Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Re. Visions.

on all the levels I can think of 'revisions' is the new name for this piece.

It's all about changes happening in my art, my writing, my life. Everything happening at the same time sounds like chaos.
It's not.
It's much more like a flow. Pieces have to be considered, tried out and accepted or rejected. Fails to build on. Successes that nourish progress. In all things, balance and timing.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

spring cold

Not dropped off the face of the world; it just feels that way.

This deep into the school year and I finally caught a case of Pre-K cooties from my little assistant. I think the remedies laid me lower than the actual cold - I just didn't care as much.

It's a good thing that I can (mostly) do the day job in my sleep. Once or twice last night, I picked up a call, listened to what the person wanted and had no idea what they were talking about. In English. 

There are other things that I'm supposed to be doing but the brain is off wandering on cold meds. Stitching in a straight line is as much as I can manage right now.

Monday, March 11, 2019

not hungover

On Saturday, March 9, 2019, I typed ~fini~ and sent it off to a professional for an overview.

It was started, give or take, in the spring of 2014 and didn't get a title, a name until a long time after that.

For no other reason, I feel hungover.

ps. just got off the phone with a very talented advisor.  I may have the words corralled for the moment, but we are a long way from home (published). This was fully expected and I'm fine with it. More learning, more adventures lie ahead.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

the fix

There. That's better. Some color, even if I'm a little puffy around the edges from too much sleep.

I feel a little more like me evil self today. Yesterday, I finally saw the doctor about my left shoulder. Xrays said no bone fragments or arthritis.

 Let her stick an enormous needle full of voodoo juice in the joint and let me have the full jolt. There will be an MRI to see the extent of the damage and then we'll talk about what's possible, repair-wise.

Thursday, February 28, 2019



I'm having a hard time getting the value changes I want using thread alone.

This always happens with large pieces. Scale is a demon.

There could be paint in this thing's future. I've done it in the past.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

the penny from heaven

This past Tuesday while I was waiting to pick Charlie up at school, I looked in the mirror and realized my earring was missing.

I don't have a lot of jewelry. Never buy for myself so anything gifted to me is precious. Jim bought me these when Colin was born almost forty years ago. He hid the JC Penny's bill from me all summer. I wear them day and night, rarely changing them for something else.

I had the strangest pang when I saw it missing because the night before, I dreamed that I'd lost it and in the dream, I was unaffected. I usually go nuts looking for something like this until I find it.

It had been a busy day - a half dozen errands. Me getting in and out of the car with a new scarf on that seemed to catch on everything. I made a few calls, stopped off at the place where I had coffee. Nothing. I remained emotionally removed. By the end of the day, I was resigned that it was gone forever.

Jake just sent me this message. He found it in the very busy parking lot in front of his apartment building. For this simple thing, and a few other more important ones, we are being looked out for. We have an Angel.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

the work in progress

I've been contemplating what to do with fifteen (you read that right) years of babbling here. All of these bits, bytes, and pixels are as ephemeral as a cloud rolling across the moon. One blown transformer somewhere critical, one bored hacker and all of it gone as it if never existed. I've downloaded a few posts here and there, but my recent computer crash - the hardware sort - has given me pause about this electronic life.

Right now, I'm just grateful that I didn't have to dig too far for the provenance of "Cave Dreams". It's still a long way from finished, but I know what I want for it and how to go about getting the effects - mostly a lot more hand stitching. 

Until it's completed, here are some links to its evolution:

From the earliest raw cloth.  Compositional fumblings here and here. To a more solid starting place.

Digressions  and   displacements..this is about when the Black & White series took over my studio life. All thing color got put on hold for a very long time.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

self pep-talks are good.

(from  Tuesday, March 17, 2015)

nailing it

If you are any kind of creative every now and again you'll step back from what you are up to and go “Yes!” or “Good!” or, in my case “Fuckin' Aaa!” and you'll throw down the tools and get that little chill and be thirsty for a celebration because you nailed it. You won't even feel the need to drag anyone into the moment for their agreement. This moment is for you alone.

Last night I was pondering the demise of the writers group that I've been going to for a little more than a year now. The two founders have drifted away. Life, of course, must take precedence over follies like gathering over bad food with snotty waiters and embarrass ourselves and each other with our attempts at writing and so the group has floundered. It's been a learning experience and my only semi-social connection to the world since my husband died. I will be looking for another bunch of similarly plagued individuals and if I can't find what I'm looking for, I'll found my own.

So I made the mistake of looking over a bit of the book I've been working on for almost a year. I worked on it constantly while I was at the FOF retreat last year in FL. 

The writing was puffy, awkward and self-indulgent. I was bummed thinking how I thought I was closing in on a rough draft when all I really had behind me was clouds crap. I sulked and went to bed. The last thing I remember was that there were a couple of lines out of some twelve pages that were really good. Keepers.

In the dark hour before waking, on a day when I didn't have to get up, I turned that chapter inside out in my head. I had a sit down with each of the characters. Assessed their needs and their wants. Established who knew what, when and why it mattered. Addressed the problems and found answers, all before ever putting my toes on the rug.

I've got this and knowing it feels great.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Heart's blood

I was just starting to get the hang of text on cloth when I stopped making these badges.

I ran out of red cloth.

Never a favorite, I'm as hard to please red-wise as I am black. It has to be just the right shade or I won't use it.

That will be a dye project in the upcoming season.

Blood on the tracks.

Monday, February 11, 2019

running low

Nope...these are mine. Don' touch.

I've run out of some colors and it's making me edgy.

Here's the updated inventory on the Dirty Threads, on sale until they are gone.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Sunny Jim

I put this up on a FB textile group on Thursday in appreciation for the sunny warm weather we were having.

It's cheerful, yes, but 77-degree weather in the first week of February?

To me, these weather anomalies carry a foreboding that is hard to ignore.

I dragged all the big houseplants out onto the deck. Last night it got cold again and had to bring them all back inside.

Sorry kids.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Charlie Tuesday

My apprentice.

I was about this age when my grandmother put me to the needle and thread.

It was 70 at the park this afternoon.

Friday, February 01, 2019

cave dreams

"cave dreams"    44"x30"

I'm not fully satisfied with this orientation. That may change as time and progress is made.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

as yet untitled

All that picking and sorting. I auditioned dozens of pieces of cloth, but nothing grabbed me.

I hadn't quite finished putting everything in the basket when I got a call that Charlie needed to be picked up from school. He was having a Bad Day. I abandoned the basket of wishful thinking. Probably a good thing.

Nana to the rescue and glad to do it. The weather emergency fizzled and I was home by dinner time.

The next morning I set the basket aside and rummaged in the closet where the UFOs lurk. Came up with this as-yet-unnamed piece. Not having named it makes it hard for me to search for it in the archives. Probably from 2012 or early '13.

I'll try to get a decent overall shot of it tomorrow. It reminds me of cave paintings.
 It's kind of a big, sprawly, unfocused panorama. I'm counting on these lines to make some sense of it in the long run.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

storm prep

They say we may get some winterish weather on Tuesday. Chances are, school will be canceled which means I'll be spending a day or two with Charlie so I'm prepping the river basket.

 I have something in mind so I pulled a bunch of cloth this morning and actually ironed it just to see what I really had. My grandma would have had a fit - I ironed sitting down!

I don't know how to capture the iridescence of damask that's been ironed. This picture almost gets it.

Now, for the patience to take my time composing - not threading a needle until the design works.

Lately, the rush to stitch has only lead to misery.

Right now stitch needs to take me to the place where the words grow.

Bomenrij  by  Jan Mankes   1915

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Stars Out of Place

The eclipse the other night reminded me of this piece. The sky was so clear - a rare break here in Georgia - I was sorry it was so cold and I was supposed to be working, so I was running up and down the stairs to monitor the progress.

19x17     250.00
"The Stars out of Place" was finished in the spring of 2010.  It was inspired by a nightmare, the kind that is so real that you wake up in a cold sweat gasping for air.

I was almost nine when Sputnik was launched and we had a neighbor who let us lie on the roof of their screen porch at night and watch that tin star crawl across the night sky while we bounced back and forth between AM radio bands listening to Murry the K or Scott Muni.

It all seemed pretty benign to me and I didn't understand how some adults perceived this to be some kind of threat from the Russians. That all became clear to me after I read "Hiroshima" later that year. That damn book sure took all the fun out of Godzilla.

Still I became a night sky watcher for the beauty of it and became intimately familiar with the locations of the heavenly bodies and the names of all the constellations. Total immersion in the Zodiac soon followed.

In my nightmare, I went outside on a crisp winter evening and looked up to find the stars all jumbled and the moon full and leering, too close, in the wrong quarter of the sky  and shedding wisps of pink poisonous looking gases.  The air was too thin and tasted metallic. I closed my eyes so hard they hurt, woke up in sudden disorientation and willed myself awake for the rest of a long night. Despite my best efforts to forget, it was a keeper.

detail 1

detail 3


   Found while looking for something else. I can't remember taking it or seeing this picture. Warms me. Jimmy & Karma were an item.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

mending this day

It got so dreary today, temps in the mid-thirties before sunrise and not much more after, then it started to rain. All my bones are suddenly on the warpath. There was nothing for it but tea, drugs, and mending.

The damasks I used in this quilt were old when I found and dyed them. It's interesting how this some of this cloth seems to evaporate with time and use. Sometimes, the look works - shabby chic - some call it.

Not in the case of this quilt. It has some personal provenance and  I'd like it to stay around awhile, not be perceived as something tattered or disposable.

When I'm satisfied it's whole and strong enough, it will be a gift signed "Nana".

Sunday, January 13, 2019

other eyes

Every time I fill an order for someone I'm struck by how well they get along. Perhaps chosen for a project or just a matter of taste, they almost always hang together well.

So far, I haven't cribbed any back to my own stash. So far.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

crass commercialism episode

Thanks to everyone who pounced on some Dirty Threads to brighten their winter days.

DM, JC, LA, DC - You orders will go out Monday morning.

If you missed the post, I've done away with the Random Acts of Dyeness blog, but still offer scraps and threads right here

(I will add the date to the page each time I process an order so you are seeing the latest available. Just remember to hit "refresh")

I wish I could come up with a better way of managing inventory and the web page. What I do now is so inefficient, but there it is. As singular as the product itself.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

the Random Acts

See the link right up there on the pages bar?  I still got stuff to peddle. 

The"random acts" thing has been bugging me for a while. A long time ago, before the expression became meme fodder, it was a spur of the moment decision, title wise. That was the only random part of it. So, the blog is gone. The fun remains. One less web thing that I have to fiddle with.

I'm still going to dye thread and cloth for a while. Looking forward to being outside in warm weather by the pool.


No pictures. It got ugly up in here for awhile. Still ain't pretty.

I'm ok now, but jeez Louise, technology will throw you under the bus the first chance it gets as if it were a living breathing enemy and not a mere tool.

I was minding my business, chipping away at the mountain that is Prophets Tango (my book in progress) congratulating myself that I had only EIGHTEEN scenes to run a fine comb through. Something I laughingly called, the Last Pass before I let others have at it.

Colin was scheduled to shut down the power to the whole house to replace an outlet in the kitchen. We were both nervous, but I was underfoot and so left him to it. Deciding to take a break, I closed the laptop. It powered off instead of going to sleep.

When I went back to it I realized that sometime in the not so distant past week to ten days, I decided that *spacebar* was not a great password and changed it. But to what? There was a hint "lunar". Nothing I tried worked. I was locked out. The fan was still failing, causing the machine to overheat. 

All of this to say, I threw in the towel of home-baked remedies and hacking and took it the repair place. After two days, neither problem could be cured and they handed me the contents of my hard drive copied onto a nice external drive and the original drive removed from the dead machine, now living in its own nice little box like a hermit crab.  140$ thank you.

So I sighed, brought drives home and thought I'd be back in business on my old faithful Acer here, just plucking the needed info from the backup. Think again.

After an hour of keyboard gyrations, I was no closer to getting back to work than I was when the lights went out. Scrivener, the app I use with all its wonderful complexity, had failed me on top of everything else.

 I still had a recent copy of the MS and an online place where recent edits still lived so, nothing was really lost except, cash, momentum, and of course, the travel laptop, which had been a gift from my sister.

Since August, for reasons seasonal and hormonal - I have lost about half of my hair. I should shut up about that because I still have more than most people ever will, but it's been depressing. My car interior looks like I own a collie. Now I'm afraid to look close in the mirror because I'm pretty sure the roots are going to be white.

Worse things have happened to writers.

All of this feels frivolous in the face of what hardworking Americans are facing with the ongoing temper tantrum of the Shitweasel squatting in the Oval Office.

off my soapbox

Saturday, January 05, 2019

what happens when you clean stuff

This bedspread was my maternal grandmother's, or so the story went. It could be, it's woven rayon which has been around since the 20's. Heavy.

 It was on my mother's bed for all eternity but when the big box stores started selling faux down spreads, she was all over them. This went into a drawer and eventually, to me.

Rarely used, but recently spent some months in a den of iniquity and so I decided a gentle wash was in order.

I didn't notice the damage when it came out of the washer, but after it tumbled in the dryer, I found it had four, large tears. Like the cloth just gave up under its own weight and split. The fringes were hella tangled too.

I'm debating if and whether to repair it. I shall consult the den of iniquity.

Friday, January 04, 2019

mending or dismemberment

I put on the magic invisibility cloak this morning.

Several of the vintage damasks patches are evaporating. No other way to describe it.

I don't know if I'll be correcting this shabby chic-ness. I never wear it out of the house. It draws too much attention and I have no explanation for the time this took. Like maybe I was in prison, or the nuthouse or something??