Friday, April 30, 2010

Kitty don't freak out!

I was recently gifted with a set of ColorHue dyes and while skipping through the directions saw that it works on Hair!  It's been a stressful "put your feet in the stirrups and scootch down day" so a whim got indulged without any forethought. My favorite way of being creative. "Fling it on the wall and see what sticks!"   It worked at least as well as I'd hoped but I just wished I had given a leetle bit more thought about my choice of colors before I jumped in. I'm about to find out just how permanent ColorHue dyes are.  
Meanwhile, the bear project creeps forward. I've decided that his (despite the pinkness of his body) face is going to have to offer him some protection  against future indignities and damage. Think KALI. There will be lots of teeth and definitely a third eye.  here's a sample. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

stuffed animals

I never like dolls. I was certain that they were up to no good the minute you closed your eyes.  It was not tea parties and play for them. It was lose the homework, spill  soda on the carpet, or hide one sneaker. Evil doers all.

I let my two sisters fight over what few dolls I was given, including that freakish bubble-do Barbie with the plum colored lips and odd skin tone like she'd died from carbon monoxide poisoning. "Dusky" the coroner would call it.

The stuffed animals I trusted. Thinking about what I am going to do with this bear has reminded me of an old friend that I haven't thought of in years. I had to be seven when this one was as close to a horse as I would ever own. It was a mule I think, from his general proportions and demeanor. Little mean eyes, no tail - all business.  I used sewing needle to unpick a bridle that had been stitched to his head - my horses ran free!  He was not soft. Stuffed tight with dense cotton, I could swing him by the leg and give Kitty or Patty a good stiff thwack without leaving a mark!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


the Ikea Octopus understands indignity but remains stoic. the Bear has some kind of glitz woven in. It's stomach was cut open hastily with something sharp. I'll be there was   contraband - this is Georgia after all. The scene of the crime is mere steps from the local post office. 

Now I have to think about resurrection, reincarnation, rebirth and a witness protection program for stuffed animals.

no fiber post, almost

I have no idea idea what this shrub is but it's about the only photogenic thing around my office besides the moss gardens.

We don't have a lot of road kill here in Georgia. I mean, I'm  sure it happens as much as anyplace else where hapless critters meet careless drivers but we have a healthy population of vultures here (you do not want pictures) so bodies don't linger on the pavement at all. 

Apparently they can tell real from fake. This poor thing has been in the ditch for too many trips to the post office for me to ignore it one more time. 

Who could be so deliberately cruel. What was the story? Was he smuggling something? Did he talk?

To be continued....

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Fling Flys

"Stories In the Garden With Monkey Teeth" will be on it's way to a new home tomorrow. I took some time this morning to sign it.

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in"

 Handwork,that is. Piecing and appliqueing simple, hand-dyed cotton muslin.

It doesn't get any more simple or satisfying and I'm paying close attention.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Why do we do what we do?
I guess the title says it all today.
Back to the wish factory.


It would have been a good idea to take a better picture of this once I had finished stitching on it rather obsessively (and quite pointlessly) for over a week before I took the scissors to it at work last night.

There were a lot of elements that I really liked, that worked nicely on their own but just didn't add up to anything all told.

So I chopped it into about a dozen pieces, batting backing and all, and spent several hours shuffling things around only to find I had forgotten to bring along my pincushion

Here it is hasty  basted together in what I hope will be a more successful composition. try to hand stitch this mess back together will be too frustrating so I'm going to wake the Janome up from it's hibernation (more like neglect) and see what comes of it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

more macro

I took my camera to the office with me to continue learning it's capabilities and limits.

This is no a distant field - it's one of the moss gardens from about 3" away.

Below is an accident taken while driving.

Friday, April 23, 2010

cloth resurrection

You know you're in trouble when there's no way you can cut into the cloth you just finished making.

Backyards #1

It was "sit & stare" time last night which I have come to recognize as the STOP sign this hand stitcher.

I'll need to find something to back it, protect the exposed batting and stitching, but it's done and I'm most pleased that it's prompting a series for me at a time when I've been coming up empty.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

private stash

I tried duplicating the effect of the cloth I used for the body of the trees using bleach to discharge some of the overdyes I did this weekend.

Several pieces are going straight into my private stash for future development.

Gravitating to the fine textured sacking - flour sacks probably - I find myself planning out more dreamscapes along these lines.

My old Canon A95 came back from the factory ostensibly repaired at no charge.

I say ostensibly because it came back without the honkin' huge old style memory card that I swore I left inside it. I thought they needed to see some messed up pictures to diagnose and fix the problem.

My problem is now I have no memory of removing the card and stowing it "someplace safe" ...kinda like those diamond earrings I once had (sniff). These memory lapses are nothing new for me so I'm not alarmed. Just aggravated. It'll turn up somewhere unlikely but perfectly obvious to the devious mind. It's a backup camera now so it can wait.

PS. After looking in all the likely places and quite a few unlikely ones and finding nothing, I called Canon and said "What's up with sending my camera back brainless?" They were so nice, kind and generous and will be sending me a suitable haste. Squeaky wheel got greased.

more studio archaeology

My very own Rothko which grabs you by the throat the  moment you walk in the room.

"Blood Orange & Lime Martini" 2004
  47" X 29"
Hand dyed muslin and vintage percale cottons over cotton batting, machine quilted to hand dyed cotton canvas.

The green cloth came from sheets that my Aunt Jo had custom made for her vacation lodge in Flint, MI possibly in the 1940s or 50's.

more info and details

Monday, April 19, 2010

sack cloth magic

I'm please and proud to find that Jude will be building a magic cloth starting with  a piece of vintage cotton sacking that I dyed last summer.

This piece was part of this batch of cloth,  gifted me by my friend Rosemary just about a year ago. I left this image large so you can zoom in an see the various textures.

Some of the pieces in this batch had a stencil reading   "Made For A.D.Pierce, Brooklyn, Conn." A little research told me that this company was a hatchery of some sort last mentioned or annotated in the 1930s.

I love a cloth with history, no matter how prosaic.
There will be just a few more pieces of this cloth posted to the Random Acts of Dyeness page. Hoarding most of it for myself.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Learning the macro settings on the new camera. No shortage of willing subjects lounging about.
Which one of my internet friends collects these carved wood stamps? I bought this one at a flea market years ago and have never done anything constructive with it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the pleasures of the weekend

I'm taking my time with this one enjoying every stitch. Building the threads by using 3, 4 and 6 strands of machine thread, sometimes splitting up floss and mixing in rayon and metallic. A tiny but satisfying palette.

I have some sheers that might come into play down the line too.

Meanwhile the real pool is draining after a long hard winter. We beat the frog sexcapade this year by about two weeks so no polliwogs in peril.

The boys are going to muck it out when the water is all gone. Jim will pressure wash it and the fill - up  will get under way. Order will be restored to my world.

'Sketti & salad tonight with garlic bread made from potato rolls that they were giving away at Publix.

Friday, April 16, 2010

starting a thing

Now that I think about it, everyone should have a cusspot. To save threads in for bird nests, dimes, earrings, whatever. They are all different, some dyed, some not, some stiffened with medium, some still soft. None of them much bigger than an egg.

If you send me a little padded envelope with your address and  enough postage on it  for a return trip, I get one off to you. They might as well live at your house too. the studio is infested with them.

email me for address & info

I'm also starting to put together "My Picks" - little groupings of cloth that I might choose myself to start a small slow cloth - pieces that get along nicely. The first two are posted at
Random Acts of Dyeness

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Art at work

I keep a little, undyed cusspot at my desk at the office and stuff every tiny shred of thread in it. After several months it was pretty packed so I took it out onto the grounds and left little bits here and there on the shrubs.

Last evening this was the only one I could find. The birds nests in the vicinity all have Art!

There is Art for us too, sadly unattributed and one or two woodpeckers have had at it.


The was a package waiting on the doorstep for me when I got home a few minutes into this new day.

I hardly know what to say about the generosity and kindness of good people all around the world but I'll tell you I am amazed.

DS, please email me.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Backyards #1

Remember that sketch from a few days ago? Was I close? There's a long road ahead for this one. I have a lot of stitching planned and this morning, a date with some tax forms, so that will be all from me for a while.

I'm a long way from comfortable with the new camera (Thank you Angel, once again!) but at least I'm satisfied that the colors are true. Those two blues were giving me fits until I found the right settings.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

She's Baaaack

A few quick, I have not read the manual yet, but I promise I will.

glass wonderland

My neighbor and former fiber dye partner Jan T. took off into the realm of hot glass sometime back. Her focal beads are lush with both exotic and natural color themes.
I started picking out favorites and realized it was like eating really good potato can see more here

Monday, April 12, 2010

your Monday, my Friday

Even though I had to be there over the weekend, it was a great day at the Whine Mine. The calls that come in over the weekend (and after hours) tend to be more interesting. Things like "parked car rolls across three yards, causing 20k in landscaping damage and falls into brand new swimming pool. no witnesses" and
"employee falls asleep in walk-in cooler and claims his head cold as an on the job injury". The human parade, never in step and always hilarious. "WTF?!"  has become my mental mantra.

I didn't have time to enjoy the Sunday Times but it usually takes me all week to get through it anyway. The newest small hand stitched piece fell into place - the base cloth is a roughly woven linen, rust and gold with red flecks - I'm sad it's almost all gone. I'm going to take a stitch primer with me today to think about new things to do with the needle and thread. My embroidery repertoire is pretty limited. Got to hear the Braves on the radio, always fun even though they lost last night in San Francisco. AT&T park sounds like Hell's back yard to hear our announcers describe it.

I really miss my many things are gorgeous in the morning light.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Thanks to Terry G. for reminding me about ZFranks Scribbler which has uncovered a new, more flexible black hole for my time, V2.

You'll curse me for following those links.

Left is a scribble that sketches the bare bones of a small piece that came together on the design wall at the WhineMine last night. No denying it's representational. Suburban landscapes, a series perhaps.

The central element, a pool, came from the  last batch of hand dyes -  a wonderful bright teal from something ProChem called "Bonnie Blue" over some pale yellow cotton, another gift that's full of promise. I think I finally used the last of all that vintage linen and coarse sack cloth, all wonderful in greens, gold and rust. A grove.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Baby sister Patty and her daughter Kim, now grown, married and soon to be back in the US with her hubby and Babu-Rio on board! We are all looking forward to their safe return.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Will trade fabric for digital camera?

That's right, my poor Canon A95 has shuffled off this mortal coil. Well, mostly. I just read about a recall and fired off a pitiable email to the Canon powers that be to see if they will indeed fix it including the round trip postage. Time will tell.
Every single picture  I have every posted anywhere was taken with this little gem.
Can't say I didn't get my money's worth, for sure.

Until it's been repaired or replaced which would be high on the list of luxury items I don't give a lot of thought to, there won't be much heard from these parts. I've taken pride that my blog has been equal parts eye candy and nattering. Lately, I've not had enough to say that was fit to be published so posts will be few and likely archival.

Faithful readers, just pretend off I'm vacationing somewhere with no internet connection. Someplace beachy and serene. I'll be back when the time is right.

PS---Hold the presses and pass the popcorn. An Angel has come to the rescue again. I'll be back in picture taking business before the movie is over...well, maybe the trilogy. Can you picture happy?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

studio archaeology

I don't want to start anything new right now - there are so many UFOs, false starts, and bad actors laying around the studio I just have to take each as they come. Some things will go through drastic changes, some will be kitty hammocks at the animal shelter (not the first time). I found another fling, this one only wanting several hours worth of hand quilting - that I can do. It may take weeks but oh well.

This piece called "Needleturning at Sunrise" goes back to 2005 and was one of the first pieces I ever exhibited. I was nervous about sending off something so small with just a sleeve and little green stick for hanging. I'm thinking  it's going to be a different thing once mounted and painted in.

It was a great monday - my dyes came from Prochem and my team, the Atlanta Braves, opened the new baseball season in fine fashion.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Ocean Going

There's nothing like having a good studio assistant!

I painted this one into it's ocean yesterday. I finally gave up on the stained and dirty linen that it was stitched over. What was I thinking? Even after embroidering over dozens of little spots of rust, it still just looked dirty. I like this so much better.   You can see some closeups here, and here.