Sunday, February 18, 2018

a soft day

Warm and soft, windows and doors open this morning while I talk with family in NY about their half a foot of fresh snow.

I finally got a chance to use some of my own dirty thread. It does make me edgy to think that I only have one skein like this. Planning on making a big batch when I'm at FOF18 at the ACA in New Smryna Beach, FL in April.

I stitched while I waited for my lunch date. He's getting to be quite a conversationalist.

He's fond of large plastic eggs. Filling them with whatever small treasures. Hiding them, discovering and opening them as if they appeared spontaneously.

I asked him, "What's in this one?" ( the same one he's been playing with for an hour)

He replied, "It's a mystery!"

Saturday, February 17, 2018


After days and days of cold and drear, the sun stopped by for tea. I opened all the doors and windows and turned off the furnace.

This was about 4pm in my living room. I hated to go.

Intention of line

Lines that define space, lead the eye, or both. Cloth and words.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

blue Valentine

because someone asked, I made up a handful of fat baggies that are mostly blue.

as of this post, there are four left and one full-color campfire.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

on the mend

And while I stitched, Charlie worked at catching up on the sleep he lost last night as he battled the flu.

A mild case of type A, he was fever free for this day.


Reassing lines and transitions.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

stalls, stops & starts

Somewhere on the web today someone spread around a bunch of Kandinsky and my brain lost any organization as I wallowed in the colors and shapes.

This called to me from the UFO shelf in the closet. Time for finishing. 
A lot of things need finishing - resolution. 


Friday, February 09, 2018

crass commercialism Friday

Ordered a Fat Baggy yesterday? It will be on it's way to you in a couple of hours! Good excuse to drag my ass out of the house.

I pulled four different tubs to pick this lot. Stuff I haven't laid eyes on in years.

I put on some good music (I've been on an Alan Parsons Project, Steely Dan, Grateful Dead tear lately, with a healthy dash of Motown) pick up a piece and chop it into nine pieces, not hard logistically, whether by ripping or cutting. Then I sort them out into nine piles. Eight for sale and, you guessed it, one for me. One of these days I'll just bust out my own hoard and let those go too.

(T. I made up two very different ones for your double order. There should be little to no duplication.)

Thursday, February 08, 2018


Beautiful fruit from Chile has started turning up in the grocery stores.

I will have to hide this from her because she will knock it off the table, fang it a bit and leave it.

Like Jude said, Words have worn thin. So I'll have to keep my eyes open for pictures.

I love seeing what other people are doing with my Dirty Threads.

Tomorrow, I'll be making up a bunch of orders for of that will happen.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

rainy day mending

A good place to start when creative needlework is out of reach. Fix, repair, replace. In this case, one of my Dixie minks has a hole over the pocket. Not sure I like that purple. To be continued.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Dirty threads

I kept the best for myself, but it's time to plan for more.      April seems a long way off.

What have you done with your dirty threads?

Sunday, January 28, 2018


Just seeing if the fingers remember. I have a few spools of metallic thread that I could never get the Janome to like. Not the best for handwork, but they slow me down, which is good.

I'm a bit burned out right now, writing-wise. They say that happens when you are coming up to the end and realize that you have to start from the beginning with a new set of eyes, a different mindset, and really sharp knife.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


So amazed at his skills.

The old steps at the front entrance were beyond decrepit. Nerve-wracking and treacherous. While I spent the day with Charlie, Colin made this happen. I love the smell of fresh-cut wood but I guess this will have to be stained or painted.

The little extra width on each step will be home to my shade loving houseplants when the weather comes to its senses.

Now what to do with the trashed out gardens on either side of the walkway. We sawed the evil holly bushes off at the root.  One project at a time...

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

the habit wanes

because, this...(from last May)

It's very easy to let this habit of reporting slip away when nothing creatively shareable is going on. Writing is like that. Raw first drafts are hard enough to share with other writers in small groups. You are lucky if you can find crit partners who will be both straight with you
I've bored the cat.
and instructive. I've recently been that lucky and have been giving most of my free time over to the first draft, which is morphing into its first major revision.

Stitchers, imagine, if you will, a piece you've labored on, mostly in secret (shades of Quilt National!) - an epic piece, say 8 feet by 22 feet - that's right, I said FEET, not inches.  And so the powers that be have let you know that No Way will it ever see the light of day in that form and you have to make a triptych out of it. Somehow hacking it into hangable pieces.

At first, the rebel in me said, "Fuck you and your pony!" but after looking at this steaming pile of  222+k of words for a while, I think I've found a way to serve both the muse and the commercial masters, namely, publishers. Only time and a whole lot more writing and rewriting will tell.

Update. Nope. Can't chop it up. Last word count, 229,745.  I'm looking for beta readers.
 If you think you might be interested send an email.      deborah*at*

Monday, January 15, 2018

a vanished week

That was the week that was, but it's Charlie Monday still. No going out in this crappy cold and I don't want to be too far from any facilities. He's working hard at this toilet training thing.

He's also completely fed up with having his picture taken. 

Nothing fibrous going on other than yesterday I packed some cloth up to travel. None of what I was handling spoke to me much.

The weekend was spent at a micro-retreat for a local writers group. We wrote, we ate, we kvetched. Like that.

I bumped up against the idea that the scene I've been having trouble with has only been giving me trouble because it's done and it's close enough to the end to warrant some fireworks, but they are coming up very soon.

Sunday, January 07, 2018


Like most everyone I know, winter of the body and the soul continues. Part of me says, "Hey, Yankee, it's only the beginning of January. Suck it up!"  All we have had here in this part of Georgia is cold temperatures.

It's been colder and we've done it without central heat. It's the soul cold that I'm feeling today.

At night, between callers, I've been mindlessly using up the rest of the mystery string. I was thinking about a different configuration, something that hangs with a hole on the side so that birds might make nests.  There are also a half dozen new potholders at work down in the kitchen. Same fiber, same outsized gauge. For scale, that is the large spool of Sulky cotton.

And these are my rescues from Kroger.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

the Mystery in the History

There is a mystery in the history of each piece of old cloth. What was it intended for and what actually happened to it. Who was the maker? Who was the user?

So many questions to conjure the answers for. I'll be making stuff up because that's what I do-from whole cloth and dreams. The research will be minimal, imagination to the max.

In the coming year, I'm going to be attempting to bring some of each to the page and with my hands, put some of it into something new with the old cloth.

I've brought them halfway home with the color and I'm feeling responsible for these wayward children.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

the next day

Christmas was all he hoped for and more!
We gathered over brunch, exchanged small gifts and mostly just watched his delight in getting "Just what I wanted!"

I got to come home to a warm house and a productive afternoon and evening in reflective solitude. I gave me the gift of several hours of focused writing with zero distractions.

Like a lot of creatives, I kid myself that I work best with something in the background. It may be ok while roughing things out, first layouts, designing, first drafts, but when it comes to the hard work- revision- I have to be fully present to hear the errors echoing in my head. Hear them, call them out for the shitbirds they are, and kill them, even if it hurts.

So often, with old TV shows or music in the background giving me that creative white noise, I spent hours positioning and pinning bits and pieces of color until there was just nowhere else to move.

Then, with "The Sopranos" or "You've Got Mail" playing across the room, I'd move on to basting obsessively, and even hand-stitching until, hours and materials wasted, another UFO is born.

Not this time.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Glad Tidings!!

Big Best News - GRACE FOREST arrived safely with Tazmena, Tay and goats intact at Oroville California (letter dated 12.16) and she'd been there a week. She won't be on the web for a while and the phone is iffy, but she's happy and it's beautiful!!!....thanks, Michelle!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

the wormhole

I can't even claim to have fallen into the wormhole of holiday preparations. We have a tree, but it's still leaning up against the wall in a corning of the living room. No lights, no wreath, no cards in the mail. There have been some self-congratulations on finding something that will delight Charlie for a long time to come. A few culinary plans for Christmas day. But beyond that, my mood has not been quite "bah humbug". More like "meh".

Like many of you, I've been pouncing on my mailman anxiously awaiting news of Grace from California. Going through the mechanics of tracking someone down with not a lot of information. 

I just finished making up nine Fat Baggies of scraps dug deep from ancient tubs on high shelves. Old cloth, pure colors, many textures. Now that you've taken care of everyone else, they won't get there for Christmas, but what's a bad day when cloth arrives in the mail?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Father & Son

I think if it wasn't for Charlie, we might not have done this.

Jimmy would approve.

The story behind this picture.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

seasonal shenanigans

this was the strange light that greeted me this morning. wonderland.

Not your everyday thing in Georgia!

Surprise guests arrived.   Charlie's first real snow experience.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Don't think. Jump.

There he is, making me crazy. When I first went out, the clouds were ranging all over. I took the cards out with me. As I fanned the deck out of the box, a big round gap opened up and the clouds froze as if the moon didn't want to be interfered with while it was smiling at me.

After each card was exposed to its light, I turned the deck over and touched them blindly, trying to find the one that mattered in this moment. Once, twice, five times, I chose a card, but let it one slip back into the deck. Finally, I took courage, pulled one, and held it up for the moon to see first. All my questions were answered. It was the beloved Fool.

"The Fool almost always stands for new beginnings, new experiences and new choices; the first steps along a new path and the first words written onto a blank page. Like the Aces of the Minor Arcana, such beginnings are like the Fool himself - neither positive nor negative, but with the potential to turn into either, depending on the choices you make and the path you follow. But this must not be your concern, because when a journey begins no one can know (or should know) what will happen on the way to the destination. Never let another person control your life. Live in the present and trust in your own abilities - this is the way of the Fool.
Such journeys always imply a degree of risk, and hence the Fool is pictured walking toward the edge of a high cliff. With any new experience, there is always the risk of failure and the certainty of change; it is the degree of change, and how that change will appear, that is undeterminable. But the Fool has no qualms about taking chances, so why should you? It is through the first steps that we learn how to walk, and it is through changes that we learn how to live our lives in harmony and peace. So jump head first into the abyss of the unknown, and know that even if you eventually fall to the ground, for a while you will soar. -James Rioux

Saturday, December 02, 2017

the work

Perfect weather/light for shooting textiles outdoors yesterday. I've always preferred natural light, but overcast is better than strong sunlight, which causes hard shadows.

I took the batch that came home from the Fierce Fibers show to the park with the intention of laying them on the sloping concrete features of the new skate park. Silly me. It was swarming with skateboarders, so I just flung the pieces between my feet and fired away.

Later tonight, I'll do the drudgery of finding links to the provenance of each piece and posting dimensions and prices. They are all available.

to the Work

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

sea changes

Before I turn into Jabba the Hutt, I've put my feet back on the turtle trail at the park. No turtles to read to these days, they've all gone into the mud for the winter, but I did pull up at this sunny station and get a bunch of handwritten pages done on a problem that I've been avoiding.

Now to boil down mad ravings into something useful. And lookee here, a whole 1188 steps yesterday, if the gadget on the phone is to be believed. By (typical) comparison today, it said 181 steps, but I don't carry the bloody thing around with me while I'm in the house so who knows.

 there was a little retail therapy that included replacement reading glasses and tired eyes eyedrops and, counterintuitively...the makings of homemade socks because I can't find any that I like.

Now I have to learn a new trick.

On the home front, a year ago I wrote that dialogue with Charlie was 95% geeba-geeba and 5% perfectly enunciated words including four-letter epithets. A year later and he asked me for a stand-up routine of jokes to consider whilst seated on his little plastic throne. He wanted to tell me a joke, but he couldn't quite pull the trigger. He will, and soon.  Then we had a lively game of I Spy and after a few rounds, he understood that the object was to not change his pick to suit my guess. Fun begins....

Sunday, November 26, 2017

personal archaeology

Included with some things my sibs held aside for me when Mom passed. From back when making and sending fiber postcards was a thing. Feels near victorian.