Friday, May 25, 2018

no nests

I left this hanging outside on the high deck. Since no bird elected to call it home, I've brought it back inside. Fill it with quarters and call it a vacation fund. Should buy me gas to get to Destin and back.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Magnolia Rains - updated

I did some very different things with this latest batch of threads.

I put took them out of the sauce in small groups, six or eight at a time, ensuring they were pretty wet when the dye struck.

 The salt/sugar mix was very humid - clumpy. I chose some pretty antagonistic colors, including things that I had been avoiding, like Avocado, hot pink and Hard Red.

The neighbors magnolia trees are blooming and it was threatening to rain. Atmosphere + chemistry.

At first, I was worried that I had knuckled them too much. (just what it sounds like) and then the skies opened up after they had only been batching a few hours. I left them in the rain all night long. The first rinses were very murky, then this happened.
it's a magical batch!

More hot, wet days ahead so I'm going to take another run at getting those golds, aubergines, and limes before this batch is available.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Dye fest!

 This years table-mopper (so far). It's a big piece of what I call "spanking" cotton. The kind that snaps when you shake it right. Sturdy, not vintage. I'm going to use it all season to see what it can become.

It's going to be hot and humid today and I'm all prepped for a new batch of Dirty Threads. They will probably get the last rinse in a thunderstorm.

What colors do you crave?
Comment and let me know.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

breakfast in good company

Jake and Charlie stopped by to take me to breakfast. Do I look tired? For a string of dumb, self-inflicted reasons, (I was writing) I only got about three hours of sleep last night and I'm facing a regular working Saturday. I may sleep right through Sunday.

And don't ever make one cup of iced coffee with two spoonfuls of Cafe Bustelo unless you plan on running a marathon.

Monday, May 14, 2018

the annual miracle

We are late this year. I've tried getting in the water as early as May 15, but the fresh water was always much too cold, even for this Yankee seal.

As late as this is, we were still way ahead of the Annual Frog Fornication Fest. There were no tadpoles for me to round up and relocate this year. They've been noisy at night but slow to get busy. Maybe because the water level was too low?

Tomorrow, Colin will crawl under the deck and replace one of the large delivery hoses. The entire water-carrying infrastructure has been in place since 98. That's the original liner! The deck needs some work but there WILL be swimming this season. Splashing, paddling, drifting and dreaming. The bones of my next book will be born in these waters.

Jimmy was so smart to make this investment.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers Day morning

I sat with the morning light and tried for a little stitch but it didn't hold me for long - I had scenes to revise. And the studio is heaped with a lot of raw material right now, all of it nagging at me quietly. I'm thinking I'll shove it all into the closet and close the doors until the next rainy day.

Or have a big damn yard sale.

I've been working on the high gardens - redoing and replacing the dirt in the long boxes and clay pots.
This diffenbachia was a wedding gift from our friend Donald. We named it Louie years ago. With almost no care, Louie persists, but a repotting was long overdue.

Way down at the bottom was a thick old stem and a tangle of roots.

I've given it a fresh start. We'll see what comes of this.

The peonies continue their fabulous, stinking riot!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018


The current run is sold out!
For everyone who placed an order as of yesterday, today is shipping day. International friends, I'm getting quotes from the Man Behind the Counter and will email you the bitter results.

It may be a couple of weeks before I can commit to another run, but it will come.  In the meantime, there are still plenty of hand-dyed scraps.

On a most personal note, those of you who see me on FB are probably familiar with Charlie Monday. Yesterday was the last official Charlie Monday. (yes, you heard a sob). Of course, I'll still have him for chunks of time on the weekends, and all the Mondays that schools are closed. Still...nothing stays the same, least of all puppies, kittens, and babies.

He's a little young for explanations, so it was business as usual for us. Not so much for me, but we cracked each other up so often that I didn't have time to get broody. At Publix, he asked the deli man if they sold Monkey Butt Hair Pancakes. The gentleman was sad to report that those were only available on Sunday.  Charlie's life is going to be filled with people that he has charmed just by smiling and saying hello.

I fully credit this little being (and the trust of his parents) for throwing me a lifeline after Jimmy left us. We will continue...

Saturday, May 05, 2018

sweet saturday

 Jake and Charlie were here early. The pickup has been languishing for a couple of months. It's been needing a new fuel pump. Mission accomplished. Now, all I have to do is figure out why it doesn't have a current registration sticker!  I know we celebrated back in October when it passed the necessary emissions. Jake tells me that lowlifes will steal the stickers right off the plates! Let's hear it for the lowlifes and hope that's the case.

Meanwhile, I got to watch another artist's process. He's very interested in the names of things, like marigolds and bluebirds - the one who pooped on my car!

We had a fun few hours.

Later,  a friend with a chainsaw came by and those massive hedges in front of the house have been pared back drastically. Long overdue!

Friday, May 04, 2018

round 1 - the locals

I feel like an old spider, spinning. There's a whole new batch of Dirty Threads ready to ship. I'll hit the PO shortly and again come tuesday.

I'm experimenting with some 'close cousins' colors. Just the warms this time. Lots of blue or green based heathery ones. Mostly mid-tones.

The process is in place. Now I can focus on the color variables that I want to play with. As things are now, no two of these are alike enough if someone wanted to use them in a project that called for more than ten yards.

If you are interested in more, email me and we can discuss custom orders. It's an unpredictable process results-wise but that's not to say I can't make a whole set of the same results.

purchase info 

I've had to bump the price a tiny bit. Postage has just gotten ghastly!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

first of the season

It was HOT today! The first time (that I've been home) that it was hot enough to break out the dyes. I had a lot of thread prepped and ready to go. 
There was every intention of some restraint, colorwise. Hah! I made the twin mistakes of taking down the umbrella and forgetting my hat. My brain fried and I went wild, color-wise.

After pictures tomorrow.

There was also a trio of vintage huck tea towels in the mix. Wonderful hand!

Friday, April 27, 2018


I could have mended my Dixie Mink (a denim workshirt) in five or ten minutes on the machine.

This time spent was worth what I felt doing it more than the results, which are a ve'ey seedy boro indeed. I had no idea what I was doing.

And, the backside is in concert with the breast pocket. And a little help from friends.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Seasons change

We had a Charlie Monday yesterday complete with the traditional, terrible lunch of fried chicken and red velvet cake. It was a crappy, rainy day so we stayed in, played music and made Duplo towers until Dad came home.

I'm counting the Mondays down now. Soon, he'll be in school five days a week. Oh, I'll still see him on the weekends, but it's the end of an era and, yes, I cried.

Hug your babies. They grow up so fast!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spring cleaning continued

I was afraid this might happen. The cloths that gave up the ghost shouldn't have been in that mix.  The repair will be an interesting enterprise. I have no intention of trying to crochet a fix.

This rug usually resides in front of the kitchen sink, folded in half.

No one need ever see the scar. I may have to back the whole thing with something to stabilize it.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Friday, April 20, 2018


Even here in Georgia, the weather keeps bouncing back and forth between winter and spring. Monday was cold and blustery. When I got to Charlies in the pre-dawn, I thought it was snowing. I don't know what kind of trees they are but they lost all their flowers overnight.

I'm primed to make some more dirty threads, but I have to wait for some warmer weather. In the meantime, I'm going helter-skelter in the house trying to make it...nicer. That's code for 'cleaning'.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

a little more Florida

Nothing visual going on here in the studio. I wanted to get pictures of the new dirty threads up, but the weather went to grizzly shit before dawn this morning. First I had to turn the AC on just to get Saturday's heat and humidity out of the house. When the storm front came through, I had to turn on the heat.

When did I become such a hothouse flower?

This is the same sink that graces my banner up top. I didn't get any actual cloth dyed this time. The threads came out fine but these canvas grocery bags didn't hang on to this much dye once they came out of the washing machine. They have a Monet reject feel to them. All fails will get a second chance once it warms up around here.

I did get to the beach for a few hours, but the water was cold, the wind steady and a few people were hollering "shark! I got wet to the ankles, thanked Yemaya for the blessing, and spent the rest of the time on the sand reading and watching the surf.

I got a lot of writing done - my main reason for going.

"Baghdad Bazaar" has been pressed into service as a beach blanket. Art must serve. That is my concrete yoga bench. There should be a sign - "Lay down for ten minutes & need help getting up"
Baghdad Bazaar, 43x55, born here at ACA,  2007 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

the compulsion

Also home with me from Florida, a butt load of cotton print scraps. Just what I need, right?! A full washing machine load of these little darlings. As you can see by the pink roses on the black background of my pjs, I have a tiny print fetish.

When I first saw them piled on the help-yourself table, I thought they were dismembered hospital gowns, but no, the hand is soft and the selvage reads "Made in France 100% cotton". Most of the pieces are less than a fat quarter and way wonkier.

If I sew them all together I might have enough to make myself a djellaba or a mumu or something soft and flowy and not for public display. More pajamas!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


I left Florida at 8:15. We were supposed to meet at a local eatery at 10 for a farewell breakfast but I was anxious to get on the road.

With some lollygagging and disrespecting the navigator in my phone, I was fed, relaxed and the car was gassed up when I pulled in to my driveway about 5.  I just had to get off the freeway!

Before I did, I passed a huge tractor trailer all done up in a magnificent graphics wrap. I didn't have the wits to drive and snap a picture. It was the equipment transporter for the Stoneman Douglas Band - the Eagle Regiment.

As I passed it, I stuck my fist through the moonroof in solidarity and the driver acknowledged with a blast of the air horn. I was filled with an as-yet-unnamed feeling. I'm sure the French have one perfect word. It lifted me up, away from myself for a while, but then I couldn't help but think about the families, the loved ones left behind.

Then came the tristesse. I rolled with that one and let it take me to tears. Everytime I travel, I have the sudden realization that Jimmy will not be waiting for me when I get home. That's a facet of myself as real and permanent as a tattoo.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

ACA days

The view from my desk in a cozy, private room.

Leaving for the beach shortly. Hope I can find my way out of the neighborhood. When I arrived, all the local streets were torn up by a massive, ongoing utility project. Bulldozer and diggers like angry dinosaurs on every lane.

I made a lot of Dirty Thread.  I wish I had prepped (measured and wound) more, cause this is the fun part.

With every dye session, comes a giant ground cloth. This one has some potential. I only had the wet studio to myself for one day so further development will have to wait until I get home. there will be soy resist, over-dyeing and be discharging for a map quilt.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Charlie Monday

I'm mostly packed. The idea was to leave Charlie's and come back here to finish. Silly me. You just don't park a three-year-olds energy and need for engagement because you have shit to do.  It was noon before we got this far. I'm still doing laundry. I'll head out when I get a good night's rest.

Then we had a picnic McD's lunch. The weather has turned perfect except for insane levels of pollen that had both of us coughing and rubbing our eyes. 

He was charmed that Colin got him this bit of weirdness which he recognized as a Poop Emoji. This one winds up and poops out candy as it goes. At one point he said, "It had no more poops to give."  I almost fell out of the chair.

Jake came to collect him and there was much goodbyeing as he knows all about my trip.

We will facetime or whatever I can get the web to do while I'm away.