4 colors, clockwise from top-left:
Which color do you like the best in combination with the photography and door trim, and white shelving?
I hate to ask you to even consider this door trim, but we haven't decided if we should paint it yet, even though we hate it. We can be lazy. Thoughts?
Did I mention that the bed arrived? I hope to wrap up painting the walls and major furniture assembly this weekend, so that we can move onto lighting and bedding! It is getting exciting watching it all come together!
Icelandic Ponies by James McGill
Alaska by Amelia Tabullo
Our visit to Joshua Tree California
Have you ever visited the Mojave desert? In the high desert you can vanish into the surrounding nature: the sunlight, the starry nights and the spaciousness of it all.
Before visiting Joshua Tree for the first time, I had never experienced anything quite like it's landscape and terrain. It almost felt like the surface of some faraway planet, but amazingly it is here on Earth, a textural horizon, scattered with Joshua Trees and rocky formations. The National Park spans 1,200 square miles of the Mojave and Colorado deserts.
Over the past 3 years, we have made an annual trip out to Joshua Tree, which is about a 3 hour drive east of downtown Los Angeles.
This year, our trip was for a long awaited block-printing workshop that I participated in with Block Shop textiles! Today, I will share some photos from the area near Joshua Tree National Park, where we stayed, and a few of our favorite hikes.
I hope you are ready for a mid-week escape to the desert with me!
The Togetherness House where we stayed was a few miles from the west entrance of the park. As the name itself, inspires connection to self, others, and your surroundings. The house is a mid-century pioneering woman's dream. It's mid-century furnishings, cozy area rugs, and a large front picnic friendly front porch.
This home's owners were drawn to the property and all of the accessible adventures that the National Park had to offer. The quiet, stillness of the desert, and, really, the people. According to them, everyone up here has a story and they are incredibly friendly, it has a real small town feel with a contemporary attitude of eco-consciousness, equal rights, and artists galore.
While we drove, I noticed many signs pointing to various artist studios throughout the town. In the morning, we enjoyed waking up to the sweeping views from the front porch and enjoying breakfast outdoors!
Some of our favorite things about the Togetherness House are as follows:
For us, this place really is perfection, with it's mid-century flourishes. Furthermore, the home offered us plenty of sleeping accommodations as a family of 3. I hope to return to share the space with family friends in the future.
Yes, California really is all about the outdoor living, The Togetherness House is located on an large plot of wilderness with some footpaths for you to enjoy.
In the evening, we made a toast to a successful family trip and our time together! True to form my husband came up with a custom mixed drink for the occasion: The Joshua Tree, which features bourbon, apricot, and thyme.
You can check out the Joshua Tree drink recipe too~ cheers!
Meanwhile our son, nature boy was really enjoying the local scenery by lining up a solid rock collection! The surrounding nature is surreal and inspiring: branches and rock formations dispersed wildly.
If you are looking for a few short hikes that can be accomplished with younger kids, I have two spots that I can recommend...the first one is more like a stroll, and the second is a legitimate hike.
I hope you have enjoyed getting lost with me:) I always feel much more peaceful, inspired and motivated, when I return from even a little getaway. My son actually did not want to leave. There is something transformative about time spent in nature and what it does for us all, and especially children, filling our craving for exploration and freedom.
If you would like to see more posts on west coast travel, then please check out our guides:
Kauai Guide and Seattle Travel Guide
Next week, I promise to share a few photos of the textiles workshop, which was creative and inspiring! I hope you will check back in to see.
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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