Thursday, October 29, 2009


I took my camera to work with me yesterday to get a picture of my pet mosses. Here's one wall of my cube. Some of you might recognize your gifts. I get  a lot of compliments for you, Karen and Marie.

The pomegranate was perfect.

Fall sneaks up you here in Georgia.

Here are my pet mosses growing in a crack out in the parking lot. I stopped and petted them the other day. I was going to up root the family and make an indoor desk garden but they seem to be thriving right where they are now so who am I to open up a Moss Guantanamo?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

re-purposing dead sweaters

Remember this poor wool sweater that I accidentally felted? (Note the bare, cold toes who are wondering how people can wear wool socks?) It was lying on the floor in the studio by my stitching chair and I just scooted my  feet inside it just to see what all the fuss about wool footwear is. Amazing!

The sleeves from the sweater (which fell into a dyepot too) have been made into the toastiest, softest slippers and gotten a job as the photographers assistant. I couldn't wait to sew on the other eyes to show them off.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lightning Bugs

This piece continues to amuse and entertain me. I hope I'll know when it's time to quit. There's a basket full of little things like this that I have worked to death.                       

Off to JoAnn's before my coupons expire!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nurse Karma sez

...if you are feeling unwell, you must lie still and mend. No discussions. If you are in good health, Karma will not give you the time of day. She's too busy.

Jim if feeling symptoms of the same bug that's plagued me for a week or so. Nothing that rest and ginger ale won't fix. And cat attention.

a new scrap of time

Work continues on this scrap of time. It still pleases me. The base is one of a set of linen placemats scrounged from somewhere. I wish the other three had fallen into the same dyepot. Pale sisters, they await overdyeing.  Maybe later today, my first day off since last monday but I still have PT in a few minutes. All that stuff may have come to nothing vis a vis the underlying problem. An MRI awaits.

I finally took a few minutes to go through the box Eleanor's sewing things that the SILs sent me (thank you girls). In it I found a set of hand drawn and cut templates about leaves. What kind of coincidence is it that I have making and drawing these shapes for some time. A few of you may have received fabric leaves in the mail. More will come, I'm sure. I have idle fantasies about a blanket made completely from leaves.

Monday, October 19, 2009

getting back to normal

I guess if it's Monday I have  to leave for work shortly but I have this little scrap to take along with me. Over the weekend I actually had time to get a sleeve sewn on to a large piece and start a new little piece of hand music. Speaking of which - I accidentally gave my ipod a lobotomy the other day so I grabbed a pile of dusty old CDs and convinced my GoodMans laptop to put them onto the empty ipod.  One of the files was a radio program I favor from NY called Idiots Delight.  So on 10.19.09 I was listening  to a show from sometime in 2006 but the announcer started out saying "Vin won't be broadcasting from Studio V tonight because his phone line is down so here's a show from 07/06/02" wherein Vin played a clip from 8.01.2000 where a  puppet named Oogie was a guest on the show..(I'm still falling through the time rabbit hole here). In one ear I am listening to people giving accident reports and in the other ear the puppet is getting out of hand and I can't help chuckling while people are telling me about the damage to whatever or someone who was choking on a bone at a restaurant. My brain is split jelly.

Friday, October 16, 2009

a scrap of time

Sometimes all you have are scraps of time to gather your thoughts and get your bearings. To have a bit of cloth and thread to work with in those moments is very satisfying. I'm beginning to think that artists who prefer working with fabric are heeding the call of their lizard brain - the one that made us crazy when we couldn't find the blankie when we were two. Tactile input takes precedence over all the other senses when one is overwhelmed.

I've spent the week taking the hurdles necessary to take a chance on getting more of my work out into the public eye. It's getting deep around here. Now I sit with fingers crossed, prayers up to minor deities (who might not be busy with more pressing matters) and maybe a little roots work thrown into the mix.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I've always like the Beatles Happy Birthday song. Hysteria fringed with lunacy. Why not, it's only once a year, right?

True to his perfect form, my GoodMan did the Vulcan mind meld on me and came up with the perfect gift - the thing I didn't know I wanted and that I would love. The initial packaging stymied me momentarily and I wound up exploding all the discs out onto the bed so I closed my eyes, groped the pile and came up with "Abbey Road" to accompany me over to the doctors office and back. What a great time! The terrific thing about this set is that the songs are presented in the original ALBUM order, so crucial to time travel, which is just what these disks will be doing for me. Abbey Road was released about two weeks before my 20th birthday. Hearing this today felt just like it did 40 years ago. Spectacular! Strange and wonderful.  Something completely new and transformative. You could count on the Beatles for that.

I was thinking that music is one of those things that gets hooked into your past usually in association with people, or places and events. But for me, not the Beatles. From the time  I first heard them, their music was mine personally . Not to be draped around some boy or drama. In fact, looking at the big picture of the impact this music had on my culture - the amazing things that could come from acting on creative genius the way these fellows lucked into - kept me at arms length from the kinds of societal traps that a lot of young women fell into back then. I just knew that amazing things were possible if you kept that notion in mind.                        I  did and they were.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

strange days

It's Sunday and Jim had to work today leaving me to my own devices for the first time in ages. I almost forgot what those days were like but when you start the day with a hearty belt of Robitussin the rest of the day will get weird.

I spent two hours vacuuming & marveling at the cool tracks the old Hoover made in the carpets before I figured out that I was too stoned for housework. So I switched over to art and kept to the practical side of the street.

There was a great score at Goodwill yesterday - I had a need for retail therapy and almost always come away with great finds from there. It pays to live near the affluent.

The gray fellow inviting me to a dance was a large 100% wool J.Crew sweater that accidentally got felted. Now what?
This is a cotton & ramie sweater that I pitched whole into the dyepot. I love dyeing over embroideries. This one will be hacked up and repurposed in dozens of ways.

There is also a leaf green dashiki that was big enough to drive a MiniCooper into. I just haven't had the energy to iron that acreage today or photograph it.
Probably the best find (for 2$) was a pair of Queen sized flat cotton sateen bed sheets. You can never be sure that "100%" cotton does not include a healthy dose of whatever will impede the dye but I cut off a strip for a test and after a nominal soak in the soda ash and just a few hours in the dye, these impromptu shiboris came out just great.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Shipping Frenzy

Nope. I reject frenzy. Struck "frenzy" and "guilt" from my vocabulary a long time ago.  But I will have to get stepping. Totally tickled that both of these pieces will be heading out to Arizona to Art Quilts XIV: Significant Stitching and  four other pieces headed to the Skinny Envelope exhibit in Florida.

Instead of muttering about my lack of studio time I've decided to follow this cloth cartoon path and dig up an old sketchbook full of ideas that fit the slow and portable mode of stitching - stuff I can work on at stop lights -no texting while driving for me! I have sketches ready that went along with this post about a childhood prayer that most of us were taught, like it or not.

Here is one of the pieces that went to a new home this past weekend. I hope she enjoys it as much as we did.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Norcoss Art Fest 2009 - day 2

...was even better than day 1.  This from a post I just sent to Mary McBride, my regional SAQA rep for the GA/FL blog:

Good News! - Given the right venue and weather, the public is coming out to the shows and buying Art! I had a booth at The Historic Norcross Art Festival (Norcross Georgia) on sat & sun and it
was a very successful weekend. I won't put a toe into the debate between the imagined controversy between the Art and Crafts camp - this was a juried show and there was no controversy this weekend just great camaraderie between the vendors, amazing support by the organizers of the show lead by Frances Schube who could teach a master class on the proper organization and running of this kind of venue. Imagine volunteers there to help you set up and break down you booth. Volunteers wheeling around wagons of cold free bottles water. A hospitality center conveniently located for the artists with clean rest rooms, free breakfast on the first day and  fruit snacks the rest of the show. Heaven!

I brought everything that was wasn't nailed down in my studio (this venue is only 15 minutes from my home) and I sold pieces that had become a part of my life.  I had everything from fiber art postcards to my gallery pieces that lined the walls of my pop-up tent. I brought a few utility pieces and had great fun explaining that the smaller unframed pieces (the majority of my show) were not potholders or place mat but if you wanted a $25.00 pot holder, I was happy for you! Better than 50% of the crowd already knew unframed art when they saw it and were captivated by some of my older pieces in ways that made me look again at my own work with fresh eyes.

The booth was paid for by noon of the first day largely due to the amazing response to the affordably price fiber art postcards, hand dyed rayon scarves and the dyed, crocheted cusspots which I put out where the kids could fondle them first and lay off the rest of the stuff. People were drawn into my space by the sheer explosion of color I laid out for them. I let people know that A. I was a local and this was the only show I do each year and B. Everything that I brought with me would be available for sale at in the coming weeks. I have my work cut out for me making good on that promise.

All and all it was a very successful and satisfying weekend and I encourage everyone to take a shot at selling in person to a public who seems weary of being wary about buying anything. Retail therapy seems to be the order of the day for the American Economy but folks are looking for a new shopping horizon. Could it be your booth or website? Only if you get out there and wave your brave flag.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Norcoss Art Fest 2009

I can't say enough about what a great show this has been so far. The organizers and volunteers have made the comfort and safety of the artists a top priority. I keep telling everyone that this is the ONLY show I do but Frances will be  doing a new show in nearby Roswell in spring and I'd be a fool not to participate.

One of my customers (who knew that the fabric postcards were art before they were postcards) bought a frame from another vender and came back to show me how great it looked.  Thanks so much!
aI was flanked on both sides by glass artists so my booth was easily identified as family friendly - absolutely everyone who ducked in felt everything within reach, those who didn't wanted to and I encouraged them. I loved watching peoples faces as their gazes went from the postcards (my biggest sellers) to the crocheted cusspots (kids loved these) to the scarves, small art pieces and then to the pieces lining the walls. I saw a lot of looks of amazement. Seems like what I brought to this show was unique to most of the visitors experience.     
I got to talk a lot about techniques. There is no tyedying or batik going on here.. This piece and Cellular Seizure drew people to them almost hypnotized.

Time to get ready for day 2!                                

Friday, October 02, 2009

October.. my birth month and my favorite. The entire month can span all  the seasons. I can recall swimming on my birthday and trudging through six inches of snow on Halloween, of course that was in New York.

The trouble with going through one's stash for things to sell is constantly running into exquisite little chunks of fabric that you want to hoard for

yourself, or worse, sit right down and start  working with when so many other things are pressing, or need pressing.

I am really looking forward to packing my river grass basket with scraps and needles and thread and sitting in the October sunshine for two days just stitching and considering the full Moon.

  I may pretend I'm just tent sitting for the artist who just stepped away for a minute.

an (over) reaction... fatigue and frustration, but I'm going to like working with it. It's half a vintage queen-sized percale sheet in a (Heavy!) weight that is no longer available.

I love dyeing but hate doing it under time constraints and for vending purposes. The scarves came out okay, fashion forward I suppose. Only time and the venue will tell. Still would have preferred the silk velvet to the rayon but that was a screw-up that there was no time to undo.

I've been ironing since dawn. Now it's time to start piling up the UFOs that I'm taking along. It's looking like I may have more UFOs that FOs. Oh, damn, well. Here's to a fun day working the street with the rest of the Art Whores!

Thursday, October 01, 2009