Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Greatly relieved to talk to Pop this morning. We usually talk every day and I can tell by the sound of his voice just how he is doing.

Their power came back on yesterday afternoon and Nextel in his neighborhood was not working since the hurricane. The house phone worked until a tree took the lines down. 

Everyone is OK and there was no damage and only minor flooding. Blessings on the family and neighbors who kept tabs on him for the duration. I know a lot of family, friends and readers in the NE are still sitting in the dark waiting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I know that a lot of artists who dye their own cloth are experimenting with the natural dyeing process these days but my magpie brain still craves to be gobsmacked by color when I go to the trouble of cooking up my own.

This recent batch delights me on so many levels. Aside from wonderful, rich color there's an array of glorious texture here too.

This is a piece of a woven tablecloth that I picked up for a smile at a yardsale. There was a burned hole on the corner. You can't see it in this photo but the raised cords were colored thread that bled during the dye process.  It shows better in the paler pieces but this cloth loves the dye.
A quick Google  yields a tantalizing clue as to the origin of the owners of these hand towels. There are also several damask napkins with VE embroidered on the corner. 

Do you think they ever imagined what could become of such prosy things?

Even the 79 cent towels I picked up at IKEA the other day didn't disappoint. I wasn't even sure they were cotton.

it's Dutch for "towel" too has the trixie little hanging loop like the one above.

No small wonder that the majority of these treasures came from grace.

Monday, August 29, 2011

monday morning washout

It was a blue Sunday...due in part to a mason jar disaster with a half quart of turquoise (see below). No pictures of my blue ankles, for once I had on shoes. I was just stirring the dye with a spoon when a hole popped out of the glass! Do jars get old?

This piece of woven, gridded cotton picnic cloth is getting discharged right now. Those dots are about 3/8 of an inch and I think I have that out of my system for the day!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

making the day count

Family and friends in the NE are still struggling under the lash of Irene so I could not let this hot, clear and beautiful day go to waste.

I've been feeling the need for some vibrant color so I had a mini-dye day and put all the recently collected treasures in for a long soak. 

Today I am besotted with color but yesterday it was furnishing  at IKEA and later, a pitcher of Sangria at On the Border in Buckhead. After tramping all over design heaven nothing ever tasted so good.

It's a good think I don't drive a pickup truck or these would have been coming home with me.  The chair put me in a coma every time I sat in one (they are strategically all over the store) . Did you know that IKEA has a Scratch and Dent room!?  It's destined to be my new office chair and ergonomics be damned.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

excursion & giveaway

I'm off to IKEA to see what there is to see. It's been some time since I was there.
Don't miss out on a chance to win two of these Magic Cloth Burritos...dive in and leave a smart remark over there and you could get lucky!! I'll post the winner on Monday morning and get it off in the mail that very day!

PS...As most of my family and who knows how many friends and readers are still reeling (without electricity) from hurricane Irene so I've decided to extend the deadline of the drawing to Sunday, 9/4.

Friday, August 26, 2011

happy if anxious Friday

My stitching is taking on a nervous, time passing feeling. I know so many people who are in the path of Hurricane Irene now making it's way up the east coast I feel guilty being under hot blue skies here six hours inland.

Yesterday, the computer track of the storm put the eye of the hurricane passing directly over the Lower Hudson Valley region where my family is and the beach camp at Point Judith, RI. I can only hope the weather pundits are over reacting to cover their collective asses as they seem to be doing regularly.

This is the center back of the shirt I'm working one will be sneaking up on me when I'm wearing it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

and let's not forget about the giveaway~!

morning stitch

Work continues in the shirt. this morning at least, Voodoo was not insisting on sitting on my lap as I worked. Do cats get senile as they get older?

I took the distant treasures out of the soda ash and hung them up to dry because I want the whites to stay strong under the wax this time. We don't anticipate feeling any affects of the hurricane here so I hope to do some more work with soy wax and dye over the next few days.

Is anyone else feeling a seasonal ennui?  Just when it cools off to the point when you don't sweat from breathing  I'm feeling a mental and physical lethargy  that seems to go to the bone. It's too boring to contemplate for long.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

cool mornings..

...not created by artificial means are delicious but make falling back to sleep all too easy.

My upstairs deck garden has fallen into weedy mayhem but still produces magic like this when I'm not looking.
I like taking advantage of the morning cool to work on my MCD project. (I've awarded myself a feather for participation)  I'll be wearing this before it's finished, no doubt.

The morning light comes through the open front door just so for just long enough. But it's errand running day so I have to put the stitching aside and get on with the day. Too much of my computer times has been taken over by mulling the pros and cons (are there any?) of taking social security with this next birthday. I guess I will have to bite that nasty bullet and go there...the web site raises more questions than it answers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

gifts from afar

 The mailman snuck up and left a box of beautiful cloth on the front doorstep sometime yesterday. I will have to reconsider taking off my wet bathing suit on the back deck and and strolling through the living room bare assed even though I do shut the front door when I'm out back swimming.

Exquisite cloth - and the best part is I now have a scout in distant lands who knows exactly what I am on the lookout for !

"Rêver 3" is finished. Stronger colors than the first two, more complex shapes.

Stepping back and looking at how this one turned out I recognize that although none of the units touch, they all relate in some fashion to the ones closest to it, something I don't think about consciously when I working on it clutched up so closely.

I'm sure there will be more.

Big Night at Turner Field

Jimmy and I went to Turner Field on friday night and watched the Braves beat the Diamondbacks. They have fireworks every friday night but I can tell you they look much more spectacular when the home team triumphs.
Jim agreed they were Grucci  lite which is pretty good for ATL.

That's Jan K., my usual partner in baseball crime (her neighbor gives away season tickets!) my husband Jim and self. It was hot and smarmy but that's baseball in the South - always worth it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

soy & dye experiments cont.

I washed out those two napkins last night and then decided to discharge to see how the color "uncovered".

Lots of lessons here. To spare myself yards and hours of waste time and cloth I bought
Jane Dunnewold's book on the subject last night.

It won't arrive in time for the weekend so there will be further wandering in the dark!
"Not Moons" and more are  for sale in the store.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


ps - thanks to all who replied. I bought Jane's book last night but will keep messing about all weekend, all uninformed!

OKAY! Here's the first one all crunched up. I thought I'd get a lot of the hardened wax off it before getting into the hot water.  Hand washed it in very hot water & Dawn several times and have no intention of machine washing it.

here it is, still damp but I don't anticipate it being a whole lot lighter when it drys which is a nice characteristic of woven cottons like huck, sack cloth and damask.

I'm really tickled with the results and have lots of plans including reworking some finished quilts that have become tired in my eyes. A few things will be disappearing from my main gallery.

I was looking over a prospectus yesterday and had a horror when I realized that nothing in my gallery is less than three years old!  Something has to be done...

Even the second one, which I immediately christened "Nasty" came out very interesting.

And a big bonus.....

...the soywax+dye crumbs are everywhere and the dye seems to be still active. These are two damask table napkins wet with soda ash that I used to clean up the work table.

I'll stuff these in a jar and leave them for tomorrow.

soy & dye experiments

The dyes and soy wax that arrived yesterday kept me up thinking about them last night.
I've long wondered about mixing the dye/resist process somehow, as counter intuitive as it seems.  I know someone had written a book about it and can't find the thing - so here I am re-inventing the wheel cause I can't wait to read about someone elses discoveries..if you know the book I'm talking about please email me.
Meanwhile, I set my trusty muffin tin in a rusted frying pan of water on the side burner of the gas grill conveniently located on dye deck.

For the first one, I waited until the soy way was completely melted and stirred in a teaspoon of dye into each muffin.

It blended pretty quickly and working fast, I applied the colored wax directly to a huck towel that had been soaked in soda ash.

The backside is even interesting.  It's going to kill me to wait to wash this out but what a great excuse to get some chores done!

Below is the other half of the huck towel, also damp with soda ash. This time I spooned the dye into the muffin tin while the wax was still melting and it did not blend as well or easily with the wax.

I started out wanting some "white space" and used wax without dye (covered over now)  but it was looking so nasty that as soon as the wax cooled I rolled it up and put it in with a quart of monkey blood.

washout will be lunch-ish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Have any of you fellow bloggers taking the invitation from Adsense to "monetize" your blog and, if you have, are you needing a wheelbarrow to take your money to the bank?
Somehow the term "Monetize" conjures up visions of Jesus kicking the moneylenders asses on the temple steps  or Miss Cleo taking folks' grocery money for bogus card readings and spells. Am I crazy, stupid or both?

On a happier note, the UPS man just dropped a box from ProChem on the doorstep. And me with almost no white cloth!

PS....Yeah, I've decided that monetizing sound a lot like a case of the cooties.

signs of fall

This is view right over the back edge of the pool. there are several trees even closer than this one off screen right. The shade keeps the water cool and relatively algae free right through the summer but they (and the critters that live up there) drop endless loads of crap into the water.

Since I am the daily swimmer, it falls to me to keep ahead of these Augean stables and now that the buses are rolling the signs of fall are setting in.

But today I witnessed first hand where these leaves keep coming from. I mean, do you see one single brown, yellow or sickly leaf in my woods? Not.

Right on the other side of the fence my neighbor has a towering tulip tree  and the leaves are coming off it like confetti on New Years Eve...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I was not as fully divorced from electro-doings as I wanted these past days  but  still, lots got done.

On the other hand, there's nothing like a new bed to make one think about becoming an Olympic class sleeper. You just don't how bad the old bed was until you get a new one! I wake up feeling taller each day.

Work continues on Rêver 3 but there are stronger value changes in this one and I am anticipating even more vivid ones in the future. Dreams will sometimes pass into nightmares without you noticing.

A pair of swan feathers underway...I keep telling myself "less is more"

  and finally, finally
I am tackling the construction of this large piece. Getting these very disparate types of cloth to lie down and true up is crazy pesky.

The darkest one in the foreground is vintage cotton sackcloth (thanks Rosemary), the middle part is the last of the Nantucket flea market damask tablecloths and the pale strip on the far edge  a vintage percale - a sheet from my Aunt  Jo's lodge in Flint Michigan.

These three pieces of cloth have been only been joined because of the colors I gave them. The whole process seems to be against their individual wills but I am taking the wheel with a firm hand.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Even though I have to work the day job this weekend, I'm taking a break from the computer and hand stitching.
My hands will be doing bigger, different things and my eyes will look for far horizons.

And if you are a fan of the game and can tune in, don't miss the Braves game tonight. Tonight they retire #6 and honor legendary manager Bobby Cox.
It will be a very big deal

self indulgence

I just came from ProChem like a junkie from her dealer...Sunflower,  Sun Yellow,  Hot Pink,  Rosewood,  Brightest Blue,  Turquoise,  Lapis Indigo Blue,  Kiwi,  Raspberry,  Plum and some  Soy Wax.  There will be many more hot days for dyeing here in Georgia but already the daily battle of pulling brown leaves from the pool has begun. It seems to start happening the minute the school buses start prowling the neighborhoods.

Yesterday's mail came in balance...a very belated rejection from the TSGNY exhibition (freeing up my entries for other shows - Yay!) and a tiny beautifully wrapped package from Morna Crites-Moore.  I'm not a jewelry gal - been wearing the same tiny gold and diamond hoops that my family gave me for my birthday, two years ago. but I've coveted these for so long and slept through the night without noticing them so it will be a long running association.

She also sent the tiny hand stitched block and as I examined it I was amazed to see that this type of block was constructed on a base - a notion that never occurred to me. I immediately grabbed up some scraps and tried it for myself. Makes me wonder what else I am missing never having educated myself in the breadth of traditional sewing techniques.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

faux natural... what they look like to me. The loss of color will probably delight a lot of people. Me...not so much. But here they are. You can see closeups with and without the flash.
Although a lot of people prefer to use cloth in it's natural state, I especially like to iron the damasks when the dye process is finished. You can see by this detail that the huge tablecloth I stumbled over was probably created to be a souvenir for a tourist visiting the "auld sod".  One could only hope that it was actually manufactured in Ireland!  

The rest of the lightweight cottons will have to wait, in fact, I'll have to rewash them. SOMETHING went Lint Wacko in the washer and 99% of it gravitated to the pieces below. I will NOT be sitting over these with a roll of scotch tape today.

I've taken out the few that I'm keeping and everything else will be made available in the store over the next few days.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

swimming with the cloth

I laughed out loud when I ready Judy's latest post cause I had just come in from the pool and teaching some new acquaintances how to swim...

While I shot this video, Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" was playing on the radio....YouTube took away the music but I bet you can hear it playing in your head. (You can open in another tab and play the song Here...  go figger)

Monday, August 08, 2011

fruits of the weekend

Everything is in the washing machine - drying? ironing?
Maybe tomorrow - the day job recommences today.

I think I need a mid season pallet reassessment. I threw away at least five empty dye jars and colors are missing. And I want more to Prochem!

PS- the rate of color loss was severe. I put it down to old dyes depleted by exposure to high temps...once mixed they are supposed to be stored cool. the Lesson..mix only what will be needed for a session or follow the rule!

the recurring alligator dream

I went to sleep last night with achy stiff fingers on my right hand, presumably from all the washerwoman activities that go along with hand dyeing. I dreamed that I was swimming in deep water -not salt and vaguely cloudy like Lake Lanier can be - and was close up to and touching a whale which was sunning itself at the surface when something grabbed and bit down on my right hand. I went under the water and saw what at first appeared to be a patch of seaweed but quickly realized that it was an alligator about to take a better grab. 
"Alligator Dream"   2009

As it opened it's mouth I stuck my cell phone between it's jaws sideways and pulled my right hand free and remember thinking  "water damage was not covered in the warranty". The alligator hurried away with my phone in it's mouth and I turned back to the whale who was about to swim away and hitched a ride like it was no big deal. I remember looking at my hand and seeing angry red dents on the side of my middle finger and it ached like I had jammed it.