a statement.

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You probably follow me on social media, and have seen me post this statement there. But in the event you don’t, and given the lens of this blog, I figured it made sense to include it here, in full.

Please let me know your thoughts and thank you for continuing in this fruitful dialogue amongst our makers in our making community. It’s good, and important, work. And we all have to do it. Not one; not some; but all.

In recent days, I’ve seen @makingzine’s latest issue, desert no. 7, celebrated again and again through social media. I wanted, too, to celebrate; after all, the desert is a place, in some ways, I call home, and the pattern and design of this magazine I subscribe to has always been anticipated with excitement.

As an indigenous person in the United States with extended family living on the Isleta Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico and a partner who is Navajo, the glaring omission of Natives in the latest issue of the magazine isn’t just about our recent conversations in the fiber community relating to inclusivity and diversity of makers and their makes; it’s about a longstanding belief in this country that Native peoples no longer exist–that we are in the past, that we are long gone. This erasure does deep harm; and in an issue that celebrates the place from which many indigenous people still reside and create some of the most profound fiber art, is deeply harmful. It’s harmful to me, personally, as a fiber enthusiast; and it’s harmful to how their readers see and view the desert.

There are countless examples, even here on social media, of my fellow indigenous fiber artists creating and celebrating their work. There are artists who raise churro, shear, spin, dye, and weave some of the world’s most intricate, and beautiful, rugs. They use every bit of the desert landscape and they share it with a wider audience on this platform we so love and use to engage with other fiber enthusiasts. You chose not to see them, to engage them, or to celebrate them. It’s erasure.

I reached out to Making privately to ask why the glaring omission; I did get a response that indicated some action plan and some details around the issue going to print before the conversations erupted around diversity in our knitting community.

But my question to Making is this: Natives have been on that desert land for centuries. Did you need a conversation through Instagram to realize that? Did you know, when you took those photos of patterns for that issue, that you all were walking on Native land? Or were you seeing that place through a lens to which you’ve been systematically taught: as a new discovery, with you and your experience at the center, negating the existence and connection of the people who are originally tied to the land you visited?

I sat on their response for a week to process my feelings and await their public response. I expected a statement around why they omitted indigenous voices and how they will do better moving forward. An acknowledgement. And it never came. What came is repost after repost from customers celebrating the issue. This felt like a misstep to me greater than the initial omission.

Let’s face it: I’m used to indigenous people being left out. Erased. I’m sick of being used to it.

So now, I tell you: celebrate the artists in this issue. Celebrate the beautiful things that come out of creating. But don’t celebrate this quiet response; this set of excuses. Celebrate any recognition of the gaping hole. And for folks who make mistakes? It’s ok. Lean into those; and don’t seek absolution through prayer hands emojis while asking others who are pointing these issues out to find understanding and patience in your inaction.

make | loom beading.

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I received this amazing beaded loom kit from Purl Soho last week and decided to teach myself a new craft. I’ve done a ton of peyote style beading but never tried weaving beads on a loom.

I’m really pleased with this pattern; once the loom was set up (abysmal process), the beading work is done up really quickly. In a few short hours, I’m about halfway done with this bracelet.

Snaps coming, soon. I can’t decide if I’m going to bead on a loo regularly or not… yet.

tracking journal | knitting + makes.

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I’ve been tracking the days I make something (a new recipe in the kitchen, a textile art, beaded jewelry) and the days I knit, so I can gain perspective on how much I actually do create in a given year.

It’s been a fruitful process because when I’m feeling like I haven’t been creative, I can go back to this book and see that I’ve been more creative than I realized. Maybe some day, I’ll be able to categorize what I make on those days, too.

I love how much impact this has–I can see I was making more than knitting in May, and that in June, I’ve picked up my needles again.

Do you track your makes?

misc. make | gouache beaded necklace.

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I’ve been into making jewelry of late. It’s kind of this groove I am in–peyote beading, painting wooden beads, earrings. I’ve even opened a new shop, which only features this side of my making.

This summer, I made a gradient wooden necklace that features shades of orange and turquoise. I’m in love with the end product and think I could make a whole bunch of these in different color palettes to sell. Thoughts?

These beads were painted with gouache and spray sealed with Modge Podge sealant spray for a flat, matte finish. I love that they aren’t glossy looking.

Would these make a nice addition to my shop?

process |shop.

shop_logo_bigI had an etsy shop years back–almost ten years back! I wasn’t at a time or space to really grow that shop or make it work. So, it closed.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about certain aspects of my making–some of which I’d like to share with the world.  I’ve also got nearly a month and a half this summer, between jobs–a perfect time to explore some of this.

And so, I’m in the process of reopening my shop. To start, it will simply feature some of the jewelry I make; there will be ready to wear pieces, as well as some optional custom beading options.

Eventually, I’d like to feature a few other items, like screen printed t-shirts.

Will you buy? Stay tuned.

sew | summer shirts.

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I desperately want to get better at sewing. It never happens, mostly because I don’t have a sewing machine. And so, my mum takes me down to her studio every once in awhile to give me a lesson. But, I get lazy sometimes, and don’t want to work on my projects. I’d rather just hang out.

And I’m shit at it, so I avoid it.

This summer, I have a goal to at least become a little better at sewing–maybe enough so to warrant my own basic machine someday. I’ll be off from work, and have the time, I tell myself. Evenings could be spent tooling around, rather than watching t.v. or falling asleep early. I can’t sacrifice my outside during the day time, but here’s a way to get it in.

I’ve decided Grainline Studio‘s Scout Tee and Willow Tank are two easy patterns that I could get some reward from and I could wear these in the summer, and likely, to work, in the fall and spring. Plus, I love everything Jen at Grainline does–from sewing, to knitting, and beyond. It’s inspiring. Her work is amazing–aspirational, in fact.

What are you sewing? What would you recommend I try?

make | hand painted necklaces.

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I love trying new things. As part of my recent and burgeoning studio practice, I started painting a whole host of beads without any idea where it was going.

And then, I hit the spray studio. And then, I remembered I had antiqued leather and linen yarn in my stash.

Eventually, these necklaces were born. I’ve worn the left two every day since I made them; I gifted the turquoise and silver one to my friend and studio mate, Rebecca. She just so happened to be wearing the perfect handmade tank top that morning, like it was kismet.

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I’m even getting so obsessive about this particular practice, that I might considering selling these, if I think there is interested buyers out there. What do you think? Would you wear something like this by me?

As part of the kick off to Me Made May, today, I sport one of these necklaces. It’s not clothing, but its handmade jewelry. Does that count?

inspiration.

This winter, I’m learning to quilt on Sundays from my mum. She’s been a beautiful hand quilter for years, and I’m finally ready to learn her craft. At the Deerfield Fair this past weekend, I saw one of the more incredible hand quilts I’ve seen at the arts and crafts building in years. This quilt had an amazing back story too–the woman who created it spent 4 years toiling on this piecework–1976 to 1980.

There’s been a lot of talk about this “Slow Fashion” movement, but I think the conversation can be extended to “slow making” as well. I see a lot of makers churning out item after item and I often wonder, “How do you have time to complete all those projects so quickly?”

One of my goals this year is to slow down and enjoy the making. In the past, I too, have churned out garment or hat after hat, and never wearing them again or even gifting them out, only to find them years later and say “Oh, yeah. I forgot about this one.” I know inevitably, with knitting for more than a decade, a bit of that is bound to happen. But, my goal is to try and remember the things I make–take time, and care–and not worry about speed or how many items I’m churning out.

This summer, I didn’t knit or make a single garment. And it felt good to take a break. Now that the weather has turned, I have that itch again; I’m just going to be more intentional about where I itch. And that itch may just be in quilting.

conversation hearts.

Yes, I actually did tackle making this hallmark Valentine’s Day candy by hand. Let me tell you, it was a lot of work. The upside? Customizing the flavors, colors, and sayings (though I have yet to write anything on these babies mainly because I was so sick o of working on them 1,000 tiny little hearts cut out later).

I followed this recipe from Serious Eats because it seemed like, with the addition of four ounces of Sprite, this baker had tested and tried and found an essential ingredient the others didn’t have. I don’t know if it made them better, but they came out the exact same texture as the conversation hearts in box we have come to either love or hate.

One important note: I had a lot of dough. I mean A LOT. It takes an entire bag of powdered sugar, basically, which is tons. I’d recommend halving this recipe should you choose to tackle it. I had so much dough and so many little hearts and so much anger by the end, I ultimately tossed a tiny bit of dough because I just couldn’t cut anymore of these out.

I’d like to get a dye pen and mark some custom messages on them, but really, that doesn’t seem like its happening at this point. I did however love that I could customize the flavors; I chose banana (which is my favorite, the flavor really came through and also lends itself really nicely to the chalky nature of conversation hearts), lemon, orange, coconut, and vanilla. I used extracts you can buy in the store and stayed away from peppermint or any mint flavorings because I thought when put in the same jar as the others, they would all taste like mint.

Have you ever tackled some ridiculous project like these? I’m glad I’ve made them and was really proud with how accurately my dyed dough came out, but next time, I’d say this is just one of those things that makes more sense to buy.