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Fragrant Full Moon Tonight

Posted on : 22-11-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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“When flowers share the light from the moon,

the moon seems more fragrant.”

(Excerpt from Chinese traditional calligraphy poem)




The hydrangea displays long-lasting beauty.  Pictured here: July through November.  Silken, deeply-colored blossoms become subtle tissue.  Sprinkled in rain.  Drenched in sunlight.  Shaken by wind.  &  Touched by the dark of night.  Morning mists.  Daylong fog.  Velvet dusk.  Catching snowflakes & sleet.  Holding early frost up to the soft promise of the dawn.  Hydrangea stands true.  Its delicacy is perfectly styled for longevity in the very naure of its design.  Colors evolve into many beautiful hues, gliding through daylight & moonlight, sunshine & shade, summer into winter. 

Hydrangeas outside my window caught my attention from early morning to late dusk.  On moonlit nights, they quietly awaited in song.  And so, the idea for this post began.  I photographed the blossoms many times over the months.  Although originally intended to be a celebration in September, this article is finally being posted in November.  As time passes, my intentions increase. 

Autumnal Equinox.  Moon Festival.  Respect for the Aged Day.  Thanksgiving.  

Change.   Appreciation.   Embrace the ever present beauty of life as it flows.   


Additional Nalbinding Bootlace Bracelets & Anklets

Posted on : 28-08-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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The newest style has been wildly popular with friends & family! 

 Experimenting with various bootlaces is great fun. 

 The transformation from linear color design into woven piece is surprising & pleasing. 



                                                                Highly wearable & long-lasting. 


Nalbinding Bootlace Bracelet

Posted on : 22-08-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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            Made from a bootlace!

             Durable & Comfortable.

               Softens with wear.

               Bracelet or Anklet.



This is the ultimate in nalbinding ease: No needle is needed, and the finished ends of the lace provide a neat hold.


Posted on : 27-06-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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Pronounced: “nawl-bihn-ding

There are many variations of spelling for this term.  Nalebinding, Naalbinding, Nailbinding, Needlebinding

Descriptive phrases include: Needle looped fabric, Free/detached buttonhole stitch, knotless netting/knitting, looped needle netting, needle tying, single needle knitting

Nalbinding is a method of creating fabric dating back atleast 2000 years.  Nalbinding pre-dates knitting & crochet.  Ancient samples of nalbinding have been found in Egypt & Peru. Modern use can be found in Iran for socks & in Scandinavia for hats, gloves, & Viking re-enactment garments.  It is most commonly recognized as a Scandinavian technique.

An exceptionally sturdy item can be fashioned.  The garment is often felted/fulled, causing the loose loops to contract tightly into a thick & very warm fabric.  When snagged or cut, the stitches do not unravel.

A blunt needle is used with a relatively short length of yarn, passing around the thumb and looping under, over, & through previous loops as the thumb & forefinger hold the loops.  Short lengths of yarn (1 to 3 yards) are used, because the entire length of thread must be pulled through each stitch.  New lengths of yarn are attached one end to the other as the piece progresses.  Here is a link to a brief introductory video of the (easiest) Oslo stitch:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8PXk5lTIZo

The next picture shows my experimental sample made of wire in Oslo stitch.  I plan to join the ends into a circle & create a jewelry pin by adding more decoration.

The photo at the top of this entry shows various cords & trims in different stitches.  The ends were eventually finished by knotting as tassels, sewing a hook or clasp on woven back ends, making a loop & button/bead closure, or attaching both ends to form a circular slip-on style bracelet/anklet.  

These bracelet/anklets were made with only one row of stitches; therefore, the original length of cord was long enough for the entire item.  Needless to say, most items (clothing) would consist of many rows & so require connection of numerous lengths of yarn.


 I will continue to experiment with nalbinding, because I’d like to translate this ancient technique into modern materials & styles.  Your experiences & ideas are most welcome. 


**** Please leave a comment and/or contact the artist by clicking on Read Full Article & scrolling down to the comment box.  Dawn will contact you accordingly.

Fireflies… Lightning Bugs…

Posted on : 25-06-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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The flashing crystals inside this geode bracelet remind me of firefly light.

The band mimics the motion of firefly flight as quality glass beads on fine silver wire are crochet into a 3-dimensional flow of drifting sparkles.

Warm summer night air is filled with floating lights…

Firefly.  Lightning Bug.  Lampyridae.

Inspiration.  Communication.  Illumination.

This bioluminescent beetle creates intermittent flashes of light in varying colors & patterns unique to each subspecies: yellow, green, or pale red drifting sparks.  Some species synchronise their flashes.  Its light is created by oxidation of luciferin in a nearly heatless chemical reaction.

Ancient Aztecs viewed the lights as flashes of truth in a dark universe.

Native American Ojibwa legend tells of rambuncious thunderbird youths playing lacrosse with a ball of lightning, which shook stars from the sky. The stars shattered when they hit the earth. Thus, lightning bugs were created.

Oriental folklore tells of the light of captured fireflies in summer & moonlight reflected off snow in winter, used by hardworking students to study through the night.  Such diligence is celebrated in a traditional song sung to the tune of Aud Lang Syne,  Hotaru no hikariThe Light of the Firefly.  In Japan, this song is often sung at farewells: graduations, New Year’s Eve, & the end of the day.  The opening verse begins:  Many suns and moons spent reading, Years have gone by without notice, Day has dawned; This morning, we part.

A Japanese children’s song Hotaru koi – Firefly, Come follows the insect rhythm, as it tells of fireflies beside water.  Here is a short but thoroughly charming video of preschool children singing this song, as their teacher holds a traditional water dipper and gestures.  Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SqmCWRTFzA&feature=email

This next video of Hotaru no hikari is a remarkable, mesmerizing, sophisticated, a capella version.  By scrolling down, you can read the words & translation.  Notice that the first line of the song is the same as the previous children’s song.  Click on: www.YouTube.com/watch?v=1rxZzm8tzss

When several fireflies flash at the same time in the same space, it looks like a new constellation & plays games with my sense of perspective!


**** Please leave a comment and/or contact the artist by clicking on  Read Full Article  & scrolling down to the comment box. Dawn will contact you accordingly.

Geode Bracelet

Posted on : 07-06-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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This is the first in a new geode design series.  It features a natural geode of creamy white polished stone surrounding the interior cache of sparkling quartz crystals.  The bracelet is hand crochet in fine silver filament & securely clasps with a sterling silver tubular slide.  The wide band’s dimensional freeform pattern holds a wealth of clear smooth glass droplets.

A geode is a spherical hollow rock whose interior contains concentric layers of minerals and sparkling crystals.  The exterior of a geode is rough & unremarkable.  The rock must be opened to reveal its beauty.  In this case, the rough whitish outer surface disguised inner rings of creamy white, bluish grey, & light brown surrounding countless tiny clear quartz crystals.  The innermost crystaline planes glisten & twinkle.  This bracelet’s rock geode has been sliced & polished to reveal the hidden beauty inside.

The term geode is derived from Greek geoides: earth-like, referring to the rock’s outer shape.

May the surprise of the geode remind you of each person’s inner beauty.


Lilacs – For Balance & Joy

Posted on : 15-05-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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Lilacs are blooming!                   

Fancy. Fragrant. In blues, pinks, purples & whites.  Heart-shaped leaves of deep green.  Tumbling in handful clusters of blossoms. 

Botanical name: Syringa.

Celebrated at the Highland Park Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY.   May 14 – 23, 2010. Over 500 varieties on 1200+ bushes.

Chosen as New Hampshire’s State Flower for being as hardy as the state residents.                       Patiently unbothered by stray snowflakes.


For Balance & Joy…

Rose Quartz. Amethyst. Clear Quartz. Peridot. Citrine. Jade.  For love, intuition, focus, self-confidence, tranquility, luck & protection.  Crochet (left)  &  Knit (right)

Full Moon Bracelet

Posted on : 08-05-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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The great shining silvery full moon highlights this Celebrate series crochet bracelet.  Crystals sparkle & pearls glow, displaying the beauty of subtle colors. 

Contemplate the cottage garden throughout the seasons. Look into soft fog as cottage lamps reflect summer blossoms.  Focus on snowy shapes as winter light touches sleeping nature.  In every season, celebrate the beauty of our gardens.  Familiar as home, ever changing as thriving life, refreshing as fresh air. 

A sense of kinship fills our moonlit cottage home & garden.

Ink Paintings & Haiku

Posted on : 07-05-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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                    Lady butterfly

                   perfumes its wings by floating

                   Over the orchid.     -Basho        








 A fallen flower

 Flew back to its branch!

 No, it was a butterfly.    -Moritaki



I painted these pictures in sumi & ink on special japanese display shikishi paperboard.  Sumi is a traditional ink, made by rubbing an incense-scented charcoal ink stick on a smooth, wet ink stone.  The red chopmarks are signatures of my artist name Asatsuki (akatsuki), which means dawn in classical Japanese character.  This style of painting uses various brushstrokes to express the visual & sensual spirit of nature.  The amount of water & ink, as well as placement of ink on the bristles, creates varying shades from transparent grays to dark blacks.  The speed, rhythm & pressure of the brush against the absorbent paper creates sharp, soft, or blended strokes.  At times saturated deeply & othertimes dry on the upper fibers of the paper, textures are created by vertical as well as horizontal application of ink to paper.  A significant characteristic of this style is the respect for white space.  The artist does not focus on colorful drawing to block form onto background paper but instead allows the light to come through.  This elicits spirit. 

Painting in this style is like dancing: brush & ink in hand: light, rhythm, touch, speed, & spirit together in joyful concentration & celebration.

I am offering for sale five paintings, including these two, as well as ten bracelets at the RPO Symphony Showhouse event’s Noteworthy Boutique. Open from May 22 to June 13, 2010. For event details, visit www.rposhowhouse.org .

Butterfly Garden Bracelet

Posted on : 29-04-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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Creamy cultured pearls, pastel swarovski crystal pearls, & opalescent crystal beads.  Hand crochet in 14 kt gold wire with slide magnetic gold clasp.

This bracelet’s style comes from the design series Now & Forever, the first of my handmade bracelets. It is named Butterfly Garden in honor of my RPO Cottage Gardens bracelets grouping for the upcoming RPO Symphony Showhouse 2010, Noteworthy’s Boutique.  Located at The Cottages at Malvern Hill (between Thornell Road & Rt. 64) in Pittsford, New York.  May 22 to June 13, 2010  www.rposhowhouse.org

I am forever amazed at the butterfly’s fragile beauty & resiliant strength.  Butterflies fly thousands of miles to winter-over in warm climates.  In their seemingly wandering fluttering, they are able to make their way year after year & generation after generation.  Floating on lilting breezes: meandering up & down, this side & that, the butterfly accomplishes a most astounding  journey.  Have you ever tried to catch a butterfly in your hands?  It is not as simple as it would appear.  Much like some of us.  

Colorful, silken, delightful flutter-by’s!