Saturday, June 27, 2009

strange skies

When I got out of work last night the sky had just passed over into indigo and the crescent moon was a fuzzy pink color. Passing strange. While no one was looking, a flock of cusspots got color out on the deck.

Friday, June 26, 2009

the trouble in new techniques... not getting carried away with the doing of the thing and not thinking about ways to integrate it into the real work of art, the intent and the design of a piece. There's some debate about whether this stuff is light fast enough to bother with, much less incorporate in any kind of art so I'm going to put some of these pieces out in the sun to bake with tape on them just to see what gets lost over a set period of time. Anyone recognize my failed batik attempt? The fade and glow reminds me a lot of the doodles I used to do in art school using Dr.Ph. Martins superdooper intense watercolor concentrates. The stuff cost like blood but I had a mess of them and used them too excess at every opportunity. Hey, it was the 60's!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

doodling dots

Karma Approved Work. I know I missed doodle wednesday - I was waiting on 20 minutes to work with a new technique. The results make me think of encaustic - something that's always drawn my eye. Here we have encaustic in cloth. sort of. Actually, it's Sharpies treated with rubbing alcohol. ...a whole new alphabet of color and ways to fling it about.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Just waiting on the moon, I guess. Before the dotz these cloths were sad. Now they are humming with life. Stone Roses too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

hand dyes for sale

Many of the pieces I made this weekend were big enough for me to take a chunk for myself and put the rest up for sale here: I'll be posting more pieces as soon as I can. There's enough good stuff to share. If you are only interested in 1/2 of a piece we can work it out.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice Dye Fest & Father's Day Feast

I am in the home stretch of a two day dyeing extravaganza only slightly relieved by a short stint at the local ER. The last of almost about 40 individual pieces averaging 3/4 yards and up are rolling around in the dryer right now. The color mood was generally restrained - I think the age of the dye powder is beginning to show especially because I have not been able to keep them in a cool place. Things ranges from midnight moodiness to the sublime and quite a few ridiculous. All and all I'm quite satisfied. It really was too hot to be working midday on Saturday but I pressed on brain baked and a good portion of those pieces went back in the vats or under the Softscrub on Sunday. Oh yeah, Saturday evening I took my son Jake to the emergency room to have an abscessed insect bite on his forearm lanced before it got a moments worse. He'll be fine. There are at least a full dozen new Sugar Dyes in colorways ranging from emerald forest to desert sands. You can see the pattern woven into the damask in this picture. I was actually ironing this stuff in the heat. If I seem a little possessed it's because I will have very little time for this kind of fun in the future - my Beloved, father of my finest creations, my chef, my personal shopper and all the kitchen cleaning elves are leaving - Jim has been called back to his real job!! The boys came by today to spend some time with their Dad, eat some food and do some laundry. It was a wonderful day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Measures of Pleasure

I did some more machine stitching on this with a dark, metallic thread to help define the layers a bit. The handwork I have planned may or may not work - it will be easy enough to pick out if I change my mind. I'm thinking this could be a small study for bigger things hinged on the same techniques. Don't you find that things that are a pleasure to work on turn out well more often than the things that fight and struggle and balk you along the way? And sometimes, no matter what you do, a wishpot will just go bad to the bone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Random Acts of Dyeness

I know getting too excited about hand dyes before they have been washed and dried can sometimes lead to disappointment but I have good feeling about this group. Odilon's pallette was ringing in my brain I think. and sometimes you can tell it was a great day at the Dyeworx when the table mopper turns out like this one.

All's Well

We were home from Dr. Nick's by 8:45. By 9am I was stuffed with breakfast and nodding off on the couch blissful with the leftover anesthesia. Everything is peachy and that's all I'll say about it except that everyone reading this should ask their doctor when they should have a colonoscopy. My husband's baseline screening at aged 53 saved his life. What more could I add? By noon I was well enough to don the mask and gloves and mix up some new colors and just get crazy. The whole cloth piece above is a commercial table cloth I got from OHCO for 2$. It's 5'x5' and I guess that 100% cotton label was telling the truth. We'll see what washes out and what remains. More wishpots taking on new hues. and a bunch of miscellaneous cottons from sacking to lawn. These were all soaked in soda ash, allowed to dry and then layered into the jars with several colors of dye. Something new abrew.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Link Love and a new Condition

Thanks to Lines and Colors for reconnecting me with Odilon Redon and leading me to Cure the Blind. These and Lorraine Glessner's (exquisite encaustic) "Oh, What World, What a World" are my solution for I don't get out much anymore.... If my internet behaves I will be using it to distract me from my first adventure in fasting. I'm embarrassed to admit in front of a world that starves on a daily basis that I don't think I've ever gone a day (let alone 24 hours) without eating anything but there you have it. In preparation for my first colonoscopy (why do I think of My First Communion?). Sad to say the gallon of nasty that I'll have to consume later this evening does not come in Merlot or Mimosa. After spending some time looking at a variety of his work I get the feeling that Odie and I would have gotten along quite famously. Can you believe that someone put a poster of this cyclops painting in the children s library where I spent a lot of my childhood? I think the spider print was in the restroom too. Odilon's nearly abstracts are inspirational for this surface designer. A package from Dharma came yesterday bringing colors that I have never worked with so, under the altered state of Hungry, I will be mixing up some new dyestock this morning and working on some new wholecloth notions that have been clamoring for attention.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday fruits

These are some of the fabrics that I discharged with painters tape and Softscrub yesterday. Any artist who has cats has probably never worked on anything without some feline assistance. Once this was all pinned down I had to spend half an hour with tape before I could start stitching. Closing doors is not an option with Jinx. If you are not in the room she dig up the carpet in an effort to get under the door. If you are in there, she will beat her head against the door until you cave in and open up. Shadow Fence #1 16"x20"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

more gridwork

I working the grid again for the moment only I'm more interested in what is not there in the spaces between. It's very satisfying taking to take a murky, unsuccessful piece of hand dyed cloth and bring it back to something with potential. I stuck these scaps down to the work table with grids of painter's tape and then paint the openings with Softscrub. And then, you wait and see what happens. Now to dig into a comfy chair and see how to organize some of these with needle and thread. This one was started with Elmer's glue as a resist, dyed and now discharged. The cotton seems to be getting stronger the more things I do to it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Jimmy

It's my GoodMan's birthday today so the cloth is taking a back seat to the party preparations.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inspired by "night stitching"

I forgot how discharging hand dyes will reveal the various layers secrets that go into making darkness on cloth. A bit of black damask... Who knew what was hiding under there? This piece of black cotton was jammed up in my vacuum cleaner. and here's a snatch of ancient tee shirt...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I have a small cloth bag that I take to the office with me each day and when time permits, I can work on small projects. When I went into the studio this morning my intention ( I have jet Runways of intentions paved straight to the gates of hell!) was to start creating some order. Instead I started pulling bits of this and that with the brand new and more reachable intention of restocking my go bag. Back to the grid, I'm feeling, without wondering why about it. Needle and thread. Eyeball the line. Go with the grain and allow for the color this time. I am half way through the complex boogie that ensues when you commit to an overdue, full physical at my age. Happily, I talked the doc out of the MRI=shots=surgery routine she was considering when xrays of my spine recalled certain snake breeds. Instead, I will be having physical therapy lessons in a Pool. How hilarious is that? Instead of an asshat of poison and pain I get splashing around and fun!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


The sun plans to blaze the day blue and toasty here today so that means I have to take advantage of time on deck studio. I went out to tidy up and my largest rinse tub was full of murky water so I dumped it over the side and look what fell out! These three pieces were put in for a last rinse and overlooked when I took things up to the washing machine. Now they've been painted with textile paints and once dry will be heat set and stacked away with the others waiting for their turn. Above is a piece of vintage damask. To the left, another one. And this is a large piece of that vintage feed sack cloth. This fabric is sturdy and has a course texture. Think heavy gauze or cheesecloth on steroids. The spots are metallic Jacquard textile paint in several levels of gold.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Time management

Lately I've noticed a lot of people posting about time management. The fact that I was reading these posts tells me that I have to reconsider what I do with what little free time I have. Sometimes things just get in the way. You've probably noticed that my work swings wildly between large, machine stitched pieces and tiny little hand held meditations that are 100% done by hand. Those are the things that I can work on while I am at my job. I find myself focusing closer and closer on these little things - I tried separating the ply at the end of the tail here with the intent of braiding it but the cotton just fell apart in my fingers. This morning I'm devoting to stitching on this big piece and later, if the sun comes out, taking outside for painting. I need to move this one along. Other things are waiting.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

all these days

Today is our 32nd wedding I am showing off my engagement ring to my family. They are no longer skeptical about the match. Jimmy told me he bought the ring earlier in the fall and kept unwrapping it to show his sisters. I found it tied with a ribbon around the neck of a little plastic turtle in the bottom of my Christmas stocking. I have been bending his ear for all these years and he remembers every thing I say. And he makes me laugh every day. With apologies to the unknown author, this, from the card he gave me this morning. "The man who is deeply in love with his wife is a man who has all he could want in this life"

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

day of joy

I had forgotten how much I could wring from a day started early. Got to do it again tomorrow no matter how tough the start up feels. some of these pieces will be going into the world and some of them won't be going anywhere! some are just for fun and all were fun and interesting to make. That's a stalk of French lavender in front of the piece on the right. One little intoxicating blossom. I cannot imagine standing in a field in bloom. And see the teeny tiny little tomato next to the blue piece.