Saturday, October 31, 2015

a new holiday

We haven't done Halloween here in years. I got tired of handing out candy to stunted thugs and mini-hookers who didn't seem to know that the tradition called for a little verbal give and take, such as "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You!" We had many years of great trick or treating in the past complete with the one scary house on the block with the lights out. It's my turn.

My house is dark and scary on a sunny day - no decorations of any kind since I retired the lace ghosts. I'll make sure there are no lights visible from the street and spend the evening in peace.

Today I shopped for what I'll be making a new tradition, my own take on the Day of the Dead. Tomorrow there will be lasagna, music, beer and fond memories.

Tonight, I'll pamper my cold with a stitch in and sketching out a new novel. I'm going to back this with a cotton batt so I can do something with all that white space. organize it with stitch.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Got an email late yesterday. Well, me a bunch of other folks, I'm sure.
Sorry. None of your work will be traveling to Art Quilts Element next spring. 

Seems like such a long way off. All I can think about is what's happening here.
It sure makes all other endeavours look puny.

I found this scrap in with a load of socks. Looks like more B&W pieces will be in the works.

Monday, October 26, 2015

more code

The current WIP is a continuation of something that was started maybe three years ago, I haven't taken the time to dig through the archives here, but I know it was one of the pieces that I took to Kinkos and pulled color copies of on heavy weight paper. I'll have to revisit that. The prints come out beautiful in case you haven't tried it.

This stormy grey bit is actually the collar from a tuxedo shirt that I used for a table mopper in a dye session and then dismembered. It flapped around in the river basket like a broken wing for a long time, noisy, always surfacing. "Use me."

I think about the occasions or performances it must have witnessed. You just never know what clothes have been up to.

The older section keeps reminding me to loosen up and not be so literal. Then I study it and think that it needed more work too.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

code lines

The new banner was just two pieces of cloth peeking out of the "save me" basket.

This piece occupied my hands this morning while the light was good and cats begging for attention weighed me down.

It's closing in on being done and I don't want it to be because then I'll have to start another. 

Starting is hard.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

day and night

"Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” 

― David MitchellCloud Atlas

Karma VI
This has been hanging on the other, vertical design wall away from all the other chaos. I've decided that it needs more construction type work before I can call it finished. Could be that I'll stitch it right to a canvas if I can find one the right size.
It's 20x21.

Even as I am stitching with opulently colored fabric and threads my eye keeps being drawn to the vigor and violence of the black and white things in the room.

I loved saddle shoes back in the day. Would wear them again if I could find the right ones.  Waiting for the sunlight to come through the front windows to get back to this one.

Monday, October 19, 2015

overnight changes

It got cold overnight and I brought Mr. Wilson inside. The rest will get their frog/lizard check tomorrow and join him.

It was so nice out over the weekend that on Sunday I took the overflowing river basket to the park and staked out one of the new picnic tables with the intention of working on this piece.

As I started looking for a certain color thread, I pulled more and more tools, UFOs, bags of thread and miscellaneous crap from the basket and found a trio of stinkbugs lurking. One by one they were evicted and I spent an hour sorting and reorganizing. It needs a serious offload.

The stitching didn't happen until much later during a short Downton Abbey orgy. I find I can't just stitch. There has to be something else going on. A ballgame, a movie, an audiobook. I have to disconnect the brain from the hands otherwise I get bored and quit or bad stitching things happen from overthinking.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

yakkety yak

Charlie and I hike up to the tennis courts they have where he lives. I've never seen anyone playing tennis so I'm sure they won't mind us taking advantage of clean surface and sturdy fences.

He's got language by the tail with a non-stop patois of gibberish that leaves this mere mortal clueless. He gestures, uses inflection and clearly wants to have a say.  There's also a strong note of pity for his witless audience especially if I try to imitate him. The arched eyebrow glare is priceless.

Monday, October 12, 2015

stitching on the clock

While I was composing this last night, I was trying to recognize how the activity related to writing. It doesn't.
It's much more gut reaction to the materials.

Every move I make with cloth is a yes/no proposition - unless I get carried away and stitch a bunch of crap that gets ripped out when the smoke clears - it happens.

 I'm not in any kind of rush here so each yes/no is going to be considered and seconded. I've set everything here in the studio/office so I can stitch between the Tales of Woe that I listen to every night. There's a story in that crap, lemme tell you, but you'd die of boredom before midnight.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Studio update

The rain and then the chill and I realize I'm weeks behind getting the studio ready for winter. Now that I've moved the day job computer back in here, it won't be long before I trundle the little heater out of the closet. The studio will be cozy and it looks like there will be stitching.

I pulled the birthday chair out into the room and gave it a thorough going over with the vacuum and reinstalled the sliders under its feet. Sucked up every speck of spider crap and web in that corner of the room and put up new Festivus lights.  That's two corners of the room deep cleaned and re-ordered.

To crown the process, I dug into the river basket, weeded out a lot excess and dug up a handful of UFOs that aren't beyond hope or help. I have discovered that 1.75 cheaters are not going to be sufficient. Time to bump up to 2s and shorting stitching time accordingly.

I have to go to the DMV to take an eye exam on Tuesday. I may lay off any further eye torture until then.

Friday, October 09, 2015


"Your eyes will lie to you first, but you can trust your other senses," he said. "Close 'em. Go on." He waited.

"Now hold this. Bring it up to your face. Breathe it in. You can feel the truth of it. Be still and find it in memory; what it's here for. Touch finds the truth every time."

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


This is where it begins. A scrap in the sunlight or fire light will catch my eye and beg me to touch it, pick it up, consider it's provenance and how far it's come. It was something else, long ago and now it's waiting.

"What's next for me?" it whispers.

"Find me a partner. Several. Let's dance. Let's become a part of a great whole, something to behold.
Something to hold. Something to cling to. Something that will serve. Let me last beyond myself.
Make me."

Sometimes we all need a guide, a waymaker.

Monday, October 05, 2015


Things are three deep on the design wall.

This a quick and dirty shot with my cell phone which is taking increasingly crappy photos.

The quilts were up so I could reshoot everything with the big camera for AQE16. That's right. Once more into the ring.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

summer slipped away

while it was raining. We've been lucky. No big storms or hurricanes - just days on end of damp drizzle that intensifies to need an umbrella rain and then slacks back to drizzle. Fungus weather.

Over the past two nights, it's become cold. Drear. My old cat Voodoo insists on spending his days outside on the dyedeck. Willful. Worrisome. They take charge of themselves no matter what we want.

I've been overwhelmed by too many obligations and a shortage of personal resources. The day before I was to be cleared to return to work full-time, a nasty little virus took hold and has further sapped my energy. I would rather sleep than just about anything else. So I do.

Any day now I am going to have to bring all my houseplants inside and find places for them to survive the winter.

the best days of the week, I spend with Charlie who is a full fledged toddler now. He wants me to put his shoes on him even before he's out of his Pjs.

Here is a brief moment where we both throw back to "baby" times. He's adept at the sippy cup and any day I suspect all those "bobbies" will disappear.