Saturday, May 28, 2016


You can clearly see the difference between the wet and dry cloth when you look at the header. Me? I like loud. I know others, not so much. So, there's something here for everyone.

This latest batch makes me wish I could take a two-week vacation from the day-job (what doesn't?) so I could work out this thread of hue, tone and texture, but I'm well aware of the serendipitous nature of my process.

I'm inclined to want stronger, louder colors so you know where the next batch is  headed, whenever that gets to happen. MORE COWBELL!

 I've taken a few for myself. Another small group has been assigned for further development. The rest will be for sale, either in whole pieces or in small parts as part of the ongoing Fat Baggy campaign.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Stars so far

this group is turning out to be very special. Only a few decanted so far. The rest will hatch out later today. I'm going to be taking reprographs of some of these before they get used or sold. Also, thinking about selling some whole. Much more later.

They are all in the washing machine right feels like Christmas eve.
I expect a loss of intensity, but I'm one of the few artists I know that will use colors as intense and rowdy as the one in my header above.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

quick & dirty

We all know about wet pictures. Still....

This one is staying with me even if it loses a step after the wash, which I don't think it will. This is that Irish double damask, 42x36 give or take a bit. I think this is going to be my personal Freak Flag!

lying in wait

And wait they will. I'm so done now and won't have time to open these bundles until. Late Friday or Saturday. We chill and poach.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

the Haul

It's finally coming 'round to hot enough for dyeing here in Georgia after a long spell of wet and chilly. I went to Goodwill this morning to drop off a set of frilly curtains that I've been saddled with for a while. Never went inside! Such willpower. Then I saw the 20% everything sign on the antique/consignment depot that's right next door.

There WILL be a new dye session tomorrow and it's gonna be HOT!

Buggy Oatmeal, Soggy Cheerios and Rice of Questionable Age will be shouldering the color. I'll remix and recalibrate the colors away from the previous sessions. The recipients of all this glory?  A half ACRE of premium, heavy-weight muslin from India, complete with yards of cotton stitched eyelet lace and another acre of superb double damask from Ireland. The latter has been professionally laundered and ironed to death, poor thing. I can barely make out the pattern but the cloth is rich and thick and will drink up the color.

Friday, May 20, 2016

no chimes

I took a fat handful of cloth from my private stash in the river basket late Wednesday night without really looking at the contents. Stuffed everything in a gallon Ziploc bag and took it with me to spend the day with Charlie.

No needles, pins or threads. Just planned on looking. We sat on the floor in the sunlight and dumped the baggie out onto the carpet.

He was happy to help. He folds. Sort of.

I remain uninspired. Tomorrow, early I'll empty the bag back into the river basket in the studios morning light. See if anything speaks up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Got cloth?

freckles, speckles, splashes, soy resists and so much more..this is the stash that I'm picking fat baggies from and there are two other baskets not in the shot!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Charlie Monday

 I had mixed feelings about this picture, but there's  just no denying that Charlie will be using technology in ways we never dreamed of.

He's so good at it too. The ease and accuracy when he pecks and swipes at the screen is eerie. We've agreed to limit his e-time and I've come up with the sneaky trick of letting him use my tablet only when I know the battery is about 15% or less. When the low battery message pops up he says "Uh-oh!" and when it shuts down he knows that the tablet is tired and has to take a nap. No fuss, no crying.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

hot stuff

There's a double armload of cloth from the most recent dye-fest in my stitching chair. You can open this image in another table to see the variety of textures underlying all those freckles. Some of those troublesome batiks are there too, now that I've made them presentable to the public

I've picked what I wanted, and a few other pieces have gone off to other artist's studios.

The rest will get churned into the blend over at Random Acts of Dyeness. If you want a bundle that is ONLY freckles and batiks, let me know asap. There's not a ton to go around.

PS - Arlee. The black bits have to qualify as failed. The blue-gray you see here was as strong as they stayed. Dye age? Perhaps. Operator error? More likely.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Inspirational 10

I am so honored to be included in this special issue celebrating the amazing online resource,   John Hopper's Textile Blog

My association with John reaches back to an article he wrote about my work back in  2009 after accidentally finding it online. Seems like I started something for him that's taken on a grand life of its own.

When he asked me to participate I threw a slew of images at him and he chose my four secret favorites. The man has a magical eye.

"Just to let you know that Inspirational 10 is now on sale. This issue is a little different from the other Inspirationals as I have taken the opportunity of celebrating 8 years of The Textile Blog. In that 8 years, I have been able to feature a whole range of contemporary artists, and I thought that it would be a great idea to be able to revisit them through the context of Inspirational. Therefore, 45 artists have been brought together for Inspirational 10, all showing a selection of new work, as well as a summary of where they are presently on their creative path. Not much writing from me in this issue, apart from an introductory, I have left the artists and their work to speak for themselves."

The names of those other artists dazzle and humble me.

Lisa Hochstein, Valerie Goodwin, Cathy Kleeman, Peggy Brown, Nelda Warkentin, Cynthia Corbin, Carol Taylor, Altoon Sultan, Gerrie Congdon, Pat Dolan, Denise Linet, Helene Davis, Pat Pauly, Deborah Gregory, Ellin Larimer, Wen Redmond, Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Brenda Smith, Domine Nash, Linda McCurry, Erin Wilson, Nancy Clearwater Herman, Diane Savona, India Flint, Rayna Gillman, Jette Clover, Marlene Cohen, Judith Plotner, Karen Stiehl Osborn, Jeanne Raffer Beck, Clare Plug, Andrea Vail, Mitchell Manuel, Stanley Bulbach, Martin Ebrey, Kirsty Wallace, Anthony Stevens, Dennis Potter, Barbara Tomecak, Mary Mazziotti, David Lasry, Roxanne Lasky, Giulia Gazza, Jennifer Gaye

Monday, May 09, 2016

Charlie Monday 5.9.16

For a lot of reasons, I've decided to stop posting Charlie Monday to FB. It's really stinking up the internet these days, so I'm bringing it all back home here.

Charlie was happy to participate in my impromptu game of pick-up sticks, but the question in his eyes was, "If I'm not supposed to put these in my mouth, nose or ears, why?"

These were taken the day before Jake and Colin accidentally killed a large copperhead not fifty feet away from this spot. There's a good reason that I always walk around with my eyes to the ground.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's Day

Me and my Mom. I was the first of a swarm so there are very few pictures of just the two of us.

As I looked through my own extensive collection of photographs I wondered why there were so few pictures of me with my own when they were babies. Everyone else had them it seemed.

Then I remembered what every nursing mother knows. You are wearing the kid like a corsage for most of your waking (what sleeping?) hours so when someone else shows up you say, "Here. Hold this for a minute." and you take the pictures.

1980 with Colin

1986 with Jake

some early returns.

Couldn't resist some early returns. On the left, a dry damask napkin. Center, a woven cotton sleeve still wet. On the right, some very kinky, fluffy cotton gauze also dry.  Below, detail from the center piece. I think the black will stay strong even when it dries. It's that kind of cotton. Grabby.

Mother's day on the burning dye deck

It's hot and breezy and we're in high gear here at the Lawrenceville Frankenstein Dyeworx.

It's texture time so the buggy oatmeal was dug out from the depths of the pantry and the Magik is underway.

There were cottons, linens, silks and damasks in the sauce after the great dismemberment (several skirts, blouses, and coats work taken apart rather roughly) .

Alas, the day job beckons and a nap is a must so the great reveal will have to wait until tomorrow. All this stuff can just poach out here without my help.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


Looking around the studio, I realize that's what I've been doing by not finishing, marketing or advertising these pieces. I've been over-invested emotionally in the whole black and white series and just don't want to really let go.

This little one, Karma VI,  in particular, the last of the series. Looking at it here, I'm convinced I want to change the orientation by one turn to the left. There's no sleeve on it yet, so no big  deal.

It's unfinished for the same reason I'm having trouble facing up to the last chapters of my book.  I just don't want this part, the making part, the fun and rewarding part, of the work to be over.  That's going to have to change and soon.

            I'm hoarding a lot of things that I'll have to set free.


I've been so inspired lately by seeing what amazing things other artists are doing with my cloth, I've added a page over here so everyone else can see what's possible. Humbled, I am.

If you've used my cloth in your art and want to be listed, email me with the linkage you'd like and pictures even!

past lives

This  came in a box of treasures gleaned here and there by someone who knows what I like.

It's a ladies blouse, all pleats down the front, linen calling for an hour of careful ironing using a pressing cloth to prevent shininess.

Not going to happen. Based on the tag I'm thinking it's quite vintage, but  still heading for dismemberment and the dyepots.  It has some exquisite details. Aside from my rude handing in the washer and dryer, it's flawless. If you'd like it as a garment, let me know and I won't chop it up. But you are going to have to iron it yourself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

it's Fling time

                                           After a few more false starts with the fish and leafy looking chunks of green
damask, I've put them away for now.

While I was looking for something else, I stumbled across one of the first flings I made a few years back "Stories in the Garden with Monkey Teeth".

Flings are lightweight quilts with no batting. There will be a new nephew coming in August so it's time to get busy.

The charm of making flings was all about ease and lack of rules. I used torn strips of random widths of muslin to build foot square base blocks on the machine. Sort of log cabin without all the fussing. Once I had enough blocks to make the size quilt needed, each on got its own little hand appliqued picture. I kept the pallet broad, used fabric that could take wash & wear use, more of the

same muslin in this case. Hand dyed. Then the blocks were arranged and the front and back machine stitched together poking the two-sided monkey teeth (think prairie points gone wild) in random location along all four sides..not too many. Snaggly.

Then the whole thing gets stitched together with some more loopy, random lines of hand quilting.

I got a peaceful, easy feeling just looking at these pictures.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


A pink moon and that purple rain has me dislocated in time.

Trying to quiet the buzzing and humming of my life with a little stitch, but it's not happening. I guess four stitches is not enough. I'll try again tomorrow because  I really like these little fish and don't want to waste them.

The rest of the second dye lot has been cleaned and processed and is good to go.

This has pretty much taken over my life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

tales of woe, cont.

Grace, here's your Sun. It was a woven tea towel at one time and I swear it came from your thrift shop years ago, white and pristine.

 I remember now that the soy wax just doesn't work all that well on wovens. But on the harder fabrics, like this Kona cotton, Pow!

Hard Lessons...

....relearned. Beyond dye and soy techniques, it's important to pay attention to the hand or character of the various cloths when you are salvaging vintage or otherwise castaway cloth.

Every single one of the pieces from Round Two has been machine washed and dried twice. The water in my washing machine was still not hot enough to dissolve the soy wax. It left the cloth happily then floated to the surface to clot around the inside of the upper regions of my washing machine. Hand picking and scrubbing was the only remedy. Then, there's a big problem with the cloth.

There was a piece of flannel and two sections of something really nasty I can only describe as silk (?) noile (?). It took the dye, to be sure, but it left a residue of tan, fuzzy sludge over everything else. The only solution has been to hand wash each and every piece in a shallow pan, twice.  This is going to take some time.

that was Monday

It's pool cleaning time. None of the tough stuff (and it's tough down there, folks) is on me, but it's still an all-consuming process for a few days.

 If it wasn't for Colin, I'd be running a heartbroken in on Craigslist, "free  pool. Come and get it."

I keep this picture in the front of my thinking....

Yesterday was Charlie Monday for real, even if I didn't make the FB post -something I'm going to be phasing out anyway.

 I spent the morning with him because he's been fevery and unable to go to daycare. Happy that the doc said it was just
A Thing, no ear infections and he'll be on the mend in good time.

All other concerns and activities go by the boards, family comes first, always.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

round 2 - full sun

 There's no cover on the deck anymore and it's ablaze today. It might be 70 with light breezes, but I am roasted. A hat would have been smart but the worst is over.

These foundlings have been dashed and dotted with soywax and will probably undergo a second round of dye once this one is over. Some of the over-dyed pieces are going to be smashing. Patience is in order. I've run out of time for this stuff today.

With a nod to my dyemaster, Elizabeth Barton, the dry cloth went straight into the dye, low water style. They'll wallow a while and then I'll bless everything with the soda ash sauce.

My own technique is harder, faster, but all new things considered today, a day of fresh starts in many ways.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

fry for now

The Fish project is coming along. I started digging in the closet just to see what is actually in there. Holy Crap!  That request I put out for white goods?? Don't go crazy.

I pulled one box from a high shelf and the bottom broke...a blizzard of white goods is now up for review for a round of soy-resist and dye tomorrow, weather permitting.

There were boxes and baskets of things that are going into the Fat Baggies blend. Of course, I took first dibs. It's funny how one's taste will change. Stuff that I used to hoard for myself will now be up for grabs.

 I found small baskets of treats and wonders that just fell into place for an as-yet unclear vision, but I know I want to hand applique and embroidery  -  think in terms of the Creatives. Critters just doing what they do when no one is looking, just like people.