Thursday, September 19, 2019

the midweek peach

First, we do a quick selfie to check in with Mom and Dad, letting them know I've retrieved Charlie from after school care.

Then we decide what the adventure for the rest of the afternoon will be. Today's first stop, the car wash. Endlessly entertaining for a five-year-old to have the car swallowed into the swishing belly of the sudsy beast complete with a light show and our own rock and roll.

The whole back seat of my car is awash with various forms of entertainment. A small basket overflowing with little toys, books, compass, magic wand. Over the summer I stocked it with a couple of spare blank notebooks and a set of markers which he ignored.

The first thing he did after clicking his own seatbelt (another first! "I got this, Nana.") was open up the notebook and break out the markers for the first time. I asked what he was writing. "I like the numbers the best, but there's an A." Not bad for writing in a moving car.

Once finally home, I was warmly received and righteously worn out. A great day.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Night Garden

Nothing left but the dirty work. Truing, backing, picking cat hair and lint.

Some decent photographs. Maybe a little peddling somewhere.

Bringing this one to life, to reality, was a challenge.

It should finish out at 35"x22". I don't have anything suitable that's large enough for the backing so I'll do some scrounging this weekend.

Then, the river basket and the toolbox have to go in the closet for a bit while I get this story off the runway. Time to get the other side of my brain back in the game.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


For a little while, she was on the front stoop watching our resident red shouldered hawk working the chipmunks.

She just rushed in here to take over my lap - stitching be damned. Lately, she's been anxious. Coyotes in the street before dawn. Me too.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Caught between

Summer and fall.

Writing and editing.

Less and more.

She drew the two of swords and knew it didn't matter then. Right or left. Sooner or later, there would be bloodshed. The only question was whose.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Old Wheels keep turning.

We are all grateful to see the backside if this weekend that started in the wee hours, Friday night. In the first rainstorm that we've had in weeks, the pickup croaked and had to be towed home the next morning.

The Honda had languished for about a month due to its lack of AC. As payback for the neglect, it decided to puke up its radiator the very next day.

I would rather have an ace mechanic in the family than a doctor. Doctors are not supposed to treat their own family members. I don't know what we would have done without Jake's skills and patience.  The car is running, the truck will be in a few days.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

this is my Saturday

Some of you may know that I work the day(night) job every weekend, so your Tuesday is my Saturday. This puts me at odds with the world sometimes, but most times, I can do what I please with plenty of breathing space around me.

Filling a thread order this morning I couldn't imagine how I let this one get away! Just the amount and intensity of chaos that usually grabs my attention. Somebody beat me to it!

Good music, errands, and stuff, beautiful things, and later, a date with the Gooby. There might be pictures.


Sunday, September 08, 2019

stopping, or not

I always struggle with when to stop, especially when I'm working down at the one or two-thread level of embroidery.

 Choosing to place a needle to the right or the left of a single thread, it's easy to lose sight of the whole.

Step back, feet away and see if it feels done. Is the story complete?

So goes the book editing. What looked like just the right word yesterday, grates on my nerves today.

Resolving to NOT, keep second (third, fourth) guessing myself. Trusting that 99% of those first words came from a well-informed place. I'm off to the wet office with a fistful of pages to chew on.

Things are thinning out over at Dirty Threads. As long as summer seems to be holding on, I'm prepping for one more batch. Blues, roses, brown and greens....what else? Let me know.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

no Dorian

Don't be fooled. That Caribbean tinge means I didn't spend enough time working the long-handled scrubber around the floor today. The later into the season, the more work, but I'll take every day Summer has left for me.

I've been sleeping badly since coming home. Disjointed, post-apocalyptic dreams that never go anywhere but in anxious circles.

Thinking too much about the wrong
things. Have some images instead.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

and back

It was a great trip, fun and relaxing because my people all went above and beyond for my comfort and safety.

But it's always good to get home. Back to the things I like doing, the stuff that needs doing. I didn't get much stitching done as I'm getting pretty fussy about lighting and, as bright as it was at the beach, it was really too damn hot! The TSA didn't nab my scissors, so, it's all good.

I cleaned up the work table and finally am releasing some of the last dyed threads into the wild. My personal stash is overflowing and if I look at these one more time....

The quest was for greens. A lot of gold crept in. The Rubies and the Amethysts are too dark with little variation, but it's not like I'm going to throw them away. There are a lot of plain crazy players too. You can see them all here.

I was missed.

Monday, September 02, 2019


the Casino Girls terrorizing Foxwoods. Except for feeding ourselves so generously, we (for the most part) broke even.
I don't know where my beach pictures evaporated to, but the day was perfect.

It was a treat to spend a little time with the nephews that I don't often get to see.

Two charming and delightful small humans.

Every room in the house has art or quilts I've made. This was my mother's lap quilt in the nursing home. She dragged it around with her everywhere. I slept under it for a few nights.

Monday, August 26, 2019


Someone is wise to the fact that I'm heading out of town. Right after this, I had to pull her out of my half-packed suitcase.

She's going to need some extra coddling while I'm away.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Paying attention

For about a month, we’ve been trying to find a home for a fiberglass truck cap that’s been hanging around outside since, oh, 2001, leaning up against the house, lending that Tobacco Road charm to the place. The truck it came with died and the hope was to transfer it to a replacement vehicle. We paid nearly 300$ to replace the large rear window on the cap, not a week before fatal transmission failure made that expense moot. I’ve had it on various websites under FREE and CURB ALERT. So far, no takers and the weeds are getting tall around it. Good thing we have no HOA here.

I’ve told a couple of people that Jim’s been close these days. Yesterday proved it for me. 

I lolled about in a housedress until nearly noon, doing as I pleased. Something, someone said, “Get your shit together and go get the things you forgot at the store yesterday. Like deodorant, laundry detergent and a hairbrush. The basics of civilization will escape me from time to time.

I dressed with whatever was lying around that was not befrigged with cat cooties, pulled on the non-favorite sandals instead of hunting down the beloveds. Rather than wait for the AC, I opened the roof and windows wide and headed out. Timing was everthing.

I had to wait for a few cars to go by before I could pull out of the community. When I did, I fell in behind a small pickup, black, older. As I got closer I could read that it was a GMC Sonoma, same model, and color as Jim’s. They are very plain so there was no telling the year.

We sat and waited at the train crossing for a freight train to rattle through. Twenty-some cars instead of the usual eighty or ninety and I debated jumping out of my car and running up to speak to the driver. “Hey, mister, does this old truck need a matching cap?’ The gate came up and traffic moved out. I resolved that if he made a right in the direction of the grocery store, I’d follow and engage.

 Just before the intersection, he made a hard, unsignalled right into a different shopping center and parked. I followed. I was committed. Or should be.

He wasn’t an armed madman. A younger Dave Grohl type – dark, hairy and grubby, but I’m sure I gave him pause when I blocked him in, rolled down my window and asked what year his truck was. 1998, just like ours. What were the odds? I felt like Jimmy was in the passenger seat laughing and had to laugh myself.

So I told the kid about the cap, offered it up for free and gave him the address where he could look it over and help himself, or not. He was non-committal, probably relieved I wasn’t the Law.

I tried.

I'll let you know.

It's 5:00pm Sunday. Sad to say, it's still up there. 
Guess he decided he didn't need to accessorize.

PS...Craigslist is dead. Long live Facebook Marketplace. The same day as I decided the cap would be headed for the dump, I listed it on FB marketplace. In an hour I had six people interested. Inside another, two nice men with a small truck came, fitted it to said truck and spirited it away to a life of continued service. I'm so happy. They even scrawled a thankyou on the FREE sign. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Sun chasing

Shifting around in the chair, reaching for the light as the sun gets about his daily transit.

The strong light sifts through the limbs and leaves of the water oak in fits and starts forcing me to pay attention.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

lost treasures

Dug up from the back of a drawer. The whole crew of elders, my bowlegged groom, that Beast, me and my crew. I was keeping a grip on Shag (Jim's dog) so he wouldn't put his nose up under my dress, his favorite pastime, aside from knocking me down and nipping at me to confirm his dominance. I think my Dad was standing on a tree root, but my Grandma in her floral glory was nearly the tallest chick at the party. Bless her genes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

secret messages

"He watched as she stalked a wide, slow circle that took her all the way around the car. She was wearing something short and black. Magic again? Without taking his eyes off her, he took off his St. Christopher’s medal and hung it from the rear-view. He could feel her energy and gripped the steering wheel, mesmerized.

She stopped a few paces out in front of the car. Both hands reached for the stars, then she crouched low and brushed the wet grass with her fingertips. No candles, no incense. She spoke into the darkness like it was listening.

Hear me sisters, Fire, Wind, Water and Earth, in all your names and guises.
Light the watchtowers for us. Hold back the night.
I ask cover from all quarters.
Bless us this circle and we within."
"Prophets Tango"  by Deborah Lacativa 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

good night

embarrassment of riches

This is a deep basket!

I'm going to be putting these up in sets of four and six. Curating is the fun part. I'll post them to the Dirty Threads page as time permits.

If you have any colorway requests, email me.

Now all I have to do is keep my hand out of the candy jar.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

building the moon

 A very old piece of damask that had been dyed, discharged and coveted for years convinced me that, no, the moon doesn't have to be a perfect circle.

How it looks is all in where you are standing the moment you look up. I have some silver and gold metallic threads, but I'm going to hold off on those until the very last minute.

Being mindful that the moon casts no light of its own. It can only reflect.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Night garden at sunrise

The better to actually see what I'm doing.
There's going to be a lot going on in this sky. A lot of handling, moving the hoops around.

To protect the central gardens, I've rolled the bottom two-thirds of the piece up and stitched the roll in place for a while. Hope I don't lose sight while I work in the clouds.

It's easy enough to do, no matter what medium you work in.

While I'm stitching,  I'm thinking through issues my incredible beta reader has pointed out. Places in my writing where I've obsessed over the right word, forgetting the purpose of the passage.

I've done that with stitching too many times to think about.

When it gets down to agonizing over spearing the warp or the weft, I need to put the work down and take a break. It's Friday after all.

Thursday, August 15, 2019


There it is, J. Those greens I've been casting for.

I've always been a sucker for jewel tones. Who isn't.

This lot was outside drying on the picnic table while I was a half-hour away heading into this. A second rinse wouldn't have been terrible, but now I can get back to the Garden.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Not fail away

I finally took about one hundred skeins out onto the dye deck. What a messy disappointment. All I can claim is madness in the midday heat.
I saved maybe a dozen. The rest of the motley crew will get a second chance, but they may have to wait. It was one hundred degrees outside today. 

The green in the foreground below is eluding me.

The rest of today was spent at the wet office with friends. Then, I got to pick up my buddy from aftercare. We chilled with popsicles, cartoons, and tales of kindergarten adventure.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


A little too much time stitching and listening to music.

I need to flip melancholy the bird and get up to no good for a few hours. This house is so quiet. Empty.

Friday, August 09, 2019

the view

My view from the stitching chair.

One of these days, I'm going to yank out that screen and clean the glass.

As for bad pictures, I had one job on Monday and I botched it.

Thank goodness his Mom was on the ball.

On Wednesday, he told me the best thing about kindergarten was No Naps!

"What do you do instead?"
"Right after lunch, we go back to teaching."

I'm so jealous.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

not quite shopkeeping

Working my way up to a dye day, but somehow, pool time keeps taking precedence. It is the wet office, after all. This one at JK's condo rarely seems to have anyone in it but us. I'm pretty sure the water has crack dissolved in it, instead of chlorine.

I'm still adjusting to my new schedule. Sleeping until I wake up, instead of to a 5:15 alarm feels slothful, but I get a lot done before first light. Then, I'm in the stitching chair for an hour or so.

Yesterday, after half the day in the water,  I updated the Dirty Threads and the Fat Baggies pages with the latest inventory and new pictures of the cloth churn.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

late SUNday

The skies cleared and the sun broke through. As I stepped out onto the high deck for these pictures, I almost caught a whiff of fall, like a ghost who runs out of the room the minute you step in.

the midweek peach

First, we do a quick selfie to check in with Mom and Dad, letting them know I've retrieved Charlie from after school care. Then we d...

Play it again Sam.