Wednesday, May 24, 2017


The day started well enough. Coffee with an insistent kitty. Stop petting her and suffer the hooks.
The view of the pool that soothes and encourages me even if it's too cold to get in and clean yet and there is a tree looming over it threatening destruction that I have to have professionally removed as soon as possible, but I can't afford to sell a kidney.

And an hour of stitching on these dancing devils that I have been fooling with since forever. Someday I'll call this one done. Not today.
I went to the park to walk and stretch my miserable aching hips. Saw monsters from the deep in the turtle pond. That's another story.

Then just after I got home, things took a bad turn for some too close by neighbors. An eviction, heartbreaking enough, turned violent when shots were fired.

Before you know it, SWAT had the neighborhood locked down and all I could do was watch from the studio window. Although the house is two down and one over, I hardly know the people. No children, thank goodness. Snipers in camouflage were posted up and down the block and if you poked your head out the door you were warned back inside. Bull horn pleas to surrender went unheeded. Armed robots rolled up and down the block. Concussion grenades went off repeatedly. I watched and waited here alone. with cats. He surrendered a few minutes ago.

 No one was harmed.
my front yard

Thursday, May 18, 2017

the habit

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 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.
my peonies have bloomed and gone!

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 whole lot more writing and rewriting will tell.

In the meantime - Life!  All these wonderful things and more.
Charlie and I steal his Dad's car and go the park and Publix for lunch!

I don't know what I would do without him, the Pollywog Savior of L'ville.

Partners in crime.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


Packed up four very tasty fat baggies just now including chunks and bits of some of the recent dye+soy wax experiments and more from my personal stash.

They will go fast! As ever, first come, first served but rest assured - there is no shortage of fabulous hand dyed cloth in the House of Lacativa.

It's going to hit 80 today with a stretch of the same weather promised for the coming week. I'm anxious to get started on some texture work - buggy oatmeal and rice, so huge-grained rock salt and even beach sand as dye carriers - but first I have to evict and relocate a couple thousand tadpoles from our pool. It was hot times at Froggy Club Med this year!

ps- Karen....I just got you email and am walking out the door to the PO with your fat baggie.!

Thursday, May 04, 2017

heart felt

Thanks to Jude for reminding me of the shape of my hearts. My heart has been pinched up a lot by the world lately and I need to make some fences.

There are a few to finish and some not yet made, but going forward, the messages will be my words from the book I've been writing.

"It's the heart that makes the heat."

color salvage

It's so shitty and cold out, 65 degrees and raining.  I've dug my heavy cotton sweater out of the closet. Didn't think I'd get to wear it again until winter. Yesterday we were running the AC, I will not put the heat on.

To combat the dreariness, the shitty news from Washington, and to keep from going back to bed, I decided to follow through on transforming this Vera Bradley bookbag
my sister sent me earlier this year - amazingly useful, with a myriad of sections and compartments, but hideous. I was going to just plunge it into one color, dark gold maybe, and overdye the whole thing, but I got industrious and found my paintbrushes. It's in the washing machine right now...I'll post the finish pictures tomorrow when it's dry.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

soy wax frenzy

You know how it is when inspiration strikes. Common sense, experience, and even safety get left in the dust.

Well, I didn't damage myself or anything else so far today. Give me a minute, it's only 1:19.  Checking glove failure even!

This scrap has been floating around the studio and this morning it got to me. I've been a two-week long total immersion getting ready for a competition - a writing thing, but you textilians all know about getting a last-minute, down-to-the-wire entry finished, shot and shipped.

This was pretty much the same thing. That last minute heart-lurch before you hit the send key, wondering if there was something you forgot or screwed up and so kiss your entry fee goodbye.      

So, by way of recovery, I dipped into the stash of white goods that has been hanging around so patiently and set up shop in the kitchen. It's muggy and overcast out and didn't want to waste any personal energy on fighting the elements. (AC has ruined me.)

I layered the cloth right on my kitchen table, trusting there were enough layers to catch the soywax as it steamed it's way on down to the wood.  Anyway, a light skin of soywax on pine feels a lot like bacon grease. It'll work it's way out over time.

I started with the Raven, but it had a bluish cast under my white light and I over-warmed it, I think. Won't know til everything has been washed and dried. I forgot what a monumental pain in the ass soywax work was.

My hot water is blistering, but it still takes three or four washes on the more dense cloth. I won't trust the machine with this, it all has to be done by hand.  My mind keeps coming back to my biggest fail, especially since the author of the drawing tool took down his website. So far, I can't find Scribbler anywhere else. I sincerely hope he got a really good price for it.

 I'm out of personal gas now and I have to nap before the day job so the rest of the baker's dozen piece down in the sink are going to get a good long steep in the color. I just had to see how the black turned out. greedy I am.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

fat baggies

Picking from these tubs all week. If you ordered since Sunday, your order will ship tomorrow.

Some great stuff, I might add!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

breathing color

You would think the dyefest would be underway by now. It just hasn't been hot enough. All revved up and nowhere to go....

Saturday, April 22, 2017


These were from the marked down cart at the grocery store. touched with today's sunrise. They may only have a few days of glory left, but I will appreciate each minute.

Same day I rescued a half dozen snapdragons and a gorgeous Boston fern from the "less than perfect, less than half price" aisle at the big box store. I'm really glad that people are stupid this way.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Several times I've picked this piece up and couldn't find what I wanted to do next. Generally, that means, done. finished. I need to back it, square it up and set it free.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


mostly because I had housework to NOT do.

This is post wash, rinse and dried in the sun. Gives me a good idea of what it in the jar, no matter how it thinks it looks. Some need doctoring but I rarely use them straight anyway. The black, Raven, by Dharma, is rich and promising.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

a new stitcher

Spent the day with Charlie again. As ever, he was intrigued with whatever I was putting my hand to. After we got back from our maiden voyage to the park, he gobbled his lunch and napped.

I was working on this when he got up and he was full of questions and anxious to get "hands on". First, I showed him that needles were sharp. With some healthy respect for the tool, I let him pull the needle and thread, setting the stitch. He understands 'slow and gentle' and the thread behaved. After a few stitches, he was content with playing with the spools of thread. I just remembered that these are the same hoops that my grandma Nell put in my hands when I was four or five.

I need to find out about making sage smudges before this plant takes over the pot

Sunday, April 09, 2017

some Sunday stitch

Once the trees in the front yard leaf out, I won't have this morning light from the east. For now, there's an hour, give or take. I take it when I can.

Until we give it thought, heart and soul, it's just so much cloth and thread.

Time passes, the cloth speaks and stories take shape.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Cusspots explained

 The name "cusspot" came to me out of the blue (like all my titles do) when I was thinking about how to name these little containers that I started crocheting at work rather compulsively. When I made the first one, I put it on my desk and put a few coins inside with the notion that the nickel and three pennies might breed like hangars in the closet tend to. Didn't happen.

Then I remembered how some offices and families have a Swear Jar that you have to put money into if you swear out loud, as a kind of punishment or deterrent to bad language. Where I grew up you got five upside the eyes for anything past "Hell" or "Damn" (and those got you the very evil eye). Of course, we swore like sailors when the parents were not within earshot.

I swear a LOT on my job, violently and elaborately, but inside my head, at my customers. I curse them all, need it or not. It keeps me from burnout. My little crocheted container would never hold a day's worth of swearing fines, they were not big enough to be real Swear Jars, they were merely CUSSPOTS.

I started poking thread ends into it instead of letting the bits fall where ever and getting more evil eyes from the vacuum cleaner guy late in the evening. The threads stuck to the office carpet like crazy and he had to spend extra NOISY ANGRY minutes around my desk once a week. In the spring, I pulled all the thread bits out and left them in the shrubs around the office for birds to make nests with.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

the waitlings

That snowdrift is just part of the cloth that I will be dying this season.

The package from Dharma arrived today with the rest of the colors. I forgot to buy urea, but in all honestly, I never use it anyway.

The deck itself is awash in storm trash from yesterday and winter long neglect. The lunatics at the weather bureau indicate that the temps will be in the 80s all next week. It could happen.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

for immediate rehoming

"Firefly Cotillion"  2010

That "immediate rehoming" is an amusing euphemism for "Buy Me Now". Until I can come up with something better, it will do.

This piece is hand dyed vintage cottons, damasks, some commercial prints, the base a Japanese import - all gifts or magical finds. It's hand stitched and embroidered and permanently mounted to a 16x20 canvas, ready to be framed or hung as is. You can click through for a larger image.

  $150.00 includes flat UPS shipping to anyone in the US. International customers, I'll have to get you a price. Please email me  if you are interested. 

I'm in the serious process of clearing out the studio. After a week here, I'll be moving posts like this to the Buy Art! It's Good For You page.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

time tripping

A new reader to my blog is working her way through the years and the statcounter notifies me.

This germ of an idea from November, 2010 eventually became the launching pad for this late in 2012/

angels watch

We had a powerful storm the night before last. I was working (the day job) in the studio at and called my supervisor to tell her that I was going offline until the storm passed.

The lightning, wind and thunder seemed to be right on top of us. I could barely hear the callers and was pretty uncomfortable being tethered to something with power running through it. I never heard this happening behind the house.

So, the tree guy was here yesterday and we both stood a long time being amazed at how very lucky the House of Lacativa was.  He calculated that, yes if that tree (those two trunks come from one huge base) had fallen toward the house it would have taken the pool, the deck and, depending on the angle, me in my bed.

As things lean now, they pose no hazard and would cost thousands to be removed. There are two remaining that have to be taken down as soon as $800 materializes from thin air. Deep and profound gratitude keeps me going.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

the rainbow plunge continued

I'm so glad I kept this as a record of last years colors - not that I wrote anything down, of course. I'll be taking a different heading when the mixmagik starts in the coming days. We've had one or two warmish days but nothing close to what's needed for optimum results. I've waited this long...

the OG RBF

I had to ask the spawn to translate his title suggestion.

"Original Gansta Resting Bitch Face"

Yes, that's exactly how it was.
1967. The photographer and a few of my female classmates who, moments before had been giving me grief about not wearing makeup, were going to great lengths to make me smile.

They couldn't pay me enough.

All I could think of was, "This shit is nearly over"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

taking the rainbow plunge

Raven, Daffodil, Tangerine, Pagoda Red, Rasberry, Grape, Peacock, Bronze, Silk Black, Golden Yellow, Scarlet, Turquoise, Curry, Nickle, and Avocado.

Jelly jars await you!

Friday, March 24, 2017

fridays off

It was perfect weather for stitching outside this afternoon. Light bright, but not hot. Breezes just a kiss. No phone and a little good music. Felt like a celebration. (in the harsh light of the next morning - this is avoidance activity. My house is a mess, day to day housework behind, the outside stuff hanging fire and there is now a huge gap in the novel where I've ripped out a big, complex scene.  Today, sitting and stitching feels like gorging on chocolate. but I'm an addict, so......

Thursday, March 23, 2017

elements become story

"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.

I should back this one. Finish it finally.

See the whole piece here

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Charlie yesterday

Don't let this picture of domestic tranquility fool you. Charlie had a stomach virus over the weekend and was still feeling it a bit on Monday.

I honestly don't recall either Colin or Jake being "terrible twos" except one or two outbursts in public places - I walked off and left them to it, groveling on the floor of the grocery store, but those were simpler times - but Charlie is working on perfecting his act. At one point I had to walk into the next room because I didn't want to laugh in his little face.

You can almost see the little wheels turning when he pitches a fit when he's denied some unreasonable request. If I could conjure bananas from thin air, my darling I would and if I did, I'm fairly positive you would then refuse to eat them!!  This too, shall pass.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

conjuring thread

I can't use it straight from the spool. Blending two, three, even four depending on what stitch and where it's going.

Metallics are always troublesome, but worth it.

A long time ago I bought a kit with a drop spindle and some tufts of raw cotton and wool. The spindle got broken on the flight home.  Probably divine intervention.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

holding stitch for now

Family and friends in the northeast are experiencing blizzard conditions and I feel for them.

It's cold and raw here in Georgia. I know that if I curl up in the sewing chair with this right now, I'll likely nod off.

It's been a busy, productive day already and work in the Whine Mines looms at 4pm.

 I surrender to the Goddess Nap.

and these below, from yesterday, a great Charlie Monday.