Monday, March 31, 2014

the high gardens

The gorgeous plant in the center is from cuttings taken  from my mother's "hohoya" plant in '93. That's what she called it anyway. Hers used to get little sprigs of pink flowers, but mine never has. 

Does anyone know it's real name? I'm fairly certain she grew this from cuttings she brought back from her trip to Hawaii. My mother, the eco-terrorist~!

It was barefoot warm today for the first time this year. I took most of the houseplants out onto the master deck and got the first seeds into the planters. There will be serious hanging gardens up here this year. First in, moonflowers and grape hyacinths. And that black swamp in the distance will be Caribbean blue in no time.

It looks like the gardenias and bougainvillea didn't make it through the harsh winter. ... I'm going to get some kind of chair and table out here so I can sit outside in the morning light.


Now this is the kind of thing that you would think you could do while watching TV but I have to tell you it's NOT.

You can get a closer look here.  There will be a lot more so I'm not going to list them in the store just yet. When I do, they will be posted in dated groups like this one.

I'll be watching all of the Braves home opener on Wednesday ..that may help me get the rest of them measured and carded.

Feels like progress.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

sunday gold

We had a brief power failure last night while I was working so I went downstairs and cooked by candlelight - my version of red beans and rice; add sauteed chorizo and onions. I'll be eating out of that pot all week. While I was waiting for it to cook, I rewashed one of the FL hanks hand dyed six strand DMC. I can't wait to start working with it! The variations in this one are subtle..the others are more obvious. It'a beautiful, sunny day so I'll be able to set them all out in the sun to dry.

Friday, March 28, 2014

fruits of focus on fiber 14

I was going to be bold and stick the Beast in the washer, but I don't think our water temperature is high enough. The plan then was to take it to the lavanderia, but I ran out time.

Yesterday's gorgeous sunny day has been followed by a Green Goddess kind of day with a soft, all day rain so hanging stuff outside would be counterproductive.

Instead, I rounded up all the color pieces and gave them a final hard wash and rinse. These are nearly dry I didn't want them to get over baked in the dryer.

Everything I was looking for colorwise  is here and, as ever, there is more than I can ever use so  expect to be seeing some Florida bundles in the store soon.

I'm so pleased the black stayed neutral. The mix was totally winged - cooled, warmed and re-cooled on the fly using dyes so old I couldn't even read the label.

I had nearly a quart of what looked like squid ink by the time I was finished and used it all up .The Beast will be OK that way. Even the washer threads and color catchers are interesting...first one who wants them gets them.. just let me know in a comment.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Heart Like a Wheel

The NO TV lifestyle continues with impressive results.  I got up this morning early and wrote for two hours, working on some character notes that I had been avoiding - there are just some people that you would rather NOT wake up to, believe me.

Housework, admin crap, chores and then off to my new favorite public space, the park in Lilburn. After a very short walk I sat in the car and stitched while listening to the last Braves spring training game on the radio.

I think we've had our last freeze so I tempted fate and set out the plants in the big pot out front. Maters & Marigolds this year, so far.

Monday, March 24, 2014

not grind

Let's not call it a grind. Shall we say "the necessaries"?  All of the bright colors face a real machine wash and dry,  and the threads will all have to be hand washed and rinsed.  The beast will go into the big chili pot as soon as I buy some color catchers. A lot of color catchers I fear. Once I get all the wax out of it there is going to be a lot of correction on both ends of the spectrum. Nobody said art would be easy.

I'm still in a Florida state of mind, that is, expecting sunshine and warm temperatures every day. Silly woman. This morning  I kept hearing the newsheads saying something about "colder"

And that's another thing. TV as company in the house has GOT to go. You can't call it company when it sucks out your brains like a Zombie.
I was up writing last night until two-ish and woke up with a half dozen additional scenarios and ways for things to go in my head and by the time I was settled in the poang   with my coffee all those tasty ideas had run out of my ear like so much sand.

It was the damn TV yammering away like a rabid turkey. I missed it a little bit in the evenings while I was away, but got over it quickly and I don't want to restart the bad habit.

There's nothing wrong with choosing a show and giving yourself over to it for a specified time (I started watching Dexter yesterday) but just for background,  I've cut over to the music channel and hope to suck some of that sand back where it belongs before I have to get back to work this afternoon.

Yeah, there's that too. The ole' ball and chain day job. Got to do something about that situation. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

getaway day


My missions accomplished. Saw some old friends, made some new ones, and took the time to just ...reset.
It was all very good.

Deepest thanks to all who made it possible.

Susan Lenz did a remarkable job reporting and documenting the whole week here and here..

Thursday, March 20, 2014

recalcitrant beast

It's going to take a lot more work to get this beast to live up to it's potential but I will have my way.

The soy wax was harder than I am used to and, using the little hotplate, I couldn't really get enough boiling water through it to clear the wax. Then I spent much of the afternoon ironing the wax out onto newspaper..the new definition of tedium.
So, I'm going to bring it home to my dyedeck as it and make it a priority. I think the big chili pot will do the trick.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2nd workday

Most of the color from yesterday survived a drenching overnight storm. Thunder and lightning all night long.

Materials, equipment and circumstances all fell into place and I got the big black and white pieces launched.

Now if dye and wax do what they do..tomorrow I'll find a cannibal pot and build a fire under this sucker if that what it's going to take to get the wax out of it.
I think this piece is ten or twelve feet wide.. I didn't measure it.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

first workday

The perfect black may elude me, but the colors never let me down. As I loaded up the river basket it was clear that I was running low on pure color; there was plenty of great texture and such, but colors that ring like a bell were in short supply so that was my mission for the morning.  Results tomorrow.

I had forgotten all about the beach! The last time I was here the water was too cold, not so this time. We waited on the beach for the full moon to rise but the clouds built up and by moonrise there was only a brief sliver of pink and then nothing. Storms predicted for tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2014

out of time

I've probably packed more crap than I will even look at but then it's fun to share. What I'm really looking forward to is the beach, but I recalled that last time I was here it was also mid March and charging into the surf could provoke a heart attack.

If there is internet access you'll read all about it.

 "In reality, the woman belonged to sometime else as she was just here at this time by accident. A slip of the cosmic order had caused her to be born out of sequence, under the wrong stars. She had been overlooked by the universe. In the book of all names and beings she was unlisted, with no past nor future written down for her. She was invisible to the gods, the passage of time and the protection of the stars"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

like lightning

Inspiration is the most amazing thing.

Lately I've been empty as yesterday's basket. Several pieces I've been writing had no where to go and the damn epic I've been pecking away at for over a year has begun to get on my nerves and is heading for dismemberment.

On the pretense of packing for FL I was wandering from room to room, picking up something here and putting it down there aimlessly.

 For the twentieth time I ran my left foot into a pile of folders, papers and doodah on the floor in the bedroom. The “scrutinize and shred” pile; stuff like tax papers from 1991, report cards. That kinda crap.

I reached to shove the pile back out of my path and grasped the corner of a file envelope. Not tax stuff but Jim's paperwork from the Army. Stuff I'd seen before when we got the mortgage but I started going through it anyway. Tucked between other documents in the folder was a letter that I wrote Jimmy back when we were first getting to know each other. I didn't remember writing it and the lovestruck silliness made me smile and realize I have been writing this stuff forever. I tucked it away with the others and went about my aimlessness. 

Then I sat down on the bed and laced on my boots getting ready to go have lunch with Jake and while I was thinking of nothing in particular, the conflict, the characters - the whole story line that I have been groping for just wandered into my head like a hundred piece marching band taking the field at the Superbowl. 
I got names, dates, crimes and fates all in flash.

“Flourish” I will my darlin'. And thanks. Again.

Monday, March 10, 2014

a start, I guess

I'm supposed to be gathering my wits and stuff for the trip to FL. So far, all I've done is pile stuff in a heap and agonize about what I don't have and won't be able to get before it's time to go. So I'm winging it before I even go.

There was a lot of procrastination activity over the weekend, resulting in freshly mopped kitchen floors and finishing this long overdue gift.
When I put it through the final wash and rinse, several of the more garish pinks and reds oozed their excess into the white areas. Blush clouds danced across the snowfields. I put my trust in a dye remover from Carbona and put the whole thing through one more wash cycle. I should have realized that any chemical process would not be able to distinguish between what colors were wanted and which ones were not. Now it has the look of something from days gone by instead of a carnival side show banner.

I also got caught back up in a writing project. In order to do the work justice, I really have to become someone else in another time and place. It's completely absorbing and I love it when I'm on a roll.

The new/old phone got a good working over too. I sure HOPE my long distance is free.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

looking ahead

I pulled this out of storage yesterday and gave it a good wash and dry.

It was used daily and washed almost weekly from '85 to maybe '89 and looks pretty much like new.

Having learned my lesson by using cheap commercial cloth, which basically evaporated over the years, I spent solid coin on this cloth back in the day and glad of it. It's got a lot of miles left in it.

Friday, March 07, 2014

make ready

Had a great trip-planning lunch meeting with my FOF14 co-conspirators at La Madelaine in East Jesus today.  Good thing my phone has GPS or I'd still be wandering the desert.

The food was terrific, but they could have shoveled us tripe and offal because the conversation and plotting was far richer. 

It's time to start rounding up all the crap, I mean raw materials, that I want to have on hand.   Laissez Les bons temps rouler!   They give french lessons in the ladies room.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


This came in the mail today..I won it cheap on Ebay and it actually works! We still have a landline here because, although we are less than 20 miles from Atlanta, it's still cell phone hell.

I have to buy a loooong cord so I can run it upstairs and put it beside the bed. The ringer goes off like a bomb.

Let the prank calls begin! And heres to reestablishing some real communication.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

do-over, again #2000

Somewhere, something keeps track and this is my 2000th post. An occasion for pause and consideration I guess.

Although I packed this up to NY with me, I don't recall lifting a needle to it once. Too much else going on.

I really let the text get away from me this time and a second pick-out left a mess so I'm paving the mess over and will most probably forgo any text. It's the Heart of Rock & Roll, still beating.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking and I'm starting to marshall what-all will be taken to FL in less than two weeks.  A great spring churn is underway in the studio...who knows what will surface.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

home from away

This is where I am from. The power, elegance and solidarity of these creatures marked every day.

Patty & Robbie

We had dinner at the Blazer pub in honor of Poppy's birthday, the year and date  were still uncertain.

The next day  Robbie found a box with seemingly  every letter  Dad received while he was in the Navy.
His mother wrote him almost daily. There was one from his sister Vera dated Feb. 23, 1943 wishing him a Happy Birthday the next day. Now we have the date right. We may never find out the exact year and he would be okay with that.

Charlie Brown & Kitty
Deep thanks to my sisters Patty and Kitty and my brother Rob for putting me up and putting up with me for a whole week.

I spent  hours in the unheated attic claiming pictures from my mother's picture albums - many I've never seen before.. You'll see many over time.