Sunday, February 28, 2010

old comfort

"Old Comfort"

I done stitching on this one. I have an old favorite shirt that's this raggedy and stained - no longer fit for wearing and yet I can't bring myself to take it out of the closet.

It was good seeing everyone up in New York and getting a taste of winter but it's so good to be home again.

I was reminded of how I used to seek refuge from a cramped and overheated home life by being outdoors for hours on end in the wintertime.  The stillness and peace was, and remains, narcotic.

Friday, February 26, 2010

real winter

Seems like the northeast has forgotten what winter is all about. The news media here is having hysterics over 20" just like they do in Georgia for 2". Yawn. It's white and wet and it will be gone in a week.
Although it rained here all day yesterday we did get some snow overnight after all, maybe 10" so far, heavy and wet.Great Snowman making snow. I cleared off the cars and truck with a broom, trudged around in the snow for a while taking pictures and I'm sweaty & exhausted before lunch. Naptime.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

making on hold

I crammed half my suitcase with a hastily selected bunch of scraps but there's been no time for creating.

We spent much of yesterday in the hospital with my Dad - he's doing great and may get out soon. I took lunch up to Mom at the nursing home midday and it was great fun surprising both of them.

There seems to be a blizzard going on all around us. It rained slush here all day but we are snug & warm. My brother is cooking up a mexican storm and keeping the fireplace blazing and tonight they throw two more howling cats off of Idol!  Let it Snow!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

packing to fly

Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes. The procedure went very well except for a 9 hour headache that really rocked my schedule. After a good night's rest the headache AND the ass-ache are gone.

Dare I speak the words aloud?  To celebrate I've signed up for a program at work called "Couch to 5K in 9 weeks" which will remain to be seen.

I'm leaving for a short visit with family in NY tomorrow. Don't tell my's his birthday and my visit a surprise.

Here is "All Unknowing" mounted permanently on a 20"x24" canvas. I've gotten a ton of questions and comments about my "mummification" process. I think the question that folks are reluctant to ask is "Why are you essentially destroying a fiber piece?".

At first, I was afraid of the change myself.  We don't encourage the handling of finished fiber art work but while you are making it the tactile intimacy is total. Can you think of anything thing else inanimate that you have spent so much time handling? Then to take these tactile impressions and irrevocably turn them into something hard and often harsh to the touch strike people as quite bizarre.
My whole purpose was about the visual impact of the piece. This process is more complex than mere decoupage. With practice I have figured out how to enhance values, retain original appearances and manipulate other visual characteristics and plan on continuing the exploration.

Another consideration was a better and different way to present small textile pieces. Nobody is mistaking any of these for potholders or placemats. These are ready to hang, like any painting.

I hope to have all these recent pieces posted here available in the in the store shortly. If you have any interest before then, just let me know.

Monday, February 22, 2010

treatment day

I had an injection in my back this morning that's supposed to cure the problem but now I have a brain breaking headache. 

I wanted to work on this one today but I'd rather not be sewing my fingers together.

And more proof that the nut does not fall far from the tree.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

a good days work

Terrible pictures (my fingers are all stuck together)  but these all got processed today. There are three more waiting. Maybe an outdoor photo sessions tomorrow, it's supposed to be a peachy day. It's great to finish things that have been hanging around waiting.

top "Gates of Grace"

"Social Networking"

bottom "Winter Solstice"

mummy making

"As Yet Unbaptized" mounted on a 20"x20" canvas and sealed with diluted, matte acrylic medium.  I wanted to be sure that the bright whites kept their dazzle so I treated them first with a light coat of acrylic straight from the jar and allowed time for those areas to dry before I went ahead and worked the rest of the piece.  I really like the way the value contrast is improved with this method.
I deliberately chose to mount this one on a canvas with almost no border and will have to proceed slowly. The areas of running stitch are going to lose a lot of texture as the medium flattens out all the ridges and bumps, or not, as I go along. From experience, several of these fabrics will darken considerably, again a good thing if I control which ones and how dark.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Persistence in method and material

This is "Skin Keeps Us In" from 2006 and at the bottom, one of my "Ornamental Innards" a foray into soft 3D also in '06.

I've decided to call this compositional process "cat herding" for obvious reasons. Comes as no surprise to me that it's a place I like to go - organizing a group of small and not necessarily compatible elements.

We spend a lot of energy in this household doing just that. Who's in, who's out, who ate or not, who's fighting - and that's only a herd of 3.

Both of these pieces have a lot of a large damask tablecloth that I ripped into quarters and dyed.  I can't recall the larger motifs but the tiny dots woven into the cloth are everywhere in my work.

That little patch of blue on the piece I'm working on now came from that tablecloth and "As Yet Unbaptized" has some of it too.

There is almost nothing left of it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

replacement player

I found a tiny scrap of pale blue green  like the one that went into "Memories Feast" and carried it around in my pocket all day until about 10pm when I dismantled that false start and worked with what was at hand, all in support of this little piece of sky. 

Is this a color from nature? some ocean somewhere no doubt. I am possessed by this one. It's past midnight and I spent the afternoon hearing, among other entertaining tidbits,  how someone could crawl under a desk, ostensibly to check on some connections, and wind up sticking his tongue into an electric outlet. That should be fatal but it wasn't . I should be tired but I'm not.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WIP tuesday

As I knew it would as soon as I basted it, and as quickly as it's namesake has disappeared, "Georgia Snow"  has bored me and I'll set it aside rather than trash it for now. If any knows where I can by a spool of Sulky 12wt cotton, Brite White, let me know. The web has let me down. I really like using it for hand work and since Country Quilter in Somers closed I have no source for the solid colors.
  I was craving to use some of the silk scraps that M. sent me so I knew another grid piece was in the wings. This is very prelim. I'll stick it up on the cube wall today and spend a shift eyeballing it and moving things around. So far, it's not saying much beyond "oooo, yummy silk colors".

PS - dark and stinky, I took it all apart and started afresh

It's going to be a long and complicated day. For some of us life is so much simpler. Sweeties only question is "why don't I put out more birdseed so she can sit at the sliding glass doors and watch "the Squirrel Housewives of Lawrenceville".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Georgia Snow quick and dirty and makes you long for summer the day after if falls.

except for this

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Grid Forgets Itself

 "the grid forgets itself"

10"x10" mounted



Something made me put down the needle and take this one to the mummification chamber for finishing. The sun is playing peekaboo through late afternoon clouds so this is a quick shot..kinda strong on the blues but I didn't want to tinker with it.

Quick - take a picture

because it will all be gone by lunchtime! Not your everyday business in this part of Georgia. This is the most snow (that's stuck around) that we've had in several years.

All told, maybe three inches but the trees and ground were cold enough to hang on to everything. The second after I shot this one a cloud of falling snow got me.

When I lived in NY, I worked as a telephone operator for AT&T and we were expected to be at work even if it was day one of Armageddon so a little snow on the road was no big deal. You learned to drive safely, brought your jammies & breakfast with you, just in case. More than once, the State Police closed the roads and all I had to do was wave my company badge outside the window to be waved through a police blockade. Power tripper, me and my Honda.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Our turn

The forecast is for 87 flakes. In two years not much has changed regarding winter in Georgia. Except for the cold, it's still just like this except today I have to schlep off to the office for more tales of woe. I'll pack extra scraps and hope for a slow evening. By now, after this weather week, do you think folks will get some sense and STAY THE HELL HOME for a minute?

For this moment, I'm having fun with Blogger's PAGES feature. Up there under the banner. Have to figure a way to insert images instead of type.  Thanks to several web friends for pointing it out. How are you taking advantage? Mine are under construction.

Once you log into Blogger, go to Posting of the tabs is
Edit it right there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


These are the parts I'm liking which means 3/4s of this piece is undergoing heavy revision. It's still not working as a whole so I won't bother with an overall look until one actually emerges.

Geez, you would think I was working on the Sistine Chapel and not a 10" square of scraps.

And speaking of spectacular and inspirational, take a look at this
 and this

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It seems in all other hands this shape is sweet and tender. I have never been able to render it to my satisfaction.
This one may get some words if I can stop being snarky for just a minute.

M.Valle over at Instant Poetry is having a deleterious effect on my writing. She says out loud what I have on my mind all day at work.

"I love it when people say stupid things out loud and it's on tape"

Monday, February 08, 2010

kitchen chemistry

I find myself running out of spots, or holes, depending on your point of view, so it's time for a little kitchen table chemistry. Still too cold for any order work but it's amazing what a little Soft Scrub and a spray bottle of water will do.

Finding things are you?
Me too.

The navy blue piece at the top is a commercial print.
The large,crazed piece was a table mopper - a piece
of fabric that I use and reuse through one or more
dye sessions, cleaning up as I go. These pieces often
turn out amazing.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

as yet unbaptized continues

I wish I could have spent more time with this one today (but I spent most of the day picking computer cooties out of my main machine and am now trying to resuscitate my son's laptop.Guess I know where the trouble started).. It's coming to life stitch by stitch  but I think I'm starting to stop.

Those little dark green rectangles had to go and that patch of blue just demanded to participate. Keep reminding me that french knots, as design elements, should be left to the end, like beading - and don't remind me that I have about 15 pounds of beads in a tub somewhere in the studio.

Folks are starting to settle in for the Stupor Bowl - I may watch the commercials, then again, why suffer through a game I don't care for to watch commercials for products I won't buy. Jim just told me that the Who will be performing at half-time. I wonder if all of the hordes of CSI(insert city) fans know where their favorites shows theme music came from. Hoping for a medley....

(PS - Hurray for the underdog Saints, the Who and the Coke commercial with the Sleepwalker. )

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

afternoon light

Because I work from noonish to darktime I rarely get to enjoy the afternoon sun. Off today and the weather cooperated so I spent a quiet afternoon stitching with that great light over my shoulder. Makes one's tired old eyes happy.
Things are creeping out of the cloth.

This treat was in the mail today - a whole boodle of silk snips and bits. I have to find a good plastic contain because a lot of jostling around will reduce this beauties to bundles of thread. A gorgeous trove - thanks Melissa, for this wonderful gift.

stitching at the lavanderia

I'm going to the laundromat in a bit to wash all the blankets in the house - they are too big and too many for my washing machine and thanks for the hurk, Sweetie, and I plan on sitting in the sun and working these two.
I continue to go back and forth between these two as the mood moves me. If I finish a thread and no forward path jumps out at me, instead of dashing on and doing anything ill considered or altogether blind, I'll set it aside and take up the other one.

In both pieces I am hinting and layering images and find myself clipping off pieces of fabric to see what is getting buried, what could be revealed.

Monday, February 01, 2010

New month, new day

I'm torn between working on this current piece and taking advantage of the morning light to work in the studio getting pieces of dyed cloth ready for sale.  That stack up top is next. Colin will be shooting them today for me.

I keep finding things that I'm going to keep for myself.One in ten will be staying home.

This was a tablemopper that has a lot of gold metallic acrylic smears . Many of my most successful pieces have been based around the clean up rags!

It's a keeper and speaking to me of getting back to larger pieces, my bigger, louder (more natural) voice.