About one year ago there was a series of wild fires in Southern Oregon and Northern California that greatly effected the valley where our farm is located. "Wildfire season" is absolutely a thing in these parts, something it took a little Georgia girl some time to fully grasp. The smoke certainly gets intense and overwhelming but a fire had never been as close as this particular one got last summer. This photo is of the mountain right across from our driveway. The only thing that stood between our land, what we've spent the last half decade developing into our own paradise, was a two lane road. While it would certainly be a JUMP it is not uncommon for those flames to blow right across a road and continue its destruction. We knew if those flames did in fact jump the road that that was pretty much the "end", so it seemed, and we would have to evacuate our land. I remember watching the smoke billow over the mountain with a full understanding that if it came just a tiny bit closer it could take everything we've worked so hard to create away in an instant ( we bought our land completely raw and have developed it into a pretty rad farm). I stood there in shock, I think. I didn't feel anything at that point i was just frozen....no words, no emotions, just disbelief I suppose. My partner was attempting to soak the property lines and protect what we could and told me to "pack anything thats important to you". Being frozen and emotionless for this process was fascinating. I walked into our cabin and scanned the room. Two things stood out 1. my sons placenta stamp that is on a deer hide and 2. our stack of pistol cases with our crystal collection. I put those items in my car and sat on my porch, still witnessing smoke pouring over the mountain right across from us. It was getting closer. I kept replaying my partner's words yet there was nothing left to grab. What was important to me, my partner, son, animals and LAND was an intense mix of things I could "move" and things I could not. I faced that fact in that moment with disgrace and disgust ....."this could all be lost here in a few minutes and I CAN'T pick it up and save it from the destruction it is about to endure". This was a huge turning point for me in so many ways....while already not being a materialistic person that was the moment I understood I could literally have NOTHING that "belonged" to me and I would be ok. We had been taking trips down to the burn site on our 4 wheeler to check the status of things and at one point we were made privy to the fact that the fire had jumped the road, Redwood Highway. It was brief. They caught it before it could spread too far but we were ready for it to head straight our way. I just waited for those flames....but after that shift of perspective I had everything started slowing down. There were helicopters RIGHT over our cabin...the vibrations were of some intense force. This created a pretty interesting vortex of energies in itself.
A few hours passed and our farm was still in tact. I can't exactly say I was relieved as Im pretty sure I was still in shock about it all but I was certainly racing through so many thoughts and "could haves". That day was a big deal. It reminded me the importance of many things and the lack of importance of others. It reminded me that we can lose what we feel is "everything" and still have every single thing we could ever need. I keep a pretty good grasp on this concept but sometimes I need to be checked and put back in my place and that happened in this situation. This is represented by the ABLAZE color way...a direct reflection of those flames....
As many of you know Fire on the Mountain was originally a part of my VERY FIRST themed collection, The Elemental Collection. It was such a huge hit that we brought it back all by itself last year for a full Fire on the Mountain Collection. After this close wildfire I knew i wanted to revisit this concept and what better time and place than the heart of wildfire season and on the very space on the Earth that almost burned our past 5 years of work. This image is that very scorched mountain, one year later. Every single time we leave or arrive to our property we are reminded how close we were to shifting our relationship with so many aspects of our lives. I see that burnt mountainside and I thank the universe for its power and wisdom. Its going to take years for this mountainside to be lush again...maybe in that time I will grow with it. Ive always said the mountains are the wisest and of the greatest teachers....little did I know a mountain so close would have such a profound lesson to teach me. I know plenty of people who DID lose "everything" to this elemental process and my heart aches for that but I am often reminded that there is medicine in it ALL for every single one of us if we so choose to be open to receiving such magic.
Now to dive into the Scorched Earth aspect of this collection!! Same hues as the dip.... different technique....stimulating right?! After this fire occurred last year Lexie of The Sleepy Jane Show, my best friend and artistic life partner, came down for a visit and brought me a gift. It was when she just started making the Sweet Thing Two Tone design and this baby was like no other!! It consisted of a variegated yarn I had never seen paired with black. She called it Scorched Earth and gifted it to me as somewhat of a healing/coping tool to process the fear that shook my entire being that day. The colors did something to my brain I had not experienced before. Ok fast forward to about a month ago. My honey/partner/baby daddy was helping me run some dye baths and he made a big fat mistake and some fabric needed a second bath (and mama was NOT happy about it hehe) BUT when we washed and dried the yardage we were fucking floored!!! Guess what color it created...???? SCORCHED EARTH. It WAS the color way of the top Lex made me. 100% unintentional magic!! Needless to say I was no longer upset about this dye mishap rather praising my partner for what he had just done (and he's fairly new to this!!) With the blessing of miss Alexandra Jane we brought that color way to the table as an option for YOU. The power of divine feminine support and the way this woman CONTINUOUSLY shows up for me AND my family is why I am dedicating this entire collection to Alexandra Jane. You are one of my favorite flames, a twin flame that i will never let be extinguished. I love you.
SCORCHED EARTH This color way represents the beauty that is left after the flames....the scorched earth we are forced to face everyday reminding us to stay present and mindful even when it all feels like its ending. That dark yet so beautiful space.
Sarah Everitt, I couldn't have done it without you. I love you infinitely. Sarah did all of the photography for this shoot. She has encouraged me to represent my brand which is hard for me as Im a reclusive weirdo and would be happy with NEVER being seen. I feel pretty strongly about the breakthroughs Sarah and I experienced while shooting this collection. I feel raw, sexy, primal and strong. I hope even a little of this has translated in these photos and garments and that you are able to channel your inner wild woman the way I was able to in this shoot. You deserve it!
When you wear these garments or see them on a fellow human, let them be a reminder of all of these components of loss and what could be. And most of all let it be a reminder to count your blessings for what you have, what you've lost, whats to come and what will be. As it proves the Universe can take us on the wildest rides but if you connect to the truth and maintain your mindfulness it will NEVER lead you to anything but growth.
We all have a passion burning inside....feed those flames. Watch them grown.
Thank you so much to everyone involved in this process. Especially Ms Denise, our lead seamstress for schooling my ass and teaching me how to make the duster reversible! Wisdom I will cherish forever <3 I love and appreciate you beyond words!
Carlee and the Sinew Moon Tribe <3