Saturday, July 31, 2010

having a slothful wallow at the PC

Did I mention that as of five-ish this morning I became a new grand-auntie! Congratulations to Kim & Rodrigo and Welcome to Bryan!

Having watched the Braves take a beating at the hands of the Reds, I'm spending the rest of the evening listening to my old friend Vin Scelsa give us some rare, free-form radio after a long hiatus from WFUV . He's been away contemplating a career change with one foot wiggling towards retirement but is back on the air/internet  for two hours tonight and I thought I'd listen live for a change instead of playing catch up.

I've been listening to this Idiot's Delight in one form or another since the late 60's. You don't last that long without serious substance.

It's too hot to sew, there's certainly nothing to see on TV that I can't watch another time so I'll spend some time weeding my bookmarks, catching up on eye-candy, window shopping and taking a beating at Lexulous all until the thunderstorms bearing down on us take out the power.

I love everything at this site and it seems like the things I love the most cost the most. What's up with that?
I have websites bookmarked going back to the 90's. Here's a sampler of some that are still around. I was quite the geek at one time.

Dr. Ozone
Lizard House  speakers on!
Art Beat Street
Josh Simpson    (I have a planet!)
the OzQuilt network 
round stuff
Some stunning creatures

Friday, July 30, 2010


Has anyone figured out a good way of getting non-linear shapes out of woven fabric so that all the edges can fray like this?  I'm looking to take a big, organic looking bite out of this cloth and don't have enough to waste. Razor wheels I guess?

If I'm not messing around with fabric at least I am thinking about different ways to mess around with it. possessed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jake's Home

I spent the night sitting in the chair from Hell besides Jake's bed at the hospital. He gashed the bridge of his nose on a rock while swimming at a state park on Saturday, and despite good first aid, he developed an infection.

Except for the blue, he kinda looks Navi-ish. Nothing was broken and the scar will be small . Missy called me from the hospital last night to say that he was in pain and fevering again after being there all day. I was so upset I got lost between work and the hospital for a few minutes. 

PS - He went back to work today (friday) and will be handsome as ever in no time

Monday, July 26, 2010

Marketing Monday

If you have craved any of my larger pieces, please contact me regarding pricing.

This are extraordinary times and like many people,  I have been reevaluating my expectations about art and life in general More than anything, I want my work out in the world, not languishing on a shelf out of sight.  You will be pleasantly surprised, possibly amazed at the prices, and I am willing to work with you regarding payment arrangements. To the gallery 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

good intentions...

...paved the road to nowhere last evening when it came to holding something in my hands and working on it.

I made the mistake of selecting little pieces of my favorite, most recent dye experiments for the go-bag - scraps of dense damask, frayed and flawed and drenched with rich color.

I couldn't chop into any of them and just started daydreaming about rich little shapes floating on a field of cream, surrounded by lines of white stitching, like a zen garden.

More large, functional pieces of machine built muslin foundations with hand appliqued shapes and hand quilting but no batting. It seems like a calling that I have to honor.   I wonder if I keep coming back to blankets because it's so cold in the office?

The slow pace of work allowed for a good bit of time for paying attention to all the senses.
Sights- all those delicious colors in the go-bag and the almost full moon peeking through the pines.
 Sounds - a great ball game with the radio announcers clearly favoring the home team as Brooks Conrad smacked a grand slam home run to save the game!
Smells- someone making fresh coffee, my own Sea&Ski and Spanish Amber and a whiff of Georgia pine every time someone comes and goes through the door behind me.
Touch-my booboo foot resting on a frozen bottle of water under my desk and the smooth pages of the sketchbook as I scribble and see how my handwriting has deteriorated for lack of practice. Taste - cold ginger ale and a fat red plum equal parts tart & sweet. Do you every inventory all your senses?

PS. I also started reading Anita Shreve's "Light on Snow"...too early to tell. Our free lending library at the office is improving.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

a working weekend

Ain't she grand? She makes me want to dress up and drink champagne.  Google's tribute to Alphonse Mucha this morning was inspiring.  I'm quite sure I've lived all those lives and remember all the luscious details.

I'm also inspired by Jude's Rock Star to pull Danube out of the store and put it into my go bag. It has a large piece of that vintage, smooth handed feed sacking all sugar dyed like a Mucha and I'm taking it back for my own greedy self.

I've been hand stitching on the same two large pieces for a long time and feel my design eye shutting down.

So tonight, it's scissors and pins and hopefully the miscreants and malefactors of the world will put off calling me at the office until Monday.

I actually like being at the whine mine on the weekends. The contacts are unique, few and far between and the atmosphere relaxed. All I need are candles and incense and I am the High Priestess of  Business to Business Reporting.

With the full moon coming on strong, I'm probably kidding myself but I like a good jest as well as the next fool in line.

Two things I need for my cube - a good Mucha poster and a map of the world. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

that popular incantation

So here I am whoring the goods.

I'm not a big prayer but having this posted on the bulletin board of my studio mind would be a good idea. So many people have commented on this and continue to visit the image that  I took the Zazzle plunge and put up a few mugs with an updated version of the imprint. The chant remains the same.

The original cloth that inspired and backed up this image fell to terrible abuse and all that remains was a low res image so I picked through a few more recent hand dyes to adorn the mugs.  Oh, the links are down there on the right in the side bar.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the perfect evening

We spent the day stirring the cauldron, sprinkling secret compounds
and muttering incantations. With all the rain and heat, the pool is having it's midseason algae tantrum. I've tried to encourage it here by reminding it of the proper shade of blue.

The evening rolls on perfectly. After days of righteous salad eating, we had a pizza and fresh canolis followed by an evening of stitching as the Braves take a big wet bite out of the Padres. Thunderstorms, please wait until after the game is in the bag.

PS - that's what I get for gloating. It took 12 innings for the Braves to shoulda poured!

with his permission

It's my only day off this week and I just finished making black-out curtains for the slider to the back deck. The afternoon sun is brutal now that my tent went to the 311 concert at Lakewood and never made it home. Uninspiring at best. Here's some inspiration for you.

This illustration from the Sunday NY Times book review captivated me. The article was amazing unto itself (read here) and made me less concerned about paying my Comcast bill  on time, in full.  The image fairly sizzled for me so I wrote to the artist. Paul Sahre ,  and asked for his permission to interpret it in cloth.

He graciously agreed. I visualized it huge of course, little areas of discharge on midnight navy cotton with glowing rectangles of white satin overlaid. Somehow this fits in with the beach pieces. somehow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

after a pleasant interlude

It's back to the fiber mine!  I found a drawer full of manila envelopes each crammed with a selection of scraps - sets that I made up some time ago and forgot about! Now to get them all photographed and posted. Here's one and here are the rest.

The chunk of silk skirt waistband was a find from a thrift store in Chappaqua from my last spring trip to NY over a year ago. It was vintage 60's by the style and the cloth it self was like a bowl of cream until I got my  hands on it. A wonderful garment but maybe a size 4!
It should be extra interesting if you pick out all the stitching and deconstruct it. Surprise shibori maybe?


I was looking for a picture of someone else and opened an album that I haven't looked at in many  years.  This is my personal pirate on one of our first official dates - we took his brother and my nephew to Mystic Seaport. Do I really remember letting two 5 year olds split a  Fosters Lager so we could be alone? Probably.

This is Jim and Colin down at my folks house. That truck turned a humiliating pink with a year of being brand new. The dealer was amused.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

demon alginate

"Oasis" 2006

I was telling Arlee about my failed attempt at using sodium alginate  with dyes in this printing experiment. I got the ratio of dye to goo wrong and the alginate seems to block the dye off from the fabric. What you see here is the result of hours of over painting with fabric paint and it still didn't look the way it did when it was freshly printed and wet.

I've since gone nuts and chopped it into the elements which are stiff with paint.
Poker anyone?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Link Love - updated

Since nothing much artistic is happening in my world take a look at what some others are up to.

Thank you Judy for Bloomfelt.
This marvelous piece from Terry Grant.
Hugs back for Heather.
Thanks to Phyllis for reminding me why.

This sketch has drawn me back and I remember that there is an unfinished fiber version languishing upstairs.

Now that I am once again seeing these iterations side by side, I know why I lost the thread on interest in finishing the piece. I recall that I was in a hurry to put something together so I could take it to work and stitch on it but in my haste I lost the design elements that so appealed in the sketch.  There's  nothing to keep me from taking it apart an starting over. The curve and the huddle are missing here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If you don't like feet skip this post.

I like my feet. Not everybody does.
Great whopping, hard to fit 10w's, my Dad told me I'd fall over if my feet weren't so big.

I spend most of the time going barefooted and, according to the podiatrist I saw yesterday, since I no longer swing from tree to tree, my feet are paying the price.

He said I have "flexible flat feet" and mentioned lemurs and seal flippers in the nicest way as he slipped HUGE needle into my right heel giving me an injection that is supposed to trick the muscles there into shutting up and doing their jobs without sending big time pain message to my brain. He said the bones in this kind of foot leave too much of the work to those muscles hence the pain.

The shot and a bandage/brace thingy, flexing exercises and ice foot baths are supposed cure this aggravation. Meanwhile my left hip, knee, leg and foot are pissed off having to work overtime.  He also said that my cowboy boots would be good for my feet! Going to dig them out of the closet and see if it's true.   For now I'm  taking my flippers to the pool.

And to the foot pervs who have Googled this post - Have a nice day but don't bother to leave a comment. They're just feet.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

ocean homes & working art

I already have a beach well underway so I went straight to the water and the cottages but now I'm have second thought about all those red roofs, in fact this may be the only one.

I had to sit a while with the other house quilt and examine the various techniques and sequence of stitches to remember how it went. I may forget about the roofs altogether. I know they are houses.

The blue with hand painted red dots was a dye painting experiment from over a year ago that was "lost" in the studio.  And I've been waiting a long time to use the batik that Terry sent me. It has the most wonderful hand and a pattern woven into that you can see unless you are holding it in your hands.

For a while I've been thinking of fiber art in terms of functional beauty. Like most fiber artists, I started by making blankets and I always seem to find my way back to that starting point - witness the Flings and this will be another in that line, three or more layers of rescued or re-purposed cotton - mostly muslin, no batting and lots of hand simple stitching on a base that was machine constructed for stability and strength.

It's a form of self comfort for me to make "something from nothing" - something beautiful & useful from something else that was cast off and deemed no longer useful. This kind of  making soothes my frugal Yankee spirit both in the doing and the outcome.

I've always admired these and these.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Building my own ocean

I've started building my own ocean. 

Been sleeping under hand stitched houses for a while now and always wishing it were just a little bit bigger all the way around.  This one will be lots bigger and it will have beach houses.

The studio help was just helping too much this morning so I've taken the whole business outside for now. 

Friday, July 09, 2010

salvation & inspiration

Most days I don't pretend to work out. The Manatee wallow is my stroke of choice.

There are those who say having a pool is too much work. I do it for free and this is my reward.

Chillin' as we can

The cats take advantage of the night cooled concrete and flooring and I take advantage of the first light from the east.

The heat will break later today with  storms, hopefully more rain than thunder and lightning.

Time to shut the door - I can feel the heat coming in with the light.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

new work, day one

I have oceans of blue fabric just waiting for the call.

designs on paper won't do this time - going straight to the cloth.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

cloth of purpose

All of the fabrics that I overdyed this weekend turned out to be heavier cottons. A broadcloth tablecloth cut into fourths, several yards of what feels like double weight muslin and some lightweight twill.
Maybe I was looking at the pile with my hands rather than my eyes when I selected pieces for another chance at better color. That worked out well.

It is all cloth of purpose and I left the pieces large because I intend them for several large pieces I've been dreaming about making. Works that will be built with techniques and materials intended for use but designed for display. Does that make sense?  I like to think that the flag bearers who carried medieval banners into battle got to sleep under them at night for warmth.

Monday, July 05, 2010

sweeping up after the fireworks

Over 700 people checked in to find out more about mounting small fiber pieces to canvas! I shoulda sold tickets! But really am happy to share the info. Whether or not it's right for other artists is up to them.
These are the winners that got to spend the 4th in a dyebath, poaching for a while before I do anything else to them. The racket in the neighborhood was incredible last night but there was nothing to see through the treeline so I skipped around the TV shows with fireworks. As I expected, nothing comes even close to Macy's Show with Boston a close second. In my opinion having fireworks accompanied by contemporary pop music is just friggin' awful! It's the classics or nothing!

Nobody does it like NY!!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th!

 It's just us this year. Colin is at work and Jake & Missy just left for the lake.

We are celebrating the 4th quietly. A little swimming pool, some grilling, roast corn on the cob, watermelon and a little overdyeing.

What? You mean not everyone overdyes on the 4th of July??

There's a Braves game on TV at 5 and by the time it gets dark there will be fireworks all over the neighborhood with the patter of lead shot falling on the roof from errant shotgun blasts. Ah, living in the south!

Friday, July 02, 2010


It's drizzly day for the first time in ages which means it's a stitching, quiet contemplation day. Breezes are slamming open doors. Sleeping cats draped everywhere.

I continue to sort/fold/iron my way through the two big baskets of dyed fabrics - three for me, one for you...

As I go along, I find pieces that relate to one another, color and texture, and fold them together into project bundles for some future time. I have a lot of projects on the back burner.

Large, hand stitched pieces, take a lot of commitment to the outcome so you want to be really sure of your path before you take that stitch. I find myself taking extra care with each stitch so there will be no false moves to take away from my satisfaction with the finished quilt. For now, building my own beach is taking the place of being on one somewhere.

 It's been a long time since I have submitted my work to any kind of venue. The crapshoot of funding an entry has become an extravagance and I'm just not in any kind of mood to be judged. I'd rather play poker if I had money to piss away!
My time for art has become so precious that I can only please myself and I've been plenty happy about it all lately. Of course, the White Whale of Quilt National is looming and what (fiber) artist can resist that challenge, so I won't be putting up any more pictures of the big things in progress (jeez, that sucks so much!). Then there's one of my favorites coming up too, Art Quilts XV: Needleplay  where they don't yet care about pre-publication complications, amen.

back to the studio.....