Thursday, January 25

oh, students

One teacher asked me to give a lesson on Auden and Dickinson to his class, because they are doing a story by Sherman Alexie that mentions those authors. It was exhilarating to be able to talk about poetry again, in a classroom, after so long. And my students were beautiful, they were smiling, they talked with wonder. Poetry is magic. It opens people up. We went right up to the bell, we didn't finish, they are excited to bring their poems next week and work on them more.

I've been out of commission on sewing the past week, but my dear friend S. (all the way across the world) and I write poems and send them to one another every day. We give one another assignments, praise, criticism, encouragement--and, maybe most importantly, we create a community of words. I go into her emails with anticipation, I feel surrounded and warm. It's like getting a gift each day. Rare.
These days I do feel full of wonder. Full of luck, my favorite adjective. Finding things all over, little signs connecting the world all up. It's called beauty, I am convinced, and means mathematics, a geometry of the heart.


The power was out when we woke up.
This was before I had begun to bite my nails,
before I had glasses, in the room
the color of a robin’s egg. There was a radiator,

a window cloaked in yellow cloth, our red
and yellow and blue plastic cups
on the sill. And my father came in to find us
in the morning, to bring us

a song from the other edge of the house.
Everything could have been dangerous
but we didn’t know it; leaded
windows, fireplace, nightshade leaning

into the tomatoes. When the lights
went out there were white candles
in the darkness. My father had a bristly
beard. My mother set the table

while he played the guitar for her. Someone
was always singing us to sleep,
and the sewing machine humming
in the next room, and we could believe,

if we could believe, in dew on grass
or frost on grass in the morning
and midnight picnics of Ritz and raisins,
my father loving my mother all the livelong day.

- - -

And then there's this, with what, less than a month to go? Totally surreal. (And exciting, too, of course.)

Sunday, January 21


Music plays a huge part in how I process the world. Like smell, it can take me back instantaneously to a place, a time, a person. The connections it makes for me are ones I both do and do not decide--I make a playlist every month of new music or old music I want to pay attention to, and, naturally, those songs are often ones I come to identify with that month. But then there are others that happen par hasard, like when I was going to Paris on the train and listened to the song "America," by Simon and Garfunkel, and that night in the hostel met a kid from New Jersey (counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike/ they've all come/ to look for America) and then, later still, talked with another stranger about how beautiful that song is. Now I can't hear it without being there. Music is a way of being everywhere, which makes me both content and melancholy. Transience and permanence. Belonging and outsiderness.

I'm back from Paris. I am never leaving Paris.

it was night, I stood on the terrace between our rooms

* * *

I will update the shop in the first week or so of February. There will be a few travel wallets. I have gotten a lot of emails about them, and I'm sorry I can't make enough for everyone, but I will try to have a few, among the rest of the things.

And, Sarah emailed me to tag me for six strange things about myself. I don't like memes but I can tell you six things, I think.

1/ I like doing chores, but I don't like planning to do them.
2/ My favorite parts of the body are the little bone pieces that jut out from the elbow.
3/ I don't like pudding, bananas, or yoghurt, because of the texture, and I don't eat fish.
4/ Until I was in high school, I hadn't listened to pop/top 40 radio.
5/ I can walk straight with my eyes closed.
6/ I always envision myself as being as tall as the people around me (I'm 5'2").

* * *

Hello to all you delurkers!

Thursday, January 11


apparently now's the time: say hello, yodel, send a passenger pigeon (or the equally extinct western union telegram?)! I'd like to know who you are, that you're out there, where you came from, the best thing you've seen today, your favorite color, what you love. Any, all, whatever.

I'm Éireann, I make things, I'm in love with stripes, plaid, flowered lawn, and herringbone (together, too!), and I'm heading to Paris for the weekend. Nice to meet you.


Monday, January 8

waiting (it's oh so quiet)

My brother and one of his friends were here for ten days visiting, and it was nice to have people around to talk to, make fun of, play cards with...but after a little while I felt antsy to work alone. Use my sewing machine. Make something. I had made another zakka bunny before they arrived, so I made clothes for her. And now she's waiting, too, for a shop update. I had wanted to update it this Wednesday (January 10th), but I don't think I will have everything I want to have for it. What I really want is just to do one huge one, and then not mess around putting this or that up, so with apologies to kind inquirers, I'm going to postpone.

But! When there finally is an update, what an update! There will be zakka bunnies and trousseaux, travel wallets (hopefully nos. 9-12), mercerie packets (I've been hoarding things up, you know), tea cosies, and maybe, if I can find the time to finish them, one or two skirts. What think you?
Also: Your opinion, please! I'm thinking of printing onesies (you know, for babies; the one-piece things with snaps) with a couple of designs (probably some like the ones I've done for Boiled Art, maybe some like my earlier shirts, maybe some French-inspired ones). They'd be organic, undyed cotton. Sound interesting? Silly? I just want to gauge my folly before I plunk down the change for the garments. No commitment or anything; just--what do you think? Which designs do you like/like the sound of? And, what sizes would you be most likely to buy, if you were to? I was thinking I'd get mostly 6-12 months, but would 6-12 and 12-18 month sizes be better? Moms, doting aunts, future moms, dads, nannies, others with expertise or preferences: please weigh in. Thank you thank you!!

Tuesday, January 2

now *you* can get a travel wallet

...and help take care of someone who supports us independent makers at the same time: Kati Kim.
She's the owner of two shops in San Francisco, Doe and the Church Street Apothecary, that carry items by handmakers and artists from the Bay Area and all over the US. You may have heard about her (and her daughters') loss. Now, in what must be an extremely difficult time for Mrs. Kim, we can support her.

Stephanie Barnes (of Little Birds) and Lisa Congdon (of Bird in the Hand), along with their mother, have organized an auction, which will go live tomorrow (3 January 2007). There's an amazing assortment of beautiful things there.This is my contribution. It's brown cotton with silk, wool, and cotton patchwork. I really am pleased with how it came out.
I made some labels using Sally's idea of stamping (relief printing) rather than gocco-ing (screenprinting), and I'm happy with them. It's a much more portable method of printing.

* * *
I'm working on things for the shop now, and I'm hoping to update it on the 10th of January. But for now, if you're waiting for travel wallets, go and check out the Kim Family Auction.

* * *
Bonne Année! Here's to a peaceful & happy 2007, full of interesting, thought-provoking, and beautiful things. Thanks for being around.