Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spontaneous colors

There's been a pile of cloth crusty with soda ash sitting on the deck for a few weeks.

Who knew that the soda ash would eat holes in the aluminum tub?

It was in the mid eighties by ten this morning so I pulled the colors out of hiding and called the dyefest to order.

I'm going to leave this lot out in the sun for the next day or so. A lot of other things are pressing...updates as they happen.

Friday, July 25, 2014

life's wheel

The Vigil Cloth   2013
Seth Says 2013

A friend I've never met is facing the end of her journey here.

A child I've yet to meet is getting ready to join life's party.

It's all so full that for once in my life I am without the right words and will just remain on full receive and pay close attention for the duration.

Monday, July 21, 2014

the first

Charlie's quilt finished out nicely. All done except for his name and birthday and my mark when the time comes.  A good thrashing in the washer and dryer and it already looks well loved.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

garden redux

It's been raining for most of three days here now and the local greenery is happy. I thought I'd be happy with a little weather enforced confinement, but I'm getting stir crazy.

The mailbox garden which was wiped out at it's peak back in the middle of May, has come back in a wild way. The flat of marigold that I put in just to cover the bare dirt has been overwhelmed by the seed started morning glories, nasturtiums, Lantana and this gorgeous sunflower. Wild and undisciplined. The way I like it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


These are things that make me smile. A new box of crayons, my floppy hat cause I got too much sun the other day and ten longhand pages to type up and build around.

We had a night of deep sleeping temperatures for the first time in ages last night after I got home from an evening with a different writing group. Different folks and slant. Nice bunch and luckily I won't have to choose between the two groups as they meet on opposite weeks.

I got my car back from the dealer this  morning prettier than it's been in years. Drove it to the park where I put in a fast mile and then drove the long way for some provisioning. That span of time gave me the bones of a scene that I have been sneaking up on..the Money Shot they call it in the film world.  Some pool time too.

Then I got an email from Bubbles reminding me that Fierce is expected at a show at the end of get back into it soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

it's all a dream

I got a disturbing email from the hosting company that I have been using since 2001.

They have suddenly discovered that I am violating terms of service by parking files on  their server that are not part of the website that they host for me. Funny. I thought I was renting the space on a monthly basis.

 Without prior notice they have relocated them to some other place that I have to access with some esoteric app and imaginary keys.

Many of these files are pictures of family and friends that I have scanned, all other manner of digital files...

A letter has been written. Hopefully, gracious action will be taken on their part.

Lesson...don't get to comfy with the web. Don't take it for granted. If something really matters to you, make sure you can hold it in your two hands.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


This is the view from my writing space these days.  We moved Jim's truck in preparation for some tree work at the back of the driveway.
I don't always get the little heart leap that I used to get when I saw it parked in the driveway as I made the turn onto our block: or if  I saw one like it on the highway where the white Ford F150 rules the road, at least here in Georgia.  It's more a touchstone now. I'm looking forward to driving it once it's ready, but there's no hurry.

Last Saturday, my car was damaged in a minor wreck and Monday I'll be handing it over to the repair shop - the other driver's insurance company is picking up the tab for the fix and a rental for me for the duration.  I really wanted a convertible, but couldn't talk Enterprise into bringing one up from the airport location for me.

Not much from me on the fiber front. Charlie's quilt is nearly finished and good thing too, the baby shower is today and there's another tomorrow.  Pictures when it's properly finished.  Mostly what I have been up to is  here 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Of two minds

I was in a bit of a tailspin through the month of June but I've pulled up and set my feet back on the path. Consider the alternatives.

The baby showers are bearing down on me so I kicked the quilt making into high gear. The hand work - nothing fancy, just some very utilitarian stitch-in-the-ditch, felt good. A mild mind altering drug.

 It puts me in a place of no think to the point that I have to double check where I am at every corner's turn. Don't want to wander off course on this one.

This is where the real high comes from. The writing space.  After a week of not writing (or doing much of anything but taking an extended  wallow in sorrow and self- pity)  I was asked to write a deposition for a custody case.

I was given the facts, the groundwork for the piece, and from there I swung for the fences and it looks like my words may have made the difference for the clients.

While I was writing it, I found myself in a place of strength and competence that I  had forgotten about and it felt good. Felt like high test juice. Felt like something I need to do every day like any good junkie.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


Summer, life, has left me frayed and unraveling and I have been unable to pick up the stitch.

Many friends have offered suggestions, all good, and I thank you all.

There will be time off for bad behavior.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

building some Love for Charlie

Once I got past selecting the fabrics I was happy that the groove was easy to find and Big J was in tune with the project after so much neglect.

Since this blanket is going to be used, washed and dried several times a week I'm only using the best commercial batiks and cotton broadcloths. Now to find something suitable for backing...                                                                  

 I find I'm looking forward to              hand quilting this one...nothing fancy. Just lines of love.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Moses and Jake 1986

I've been occupied with so many other things lately. Lost picture books being scanned, preserved. Walking, swimming, writing..anything other than picking up cloth and stitch. Is there an aversion there? I'm thinking maybe. I open the door to the studio and all I can see is the past. Nothing potential calls me.
Big changes? The summer weather? Who knows. It is what it is. No apologies here. Just Life.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

store update

I've added some larger pieces to the store. These are all vintage damasks (and some linen)  that have been hand dyed with Procion MX dyes using a combination of distribution techniques.

 This batch included coarse grain salt and some split peas. This piece and few others were also discharged.

see the rest here

Thursday, June 19, 2014

news from the burning dyedeck

Since my brain is still on vacation  (taking a few sick days too} I thought I'd take advantage of the heat today but it got the best of me in short order.
I needed to see some texture after all the pure color in the last group, so I found a box of clumped up salt and a bag of split peas to bring into the fray.

 There are a lot of vintage tablecloths and napkins awaiting transformation and every thing you see here will be available in the store  as I get them washed and dried, hung and shot...Sorry - there will be NO ironing!!  You'll have to discover how different this cloth looks once it's ironed for yourself!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

pending dyefest

Can it be cloth~?

Yes it is. My sister Kitty sent me a fat box of vintage table linen and it's in the washing machine right now shedding years of starch.

The weather is holding brutal hot here, perfect for getting the most out of the colors I already have on hand and some textures that I have been missing.

There's a lot of hurry up and wait during the dye process. I can keep myself occupied.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

father's day

Here's to the men in our lives who made the difference in who we all came to be.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

celebrating a life

Today would have been my Goodman's 59th birthday. He loved a party, but never for himself.  It's your turn now, baby.

 In the spirit of Having A Good Time I have to get busy with the preparations. Jimmy was a superb host on the rare occasions that we entertained. I usually just stood by and took orders. It's on me now so I better get back to work.  Updates next week.

Monday, June 09, 2014


" wants a room with no view so memory can dance with imagination in the dark."  
Annie Dillard

And if writing from inside the trunk of a car will get you a line like that, lock me in. I may write that on the inside of my left arm with a black Sharpie and pretend it's a tattoo.

After spending the entire day cleaning things that may have never been cleaned, I was sitting in my office wondering what to do with the piles of papers and books on the floor left behind when Colin took the spare chair downstairs to make the living room a little more livable.

I remembered this bookcase languishing at the back of a walk-in closet. It was heaped with stacks of clothes that are now headed back to Goodwill.  Not a whole lot easier to move empty, I could club the numbskull who decided to slap a coat of white paint over the beautiful maple. Someday I will fix that. Someday.

As you can see by the morning light, this is no windowless cell. If you can say anything about people based on what's on their bookshelves, well good luck to you. I'll bet you picked the real winner at Belmont yesterday too.

Friday, June 06, 2014


Heather at True Stitches wrote a post yesterday that got my attention. Greedy me, my take-away from a courageous and self revelatory post was

"...But the pleasure and solace of stitching endured, and nurtured my soul, and grew to become something where I could lose myself and find myself again."

 .... losing oneself to the cloth. It's not exactly what I'm looking for but I have to find a balance for my creative energy.

Writing fiction, the way I do it anyway, will turn you into a full blown zombie.
 I have to go there and be with these people, and live in their world in order to bring the words back alive.  It becomes all consuming and probably not healthy.

 The pleasure of tramping the park trails is not about the benefits of the physical activity. It's nice, but it's getting awful damn hot in Georgia for this Yankee. My real payoff is the fistful of notes that I come back with each time I go out, deliberately with a blank slate for a brain.

I was only half mile out on the Spur today,  leaning on a railing and scribbling on a piece of paper when this Lycra clad hussy blew by me in a cloud of something eye-wateringly sweet and said over her shoulder "That's not burning any calories, hon."

All I can say is that it's a good fucking thing she wasn't on a loop to pass me coming back the other way. I'm not usually lost for words, unless I'm lost in them, otherwise I'd be writing you from the back of a patrol car.

 As soon as I can, I'm going to make some order into the studio and turn my attention to the larger unfinished pieces, Blue Horse here pinned up over Fierce. For now,  I'll let them watch me.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

In the Clutch

For those who knew us...this is Wedding, Day Two.  No kidding!
Maybe that's what it really takes to get a good long run.

All the kindness that flowed from all over the world yesterday was deeply appreciated. How does one not celebrate? I even bought myself marked down flowers from the grocery store. Jimmy would have been proud of the deal I got on a dozen perfectly matured roses and a mixed bouquet. I had flowers all the time. I will continue having flowers.

No eye candy today - we at House of Lacativa are officially under the gun with one week to go before welcoming out of town guests. Where is Martha Stewart when you need her?

Since last December it's gone from bad to worse around here. There's no denying that Jim was a pack rat and a collector, Colin remains an outright hoarder and I simply acquire raw materials.  Those are hard things to change overnight, but the delivery of a 12 yard Dumpster the other day will be a big step.

I'll be missing from here until the 15th if I'm smart.

I know that having company is good and partying is even better, but it's HELLA stressful.  I miss my chef and master party planner.

Monday, June 02, 2014

June (sigh)

...and so begins our celebration month, forever changed.

Today is Jake's birthday. In a few more days,  what would have been our thirty-eighth wedding anniversary, then  Jim's birthday, Father's Day and Colin's birthday at the end of the month.  I'm gonna have to work hard at this one. One day at a time.

Jimmy would be particularly proud of how Jake has stepped up to being a good man, a good husband, and soon, a good father.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

off roading

I got a little bored with my trek yesterday morning and took an unmarked cutoff through the woods. (cue the scary music)

after a quarter mile or so, what I had hoped was the rough sketch for a new trail back to the park turned into what could easily be the setting for any Zombie movie.

I was well into this zone before I realized that I was alone on the darkside of the moon. I didn't investigate anything here more closely: I didn't really want to know what might be lurking so I pressed on,  picked up the raw trail on the other side of the desolation zone and made my way back to the park only mildly freaked out. Next time, I'll bring a film crew.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Shop update

There's a new batch of hand dyed threads in the store.

It's all I have time for right now...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Le mot juste

Yesterday was full of blessings.

A big item came off my "to do, or get done" know the kind of checklist that rides around on your shoulder like a poorly trained monkey, picking at your hair and harassing strangers in public. Thanks to both my sons.
Then the mail brought reminders that, although I have cut myself off from the world at large for big chunks of the day, there are  people who think about me and the caring comes through.

I am deeply grateful for all of you.

The mail brought gifts! There was a box of very precious vintage linens and another with inspirational art and seeds to help my poor bedraggled garden.  Thank you N & D.

The translation of the title of this post is "the exact right word or phrasing". Of course, right is  always a matter of opinion, but the only one I'm counting now is my own.  I'm finding that, although there is nothing instinctual about writing fiction the way I used to work in cloth and thread, finding those right words is even more compelling.

My only complaint is, that like working on a piece for Quilt National,  not much can be revealed before the piece is not only finished but juried in.

The process of picking and choosing those right words reminds me of the many times I spent hours stitching away or embellishing something only to take a step back and a hard look and then pick it all out and start over.

You all know what that's like, but I get to do it now without pictures.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


 I'm well pleased with the results. Now I have to sit with scissors and reduce all of these half shirts to small squares which I will machine sew together but hand quilt it overall.

This will have to be one of those projects that I do while something else is going on. Multitasking has been my middle name ever since I was indoctrinated into the cult by Ma Bell back when I first started working as an operator. Back then, if you weren't doing at least four things at once, they figured they weren't getting their money's worth out of you.

I've let go of that idea in recent months trying to cultivate focused concentration, but for the next couple of weeks I'm going to have to grow another set of arms for the project coming up next. Once these are cut up, I'll have to back burner them for a little while.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

now for a beach

I reassembled most of that denim backing this time and little or no overlap. I can lift it with one arm!

 If I can find something I like in the stash that's light enough and large enough I'll face it just for the sake of tidy.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

change, forced

I get pretty preoccupied with this tiny little garden in the spring. It's the only spot on our heavily shaded property that gets full sun all day.  Looking at this picture I'm wondering if I put on this show so folks won't look down the driveway at the mess I call Tobacco Road.  There's not a whole lot of gardening skill going on here. Over the years I've learned which plants flourish here with the least effort on my part, plus the contributions of the dogs in the neighborhood.

For any of you with even a nodding acquaintance with the Tarot will recognize the implied message of the Tower.

 I pulled this one in a one card draw, looked at it, shuddered and ducked the card. One more 'food for thought' that day and I might have choked and barfed. Not that anyone can avoid some situations, but taking the long look, the lessons in the moment are something to be considered.

I asked Colin to take the picture at the top of this post because the peonies were peaking..ready to explode, and a heavy thunderstorm was coming. Less than a half hour later, a small car beat the thunderstorm to the garden most thoroughly. I'm only glad that no one was hurt and a new garden (and perspective) is underway