Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

the days were packed

Despite all the frenetic and exuberant color you been seeing these past few days, I've made time to sit quiet and start the long delayed satisfaction of  the handwork on Beach. I'm already feeling the pangs of the last stitch although this piece is very large.

 Thanks to everyone who had advice about the pain in my heel. All the recommended treatments and exercises are already making a difference. This too shall pass.


now I MUST go upstairs and sort, iron and fold all that exuberance!

As promised

I was trying to embed the video of Sweetie in the swimming pool but I seems to have gone web stupid this morning so here's the link instead.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

thunder rolls

The skies went dark and green and thunder rolled just as the Braves finished off the Detroit Tigers so I thought I'd dash out and get a few of the bigger pieces of damask out of the jars for a natural rinse in the storm that's bearing down on us.

These pieces have been stewing in the soda ash for almost two weeks. I hope I haven't hurt the cloth by putting things off  so long. They feel like wet hides, all thick and slimy.


Jan & I made our annual pilgrimage to a Braves game last night - my first friday night with fireworks game. The Braves won, and  we enjoyed the game in swank comfort thanks to her neighbors unused season tickets.

Jan got me into a shirt for the occasion and I picked our  pitcher KAWAKAMI who had not yet won a game this year, not because he is a bad pitcher but it seemed like whenever it was his turn to pitch, everyone else forgot how to bat! Yeah, I know it's on backwards - anything to get on the JumboTron at Turner Field!

  UPDATE...a few minutes ago KK got his first win in a nailbiter and thanks to our hero on the van Chipper Jones who hit a three run homer run as sweet as red velvet cake.

silk velvet

A few years back I did a booming season selling hand dyed silk/rayon velvet scarves at a few local craft fairs - no mean feat in Georgia. "The Velvet Lash" was quite successful for a while but in a years time were passed over in favor of the trixier ones that were crocheted or knitted with things like Monkey skins or copper wires and such..

I was probably selling them too cheaply but it was a learning experience and I came out ahead of the game. I had a few left over that were too garish for the crowd. They were originally dyed with Procion MX with bonds viciously to the rayon fibers. Since these were 80%rayon and 20% silk, I figured that the Colorhue dyes would not be wasted on them. I was right.

Friday, June 25, 2010

ColorHue Dyes

Where has this stuff been all my fiber life?
I can see with just a little monkeying around that many things are different here. The physics of wet in wet. How far color will and wont wander. The transparency effects and how the different colors work together or not.

I made the mistake of separating the various silks from their bags with labels so I don't have  the right names for the fabric.
This silk is sturdy, shiny and shrieks when you rip it with gusto. It loves the dye.
A little goes a long way and I'm running wild this morning...

Mark making with brushes and droppers. Seeing how far and true I can make my intentions and just how much is left to the whim of the cloth, dye and water.

I feel the ladybugs watching from the treeline, nervous.

Tigers Go Swimmin Wit Bowlegged Wimmin

That title ought to drag in a new and interesting audience!

For the moment this is a picture-less post. A heads up and reminder to self to let go worries and enjoy the good stuff. This is my first Friday off from work in forever and I've packed too much into the day but while it's still coolish outside I'm going to be putting dye to some silk. Pictures will surely follow.

I'll be going to my first ever Friday night Fireworks ballgame at Turner Field tonight.Pray for a Win..I can't imagine enjoying fireworks if the home team gets their ass kicked can you??

As to that strange title - I keep having to pinch myself to believe it happened.

Yesterday Jim and I were drifting around in the pool  when I noticed Sweetie leaning in to take a drink (we work hard to keep the pool clear and clean with minimal chemicals).

I drifted over to her. She didn't spook and split. I scratched her cheeks,  put my arm around her and took her in both arms in a safe grip and stepped away from the edge.

She didn't freak or fight or even tense. I let her legs and body be in the water all the while singing her a little song "tigers go swimmin ...." after a minute I took her back to the deck and let her debark. She was as wet and amazed as we were and scampered off to groom and be cooler.

Next time, I'll try to get pictures. If I didn't have a witness I would think it was a dream.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

rescue results

Well, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

These came
out more subtle than I hoped but then I sometimes get backhanded compliments for being loud...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

rag rescue continued


This is the step that I like the best - indulging my dot-itis. I made it a dual step this time - while the discharge paste is working, I oversprayed them with a dye/soda ash solution. WooWoo, I've seen some of the results but y'all will have to wait until tomorrow. I need a nap.

Monday, June 21, 2010

remember stitching?

I'm working on a piece now that's designed in a way that I can work on separate elements of the thing at the office, between calls of course. It's going to be a big one when I finally put all the pieces together. It feels good to be thinking in terms of feet instead of inches again. The focus was getting way to close.

Now for the rookies at the office to get up to speed so I am not taking calls back to back, thank you very much. If anyone is thinking about a career that is recession proof, go to work for a company that has something to do with the litigious nature of our society.

Pity the poor restaurant owner who has to worry about a customer making a claim against him because the color of the walls in the dining room upset her stomach to the point where she decided to take the food to go.

She left the food in the car overnight but ate it on the way to work the next morning and then crapped herself in the car as she arrived at the office. She wants to be reimbursed for a day off from work, detailing the car, dry-cleaning her wardrobe and replacing her shoes. Oh, and throw in a pedicure and few free dinners too.

Sometimes my face hurts from trying not to laugh out loud.

belated thank you and shout out

A bit back artist  Marlene Glickman read here about the gift of Colorhue silk dyes that I received and she graciously sent me a copy of her instructional DVD and her information about getting the best out of the product. Thank you SO much!

(That's Marlene trying to dye my hair purple back at the Focus On Fiber week I attended at the ACA in Florida. Really, way back in '07! That week, organized by my friend Mary McBride,  was  the greatest investment in my art career  since SVA back in the stone ages.)

Truth time - the envelope got mislaid in the studio and I unearthed it this morning and found this exquisite silk scarf folded into the booklet. Mere digital photos can't do justice to its shimmering, iridescent reality. I've got the hair thing down now, Marlene! and again, thanks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

rag rescue

Sometimes you can save them, and sometimes you can't. Of course, it's too soon to tell with this bunch.

Jimmy reminded me that some of my best pieces were the ones that started out as head nasties. I remind myself that nobody pays me to pass judgments and today I will focus on relieving myself of that burden and wipe that sneer off my face when I sit down to take my first call later today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Idle hands - the devil played here

Call someone!
..she's sewing beads on things again. (there are also some of the world's ugliest fabric being overdyed right now!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Dixie Mink

From here straight to the pool! I wish I could convince the cats they would feel better after a dip but then I'd be bitchin' about hair in the filter.

I've been off putting up a quick & dirty website for a client ( I NEED CONTENT DAMMIT!) and am just now getting to sort through all the great fabric I dyed last week. A new box of vintage damasks should be hitting the porch sometime today  and I'll be working on them shortly thereafter.

It's been gruesome, August style hot here in Georgia for several days now. We have become accustomed to living without AC but these past few days it's been tough.  Like many people who work in over air conditioned offices I go back and forth between 95 & humid to 68 and crackling dry. Many of my coworkers sit in their cubes draped in Snuggies looking like monks in a cult of monitor worshipers.

I took advantage of the early morning cool to shoot & post five juicy new sets of fabrics to the store  -about half coming from the latest dyefest.  In case you've wondered about the titles, I keep a running list of beautiful, exotic words - place names mostly - the kinds of words you repeat to yourself two or three times just because of the way they sound.  Here's "Night Queen"

Sunday, June 13, 2010


It was too hot to sleep! This is all I could accomplish while watching the Braves last night.  It's a poke - an outgrowth of the cusspot frenzy. These are just big enough for keys, cell and couple of cards or bills. Hands free shopping.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

hot hot hot

There were just a few pieces from the last dye fest that needed rescue so I did a little direct dye over painting today. Real impromtu. The only art operations possible right now are those that can be carried out while wearing a bathing suit.

There were brushes lying on the table, loafing. A tub of soda ash water under the table with all the dye colors in their squirt bottles. I mixed up a few paper cups with some primaries and reverted to the simplicity of spots.

This tasty little morsel recalls these two and might be joining them on the design wall soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Loose End Roundup

Loose ends roundup today.  "Demon" is finished and up for sale. You can read some history and get a closer look  here and here.  The 12" x 23" base cloth is vintage cotton feed sack, sugar dyed and everything else (except the red square at the top) is vintage cotton damask rich with woven detail. Hand embroidered and machine quilted, this pieced is backed and ready for framing.

Pricing work that I'm ready to lose hold of is so hard. I don't even want to think about it today so I'm going to do something different.

I'll be taking bids on this piece through 12 noon est on Monday, June 14. Think "The Price is Right" and include dollars and cents. You could win by .01~!          
Send me an email with your bid with the subject DEMON , shipping inside the US will be included, outside the US shipping to be determined and agreed upon.  Have a great weekend..I'll be alternately between the ironing board and the swimming hole!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dreamflowers at home

She can't decide where she likes it best....

Thanks for this look Cathy! It's fun to see what other people do with my work. This is one of my batt-less summer weight flings

wardrobe wreck

I dashed off to work today and left my big cozy blue sweater at home. Sweaters in Georgia in June you say? Oh yes, if you work at a call center. A never acclimated northern girl, the cold doesn’t usually bother me but lately (could it be happening?) I am freezing by 9pm and falling asleep like they say you will do when you die of the cold lost in a snowstorm…
ANYHOW, with no minutes to spare, we wheeled up in front of the big box bargain store which was the only option on my drive to work. The skies opened up just before we pulled into the parking lot and the rain poured down so I dashed through the fat raindrops (I’m really going to need a sweater) knowing full well I would be hard put to find anything with long sleeves inside but I knew where I was going.

I bypassed the womens department because I remembered a gorgeous display of brightly flowered Hawaiian shirts in the mens department. There they were, a bit picked over but rioting on the rack with their flowers and colors and ON SALE!

I snatched up the first color that hollered the loudest, checked the size and ran for the self check out. It's a wonder I wasn't a shoplifting suspect. I was in and out of the store in 6 minutes. Just before Colin dropped me off I pulled the shirt from the bag to find this…I swear, I thought it was flowers like all the rest of them...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Shreds, scraps and glimpses.

Must of us who share the art slice of our lives by blogging use a set of fences and filters as we write because we are mindful that family and loved ones are regular readers, following our online adventures in the context of how they are connected with us in real life. All we reveal are scraps, shreds and coy glimpses of our lives. Deep, dark emotional secrets are rarely spewed out alongside eye-candy images of work's in progress or piles of stitched cloth.

And then there are the writers who share their lives and situations more openly, more bravely, to our delight if not for our entertainment. We follow. We come back, and we think we know and understand the writer. Sometimes personal struggles are hinted at obliquely but more often we can "tell" when someone is struggling with life by the missing posts - the stories untold, the sorrows too deep and personal to share.

Then there comes the time when the story teller simply ends the blog with a cryptic "goodbye". Those of us who work with cloth often rush to see what we can do to help mend the situation, after all we are menders, savers.

I hope that this impulse to fix things does not further dismay the one who has decided to withdraw and stop sharing their story which has turned sad and dark for the time being. I, and many others, hope that she can find her way back to sharing her life and her art sometime in the future. Ciao4now, True Stitches.

Monday, June 07, 2010


Everything got a brief natural rinse in a passing rain storm last night. I hand rinse everything through a series of three containers of cold water. This gives me a good idea of which pieces might be casting off dye. I fear the six "flour sacks" (which turned out to have labels stating "Made in Bangladesh") that I picked up at Goodwill, might have a synthetic component which will refuse the dye. All & all there was very little dye in bucket #3...a good sign.

The "hot" load, the reds with fuchsia, are in the washer by themselves right now. I don't predict hours of ironing - That crazy, I am not.

Many of these pieces were cut and dyed for project of my own. After I take first pick, some of these pieces will wind up in groups over at the shop. Eventually.

PS.    As predicted by the magic 3 bucket rinse, the wash loads caused almost no dye down the drain... everthing is nearly as luscious dry as it looked wet!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Senses be Praised

"Heaven" by the Rolling Stones (Tattoo You)

Dyefest Day 2

I don't know why I was thinking that I needed to run out and use my coupons at Joann's to buy fabric. Short on containers, every single cup, bowl, bucket and the rest of the lunch bags got pressed into service hold all the cloth I had ready to dye.
There's everything here; supergauze, heavy canvas, sheeting, more of that embroidered tablecloth, the Berry Experiment, that Pimatex cotton, a bundle of contemporary flour sacks, and overdyeing a lot of vintage quilting cotton pastels.

Yes, it's quite exhausting. And now to see if Reduran really works...

jelly wonders

Jake & Missy went to the Chattanooga Aquarium last weekend and I loaned Jake my older digital camera without any time for any instructions. These pictures may not be perfect but still, they have their own wonder.

And some pictures you don't need to work hard for at all.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Anniversary Day 2 - Dyefest

All things pale and lifeless prepare to be reborn in a blaze of glory!
Hot & humid makes for a great, if short, day at the Lawrenceville Frankenstein Dyeworx.  I got a late jump on the day so spent the morning prepping the cloth and the work area. Then a long time spent mixing a new set of colors with almost too much to work with. New standards from A. and a flock of "old" bizarre colors from Linda like propeach and Chino that turned purple.
None of these went into the shake bottle by themselves so strange and new colors are batching. This is a swatch of monk's cloth. I'm too hot and tired to sneak a peek rinse so stay tuned.

Friday, June 04, 2010

All this time..

It was 33 years ago today & tomorrow.We get to celebrate two days because the judge who came to our house to perform the ceremony discovered he was outside of his jurisdiction and had us meet him at town hall for a do-over very early the next morning....Happy memories ...and Happy Anniversary my darlin'

Thursday, June 03, 2010

fresh starts and limitations

Without room or time for much else, the sketchbook has  been put to use. The basic notion is all I will hope to retain - my ideas on paper almost never make it to cloth but this one's soul has legs.

Anyone who buys my fabrics has to know that I keep the juiciest pieces for myself.  Rooting through the "mine" pile has me itching to get this one underway.

Since my adventure in day surgery my left shoulder has been grieving me in ways that make me think about just how in the hell they transferred my comatose self from the operating table to the the recovery area. It feels as if they just dragged me by my left arm which most probably just dislocated. Could I prove it? Hardly. Do I feel it constantly? Yes but it's getting better very slowly. Right now, it' s hard to do al the mundane things right handers leave to the left..the holding, the reaching. Every previously taken for granted movement has to be considered first for the "DONT DO THAT" quotient. This too shall pass.