Thursday, January 30, 2014

back to the regular programming

It seems to take a fistful of hours over a whole day from "go" to "done". I need to venture out to buy some more canvases, but that will wait until the weekend.

While I was churning the studio for those lost or imaginary canvases I found the piece below squashed between the pages of a drawing pad.
"Silkwinds"      2010       (13.5"x16")

This was an experiment using silk gauze dyed with Colorhue silk dyes that were a gift. The base is some kind of poly that looks like linen with a piece of warm and natural cotton batting underneath to give the stitches a little bite. No backing yet.

I would do stitching things a little differently I think, but it's made me long to work with transparent color again in any medium.

I'm going to mount this one to a canvas also and it will be the next piece up for silent auction.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


For this little bit of winter people were stranded on iced highways in their cars overnight.  Kids kept in schools were sleeping on the floors of the gym.

It's just a matter of practice which most folk down here will never get.

When I lived in NY and worked for AT&T we were expected at work even if the state police closed the roads. I'd show my badge at the road block and be waved on through, and dance my old Honda over the top of the packed snow and ice, slowly, deliberately and so much safer since I was alone on the road.

Snow driving at night was a form of deep meditation; a combination of intense focus on the road and the car and the constant need for the restrained, gentle touch, feeling the conditions through your feet and ass, hearing the changes as you rolled. I couldn't wait for my shift to end so I could get back out into the night and roll on.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

snow so rare

There was nothing left to do but hunker down while the locals went crazy on the roadways.

Monday, January 27, 2014

do over

The cloth called while I watched the Grammys last night. I finally got this piece of craziness  disassembled and reorganized and will work it to done soon.

Bunches of fat baggies were packed up before that great halftime commercial (which was better than a lot of the performances)  It was fun and I partially restocked the river basket while I was at it.

Off to join the beer, milk and toilet paper riots at the grocery store - 1-3" of snow/sleet are predicted for our area in the next 48 hours! Armageddon in Atlanta!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Break a leg

Well, that was a change of pace for a Sunday. Colin and I just got back from an open casting call at Pinewood's new studio complex in Atlanta.

I was afraid it was going to be a cattle call, but it was quick and painless and not too many people turning out. Filled out an info card, then stood holding #36 for a couple of mug shots. You know what that looks like.

They are  looking for a pool of local people to be movie extras. Who doesn't want to be in the movies? Liars!  I haven't had this much fun doing nothing since I was a crash test dummy  in court years ago..(and look, I was still writing about writing)

Now for a nap so I can stay awake for the Grammys.

                             And heard this on the way home... thanks Roxanne!

Friday, January 24, 2014

badges suspended -updated

"River Deep, Mountain High" has been sold
 I like it well enough that I will probably make  variations.

Now all I have to do is mount all of them and put them in the store. My iron will be coming home over the weekend.

A series of commitments to myself and others will be putting stitching on the back burner for a while.

I went to a local writer Meetup last night and read about eight pages of a work of fiction that I've had simmering for some time.

The reactions I got were satisfying. The lack of "pointers" from published professionals  was interesting. Giving and getting criticism about words on a page is a very different experience from the kind of feedback we give and get from other artists about the things we make.

More importantly, the time I spent selecting, editing and proofreading a chapter for this exercise took me right to that sweet spot when I was writing in the first place. Another time, another place and that other me who operates outside of all time and place. It felt like good drugs with no hangover and hey, I just realized it's Friday.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Badge on

We are back inside the deep freeze again so I've been hunkered down in the nest with two unhappy cats.

Even though they can use the cat door, they are wisely appalled by the cold and have been taking out their cabin fever on each other and their humans. Juicy avoids all of us unless its feeding time.

I wanted to be mixing colors today, but I can see my breath in the kitchen. And where the @&$% did my iron disappear to?

“Joy and sorrow are inseparable. . . Together they come and when one sits alone with you. . Remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.” 
― Kahlil Gibran

Monday, January 20, 2014


 Starting on Wednesday I'll be having a week of full time production for hand dyed threads.

Since the market seems to be there and I'm not using the kitchen for its intended purpose anyway, I might as well give over the first dyefest of 2014 to the thread.

It will be a little messier than working outside but I need the diversion and you need these threads.

I need a day to round up a few supplies, write up some business stuff and should be posting items in the store by Sunday.

I'm really looking forward to mixing the first set of new colors for the first quarter of the year. Anyone hungering for anything in particular colorwise?

I need to busy myself with something useful.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Wheel Turns

For Christmas Jake and Missy got me a Pandora charm bracelet with a beautiful blue glass and silver charm. I think of that charm as my portable ocean.

Wednesday night, after much prodding, team Lacativa returned to the Italian Pie to play Trivia for the first time since Jimmy left us.  I was reluctant, but the boys insisted and Missy and her Dad, Don would be there too. Nice. Family.

I was still getting used to the noise level, managing condolences from the other regulars - a really nice bunch of folks -  and ordering, when Jake presented me with another lovely Pandora bag..another charm.

I was puzzled because there was no occasion that I was aware of until I put on my reading glasses and studied the inscription. The Wheel of Life keeps turning and everything changes, again.  I am delighted for us all.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

badge of madness

Lately, Saturday mornings have been given over entirely to the cloth, even though it's a regular work day for me that will commence at 4:30.

I used to be able to stitch while I was working at the office. Over time our clients caught on that we were a 24/7 operation and there are no longer any spare moments, no windows of contemplation between calls.
It grinds.

I am resisting the temptation to have the text on this one read "WTF do you want now ?"

"Badge 2" is available now.

Friday, January 17, 2014


For all my rusting friends out there...I'm still badgering myself about how I spend my time. But more about that in the near future.

Does anyone know Queenbbecky? I have not yet heard from her regarding the giveaway and her profile is devoid of any contact information..

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

and the winner is.officially Becky!

Thanks to everyone who commented. I had no idea that hand dyed Perle cotton would be such a big hit!

Because of your enthusiasm, I'll be dyeing more in the  future, so if you send me a self -addressed envelope with about a dollars worth of  postage on it  (2$ for all you internationals) and  I'll send you a fat sample as soon as the dye season begins. Write "warm" or "cool" or "Surprise me" on the inside of the envelope so I can accommodate your color whim.

Email me for the snail mail address.

web work

I'm warming up to dismantling and redesigning my aged website but it's been a long time since I taught myself the most basic HTML.  I don't think online galleries should have a lot of bells and whistles; the work should speak for itself. Less is still more, but my naked hand coding may not longer be enough to get the job done.

I don't want to use an "app" for the remodel, but I must remind myself of the hours of frustration I spent tracking down the one misplaced or mis-typed character that would spoil an entire website so I'm looking for new tools to learn; suggestions are welcome but I do not speak mac.

There was a time when I ventured to build sites for other people, but I could never figure out how to cross the great, lava filled void between what they thought they wanted and what I could deliver - never mind what to charge for my feeble magic tricks.  Like this one..

(If you followed the link to the main gallery, which of these pieces would you like to see on the block for my next silent auction?)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

a giveaway - UPDATED!

I was supposed to be doing paperwork this morning, but instead I dumped out my thread basket on the pretense of making some direly needed order.

I did a bit of hand dyeing thread last season and find that I just don't like working with perle cotton.
This bunch was hand dyed with Procion MX dyes. That pale blue on the upper left is Tencel.

 So, leave a comment and Friday tomorrow night I'll see if I can't persuade Sweetie to pick a winner for the lot of them.  International participants are welcome! The package won't weigh much.

UPDATE!!  Holy Cow. Who knew so many people liked Perle cotton??
 I'm cutting off the giveaway tomorrow night to give all you early adopters a fighting shot at winning.  And I guess I'll be dyeing more, but it will have to wait until it warms up outside..the only way I could figure how to dry it was stringing it wet around the deck canopy. 

Below are the DMC six strand cottons that came from the same dyefest.
I really love these and have used most of them up in recent work. This is all that's left, but in a week or so I'll be offering 13 yard hanks as a regular item in the shop.

Store bought hanks are 8.7 yards and one never seems to be enough. Since these will each be one of a kind (I hand paint the hanks) 13 yards seemed to be a more user friendly amount and a lovely kinky number.            Stay tuned.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Sometimes it's just us and Don Draper.

well shod

I am so tickled to have finally found a pair of shoes! This may not be a big deal for the majority of you, especially those who are afflicted with shoe-itis.  I know you are legion and there is help if you want it.

It's not that I cannot afford a new pair of shoes (within strict limits to be sure) but I am very fussy and hard to fit. I think I have been looking on and off for maybe three years; since the Sketchers started splitting around the toe.

Having given up finding anything in all the shoe emporiums around here, I went to Bass Pro Shops yesterday and headed for the clearance rack, always my first stop.

As I watched a tall, warrior looking woman clad in black leather picked this pair up and inspected them. For all her grandeur, she had tiny feet. I said "They'll never fit you". She looked at them rather disdainfully and put them back and strolled away, chains clanking.

I snatched them up, scuttled off to the nearest bench and tied them on. As I had hoped, they were made for my feet. I clapped my dear old Sketchers in the box, walked around the store for a while and then checked out. Good for at least another five years if I switch out to sandals as soon as the weather permits.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Since there is no end of snappy sayings, I could on making these, but I have to stop.

There are other things that I want to do.

Not more important things, just different things.

Friday, January 10, 2014

time tattered

The shawl has been around a long time; whipped up in haste from three yards of panne velvet that had to have been half price somewhere.

The machine appliqued flowers added on years later when I started dyeing cloth.

It used to be my go-to wrap for anything after dark.
The vintage damage is evaporating and I'm not going to try and stop it.

This also reminds me that free motion machine appliqueing damask over a substrate with some softness/depth gives wonderful dimensional results.
The quicker and dirtier the stitching the better.

pool trouble

You know how you should never badmouth your good used car or covet some other set of shiny wheels while old faithful still gets you there and back?

 Yesterday I went to the aquatic center at the park not five minutes from my house and spent a solid hour wearing out my lane of their Olympic sized pool and woke up none the worse for the first real exercise in ages. Delightful.

My blue heaven
This morning I was greeted by the sad sight of our pool down about a foot of water. The hard freeze that lasted most of the week has taken a toll on some point in the pool infrastructure. The liner is fine, but the  hoses that run under the decking have not been replaced since the pool was put in.  We put off replacing them for many years now, but I think brand new hoses would have not stood up to the kind of cold we've just been through. The leak is slow so I'm hoping it's not the tank. At any rate, come spring, it's gonna be a mess but I WILL see my blue heaven restored. guys getting it done
Jim & Jake

Thursday, January 09, 2014

and the winner is.....


be in touch.

lenses updated

I probably should have taken more time moving the circular viewfinder over the UFO before selecting this segment.  Even then I was enamored of the pink french knots and the fragile piece of gold/pink damask.  Enough..

It's too easy to keep going, but once the piece is cut from the whole it can quickly become distorted and I want to keep the circular shape/boundary so no text for this one.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


I've taken one of the hoops and used it to isolate a section from an unsuccessful UFO in hopes of rescuing this small segment rather than trashing the whole piece.

But now I'm screwing up my courage to venture out in sub-freezing temperatures to go to the aquatic center and see if I remember how to swim.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

the arctic south

It was SIX degrees this morning. I slept on the floor in the office last night next to the space heater with Sweetie and Voodoo. Just finished breaking up almost two inches of clear, black ice on the pool to keep the steel frame from breaking. The cold should take care of the fleas and mosquitoes for the coming season.

Hot summers past are just a dream away.

Monday, January 06, 2014


It's no bigger than this. I just wanted something in my hands while I watched the new season of Downton Abbey last night.  He just had to say "great love comes with great heartache"  or somesuch.

We were talking about tattoos today but instead I'm making badges..

Sometimes we need our stinking badges.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

just not feeling it..

I spent most of the morning yesterday in the unheated studio laying this out. Now I marvel at the myriad ways I find to waste precious time.

That piece of brown and lavender damask that is the base of this twenty inch square is going to devil me.

It's been in any number of false starts.  It's only quick basted so tonight I'm going to take it apart, pack all the pieces in a baggy and have a giveaway. Leave a comment and Wednesday I'll pick a winner..maybe you'll have better luck with all this than me.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

the Auction

I'm happy to report that my silent auction worked well.

"Solstice Eve, 2013" has a new owner!
I have to admit that I really didn't think the whole thing through beyond the few instructions laid out in the original post.

The odd starting price was to encourage equally odd bids on the crazy chance that two people might make the same offer.

My objective is to clear my studio of all these recent pieces. I need a clean artistic slate and plan on similar auctions in the future. In this age of self-representation I'm going to find new ways of using technology to get pieces out of storage and  into someone else's world at a price that works for everyone.

I have to admit that when I hit "post" that day,  the girl I used to be worried about  how she would feel if no one bid on it. The person I have become was quick to remind her that this kind of worry was a waste of emotional energy and time.

 (advice: don't check the email until just before the deadline!)

There were a handful of bids, two international. Congratulations to the winner!
One thing I know for a fact- as great as digital  pictures of  fiber art can appear on the web..nothing compares to holding the real thing in your hands and seeing it in person.

So, which piece should I put up for next auction? Do you have a favorite from the main gallery? Or something from the mists of the blog. If it's not on the Buy Art page, describe it to me and I will try to dig it out. I won't do it right away but if I know people are interested in specific pieces I will take new pictures and post them here.

What are your thoughts about buying and selling art this way? Will you try it for yourself? Do you have any suggestions to make the auction process easier, more efficient?

Nothing like a big juicy can of worms for breakfast, eh?