Saturday, November 18, 2017

sweet saturday

Out of the blue, comes the need to stitch...these days it happens when a scene I'm working on stalls.

Nothing happens without something to build it on so I cobbled together a surface from dismembered linen blouse and shorts. Good stuff. LL Bean!

I'm also noticing that I need to either rest my eyes more often or invest in some 2.5 cheaters. The twos are not cutting it.

And I had a little help this morning. He learned pretty quickly which end was sharp and held a spool so I could pull off what I needed. I am so looking forward to introducing him to the craft.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Celebrate a life by living

Four years. Four days. It's all the same when you miss someone minute by minute.

We do our best to let Charlie know his Grampa Jimmy through pictures and stories. His guardian angel tends us all.
ps. I fired up Jumpin' Jack Flash and took the long way to get a few overdue errands done. Found the new Hotel California Sirius station and rolled loud, windows down, moonroof open. When I got home, I made a batch of Jim's Best chili and my prize-winning cornbread. For dessert, I took the harvest for a test drive. I know he would have approved of all of it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

fall downs

It's the time of year when I started using time rather mindlessly. I finally gave away that blasted acrylic yarn and the beautiful knitting needles to a friend who was serious about learning to knit.

So these containers came to pass.
I still have a basket with five cones of mystery yarn. One is cotton perle, one is bamboo and the others, no clue. The cones are unmarked. Alone, the strands are thin, unsubstantial. Together (and they have to be coaxed gently) they are soft and flexible. I might mix up a little brown dye and see if I can get that Boston bean pot effect.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

historical dig

While looking for something else, these came to the surface. No surprise that they've languished. The colors are abominable. I'm going to tinker with that, see if I can get them to a place I like, colorwise.

These scraps are all that remains of a magnificent double damask tablecloth that I bought for a song on Ebay. The stitching is called Mountmellick.

I used a chunk of it in one of my most successful pieces. It didn't need any additional color.

"Lavanderia" went to ArtQuilts Elements at Philadelphia in 20l2 and didn't come home. SOLD!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

bigger things take time

I continue to be grateful for my cloth and thread customers.

This is Charlie doing his best to ignore my suggestions that we both need a nap, badly.

I really should have packed him into the car and let him run wild at the park before the rain closed in, but I was too tired to drive. It was just a matter of timing.

I've kept the promise to myself to do the Nanowrimo thing and have been spending all my mornings writing. Too much time on one's ass has to be a health hazard.

Walking in the park continues to give me brain space for working on stories even though I can't seem to sustain consistency and momentum to reap any physical benefits so far. Given time, I know it will. I have to work out the balance, but any creative will tell you that when you are on a roll, you'd better slick up and go with it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


 It was a marathon weekend. The bottom fell out of the thermometer on Saturday night. While New England was suffering a nor'easter, we got frostbit here in Georgia. I hauled all of my houseplants into the bedroom. Hitchhikers too. The spiders and stinkbugs in my house are running scared.

It was good to have the Warmth at the touch of a button.

All the orders for cloth and thread are on their way. If some of the packages look like they've been tampered with, that was just me improving the weight.

I don't have a postal scale, always just eyeballed the filling of the envelopes, but these news ones confounded me. Slippery devils. As I started processing them at the self-service kiosk in the post office, some came up too light so I brought them back home and operated.
I'm going through the receipts and will be sending out surprises to a handful that were sent before I started checking the weights. I know where you live. :)

Charlie did Halloween at school on Friday so on Monday we did candy. Lots of candy. There is a new schedule and I get there at 630 in the morning and when he wakes up 7ish, he wakes me with the question, "What are we up to today, Nana?"

Saturday, October 28, 2017

in the river basket

The sun was strong, breezes light. I took the river basket to the park to see just what I'd been squirreling away there all this time.

Could I dredge the urge to thread a needle? Only for the purpose of embroidering smart-ass, lewd remarks. I didn't but the story wheels were burning rubber.

Some of this stuff will probably pop up for sale in time. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

get your shop on

Thanks to everyone for the amazing response, I will be filling orders as they were received, first come, first served. There is MORE than enough cloth and thread to go around.

 It's not a living, but it helps.

From now, until they run out, I'll be including a random Dirty Thread in each Fat Baggie.

Giving away a skein of my hand dyed DMC embroidery floss is just like drug dealers giving away a "taste". We know you'll be back.

I found a new kind of shipping envelope. Not much more than a skin of very tough plastic with no lining, so it holds more cloth. I fill them until I can safely close them so, bonus to my customers!

Downside? More content equals more weight and postage. Add to that a recent rate hike and it comes out to a small bump in the cost. now 28$ includes first class shipping inside the US. Elsewhere? email me

I'm picking the baggies mostly from this past summer's dye sessions,  with choice gleanings from previous years added in. If you have questions, email me.  

If you are ready, there's this 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


With the fall chill comes the need to fiddle string into something useful. I've thrown in the towel on that damn yarn. I can't count how many years I've started a project with those four skeins of blue, purple and brown Lion Homespun, then unraveled it all back into balls. I think I'll put them in a bag and leave them at the Little Library in the park.

I don't even know what these all are, the cones are unmarked. The ball is Perle cotton. One of them is bamboo. A rayon maybe? All five together make a satisfying, if a little pesky,  weight to work.

Nanowrimo starts next month. There is no way I have the time to commit to a new novel, not under the gun, so to speak. But I make take the time to frame up the next one to get out from under the bog of revising the current one for a while.

Fresh eyes. fresh perspective.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

and the winner is

the contest is closed. I have twenty entries scribbled on the backside of some junk mail. All cuddled up here in my sari silk yarn skull cap.

Now to convince Sweetie to make a choice.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


I took a day off from the grind and drove up to NC to visit a friend who is furnishing and decorating her home. I knew about the white couch and thought these just might work. Some of the "Alien Innards" go back to 2006. These are the ones that I couldn't bear to part with, one by one. I'm happy that they've been adopted en masse. They get along well with the other kids.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

scraps surge

You should see the ones I put in the river basket. One might think I was thinking about stitching something.
(my glasses are for scale)

There are two more clutches just like this one and the fourth is winging it's way to Ukiah, CA at this moment.

I have a small problem. Although they are 6"x9", the new postal bags are unlined and hold more cloth! Yay for you, but the post office is hurting me.
Jumping the rate up to 27$ to cover the postage hike.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017

in the days to come

The cloth and threads will take care of themselves for a while.

 I've come too far to let this spin away into vapors. So I will be in


Is like shaving off prison tattoos a square inch at a time. 
The hardest damn work I've done since labor and death.

So far, it works like this. I'll read the last scene that WORKED and then the new victim,
 the next one, and the one that follows it. If the new one fails on enough fronts - and I've had more than
half do just that, I brood over the truth of it. The five 'whys'.

Then I start the autopsy.
Print, then redact - just like in the movies- with the broad, black marker, anything that's 
crap. Anything that's not a jewel.

Then I brood on it some more and find a different way to set some, not all, of those gems. 
A setting that not only makes the scene worthwhile but nods to the one before it and sets up
the next. 

Dominos dipped in nitro.

(don't forget to jump on this)

a contest, you say?

I'm waiting on a shipment of packing envelopes for
the Fat Baggies, but until they land, I thought I'd have a day late giveaway for my birthday. I'll be making up a bundle that includes scraps from the last dye fest and other treasures from my stash, plus a couple hanks of Dirty Threads thrown in for magic.
Open to anyone in this whole wide world. Just leave one comment here and Friday night I'll see if I can't get sweetie to help me pick a winner.

Took an opportunity for a little getaway...I'll make Sweetie do the thing on Sunday afternoon...there will be video.

Friday, October 13, 2017


"Frontrunner"  2010 . The actual orientation is vertical, of course. It was conceived as a battle banner.  Now I see a flag under fire.

And this is sixty-eight, just a little high.
Happy birthday to me.

Last harvest 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

strange doings

The (unseen) bloody of this picture had to be attended to first. While I picked glass slivers from my hand, this river of Turquoise dye, King of Stains, wandered across the table and cascaded to the floor. 

A mason jar that I was holding vibrated under my fingers and an eye-shaped shard sprang out. The vibration felt as if I had a big bumblebee inside the middle and ring fingers of the glove I was wearing. It was the strangest sensation.

I thought I was using a paint stick to stir the dye but while I was cleaning up, I found it still clean. Even if I had used a spoon, I would have been careful not to bang it around in the jar. 

The upshot was that I spent over an hour cleaning and by the time I was done, my back was saying "that's it for the dye day" but I staggered back outside onto the deck and got it done. I will be sorry tomorrow.

Climate change = an October dye day

I'll have to cheat a bit and stow everything in black plastic bags for extra heat.

It's day two of my stay-cation and I've decided that instead of bitching about what I haven't been able to do - travel, spend, socialize - I'll just try to do all of them on a reduced scale.

Today, though, I'm going to take another shot at dyeing the rest of the wonderful stash of linen garments that have been waiting in a pile in the corner of the studio.  Everything, including the Basis cloths (there are several), will be chopped up into usable sizes, 12x12 max, and included in a new round of          Fat Baggies. It's hard to imagine, but I am scraping the bottom of the tubs of my years-old stash. Time to replenish and renew.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

lost weekend +2

After a rough week working through a cold/whatever with Charlie (he's fine) I succumbed.

At first, I thought it was the flu, but flu doesn't clear out after just a good night's (heavily medicated) rest and a bowl of soup and a grill cheese sandwich.

I am restored and will let tomorrow see about itself.

No one will be looking for me until Sunday night.

Right now I have the studio to keep me occupied. The place is a mess! What happened in here?

Thursday, October 05, 2017

fiber fix

Dirty thread continues to be a learning thing.

Many of the most recent batch were just Meh, so I overdyed them. There's a project I don't want to mess with again.

Last night the simplicity of winding skeins while watching a movie was as much as my brain/body could tolerate. There are places on YouTube where people post videos of repetitive tasks like this. Doing them, I get. Watching them? Not for me, but Sweetie was fascinated and every now and then compelled to reach in and mess with the process.


That Sunday shift turned into a three-day siege. We got some restorative fresh air and sunshine yesterday. Painting in the park with lemonade and sticks.

Sunday, October 01, 2017


Our Sunday breakfast didn't pan out. Nobody had an appetite.

We look a little shot. Me, hungover from not enough sleep. Charlie, not up to himself either. Once we got out from under the spell of a little Lego and "Stickman" on TV, it was warmer outside than inside, and we headed down the block for the tiny playground someone installed on a wedge of county property in the neighborhood.

We were about halfway there when he wrapped his arm around my leg and said, "There's something in my ear hurting me."
That and the boogers point to a low-key Charlie Monday tomorrow. We'll see what fun we can wring from the day.

Friday, September 29, 2017


...if only for a day. No stitching, no writing or editing. I did take a book, "Tell the Wolves I'm Home"
So far, so good.

Lake Lanier, only an hour away. It's not the ocean, but on a beautiful day like today, I'll take it.

A man-made reservoir, the rocks along the shore seem to come from another planet.
Today, I started a rock collection for Charlie. Rocks big enough that he cannot throw them.

I'm usually good with rocks. I have no idea what this beauty is, but I'm pretty sure the red spot is a garnet.  This is about the size of a brick.

Thursday, September 28, 2017