Monday, January 31, 2011

sunshine=lack of focus

It was too nice outside this weekend to get serious in the studio. In anticipation of dyeing (months away?) I did take my fistful of coupons to HoAnn's and scored some white cotton and a batt blended from cotton and bamboo based rayon, whatever that alchemy, it felt soft to the touch.

There are so many grades of muslin on the shelves there that I wound up closing my eyes and groping the bolts of cloth until I found what my fingers wanted. At one point I peeked and found that I had wandered into a field of homespuns done in violent greens and pinks. The cloth was horrific but the raw selvages were so interesting. Closed my eyes again and groped back along the row and settled on the very tight, smooth Kona. Only because I had two 50% coupons, I swear it.
I flipped the devilment cloths (above) out onto the bed to see if anything changed since I last balled them up and flung them in the corner. Nothing new except for those two hits of blue. Back into a ball they go.

And it looks like cropping is not the answer to ever design problem. Back into the basket with this one too.

I'm going back to making a list of annuals for my deck garden..purslane, marigolds, lantana, portulaca....

and "Serpent of the Grove" is back from the show in Arizona (thanks, Diane)and will be available in the store this time tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

apron lift

On the first warm sunny day that we've had since memory, I spent time sitting in the parked car at the washywashy catching up on a backlog of towels, blankets, and sheets and such.

The sun was bright, the music good and I brought along my apron with the intention of elevating it from "splotchy with copper paint" to "I'm up to something" gear. Inspiration on the spot was a few cuts from Tom Wait's "Blue Valentine". Inspiration for doing it in the first place, Heather's apron.

Friday, January 28, 2011

painted lines

I was always complaining to myself  about how machine stitching gets lost in larger pieces. Heavier thread, contrasting colors - it was never enough for me.

Now that I've committed to using paint to highlight the stitching on this piece, we'll see how much I'm in love with it when it's finished.

I can tell you I find the process messy, tedious and exacting - not what I am feeling at the moment. Just when I was feeling loose, exuberant and ready to fling things finishing this piece is demanding precision and control.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I bought a couple ferns of this type from the "I'm dead" cart in the grocery store yesterday. They don't look this nice now but they will.  All it takes is a little water and attention to bring them back from the brink.
 My mother-in-law was a master at saving plants that commerce gave up on. I used to bring her African violets that even the produce manager threw in the trash and her windows were filled with blooming wonder.
 I'll settle for some fresh greenery beyond lettuce.

There's been so much buzz about the various notebook projects going on that I took mine and leafed through it hoping to find some inspiration. This one keeps calling me back and I found the pieces of cloth I need in the stash last night. I've been scratching to little effect in the same notebook for two years now and it's less than half full. That should tell you why I didn't even consider participating in a project that requires daily notebook entries.

Monday, January 24, 2011

in the dark

I feel like I'm working in the dark.
This feels better that it looks but it won't make any kind of hat.
Really, I am distracted and distraught for a distant friend. Miss Melly is facing the dragon so I have to quit whining and be of service somehow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

link love

Since you obviously know where to find me and my doings, I thought I'd take a post to thank just a few people who might have guided you here. More guidestars are found on my
"Naked in Public" link page.

Some, like Morna, have me in some pretty breathtaking company and I am honored.

So take a minute (or an hour or two) with the list that follows and wander around and discover some new artists, new art, new ways of thinking while I search through my stash for just the right piece of fabric for a special friend who is in need of a hat.

Sharon B's pintangle

Jude's Spirit Cloth

Elizabeth (Duchess of Lexulous)  Barton

The Fiber Gypsy

Marie Elkins


Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday

Time to find my Friday shirt and run amok! This is my first day off in ages and the start of a three day weekend. The other night my supervisor congratulated me on my 2nd anniversary with the company  and I didn't know what she was talking about. Time flies when you are making a living.

Nothing artful or interesting from me today but here and here are a couple of  eloquent posts about the importance of the critters we share our lives with.
See you next week!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wip progress

Finding the tale in this one will be challenging. I keep coming across words, phrases, and suggestions. Stitching is the grammar and punctuation in a piece like this

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

back in the hoop

This one is just large enough for my middle sized hoop. I had pinned and basted this over a base of cotton batting but last night decided that the batting had to go. Picking it apart was a mess but also allowed for a few design changes.

This one has me in that same confused and uncommitted place that "Taken by the Night" had me in until it was nearly finished. This time I'll trust more about being in the dark as to where and how this one wants to go.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

reopened at Big Cartel

It seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up so I reopened a store for some of my recent work at Big Cartel. I'm still fumbling around with their user interface but I named the store "Go on and touch it. You know you want to". Could garner some unusual traffic.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

still celebrating summer!

Even though we are finally coming out of a week long winter freeze, I am going to celebrate summer again today and refuse to look at any winter pictures that the web is rife with at the moment.

This bundle of glory is from Marie Z.'s blog which is a constant source of sunshine and inspiration - back to you lady!

While rummaging through the files I came across this piece and wondered why it never got posted to the main gallery. Large, 60"x40" give or take, this is "Giraffe Crossing Against the Light" (after much group debate).

This was one of the pieces that I designed and completed with fabrics on hand and painted while I was at Mary McBride's Focus on Fiber at the ACA in FL where I had one of the most productive weeks of my life. I really, really need to go back again. Something to save for.

Last night I had one of those amazing, problem solving dreams where you wake up not remembering the fuzzy details but the lesson was clear, well founded and remembered and resonates with the work of the moment:

                      "Loosen up, be free and don't call it work."

detail from "Giraffe..."

Friday, January 14, 2011

ah summer....

The iced-overness continues here and looking back to summer dye days is so nice.

Melissa put a a really nice reminder of how good things happen unexpectedly when you dye your own.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

something new

I took out some scraps to shuffle around a see if anything stirred and it has. I think I know what hound dogs feel like when they are on the trail and find the scent!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

my crew

A while back someone remarked on the piece that could be seen hanging over my worktable. I couldn't find the image anywhere until this morning. For lack of anything new, here it is, something from my "gestures" series.

I have had another on my mind for while now but I have not even been able to draw it much less create it somehow with cloth. It's nothing like this one but still, a gesture. I'll keep trying.

Monday, January 10, 2011

the fun sort of work

We are snowed in today - a rare treat in Georgia. Now that the snow is tapering off we are in for 12 hours of freezing rain.  As long as the power doesn't go off we will be the snug rug bugs.

The boys are both in staying put mode at the respective GF's homes, and have made promises to drive nowhere.

All this gorgeous cloth? I have hand picked all of these for their "stitchability", that nice needle and thread, hand friendly feel that some cloth has.

These are all from my hand dyed, painted and/or discharged stash and include cotton - muslin, gauze, huck, flannel, lawn and damask. There is some silk, vintage sackcloth in several weights, a silk/rayon and all rayon scarf and a few hand picked commercial prints

I'm going to be cutting these up into fairly small pieces and grouping them into 3/4 hand bundles. You'll have to trust my (some have said) good colorsense - I won't have time to spread them out and photograph the individual pieces as I have in the past. Be assured each one will delight me before I name it and wrap it up.  I hope to have some up in the store by noon...and each bundle will include a treat until I run out of them.

winter storm

That's my dye studio out there! Even though we are out of practice for getting snowed in, we did a good job yesterday.

A big pot of beef stew got made, Jim went out and bought a couple of bags of sand to throw around on the walkways and I went out with my friend Janice to socialize, make plans, see a film and generally enjoy the day before the storm hit.

Now we'll spend the day looking out the window as all this gets worse. They are promising a day's worth of icy rain and freezing temperatures to continue - let's hope that the power doesn't go out as the trees start breaking down.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

on the wall

I finally painted out that ghastly yellow I put around "Lavenderia" .Now I can come in here without getting aggravated.  It's been too cold to spend much time in the studio so I painted at the kitchen table this morning, toasty with stew cooking and the oven going.

Now I'm going to brave the cold outside and get out a bit before the snowstorm they are predicting for the area.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

more studio archaelogy

More tiny treasures uncovered while I think about what and if, is next for me as far as the cloth goes. A little rummaging in the archives revealed that I have been making these little hand stitched pieces for a long time -  before anyone was taking any kind of notice or paying slow stitching any special attention. It was what you did when there was no sewing machine and had the time to do it.

I know I took up the practice because I was away from home for ten or more hours at a time, working at a job that was mostly "watch and wait" where nothing much ever happened.
 My grandma always said "Idle hands are the devil's playground". When I was little I always wondered where this damned playground was. On this job the saying was never more true -with a few bored keystrokes I could have disrupted telecommunications for everyone east of the Mississippi. Best I had something else to occupy me in the idle hours rather than any self-directed on the job training.

This is "Small Comfort" from early 2005. This was just one of a  whole long series of pieces I called "Rothko's Puppies"

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ah spun gold! My magpie brain is so dazzled by a little bit of sparkle. This is the bottom side of one of the cusspots that I dyed and painted last summer.

I uncovered the whole basket of them in the studio the other day. Unfortunately most of them were more like bottles with the necks too small to stuff with scraps. A few were perfect little vessels.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

good starts

I picked up the thread with this one last night and carried out my intention to make changes to using the Shiva oil sticks A. sent me some time ago.

I like the very slow, controlled results from using very little paint on a dry stiff brush, sneaking up on shapes and creating depth and definition. Must take care to go slowly and not screw this one up. One false move with this stuff and you are stuck with a mess.

You would laugh to see me back my car out of what can be sometimes tight parking in our driveway. Think about the Queen Mary pulling away from her berth.