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!

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.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Will work for smiles

I had the  amazing blessing of seeing Charlie's first smile today.  A real smile, not that gas nonsense.

 He was propped up in his little doughnut, calmly surveying his realm when I  came around to  the opposite side of the crib.

He looked at me,  made eye contact and smiled.  I laughed and said
"Are you smiling at me?"

To reward me for being so smart, he gave me another one, broader this time.
I did not capture the moment electronically..I soaked it into my very soul. This picture was taken a moment later and I think a good caption would be. "Well, that worked just the way I planned it. She's mine now."

Back in July of 1980 I scored another first smile from Colin (Jake saved his for his Dad) ...this time Jimmy grabbed the moment.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

feels like Sunday

It's amazing just how vulnerable I am to external influences like the weather and the new big one - baby love.

It's a super perfect late summer day.  I got to put in a hot mile at the park and came back with some very strong revisions for the novel and a better wrap up. Oh! the Violence!

There was food shopping, housework, time  for a nap even !! There is still an eight hour shift coming up for the day job, but now that my commitment to watching Charlie has doubled (due to another family member's inability to participate) days like this one become even more precious.
Tomorrow Charlie and I will be discovering Miles Davis and I wouldn't have it any other way. The job is too important!

Friday, September 26, 2014

details, details

A slew of details and one still cannot perceive the whole.

The plan was a couple of quick and dirty macro shots of Karma I.

Well, you get what you pay for. If the light permits tomorrow, I'm going to work at getting some better pictures of these.

Life has been upended and my "free" time has been cut in half.  I've always done my best work under the gun, so what the hell. Bring it on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

more changes

No matter which way the Wheel of Fortune throws you, it's impossible to try and change it, so you might as well try to live with it. If a crisis seems inevitable, recall that in every crisis lies opportunity. When you've been swept in a new direction, know that every path leads somewhere, even if you don't know where it is. 

When times are bad, or when times are good, always keep in mind that they won't last forever. Such events are just out of your control, and if you can accept that then the ride gets a lot easier. If you struggle against the Wheel it will crush you. So roll along with it!  (James Rioux)

No kidding!  

Look. The angels are all reading a book!                              

Friday, September 19, 2014

spoiled (not him, me)

Yep. This it how it went today and I can expect there will be many more days like this  when nothing else will do but loving arms.

He zonked out because we spent the morning finding out what kind of music he likes and he has great taste.
He likes everything from  Springsteen to Chopin with a lot of 50's era jazz.

This one got looped..Ashokan Farewell, by Jay Ungar performed by the Nashville Chamber Orchestra

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A sea change

I should probably bite my tongue for saying so, but my grandson looks like he's going to be an easy keeper.

It's my own time management that's going to need some re-adjustment. For some time now I've been luxuriating in having all the time I needed to do most of the things I wanted to. That time has just been cut in half, but I'll just find a different way of getting things done. I've always done better under the gun.

I'm going to stock the river basket with this and hang a few more stars in the sky.

Charlie,  gives a master class in power-napping and I was right there with him and still got a few pages of notes typed up and read for a while.

I know this easy-to-please and portable phase of babyhood is brief so I'm going to take full advantage.

It was cloudy here so I missed the last supermoon. Here's my version. The moon flower bloom lasts about twenty hours. I stood inches from this one and stoned my self breathing in it's fragrance until I was dizzy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

day one

Feels like the first day of school! It was still dark out when I started the car and the sun was only just thinking about rising as I parked at Jake & Missy's house. Charlie has grown and changed since I saw him last.  It feels good to be needed for this important job.

Shhh..he's sleeping. I have studying to do.

ps . I didn't think to do it last night, but as soon as I get the chance, I'm going to inventory and repack the river basket.  Stitching seems right again.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Boro & Lavender

Sounds like a song writing team.

I just can't bear to let this old nightie go to the rag bin so I took it outside to the deck this afternoon and cobbled it back together with scraps of this and that while listening to the ball game on the radio. It was hard to tell it was September.

I'm starting to bring the plants inside,  but I think I'll have to get wheels for this pot of lavender; it's gone shrub on me over the summer.

hand magic

Since my website had its issues last week, I decided to migrate it over here to Blogger.  Let's hope the old name "Like Hotcakes" is prophetic.

That was the easy part. The hard part will be updating the gallery with work newer than 2008. You read right. 2008. So, I have to go back in the archives and find out what I was doing when and hope that I documented stuff properly. It feels like a rainy day task. Like a week of rainy days.

About the magic hand - there have been questions. Once upon a time I had a job that involved spending eight hours a night staring at unchanging data flowing through several monitors.. A sort of "fire watch in Antartica " kind of job.
 I brought in some unauthorized software and taught myself a lot of things in those long hours. Animated GIFS seemed like magic until you learned the tricks.

Friday, September 12, 2014

the transistion

The group show "Fierce Fibers" opened last night at the Art Place in Marietta, GA.  It looks terrific from what I have seen. My time was totally co-opted yesterday and the Honda still down for the count, so I was not able to attend.

Between scheduled obligations, I was able to squeeze in one more day of water time, although I was getting pretty cold in short order. And notice that advancing tinge of green as the algae gets a toehold.  Today started out looking like crap all day, but the sun is baking down.  I may put a toe or two in again.    


Wednesday, September 10, 2014


This was supposed to be "Modern Quilt with Hummingbirds" but they were faster than the camera.

Monday, September 08, 2014

the ether and the real world

just breathe with it
There's nothing like a few real world issues to get me to stop fussing about nonsense that goes on here, in the ether.

Sometime over the weekend, nefarious individuals did something invasive and potentially infectious to my website so my host, Dreamhost, disabled it until I could pick the cooties out of the code, which I was able to do. Glad they had my back.

The trouble is, something about the existing structure was changed by the host in this effort and direct access to the old site no longer works.  Talk about an omen!

I taught myself hand coding back when the internet was invented and pretty much finished my education on the subject when I got to where I wanted the site to be. Since then it's been 'patch this' and 'link that' and the code looks like baby swiss.

Times have changed and I'm pretty certain I'm not going to be able to fix it this time. I barely understood the instructions from the techs at DH. A new approach with some new technology is called for and because I have neither the patience or inclination to expand that particular set of gray cells, I'm going to cheat and go the WYSIWYG route.

Is anyone  happy with their super user friendly, build your own thing, website and care to make a recommendation? I took a look at Weebly once and was mowed over at too many options. Simple and Clean are going to be my watchwords here. Oh, and don't forget Free.

Oh! and those real world concerns? The roof is leaking.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Season's end

It rained most of yesterday afternoon and into the night. The sun joked with me for a few minutes after I got in  and found the water temperature still bearable. The storm cleanup was minimal thanks to Colin's fine leaf dipping work.

I hate to think that this might be the last swim, but unless we get some sun soon,  it may be back to the public pool, a very different vibe but not to be sneered at come November.  I'm not as hardy as I was when the Mass. and RI coastal waters were my playground.

This piece of dyed and discharged damask was lying around looking forlorn, so I took it out to play.  It looked like whale shark skin under the water...something I did in cloth long ago.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

the karma

This is one of the pieces that I'll be taking to the installation next Tuesday and I have decided that I want to change the orientation ninety degrees to the right of what you see here.

I'll be picking off the sleeve, resizing it and putting back on ..Real needlework.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Going to a hangin'

There is a show coming up next week and yesterday I scurried around looking for a few specific pieces.

They were right where I left them, cocooned in the closet with another dozen or so pieces that have not seen the light of day since they were born. Some pretty impressive stuff in that closet.  I wish I could find the feel for it all, but it escapes me still..

I'm going to have to look into different ways of getting this stuff out into the public eye.

If you live in the Metro ATL area, you should come by and see us in the flesh.

Friday, August 29, 2014


A whole week without a post!  Could it be the long-feared Witness Protection Program?   Nah...

Just me being convinced that I don't have a whole lot of interest to share lately.  Like many folks at the turn of the seasons, I get introspective.

There are a lot of life changes on the horizon, but right this minute I want to grab this gorgeous day by the tail and get outside for a while.

I'll tell you more about it all soon.

Friday, August 22, 2014

holding on to summer

This is how it is now. Each day there are more leaves. I get in and clean for an hour chasing down every speck, even as new ones fall on my head. Dragonflies and bumble bees that are a whole summer's old drown themselves on a regular basis.

It's been in the humid mid 90's for a week with another week of the same promised. There is no other place to be. Even with afternoon thunderstorms that echo on into the night, the water is perfect.

Soon there will be a string of days when it rains hard and the temperature falls in the night and the water will be choked with leaves and branches. I will put on my suit, start down the ladder and be stopped by the cold. Summer's end.

Friday, August 15, 2014


             This makes me think about what I can't express with words or cloth

Monday, August 11, 2014

Finishing touches

Look - I haven't forgotten how it's done. Put these finishing touches on yesterday morning, then spent the afternoon doing what Nanas do, feeding, changing and rocking.

Holding this baby is my new favorite drug.

I dished out tattoos in the waiting room last week. Not everyone rushed to sign up.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Studio time

I'm not sure if it really counts if you are only killing time waiting on a phone call.

Still, this piece has been promised to a show in the first week of September so something else is going to have to get back-burnered for a little bit. Today, I'm thinking it's pool time. Drat.

This is going to be a monster under the needle.

and the biggest irk is
...when I look at the original drawing, I'm not happy with the way this one is turning out.

The last time that happened, I would have fed the piece in question into the industrial shredder at the office but the door to the shred room was locked.  I finished the piece, entered it in a show and it sold. My first ever sale. Go figger.

Friday, August 08, 2014


It's been a harrowing and hectic week at the House of Lacativa.

Fingers crossed that Missy and Charlie will be sprung from the hospital this weekend. They have hung out the No Visitors sign which is perfectly understandable.

When we first brought Colin home from the hospital, Jim and I were sitting at the kitchen table having morning coffee as we always had,  kind of planning the day.

 He said "What do you want to do today?" and before I could answer Colin made his birdie squawks from his crib in the next room and we both laughed and said
"Oh yeah, that's right." Somebody else had just taken the majority vote.
It takes a little getting used to.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


Always one for illicit activity..
I'm peddling cloth again. You know who you are and you know you want it.

Go thaw your credit cards out of the ice cube tray.

Fat Baggies are back.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

He's landed!

Charlie James Lacativa came to us last night, a little early, but he and mom Missy are both doing well.

For 3.5 weeks early, he's a nice six pounds, four ounces and twenty inches long.  To me he looks just like Jake did the day after he was born.

Jimmy would be, is, so very proud of Jake & Missy and just loving this baby.

Friday, August 01, 2014

baby day....

This seemed like a lifetime ago and, in a way, I guess it was.

A few weeks short of nine months, my first grandson will be hurried into the world sometime in the next whirl around the sun.

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.