Wednesday, February 10, 2016

back to badges

I went back in to the studio this morning and started a new badge, adding on to the series I started two years ago.

Finding those UFOs yesterday and digging into their history has proven to be a catalyst for a much-needed mental rest, although, while in the design phase of the project, I'm finding paralelles to writing that I never did in the past.  I think it's because I focused on this one..."the Heart of Life",  a personal favorite that sold pretty quickly.

 I found the post about the genesis of the badge project which includes a good shot of this piece in progress.

I can remember selecting and rejecting cloth, then cutting and folding and moving the shapes over and over until it was right.
Selecting and building the blended threads, choosing and executing each stitch. There was no hurry and no room for "whatever". I gave this little thing my all.  That's what it takes, no matter what I'm doing or I'm not going to be satisfied with the outcome. This one will get finished soon and I'll mount it to a small canvas. They will all be for sale.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


We had snow showers all day today and the light was unusual. I was in the studio early and sat looking at the design wall for a while wondering what happens to the work when artists die. There are eight or nine pieces nailed up there for lack of better storage and will on my part. Nice and flat they are. What a pain in the butt for the families left behind!

           Yes, for reasons I won't dwell on, I missed both of those deadlines so the pieces that I started in 2012 and finished in 2013 probably they won't seen any exposure at a national show what with restrictions on the age of pieces. Or is that bit of fiber tomfoolery becoming a thing of the past?

         Then the sun broke through and I got this shot of "Consolation" 2012.
 It worked it's charm on me. No one out there has enough money to buy this one.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

not locked up or in Tahiti

But it feels like the first one.

I've been writing critiques for a handful of other writers from a new group that I've joined. You have to give 'em to get 'em, as the saying goes.
My neck hurts, my shoulders are all hunched, there's a crease between my eyes and I have agita. No, not from working at the computer all day. From trying to be civil and instructive at the same time. It's exhausting. You can't just say "This sucks. Stop writing." The Karmic implications are grotesque!  What I really want to do right now is curl up with the river basket and maybe just mend something.  feh.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Yikes! Three days left to get my shit together and choose three of the Karmas to enter in this show before they get carried off by the spiders working the walls in my studio!

I'm lucky they are accepting pieces completed since 1/13. I have not really moved much beyond them since.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It's only January my stitchers!

There's still a lot of winter ahead of us, more for some than others.

 I've opened up some containers that were stowed deep in the closet and breaking out new/old cloth to be included in the latest crop of Fat Baggies , the best bargain on the web when it comes to vintage, hand-dyed scraps.

I'm taking first picks for myself, of course, but there's just so much Lush to share! If you have a colorway preference, email mail me and I'll do what I can to feed your fancy.

I left these images large so you can open them up and get a close look.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


From way back when I apparently had nothing but time on my hands. Everyone was throwing the kitchen sink at art quilts back then, and I was intent on making stuff stick.

This piece is part of the Del Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection and one of the first pieces I ever sold.  And here is it's companion piece "Healer"

"Parking Magic"      22x22             2003

digitally printed images appliqued
glass beads and shell 

Monday, January 25, 2016

the cloth at work

I love seeing what other people do with or feel about the cloth I send them.

The reason I parted with it in the first place was because it had no place in my imagination (at the moment I packaged it up) and my hope was that someone else would be sparked by it.

Grace does it every day. Her photos alone are creative inspiration for me.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


My dye project is going to have to wait until late Sunday, unless the new writer's group gets cancelled this coming Saturday. We are under the weather armageddon threat here in GA, meaning a few flakes might put in an appearance.
I' keep busy, thanks.

I made the rash mistake of clicking on these in an ad somewhere on the web and now they pop up no matter what web page I go to. Really? Maybe?

I love the sexy-cool of Converse but the last time I tried on a pair and walked around the store for a minute, my feet felt like they had been beaten with lead pipes. The new Chuck Taylor II promises to have remedied that..I'll have to have another walk about before I commit,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

fish mess

Well, the commercial (RIT) dye remover did it's thing. This is pretty much how I remember the cloth. No wonder I dyed it. It's as uninspiring as the pink was garish.

My next move? I'm going to cut out a couple of clumps of fish and overdye them separately. Time for a kitchen table dye fest now that I have heat in the house.

I'm not going to think about the colors until I open the box of dyes, but a strong amber comes to mind. That would hopefully cast golden fish in water as murky and green as my swimming pool is right now.

Snail's pace here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Electronically (mis)guided dreams

This piece of cloth turned up in the stash churn the other morning. You know, stash churn, like how you are supposed to take a pitchfork to the compost heap?

Anyway, this piece of commercial batik has been in my life since I don't know when. It's got a supple, soft hand. I know it would be wonderful to applique with - all those tiny, needle turned stitches.  I know there are one or two of those pink fish on the very first not-quilt I ever made. I have doled them out like bits of treasure, but the  pink on navy really bothers me.

Back in the day, I had a long, halter top dress made from cloth just like it, a different print. Gold on blue. That hippy, India thing. The only thing holding the girls in place were two half inch straps of the same cloth that tied behind my neck. There was some cloth that saw some action.

So while I was handling this cloth yesterday, I was listening to some sample sound from BrainFM, no affiliation just yet.  Still just listening to the soothing electronica.

It was a "focus" segment and I'm just holding this cloth, recognizing for the first time that the fish were arranged head and tail as Pisces. Thought about my long ago dress. How I could have parted with that cloth when it was done as a garment and I did wear it to death.

 Last night I dreamed that I cut all the fish out of this cloth and re-arranged them, appliqueing them in various groups and files, some chasing colorful bugs or worms, some belly up with black Xs over their eyes...all kinds of activities. An enormous amount of work going into this imaginary Fish Blanket. Crazy. Still, my hand itches to pick up the scissors.

I'll have to overdye them first.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

sunday stitch

Sunday is improving. Over the past two years, it's been a difficult day to be alone if I didn't have visiting planned.

I went to my first meeting with a new writing group yesterday and it was just what I've been looking for.

Now a chunk of Sunday will have to be given over to Saturday housework, the stuff I let languish all the rest of the week. A day for projects, catching up and finishing. I need to get back to having books on CD while I work.

I cleared the dancing table in the studio enough to fire up the Janome and do some long promised mending. From there it was a short hop to the river basket to see what was waiting for my hands.
What am I going to do when Downton Abbey is over?

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


I came into the studio this morning to fill a fabric order.

No music, no TV. Just the sound of the cold wind through the hollies under the big window, the sun blazing through.

With an empty mind, my hand kept finding the most amazing bits, shreds and pieces.

Grace reminded me how the smallest bits of cloth have a magic and integrity all of their own. As if to say, "I'm the one and only piece in all  existence just like this. What will you make of me?'

I've been busy working on a short story since Christmas and finding that fiddling with words can be every bit as compulsive as working with cloth. You move a piece from here to there and there is a whole different tale. The unintended consequences never end. Stopping and taking a stand can be difficult. Pleasing the masses? Impossible.

Pleasing myself? Who better.

Other thoughts today are with Grace and little old Cinche,  now winding down her journey on this plane.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

the blur

I'm sure someone has coined a name for it somewhere - the span of days between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. One day does tend to blur into the next.

I spent a chunk of it coddling Charlie who needed a little extra attention. My cell phone camera is on its way out, but I love this shot with nothing but the swirling exuberance of color and those grays!

Judy Martin knows about grays. For all the magically tender color of this piece, I've figured out that it's the grays that give it bones. At least to my eye.

I've not  made any resolutions but cleared two goals. The completion of my first short story in time for a 1/2/16 deadline (which was extended to 1/9 when I wasn't looking) and a true resolution to get back outside and resume the walking cure.

Today it was a mere quarter mile around the dirty duck pond at  Bethesda Park. I'd like to put that little tracker app back on my phone but it will probably burst into flames and I'm not quite ready for a new one yet. Sometimes, the camera works.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

There was cloth this morning! Fabric orders, picked packed and shipped and I'm still taking pieces and stuffing them into the river basket for some oneday tomorrow.

Thinking of family and many distant friends, women of the cloth, who are still at it beyond all boundaries of trend and times. So inspirational.

There has been (good) writing all day. Chinese food is on the way.  Fireworks and gunfire echo outside and the sun just set. The new furnace just kicked on. Later, there will be movies and a bottle of champagne that's been languishing in a high cupboard in the kitchen since '99 (I think). If I can get it open and it's drinkable....

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

For all my friends (and the list is growing) who do not look at FB.

I'm Batman!
Charlie is on the mend so we all brought Christmas to him instead of making him travel. He charmed everyone in the room, but then we are a bit biased.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

my last Christmas Moon

Something woke me, six and change, the face of the Christmas moon as it shivered on the pool and through the crystals hanging on the high deck. There were small rainbows flitting all over my bedroom.

I went out like I used to every full moon and took my cards with me. Always, there is one card that presents, either falls or is back-to or you draw it. It was she/I washed in brilliance.

Friday, December 18, 2015


It wouldn't be almost Christmas without last minute hand-mades.  This will be a little sit-spot for Charlie. I have a green one just inside the deck door in my bedroom and he delights in standing on it and turning in circles like a dog in tall grass.

We were having big fun yesterday, but inside an hour, his annoying cold/teething symptoms took a turn for the worse. I had forgotten how wrenching it is when a baby fevers and there is little you can do beyond hold them.

I remember wishing I could be sick instead for both of mine. Would that we could have such a choice.

On my way to him in a few minutes.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Past


 I have to dig these out of the closet, give them fresh batteries and see what Charlie can teach them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Every vote counts.Swearwolf

Spawn #1 is vying for a prize and he's in the running!

Go there, listen to the piece (it won't kill you, I promise!) and then vote. It may ask for your FB stuff. Accept if you will.

Listen first and then vote here

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

home update.

I wrote it over here today.

Many thanks for the kind and thoughtful replies on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


I've been filling orders for fat baggies and I keep coming across little pieces of cloth and saying "No! This one is mine." and stashing them in the River basket.

Although I don't know where this is taking me, I'm thinking it's a good thing.

(and for whatever digital reason the piece behind the red is really as green as holly in person)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

poised for mayhem

I'm going to need something to calm me down over the next day or so. I plan on finishing this little folly for a friend who admire it a while ago. As of tomorrow morning, I'd rather be anywhere else, but I'll have to be here and bear it.

I finally bit the bullet and have made arrangements to have our long dead  HVAC plant replaced. A team of men are scheduled to start work at eight and the whole thing should be up and running by lunch! His lips to God's ears!

The company rep was here yesterday and I'm satisfied that my husband would have approved. Not the cheapest outfit or equipment available, to be sure, but the best for the house. Step one in restoring home. Heat and AC for the first time in many years. Civilization!

Friday, November 27, 2015


 I've been sitting with this one for a couple hours now and am satisfied that it's done, on the surface of things. Tomorrow, while the turkey is in the oven, I'll back it with something appropriate and try to decide on how I want  to orient it so I can stitch my mark in the corner.

Voodoo has sequestered himself on the floor level of a large bookcase where I keep just a bowl of clean water for them. He is studying the infinite, slumbering and dreaming. It's been a very good life.

I'm thinking the one below will win out.

When Charlie was younger, he'd snatch you bald-headed if you gave him a chance. I wore my hair up in a bun for about six months.  He's stopped pulling my hair, thank goodness. Now he will stroke my bangs when I hold him and if I'm down on the floor with him, he'll get behind me and pull the loose ends free of whatever clip I've put my hair up with, carefully, gently.  I caught him at it today with my phone and finally realize that he's singling out the white hairs.

the long week

It just feels that way, I guess.  And I didn't even have to cook, except for a couple of pies which came out perfectly. For the first time, I followed instructions and put little strips of foil around the edges so they wouldn't get over-cooked. It really works.

Colin and I joined Jake, Missy and Charlie at Missy's father's place up in the Georgia mountains for the Thanksgiving feast. The house, with it's wonderful wrap around deck, was aswarm with toddlers this year. Charlie and his cousins Jack and Charlotte milled around in a state of perpetual motion and astonishment. I was too busy to take pictures. Saturday, I'll cook a bird for our little crew.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

a few more lines

It keeps asking for smaller things. tighter focus. A few lines of code is turning into an epic.

Dropping down from the  4x 12wt cotton to four strands of machine rayon to carry one strand of gold or silver metallic.

Needing a little mindless escapism, I am watching the American Music Awards. For a few minutes, I was feeling lost and out of touch.

After a few more minutes, I realized that it wasn't I who was lost and out of touch.  There is nothing enduring going on there at all.

Here is where I find the most meaning and fun lately. I spend thursdays and fridays with Charlie and experience the world anew through his eyes.