Wednesday, July 27, 2011

sewing to go


There's a long post here about the two on-going hand work projects that I'll be taking along. 

There are some much bigger things on the horizon.

Here's most of the contents of my scrap jar flattened out and stacked tight. When it's rolled up, a mere cookie dough log in the sewing kit. It's SO aggravating that my tiny kit has to be checked and I can't work on anything during the flight.
So dangerous, these sewers, armed to the teeth with needles, pins and tiny scissors!

I don't know if I'll have easy/consistent computer access where I'm headed
so this may be a blog vacation too. Ciao4now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

change of direction

Looking at these together on the wall and marking the feeling I had when I determined that it was OK to baste the first layer in place, I reflected on something Grace said about the cloth she is working on for the mcd class.

It's made me recognize that my choice of path/project  for the class was incorrect, which would account for it feeling forced and disorganized. I'm still going forward with it because it's intent was utility all along - I need a Magic Cloak. The cold will return here someday.

The reason I named this series "Rêver" was all about the state of mind I experienced as I made my choices of color and shape within the gentle bounds of the gridded white base cloth, each relating to it's neighbors in comfortable ways and bounded by a comfort zone of whitespace. Each small rectangle now becomes a canvas on it's own - a second, and sometimes third layer of expression.
All the cloth for these comes from my scrap jar where I keep snips as small as postage stamps because I can't just throw them away.

Now I have to figure on how to bring that entire jar with me on the plane. I was going to just take a carry-on but it looks like I'm back to checking a bag.

Monday, July 25, 2011

preparing to fly

I've laid the groundwork for another "Rêver" using a chunk of that silk/linen blend skirt and find myself gravitating to stronger colors this time out. I've been looking at the other two long enough to go forward in a slightly different direction. I recognize and honor the comfort of the grid even if I am disorderly within the lines. 

Now I have to round up enough raw materials to hold me through a week away and remember that I will have to check a bag whether I like it or not because traveling with projects full of pins and scissors demands it. 

Have to remember to pin the note on that says "Dear TSA, Warning - Pins Here -please don't get blood on the fabric"

And here are the books I scored at the GW. I have looked at and handled a few e-readers but can't imagine not holding the real thing in my hands.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Everything happens for a reason..."

I heard that expression a total of five times in the day yesterday. I always add on "and in it's own time". Something is demanding my attention.

Meanwhile, my buddy J. and I hit the road yesterday in search of a new Goodwill to pillage. Another  J. gave me the notion of finding Goodwills near more affluent neighborhoods..and was she ever was right, but we didn't consult the map before we went questing. The light purple is how we got there, the darker purple how we got home. 

Still, my little car sits for too long unused, is good on gas even running the AC and it gave us time to catch up, reflect and plot.  Over lunch I found out she had reconnected and made peace with the spouse who had abandoned her to single-motherhood so ago. It was wonderful to hear the relief in her voice from putting down this burden of anger and bitterness carried all these many years.

When we got back to my house with our finds, we sat in my newly AC'ed studio and chatted over most of a Braves game on TV, re-hydrated and generally relaxed like the queens of our world that we are. Blessed.

Friday, July 22, 2011


It's snowing white cloth here in the studio. Once I picked out the sewn down pleats and a hem that actually had a silk ribbon edge, this size 12 skirt has yielded about two yards of what I think is a silk/linen blend. And look! a grid! This morning I'm going to start another in the "Rêver" series. Bliss....

Speaking of Bliss, my Goodman forced me to accept a small air conditioner in the studio late yesterday. I've lost my view of a shrub and the neighbors roofline but the sacrifice will be worth it until the fall. When Colin first
plugged it in the temp readout in the room was 99 but I suspect that was as high as it could show.

The pile of white things I keep stumbling across continues to grow. I plan on saving a sleeve or collar here and there but there will be a dyefest sometime late in August. I'm heading for NY next week and invariably bring (or ship) home amazing finds of vintage cloth that's just begging for color - there will be Monkey Blood, Robin's Egg, Butternut, Granite, and more as the daydreams add up.
even the labels are pretty. I never knew what "ramie" was until I did a little research. This blouse fooled me into thinking it was cotton. I also know it should take the dye nicely.

It was pleasant enough in the  studio last night for a little hand stitching. This is one of the elements I'm making for the Magic Cloth Diaries project.

It's time to set aside the trixie stuff and start work on the actual garments, now that I can handle the fabric without feeling smothered and getting everything all sweaty. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You did WHAT?

Of course we're never supposed to talk about our day jobs  but JEEZ LOUISE!! When you call up an organization to make an official report do you think that you might know what time it is where you are???? That you might have most of the pertinent facts and information is just too much to ask - I wear out the U-N-K keys typing the work Unknown over and over. Could you possibly be holding a pen or pencil in your trotter?!? Why BOTHER, Why call? I know !! it's COVER YOUR ASS TIME!

This work calls for me to be polite, civil and non-judgmental with people who are often covering up their own malfeasance about 30 times a day. (And I wondered why my hair was falling out) - to be compassionate would be too much of a stretch.

Between callers and calls I take a moment to swear in a way that would make sailors faint. Anyone passing by my home office would hasten away, heart quaking.
I curse their lineage and pray they have not yet reproduced.  I am a strong proponent of the Darwin Awards. I could hand them out daily in my line of work.

although the Buddha might cringe, I think the balance is appropriate.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spill delivered

Whew! I'm greatly relieved that Fedex got my quilt to Lowell before the deadline.

My packet of promo postcards arrived here the same day..aren't they stunning?  That  is  a detail from "Garibaldi" by artist Betty Busby.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

somewhere, a cool garden

hundreds of white stitches on the creamy background....dreams of sleeping in the snow.

there is NO batting here

I just got back from GW with a drift of snowy inspiration...and I'm not even in the dyeing mode! The cream colored piece feels like linen. It's a pleated skirt with yards of cloth, has a label that says MADE IN THE USA and DRY CLEAN ONLY!
I just pulled it out of  the washer and popped it in the dryer. We shall see what comes of this..(for .50 each I couldn't leave the porcelain bowls)

.and now, naptime!  I have wrassled with changing from one used cell phone to another most of the morning and still can't answer the damned thing!

Monday, July 18, 2011


 These have been hanging on the design wall for a while now because I can't decide if I want to leave them soft or mount them permanently to canvases, or some other treatment.

No matter what, they have to stay together. The sizes, shapes, colors and placements of each piece were long considered and very satisfying to me.  I feel a series coming on.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

a change of venue

I finished the text on this little piece last night . Talk about putting decals on fly's wings! I need to put my eyes on a far horizon someplace for a while.

Spent the morning shopkeeping.
There are a dozen new magic cloth burritos up in the store. I dug deep in the stash and stuck to the beach/meadow theme and kept my usual color lunacy in check for a few hours. 

People ask me all the time for muted tones, grays and the like. Those colors are really hard for me folks!

Friday, July 15, 2011

the Art Place show (update)

Ginny Greaves blog has all the best pictures, facts, and figures. All I did was show up and have a great time. Thanks again to everyone who made this happen.

MCD crosspost

I've been hunkered down against the heat and humidity working on this sampler that grew up...more about it here.

time for a new one.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spill Traveling

How many of you have done all the necessaries to get a piece accepted into a prestigious show and then, somehow, let the "must arrive by" date slip under your radar?!?

I just got back from doing the HomeDepot (for hanging apparatus) and FedexKinkos demented boogie. The guys at home depot couldn't have been more helpful. The gal at Fedex was very helpful but their website needs work.

It WILL arrive in Lowell in plenty of time.

and now to consider what color my toenails should be for the gallery opening tonight.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

the Art Place show (update)

"Highway to Hell 1", "Mirage" and "Highway to Hell 2" being hung at the gallery at the Art Place at Mountain View in Marietta, GA as part of a show put on by a local group Fiber Art Fusion. Thanks to Ginny and Rebecca for prodding me into this one.

It never would have occurred to me to hang these three together this way. Some time after it was completed, I flipped the orientation on the third one after looking at it both ways for a long time. No regrets.

It was great to get out and meet with the other artists, old friends and new. The eclectic show was beautifully done and will see a lot of foot traffic - a local performance of "Cats" was in dress rehearsal on the stage just across the hall!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

screw hot

I'm going to stop whining about how hot it is as it only seems to add fuel to the fire.

I have always hated air conditioning and wasn't too bothered when ours kicked the bucket. Fans work nicely - to a point.  Living or working in an overly air conditioned environment makes it very hard to go outside into the real world.

One of my gigs for AT&T was in a room full of computer servers. It was in the mid 60s in there and very low humidity. Fuzzy leggings, fingerless gloves and scarves were in order even in June. When my shift was over, I'd walk out into the parking lot where my black Honda was baking away in the heat. I used to open both doors wide and sit on the curb for a few minutes so I wouldn't pass out at the wheel.

I worked on the MCD project last night...TV was the pits. I want to watch the new season of Breaking Bad but can't seem to bring myself to the time needed to catch up on the past shows that I missed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I tried putting this quilt in my largest hoop (the one I never used before) and found it easy to work my "walking" stitch - some wouldn't call it quilting but it's not running - somewhere in between. Trouble is I find a thimble would be good and do you think I can find where my two or three special thimbles  are stowed away?


It's too hot to try anything more than once right now but I took advantage of some morning breezes and cloud filtered sunlight to stitch a bit this morning. All the cooking and cleaning I'm going to do today were finished before 9am. Now it's just me and CBS Sunday Morning for a while.

I'm worried that these vintage damask flowers are going to suffer with use so I'm going to overlay them with some stitched vines....miles of them.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Hey! Let's go to the Beach!

Grace was kind enough to point out that the page I made for Jude's Magic Cloth Diary Project didn't allow for comments so I renamed and remodeled an old,
unused blog to chart my progress and put a link to it in the sidebar.

It's called "Tattoos I'll Never Get"

I wish it wasn't so damn hot. Sitting in a comfy chair and clutching cloth is the last think I want to do just about now. I'm thinking about taking myself off to the public library and sucking up their AC while I sew. My tax dollars at work!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

helter skelter

This morning I am scampering to get three pieces delivered over to the other side of town. They'll be in a show being hung on tuesday. 

Bad reporter here, groggy with the morning, I'll have the name and date of the shows in this spot later today..

This is Highway to Hell IH2H2 and Mirage will be in the same show. This will be the first time exhibit for all three. The roll and hardware should just fit across the backseat of my car.

Also traveling today are "Up on Wheels" and "Roadkill" bound for the west coast and points beyond. Details later when I can find where I left my wits.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

dampened 4th

A perfect illustration of  how low key our 4th of July was. Not long after this was taken it started raining in fits and starts but was coming down hard in other neighborhoods around ATL. The fireworks could barely make it through the cloud cover. The Braves finished a win over the Rockies in a downpour.

Here are the cloth victims of my weekend long criminal behavior with cloth. They will all be put to use, perhaps together as a tribute to long suffering fabric at the hands of psycho dyers everywhere.

I also started another element for the MCD project

Monday, July 04, 2011

weekend festivities

So far the only thing I've accomplished this weekend is adding a bottom sleeve to the banner I made for the chili cook off.  No I'm wondering why I went to so much trouble (the lettering was hand drafted and painted) but used such poor quality cloth. It must have been the largest continuous expanse of fabric that I had on hand (or could buy locally). After this year I think I'm going to back it with something more durable just to keep it from falling apart.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

more crap

I've been torturing the same four squares of cheap cotton for two days now. So far, I'm wondering why. It's become a test of wills but there's another day of vacation tomorrow....

Saturday, July 02, 2011

more dyepainting

the scene of the crime

and the perpetrators hand. she wore gloves to no avail.

results from yesterday (tepid to boring)

One of the things I like about dyeing cloth is that you get several chances to have your way with it via over dyeing, discharging or painting it. Problem number one is usually knowing what the heck you were looking for in the first place. It is very easy to lose sight of the goal when you are caught up in (or stumbling through) process.

 I've always struggled with choosing between different extremes with everything - with the middle ground always boring me to tears as a place to be avoided. Here we have middle ground 1 & 2 . Back to the burning dye deck

and thanks this morning to Nancy Natale for reminding me about Joan Mitchell.

Friday, July 01, 2011

something different for friday

gratuitous cat graphic

It's 'doo deciding where to spend the day chilling.

It's going to be another blazing day today so I decided to take advantage of getting up with the chickens (who work in construction and leave while it's still dark) and seize on the dreams of archipelagos that filled my night.

I've been wearing earplugs in an effort to quell tinnitus and I think my brain hears the sound of my own heartbeat and blood rushing and thinks it's the surf breaking somewhere close by.

I'm starting with hot soy wax..the cloth is not presoaked with soda ash so some areas will take the dye less fiercely than others where I've mixed dye and SA,  something I rarely do.

There are two owls out there in the trees and I swear they are singing "Who are you, who who, who who?" 

dye+soda ash applied directly to the cloth and wax. those discs are rounds of clear glass intended to act as a resist to the next step but I have my doubts. I should have stuck them down with more was but I ran out.
last step, bring on the ocean via a spray bottle filled with dye and soda ash solution.

Cleanup is going to be hell but I'm just going to let this one dry completely before I even try to move it.  There are three more panels all about 5'x5' -  but I've got the whole weekend ahead to expand on this path.