Friday, August 31, 2012

another year, another Con

Nothing exciting from me but my son Colin is attending DragonCon 2012 this weekend and has sent back some pictures including this one which could be a fabulous quilt..

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

those broad strokes

It's been so long since I fired up the Janome and rocked that free motion foot...speaking of which I really need to find a replacement for this one, silly little open toed plastic bugger anyway. If you have any recommendations for a freemotion foot  that will fit the Janome 6500 I'd welcome the info.

I'm using a different sort of support for this one for the first time. Not a batting but a synthetic mattress pad. Weird stuff but I have acres of it so the price is right. It has no warp or weft like fleece but very stable with no stretch or give at all in any direction, needles like it's not there and not too heavy or thick although the size of this piece makes me feel like I'm making sails. (the oval in the center of this image 8" across) . There's just enough depth to show off the  machine stitches.

I am looking forward to more Broad Strokes using up those Usual Suspects.

Giveaway results..

I didn't forget..oh yes I did and Sweetie is mad at me about her new flea collar so there was no persuading her to pick a winner this time so I  it did it the old fashioned way..names scribbled on paper snips and drawn from the hat. First pick goes to Jeannie and second to Phyllis King. email me with your snail mail addresses and I'll get the out to you by the weekend.  Thanks for playing!

I will be doing more with this technique in the near future..stay tuned.

Monday, August 27, 2012

hunkering down

Some of the colors have gone soft and wishful while others remain fierce. The mixes are getting tired this late in the season. And of course, when I wasn't looking for it, a Stygian black blended from a little of this, that,and the other! The white spots are from soy wax resist. There are a few more pieces done with a second round of soy stewing in a dark sable brown and will have to stay until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

sweet sunday

I made the mistake of spreading this one out on the work table this morning and then turning my back for a moment. After I worked on it most of the morning I put it up on the design wall and Jake said to stick a fork in's done.

Then I headed out to the dye the colors were those of fantasy, dreams and superheros. These are destined for a series in the works.

There are several tubs with monsters sleeping too. Waiting for tomorrows washout.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

busying myself

Not long after I finished my shift last night my sister called to let me know that she was waiting in the ER with Pop who was in great pain from a long ignored hernia. So it was middle of the night surgery and all nighter's for my sibs in NY.  

All things considered the surgery went well and he is in the best of hands if not the best of spirits and mood.

All I can do is  worry and harass the hospital staff long distance and lay awake plotting all that I was going to get done the  next day..all the fall back stuff you do when you'd rather be with family and you can't be there.

An impromptu dinner thrown together right after breakfast and I spent the entire morning machine stitching the WIP.

 Midday found me making up some more B&W piece-parts but tomorrow will be all about COLOR.  The beautiful weather will hold for another precious day. I just finished another set of cloth burritos and now it's time to settle in to the sewing chair and cheer the Braves on...they need my help.

Friday, August 24, 2012

testing new waters

Started machine stitching on the WIP  which is still  Unbaptized (which is almost  the name of one of my other pieces so I can't use it again). This one doesn't speak to me as much as it grabs me by the face and hollers.

I knew the machine stitching was going to be lost if I did not put something under all that damask, lawn, lace and linen so I basted the whole thing down to a raft of white polar fleece, properly oriented to be sure.

I've committed to mixing hand and machine stitching now but I have to stay my hand from cranking up the dials and using broad bands of machine satin stitching just because I want to see something materialize that can be seen from across the room.

Still looking for those broad strokes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

hanging on to summer

With hurricane Isaac bearing down on the southeast, today and maybe tomorrow could be the last really beautiful sunny summer days for this slice of heaven. My mission for the morning is to get the chores, house & studio, out of the way so I can get out there and make like a fish for a few more hours and then dry off with some stitching in the sun....restoring my soul.  Grace is right when she calls it "church"

TADA !!  nine new cloth burritos!   

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Giveaway time!

Why wait for someone to copy my work (as if!) ...I did it mysef!

Inspired by something about making art accessible that floated through the info-waves and into my brain, I spent the morning cramming fabric into  a machine and pulling out these paper clones.  The detail is amazing - I'm so glad I remembered to bring the sticky roller in with me or you'd be marveling at the cat hair and cooties worked into the stitching.

This is an 11"x17" section of  one of the "grand rĂªves" printed on nice matte card stock and this one in the background .   While I do some research on archival inks and paper, signed and numbered copies and such, let's just have a giveaway with the proceeds of this day!

If you want to play email me  or leave a comment, which ever is easier,  and next Tuesday night I'll persuade Sweetie to pick two winners.

PS.. I recently discovered that blogger had decided on it's own to moderate who and how people could comment..I think I've whipped it into shape and will keep an eye out that there's no backsliding ....

Monday, August 20, 2012

camera historica

Once upon a time I had a wonderful camera called the Canon Pellix. It had a very short focal plane which made it great for stills or portraits.  This was way back in the day when you took pictures and sent the film off to be developed and printed...days, weeks of waiting to see if you got what you thought you were shooting. I had no training and I can tell you for every one good shot there were six or more crappy ones.

 There were no manuals available. At the time it came into my hands the camera was already 30 years old. Over time in the heat and humidity of the south, the interior light meter failed and the mirror film inside became clouded. I could never find anyone who could repair it and gave it up to a collector in England. None since can compare. I can still remember what it sounded like when you pressed the shutter..zzzwuck-clikt.

Karma  about nine months old, in 96.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


It's only ten in the morning and I have been moved to tears four times.

First, with coffee while I check email and such, the opening ten minutes of  the Prince of Egypt. The lullaby will be moving around in my heart for a long while and if you have seen it and really paid attention to the story, the music and the expressive animation and visuals, you know why. I will put it on later and watch it all, stitching.

 and then there's Wendy and Velma

 I got back up to the studio in time to catch CBS Sunday Morning's piece on Rufus Wainwright and then, the life and passing of Woody Davis

now I have to sit down to all this work and find heart there as well.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

sun lion redux

I started this back in March and it went through some terrible changes and  has been languishing in the closet. This morning it was re-worked with soy wax and spent most of the day in a stew of Fa-geddaboutit Blue and Ch-ch-ch-chino.

Here it is rinsed and still crusted with's in the wash right now! More pictures later.

  Now I'm happier with it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

holes, dots..ah Friday

Seems like the Spot is floating high in the Zeitgeist these days...what it's meaning for others I don't know..Gerdiary calls it a fever, and there's "rabbiting" at Stitchworks

what are these particles today?

spotz, dotz, holes,   got some??


Thursday, August 16, 2012

details, big & small

I was in the studio all morning moving from one detail to the next without a lot of thought about the fact that there's a whole herd of them waiting to be run down and dealt with, one by one. Making lists of things never works for me - I lose the lists. I send myself emails with cryptic subject lines "whip the green over the red & gold" or "rescue rags from sauce"..that sort of thing.

Yesterday it was "198 inches of invisible hem stitching -dk gr" . I have to get three very large pieces photo ready by the end of this month so I can take advantage of the wall space over at the gallery and get some good pictures. Or build a photo wall big enough....hmmm. I'll have to consult with my Goodman on that item. I  still prefer natural lighting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

rainy day stitcher

 We were awakened this morning at 5am buy a soul stirring thunderclap that had Sweetie shivering in my armpit until even she gave up hope that I could protect her and dived for her storm haven under the bed. It's gonna be an all-day rain,

In the good company of the Buddha and his Fish, and under the spell of music from ,I'm settling into miles of machine stitching on LDE.  It's been some time since I've done a lot of free motion stitching so I did some warming up first but it really is like riding a bicycle..

...only I was one of those unlucky folks who had to really focus on maintaining my balance on a bike...none of that crazed "look ma, no hands stuff" for this kid. Scabs galore was more like it.  Working hard at being good at something that seems to come so easily to others can be galling if you let it.

No one could ever tell how wonky my inner gyro really was as I whizzed by, braids flying but teeth gritted.

I guess most of you have figured out that this is going to be one of my QN entries so there won't be any good photos until after Judgement Day.  That is of course, assuming I'm satisfied it's finished by the deadline.

(just took a measure..36"x 60"...not so huge after all)

Monday, August 13, 2012

black and white lightning

inspiration and instigation for using all the black and white things I have been making continues to strike

"Los Dados Encantada" was born this morning at 11:43 ...there are spots of blood everywhere - the base piece had five pounds off pins in it and I was in a spazrush to see these shapes fall into [the right] place..

more pictures when the time is ripe

Sunday, August 12, 2012

switching gears smoothly

 I went out on the deck last night around 3am and caught two shooting stars scratch across the night sky like matches being struck. signs and portents.

While I was at HoAnn's yesterday couple of batik fat quarters leaped off the rack and grabbed me by the throat and forced me to used my coupons to spring them from the store.  I went there for a yard of white polar fleece and a giant cookie cutter and came home with degenerate cloth!

Once I came to my senses, I plunged them both in the black dyepot and later worked them over with softscrub. This morning it was evident that they take part in the WIP via the Machine now that I am confident that I can integrate both kinds of stitching in this one.

Now it's back to the dyepots - the humidity has lifted and the sun is hot - it's going to be a beautiful day and I want to wring the max out of it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


2:45am and I'm wide awake in anticipation of several hours worth of thunderstorms passing through the area.
 If I am tired enough, maybe I will sleep through them but I doubt it. The air is so thick outside that the freight train announcing itself in the distance sounds more like an ocean liner bellowing for a tug out past the lights of the harbor.

I've found a way to stitch many marks, bold enough and quickly enough to use on large pieces - this passage is roughly six inches across - was done with six strands of floss, doubled  in a split chain and then wrapped with the same 12 really sits up and signals.

I stitched this while listening to/watching an hours worth of  "America in Primetime" on PBS. A dialogue about the nature of storytelling. It has me thinking of ways to bring the sprawl of this piece under control, get it talking.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

a mad hand

"Memory's Feast"  2009

I've been working on the large  black and white piece and find myself getting grumpy and unsatisfied with my hand stitching. Twice I've sewn long passages only to spend an hour picking the stitches out. Mulling it over, I looked back over some other pieces with hand stitching and found some reminders about Keeping Things Loose, Not Getting too Trixie and few other examples of the exuberant hand...hard to maintain when you are looking at Acres of work. Every day I have to take it out of the hoops and get it up onto the design wall to make sure that the stitching isn't getting too precious.  other lessons...don't forget the last minute shreds and white fleece makes great batting if you need it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

riot on the wall

yesterday's graduates...a cheeky lot. Now I'm not going to be able to sleep until I get them dancing.

gambol and cavort


 I think I need to find some real live baby goats to draw. Still pictures are just not helping. They move so fast and seem to be going in several directions all at the same time..capturing that kind of energy is going to take some first hand observation.

There are heaps of cloth to cull, iron and stow, more raw cloth steeping in the sauce and there are a bunch of deadlines for venues that I am going to have to get serious about.

So what did this slacker do with her enforced idle time?  Updated my "Buy Art" page since I'm getting a lot of traffic generated by the show.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

and across the deck

color playing the boundary game. pieces poaching in the heat and humidity.

more B&Ws

Some B&W experiments this morning  didn't turn out as hoped. Too much dye creeping on dry cloth but still interesting.

And then discharging brings in a whole new way to look at things.

Monday, August 06, 2012


four different weights of silk and two of cotton waiting to become transparent wisps of color...vinegar for the silks, soda ash for the cottons..

I'll leave them until tomorrow and tend to the batch from yesterday. It needs some TLC - Aquasafe, a gentle wash out and rinse, drying and ironing. Enough for one day.

remember that white linen dress with the little shell buttons on the bodice?