Take a look a this video from my friends at Aranya Naturals!!!!!
You can find their beautiful scarves at here
Good news! My book on my travels in India is finally finished and I can’t wait to share it with you!
For those of you who requested it as perk it will be shipping the first week of May.
For the rest of you, if you would like to purchase a copy it is available as both a soft cover and an e-book.
Soft cover: http://blur.by/1JL2gk9
The last days of my trip to India were spent at the Srishti Welfare Center visiting the Aranya Natural Dye Unit. The Center is located in Munnar, Kerala, Southern India nestled in the midst of a tea plantation. I worked with the amazing artisans to help them create three new colors for their palette of natural dyes. It had been five years since my last visit – it was wonderful to see them – there was so much catching up to do!
I also brought back lots of beautiful scarves they had dyed and a few handmade journals from the paper making unit, Athulya.
The sale of the scarves and journals benefit both Srishti and Stories of Hope!
You can purchase these beautiful items on The Yarn Tree’s website:
I returned home to Asheville two weeks ago. After playing what seems like non-stop catch-up, I finally have some time to reflect on my time in India.
Every moment was amazing – I won’t go into great depth today – I am just so excited to finally be able to start uploading photos for you all to see!
Rainy day in Munnar – worked at Aranya with the wonderful folks making color.
Today we worked on lovely silk scarves dyeing shades of soft purple and magenta using Lac and Cochineal. Tomorrow we will make those same colors on superior Pashmina. We will also try for a lavender. The dyers were so excited to create new colors with me and I am so happy to be working with them again.
It was so much fun to see all the new techniques they have learned – some of their own creation. They loved showing me what they were doing – shibori, dip dyeing, block printing, sewing and pressing and more was going on. Great color combinations – everything so beautiful!
A day of smiles all around.
I have arrived in Munnar.
The weather is the polar opposite of the Thar Desert. It is cool with an early morning mist on the mountains. On the drive up from the Cochin Airport there were several waterfalls. I could only think of what all that water coursing over the rocks would mean to the desert dwellers. I have the morning free – something that I have not experienced for three weeks. It actually feels a little strange. But it does give me time to go for a walk and reflect on my time in India as the sun slowly emerges from the clouds.
With a strong belief that you must respect the craft, materials and abilities of the cultures with which you are interacting, I have been able to travel and share my knowledge with those less fortunate.
To be able to teach a simple craft that we often take for granted to an individual or group that can in turn empower them on the road out of poverty is an experience like no other. It is both humbling and incredibly exciting. In 2009 I traveled to Munnar, Kerala in Southern India and taught a natural dyeing workshop at the Aranya Natural Dye Unit- the above photo is of the amazing folks I had the privilege of working with!
This fall I have an opportunity to return to India, where I will be volunteering at an orphanage in Varanasi – won’t you help me to return to India? The trip will take place Sept 26th thru Oct 16th, 2014. The other volunteers and I will be building a playground for the children, providing them a clean and safe place to play.
I also hope to be able to fly across India at the end of my stay and visit the Aranya Natural Dye Unit to say hello and see how everyone is doing there – to hear their laughter and give them big hugs! This has long been a dream of mine and you can help to make it happen.
I am looking to raise $3500.00 to cover my airfare. The rest of my expenses will be covered by Whole Foods Market’s Team Member Volunteer Program.
As a Whole Foods team member here in Asheville, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to participate in this program.
I have written two books celebrating the people I have worked with (Stories of Hope – Mexico, India & Rwanda and Stories of Hope -Oaxaca, Weavers of Southern Mexico) and will do another book, Stories of Hope – Varanasi.
Over the past several years I have been able to travel and teach in so many parts of the world, India, Rwanda, Mexico, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, in Italy – with middle-schoolers on a US Military base whose parents were stationed in Afghanistan and with NYC 6th graders through the SIlk Road Connect Project.
Even if you can’t contribute at this time you can still help by spreading the word – tell your friends and co-workers – use social media –
Together we can make a difference!
Donations can be made to Stories of Hope through the fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas,
Stories of Hope is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas,(https://www.fracturedatlas.org/) a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Stories of Hope may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.