Indigo + Shibori with Kathryn Davey

When Tadhg was six months old I left him (in the capable hands of his dad, not, like, on the street) for an afternoon of alchemy. I joined Kathryn Davey and a group of equally eager women (and one man!) to learn the art of shibori folding and indigo dyeing.

Kathryn lead us through the simple steps of setting up the dye bath as she poured mystical sounding powders into a vat of water. We followed her hands as she folded simple cotton offcuts this way and that – chatty and excited to get down to it.

Dipping the cloth in and out of the indigo vat tested our patience. We each weighed up dipping again for a deeper blue or unfolding the cloth to reveal the pattern. It sounds silly, but it was oddly thrilling. The whole process is a little bit magical, as first your cloth looks greeny-yellow but as it hits the air and oxygen begins to act upon the dye it turns a beautiful shade of indigo blue. The more times you dip the darker the blue becomes.

A warm sense of camaraderie rippled throughout the group as we complimented each others patterns (mostly happy accidents, we unanimously agreed), chatted about what to make next, how to make polka dots and how we’d get the blue off our hands (babywipes, it transpires). A motley mix of ages and stages kept the conversation flowing. Some people came with friends and others, like me, were alone. 

At that time it was the perfect escape. A short reprieve from the all consuming task of motherhood. I came home with lots of unique indigo shibori cotton scraps, a beautiful dyed scarf, dirty hands and a freshly buzzing creative spirit. I have some tentative plans for where I’ll take my indigo stained fingers next – keep your peepers peeled

If you find yourself in need of a creative refresh I could not recommend a workshop with Kathryn Davey more. Check out her upcoming workshops here. She also sell indigo kits so you can easily prepare a vat for yourself at home. I’m waiting for the weather to warm up so I can make a vat outside. If that all sounds a bit too messy Kathryn also sells lots of beautiful handmade goods that she has dyed using indigo and other natural materials. I have my eye on the indigo crown for a certain tiger’s first birthday. 

 

It’s good to be Home.

We flew into Dublin airport on a Thursday morning. Two weeks ago today. Rich spotted a Dublin bus from the air as we landed. We revelled at all the green fields and trees and grey drizzly sky. Though it was nothing compared to the torrential downpour we left behind in New York. A whistle stop tour in which we walked and ate and walked and ate and walked some more. In other words, the best kind of tour. I’ll post some photos if I ever find that roll of film we shot. 

Rich kept saying he wasn’t sure if he was ready. Was this ok? Were we right in coming home? [did we have a choice?] All good things must come to an end and I gave him a firm ‘yes.’  I had no doubt really. This is home. Nowhere else will ever be that. The streets, the people, the smells and sounds,  the familiar clouds in the sky—together they make up our home and my place in this world. The place I want my baby to know and love [keep reading, I’ll get there]. I feel comfortable, even though our situation is anything but right now. Precariously living back at home—and someone else’s home at that!—after year of independent bliss is challenging. To say the least of it. 

We came home with excess baggage in the form of five suitcases, one large cardboard box, a bicycle, helmet & skateboard, two backpacks and an unborn seventeen week old potential somebody. Surprised? Tell me about it!

We surprised my brother on his doorstep at 10 am. Tears sprung from his eyes upon seeing us. It was worth the lying and the butterflies. My niece hugged me with her chubby little arms spread wide and showed Rich everything in her bedroom, pointing and laughing. That was all the confirmation I could ever need. Our people are here and this is our place. 

One day soon I’ll write about all the things I learned and all the ways we grew. There will be time for photos and sharing and keeping track of what’s what. For now we are home and that is enough. 


I scribbled this out one day as a response to ‘show me love’ [an assignment for a poster making class]—it lived above our bed for a year; an often necessary and worthwhile reminder.

The Dublin City Marathon

I happened to be in town the other day when the Dublin City Marathon was on. I had been feeling pretty grumpy but it’s really hard to stay in a bad mood when people are crowding the streets cheering on strangers running the last leg of a 27 mile race. Crowds of people taking positive action (like cheering or running or

building

) make my heart feel funny, kind of like the way groups of people singing in unison make me cry. I think it’s probably an affliction of the overly emotional or something. While I don’t think I would ever run a marathon (the task seems unsurmountable for me and my knees) it completely baffles me that people can and do…like my friend

Cathal

, he trained himself and ran it, completing the staggering milage in 4 hours and 20 minutes! What a champ! 

 See that yellow line on the photo? Does anyone know what that is? Something weird happened to the second half of this roll of Portra 400 and I don’t know if it was my camera, my shooting or the lab processing or scanning? Any fellow film pals experience anything similar?

(Don’t forget to sign up to my Christmas Post Swap)

Click here to see some other photos that came out weird…

Coming to a close.

Here are some photographs from the summer time that I had yet to post. Although I have over three weeks of summer holidays left the air has a feeling of ending in it. Autumn is always bittersweet. On the one side I have my birthday and nice cool breezes and pretty brown leaves and on the other I have to go back to college, routine, early mornings and a significantly lower income. Until then I am going to soak up the rest of my holiday time before first semester begins.

^^

Strawberry Summer Cake

by Smitten Kitchen ^^

^^ we spent a lot of time at Seapoint this summer. It became the beach to be at, go to, swim from and grab dinner on. It became ‘the beach’. ^^

^^ Boys that look like boybands at the local non-park, park ^^

^^ Killiney. Always. ^^

^^ If I had all the money in the world,

this

would be my house. ^^

^^ My sister did an olympic TRIATHLON. I can’t decide if she is insane or incredible. Both I think. ^^

^^ The sun shone often and we swam regularly. Recipe for a summer well spent. ^^