Sunday, December 14, 2014

working with working cloth

Guess I better get on that present, eh?
These were all shot cotton shirts that I got from various second hand places. I over dyed all of them in one of the last dye days this past summer.

there are sixteen beefy blocks that will be sashed in with a cream colored solid and then backed with that black and white check. Pretty and practical.

I'm hoping to get all the piecing done tonight so I can do the hand quilting during the week. I know, wishful thinking.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

every day is baby day

  You would think that an hour of so like this would free up the brain for things like reading or writing at the very least.  Not.

On the contrary, holding a sleeping baby in your lap is some kind of powerful sedative.  You can't fall asleep lest the little guy rolls away, but relaxation is total.

Charlie turned four months old on the first of the month and he has discovered the magic of vocal communication. He warbles, chuckles, chortles, laughs, and will scream himself purple for thirty seconds only to look into my face with wide eyes, grin like a fool as if to say "Psych Nana!" and then laugh himself to hiccups.

The cold that troubled him lightly for a day has kicked my ass for a full week.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Lost Weekend

I don't know how I though I'd duck the cold that Jake and Charlie had early last week, such hubris. It fell on me like a starving lion late friday night. I was fine when I went to bed, but Saturday was a total loss given over to drugs and alcohol, the medicinal kind. I give the cold 24 hours.

Things started looking up with the mail delivery late Saturday. I snapped this up on Ebay cheap because I think others bidders were scared off.  No religious significance for me, but a key item for one of the protagonists in my book in progress.

This morning started with a blessing and reminder - Find beauty and take care of myself.  The full moon was setting in the west and the reflection in the pool was overlain with the reflection of the colored christmas lights in my office across the hall. I'll take the camera to bed with me tonight. I even worked in a wobbly mile at the park this afternoon. Healed, I am.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Screw the Critics

I loved it.

(Thank you Brendan. If it hadn't been for your incessant chatter on Facebook I would have missed this live presentation.  Somehow my brain trapped Sunday as viewing night and I'm so glad I only missed a few minutes)

 I think you had to be there live in 1960 to really appreciate this latest production. Live TV is such a novelty! At first,  I found myself thinking, and without being derisive, "this is SO GAY", but a few minutes in, I found the place in my heart and memory before that kind of judgement was possible and just let the thing take me where I needed to go, back in time....(more)

Sunday, November 30, 2014


The river basket is stuffed with WIPS these days - gifts, practical matters and a little piece of needle dreaming.

I've been spending a lot of time writing (,,,nothing to see here,,, move along) and thinking about how things are going to be different here at House of Lacativa in the coming year. Changes upon changes.

I have never shopped Black Friday, just refuse to take part in practice. If I've lived without something all year, and managed quite nicely without it, why would I rush out to some rude fest to spend money on the thing?

What  I do have are LOTS of fat baggies of  hand dyed, vintage cloth  if you are in the mood to treat yourself or someone else. I can ship on Tuesdays or Saturdays right up until Dec. 16th ...I'll go again on the 20th but no guarantees this will make it in time for Christmas.

Friday, November 28, 2014


We traveled again this year. Colin and I went with Jake, Missy & Charlie up to Abbeville, SC to spend the day with Missy's mother Cookie and her husband Bob on their farm.

It was nice to do something new and different for Thanksgiving. This year, though, I had a turkey and all the fixings ready to go into the oven at home on Black Friday so we'd have the beloved leftovers.  Nothing sadder than coming home from a family feast to cranky cats and baloney sandwiches.

The farmhouse itself was built in 1775 and is steeped in history. There will be a lot more about this place in the future.

I got to meet their horses and neither of them took exception to me as I made it clear to them both that I was not there to ride either of them.  Just a little meet and greet and a good scratch and I have two new friends. There's only this one picture of Charlie riding in the back seat with his Mom and Colin.. I left my phone in my car and all but forgot I had a camera with me. Just wanted to take it all in for a change.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Since nothing much new has come out of the studio lately, I thought I'd scroll back some and look for some inspiration.

As soon as I paint my office,
I'm going to start hanging these older pieces, one by one.

Here's the original post.

It's for sale, of course. Email me if you are interested,

"Los Dados Encantada" 



Sunday, November 23, 2014

A days worth of doing before noon

One of those days where getting up early paid off nicely. Made  my lists, hit all the stops and  had all the "gottas" out of the way by noon.

All but one...get a replacement zipper for my fleece jacket. This meant a trip to Ho-Anns and me with no coupons. Oh well, it's only a zipper, right?

The crack was there ready and waiting.
Calicoes and batiks for a smaller quilt for Charlie, big fat cushy skeins of Lion Homespun and a J hook, just in case I couldn't find one of the five or six I have somewhere in the studio.

Not much later I had a visitor for a little while, but I don't think he'll remember.

Later, I put in eight hours in the whine mine  and still had energy to burn, in fact, I was up writing until nearly four. That was the real cherry on top of my day.

The cat crew insisted on breakfast at eight, so another early start only today dawned gray, raining and thunder rolled from time to time.

 A real good day to sit and stitch. The new quilt is well under way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

a day taken out of time

 Yesterday was a strange day. I never got dressed or left the house. I cleared off the stitching chair in the studio and sat with the cloth for  a while, but it was absent-headed fiddling with no intent and the results showed. An hour of stitching equalled another fifteen minutes of picking out. No surprise. The film "Giant" was a colossal bore and complete waste of James Dean.

Some stitching, some boring TV, some napping, and for me,  some dreaming.

A breaker failed last week and I have not been able to figure out which one. There was no power to the bathroom, closet or bedroom TV, so, no great loss at all.  Jake came by, fiddled with everything and still no power. I will call a pro eventually.

Last night when I was done with work,  I went into the bathroom and, out of habit,  flipped the switch and the light came on. It took me a minute to realize that somehow the electricity had righted itself, as if it was sulking and now happy I needed it again.

I turned on the TV on the same circuit just to check and it worked. "Gladiator" was on - gift from my Goodman on a day when I needed it. I left it on and we dreamed together.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winter sets in.

My house may be cold, but this room is warm and we are cozy. The only problem with this scene is that they object when I put the wireless keyboard on their heads.

Tough titty, kitties.  I had a major writing breakthrough this morning. Notes are now down, paths and further questions ironed out. It was a great day, even before the coffee was ready.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Time for Art to Work

I've decided to take this one and few others  out of the gallery and put them to use.

What better use that a playground or a cuddle for my grandson?

All of my art quilts were built with the same materials and techniques that I use for utility quilts and bedding. Except for the latter ones that used vintage damask, they can all stand up to machine wash and dry. All I have to do is remove the sleeve.

I'm thinking this one needs at least one backup.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The light of our lives

I have always been a picture taking fool when it comes to the babies in my care. Really, I could just watch them for hours. They are so amorphous at this age, changing right before your eyes. Look at those hands!

Unfortunately, Charlie  is already expecting to see his own face when I point my cell phone at him. The "Selfie" mode works wonders when he fusses.

You can see by his expression below, that he is wondering where the damn baby went!

I get pretty much the same expression when I read aloud to him.

We are working our way through "Gone Girl" right now.

Repercussions? Who knows.

These are dark days if I dwell in the past. Charlie helps keep me in the here and now.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Badges flying

"True Love Ways" should be arriving at its new home tomorrow or the next day.

The proceeds took me for a much needed day away from the ranch. However prosy you might think squatting in IKEAs cafeteria from breakfast though lunch might be, it was just the ticket for me and my friend.

The food is just meh, but the time and space with no one hurrying you away from your table is a luxury. And then there's the store. I'm not much of a shopper, but this place does it for both of us and that in itself is amazing because our tastes are so divergent.

Janice pointed out that I have been squeezing this same pillow every time we got there since the place opened. I finally threw it in the basket.

And for the first time in forever, I was paying attention in the toy department and it's a wonderland.  Charlie likes faces.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Fall on us

Progress on this piece has been slow but hands free/brain free time is scarce. I take it when I can.

It's been an emotionally and physically exhausting week. The other day I took Jim's wheelchair and left it just inside the vestibule of the Catholic church that's so close we can hear the bell. The door was open, no one was around. I just wheeled it in and left it.

I submitted a short story to a literary journal and have since found out that I have a better chance of getting into Harvard! Hilarious.

And there's nothing like being greeted in the early morning hours by a smiling face who knows you and challenges you to bring your A game to his day.

This too will be changing. Jake has changed jobs and will soon get home in time to have some Charlie time all to himself. A good thing for both of them.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Thanks Kit!

A great package on the doorstep has been the buttercream frosting on a great day (so far).

My sister Kitty has a knack for knowing what manner of outrageous appeals to me. (She's the one who supplied me with the purple stuff for my hair)

I've been craving anything with this VeraBradly design forever - I even stalked a lady in the airport to ask about her bag once! This is the Grand Duffle in "Suzani"  and if I ever run away from home, everything I could possibly need would fit in this only I would not be able to lift and so there will be no running OFT.

 And don't send me any spoilers about the book. I might watch the movie if it comes to Netflix, maybe.  I've already heard that Ben's junk appearance is practically a magic trick. If that's the film's strongest draw I feel bad for his wife. I'll get my jollies from between the pages, thanks

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Indian Summer

This is the upper deck that overlooks the pool. Looks like a party going on and me still in bed.  The park in Lilburn was glorious this morning. Someone put up a Little Free Library at the start of the main trail since Sunday. The trouble is there's a little bench right there and the temptation to pick a book, sit and read a while is strong and my point in being there is to get some exercise.

I have a bunch of books to put in it. Maybe seeding it with things from my library will encourage some other like minded folks (there were a lot of kids books and beach reads, but hey, they just put the thing in the ground!)

I brought a little stitching along for trail's end. Another walker stopped to see what I was working on and couldn't get over that there were no little printed blue lines on the cloth, that I was designing on the fly.  I told him it was like Paint by Numbers with no lines or numbers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

There is no Try.

It was good light for stitching. The Winter Chair has been cleared of clean laundry so when I have time to sit there and stitch, I will. 

Thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement. There will be no more whining.  Nothing is impossible.  I gave the chaos of the studio fifteen minutes and put these four pieces back in storage, for now. Looking at them closely, handling them - I can say without a shred of embarrassment, they are fucking fabulous. Getting them exposure is on me.

 Top to bottom these are  Los Dados Encantada,  Consolation , Jazz Takes Over,  and Karma I . I am not going to let all this passion evaporate.

The first direction I got today, and I can't tell you where I heard it or read it, was "Do what you love". I must have repeated that ten times and decided I sounded senile.

It's a lovely sentiment when it's not set in a framework of  reality, like available hours. Still, there are minutes to be claimed and I'll claim them.

I love what I am doing except for the paying job. How hilarious is that? I found out the other day that my boss and my immediate supervisor have both "moved on". All I have to do is figure out how to replace about 1200.00 a month from some other source and I can catch the same train they did.

We are having a bit of Indian summer here in Georgia so I took the time to tend the temple this morning and got in  a mile in at the park, my knee feeling better for it rather than worse is a good sign. And while I was out there on the trail, a major rough patch in the writing resolved itself.  All of this bounty and tonight, the final game of the world series. Since I have no horse in this race, I'll be watching with one eye and doing something creative with the other.

And for those of you who stop by for the eye candy, here's a treat. Yoda stopped by. He said
                              "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

the saturday stitch

I'm going to be optimistic and take this with me today. There might be a little time for stitching and I'm loving my own hand dyed floss.

I gave half a thought to shutting this blog down last night, but, then I thought, just because the things that are going on in my life now won't interest people, and the last thing I have to do is write about tedium, this doesn't mean that there is no longer room in my life for beautiful things. No matter who made them.

So, from time to time, I'll make the time.  Seasons change, So will circumstances.

PS...there are still some damn fine people in this world. Thank you all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the Creatives

Nothing yak or picture worthy from me here, but I know some talented folks.

I know a lot of my readers are into the Day of the Dead or they have grandchildren, either way,

 this design from Pug- Mother Bamboota is time sensitive and will sell like hotcakes!

(That price was only good for one day...still it's a nice design)

And now for your ears and your brain, the latest from #1 son Colin.

 "Starlight Abyss"  promises a different kind of meditation. There is another movie score in the works as well!

And one more maker for today - a smile maker! This little Hambone has been perfecting his charms.

Was he laughing at Nana's jokes? Nope. He was laughing at the baby in the phone!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gardens come in

I got quite carried away with the houseplant rescue thing this year. I buy the "nearly dead" at the local nurseries for pennies, bring them home and give them a dose of TLC and a sunny place to rest.

Now I have more healthy patients than I know what to do with. Two pots of lavender that need wheels, several tropical plants of unknown species that are now over four feet tall.  This little Swedish Ivy was a gift from my sister Kitty. It's a descendant of a plant at Bill W's place in Katonah.

It's getting nippy at night so I'll have to move some furniture around to  accommodate everyone.

And you can be sure that no matter how carefully I inspect everything, there will be at least one lizard or tree frog coming along for the ride. Never fails.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wishful thinking

I brought this with me today and remembered to find my spare sewing glasses. Notice there's almost no stitching on this, just some hasty basting.

That's how it is and I remember it well.

Thankfully for Jake and Missy, Charlie is figuring out that sleeping through the night, or at least a good chunk of it, is the civilized way to go.

Of course, this means that while the sun is shining he's looking to interact with his world and me. Today we read aloud from John Sandford's latest crime novel, listened to a bunch of good music. No stitching.

Charlie flung a bunch of bodily fluids around, tried to eat a stuffed frog and worked hard at turning over. He  likes Ben Webster and Frank Sinatra. He's almost eleven weeks old and he is planning on stealing my earrings any day now. I better switch these hoops for posts.

These thoughts founded the day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

the odd day

Anyone taking selfies will tell you that you have to take more to get a good one as you get older. Looks like my phone camera has some kind of built in sensor to pop on a lovely filter when the person using it turns sixty-five. Or maybe I need to clean the lens.

We've been having monsoon like rain all day and it was somber inside and out today, but lightened by a visit from Jake,  and Colin returned home from being in NY for a week.

I spent the morning focusing on a dreaded editing/rewriting task - you may have heard the writing expression "kill your darlings"? Well, there was figurative blood all over the place this morning, but it was needful.

I did go over  and look in the river basket was too distracted to sit with the stitch today. restless. Having lost something.  Someone.

I just remembered. The very first birthday gift Jimmy every gave me was a sewing machine. Sear Kenmore Free-Arm. Innovative in its day and a workhorse for over twenty-five years. The man knew what I was all about.

Friday, October 10, 2014


A cloth sketch, not even a work in progress yet, just a little something to hang on to.

Charlie doesn't sleep all day anymore, but he is starting to nap pretty predictably.

Hands free time..maybe.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Course correction

Today was shaping up to be a rocky one, emotionally. They still come, unannounced. I have chosen to surrender from time to time, but nothing is accomplished, no purpose seems to be served. I prefer to be the architect of my own emotional state, thanks, so today I thought I'd try some cloth and stitch, put up my own sails. But you can't always get what you want.

Dumping out and restocking the river basket had to come first, fresh palette and all. I sat in the late day light in my winter stitching chair and started a new vigil cloth.  

Looks like it's been a year since I've started something that was non-functional. This is just a sketch for the moment, but that's where I always start. 

Congratulations to all the stalwarts who have been called to Quilt National...a hard row to hoe.