Peeking and slowly crawling out of the ‘spiritual closet’.

Having spent most of my life hiding from myself and/or the world, posting on this blog is a big step for me. I’ve been searching most of my adult life for meaning, connection and trying to figure out what my purpose is during this lifetime.

In my 20’s I began meditating, and was a disciple of Sri Chinmoy for a short while. That was followed reading by a lot of books on a variety of mostly New Age subjects. Then about 10 years ago, I started studying Wicca as well as going back to my Jewish roots and discovering that there were more similarities than differences between the two. During this time I became involved with the Women’s Torah Project and was looking for a deeper connection with the Divine Feminine. My reading now included anything I could find on Shekhinah.

In the Fall of 2015, I stumbled upon the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Training Program. It is described as ‘Earth Based, Embodied, Feminist, Judaism. I sat and read every page on the website. When I got to the bottom of the page describing the 13 priestess paths I was blown away. One of the Paths is The Weaver.

Oreget: The Weaver
    The Weaver weaves in the Temple to honor the Divine feminine. What she weaves are batim or “houses”—tapestries, garments, or maybe worlds. Like the Fates, the oreget weaves space, time, and soul together. She embodies the connectedness of all things. It is she who integrates and connects the many threads of the world. We see her in the women who spun the goats’ hair for the Tabernacle. Her gifts are the weaving of legends, interpretations, rituals and traditions, as well as weaving, sewing, writing, and all the creative arts. She watches over all activities that bring disparate elements together.

My first thought was “I’m not crazy!” I was awed, humbled, thrilled, amazed, excited, blown away. My path was real, not some crazy thing I was dreaming up. They were describing me. Some of the ideas could have been taken from my artist statement. And literally, I am a weaver.
     Artist’s Statement – March 12, 2013: “Spirituality and connections. These are the focus of my current work in mixed media and fiber art. The underlying philosophy of my world view is that all things are connected in some way. Finding those connections by juxtaposing objects or ideas fascinates me and through this searching, I look for ways to understand our place in the cosmos. My goal is to create art with a spiritual focus or for a spiritual use, with the hope that this work will foster the viewer or user’s sense of connection to that which is greater than our individual selves. Art that celebrates the threads of spirit that connect us all.”

I promptly signed up for their newsletter, and in a few months, they announced they were taking applications for two new cohorts, one on the East Coast, and one on the West Coast. I finally got my application in, and was accepted. I went to the first week of training in January 2017 still not entirely sure about this, it sounded so cool, but what in the world would I do with this? By the middle of the first full day, heading to the dining hall I knew, “I’m home”.

Central altar at the end of the week for Shabbat.

Show, Classes, a busy February

February will be a busy month!

Reception: My Solo Show – Inward Journey, Search for Self                                   February 5th, 2017 1-3pm @ University Friends Meeting & Friends Center
4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle, Washington 98105                               https://www.facebook.com/events/735555793260230/                                                 The show will be up until the end of March. The Friends Center is open M-F from 9am – 1pm. The show is in the social hall which is locked. You will need to knock on the office door. Their worship services are on Sunday morning. http://ufmseattle.org/

Weaving Classes @ Swedish Club
1920 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109                                                                 Classes run for 4 weeks Beginning February 7, 2016                                               Beginning Weaving on a 4-harness loom, 2-4 pm                      https://www.facebook.com/events/1796858190579484/                                            Basic Tapestry and Two-Harness or Rigid Heddle Weaving        https://www.facebook.com/events/612421362291663/                                                   To contact the Swedish club call: (206) 283-1090                        http://swedishclubnw.org/

My booth at last year’s conference.

Next retail event: Women of Wisdom Conference Market Place                      Saturday – Monday, February 18 – 20, 2017                                                               Market hours are 8:30am -7pm Saturday and Sunday and 8:30am – 1pm Monday      Held at North Seattle College in the Campus Center
9600 College Way N., Seattle, WA 98103
SW corner of the campus – enter at 95th St.               
http://www.womenofwisdom.org/wow-market-place.html

Happy Jewish New Year

Happy Jewish New Year everyone.

Detail of Path to Avodat ha'Lev, the Work of the Heart.

Detail of Path to Avodat ha’Lev, the Work of the Heart.

My wish for the new moon, new month and new year: May it bring Peace, Prosperity, and Loving Relationships based in pure heart desire and intention for the highest good of all. And may we each find our way to the work of our hearts.
Shana Tova (a good year) Blessings to all.

Studio Reorganization

Happy New Year all. Thought I would start off the year with a look into my studio. On Monday December 17th, I started reorganizing my studio to make room for a new loom. I started by sorting through my boxes of yarn. Sorry, no pictures of that. The process was pretty amazing with every available flat surface covered with balls, cones, and skeins of yarn. The final result doesn’t look much different than before, except now the contents are organized, and all of the boxes are labeled!!! See the last picture for the final result.

The new to me 8-harness Loomcraft loom, sitting in the living room since last Feb. (2012)

Getting started: the new loom will go in the corner against the wall behind where the small loom is now. This was actually after the first day when I sorted through all of my boxes of yarn. Note the apple crate sitting on the floor between the loom and the table – it contains a bunch of jute that I brought with me to Seattle from CA (in 1980) as well as a couple of very old projects which I actually finished in the past couple of weeks!

Day 2: The corner has been cleared out, and one bookshelf moved and the contents sorted. I won’t have easy access to this shelf, so it’s got the books and other things I don’t use often. The loom will be going where the desk is. And yes, the pile on the table to the left, is some of the stuff that was on the tables in the corner, still need to figure out what to do with all of it.

Day 2: Some of the chaos created by the sorting process. I also discovered that there is space for another IKEA Billy shelf next to the one in the corner! One of the short narrow ones will fit next to it, under the drawer unit. Something for the future.

Day 3: Books now organized by topic, not size. Note the second shelf down has almost all of my textile history, costume history and sewing books. Yup, that’s one whole shelf.
Day 4: Almost ready to move the loom, need to move the desk and the small loom, otherwise the space is finally ready. It took an insane amount of time to go through and decide where to put the rest of the stuff on the shelves that will be behind the loom. Kept getting side tracked with little projects that needed doing.

Day 4: The loom disassembled so it can be moved downstairs. This is the frame with the treadles held up on a dowel so they won’t flop around while we are moving it.

Day 4: Another shot of the loom in parts. On the left is the cloth beam attached to the jacks that raise and lower the harnesses. On the right, leaning up against the wall are the harnesses.

Day 4: My husband and son moving the frame down the stairs. The stairwell into our basement is ‘U’ shaped. You go down 6 steps to a landing, make a 90 degree turn, across the landing and then another 90 degree turn to go down another 6 steps. Plus the stairwell is only 32″ wide and the loom frame is 28″ deep, so not a lot of room to spare.

Day 4: The loom reassembled!! The harnesses aren’t in place yet, as they needed cleaning.

About 6 days later (after Xmas) The loom is all ready to go. I spent about 3 hours cleaning the metal that the heddles sit on and another 3 hours cleaning all of the wood with olive oil and lemon juice (2:1 ratio, works great). Once I decide on my first project, all that needs to be done is make sure there are enough heddles on each harness, and tie up the treadles. So many options.

And here’s the other half of the studio finally cleaned up, and ready to get started on some sewing projects. The twelve boxes in the middle of the upper shelves contain all the now-sorted yarn. Still need to figure out what to do with the small loom, that’s on the right.

My studio is now ready for the next ‘fiber-brained’ adventure.

I Did it!!!

    It may not seem like a big deal to many people but for me this is huge. I finally signed up for my website/blog today. The process itself wasn’t difficult, it was making the necessary decisions that was my big stumbling block. I’ve been stewing over this for nearly two years now. First choosing a domain name and how to structure the site. What did I want to put on it? How much to include? Then getting over the technical hurdles of the platform, hosting and a certain amount of techno-phobia. All of which required a bunch of new knowledge. But now, with a lot of help from my friends, I’m here!

I want to thank all of the people who made this possible. Paula Ward, who teaches business classes at Seattle Central Community College, in a month of mentoring you have helped me to move forward faster than I ever thought possible. Without your coaching I’m sure I would still be stewing over this, so Thank You!! She has a great knitting blog. http://easyknittingdesign.com/

Mary McKenzie, a good friend and spiritual guide, thank you for your always well timed input. The copy of Deepak Chopra’s Laws of Detachment you gave me last night was most helpful. Her blog is at http://miniaturewytche.blogspot.com/. And I found another website today, a Jewish meditation site http://www.awakenedheartproject.org/. They have a series of meditation talks, just the title of one struck a chord with me: “I think, Therefore I am in Tsuris”. Tsuris is Yiddish and means troubles or trials and tribulations. Hmm… So if thinking about this for two years hasn’t yielded a decision, try something else? Meditation perhaps? Let go and follow my intuition, ah, finally, success.

A special thanks goes to my husband, Kevin Cain, for listening and putting up with my dithering, for your help with all of this tech stuff, and all of your love and support. Kevin’s blog is at http://artwritingandgeekingout.wordpress.com/. And to the rest of my family and many friends who keep encouraging me, Thank You! Your support means more to me than you can ever know.

This is the beginning of a new adventure for me. It is obviously a work in progress, with only two pages and one blog post, there is a lot of work to do. I still need to choose a theme (appearance) for the blog, and there are a number of pages yet to come. But earlier this evening, after the first two pages were up, I was feeling almost giddy. I did it! I made the decisions and acted on them. I am vanquishing my foes!

Choked by Fear
Bound by Doubt and Worry
Sinking into Indecision
and a pool of Procrastination
——
It takes Courage to
Gain the Confidence
To rise up with Hope
And attain the Certainty
To move forward with
Decisive Right Action

You can read more about this piece on my etsy site.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/72091968