Saturday, February 28, 2015

house vs. home

Can you see the house? Barely. That's how I've been thinking about it lately - as little as possible. Instead of seeing it as a home, I've been seeing it as a liability, a money pit.
Since we moved here in '98 it's been a classic case of the shoemaker's children going barefooted. In this case, the carpenter's house getting raggedy. It was always a matter of having either no time to do the work (no chance another contractor be paid to rip us off!) or unpaid time off from work meaning no money to invest in the projects.

My dad was plumber and we had to flush toilet in the spare bath with a bucket of water for years so I understand this mindset completely and it never bothered me especially because Jim really like doing creative, hands on things,  like the pool deck, beautiful built in bookcases and putting a window in my studio so I could  have north light..wonderful things. Not practical things.

Now the list of practical needs has piled up to the point where I look at those "I BUY  UGLY HOUSES" signs and think "I got a peach for ya, buddy".

I've decide that it's my mindset that's ugly and I'm going to have to get real and get creative about putting my house in order.

 Last night, a dear friend almost lost her home to a fire. The building itself was saved, but her beloved pets were not. Why does it take a kick in the gut to wake us up?

There are forms to be filled out, research to do and  lists to be made.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Putting the cloth to work redux

detail courtesy Arlee Barr

My sister in fyberspace, Arlee Barr, posted an eye popping array of photos of her most recently completed "the Ubiquitous Poppy Project"  although I have to say you don't see poppies like this just anywhere.

A long time ago I sent her a bundle of dyed cloth and she's made the magic happen.

I be working up a full range of colors, wishful through intense, pure and speckled like puppies as soon as the sun comes back on a regular basis. It may be a while...I drove through a snowstorm to get to Charlie today. Very rare here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

the body dump

I took the Greenway Spur on a coin toss and glad of it. The other trail would have been a mess of mud. I got bored and did a little off roading up the same desolation trail I followed last year.  Even though a rough road has been logged over what had been a footpath, it's even creepier than it was the last time.

Just over this ridge is an acre of broken concrete, heaps of debris, loops of rusted cable, and big wet clumps of what looked like fur, hair and shreds of cloth everywhere. Like somebody had run a heard of large fur bearing animals through the washer and cleaned out the lint traps on the ground.

 It looked like a body dump at first. I really didn't want to get close enough to any of these to take pictures, but curiosity drove me on.

I wandered around, careful of my footing. There's broken glass and twisted metal bits everywhere. None of the fur/hair piles had any bones and there was no smell of decay. No vultures around either and in Georgia, they do NOT miss lunch.

No conclusions as to what all this mess is up there, but there has been demolition, bulldozing and burning since my visit last year. Good signs or evidence eradication??

Friday, February 20, 2015

summer dreams sustain for now

Won't complain about the cold. It would be an insult to anyone north of here.

 I did  have great fun driving through a snow squall in the friday night rush traffic on the secondary roads here in burbs of Atlanta.  The wind driven snow was rushing at me calling for some hard driving metal music turned up loud!  Keep in mind we have NO accumulation but there are patches of black ice here and there.
july 2012

The locals put on their flashers, straddled the double yellow line and generally behaving like asshats at their first demolition derby.

I gave them space, enjoyed the ride and got home safe.

A big box of dyes from Pro|Chem was waiting for me and a note from a friend letting me know that more cloth was on it's way south!

        2008      I named this piece "Fireplace"....  Jude snapped it up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Under the weather

Not me, thank goodness. I meant the Weather, which has been  relatively kind to us here in Georgia as compared just about everywhere north and east of us. When I talk to my sisters were don't even mention it anymore. More snow and ice is a given. This is from my visit to NY the end of last February.  For the first time in many years, I am not going home for "a little winter". Winter by proxy from everyone who lives with it has been plenty for me.
I'm saving up my vacation days for a summer visit including some time up in Newport. Sand, sun and ocean. I can hold my breath that long!

So, like everyone else,  I've been hibernating - sleeping, eating, cooking, reading and writing. There's been no stitching of any consequence, but I did just get off the phone with ProChem. I spent the entire gift certificate from dearest St. Anna on a mad kaleidoscope of color. Even the nice young lady who took my order was dazzled!

Does anyone have a favorite supplier for flip top 32oz. plastic bottles to hold  dyestock and a source for soy wax flakes?  I feel like a newbie.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

                                        music by Tim O'Brien

Thursday, February 12, 2015

the best of the blues

You've only seen bits and pieces of this one. This is only the center, but all the sixteen blocks are close cousins.  It's a little more than six feet square overall.
It's hand dyed cottons with one or two overdyed commercial batiks thrown in for spice.
There's no batting and it's backed with a sturdy flannel, also dyed. I knocked it together for a hasty Christmas present for Jake some years back. Now it's Charlie's play yard, although he's just about to find first gear and will be crawling off it in no time.

Once this February freeze fades and I can work in the studio without losing sensation in my fingers, I plan on pulling all this good "utility" cloth out of the stash, organizing it by color and get back to business making something out of nearly nothing. Remembering what quilting is all about.
Comfort, warmth, usefulness.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

long ago and far away

Dye printed cotton overpainted with transparent acrylic glazes and metallic paint. Machine stitched with metallic thread.

Sorry for the throwback...I've been busy.

Saturday, February 07, 2015


I've been remiss in thanking two generous benefactors.

A large box of tablecloths and napkins arrived just the other day and I finally had the chance to spill them out into the sunlight. Wonderful stuff! Thank you D.

And from the sunny climes, St.A has sent a gift certificate that will allow me to plunder the stock room at ProChem. All I have to do is settle down with the catalog and choose. All. Blessings on you both!

It was so cold in the studio this morning I could see my breath! Thinking about dyeing turns my head towards summer.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Working work

My textile art is hard at work these days. In and out of the washer and dryer on a weekly basis.
"Spooky Stories"

I've not been a good participant in the ongoing Facebook chain of Art. I was nominated three times that I know of and I was very honored, but I just haven't had the free time to fool with it. And not enough new stuff to post. 

I've enjoyed seeing other artist's work, Not so much the ancient stuff, which is why I've not trotted out all my old stuff,  It's been all over this blog for the last ten years. I'm tired of seeing it.
"The Modern"

Pulled this from the River basket this morning and got in a whole twenty minutes of stitching but had to stop because I stuck myself bloody three time and was working with white thread. My fingers have gone dumb and blind.

Sunday, February 01, 2015


..and cooking are necessary procrastinations. my writer friends will understand that while I'm picking up pins, pushing around the new Shark and cooking, there is NO BUTT IN CHAIR and no writing happening. This is something I let happen when I come back from a walk in the park with two full pages of teeny tiny handwriting - a scene that I have been avoiding finally coming into view. The notes are not enough.  

I've decided to leave this version of "Fierce" covering the whole design wall for a while longer until I decide to dismember it. There's nothing like a big fat fail to keep you humble.

I'm reminded of when these table legs danced.