Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Sunday evening actually.
Lessons learned.

I intended on some stitching, some reading, and writing.

NOT when you are visiting family and friends. It was all about the people and some places with no time for my agenda. That's more than OK, but I should have known. Driving instead of flying filled me with hubris. Half the stuff I hauled never saw the light of day in New England.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Just love

Charlie's third birthday was yesterday.

I spent the day before with him but didn't say much about the special day pending.  I think too much anticipation for a toddler can be like a hard dose of sugar.

Taking some time to visit distant family and I'm already missing him.

I'll be traveling for a while. As of Friday, 8/4 the shop will be closed until I get back. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Two cast away garments, a blouse and a vest, both linen, have been reborn.

Gifts that will keep on giving.

Alas, linen has to be ironed.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

dirty thread updated

here they are

Dyeing thread this way is much like glazing pottery - you just won't know what color you are going to get until the very end of the process.

I'm going to take some time and work with the stuff...see what comes of it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I like mending. Taking something that's been used hard out of love or utility, and bringing it back to life and usefulness with a cloth, stitch and some more love.  This was my Mom's little "go bag".
She carried it slung from her wheelchair for the longest time. It was stuffed with tissues, crackers, coins, pens, lunch leftovers sometimes. It would get pretty nasty when she forgot about the food that she'd squirreled away, so it's had its share of machine washings and every zipper still works. Credit to Vera Bradley for a well-made product. I've been needing something to hold just wallet, keys and phone. This will be perfect. Again.

My head is also mending today. two consecutive evenings with a migraine, courtesy of the toppings on the pizza we had for dinner (and leftover for breakfast) Wednesday and Thursday. Live and keep learning.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Invited back

I've been away from the cloth for a time now. While duty calls me back, it's the promise of something wonderful that will get me there.

I was digging through the tubs of cloth when these fabrics made themselves known to me because I'm still convinced that my missing notebook in here somewhere.

Dark and exciting for a baby blanket, don't you think? It could be the flip side of something light and fanciful. As much as I love the spots on the avocado field, I can't use it because they were discharged and won't stand up to a lot of laundering. I have mending to do, a slew of buttons to replace. All homey stuff that matters to someone.

And for fun, these. Making them is like eating potato chips. Why stop at one?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

seeing clearly

I've been lazy, taking "quick and dirty" shots with my cell phone. I'd forgotten how good digital photography can be. These are from the storm series. All are vintage hankies, doilies or cocktail napkins...I guess. Now, they are stars in their own right. There will be dirty threads in the same(ish) colorways, too.  I left the pictures large so you can dig in for the wonder.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

the storm that didn't arrive

All morning it looked like the sky would break open. Hot, thickly humid. There was no going outside for anything. I've been plagued by chaos lately, internal and external, so I did what was at hand - a long overdue purge and cleanup in the studio. Even half-finished, I feel a lot better.

During the rout of un-named boxes of unknown crap, I found a collection of hankies and other tiny, hand embellished things from an era before Kleenex. Into the pre-dye secret sauce, they went. I had a full set of threads prepped and ready for color.
An hour outside on the deck and the additional secret ingredient was my sweat. Everything is in the washing machine right now. If the finished products don't hold up to these wet shots, I'll delete them...the heartbreak of wet photography is real.

And Joanne...look at that little linen blouse. I could kill the woman for being so tiny!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

down on the farm

That is Charlie's grampa, Papa Doc. He does blacksmithing demonstrations at various venues including nearby McDaniel farm park. We visited with him a bit then toured the park on a hayride and spent time at an amazing new playground. Thank the weather gods for cloud cover.

The parks department has restored and maintained the farmhouse and outbuildings as a typical 1930's working farm. There was a table set up where someone would be giving a talk and demonstration about cotton. No one was around to answer our silly questions as it was early.

That shred of raw cotton in the right foreground got picked up by inquisitive fingers and dropped on the ground, from there to my pocket.

Once I got home, I examined the bit of fluff. I picked out all the bits of dry leaves. pesky business. There was almost a dozen of those little hard beans stuck in the fiber. I'm assuming they are cotton seeds and I'm going to see what I can find out about growing them.

Maybe I will spin the cotton into thread too. Obsessive. I know. There will be dye.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

creature comforts

Please tell me I saw this post when it was new and made all the proper, civilized responses. I love what Ann does with my cloth.

I rewashed all the waiters this morning. Sweetie had been nesting in them with her "friends". Said friends are being evicted in a mighty battle. Anyone with pets knows what the hell I'm talking about. Clean cloth stowed tightly in the closet until it's time for more dyes.

Studio archaeology

Small scrap from the tubs. Color by Sharpie & alcohol.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Remains of the day

This is what's left of round three. I'm going to have to make this a semi-monthly thing. Have more on hand when I put them up for sale. This is all that's left of round 3.

From round 2, every wish granted, every order shipped. Most have landed.

I need to get back to the story - there is no such thing as writer's block in this house. Not permitted.

Sunday, July 09, 2017


I took a few minutes in the bright first light of the studio to wind-off and prep the latest batch of Dirty Threads. I had my doubts about this latest group right up until the wind-off, but they are beauties. A new twist in technique has brought more depth and consistency. With dyeing, you just can't tell about colors until things are completely dry. You think I would have learned that by now.

I like to do this hand work while I'm listening to music, or NPR or a book on CD, just like people who are actively creating - stitching, knitting, crocheting - the hands are up to one thing while the mind is elsewhere.

My political escapism continues. I rewatched the first two episodes of  "John Adams" last night. This time I was paying extra attention to the so very much that went unsaid by his wife, Abigail - so amazingly portrayed by Laura Linney - Her hands were busy doing the thousands of things that home and children required in colonial times and yet her thinking was every bit as sharp and focused on the problems of the birthing of our country as were those of her statesman husband. I'd like to read more about both of them.

This morning, I left the external input off because I've been questioning a lot of things lately and needed time to listen for and process any answers. Handling/creating raw materials frees up that space in my head where the dialogue happens. I even took notes.

Those answers?
There is great value in all levels of making, especially when it comes to textiles.

Cloth and all that attends it is so basic to the human condition. We spin, we weave, we protect and adorn ourselves.

I'm struggling to find as much meaning in wordsmithing as there was in making blankets for warmth. The great Art/Craft divide remains. You can write to entertain or titillate. You can write to some higher meaning. Straddling the divide is trixie.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

dirty thread dancing

I fooled with some of the Dirty Threads last night. Reading glasses would have been good, but they were off somewhere wandering around with the other lost stuff, so I faked it a bit.
No bloodstains, so it's all good.

Just posted a new batch. Looking forward to doing so more vivid colors when the sun comes back out.

Friday, June 30, 2017


The first year we lived here in Georgia, it rained the entire month of June. Looks like a rerun. The pool is brimming over but if I got out there and the sun is not bright, I get chilled to the bone and the mosquitoes find me. Still, lush is lovely. It was a good, rainy writing day.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

the threads - Updated

Wholly unexpected that they would sell out in like, 20 minutes. Grateful to all who made it so. And take heart, there will be more. Who doesn't have fun making candy?

Well. That was fun and will be repeated in the near future. Did I mention that I had a 2000 yard cone of DMC floss sitting around wondering what to do with itself?

Kept these two for myself.
The rest of the first flock is here

Thursday, June 22, 2017

kitchen busywork

It's been gray, humid and depressing for days and I'm sick of it so had a little kitchen table dyefest to get on with making up skeins of embroidery floss to sell.

Now, my problem is what the heck to charge?  These are each 10 (not 8) yards of hand dyed, DMC 6-strand cotton floss.  No two of these are alike so if you are project oriented, I can't help you.

Clues anyone?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

the Haunted dyefest

It was stewish out Thursday - hot and humid like we have not yet had so far this year. I will soon invent a word to describe weather that weird because of climate change.

I was distracted. Thunder muttered just beyond the horizon.
I am also taking two different medications for back pain and when they overlap, strange things happen. Let's just say, I haven't been driving as much as I like.

I play music through a small wireless speaker and the playlist randomly chose Jimmy's chili cookoff tunes. I already had on new and very sticky rubber gloves so I let it roll.

He used to love sitting on the living room couch and watch me work the dye deck while he watched TV from the cool darkness. Every now and then, I'd hold up a piece and he would applaud and comment.  I felt his presence strongly this time. He would also keep time for me. "Come inside before you get boil over."

Every conspired to go too quickly. Get it over with. I couldn't get my head into the work too deeply but the mechanics kept me moving. The results are more than half Providence and the Stars.

In every dyefest there are always one or two stand-outs. I can't even think about cutting this one.  Update...it's the new shop banner now..

There is a lot of gauze that I will be parting with one way or another. Something in the finishing process kept it from taking the color too harshly so it has a dreamy, blurred quality.

that woven, ribbed sheeting takes the color in amazing ways.

I'm picking through the remaining white good with focus on the cloths, like this, that won't let me down as I sneak up on some really vibrant colors on the next go round.

A number of these pieces will be worked on again. Discharging, soy wax and overdyeing and other process things are all in the wings waiting.

Friday, June 16, 2017

stitch this! Updated

These ten-yard skeins of 6-ply DMC cotton have a heather thing going on.

What you can't tell from this picture is that the opposite side of each of these is a different color, most of them a darker version of the one facing the camera. The color transitions are short and sharp which can be problematic.

What I do with these is split the six ply in half and reverse direction or just "color jog" half and then put them back together. Does anyone but me get that? I recently joined the Mildly Offensive Fiber Artists on FB...this stuffs looks right up their alley. Glorious, dirty string.

update - I ran to HoAnn's and scored those cardboard bobbins. You can see below the variations better now and the deeper you go into each bobbin, the less white there is.  Lessons learned. 
Still they are quite tasty. I'll be selling some of them in the shop soon.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Storm, still

 Another rinse. I left them to it.

In the semi-dry state, I could see that several of these pieces turned out to be a cotton blend that took the color in a strange, blurred fashion. This happened because I was too lazy to do a few burn tests. Lesson learned.
I won't be using any of it. Other pieces got muddied by my over anxious manipulation of the bundles. I foresee discharging and over-dyeing in their futures.

The threads turned out so tasty. Need to find a packet of these cardboard holders. Fresh out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

thunder, lightning and rock & roll!

I was in a mood. I wanted to flush the world away today.  Things got a little dark right from the start. Turquoise and Sunshine rode in to save the day from the darkness.

It got really hot and the pool behind me beckoned but I pushed on. Things got messy and out of hand quickly. Serendipity and Mayhem were having their way with this session.
Salt is in play. I haven't fooled with the crystals in years but the heat and humidity were perfect.

The sky went dark just as I was finishing and the thunder, lightning, and rain are putting the polish on this set of threads and cloth. Heavy blessings. It's all going to just be at the mercy of the elements for as long as that takes. Days maybe according to the weathermen. We hunker down.

my kind of Just Going

It's late. late for everything. Dyeing, swimming in the pool, staying out late to see the fireflies.

Better late than never.

The 2017 season at the Lawrenceville Frankenstein dye works commences.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

the new week begins

Mondays with Charlie are getting more entertaining now that he has a fair grip on the language. I can no longer claim Nana dumbness.  I just have to listen to him with an open mind because he says exactly what he means without the qualifiers and filters that grownups have built into verbal communications. 

Miscoms still happen owing more to my deafness than his experimental approach to English. We pat each other on the head and try not to get exasperated. I said, "take my word for it, you do not want to watch that TV show." He focused on which word of mine he was supposed to take and where was I hiding it.

This scrap of cotton sateen has been rolling around the floor with the dust bunnies and this morning I washed and dried it and decided it was a message that I should take seriously, so I took it for a ride in the car. I know, you were hoping for something else - something stitchy or dyeish, but I'm working up to it.

The water and air temperatures finally conspired to get me into the pool...the latest date since we put it in back in '98. My friends and family in the Northeast have been sweltering with our summer. It may finally be here.

Because there was no killing freeze this winter the level of organic activity in the water was off the charts...I have a lot of scrubbing to do. This will be my outside office until it gets too cold to get in.
This year, maybe Thanksgiving.