Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dreaming of Lopez Island

I got back from the India Flint class on Lopez Island late Wednesday but I don't think I'll ever quite get back from that experience.

Sharon and I kept pinching ourselves the whole time.  First, the organizer, Christi Carter of Sweet Pea Path blog, was such a lovely woman, so welcoming and helpful.  And Patsy, who let us use her beautiful studio, garden and house, was a delightful hostess.  We felt pampered and loved the whole three days.

And then there was India.  Original people are scarce.  She's one of them.  Totally herself and, boy, is herself swell.  She's witty, funny, a great storyteller, poem reader, soup maker and free-thinker, in the best sense of the word.  Being in her presence and learning from her was life changing for me.

I slowed down, or tried to...I think I finally achieved it a bit the last day!  Watching how she works, listening intently to how she phrases thoughts, getting used to the wonder of experimenting without attachment to outcome...all lessons this baby bear needs!

The perennial garden designed by Patsy, perfect in it's early fall outfit.

India reading us a poem every morning.  She picked some of my favorite poets, even one from a Santa Cruz poet, Ellen Bass.

The class was called The Wayfinder's Wanderjacket.  In addition to being the master of eco-dyeing India Flint is one heck of a designer.  In this case it was all re-design as we used old garments to create either a jacket or, in the photo above, a pinafore...we call it an apron, out of a man's shirt or jacket.  Above you can see a participant's pinafore under construction as India explains the little bits on her own garment.

She's a very generous and thoughtful teacher.  And sees shapes in an unexpected way.  I learned so much from watching her pin pieces of cloth together!

And then we walked up to the house each noon-time for a lunch prepared by our three hosts...Patsy, Christi and India.  Such good food, so beautifully prepared and displayed.

Breads from the island that were some of the best I've ever eaten, soup made by India each day, every one earthy and tasty.

Our first dye baths, excitement!

This bath had some metal bits in it I think.  Hence the darker color.

Here's what our bundles looked like while they cooled overnight in the dye bath.

I've always wondered why there are so many pictures of India's hands online.  Now I know.  Her hands are so expressive you just WANT to take pictures of them!  She is really a gorgeous woman in all ways but her arms and hands are mesmerizing and take you to other places!

She laid our cool bundles out on a dress she intended to dye later.  We had a jolly time opening them, one by one, to see how each of our's had turned out.

This is what's left after I opened my first bundle.  Rusted metal pieces, string and binding plus my little label so I could tell which was mine.

First day's pieces drying in the breeze.

I wish I knew who's cloth this was, I hope it's ok with her that I posted it.  I loved the green.  I think it's from apple leaves.

More bundles!'s like opening packages on Christmas though we all agreed these were all presents we WANTED!

Again, these are pieces that someone created in class, I know not who.  Just beautiful!

The path leading to the house...what a magical walk that is!

Patsy and Christi bringing our last day celebration, sad day for all of us to be leaving this dream.

But there was this chocolate cake made by Christi (and champagne) that eased the pain somewhat.

And every night when we came home to our rented house we could sit out on our patio with a  Negroni and watch THIS!

One of the best weeks of my life!