Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

It's 11:46...even thought it's pouring rain, the neighborhood across the brook is erupting with fireworks and sporadic gunfire. Earlier this evening I swear I heard a burst of semi-automatic rounds. I watch enough cop TV to know it when I hear it. Even though I seem to be living in a mock Beruit, I am at grateful peace. My sons are both home, their friends will be spending the night, all the cats are in and my GoodMan is snoring beside me. Two pieces of art got almost finished and something new and tasty got started. Here's to 2007! They are going nuts here in Georgia. It's New Year's Eve and a Sunday. That means that because of the Blue Laws, any establishment that serves liquor but not food will NOT be able to sell any alcohol until after the stroke of midnight tonight. I guess you can tell by my attitude that I'm not shedding a tear for them and I wonder about the lives that might not be destroyed because of alcohol tonight. Enough of my cynicism. Here's a gift for all my readers. Just sit in front of this for a few minutes and marvel. Happy New Year! And this just in from Val
"After serious & cautious consideration.....your contract of friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2007! It was a very hard decision to make. So try not to screw it up!!! My Wish for You in 2007- May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy. May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words ............May 2007 be the best year of your life!!!"

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

continued WIP (Mopery)

After fooling around with Setacolor for the first time on both wet and dry fabric, I was confident it would do what I wanted here and bring that wretched (sorry Deb) RED under control . This is probably not included in the instructions but I've been painting a section, watching it for "creep" and when I'm satisfied with how it looks, hitting with a hot iron to set the paint. To fend off boredom induced sloppiness, I'll stop painting and switch to machine stitching but twice I've had to stop and pick out a mess of stitching because I wasn't happy with a too-casual color choice. Baby steps with this one - it's still a cliff-hanger. You can go to WIP and scroll down to see the most recent overall shot.

Monday, December 25, 2006


As soon as the lasagna was being slurped up, I escaped to the studio to fool around with the transparent Setacolors that I snagged at Michaels the other day. Great fun to work with. I'm tickled that I won a set of 8 colors from Ebay at a great price if you don't count seven bucks for priority mail. At least I'll have them in time for the weekend. these are 6"x 4"

the Booty

As much as I have been suffering with my annual case of humbuggery, my Goodman once again came through with a small thing to delight me and lift my spirits. Love by the Beatles is that gem this Christmas.

I've been a Beatles fan since the first time I heard "She Loves You" coming from my mother's portable, leather bound Zenith radio. Something so different and compelling in those young voices working those flirty minor chord lifts captured my attention so completely I scorched a huge brown "V" in the back of one of my Dads dress shirts because I was so intent on this new sound. This is more than a new compilation or greatest hits. The way it's been produced reminds me of how albums connected one song to the next to make a whole that was more than the sum of the parts. For me it adds up to emotional time travel.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Nothings wrapped yet but art gets done

No title yet but it's being fun and has promise. Lots more stitching and perhaps paint.Don't know just yet. The one below got it's start last year but I jumped on the quilting yesterday and took it all the way through to sewing on the sleeve and coming up with a better name. Formerly "Turd Picnic" is now officially "Skin Keeps Us In"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tub Thumping Time

There's nothing like a sale to pick up one's spirits. "Atavistic Inclinations" will shortly be on it's way to a new home. I'm going to miss all those little intent faces. Thank goodness for digital photography.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Self Indulgence

Now that it's too late to buy anything online and hope to get it in time for gift giving, I found a few pennies left in my PP account and decided to get myself a treat. I went grubbing about in my Shopping bookmarks and found a link to a product that I have loved for years. Long ago these little clay pots were filled with fragrant cremes from Nadina's Cremes. The scents made me dizzy and the cremes were all-purpose wonderful. I have cherished this trio of empty pots for so long - it was time to bring some new ones into the fold filled with magic potion! The paperweight is a one-of-a-kind original by Josh Simpson, glass artist extraordinaire, who I just happened to have gone to high school with back when the Ark was launched . We re-connected briefly over the web over some old photos that I scanned and passed along to him and he most graciously sent this beautiful example of his art.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Stampede

Like everyone else in blogland I've been busy trying to do all the last minute stuff required for giving a civilized nod to the Holidays. They have never been my Holy days - my Mom used to live for Christmas - thanks to her, I have fond, old-fashioned childhood memories that I perpetuated in my own now grown children so I go through the motions every year. We give and receive generously and gratefully all year so this forced hoopla once a year bugs me as much as I will let it. Is there a country/culture in the whole world that doesn't DO Christmas? I guess that says more about the power of the United States of Advertising than the power of Christendom but there you have it. If I could find this place and go there (on someone else's American Express card) from Nov.1 until Jan. 2, I would be gone. Time to say goodbye to this postcard. I'm tossing it into the tide of Christmas mail and crossing my fingers that it reaches it's destination. Now I just want to go back to the WIP which is coming along like a sweet song. Some rough patches coming up and scary decisions to commit to but, all & all, a nasty throwaway is blooming magic and it feels good.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sewing Again

Seems like a long time but it's going well. "Mopery..." is under the needle and making me very happy even though I really don't gravitate to reds, especially the bluish reds, but there you have it. Up close, there are many other little color things going on that I plan to accentuate with stitching. Machine stitching- so you know I haven't gone totally round the bend. I've added a Work In Progress link to the sidebar and created a non-Blogger place to keep better track of work in progress so I don't have to scramble all over for information once I decide to add the piece to the main gallery. Also (whispering) I don't trust this new Beta Blogger all that much. I must publicly thank Shoshana for featuring me in the sidebar of her blog with Senator Barak Obama and Knit Tits. What an honor! She also asked aloud about what folks do when they become creatively adrift or stale. Beside cleaning, I go digging about in my old digital files. I'm a fiendish collector of bizarre miscellaneous digitalia specializing in round things. Go figger. Here's a few I dug up:

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Mopery in Progress

I have been having great e-converse with the Empress of Dirt (don't I hang out with the nicest crowd?), author of Fabric Dyeing 101 a wonderful and generous resource for folks who want to take a crack at dyeing their own fabric. I was reading through her take on the whole process and occasionally giving myself the old "Palm to Old Forehead, Sharply" gesture - the way you do when you know you are screwing up even as you do ironing the wrong side of the fusible crap. Damn I hate that stuff but it's the only way I can think of to close up the birthing slot left when I pillowcase a backing...(who else but another art quilter would know what the hell I was talking about.) So I took a moment to tell her about Table Moppers, but she'll elaborate on that. Anyway, to finish off the discharging session I started last night, there was this one piece of fabric left on the kitchen table, one of nastiest Table Moppers from the last dyefest.I got rather caught up in the thing and before I knew it, there were seams and batting and backing and birthing and "3 to 5 for Mopery" was hatched, another whole-cloth monster just begging for lots of paint & stitching. It's just amazing what can happen when there's a clean place to work and you (mostly) know where all your stuff is. Just a lazy eyed jump from mopper to mopery, the title refers to a family joke around here. If one of the boys was sulking about and had the nerve to utter the phrase "I'm bored" they would be convicted of Mopery, something I had a nodding acquaintance with as a teenager. Somewhere on my permanent record it must say "suspected of mopery with intent to creep", not convicted mind you, just suspected.

Friday, December 08, 2006

New Stuff, Like I needed More New Stuff

The deal is, for every hour I spend sorting, folding and making order in the studio I get at least two hours of messing around with stuff. Today I went the lazy mystery route and picked a few pieces from the stash to discharge. This fabric was from a very old nightgown. White cotton with the shoulders and bodice crocheted from pearl cotton. This interesting effect on this turquoise commercial batik came from putting dishwasher gel on dry fabric, waiting about 15 minutes then misting it heavily with water and popping it into a hot oven on a cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. and yes, yes Anti-chlor for everyone at the bar! Ain't it cool?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Born with the Platinum Spoon in her Mouth

My husband has long suspected that in several past lives I was a duchess or baroness or queen of some such. Not merely some aristocrat but one of the FEEELTHY rich. No one had to convince me. Given any choice of goods I will invariably choose the most expensive thing in the group without ever seeing a price tag. Needless to say, he is also happy that in this lifetime, I recognize value, live simply, am easily amused and don't covet material things. Still, this car pulled alongside me on my ride home today and I was spellbound and drooling. As it pulled ahead of me so I could see the badge and identify the maker, I said aloud "Of course it is..." I tried to put it on my Amazon wishlist but they don't stock them.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Sunny days are for taking pictures outdoors. In the service of gross and wondrous commerce, I spent a few hours taking pictures of a slew of small things from the last two years that have never seen the light of day. Now, I'll spend the rest of the afternoon putting some them up on my online store Like Hotcakes and a few over at the Etsy joint. I will be happy when I can stop being a merchant and go back to being an artist. I must have uncovered at least a half dozen UFOs!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What Happened to My Weekend?

Here's me and Voodoo luxuriating in turkey poisoning. I've spent most of the day ironing pieces of hand dyed fabric to post for sale on the web. Can't buy or make any new stuff until the old stuff is cleared out and as fast as I was posting pictures, people were buying them! Whoopee! Last night I made pizzas from (almost) scratch. The dough comes in plastic baggies at the Publix bakery. I actually got it spinning in the air with nary a flop to the floor. The guys at Redendo's Pizza would be proud. Next weekend we'll have video - I'm teaching eveyone how to make pizza for themselves now that I've found out how much cheaper it is to make your own pies. All in all they were pretty good but the sauce needs tinkering with.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More company for Dinner

Look who heard there was a turkey carcass heading for the trashcan. He just couldn't wait another minute and came tapping on the back door. I have no idea where the Kat Krew is at the moment - probably at the neighbors house playing poker with Angel and Orangelo.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Feast Day

I can't remember when I spent hours and hours embroidering this linen tablecloth. It was supposed to be cutwork done in ecru. Can you imagine how boring? Here's the detail that makes it an heirloom. Jake invited a few friends so we had to have a KIDS table. Fortunately it was balmy enough for them to eat out on the deck. Believe that from a 26 pound turkey there are almost no leftovers. I was most thankful that Jimmy got home at all. Snafu's on the job almost pre-empted his trip home (he and Colin have already gone back down to Macon) and I was about to have a meltdown when he told me on the phone. Things worked out after all and the kitty girls were both mad to lavish love on him. And even though there are (still) dishes to be washed, I am going to sit down, read a book and take a shot a learning a new addiction, I mean technique

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Buy Now Button Fixed

PayPal finally got back to me about fixing the BUY NOW button on my Hotcakes site. I still have a dozen of these scrap bags left and the price includes first class postage inside the US.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Food Frenzy

So I'm in Publix doing the last minute holiday provisioning. It's the baking stuff aisle and for a full two minutes I am looking for the paper thingies that get baked around cupcakes. A young woman stocking shelves on the opposite side of the aisle senses my need for assistance and asks what I am searching for. I opened my mouth and for an instant realize that I don't know what they are called. It's not Alzheimer's - I never knew what they were called in the first place. Without any other thought process I blurted out "cupcake panties". The look on both our faces must have been the proverbial priceless. In a heartbeat, she got my drift and plucked a small container from an obscure corner of the display. Made both our days I suspect.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


This is not a sane way to spend a sunny day off! I started the morning fifth in line the newest of the Gwinnett County tag offices finding out what became of the renewal sticker for our pickup and getting new plates for Colin's car. Oh the joys of being the family CFO. Compared to my near-arrest at the New York DMV, which is all the bad, evil New Yorker jokes rolled into one, this was a piece of cake for breakfast. Then I made the unsound decision to spend three hours pushing pixels and html code around to update my website for the first time in nearly two years. NO - I have not finished the gallery and I probably won't today. My brain is fried so I am going to the park to walk and then spend the rest of the day in the studio. All criticisms welcome.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Loose Ends

Cleaning the studio goes forward with the occasional diversion to finishing a UFO. Imagine, making time to sew on sleeves! This is a dye print with painted accents stitched with gold metallic thread. It's stiff as hell and miserable to sew. Finished I'd say.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

the Best Gesture

Rummaging through all the scraps has worked it's magic. I'm improvising at the machine again. When I was in NY I promised my Mom some recent photos of the family and realized that with our busy lives, getting everyone together for a picture will have to wait for Thanksgiving. I could throw large hunks of turkey on the floor and not hope for such a pose of domestic bliss but here it is, warm in my imagination, the Lacativa family. This one is for you, Jimmy.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I should be flogged for spending the entire day folding and sorting the jungle that is my studio and have only put a minor dent in things. I'm putting these (and 20 more like them!) quart-sized bags of scraps up for sale on my HOTCAKES site. Treatchaself niiice and spice up your stash.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Yesterday, Jan Thompson and I went to see the biggest and best tourist attraction in Atlanta, the new Georgia Aquarium. There's a commercial for the GA on local TV with a woman standing in a darkened room looking up at something with her eyes and mouth opened wide in amazement. You could see that expression almost everywhere you turned. My jaw is still aching. I'm almost glad that, after a dozen bad shots, my camera called for new batteries so I gave up on trying to capture images and concentrated on taking things in directly. This turtle was flirting with everyone she made eye-contact with. Below is a cuttlefish. The acrylic tank and water was so clear that I am certain that the creatures inside could see us at least as well as we could see them. The cuttlefish seemed to be intrigued with our hands which vaguely resembled them. It made me want to paint eyespots on my knuckles so I could communicate with them better

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Witches Work is Never Done

or "Why I Carve Really Scary Pumpkins". Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Now I realize that it's because it was chock full of tradition when I was a child way before Hallmark and Walmart got their hooks into it. My mother made our costumes and the one I remember best was a cat costume. The details are sketchy but I think she converted one piece stretchy pajamas with RIT and a fat, stuffed, black velvet tail that I'm sure I remember hitting my sisters with. She made candied apples that kids came from miles around to snag and there were always a couple of houses in the neighborhood that we just NEVER went to. Too spooky, too much in the spirit of the holiday, all year round. Frankly, that's how my house appears to me, dark and forbidding, and only the brave kids come creeping across the lawn for treats. The stuffed ghosts hanging in the trees may have festive, lunatic grins but if I were a kid, I'd pass on this one, thanks anyway.


I just spent a very interesting weekend fully disconnected from live input - no cable TV, no internet and (because I switched to Vonage - that's Effing Vonage according to my husband) no telephone. Last week the power company decided to prune some trees and did something to the wire that brings all our technology down the hill. At least they made sure we still had electricity, the sports. We live in a HOLLER - that's southern for "I don't care who your carrier is, your cell phone won't work down down here"- and continue to communicate at the whim of Comcast. I got the "Big Muddy" sewn together according to an actual paper mockup that I spent hours fooling with but now that it's up on the wall, I see that using that strong brown to bring some of the blocks up to size has caused design issues that will have be dealt with as one deals with cockroaches. Swift and deadly. Please don't ask how I know. So we talked, listened to music, cooked & ate a practice Thanksgiving dinner and watched a whole clutch of movies and some TV downloaded long ago. Did you know that at a certain age good sex will give you new wrinkles? What the hell is up with that? All and all, a lovely weekend. And this, from the back of the closet where a battered old portfolio mocks me. I made this up when I did some freelance work for a company that built endcap displays for music distribution stores. I have since confirmed that "freelance" means "unpaid".

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oh NO!! Another Postcard Procrastination Period

Just this one, I promise. There is too much else to do before I am seduced into sitting in front of the sewing machine cranking little wonders out one after another. There's lots of machine quilting to do and I finally got all the brown fabric I need to finish off the blocks for Big Muddy, trouble is, I am 99% certain that once finished, it's never going to leave my own personal bed.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Loot from MaryJo's in Gastonia

It would have been un-fibrous of me to bypass MaryJo's on my drive back from New York. It was a convenient pit stop for me and the car. Fiber addicts will admire my restraint. I only bought a few yards of some specific colors to complete a project, a few yards of an astounding fabric telling myself I'll use it for backing (sure I will) and then there was a box of remnants - 1 yard cuts of black cotton for .99 each. Did someone tell them I was coming?? Here is part of one of them discharged. I may never wash dishes with the stuff again.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I've been up to NY to visit family and haven't lifted a needle in a week. There was a new addition in the backyard. Yep, it's a pirate ship alright. Complete with gangplank, rigging and yardarms although my brother took down the jolly roger because a neighbor complained. Just wait until he puts the Christmas lights all over the mast! They are having the time of their lives with this. That's Rob, Emma, (one of the neighbors who is really happy about the USS Braine being docked at Port Useted) and Rob's boys Reno &, I think that's Reno in the choke hold. Even Debo joins in...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Whole Cloth Mania & Post Season Funk

This whopper has been lighting up the night on my design wall and will be for a while. I don't think I have any batting or backing large enough and I really don't want to cut it up - there's a lot of drama to play with here. Jimmy was home all too briefly but he lifted my mopery over baseball withdrawal and the QN rejection. We always find something to have a good laugh over. Quack-quack-quack, my Darlin' and thanks.