Sunday, August 30, 2009

stormy sunday

I hope this is not what it takes to keep me in
the studio for an extended period of time, well an hour or so any way. We now
have Houses, Landscapes, Happenstances and even a few "rescues" - things that
didn't work out do rather well chopped into 6"x4" pieces.

I keep telling myself "it's a TOOL"

As if I couldn't hammer in a nail with a rock.

I know I shouldn't, but I covet.  
Shsssh! Don't say anything to my A95!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer fading fast

Every time I get to spend a little time in the pool these days I feel like I'm saying goodbye to a friend who is going away for a long stay elsewhere.

Each day it takes more time get ahead of falling leaves and storm debris. Still, I'll be going in until it's too cold for penguins. 

Then we let the leaves fall and stay and the pool becomes a pond again. This year I may get some guppies to keep the frogs company.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

small moves

I bought a yard of 2 sided fusible a while back and knew this day was coming. My scrap baskets are full to overflowing, the cards are all cut out and now all I have to do is please myself one 4"x6" space at a time. These are all headed to market..and speaking of which. Does anyone know just what the market will bear, price-wise,for mailable fiber art postcards these days? I am without a clue, all input gratefully considered.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

a blankie

Another satisfied customer. This young lady chose the fabrics she wanted - all I did was bring them together.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

spoobit spawning

As usual, the hand stitching doesn't add a thing design-wise, from a few steps back . Up close and personal (once drawn in) I'm still liking it and will add some more. There will be some painting to address value issues and quite down the chaos a notch but for now, it's on the design wall where I can spend some time eyeballing it while I put together a couple of flings.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

link love and unrealized visions

It's not every day that a surface designer (gasp! is that what I've been doing?) gets highlighted in three separate places. Humble thanks to the artists who have showcased my work in words and's so gratifying to see what someone else makes of my groundwork. That's one of my damasks wrapping around Jude's "Redefining Growth". Arlee Barr continues to work magic with my fabrics and Mendofleur is about to. Lorraine Glessner keeps popping amazing new work into my sight line. I keep coming back to Joshua Brehse paintings and thinking about middle eastern calligraphy. Ever thoughtful Elizabeth Barton has been posting about The Preparatory Sketch (or not ) and the Seduction of the Surface. Both topics are brain worms for me at this fallow moment. Although there is work at hand, these little things are mere wishes, sketches I suppose. Pieces have been coming to me as a vision or dreams and I am so reluctant to even sketch them out. It's as if once committed to paper, the magic evaporates and I'm not even inspired to lift the scissors. The two small things I am working on right now have spawned enormous daydream pieces but I know that the scale of all the fabrics I have been creating just won't translate to ten-pace pieces, the things you have to view from across the room, the ultimate limitation of the seduction of surface that EB talks about so eloquently. I can't speak for what drives others to work at surface design. I certainly don't do it with the intent of building a pallette to work from. I've learned that lesson but I am deeply grateful the other artists who find my efforts to be a jumping off place for their own dreams and visions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I find adding hand stitching to a piece already machine stitched to be very challenging. It really is apples and oranges so I'm taking pains with the handwork so it doesn't wander too organic or trixy. I want the lines to get along and compliment one another. no fighting for attention. After three or four false starts (hours to stitch and minutes to pick out) I've come back to the ever faithful split chain but I'm building the thread out of 4 or 5 30 wt. machine threads; rayons, cottons & metallics - so each stitch has to be guided slowly top and bottom or whacko nests ensue instantly. Where is my Thread grease?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

perfect weekend

There was great pool time. Seems like I'm seeing more and more leaves on the water and I don't want to dwell on the idea that summer is counting down. Once I got that kid's quilt finished up I felt free to start poking around in the mess, finding some of the fabrics I've been creating and seeing if they have anything to say to me or each other. Looks like a start. I've been falling into a pattern of making order with the grids and rows of dots so I'm going along with that flow. So far this one is all machine stitching but there will be some handwork too as in Gate of Grace. Looks like the rain delay is over, but I'll catch this one from the bedroom. It's been a long and steamy day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Things are stirring in the studio - primarily a large spider who has taken up residence between my chair and the window. I will have to evict him soon. A commissioned first grader's quilt is coming together. Good thing I like her fabric choices as the making of the thing is uninspiring. There are some new beads to contemplate and I've arrived at the comfort zone with my new skill level at the office. Last night I was able to listen to a ballgame (a nilebiter, but we lost ) and do some crocheting between calls. I've been enjoying my own little go bag and so thought I'd make up a few for sale in October. These beads will figure in somewhere with the final design. I keep thinking about how my park critter would work and the moss on Judes roof made me wonder about how one encourages moss to form and what sort of surface would support it and not suffer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

doctor's office doodle & 3D thinking

Sitting in traffic on the way to doctor's office ::a snatch of info from NPR regarding Henry Moore at Atlanta Botanical Gardens::: Inching past Shorty Howell Park in the rain and I'm thinking "they could use some sheltered seating" It's really big. Shelters six strangers and a dozen close friends. Metal would make a good drum circle setting. Fiberglass would make it affordable. and toxic. Sprayed concrete with color mixed in? Those dented marshmellows are seating. My mind wanders and I forget the turn into Whole Foods. The Chinese eggplant will be waiting for me on Saturday. Diagnosis:: left trochanter bursitis & poss lumbar stenosis. treatment - PT. what fun! At HoAnns my coupons don't help. A very small pot of red clay is 17$ Now to research making paper mache with the Craft Whore. I like her approach. Can you imagine? Two kids and I never did paper mache, at least I can't remember it. Speaking of kids, Colin's girlfriend Raquel is a singer/songwriter and tonight at 10PM on MTV one of her songs will be used in a "Real World Cancun" episode!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Love at First Bite

On my first week of a low carbohydrate diet, I would have bet the ranch that a place like this would open it's door about a quarter mile from my house! One of the things we lamented when we moved to GA from NY was the lack of real pizza. Weep no more! I don't know how far you would go for a really first rate pizza but if you live in the vicinity, treat yourself. Look for the wheelbarrow growing fresh herbs out in front. So far we've only tried the pizza and it's the real deal.


The box of flea market treasures arrived on Friday and I boiled and roasted everything. So far I'm not galvanized to bring on the colors. It's the heat and humidity for sure. The only time I feel at peace and comfort these days is when I'm in the pool but, hey, it's summertime. Everyone is feeling the dog days drooling. I feel like a surfer sitting on the board on a glassy sea only I'm not looking over my shoulder at the horizon for a wave to come. I'm looking at the shore thinking about paddling in, laying face down in the sand and listening to a ball game on an old transistor radio. I will pat myself on the head for polishing off a 2o item to-do list yesterday (so it took me since Friday, what of it?) including getting my Day of the Dead quilt sleeved and shipped off to the Everhart Museum and "Hope Rising"off to Dr Carolyn Mazloomi to be photographed for inclusion in her upcoming book and a touring exhibit. I'm also terribly flattered to hear that a certain Famous Artist intends on bidding all her golden choppers for a piece I donated to a certain auction to be named once the bidding starts. And here I will allow myself a rant. Kids here in GA are already back to school and the marketing is at frenzy level. This overhead on a local commercial radio advertisement. Young teen male whines "If I don't get those jeans I'm dead!" PLEASE go lie down in the weeds first so the vultures can clean up quickly.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


One of the fun things about visiting with distant families is getting into their hoard of old photos. Now that I've scanned these, I promise to get them on their way back to you Rob. They are my Dad's parents, Charles Useted Sr. and Nellie Farrington Useted. If I have any art genes, they come from Gramma. She's the one who put the embroidery hoop in my hands and set me to bordering her entire closet full of pillowcases with cross stitching just to keep me out of her hair (and her sewing basket). Here's my Mom and Dad back in the Swinging Sixties I think. I was in high school when my Dad came to me and asked me for a recommendation on a "cool" place to go to in "THE VILLAGE". He meant Greenwich Village in Manhattan of course. I used to get on the train and be a tourist in the city so he thought I knew what was happening. I did not. So I innocently picked up a copy of the East Village Other and found an ad for a joint featuring someone named Tiny Tim. The add looked innocuous enough so I made my recommendation. I can still see my Dad all decked out in his Fair Isle sweater and loafers. Boy, did I hear about that adventure the next day! I'm fairly sure I know this fat little unhappy camper. They told me I could swim before I could walk because I was so chubby. Cousins, help me out you recognize this baby? Ten bucks its Rosie behind the camera and me reaching for her with complaint, as usual. Mom was a dish. Kitty looks just like her.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

the red Moon brings revelations

Sometimes vacations allow time for contemplation. This time out, there was little time but lots of good feedback from new sources on all manner of subjects. Did I mention that I don't get out much? For now, I will be concentrating on surface design. There's just too much blank raw materials in the world. The art will come back when it's good and ready. This is a scrap of silk about a foot long that's been worked with inks and alcohol. Kara and I found a 100% silk skirt at a thrift shop in Chappaqua. Off white, mid calf length and deeply pleated - I calculate close to three yards of exquisite fabric. Several embroidered antique pillow cases, sheets and some gauze-like woven silk dresser scarves bought for a song and a smile are coming parcel post. Also concluded - I have to take charge of my health before another moment passes. I canceled a trip to MOMA because I knew that by noon I would be needing an ambulance to get home. or a hearse. To friends and family who voiced concern over this last remark. Sorry to alarm you all.It's nothing new or exciting but it is the first (and last) time that my weight + my age has gotten in the way of my will. Can't have this crap happen again!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


It was a great visit but I'm very glad to be back home. This was waiting for me out on the deck. And this guy was on the doorstep the night before I left New York giving me a sendoff. Some toughguy. I found a wiping rag stuck to the bottom of the studio sink and organized it a bit with markers and alcohol.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

new friends & family

It's been great to meet and get to know new family members. This is Kara and Dallas.Can you tell Dallas and I are related? Here's my sister Kitty and her buddy Joe. When we got to the Stormville flea market I gave them a quick tutorial on what kind of vintage fabrics I was looking for and they scored big! Better yet, they are going to keep eyes out for my raw materials as they shop till they drop (a regular thing I'm told) in the future.