Friday, April 29, 2011

Do you know where your work is?

I was waiting for the power to go the other  night and stalling about shutting down the computer by rooting around in old bookmarks. Mine are so disorganized as to be almost useless. It was "404 error" this and "OOPS, page can't be found" that as I opened crusty old links.

Then I stumbled across Saatchi Online and realized I had work on display there and my gallery there was ages old and badly needed updating.  If you signed on with Saatchi when they first made a splash by offering this freebie,  you should revisit them and get your house in order.

Something new, they offer the opportunity to sell prints of your work  but your uploaded images have to meet their size specs and mine are all too small for now.
They have completely redone the interface for artists and it took some time to get up to speed. There's much more to be done and I realize that my online time would be better spent at this than playing words games that I almost always lose!

Then I got to thinking about all the various places that I have spewed my work online and my brain starts to hurt!

Oh well, it's a sunny day today, I'm off from work and may go larking about town looking for trouble, film at 11, never mind the Royal Wedding (lovely as it was).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

eye candy relief

The fierce weather left us relatively unscathed. I gave up watching the storm tracks on TV figuring I'd hear the alarm from the fire station nearby. Hardly. 

No art  from me today so enjoy some freedom, energy and excitement.

Branko Bursac
Gwen Fox
Emily Miah Stewart

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Green Bag redux

The overdye and discharge didn't wreak as much change as I had hoped so it's going to be up to me and the scrap bag to set things right. Here's a good start. It's nice to have this distraction from the weather.

We are in the path of the storms birthing tornadoes all across the south. My studio/office is on the top floor and from the window I can see our next door neighbor's towering trees tossing in the wind like so much green surf.

The next moment the wind drops, all goes still and muggy and the sun lights the treetops from an odd angle. It's been on and off all day. They say tonight the real trouble is coming. The tree frogs have been flat out insane at night.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

new day, new project

From hideous mistake to potential serviceability.
A little dye, some new zippers and a little TLC. Who knows, I may run wild and break out the beads!

I've been shopping for a new bag for a while now with no success and realize it's because I'm hung up on an old favorite that needs a second chance.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pastel Hell

Lesson learned. Some rot about being conceived or executed in haste. I have paid the price for disregarding a few cardinal rules. #1..let the dye warm up after you take it from the fridge. #2 be positive of the nature of your cloth. This sheet turned out to have a dash of synthetic by the looks of the results.

One of the groups making quilts for the quake survivors in Japan will be getting a whole tops worth of 8" squares by the end of the week.

PS- thanks for all the positive comments. I should know by now that my pastel dreams never satisfy my craving for the bold, daring and vibrant when I am awake and fully aware. I know someone will make something beautiful with these and then it will be given to someone who will appreciate it's function first and maybe it's beauty too. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I hard boiled a few eggs this morning but have left off dyeing them. A giant chocolate rabbit has been being nibbled at for a week already, beyond a Sunday dinner, we don't do Easter now that the boys are (mostly) grown. It used to be like minor Christmas here on Easter. Somehow the notion of new toys crept into the baskets in place of excess candy.

There was cloth to dye today first thing. Sometimes ideas come in dreams.

Whether or not this is a good idea remains to be seen. This fabric has been lolling in the soda ash tub a while now. I ripped it into strips and rolled them, not too tightly.

the dye went straight onto the turkey platter and the ends dabbed in colors.

the rolls then stood on their heads in mason jars for a few minutes...and then taken out and flipped over to take full advantage of gravity from the opposite direction.

and then laid out like so many tasty little Cannoli to spend the day drying in the hot sun.

Now to keep my hands off them for a while.
PS...why wait? I unrolled them to dry flat in the sun...quickly.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

spoze-yah update

I like the overall effect but it was a whole lot of work although the process could be refined to make enough fabric for a project in one session. Not as much "creep" as I wanted from the dye...thickener maybe. Maybe doing the creep thing after the blocks are stitched together and wet with soda ash. More trials to come.

I came into a large quantity of thick poly felt and wanted to see how it went under the needle. Machine quilting here is too mannered for my taste. Hand quilting is in order but not for a while.


I have been captivated by this quilt on the cover of Susan Beal's "Modern Log Cabin Quilting" and spent part of my evening doing my own version of Jude's "what iffing" but I've always called it "spoze-yah" (go on, say it out loud) .

It involves some things I have been warned against, like sewing dyed and painted but unrinsed cloth. Speculating about some of Mary Anne Jordan's pieces like this one and thinking about what the dye will do if you just let it.

no time for tea

I doubt this teapot will ever see any liquid again. Maybe Sangria.  There was no top, so maybe it's not really a teapot but  I saw one just like it in a wonderful film yesterday.
Take the time, settle in, watch the faces and listen to the voices. Give yourself over to this one - "Dean Spanley",
  and I promise you will be delighted.

(a very photogenic teapot, here and here are some large, flashy images. my magpie brain is captivated with the reflections)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

phase one, wrap up

It was a long day at the Lawrenceville Frankenstein Dyeworx...even the tools and the tablemoppers had a good time.

the theme of the day seemed to "extra-terrestrial hides" 
there is still a lot of work to do but it will have to wait until the weekend.


I love the Goodwill in Lilburn. There are many people of good taste and apparently great means who bring their barely used things there for me to scarf up on Tuesdays with my SC discount.

(I compensate for these trips by watching a couple of episodes of Hoarders and making up a bag of things to take back to them...)

2$ for a large silver plated teapot? Who could resist? It was dancing on the shelf before my eyes!

No one seems to use top sheets anymore - I scored two brand new, king-sized sheets of very high quality cotton with the intention of cutting them up for the dyepot. After washing and drying I discovered I like sleeping in luxury, especially for 2.50 each. There was also a tan cotton lawn skirt with acres of tiny pleats...pre-sewn shibori I'm thinking.

link love

A special thanks to "oh what a world, what a world.."
Lorraine has become my personal online curator.
I keep  coming back to these artists:

Kathleen Cammarata
Mary Zeran
Brian Belott
Michael Cutlip
Elise Wagner
Emily Mason
Julian Hatton

the commonalities to my eye - freedom, drama, confidence and love of color & shape, and joy in the making. What do you think?

and don't forget to add "Lines and Colors" to your daily blogreads, it's always worth the time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

change of face

And here I was all fuzzy brained and uninspired after just dunking six pieces that I quit and slept for two hours.
Woken by Samuel Jackson going on about his "M*Fing Snakes on a Plane!" I decided to do the washer woman thing and see what transpired while I dozed.

Miracles and Mysteries!

The hot soy wax loves the vintage damask and the dyes love the damask too. It's a love fest out on the burning dye-deck at the Lawrenceville Frankenstein Dyeworx!

I wonder what's going on in here?

storm waiting

I took today and tomorrow off from work hoping to break in the new dyes but we are under a thunderstorm warning which is supposed to pass by noon. Might as well collect some free water...

In the  wait time, I have a huge stack of books from the library which welcomed me back into the congregation warmly once I paid a year-old fine.  I scored "Autobiography of Mark Twain" and hesitate to settle in with it. I am smartass enough without encouragement from the ages.

There is also stitching galore.  "Rêver 2" is well underway. I am so impressed with folks using complex embroidery  in their work but my stitching is much more about construction than decoration. Going back and making a cross stitch out of a running stitch is a big deal for me. I call them staggering crosses. Nailing bits of silk organza down to aging damask is like putting decals on bee wings.

Many years ago I embroidered a huge linen tablecloth that I given. It was supposed to be done all in ecru silk with cut-work which seemed to me (and the original owner) like a prison sentence.

I bought 20 or so different colors of DMC floss and proceeded to cover all the printed lines with every imaginable color and stitch trick I could find in the book. It's a riot cloth that I trot out only for holiday meals. I may not have mastered every stitch but I can say that I have been there, and stitched that at least a dozen times.

These little staggering crosses are hard at work holding every thing together.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

dye day preparations

 You can tell by the names which colors were internet specials....and the purists out there will be freaking at my mash-ups.

Could there be something special about dye stock mixed on a full moon? You will have to admire my restraint that no cloth was involved in the days festivities. That party will be this coming Wednesday and  Thursday.

I ran out of bottles though, there are more colors waiting, turquoise, avocado, black, chino, raspberry.....

I needed a tablemopper but accidentally picked up a piece of damask that had been waxed. There will be more wax and discharging for this piece soon.

antimacassar redux

These were built on bases that used to be the armrest covers of a couch. The backsides were relatively pristine. The fronts, not so much. I like the fabric so much that I have idle fantasies of taking a razor to the side that faces that wall.

I will certainly skin it like a beast when we are through with it, boil it clean and make great things.

I like doing this one so much that when I found the other  armrest cover in with the "to dye" bunch, I pulled it out and started a twin, fraternal, not identical.  Call this one "Brave beat the downtrodden Mets, double header". Yes, there will be more french knots.

Yesterday was so cold and blustery, Jim was inspired to make chili and I was forced to postpone making new dyestock.

Instead, I wasted the morning trying to master Jim's old cell phone (mine came over on the Ark and is failing). I was happy to be able to stitch anything after all that useless thumbing. Useless because later in the day I was told that, through a chain of loved one's upgrades, I would be given a gently used Blackberry. Just what I need.

We'll see what the day brings weather-wise after lunch.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Giving Thanks

You know who puts off doing the tax boogey until this morning, those who owe. Still, the filthy deed is done and as I pressed print there was a thump on the doorstep. FedEx!

My boodle from Prochem arrived chock full of wonder. I love buying (cheap!) the discontinued, heinous colors no one else seems to want. What a challenge! There's Curry, Loden, Pumpkin Spice, Grape, Azalea Pink, Golden Yellow, Sapphire and Intense Blues, Raspberry and Superblack!  I feel a day off coming on.

Here's a hasty pot of Forget-me-Not which I have rechristened "Fuggedaboutit" Blue. Results tomorrow.

For now, I give thanks once again, for being so easily amused. 

back to the wall

Remember this one?

I was so in love with it at first but I left it hanging on the design wall, sideways (as it was built) and only pinned in place - I could not take the next step of basting it.

Deep down, I knew it was fatally flawed.

Thanks to E, who clarified what I knew to be true, there really was no way to unify the two disparate halves and what I really had here were starting points for two separate pieces.  Here's to heading off false starts before they become groaning disappointments.

You know what I am supposed to be doing at this moment, don't you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the personal stash

 After the storm front moved through last night, it's turned cold again. There are sleeping cats draped all over the house.

I was busy at the computer and didn't hear her come into the room and clamber up from the ironing board into my personal stash...

So I asked her, "Sweetie, what the hell are you doing up there?
Casually, slowly, she turned around and showed me what she thought of my efforts.

a humble Thank You

to Jude Hill who has been so incredibly generous in featuring my hand dyed fabric on her resource page along with the work of several amazing artists.
You won't go wrong here.

Jude, I am scrambling to live up to your recommendation.

There will be Born Again Overdyes, Sugar, Salt and Buggy Cereal cloth, discharged,painted and dragged behind the mule fabric (just kidding)...lot's of new and interesting things to share in the upcoming weekends.

Monday, April 11, 2011

half baked still

Here's more what I was thinking about yesterday. The oval/circles I like best come from discharging - the hot wax is much more willful and harder to control. These processes are both time consuming and messy and this whole week I am very short of free time so I am going to let everything rest until the weekend.

I'm going to be pulling many pieces from the stash for similar treatments - they thought they were safe, all ironed and folded on the shelf. HAH!

I did a rare thing last night -spent four consecutive hours watching TV (I should have been sleeping) the pilot and second episode of "The Killing" on AMC.

I can't put my finger on what is so compelling about what could be boiled down to yet another cop drama. The complexity and dominance of character reminds me of "Homicide, Life in the Streets" and there's a dash of David Lynch. Strong performances from unknown actors. It all adds up to really good TV. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Yesterday - 1st dyefest of the season

It was great fun to hold the first dye day of the season at Elizabeth's studio.  We are both always on the lookout for happy chemical accidents, neither one a stickler for rules.  Here she is working over a piece that came to her from another well known fiber artist (a prize if you guess who via email). They have a swap going, each taking turns changing the piece.  I don't know when they are going to stick a fork in this one and call it done.

Another view of the day's doings here.

This is part of my murky results, but murk was just what I was after because I've been having visions of those discharged discs and have a half baked idea along the lines of Shell Vapors and I'm fresh out of spots.

Overall results ran from the sublime to the ridiculous, as usual, which means something for every occasion.

There were great lessons remembered and new ones learned like, don't waste soy wax on wet cloth, make the wax hot enough in the first place, split peas were a waste of lentils and SHAKE THE DAMN BOTTLES! and don't forget to check your gloves once in a don't want to see my thumb.

Friday, April 08, 2011

freakin' friday

I'm convinced that this will be the fate of this telecommuter unless drastic action is taken immediately.

Until then, play with this .

I'm rounding up stuff for a studio day at Elizabeth's place tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

finishing touches

Sweetie's on post for the birds setting up housekeeping in the hedges.  I've decided to name this one "Rêver" - french for dreaming. 
I've been falling asleep listening to people speaking french in foreign films which leads to dreaming in french and I wake up wondering who and where I am.

It's perched on top a pile of white fabrics all destined for the dyepots at some point in the future. I'm headed to EB's studio this weekend for some fiber r&r - someone else's workspace is always a treat and a challenge for me. Some of these pieces will come along and be transformed.

I chose the bits of cloth for this piece as much for their texture and character as the colors - everything is very weavy and soft, easy to stitch. 

Appropriately,  I'm busy building a  small army of  french knots wandering in the streets and alleys. 
Each one says "You Are Here" but not in red.