Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The spleen eluded me but I seem to have a lot of preconceived notions about the size and shape of livers.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Guts Update

Here is the finished Imaginary Heart from the Uninformed Guts series. I am going to have to learn to take better pictures of 3D fiber work. another view:

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Guts - Part One

Yesterday, Jan Thompson and I terrorized the freeways of Atlanta (Jan pilots a Corvette) threading our way through Spaghetti Junction with the talking navigator guiding the way. We arrived alive at Jan Girod's new shop, Fiber on a Whim, a new "inspiration" store for fiber artists carrying enough unique and wonderful goodies to keep me goggling all morning. After gorging ourselves on thread, cloth, paint and books, we went the Cheesecake Factory in Buckhead and ate like Romans. All this and a copy of Surface Design Journal. My senses were properly overloaded. After I got home and polished off my Key Lime Cheesecake, I settled in with the handwork basket, a few cats, the TV remote, the phone and started work on this piece. I can't imagine a better way to use a rainy day. Inspired by Arlee's heart research and the new rayon threads I bought just yesterday at Fiber On a Whim. When I followed the links that were posted on the QA list I just took a quick glance at one black and white illustration and decided I would rather go with what I thought I knew about biology. I took AP biology back in the stone age and we dissected a horse heart and of course I am a graduate of the NBC-ER School of Medicine. I know the plumbing on this one is purely made up but it was fun to do. Lots more stitching is planned. Looking back through my 2D work I find more than one reference to the interiors of various creatures, like my crocheted livers and intestines. 3D seems the bigger and more interesting route to making these guts tangible.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I took the day off from the office to get my own paperwork done. It took most of the morning to do all the necessaries to get a show entry into the mail. First thing, I decided that one of the three pieces I had settled on was weak and a replacement player was jumping up and down on the bench screaming for attention. Then I had to reshoot most of the pictures, burn a CD, fill out the paperwork. And doncha know by the time I got to the post office half the town was there on their lunchbreak all stamping their feet and aggravating the staff with general impatience. I swear I am going to move to Montana. In my haste, I wound up mailing the entry to the gallery instead of the Country Quilter in Somers where it was supposed to go. A quick email to Jane Davila assured me that I wasn't the only one to make this mistake and the gallery was on the lookout for strays like mine. -3 points for haste. I am excited about entering SPUN because it's being held at a gallery in the town where I grew up, Katonah, New York. If I get a piece into this show, I will want my whole name up on the little card. Someone just might know who Deborah Useted Lacativa is. "Get Out of the Water" is a wierd little experiment along lines that I am going to pursue again. You can't tell from the photo but it's amost an inch thick. I folded and layered a largish piece of cheepo hi-loft polyester batting and stitched it into shape with a few big loops of Nymo. Then I proceeded to mummify it with pieces of what feels like cotton lawn but is actually some cotton guaze scarves I bought and hand-dyed last year.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Although the fat envelope won't materialize in my mailbox until next week sometime, a little email birdy told me that "Needleturning at Sunrise" has been accepted into "Considering Quilts '06" at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. Now all I have to do is figure out how to mount or display the little thing. It's only about 14"x11" and I have never had a piece this small on display. Somehow, sleeves and rods don't seem to be the thing. Time to ask some experts.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More Humbuggery

Although I love spontaneous tokens of affection, my Goodman knows that given a choice, I would be happier to get a good tool than a bunch of roses. This year he gave me both. The new laser level to replace the one stolen off his job will come in handy if I ever get back to making anything bigger than my cutting mat. I bought these for myself - the hope of Spring. I hate Valentine's day along with all the other Hallmark holidays that have insinuated themselves into Western (lackof) culture. Of course there are those of you out there who will snuffle into their sleeves and say "Sure, she was one of those kids who didn't get any Valentines at school..no wonder she doesn't like it". Nope, even way back then you could buy cheap little packs of 20 cutout cards where all you had to do was stamp your greasy pawprint on the backside and then pass them out to all of your classmates without even writing a name on the envelope, I thought it was a stupid holiday. Like most kids, I had my posse of friends, some fans and a handful of jealous enemies and suffered no social anxieties. I took no beatings and rarely had to give any. Comedy and reasoning were my shield and sword. I think I was in third grade when I told my mother I wouldn't be needing any Valentines that year. Fine with her, she had two younger aspiring social butterflies to groom and more likely candidates than I was, all scabs and attitude. I think Mom knew I was an anarchist by the time I was two and was resigned to it. So on Valentine's day we all had little paper baskets set out on our desks that we had made in Art class - Yes, ART! The Katonah Elementary had a wonderful paste-eating class, the highlight of my Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. At various points in the day, you were supposed to go around and put your cards in the baskets. I observed some kids poking through their take, counting the unopened cards they had received and groaning or gloating over how much or little they were liked by their peers. It seemed to me that almost everyone had about the same little heap of cheesy envelopes. One kid had obviously made her valentines, cutting and pasting the red paper and heart-shaped doilies, one for each and every person in the class and all with a wallet sized picture of Her Grace glued in the middle. An aspiring class president, no doubt. About five minutes before the bell we were allowed to get our coats, speak to the teacher, copy assignments from the board and generally mill around. I took the opportunity to surreptitiously take the pile of cards from my basket, stuff it deep into my desk and go around the room and redistribute the cards I had received. Kids looked at me and beamed. I snuck Miss PhotoThing's card into the teachers In Box no doubt stamping her an asskisser from that day on. I can remember being happy that folks were so easily amused.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wonderful Distraction

At the office where I work part time, new books on every creative endeavor you can imagine arrive daily. I got into the habit of averting my eyes when I passed through the nook where the Book Mistress presides over the stacks but the other day I was captivated by this cover. The book is "Beyond the Basics - Gourd Art" by David Macfarlane and is filled with one jewel of creation after another. This cover photo is a piece by Artist Mari Mickler Moss. I have long been looking for an excuse to cultivate something more useful than crabgrass in my front yard. It's the only place on my property that gets enough sun to grow vegetables and since there are no rules or covenants in this old neighborhood about what you can grow in plain view of the world, I think I am going to plow all that miserable grass under and take full advantage of the rising damp from the elderly septic fields that must compete with an underground spring that courses through the yard. My lawn stays green and demanding all summer long while my neighbors either water or live with crispy brown crewcut lawns that crunch when you walk on them. Why not grow some potential art instead? Anyone want to buy a slightly used lawn mower?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A New Tool and Words as Can Openers

I read more than a few blogs lately where the author is bemoaning the fact that they labored long and hard over a post only to have it snatched away into the ether. If you are a Firefox devotee you may be interested in this little tidbit that I stumbled across the other day - Performancing for Firefox is a slick little download that lets you blog offline and then publish to wherever. I haven't played with it long enough to discover all the fun but under "settings" on the left side is "Save Editor Contents on Closing". That's more than Blogger ever did for me. And for those of you who don't get Danny Gregory's newsletter, this line from the person who translated his book into Korean. After reading it, I closed my laptop, put my head down on the lid and wept with my eyes wide open. "....Maybe it wasn't such a big disaster for other people, but I was very shocked by that experience, and was living with an empty heart, thinking how should I live from now on, everyday, every minute..." Living with an empty heart. Living with an empty heart. Living with an empty heart. It still has a beat. And don't Sonji's new magic carpets just lift your spirits?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I deserve this

Thanks Crazy Aunt Purl
LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 23)

I'm so jealous! All the planets are lining up for Libras this month, first, there's Mars Moving into your Hot Mama house, and ya'll have a full moon in your Shiny Happy House and Venus is un-retrograding just in time to hang out in your house of Big Pimpin' ... now that's Astrology Gone Right. Go ahead and indulge in that post V-day red velvet heart full of chocolates. Feel smug. Your hard work last month is beginning to pay off, and the rewards are part of the goal!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

How many website make you laugh out loud?

From one of my oldest favorite websites "the Word Detective" "Amuck" Dear Mr. Morris: A magazine article I read recently described a babysitter as being unfit because she allowed the children in her care to "run amuck," which immediately made me wonder about that phrase. Any clues? -- Doris Sherman, Toledo, OH. Do you mean "any clues to where the children went"? I'd check the coat closet, personally. If they're not there, they're probably in the cupboard under the kitchen sink. I used to be very good at eluding my babysitter for hours at a time, or at least until she forgot about my feeding an entire jar of grape jam to the dog. Of course, the dog usually reminded her later in the evening anyway. I think the reason I don't remember any of my babysitters very clearly is probably that I met each of them only once. Still, as trying as I may have been to my babysitters, I never actually "ran amuck" in the original sense, and I doubt that the children in that magazine article did, either. "Amuck," more properly spelled "amok," comes from the Malay word "amoq," meaning "a state of murderous frenzy." In English, the word "amok" dates back to the 16th century and the first contacts between Europeans and the Malay inhabitants. The standard story of the word is that the Malays were "susceptible to bouts of depression and drug use," which then led them to engage in murderous rampages, wherein anyone in the path of the person "running amok" was likely to be sliced and diced with a native sword known as a "kris." One need not be overly politically-correct to suspect that accounts of the phenomenon by Europeans may have been somewhat melodramatic and culturally biased, but the word entered English with the same general meaning, that of "murderous frenzy." As is often the case, however, the meaning of the phrase was diluted as "running amok" became a metaphor in English for someone who was simply "out of control" in some respect, and not necessarily chopping folks up. Still, you'll never catch me babysitting. And from some angel on the QA list, this link which I am wallowing in at the moment: Radio Paradise

Flogging the Art Bunny

I hear tell that's what you must do when you are in a funk. Of course there is the tried and true studio cleaning but screw that. I have been picking at that notion a little at a time since early January. Oh sure, there is some order, and surfaces have swum into view but nothing has gone up on my design wall in a long time. Last night I went to the Signature Shop Gallery in Buckhead, the heart of the "happening" part of Atlanta (depending on who you talk to, of course) to see new works by Elizabeth Barton and Juliarose Lofredo. The contrast between JL's simmering minimalism and EB's energetic textures and colors made for an interesting show. I wish I had remembered my camera but there's just nothing like seeing fiber art in person. Both of these artists use miles and miles of hand stitching in their work which just draws you in close and you had better clench your teeth or your jaw will hang open.There should be a sign up that says "NO DROOLING ON THE ART". The only fiber art classes I have ever take have been with Elizabeth Barton, a great teacher and charming lady with a dry wit and down to earth approach to art and things in general. _________________________________________ (37.5 x 26.5) I have never done any whole cloth work but I was inspired by the show to dig out a piece of cotton sateen from one of last years dye sessions. It came out so spectacular that I have never had the heart to hack into it. Now I have sandwiched it in preparation at my attempt at a stitching a wholecloth piece. My problem is this - I don't know what I want to do with the stitching. I have been absorbed with picking out the wonderful little accidental elements that come out of this type of dye technique like these: My inclination is to use stitching to point these elements out and somehow relate them to one another. I plan on using cotton floss for the first time since I embroidered my bell bottoms so that's going to be interesting. I anticipate a lot of false starts. Oh well, I have been hungering for some hand work. Any opinions?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Speaking of Wayback Machines

Sister Patty sent me some fun... The No. 1 song on your 18th birthday is said to be your life's theme song. Go to this link, type in your month, day and year of your 18TH BIRTHDAY and hopefully it explains as much for you as it did for me. Don't type in your date of birth, as it requests, instead type in the date of your 18th birthday. Mine was "The Letter" by the Boxtops