Sunday, October 22, 2017

and the winner is

the contest is closed. I have twenty entries scribbled on the backside of some junk mail. All cuddled up here in my sari silk yarn skull cap.

Now to convince Sweetie to make a choice.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


I took a day off from the grind and drove up to NC to visit a friend who is furnishing and decorating her home. I knew about the white couch and thought these just might work. Some of the "Alien Innards" go back to 2006. These are the ones that I couldn't bear to part with, one by one. I'm happy that they've been adopted en masse. They get along well with the other kids.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

scraps surge

You should see the ones I put in the river basket. One might think I was thinking about stitching something.
(my glasses are for scale)

There are two more clutches just like this one and the fourth is winging it's way to Ukiah, CA at this moment.

I have a small problem. Although they are 6"x9", the new postal bags are unlined and hold more cloth! Yay for you, but the post office is hurting me.
Jumping the rate up to 27$ to cover the postage hike.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017

in the days to come

The cloth and threads will take care of themselves for a while.

 I've come too far to let this spin away into vapors. So I will be in


Is like shaving off prison tattoos a square inch at a time. 
The hardest damn work I've done since labor and death.

So far, it works like this. I'll read the last scene that WORKED and then the new victim,
 the next one, and the one that follows it. If the new one fails on enough fronts - and I've had more than
half do just that, I brood over the truth of it. The five 'whys'.

Then I start the autopsy.
Print, then redact - just like in the movies- with the broad, black marker, anything that's 
crap. Anything that's not a jewel.

Then I brood on it some more and find a different way to set some, not all, of those gems. 
A setting that not only makes the scene worthwhile but nods to the one before it and sets up
the next. 

Dominos dipped in nitro.

(don't forget to jump on this)

a contest, you say?

I'm waiting on a shipment of packing envelopes for
the Fat Baggies, but until they land, I thought I'd have a day late giveaway for my birthday. I'll be making up a bundle that includes scraps from the last dye fest and other treasures from my stash, plus a couple hanks of Dirty Threads thrown in for magic.
Open to anyone in this whole wide world. Just leave one comment here and Friday night I'll see if I can't get sweetie to help me pick a winner.

Took an opportunity for a little getaway...I'll make Sweetie do the thing on Sunday afternoon...there will be video.

Friday, October 13, 2017


"Frontrunner"  2010 . The actual orientation is vertical, of course. It was conceived as a battle banner.  Now I see a flag under fire.

And this is sixty-eight, just a little high.
Happy birthday to me.

Last harvest 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

strange doings

The (unseen) bloody of this picture had to be attended to first. While I picked glass slivers from my hand, this river of Turquoise dye, King of Stains, wandered across the table and cascaded to the floor. 

A mason jar that I was holding vibrated under my fingers and an eye-shaped shard sprang out. The vibration felt as if I had a big bumblebee inside the middle and ring fingers of the glove I was wearing. It was the strangest sensation.

I thought I was using a paint stick to stir the dye but while I was cleaning up, I found it still clean. Even if I had used a spoon, I would have been careful not to bang it around in the jar. 

The upshot was that I spent over an hour cleaning and by the time I was done, my back was saying "that's it for the dye day" but I staggered back outside onto the deck and got it done. I will be sorry tomorrow.

Climate change = an October dye day

I'll have to cheat a bit and stow everything in black plastic bags for extra heat.

It's day two of my stay-cation and I've decided that instead of bitching about what I haven't been able to do - travel, spend, socialize - I'll just try to do all of them on a reduced scale.

Today, though, I'm going to take another shot at dyeing the rest of the wonderful stash of linen garments that have been waiting in a pile in the corner of the studio.  Everything, including the Basis cloths (there are several), will be chopped up into usable sizes, 12x12 max, and included in a new round of          Fat Baggies. It's hard to imagine, but I am scraping the bottom of the tubs of my years-old stash. Time to replenish and renew.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

lost weekend +2

After a rough week working through a cold/whatever with Charlie (he's fine) I succumbed.

At first, I thought it was the flu, but flu doesn't clear out after just a good night's (heavily medicated) rest and a bowl of soup and a grill cheese sandwich.

I am restored and will let tomorrow see about itself.

No one will be looking for me until Sunday night.

Right now I have the studio to keep me occupied. The place is a mess! What happened in here?

Thursday, October 05, 2017

fiber fix

Dirty thread continues to be a learning thing.

Many of the most recent batch were just Meh, so I overdyed them. There's a project I don't want to mess with again.

Last night the simplicity of winding skeins while watching a movie was as much as my brain/body could tolerate. There are places on YouTube where people post videos of repetitive tasks like this. Doing them, I get. Watching them? Not for me, but Sweetie was fascinated and every now and then compelled to reach in and mess with the process.


That Sunday shift turned into a three-day siege. We got some restorative fresh air and sunshine yesterday. Painting in the park with lemonade and sticks.

Sunday, October 01, 2017


Our Sunday breakfast didn't pan out. Nobody had an appetite.

We look a little shot. Me, hungover from not enough sleep. Charlie, not up to himself either. Once we got out from under the spell of a little Lego and "Stickman" on TV, it was warmer outside than inside, and we headed down the block for the tiny playground someone installed on a wedge of county property in the neighborhood.

We were about halfway there when he wrapped his arm around my leg and said, "There's something in my ear hurting me."
That and the boogers point to a low-key Charlie Monday tomorrow. We'll see what fun we can wring from the day.

Friday, September 29, 2017


...if only for a day. No stitching, no writing or editing. I did take a book, "Tell the Wolves I'm Home"
So far, so good.

Lake Lanier, only an hour away. It's not the ocean, but on a beautiful day like today, I'll take it.

A man-made reservoir, the rocks along the shore seem to come from another planet.
Today, I started a rock collection for Charlie. Rocks big enough that he cannot throw them.

I'm usually good with rocks. I have no idea what this beauty is, but I'm pretty sure the red spot is a garnet.  This is about the size of a brick.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

a hot Charlie Monday

I accidentally left my cell phone at my son's house yesterday after spending a day with Charlie. It was a tough day for all parties.
We went to the park and had a good time, but when it was time to go, he gave me a dose of the Toddler From Hell. He didn't want to leave and was mad about not having a vote.

I did what I did when his father and uncle were that age- said, "See ya!" and walked away, heart lurching. It took him ten paces to stop asserting himself and call for me.
     "Nana! Don't leave me!"
I turned around and told him,
     "I'll never leave you, Charlie, you just have to catch up to me is all." And I put down my bag and waited for him.

He did, but he'd worked himself up into a fit of crying that persisted the blessedly short time it took to get back home. A quick wash and a snack with Curious George and he was fine. But we will talk about it next time I see him because I know he'll remember it. I just want to be sure he remembers the instruction and not the fear.

Vigil continues

The line at the post office was ridiculous today. I gave up and went to the park.

My timing for everything has been off lately. As in the "What's today?" kind of off.  Comes from working weekends and late nights at the change of seasons, I think.

Writing has come to a full stop. A necessary one, although stories still spin in my head. After a day with Charlie yesterday I needed A. a serious nap, ill-advised at 6pm, but it was that or just go to bed for the night, and B., to do something different that did not involve writing, editing, reading or second-guessing my existence.

I chose stitch, and this piece has been hanging on the design wall, dusty and bothering me in its unfinished state. It was started back when Jimmy was first diagnosed and I clung to it like a life raft some days. It was also connected with "Band of Brothers" on Netflix which we were watching together at the time so I put that on TV last night because I recalled that I liked the music.

The first episode was about soldiers training to become paratroopers and I remember Jim chuckling and saying how little had changed about that aspect of the service. When he was awarded his jump wings, they were pounded to his chest, the prongs deliberately drawing blood.

Jim was proud of his army service and I think he would be pretty pissed off over the state of our leadership. Like many, he would mist up at the national anthem, but I believe he would also be okay with taking a knee. That it's not about a damn song or a piece of cloth, but human decency. He was nobody's fool and would call bullshit out loud no matter who was leaking it. He was a good and decent person before all else. Shit, I miss him.

space out of time

taking some time this evening to bring the dirty threads to some unfinished work.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

writing about it

"All the colors of the waking world were sucked into the tiny campfire and thrown up to the stars in a gush."

excerpt from "The Monkeytown Murders"

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dirty Threads ready to rock

..the Cassinis
and Those Who Stand and Wait
are up and ready to go here

Cost me a pint of blood to the friggin' mosquitos!!

And this happened today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


The groundcloth for the Cassini threads. Project potential limitless.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Now, this is what I had in mind!

It took two passes, but it was worth the trouble. This is the Cassini group.

I'll label and post them tomorrow in the store.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday doings

There was a late-night chemical miscalculation and the hair went from Brass Monkey Blond to Mouse's Ass Brown. I worked until after midnight but was awakened before daybreak by drunken Mariachi Karaoke from the crack farm one block over.
Still in mourning for Cassini, I decided honest work would be good, so I went back into Revision Hell with the current WIP. After a couple of aimless hours, I've concluded that it is a steaming pile of shit! Many tasty little turds, nonetheless, shit.
Since I have to be back on the day-job clock at four, combinations of excess alcohol, illegal drugs, or reckless sex with trolls are off the self-pity menu. The solution? Jumped in the Flash and motored to Publix for Red Velvet Cake and Coffee ice cream. I'll drape the mirrors in black, take a nap, and start fresh tomorrow.

Around all that mess, these:

Friday, September 15, 2017


                  Only time will tell. A couple hours, give or take. (JS. That's you on the right)

We'll take another look tomorrow when they are dry. The one on the left, mine, is a lot greener than I like, but a yellow base what else could I expect. I have a remedy in mind. The other is just Carnival Time!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

tooling up for color

Look at these huge crystals! Rock salt for ice cream with facets like big, smiling faces just waiting to get to work with the dyes. No more of that spendy pink Himalayan salad stuff. Used it all.

Packages and letters are away! Mollymook, Camperdown and Polvadera, heads up! A week to ten days, give or take.

My friends live in places with names as interesting as the new colors who arrived yesterday: Raven, Robins Egg, Avocado, BlueViolet, Daffodil and Golden Brown.

I have to figure out a whole new way to dye indoors. There will be a technicolor bathtub and sink. For fun, I'm going to make a smock, a large rug and a set of towels, all cotton, only for dye fests.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

the fire this time

I was rummaging through the closet for something fall-ish to wear rather than kick the furnace up a notch or two. My go-to yoga pants from last year were crumpled in a corner, dusty but clean enough.

In one of the pockets, this scrap of a damask napkin dipped in fire. I took a dozen pictures of this scrap and got a dozen variations of red. This one comes closest, but it's still off. It's as if my eyes can look, but they can't really see.

Sometimes, all it takes is a scrap - this is hand size. Irregular.- to get a fire going.

I've had too many brands in the fire lately and it was easy to let a little brush with a hurricane dampen all of them. Time to get back to work.

If you've ordered something from me in the past few days, thanks for your patience. Although we suffered little real damage, we are still putting life back on track.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

post storm

We are wet and bedraggled. Nothing blew away or fell down. So far. But we have power (now) heat and a roof over our heads that is in one piece, so no complaints.

I did get to spend half a day with Charlie before his folks got home early ahead of the worst of it.

No Publix, no park but a bunch of fun.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

pre-storm still

It's too early in the day for selfies, but it's so beautiful outside. Chilly enough for the Magic Invisibility cloak. It is heavy with layering so I save it for sweater weather. It needs some work.

Yesterday, nature was holding her breath. Today the pulse has quickened. My wind chimes are tuning up.

The sky is clear, but the trees are anxious. Milling around gently now, opening their arms and faces to the warmth of the sun like they know they aren't going to see it for a while. For some of them, maybe never again. I wonder how much they know.

At some point in the day, I have to clear off the dye deck. stow stuff, invert small containers.
I also want to get some pieces out with dye so they can be rinsed by whatever remnant of the hurricane makes it way here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Elements became story

(I was plotting even back then. This post from February 2012)

"Grand RĂªver"  2012

It's been pinned up to the design wall where I can see it while nothing much is in my head.

It provokes stories.
How words become sentences and sentences take on life when they gather to become story.

turns out this is my 1400th post. Sheesh, what wind.  I could have had that bloody novel in the can by now!)

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

consumerism Tuesday

I'm off to the post office with Fat Baggie orders picked from this wildly bunch. I dug a big tote from deep in the back of the closet and uncovered some wild and dangerous characters.  There are three bags available and a whole new batch of screamin' dirty threads getting ready to post.