The Web of Connections

Last week, I went to Victoria to deliver the backpack to the museum, and first dropped in to visit Jean Betts and her beautiful studio. I got to see her incredible kesa, which began with a few scraps of cloth that I sent her. Check out her blog, One Small Stitch, to see more of the kesa's story.
Jean and I thought we would try an experiment: a tandem posting. We'll both write about the visit and post on our respective blogs, so that you will get two different perspectives on a shared event.

I first met Jean about three years ago, via her blog. Even thought I have been delighted to make "blog friends" all over the world, finding someone in my neck of the woods who was into many of the same things as me felt quite special. When Jean offered a workshop on dorset button making at Victoria's Craigdarroch Castle, I made the trip across the water to meet her in person. The workshop was fun, Jean's a super teacher - knowledgeable, lively and, well, look at that great smile!

It was only a matter of time before my friend Jean-Pierre (the one who lives in Japan) became caught in the net. First, he sent me a couple of skeins of an unusual silk yarn, which languished in my stash until I passed them on to Jean, who wove them up into a beautiful silk scarf, which came back to me in a trade. Then Jean-Pierre sent me a box of bits of Japanese fabric, a gift from his friend Mrs. Mandu. (I know, the circle keeps expanding.) I used some of the cloth in the backpack, but there were a couple of standout pieces of vintage cloth that I knew Jean would be able to do something beautiful with, so I sent them along to her. Now they are part of her kesa.

I am hoping that next time J.-P. comes back to Canada to visit his dad in Saanichton, he will be able to meet Jean as well. I think it would be such a pleasure for my two friends to meet, and I know that Jean serves a lovely cup of green tea. We can all talk about art, and Japan, and beautiful cloth. And maybe plan a trip to visit Mrs. Mandu, and her friend Fujii-san... . one day the whole world will be encircled with our web of connections.

Okay, now go visit Jean at One Small Stitch!


  1. Anonymous11:02 AM

    wouldn't that be amazing - a trip to visit Mrs. Mandu. oh couldn't we get into trouble! thank you for the kind words. :)

  2. You two look so happy and cute together! How great that you got to see the splendid kesa in person too. Jean's piece is a lot more impressive than just hemming the edges of a lovely strip of Japanese fabric and making a scarf...oh, that would be me. ;)

  3. Anonymous4:20 AM

    Great post! I so enjoy both of your blogs and it's fun to see you together!

  4. Anonymous6:58 AM

    You and Jean should put together some sort of project and try to get a travel grant to come out here and then sit down with Mrs. Mandu for some tea and talk about cloth.


  5. Anonymous1:28 PM

    I wish your hopes will come true! And all kinds of new adventures together! Lucky both of you that have each other on the same coast.

  6. So nice seing you 2 together, if you come this way we could have another adventure, and the circle would expand in Europe...


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