Amber M.

My name is Amber. I'm struggling with a degenerative joint disease that will eventually leave many joints frozen/fused, and that takes up too much of my energy. (It also means I use a lot of pain medications, explaining why MY intro is the last posted.) Learning how to cope has taken precedence over making lovely things in the Creative Thinking Department, and I long to return to the sensual, textural, visual incredibleness of the fiber art I've loved all my life. 

I moved to Northern California from Southern a little over ten years ago, and when I discovered Dharma Trading Company was walking distance from my house (!!!) I flipped over fiber reactive dyeing. Seriously, had I known about them since they founded in 1969, I would have been a customer since 1969: that was around the year I failed to tie-dye a bedsheet, and gave it up for crochet and beading and embroidery and counted cross stitch and blackwork and historical costuming and..... many other small-muscle-motor crafts my joints won't let me do anymore. Dyeing takes many many steps, and time can pass between the steps, so I can do it in batches (no pun intended) so I can rest more or less as much as the joints demand. Too often, especially this time of year, the joints' demands are depressing, and the studio stays dark and cold. The TV does not, which is even more depressing at these times.

This morning I realized that, a month after buying the book accompanying this class, I've been making lovely things one after another -- amazingly beautiful stuff that takes my breath away. I cried a little, because I can't really share any of it, at all, outside my own household. This stupid disease has left me unable to set up shop anyplace, or attend local guild meetings with regularity, and my photos are bloody awful (see attached if you don't believe this).

I guess that's what I want most out of this class: a means to share what's happening in the dyepot. Besides, after the unfolding, after the washing and drying, after the ironing and subsequent astonishment, the question always arises -- but what will I *do* with it? That's the other thing I want from the class: what to do with it all.

I confess I'm excited and intimidated in equal measure here. Jane is kind of a *star* to me, 'cuz I've read all the books and seen the DVDs, even the ones with the British Ladies, so I'm kind of agog. Fortunately, we've exchanged an email or two, so it's not as bad as it might be.

And of course I have no idea what to expect from my fellow students. Hi, fellow students! From what I've read of your bios, you ladies are talented -- some of you way better than me -- but I guess that's why we're all here. I look forward to sharing and learning from you all.