Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My New Jacket

My New Jacket
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster.
These are the weavers at the cooperative, posing with me because I just bought that jacket. The day was quite drizzly and cold, because the clouds were low. As in, we were higher than the clouds.

I have video of the lady on the left weaving, and Ellie showing her the wallet she had sewn from handwoven remnants... and then the lady looked inside and teasingly put it in her pocket.


Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster.
We're walking downhill from the cemetary, toward the center of town, on the way to the weaver's cooperative. See the Church at the center? More photos on that later.

That's Julie, barely in the photo at left, then Ellie her mom, Chip (notice that net bag - we'll go see Pedro, who weaves those, on Friday), Bjo, and Brigid.

Mexico - Chamula Cemetary

Chamula Cemetary
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster.

This is the cemetary at Chamula, up the mountain from San Cristobal. Chip took us down the road that goes by here, and explained that these graves aren't new-- they're "refreshed" frequently. They put new dirt on top, and often put more crosses in front of the old.

The pine boughs are very significant- the Mayan god has a name that sounds very familiar to their name for pine trees. They put pine needles on the graves, around them, and even on the floor of the church. The pine trees closest to Chamula look like pompoms - any branches near the ground have been harvested.

When you look at the larger resolution of the picture, it looks like people have littered the cemetary, but it's very different than that. People come to the cemetary to talk with their ancestors, much like the Mayan tradition, and they leave tokens. They drink sodas (or alcohol), and leave some. Sometimes it's just the bottle cap. I wondered if they left tokens for their ancestors, or to show their neighbors that they had.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Home again, Home again, Jiggity Jig

Well, it's high pollen time in the Central Valley. (California, for the non-locals.) Which means that I have been taking sinus medicine, which means I'm falling asleep at the keyboard.

But Visalia was grand! This is the Conference of the Association of Southern California Handweavers, which is held every two years. It alternates with the national Handweavers Guild of America Convergence.

I got to take the indigo class with John Marshal, oh happy days. See his website... I had a sense of deja vu - of how intimidated I am by new techniques, only to realize that yes, this is Doable.

And, of course, my camera battery went dead and I had forgotten to pack the charger. sigh... it's a new-fangled thing that doesn't have AA or AAA batteries, it has this little square thing that needs a special battery charger.

Things I would have taken more pictures of:
  • The kitchen. Oh, wow- if you can ever take a dye class where they let you use an industrial kitchen, it's heaven!! Miles of stainless (and it's truly stainless!) steel countertop, stainless steel sinks that are deep and big, as well as the ones at knee level that god-knows-what-they're-for... and floors with marine-grade paint that nothing sticks to.
  • The process. I have John's booklet "Salvation through Soy" but a picture's worth -- well, you know.
  • The Fashion Show! Oh, my... I wish I could have gotten video of the family outfits. One family was a cowboy family- Mommy had a jacket, 8yo daughter had a cape with a horsey on the back, Daddy and 5yo son had matching cowboy vests. The other was Mommy, 5yo son and 2yo daughter, dancing to a Beach Boys song. Too cute!
  • The Beaded Fringe class. Of course, I picked this up right away and am qualified to teach anyone any day of the week. (cough, cough) But I did ok... I am jealous of Laura S's all-day Beaded Tassels class. Got the book, have the beads. Will do this, sell them and become independently wealthy. (hmmm... better slack off the B12.)
In other news, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster about Kyrgyzstan, of all places. Una passed on an email recruiting a natural dyes teacher for an NGO (non-governmental organization, for those of you deficient in acronym-speech). I rose to the call, we emailed, played phone tag, and I was picked!!

And then the partner-to-be had to tell me that I wasn't going after all. They wanted someone with marketing experience. waaahhhhh!!! but I can understand. This is the kind of thing you really can't look up on the Internet. They want someone who can train artisans to put together a booth at a trade show, to know what trade shows to do, and how to form distribution networks.

Oh, I'm having such a good pout. But I'm tired enough from traveling not to be devastated.