Tuesday, September 30, 2008

new things

A friend has decided that the best way to recruit new members to her particular form of crack is to give lovely gifts and I am oh so joyful! Thanks so much M. I am hard at work looking for inks and papers. Today was Senior Citizens Discount day at the local Goodwill and I got carded AND I got my 25% discount. These are all new and close at hand along with what used to be just sewing glasses. I'm on a mission to get the two sides of my brain talking to one another - maybe for the first time.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New work

I took advantage of the alone time today and spent the entire day stitching on this as yet unnamed piece. It was part of the Mob Scene series. It was dyed, discharged and later overpainted with metallic acrylic paint over a year ago and lost UFO land until the other day. I'm glad it was put out of "grab and slash" reach. 39"x52"

Chili Time!

Here's my contribution to Team Climax. 12 pans of Cliff's Magic Cornbread, oops make that Yankee Climax Cornbread. We won first prize for it in 2003. This year, it's the chili's turn to shine. Jim looks forward to this outing from year to year the way some folks do Christmas. It borders on obsession but I remind myself it could always be worse and this year all the planning and anticipation contributed to his recovery. He left early yesterday to set up camp at Stone Mountain for the 2008 Great Miller Lite Chili Cookoff, which despite the sponsor, is a family venue. You are more likely to get your toes run over by a stroller than you are have a drunk spill beer on you. I got up early to bake and Colin will deliver to the booth shortly. I'll post more pictures and judging results later tonight. Cross your fingers! To the Anonymous commenter who was concerned that this was cheating. Our entries are prepared in camp according to the rules and regulations under the watchful eye of the judge's observers. The food we generously serve to the public for free is prepared with quality ingredients under hygienic conditions. Please come by next year and watch Chef Jim make magic but you had better be up with the chickens! Although we didn't place this year, a great time was had by all. People who have to cheat to have fun camp out with cowards who make anonymous posts!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Good Morning Laugh

This morning I gave my son Jake a ride to work and as a routine part of most morning commutes, I got to grouse about a tail-gater. Jake told me he had seen this bumper sticker on a car and was determined to get one for me. I laughed to tears and made this up as soon as I got home. Just warming up for a big piece to go under the needle later today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scrap Baggies Sale

Of course, studio cleaning is always followed by a good sale. These quart sized storage bags are stuffed full with everything from hand dyed damasks to satin jacquard with lots of hand dyed cottons in between. Most pieces are hand sized or smaller, some bigger but not much (I throw out nothing) so there's tons to work with here. Every bag has a nice chunk of something silver and stretchy. I have no idea what the fabric is but it's fun. $8.00 each includes postage in the US. Email me for availability first deborah@lacativa.com

Lucky Break

Late yesterday I found out that both "Exubera" and "Limbo" have been juried into "Art Quilts XIII: Lucky Break" at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler AZ along with a pretty star-studded roll of contemporary fiber artists. Congratulations, everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Spiders have been routed from the windowsills, UFOs are being tilled up from the subsoil and archeological societies are camped out in the yard. All operations are being overseen by one of my ablest studio assistants. Boxes and bags are being filled with snips and scraps that will be on their way to other people's studios keeping in mind that there is really NO trash. Take my word for it, his eyes are open.

the Stall in the Fall

I know pictures like this of art studios turned into public dumps are both common and boring but taking them and looking at them has helped me diagnose my Stall in the Fall, my unwillingness to take up serious design considerations and start something new besides another .....

...comfort piece. The time for patting myself on the hand and tut-tutting has passed. Lots of people have had tough rows to hoe and come out the other side in one piece as I have.

Nope, it did not kill me and therefore, I am stronger.

And so, in between other things that need accomplishing, today is Fold & Sort Day. Throw Crap Out Day. Spray it and Wipe it Off and Vacuum Day.

Thinking about a Change? Lisa Miller cuts it to the bone here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Catching up

It's been a busy week. I decided on a nice deep border for the Booby Fling. Love those Cherrywood cottons from A. This one turned out a bit bigger than the others and so will take more time to quilt. As the weather chills down, this one is just enough to keep warm under while I work. I'm going to buy a lingerie bag and wash this one to test my care instructions so I can sell off a few of these. Now that I recognize that making them is an addiction I can not only tolerate but perhaps profit from. Jim had his final, miserably huge stitches removed on Friday. I kept imagining (and snickering over) an old joke that when the stitches were removed, his ass would fall off. The surgeon was mercifully brisk and almost like magic Jim's smile came back, he stood up straight and his ass did not fall off. I look forward to shedding my Nurse Ratchet in Charge of Pain persona and revert to being Queen of His Realm.

To celebrate, I spent the day with my buddy Jan down in her neck of the woods. We ran amok at Los Bravos with taco salads and decanters of Sangria although they didn't serve it with fresh fruit like at the Columbia in Tampa AND they wouldn't let us take the unfinished decanter with us!

OHCO disappointed me yardage wise - for some unknown reason they have removed all the manufacturer's labels from the bolts on the shelves and what was left seemed dirty and picked over. They were delighted to feature tables piled with simple, hemmed tablecloths and napkins. I only bought just this one to see what I might make of it but it was only $3.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

scribbler's wednesday

Since my camera is on some kind of Mercury retrograde vacation, I've fallen back on the scanner. The last free pages in the sketchbook are looming but it's taken me since 3/04 to come that far. I'm just not a sketcher. Flipping through the pages, most of them have unintelligible scribblings from meetings, lists of supplies for projects unknown, anything but drawings. Thanks to Susie Monday for posting this quote from Annie Dillard. But here's a doodle that recurs and for once has made it off the page into reality. I wanted these leaves to stay soft, the better to be woven into my own version of Judy Martin's protection blankets, but the batting scraps I used must have had some kind of adhesive on them that activated and hardened when I ironed them. Now they are crisp, stiff ...almost mailable. Watch your mailboxes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Booby Fling

Maybe these are coming in advance of a colder than usual winter here in Georgia? The birdy bodies are vintage damasks from my recent sugar dyed batch. When this one is finished, it's going to be for sale. I have to start making all this needle flailing pay somehow. Until then, I can look up on the design wall and have a chuckle over this silly gathering. There was a show on TV last night about a lioness who kept adopting gazelle calves. She was cub-less and confused. It did not turn out well. This bunch look as if they would try to hatch rocks as easily as they would eggs. You can't imagine what I went through to find a nice picture of the Boobies they were modeled after! Addendum - the border came out wonderful but I used another whole damask tablecloth to back this one and , due to the shifty nature of the stuff, it's proved impossible to hand stitch. Rather than machine stitch it, I'm going to take it apart and reback it with the plain muslin that has been so successful thus far. Live and learn.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fling Flung Blankies

I've had some time to think about why these light weight, personal sized utility blankets are all I care to accomplish these days. It's only too obvious to anyone who has ever cared for someone at home who is recovering from a serious illness or injury. It's not that there is no time - between all the little things that are needed by the patient there is too much time. Time waiting. Time planning. Time worrying. So here's to the small joy of inexpensive fabrics, soft and gentle to the touch, white & cream, as clean and inviting as any blank canvas, completely ready to shape to my will without struggle or argument. Hand ripped and unmeasured strips almost ordering themselves without so much as a pin and lying flat, sweet and compliant under the machine's needle never giving a moments birdnest or bunch so much so that I will stitch a foot of inches before I notice the bobbin is empty. Here's to a simple set of bright colors and simple shapes laid into each block with a few hours of hand applique.Then, once the blocks are joined and the top and back fall into place, a few more days of waiting time hand quilting just enough graceful curves and leaves as they occur to me. The twelve weight cotton thread flows through the two light layers of muslin as easily as thoughts flow through the mind and time slips from summer to fall and when it's finished I'm holding pure comfort. Just enough cloth and weight to keep off the chill of a waiting room, a treatment room or a rainy afternoon, it was every moment a pleasure to make and I know will someday bring comfort and utility to someone else for years to come. This one was my fourth and last night I started a fifth. I call the points monkeyteeth. Now I have to consider writing lesson plans for something like this including everything from dyeing the fabric to hand applique. Too much for beginners? The month is young and I made two major deadlines. Time to start something new.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

weekend recovery

This piece has been just what I needed these past few days. Something to hang onto and focus on fiercely. I've started the quilting that joins front and back and will go on with it for the rest of the week as minutes and moments present themselves. I keep telling myself "all things for a reason" and heard a movie character say "yesterday is history and tomorrow a mystery". Both sentiments to reflect on for the moment.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Big Blessing

I am deeply grateful for being Easily Amused. This is a big deal in a consumer driven society. I stopped by my favorite Yankee Candle shop the other day and frustrated the clerk by taking an hour to select six votive candles: Evening Air, Autumn Wreath Fireside, Sun & Sand ,Patchouli and Sage & Citrus. The visuals I get from the names alone inspire me.Time to light up and get down to some stitching. There's a Fall Fling in my mind and I need to curl up in my soft chair, breathe deep and just be still for a while.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Reward for Hard Work

I spent the day simultaneously updating my main website gallery and finalizing things for the QN entry. I think I have everything in the right places. Who knows what's on that CD - they may get treated to pictures of spiders and cat asses instead of the pieces I intended as entries. I'm sure the judges could use a good laugh after a bit. As I was building the individual pages for each of the six new pieces (new since December 2007- the last time I updated the site) I had to root around my psychotically disorganized server space for various images. I found that, thanks to my blogging habit, several pieces have good "works in progress" posts complete with images and I though about linking to those posts from the website like this. What do you think about doing this? Later on, a fantastic treat. Colin left us a movie to watch after dinner and I spent most of the whole film with my mouth open and eyes peeled. I'm a real tough customer when it comes to movie entertainment and this one has been newly installed in my top five. A complete visual feast to go along with spellbinding storytelling. Don't blink or step out for a snack, you'll miss something wonderful. Rent the Fall by Tarsem Singh, you won't regret it!

friends afar

All I did was say "me, me, me" when Marie offered up extra cigar boxes and look what treasure turned up. This little flag that came along for the ride lifted my spirits so much. Thank you my friend. Marie and I roll along in the same ditches it seems, from Tarot to fountain pens to audio books, I never tire of finding out more of the little things that amuse us both.

Last Minute-itis

I'm willing to bet the farm that I am not the only one out there scrambling to gather up the threads of the Quilt National entry requirements. Even though the post office is closed, the received by deadline is Friday and there's always Overnight Delivery. Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to enter. Did I lie? Nah, I was just unable to commit which three pieces to submit and, as of this very moment, I still haven't decided. We had a delightful day of normalcy around here yesterday hallmarked by the wonderful smell of my husband's award winning chili. Jim is intent on entering the Great Miller Lite Stone Mountain Chili Cookoff this year and decided it was time to start cooking up the public chili which is given away as tastes to the general public as long as it lasts. Jim tries to bring enough to last through lunch - I hate to guess it's around ten gallons or more - which he makes and freezes in advance. The Judge's Batch Chili has to be prepared on the spot at the campground just before the judging begins. It was great to eat some elses cooking for a change.