Friday, September 30, 2011

passing things on

Back in March I donated two unfinished tops to Quilts for Quake Survivors. It was very gratifying seeing what has become of one of them so far. Thanks to all the volunteers who picked up where I left off.  Thanks so much for posting this, Susan & Daniela.


shop update

Mission (part one anyway) accomplished.

I updated the store this morning with SEVEN new magic cloth burritos from the fall equinox dyefest.

I'll be making more over the next few days and taking out things that I can't bear to part with to keep for my own stash. Before I do this I always make a point of watching an episode or  two of "Hoarders" just to maintain a sane perspective.

It's a good thing that studio assistants work cheap but I did remove Sweetie from the scene after this one glam  shot turned into a wrestling match over the fabric when I tried to rearrange things.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MCD update

 I'm a little sad this morning now that the Atlanta Braves have gone down in flames and our baseball season is over.

I had agita for thirteen innings last night and losing the pennant bid that way was a bitter pill. I will miss baseball.

This is a little element that will go in the center back of my MCD shirt. Zoom in on the picture so you can examine this freaky little drink server closely. It was stitched onto a tiny little rectangular cocktail napkin. Each of the six of them wound up a different color.

I kept a feather for myself.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

fall equinox cloth

Just some of the finished pieces from the fall equinox dyefest. No ironing this group...there's just too much wonderful texture to appreciate.

I'll be making a few of these available in the store over the next few days.

Madam enjoys her cream

Karma turned sixteen this past spring and for a while this summer I feared she wouldn't see another birthday.  Sometimes I wonder if she wasn't just working us, her fans and supporters, with her drama.

Here she is enjoying her morning bowl of half and half out on the dye deck working hard to maintain her svelte 7.5 pounds.  Her coat seems to be coming back in now despite a tail full of nasty jujus that she won't let me groom. How sensible it was to shed 75% of one's fur during the hot summer months. If I had taken her cue, I would have shaved my head.

Over the past few days I have begun to suspect that she may be deaf and blind on her left side.
Still, she does exactly what she wants, whenever she wants to - or you hear about it. We should all be so fortunate.

Here are the mystery mobys turned out of their jars onto the table to drain a bit. Once the sun comes out, I'll hand wash them and see just how much dye will stay. I suspect a lot will flee.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

warning - wet spoils

but not spoiled at all. Much more like b00ty but using that in a post will get all kinds of unwanted attention these days.
Rather than waste time and water rinsing these by hand, I decided to just turn them out of the containers this morning right onto the work table like so much dough. NEXT time I use something 100% natural for a table cloth and make sure its ready with soda ash before I get crazy like this again..
The clear glue did not resist the discharge.

A very clear call came this morning regarding the use of these fabrics. I'll be taking a break any further raw material making to see if I can bring the vision around to reality.

and the Moby cloth + vinegar test is finally underway.

Monday, September 26, 2011

crystal clear

how did I miss this amazing post.?

just a fraction

This is all I have time for this morning. A few were rinsed and little dye was lost...a good sign. Then I realized.why bother? Just lay them out on the work table and let them dry there. Some of these have been treated with clear school glue as a resist in preparation for other processes later on.

I'm letting these have their way with the white sheet that's covering the work surface. I have a stack of them - a cotton poly blend so not much of this excitement will stay when I wash it out.

If I wash it out.

these were suspect in that I was not able to determine if they were going to take the dye or leave it. the white markings are from discharge gel.

I forgot to take off the Grace note but I remember it said "what were they thinking?"

I can't imagine what those three badly stitched XXs were all about...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

fall dye one

Some of you must be bored with these types of pictures but I never tire of seeing my Mason jars lined up filled with sparkling colors. That whole front row looks like a salute to Sangria. There are another half dozen, three-high stacks of stainless steel containers out of the frame all heating up in the sun this afternoon.

I didn't realize I had so much cloth ready to go. Wash out and further manipulations of color are going to take all week in small doses - I have a crazed work schedule with a lot of early starts coming up. This will be a first for applying the textured colors after the base color  - I normally do it the other way around. We'll see if there's any real difference.

perfect fall saturday

What a great time we all had yesterday! Jim and Colin had a spectacular day at the chili cookoff (we are still hoping to get some pictures from somewhere) the camping and cooking logistics came off perfectly, as did the food, but the camera was dead.  Jake and Missy visited the campsite and I'm told all the food was a big hit with the public but the judges missed the boat. Oh well! A good time was had by all and on to next year!

Janice and I went to our first bead show in a long time and I was actually moved to acquire the makings of a pair of earrings that I have been coveting.  These will be an homage to the art of Courtney Laine who creations I have long coveted. She uses real gold, silver, and gems. I will use whatever, spit and chutzpah and find out just how difficult this work is.

We pillaged the Norcross Goodwill library like pirates making off with all the books we could carry and then bought the makings for a great lunch, got it back home and served ourselves...shrimp scampi, linguini, guacamole and sangria. Yeehaa. No room for dessert.

When the sun comes over the yardarm and the ballgame game begins, there will be color and cloth!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall colors for the dyedeck

OK...the cornbread is in transit and I have a little time to kill so, time enough to make a fresh start, dyewise.

I washed out all my good stock bottles, made my choices and mixed up this set of dye concentrates which will have to take me through 'til spring. This batch will live in the deck fridge after tomorrows dye session. I'm a profligate waster of dye so I'll be more mindful of that for a minute or two.

Some of these are right out of the ProChem can and few are my own concoctions. All well and good on paper, I know. Time will tell.
Kinda sad that I had no golden yellow but hopeful that sun and sunflower together will zip.

I deliberately left out the straight dominates my magpie brain.
And no black...I never get it right anyway so why waste the cloth?


it's Chili time!

 I was up before dawn getting cornbread into the oven for the Stone Mountain Chili cookoff. Jim camped there last night and is preparing the judges batch of the same recipe as I type this.

All the entries have to be cooked on the spot but I bake a dozen pans to serve little samples to the visitors, along with the chili and, this year for the first time, he's making Brunswick stew...whatever that is.

It's quite the rowdy party, and though I have attended in the past to help serve, it's not my cup of tea and I would only be underfoot so this year Colin will be delivering the cornbread and slinging grub for the masses. Later in the day there will be ear splitting live music, and with the spectacular fake summer weather we've been blessed with after a week of muggy rain, there will be mobs of party animals swarming the area. Me, I'll be at a bead show  waiting on the magic phone call to hear that we WON like we did in '03! Good luck my darling...

Friday, September 23, 2011

I may not have anything much going on but its great to see what other artists are making with my fabrics...

I know there are more out there...let me know.


and Grace

and Vicky

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

big and wild

Cleared off the dancing table, tuned up the Janome and have this large expanse of hand dyed vintage sack clothe and damask under the needle...winging it. Thoughts only get in the way, just gotta keep my fingers clear. Blood will not do here.

It's turned muggy and warmish again..just as I get out the blanket sized works.
Ah, Murph, you devil me again.

graces moby cloth

the original color was  a very pale pink.

Can you tell by looking if it's silk? It burns like a natural cloth, it's heavy like duck almost, and shrieks out loud when you rip it. tomorrow I'll try dyeing it again only fixing with vinegar instead of (dummy!) soda ash.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a new badge

I had to put on the long pants against the chill today for the first time and was happy to be able to zip up AND be able to breathe! Jim made a practice run of my cornbread recipe last night and I think I ate a pan almost by myself. 

It's rainy and drear and I'd like nothing better than to go back to bed right now but I promised some OT in a few stitching and dreaming will have to wait. My little B&W feather break was refreshing - I am back in technicolor mode.

Another great box of white wonder thumped up onto the porch late yesterday afternoon. More about that tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

feathers flying

this time I remembered to take a picture before sending them off.

Jim is getting ready for the Stone Mountain Chili Cookoff this coming weekend - my dye deck has become an fresh air kitchen for a few days but I'll be jarring up a few experiments later this morning in hopes of a few more 80 degree days coming up. If anyone gets any cloth that has a whiff of a distant campfire, garlic or cumin, you know the reason why.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

freepiecing denim

The turn of seasons has me washing all blanket-like objects and this old denim throw turned up with a multitude of failed seams. Time to be useful again. That orange broadcloth turned out to have a bit of poly in it and so it will go two work pulling this blanket together..a nice back of couch piece although I may hang it up and pretend I'm in a museum somewhere.

We were real hard on our denim back in the day. This was built in 1977, one of the first things I sewed on the Kenmore Jimmy bought me as an engagement gift. It was one of the first free-arm portables, indispensable for mending blue jeans. The man knew what he was doing. I did not but, Gees Bend, it's held up pretty well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

september morn

I've been slightly derailed (was I ever railed?) by the sudden change of season - even if it's only temporary,  a flexing day job schedule and overdosed with color.

I was surprised to read that Jude only has 282 feathers to date. I would have thought she's be over feathered by now but I was wrong so I am taking a little black and white eyeball palette cleansing break here before I set to the task of going through the new cloth, taking first picks and then putting things up for adoption and sale.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

These pieces dried to be a lot less vibrant than this shot. I've given up being disappointed or surprised when the cloth does what it will. instead, I do what I know to bring the things around to my liking.

A couple of them have been painted with transparent textile paint and I'll post the results later in the day when they are fully dry.

Monday, September 12, 2011

grace moons

this whole group spent the night basking in the full moon. I'll know more after they've been through a machine wash and dry.

These are the Grace Moons, each different but all from the same mother cloth, a section of heavy drapery cotton. Strong, soft and full of weave. These may become part of a larger whole.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

avoidance & remembrance

It started with this commercial, the crying, and I knew I would be doing it on and off all day. So I made myself a list of all the things that needed doing this fine sunny day. In between the items, I would pass by the TV, watch a bit and cry a bit more. I had forgotten some things and never knew so many others.

It was almost hot today and I had readied some sample sized chunks of the newly gifted fabrics..three of my favorites got the treatment early.

Serena, you sent two of these simple sqares, hemmed all round with a tiny tag that says "Cotton, EGYPT". Could these have been diapers? Wonderful stuff.
I know she won't be seeing this post for a while because she broke her only pair of glasses. And next, a square of that wonderful, fragile muslin..I left the lavender ties in place and used this piece to wipe fact, decided to dedicate that entire piece, one chunk at a time, to cleaning up...the best pieces emerge this way.

Once these things were in the pot, I took a huge pile of winter blankets and quilts to the washateria and while they were tumbling, cleaned my poor car interior, long neglected.. gross to the max.

Shopped for dinner, staggered home and forced myself into the pool in time for the first pitch. It was chilly but the sun was hot and there was a game on..

then baked ziti into the oven for my hardworking husband and one more  crack at the dyeworx..

This is a multi-layered log of some of that heavy drapery cotton, Grace.
Inside it, a  piece of that fabulous damask tablecloth (yes, I cut into it) layered with rice, orzo, oatmeal and grits...all of them buggy  -and an array of dye color.

tomorrow, we go on.

Friday, September 09, 2011


The girls get together and discuss whether Mother needs to be committed. 

I have just returned from the local tire joint where it took them THREE EFFING HOURS to mount and balance two tires on the car. The middle hour was taken up by the hunt for the key to the car which they lost after I handed it over.

I brought this along to work on but thinking, like a fool, that an hour would be most time it could take, I only brought along two little patches to add on and no extra thread at all. Grrrrr... I was supposed to brave the pool today once more but the warm time has passed. Grrrrr...can you hear me grinding my teeth?  A woman in the waiting room politely asked what I was working on and I listened to myself spin the most extraordinary tale of bullshit about a commissioned funerary piece for the president of the International Clown College who had been recently kidnapped and was not expected to be returned because of budget cuts. Was that mean?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

time better spent

Bag sitting inside on a day like this!

After several days of cold and damp Madam Karma reminded me of what you are supposed to do on a sunny day ..roll in the driveway, give a cold stare to the animal control officer as he drives by and then get up and gas with the two neighbors across the street for a spell.

Now dinner is cooked, Karma and 'Doo got their fair share of the chicken and I am off to the mines. Please people...don't spoil my day calling in those reports today. Go on, slack off as usual and bombard me tomorrow. There's a Braves vs. Mets double header starting at 4:10. Boys, my stomach can't stand another loss.

sleepin' in

It was a blanket night and the chill caused me to sleep until almost 9!  The morning light has established the priority for the morning...stitching.

For the first time in ages (there was dust on the box) I pulled a new card from my Tarot deck - see the sidebar. It was a welcome sign.

Ever since eligibility for social security snuck up me a few months ago I've been in a mental muddle. It's time to take up a serious course of study and bring my brain back around to useful sharpness.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Fall Fell

I have been working rather exclusively on this project and letting too many other things get away.  Things are in flux around the household  and my mind has been in other places. Just yesterday I finally sorted and folded a pile of clean laundry that was the size of a Volkswagen parked on the floor in my bedroom. I was waiting for a rainy day!
Did it ever! Fall fell yesterday and right this moment it feels like I'll be lucky to have a few days with temps right for dyeing..silly for sure, this is Georgia we will be sweating again before fall sets in for real.

I was thinking that I had kinda-on-purpose let several deadlines slip away but, no, the calendar mocks me and there is still paperwork to do.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

the giveaway winner

After frittering the day away stitching and enjoying a ballgame and the smell of someone else cooking dinner, I remembered today was the day for picking the Magic Burrito giveaway winner. So, ably assisted by my Goodman Jim, here it is...
And the Winner is...

something new and wonderful

My friend Arlee Barr is taking the teaching plunge and sharing her knowledge and experience though the web in an online class "FrankenStitch" . If you are looking for a different perspective on textiles and stitching, I say JUMP RIGHT IN the water is fine....She has been so generous sharing the ups, downs and sideways of her art process and her life and it's been amazing to see how her art has come together over time, post by post and now she's getting down to the nuts and bolts of it all.
and this image, grisly and amazing!....chica, you should make this picture your FB profile shot RIGHT NOW! 

If you are in NYC

I got an email from Clara Fialho announcing a show she'll be having soon along with artist Kuzana Ogg.  The opening is next Thursday at Tria Gallery from 6 to 8 pm through 10/15.  Clara and I have traded art in the past. When I went to Kuzana's site I thought right away about "Limbo" and it made me grin about the many ways that joy can be expressed.

Friday, September 02, 2011

today the Giftie gie us...

Thanks for the share Diane!
the creeping mailman left me another package late yesterday. in it, two wonderful, ancient damask tablecloths all fat and fluffy from a good hard wash and dry. I'm going to heat the soy wax good and hot for these pieces..the openess of the fibers makes for some striking, clear marking come dye time. 

The blue piece is a fine light-weight linen that has been dyed with indigo. It's already been hacked into!

If any of you out there are simply plagued with drifts of old, humble tablecloths made of any natural fiber, etc., before you toss them out or leave them on a church doorstep please email me. Stains? Pshaw..Holes? Who cares! I'll not only give them a good home but I return some of them back to you in glorious color!

Thursday, September 01, 2011


I'm working out ways to fill in the spaces around the separately stitched elements on my MCD project shirt.
Raw edged "paving" with tiny scraps seems to be the way to go. You can see  more new elements here.

A few days ago I discovered what's been causing the malaise I've been experiencing. Instead of tripping over the bathroom scale, I actually got on it and recognized that there has been waaay too much carbo-indulgence going on around here. Sleepless nights and logy days, aching feet and general crankiness begone! the cure is at hand and I am determined to buy a new pair of sneakers this weekend.

Someone asked to see these three together. At first I was a little unhappy that the third was not the same size as the first two but they were created on a pair of hemmed armrest covers and the third deliberately cut square from a larger cloth. Going forward in the series I will stay with the square...there's another on the cutting table right now.