Monday, December 28, 2009

read the manual!

I've had this camera forever and I just figured out how to adjust the macro setting for closer focusing.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back to work

I continue to find things in the studio that have never seen the light of day. Photographing them and listing them at Hand Music will be a daily priority until I finally get to the bottom of all those tubs stacked around the place.    
Four "new" things added to the store today. Time for a break. 
This is Candyland

Do you believe in cat reincarnation?
I do now. Sweetie has crept out of the bedroom and followed me into the studio where she is full of mischief and needs a wary eye kept on her.

The first time she jumped up onto the work table to attack an innocent piece of string I had a chill of mistaken identity and then the warmth that can only come from kitten foolishness.


I guess I am coming out of my bahumbuggery about Christmas .   We had a lovely, quiet little Christmas here. Jake was here for the morning and came back later for dinner. Colin took Raquel to see her family in Florida but should be back tonight sometime.
For years I have been wanting to find a place where they skip Christmas altogether and go there a week before Thanksgiving and not come back until after New Years. I'm sure the Scrooge-ness is part homesickness and part stress related. I was glad to snatch about 24 hours of peace out of the season this year. Someday I will learn from my mother's example. When I was growing up she and my father managed, with four kids and blue collar budget,  to pull off a Christmas Orgy that would put Martha Stewart to shame and she did it in stride. Her trick was to start shopping sometime back in August. Someone remind me this year, please!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Letting Go

Please know first that I am not complaining here. These sales could have not come in a more timely fashion. It's just an emotional time of the year. Normally, I am happy and proud as a parent putting a kid on the school bus for the first time when I sell a piece and ship it off, but packing up "Memories Feast" this morning put me in a strange place.

When I start a piece, I certainly don't have "marketability" on my list of design considerations. More often than not, I'm on autopilot. I didn't think anyone would ever see and feel this piece the way I did, but they have and off it goes, priority mail.

One thing I do know for sure, and anyone who had seen artwork made with textiles will affirm, everything looks so much better in person. I know that every one who opens one of my packages will be captivated by the reality of the thing they only imagined from an image found in the internet. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Color coming on

Along with the sun being just so in relationship to our ball of mud, the stars must have been rightly aligned.

This piece danced out of several scrap heaps in the studio in a short hour, re-aligned a few bits of itself and was basted in place before my last break.

I spent the last two hours of my shift just eyeballing it and thinking about stitching possibilities.  Now the challenge will be to finish it's predecessor with the same vigor and joy. I feel color coming on.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Stitching continues on this one, I've come to love building mock floss from 4,6, even 8 strands of regular sewing thread, cottons and rayons together with a strand of metallic thrown in for pizzazz. "Chess 3" just before mummification ( I solved the problem of the process darkening white fabric!) and something new just started to celebrate the turning of the year. Did someone mention that there's a heavy holiday breathing down my neck? Jim just left to find us a tree!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sweetie fits in

Sweetie has become a member of the household in a limited way for now.
We have kept her secluded in the master bedroom without putting any other feline noses out of joint. Our cats are free range, coming and going as they please through a cat door, but more often standing with noses pressed to the glass of the slider mentally compelling you to get up from the couch and let them in. So far, Sweetie rarely ventures out of the upstairs and we probably won't let her learn the outdoor property until Spring. She seems content with her domain for now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

in a tiz

I recently popped of to have my say at The Painter's Key in response to an article about an issue that been on my mind - working big, working small.  This twice weekly  newsletter has become one of my favorite daily reads. It's becoming more relevant to me as I move to step out of the "fiber" artist box without abandoning fiber as my medium.

And, thanks to Jude for the mention of her recent acquisition of "Mayhem", I have been scrambling to upgrade my store and commit to selling some recent things that I wasn't ready to part with. The response to her post was a great emotional lift. Actual SALES! 

There have been a lot of inquiries about the fiber fossils (thanks for that too, J) which sounds a bit more inviting than what I was calling them - fiber mummies - and I am going ahead with mounting a few other pieces in the same way.

And before I forget AGAIN have you seen this absolute wonder of a piece?
I am so proud of you Arlee!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

naming names

I've finally come up with a name train to go along with the series I've been working on. This was the first and I've put it up for sale at              Hand Music
"All Unknowing" is 18.5 " x 16.5" unmounted - you can tussle with your own notions of how to matte and frame it - I am fresh out of those ideas. and I am pretty sure I can still get it shipped for Christmas. Even so, imagine getting a wonderful gift a day or so after all the holiday fur has stopped flying.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

tracking back

I have not bothered to figure out what that means in blogeez but I have looked back over this current process and the results of this series so far and it's a comfort to discover some order in my art-work-life.

If there is nothing in my go bag to work on I start grubbing about in the studio for cloth souls that are getting along and hold auditions. Sundays are for composing the ground and rounding up the elements. There's a day of two of chess playing.

I am orchestrating the somethings, making them fall into an order, a snap shot that appeals to me.

The next step is a technical comfort - basting densely so I don't have to suffer with pins through the rest of the project which tends to make me resentful and blood spots were not a part of the original design consideration. The embroidery is a whole new adventure in design on the fly. Stitching and picking out. I have some new stitching in mind for this one to help balance and direct.  Jeez, for someone with not a lot to say about the art there are a lot of words today.

I did make a couple of changes from yesterdays post.  A couple of shifts and one addition. Today it's stronger, less wishful.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

further exploration

The quickest way for me to be contrary is to put my intentions on paper.  These haloed circular elements originated back in '07 during a particularly frenzied dye fest when I was discovering the magic of discharge using dishwasher gel . I had it all over my hands and picked up pieces of fabric only to find them covered with discharged finger prints after the washout.

I shuffled this piece around for about eight hours yesterday. I had it pinned to my cube wall at the office and moved things around while I talked with the clients. It felt like I was playing Chinese checkers with myself. As the evening wore on the game became chess and I'm now satisfied that I won the match.

One of the first pieces I used these elements in continues to please me.  As I tell anyone who cares, it's a great life if you are easily amused.Below - "Hopped Up" from 2007

Sunday, December 13, 2009

third and final

I think I'm done with this one.Twice I've sat down with it and couldn't decide where else it needed to go. Time to let it go and move on. I also have to decide if I want to mount this one (and the other two) on canvas sealed under the plastic. Too soon to tell.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

following the trail

I never get lost, although I may lose a little time but I never count that loss because I almost always find something important along the way.  Some have wondered why I don't post links to other places...the list would be too long. I kid you not, there are over a hundred regular linkages in my bloglines list. I love Bloglines because it lets me know when a new post is up. From there, it goes like this:

First stop - Lorraine Glessner's  "oh, what a world, what a world" and I defy you to say it without the Wicked Witch voice. From there I found Rebecca Shapiro's site and her wonderful post "Best of 2009 - Moment of Peace" - a wonderfully personal and insightful post about how an artist feels about connecting with a medium. And that medium? Rebecca's link to Wagner Encaustics, Inc. took me down an incredible rabbit hole to the site of Elise Wagner (you think she gets a price break?) and her incredible art. Looking at her work has made me recognize some of the things visual things I have been trying to find using textiles.
Could it be a time for a change for me too?

PS - I remember that I used to touch crayons to the light bulb to watch the colors run. Of course the smell would always bring Mom running and hollering too.

Holiday Sale

I've put everything in this shop on sale so I can make room for some of the latest things I've been working on. If you'd like to see more images, email me.                 
I'd be glad to gift wrap and send things direct to your recipient - I know a lot folks can't get out to shop this weekend because of the winter weather.  The Post Office is still do-able here in Georgia but there is no time for any international shipping.

Friday, December 11, 2009

New circles and friends

First, this is not Jinx. She is lost to us and the sore spot on my heart and the empty spot in our household will be fresh a long time.

The phone rang at nearly midnight. Colin said that a woman saw our poster about Jinx at the pizza place and was sure she had her locked up in her garage. A month later, and miles away? I was beyond exhausted and beyond hope. Still, I was up dressed and out the next morning in the cold rain.

    It was not Jinx, but a teenaged stray who looked so much like her I had to do a double take. She was so anxious to please a total stranger I could not call her anything but Sweetie. She had the misfortune of finding herself lost, possibly pregnant and in a household of dogs that held no future for her. Caring people who took the trouble to follow up on a lost cat poster - I thank them. I had to think about it all of four hours while I discussed it with Jim and found a low cost spay/neuter clinic. How did they know exactly how much my monthly bonus was, I wonder. We brought her home from the clinic last night.
  Here is  Sweetie enjoying her post surgery drugs.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


                      I'm beginning to see these circles as windows or portholes into some where or some time other than the here and now. Always hazy. Just out of reach and focus.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

new looks

Colin and I both went for haircuts yesterday. There are no before pictures for a very good reason. I left more hair on the floor of the salon than I now have left and Colin was looking like the bear's butt.

Work continues on this piece. I don't have a stash of embroidery floss so I find myself literally building thread, one strand at a time, from sewing threads. Six and eight strands at a time will make you slow down and be precise or the nest-knot monster just waits to pounce.You can click on both these shots for a close look.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Innocent Bystanders

"Innocent Bystanders" is back from the Skinny Envelope Show in Florida.                 According to statcounter, someone in Oklahoma has been lingering over this piece. It's one of my favorites but if you are interested, get in touch and we can negotiate a price that will work for both of us.  Here is a link for a detailed look.

The damasks and metallic washed hand dyed fabrics are hard to photograph accurately but anyone who has seen this piece in person will tell you that this is close....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

in Nelly's hoops

It's cold and rainy and twilight dark at lunch here in Georgia, with tornado warnings for dessert. All I'd like to do today is hole up and stitch but it's off to the whine mine shortly. Hopefully all the middle management out there will see this full moon eve as a good day to slack off and leave me a few contemplative moments tween contacts to move some thread around some thoughts.

Monday, November 30, 2009

monday's work

I just finished - well, it's only basted together - something to take to work with me. Monday's are funny. It could be slamming busy with one report after the next of human stupidity and greed, or it could be eerily slow. At least I'll have something new stitch on and fool with if the moments present themselves. New music on my Ipod too. So I put this one up on the design wall beside the other two recent things and find the ongoing theme keeping up a pace, a circular rhythm that I wont' fight against.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

no heart for art

Somedays the art the you start will not pick you up and carry you along if your heart is not in the making. Neither of these things went any further than this but elements of both have been rescued and repurposed into something else, something that may just sail away without me.

Too soon to tell. No photos as yet.

On the sunny side of my mental street, my neighbor (who is moving) asked if I knew anyone who could adopt her son's adult cat - he was also moving away and could not take the two year old Novi with him.  It just so happens that I did know someone who lost all three of her long time family pets within the last two years.

                            Novi moves on and Jan, Christian and Ryan were ready

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

studio cleanup on hold

This will all have to wait - I have a meal to prepare! But it's a good start I guess. Lots of fabric that I will probably never use here. Stand by for bundles of goodies for sale on the Cheap! 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the Wheel finished

Another piece that's maddening to photograph but it's done. Maybe overdone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Focusing on the details can become a distraction but here each detail has a place and meaning.  What they are remains a mystery, even to me. Besides, distraction is just another way to get there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

in writing

Thanks for all the wonderful points of view regarding the use of written dialogue stitched into art. It's good to know what other people think both about doing it and seeing it. For now I have decided against any messages or even letter forms.


I find that when I begin using letter forms I can't help but want to convey something snarky or entertaining. In fact, I find that when I work literally or do something representational you can pretty much bet on something weird, shocking or downright wrong going on. You'll laugh too if you don't run out of the room.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the Wheel

Just came from Gerdiary and it's fun to see someone who seems to be rolling along the same art rails with me at this point in time.  Using whatever is at hand to make some kind of sense of things with needle, thread and a stretch of quiet time.

The ground for this one is a piece of what I think is linen but I could be wrong. Maybe I'll snatch a thread off it and set it on fire, see what happens.

Here's a closer look

I have been thinking about the pros and cons of stitching words into this piece - all that white space is nagging me to do something about it but I'm resisting the urge for the same reasons that I don't like to write artist statements about a specific piece. I don't want to tell people what to think and don't think my own thoughts should be relevant to the observer's experience. I'd love to hear from other artists who use the stitched words in their work. It seems to be a very sharp two-edged sword.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

the Wheel turns

I brought a new base to work with me only to discover that I forgot to bring any scraps to compose with so I started pulling raggedy chunks off my Go Bag. I've been dragging it around for a couple of years now and it's getting pretty seedy. There were fluttery little things hanging all off of it. Now they are being incorporated into a new hand stitched piece loosely based on the  Wheel of Fortune tarot card 

Thanks for all the lovely comments about the pieces in the previous post. This one was part of a short lived creature frenzy that I went through late in 2008 
back when I had more free time. All of these were done on the machine in a very fast, improvisational manner. Right now, the studio is a kind of sad place for me - I don't spend all that much time there. Just digging through piles of things as I look for materials to take with me on the go. The Wheel will turn.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Morning Light

I love the way stitched pieces look in the morning light that comes through my studio. Unfortunately, the tree shadows prevent any good photographs and at this time of the year the light is too...steep. I'll try again later out on the deck.

This one continues to entertain me while I am at work but probably not tonight. It's Friday, the 13th. You would be surprised to know how self-fulfilling superstitions can be. Years ago I was a telephone operator and felt certain that there should have been combat pay added to our checks for getting through a full moon Friday night or Friday on any 13th.

There has been no news about Jinx