Facing up to the Likeness

My mother-in-law looked Chinese. This petite, pure Okie born and bred Caucasian lady—I thought of her so often when I was traveling in China recently, because I saw her double everywhere. How could that be? Each of us is unique, face-wise. When I passed through immigration in Beijing, the clever machine that checked my identity […]

Feeling Like I can Fly: Storytelling through Design

This week’s blog comes straight from Guatemala! Madeline Kreider Carlson, Creative Director at Multicolores, sent us this beautiful dispatch about the newest creative work and education of the talented Maya rug-hooking artists of Multicolores. We continue to be amazed and inspired by their work and their lives. Thanks, Madeline. Many Colors, Many Stories In February […]

Excellent Authors Far and Wide

Happy Holidays

I’m continually impressed with our authors and their ongoing work. I shouldn’t be. I know how extraordinary they are, but when I receive missives from far and wide, apprising me of their activities, I have to marvel a bit. Deborah Chandler writes from her home in Guatemala City to say that on her way to […]

A Tricky Stitch from the Peruvian Highlands

trickystitch

One of my favorite Andean textiles is the humble potato sack, or costal. It’s deeply traditional, handsome, and almost indestructible. I first saw costales in use when I visited the very high village of Accha Alta in 2005. The area is known for the best and most varied potatoes, but the terrain is so steep […]

Biology to Textiles, Everything Is Connected

“Everything happens for a reason.” “Nothing is a coincidence.” “Everything is connected.” I really don’t like platitudes such as these (even if they are somewhat true), but sometimes they just seem to fit. Back in April, my son Day, the biologist, was in Belize searching for a particular species of turtle, the seriously endangered hicatee. […]

A Mother’s Gift

Teaching textile traditions is a gift mothers pass to their children generation after generation. Whether in Mexico or Morocco, Afghanistan or Laos, mothers have been teaching their daughters (ands sons) to weave, to spin, to dye, to embroider for centuries. Sharing these skills with the next generation is practical, of course, because it creates a […]

Community Impact: Changing the World

Impact

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead I thought of this Margaret Mead chestnut last week when we learned from our friends at Multicolores, the rug-hooking cooperative in Guatemala, that they have been selected as one of […]

The Heights of Machu Picchu and other Poems

Poetry

I’m feeling a tad guilty that April is National Poetry Month and here we are in the final stretch, having done nothing to celebrate. Over the years, we’ve often found ways to join text with textile in poetic ways. For International Women’s Day a few years ago, Marge Piercy’s “For Strong Women” set a meaningful […]

Ritual, Tradition, and What Is Holy

What is holy

Semana Santa, Holy Week, the week before Easter, is a time of amazement and passion in Latin America. I’ve had the good fortune to be in Chiapas, Mexico, for this special time once, and in Guatemala, twice. The memories are vivid and indelible. Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala It’s early morning before dawn, and a throng of […]

Spring and Summer with Thrums Books

Springtime always feels like a whirlwind at Thrums Books. We have new Spring books hitting the shelves while we’re sending our new fall books to the printer. It’s when we win awards (!) and plot our future fun. Check out what’s new in the world of Thrums Books and find out what’s on deck for […]