Sunday, October 30, 2011

surf dyeing (with jellyfish)

This turned out to be much more of a symbolic gesture rather than the dye fest I had planned. Although the sun was strong so, was the wind and temperatures were probably not optimal for good results. The water was warm enough for me to go swimming but the jellyfish wandering about (they seemed to follow me) put that notion on hold. Once I brought the cloth back up to the beach I spread it out, sprinkled it with a little soda ash and added a little dye concentrate already in solution (dye powder would have been impossible in the wind). To my horror - and where was my brain?- much of it went straight into the sugar white sand below. I quickly rolled up the cloth, sand, dye and all and stuffed it into a baggie. Then another baggie just for more stained sand. Didn't want to be lynched by the locals. Still, with more planning and warmer conditions, I want to give this another chance. Results? Tomorrow after I unpack.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


the things you find when you pick up the studio!

I'll take this along and stake it out in the surf and see what becomes of it. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It's been a long time since I was stupefied by a blank canvas. Time was I worked on really large canvases with acrylic - hammered the wood, stretched and gessoed the canvas myself. All that preparation gave me time to think, from a distance, about what would come next so I don't remember getting the willies over acres of nothingness.

This is something else.
A big box of vintage cloth arrived yesterday courtesy of my scout, Grace of the American West (who called her that? How appropriate). Colin helped me unfurl one last night and Jim estimated it to be 120" square. Shimmering.

As I sat and went through all the pieces this morning in the sunlight the stillness set in. What more could I do? What shades and hue? The hubris of my plans appalls me, yet the subversive witch cackles, rubs her paws together and daydreams in butternut and violet, storm gray and moss, blood orange and peaches.

If it wasn't for my GoodMan, I'd take the veil.

Monday, October 24, 2011

monday, monday

I long to just sit down with this and focus on it for a while, as unfocused as I feel it's become, but it's a Monday full of chores and obligations - the usual boring stuff we all have to deal with.

I've decided to take on the Excess in my life starting with my walk-in closet. There will be NO pictures. So far, two bags for the trash and two for the Goodwill- it's time I gave back some of what I've taken out of there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

sunday prayer flags

that's EQ5 above and EQ6 below

I love it when solutions, or just new ideas, come in dreams.

these are three of the cloth burritos quick stitched into prayer flags and strung in my crepe myrtle grove out front. My dog walking neighbors thought I was taking a novel approach to decorating for Halloween....

I machine basted them to cotton strips just so people could get a better idea of just what was in one of those rolls. Scale is still an issue...most of these pieces are 7 to10 inches wide.

one of the October burritos....they are down now, safely back in the house.
a book arrived yesterday..I leafed through it a bit and am kind of afraid to read closely, sponge brained as I am...

Friday, October 21, 2011

store update

October Burritos (3)

I've just spent the morning adding some of the fall equinox fabrics to the store...why is it that there are still heaps and stacks of fabric all over the  place?
I suspect they are breeding like bunnies.

For those who might wonder about the price increases, these new cloth burritos are bigger than the ones I have sold in the past. 

Back to work, cloth woman!

Super textures (2)


The mailman delivered two quilts yesterday.

I had forgotten "Up on Wheels" and "Roadkill" were traveling!! I absolutely have to update my website if for no other reason than tracking the travels of pieces.

All I know for sure is that they were included in a special exhibit at one of the Mancuso shows. Annie Copeland asked me to select two from my gallery months ago. I have to go get some rods and put these up on the walls - I need these colors in my eye especially this time of year

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

proceeds of the day

terrible light, this little task lamp but you get the drift. If there's any sun at all tomorrow I'm going to reshoot these in groups, take out a precious few to keep and get the rest ready to sell in the store.

they are so soft and full of texture

Monday, October 17, 2011

another run at the colors

I'm taking advantage of the warm temps to squeeze in one more outdoor dye fest. Got the dyes out of the fridge early and letting them get up to temp before I have to go online this afternoon...hurry hurry....I hate it but, oh well. tomorrow..thunderstorms followed by cold air.

Jimmy looked around the studio this morning and said
"speaking of hoarders.."  yes, yes, I know. I have to let some of these go soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

For my birthday, Jim and the boys gave me my first laptop. I've been shopping online for weeks but had to go put "hands on" yesterday and came home with this nifty Acer Aspire.

It was a great buy and does things I couldn't imagine. The old monster box in the living room was built in the stone ages (2005) and has been sounding like a guinea pig given birth. It's headed for it's last round up and has given faithful, solid service but it's days are numbered. Now all I have to do is figure our replacements for all the old, outdated software that I'm so used to.

this is my idea of interior decorating.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Everyone has called and sung me...

 ..."Happy birthday Mrs. Hood..."

Here I am sitting in the almost dark, waiting with my coffee for the sun to come through the front door and light up the room so I can stitch a while. It's chilly but worth the wait. It's my I give cats their worm pills! Yee ha!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the devil's in the details

The devil being trixie element of the work, the thing that pulls you in and make you go "jeeze" or "yuk" or makes the hair in your arms stand up.

It could also refer to the pitfall of of focusing on the tiny things and letting the big picture get lost in all those details.

I was just reminded by these colors of Taken by the Night and the need to loosen up, take an unexpected turn or two and slow down.

It's a good thing there are only 24 hours in a day.

and speaking of details, remember the bead show I went to awhile back?

I cobbled these earring together myself. Sea opals, freshwater pearls and silver and I am satisfied. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

full moon measures

I found this little moon wandering around the studio and decided it was an appropriate day to put it work in the new piece. Now I'm off to snag some embroidery thread and needles, fresh for this project. Stitching has begun!
I also discovered ACRES more of the woven, gridded cotton that this piece is based on...lots of plans for others in a series.

Monday, October 10, 2011

the chase is on

Sometimes the horse bolts and you have to chase it down with saddle and bridle.

It's raining and cool here for the first time in ages. Contemplation time. No more false moves..the stage is set.

the following studies were done with an ancient paint program, PSP5 if you can believe it. I will be sad when it stops working.

I could do this all day but a handful gives me an idea of how I want to go with the stitching. As much as I may like or dislike any one of these, the finished piece will only refer to the digital image, not copy any one entirely.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

a good sundays work

I've been up before the sun putting little bits of cloth together until I decide I liked the way things look.

The bristle of all the pins is distracting so my next step is to baste the whole piece with great leaping jumps of a single strand of blue thread..easy to cut and pull out as I need to along the way.

It's very easy to lose sight of the whole picture during this part of the process. Strokes for the sake of taking them won't add up.

All the cloths I've chosen are loose and open - the thread and needle pass through with almost no resistance - quite probably more than one of those little red spots is my blood.

So easy to be sidetracked by the juicy splendor of the individual fabrics but it will be easy to make design revisions before settling in the stitching that ties everything together, the marks that will make it whole.

1300 posts. really? 
Should I throw a party?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

making do do

I decided to start working with these (and cloth from some previous batches) as they are, which is outside of my comfort zone in hue, tone and other attributes. Having been creatively stagnant for a while now I'm going to think of these raw materials as if they washed up onto the beach of my desert island- and there's that little creepy dude in the pointy shoes serving drinks again.

Friday, October 07, 2011

humbled by the process

I guess I will never learn.

"Never crow about hand dyed cloth before it's been washed and dried" should be up in neon on my design wall.

Here's a link to a large image so you can see all the texture in the cloth. I can't decide if I want to continue working on this batch with other techniques or let them rest as is.

I also have to remind myself that nothing spectacular comes easy and that the best pieces I've made came from very humble starts.

she sheps naches

My friend Jan's son Ryan moved to Taiwan right out of high school to learn the language. I think it's been a little more than a year. Makes me think about what I've accomplished in the past year.

Here he is starring in an entertaining promotional video for Kaohsiung, the second largest city in Taiwan. Um, he's the tall guy with the guitar. I don't know what they are saying but the message comes across clearly.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

October Glory

Well, if I can't have October baseball at least I'll have hatched out what may be the very best fabrics of the year - so far. Seriously, I was driving home from the grocery store with my ancient Ipod plugged into the car stereo (thank you Steve, you will be missed) and the theme from "The Natural" started playing and I started to cry.

I bought a leather purse the other day because it reminded me of my baseball mitt. You get funny looks carrying around a baseball mitt when you are not at the ballpark.
These are all shots from the first "reveal" when I open up the rolls of cloth and grains after 24 hours.

I can tell by the rinse water that the dye took pretty strongly . All the grains get shaken out onto the lawn and these entire batch is in the washing machine right now.

There won't be any time to take and post any finished pictures before I have to go to work so we will have to wait until tomorrow.

Que Sera, Sera    (my mother really did sing this to me)

It's seriously messy and labor intensive process but the results are worth all the trouble to me.


I have decided to name this entire set after the late, great Steve Jobs....they are the October Jobs.

wild assistants

While I was inspecting the tubs with cloth rolls, I tripped over this...I left a few pieces bagged up and in the sunshine to poach. They pulled it off the railing and checked on the contents for me, rather inelegantly.

From all appearances they did not approve of the contents.

update...the cable guy gave us a new remote as the service magically restored itself.

Here's part of what was in the bag shown cant PAY for help this great!


I'm waiting. For the sun to come through the front door so I can see well enough to stitch on this piece for a while. And waiting on the Comcast guy to tell him I don't think the trouble is at our house because whatever was wrong seems to have cleared up since other Comcast trucks were shuttling up and down the block the past few days.

And waiting until it's warm enough to get those cloths out of the tubs and see the magic!