Wednesday, August 26, 2015

wrinkled in time

A week ago I was offered a solo show at a local gallery where I have shown before. I love the space, but remain a bit alarmed at the amount of work it's going to take to open on 9/13/15.

I just finished stitching a sleeve onto this piece which has never been exhibited anywhere because I could never hang it for pictures. It's been hoarded along with a handful of others.

Time for being lazy and fearful is up.

It's not deeply creased, but I don't want to use an iron on it. Suggestions? (update - it's been hanging outside undercover in the shade and is almost wrinkle free) thanks for the input.

This was from one of the last shows, '12 or '13, I can't pin the date down. I intend on hanging this once "Ocean Homes" in the very same spot. Too pretty not to.

in the night

"Later she would say that the furniture in the room of her head had been moved. The room was much larger now and the open windows filled with light as if the sun shone from all points of the compass at once and fresh air breathed through her head like the wind in the willows."

The pool is coming around. It will take hours of intensive labor from inside the pool to finish the job once it clarifies a little more so I can see what I'm doing. Such a chore.

I left all the doors and windows open wide when I went to bed last night. It's sixty-one degrees out now and it feels like the first day of third grade in Goldens Bridge, NY,  1956. The year I first signed all my writing in script. No more printing.

Jake just told me that Charlie slept through the night a second night in a row. I had forgotten what a huge milestone that was for me and Jim who must have walked a thousand miles up and down the hallway in that first year, humming to the little sack of energy that he spawned. I slept sitting up in a rocking chair for most of  that same year until Colin, quite suddenly, got the hang of what the darkness was for.

I think that is when babies start to dream and have enough self-awareness to know that they are ok in that dream. Safe at home and in love and comfort no matter what dreams may come.

Monday, August 24, 2015

cloth identity help - updated

Thanks for all the help. The likely answer is Kona, but I'm not even going to run to HoAnne's to confirm it. I couldn't afford it in the first place and happily I just found a good two yards of undyed cotton that will do very nicely, a bit softer hand, but that's a good thing since it's going to be bedware. When I can get around to it. More about that in the next post.

I've come up with a plan for this cloth, but I have a problem. I need more of the same fabric and, although it's a type of high-end cotton used by dyers, I cannot remember what the brand might be.

So, I'm asking all the fiber folk who may be reading to see if you can name what I will describe.

It's 100% cotton, very fine threads, tightly woven,  with a smooth hand - if a little "hard". Even after dyeing and several washer/dryer trips it's still crisp and has held the dye like Alcatraz. It cracks when you snap it and will probably be hell to hand quilt, hence my decision to use it in a machine pieced design.

A long time ago I bought a few yards from TestFabric, but I don't recall the hand of that cloth being this fine. Any guesses?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

How does the Universe speak to you?

 The day before yesterday, I posted on facebook about Voodoo pissing in my private stash basket. I was able to wash everything and the basket immediately and I'm completely satisfied that everything was saved. this satisfied.

For some reason, my dryer has a habit of tangling these scraps mercilessly. As I sat clipping loose threads and freeing each piece from the Maytag Gyre, I took the opportunity to appreciate each one and try to remember what it was that got them into that "can't touch this" basket in the first place. I sorted them into piles, some to stay and some to go on to friends in far places.

I also spent a good bit of time contemplating what Voodoo's out of character behaviour portends. There was a late night conversation with Jimmy about where we would bury him the day the poor cat had some sort of stroke and appeared to be on death's doorstep for about twelve hours before he got up, shook himself good and went about his cat business. And how, in the final weeks and hours of Jim's passing, Voodoo never left his side until the moments just before dawn when he got up, stretched and made his way to my lap as Jimmy let go of my hand. 

All these thoughts on my mind when I went to sleep last night. It's no secret or surprise that I have been in a fog of depression and anxiety lately, wondering what made me think I ever had a creative bone in my body. It's like being wrapped in wet wool. There's no way to lay that doesn't smell bad or itch. An ongoing sense of claustrophobia. Just enough from keeping one from seeing/feeling beyond one's own mild misery.

Sometime in the night, the flock of bats that has been roosting and rustling in my head opened up their technicolor wings, circled a bit and vacated the premises.

I'm watching Charlie today so Jake can replace the starter on Jim's truck so Colin can drive it again.  On the drive over there, the two main characters of my book (they have not been speaking to me or each other for a while) struck up a brief conversation and an entire, needful scene rolled out right before my eyes, clear and real enough that I didn't even need to stop and take notes.

As I approached the entrance to their apartment, I saw that Jake had opened the door and was holding Charlie up so all I could see was his little face peeking around the door, head high. He was so happy to see me and even happier to help me take a deeper look at these fabrics to see what use might be found for them. 

The Universe spoke to me through cat piss.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Got health?

I met with a neurologist on Monday. He spent a long time going over all the test results and scans from my hospital stay before coming into the treatment room to actually have a look at me.

A little Yoda kinda guy. Went over all the paperwork with me and then told me he had a hard time connecting all the hard copy with the living person sitting in front of him. A good thing.

He put me through a bunch of hoops, you know, touch your finger to your nose, eyes closed. Tiptoe across the room (?) which must have been a spectacle cause he giggled.  Summation? He wants a repeat of the MRI so he can compare then and now. For some serious stuff going on in the scans, I was looking pretty healthy. No drilling for the moment. As you were.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

finding footing

Robbie, me and Kitty
This was the first time I've been back to New York when it was not the dead of winter that I can remember. The weather was spectacular with just one day of all day rain just to prove it was real.

My nephews are having the kind of childhood that I remember - spending most of their time outdoors, in or around the lake and woods. The community I grew up in is little changed, still idyllic.

Patty and me at Misquamicutt Beach. RI

Poor Patty was in the middle of some viral misery, but a perfect day at the beach went a long way towards making her feel better. We found a brand new favorite beach about two hours from her house.

The visit home was complete with a visitation from my parents' spirits, still at war. Unsettling, but not all that surprising.
There was no reading, writing or stitching while I was there. It was all about observing, appreciating and remembering. Lots of remembering.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I was at the beach in RI yesterday. Brought a small bag with mending stuff and some scraps with me and let the cloth out to play in the sand.

I had thoughts of letting the tide take them away, but this is one of those public places that is very strict about littering.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Charlie's (1st) Banner Year

  Charlie turned one on the 1st of August.

When I first committed to watching Charlie, it was mostly to keep him safe. I just can't imagine hiring someone to do the most important job in the world and I feel for the many families that have no other option. I remember Jake saying something like “He'll give me a reason to smile” or something like that.

I know I was skeptical. My first nickname for him was Grub, then Groot, which quickly became Gooby....Good Baby.

I have never been a “baby” person. Never even held one right up until the ripe age of thirty when they handed me Colin and said “Good luck!” That started the seven luckiest years of my life because Jimmy, Fate & Karma conspired to make it possible for me to stay at home with both boys. Now it's my turn to pay it all back and forward at the same time, as long as I am able.

It's been a remarkable year. Charlie has given me so much more than just a reason to smile. He's given me a reason to look to the future and I'll always be grateful to Missy & Jake for trusting me with his care.

(He had a surprise for me at 1:27)

Monday, August 03, 2015

It's the little things.

This was an interesting day that did not start out auspiciously. To quote Leonard Cohen, “I ached in the places where I used to play.” I was tempted to go back to bed and stay there, but I'd had my fill of tossing and turning so I forced myself to get up and get on with what used to be a Good Day; coffee, some eats, getting dressed and out of the house, errands and a walk in the park, followed by some pool time. It's been since the end of June since any more than two of these were possible.

I'm going to be deliberately sketchy about the first event because I was the unwitting participant of a little Robin-Hoodery. Let's just say it was one disgruntled but friendly New-Yorker doing another one a favor in a show of solidarity. And somehow I knew he was going to do it before he did it.

Then it was off to the park. I haven't walked there in weeks and I didn't realize how my writing (what writing?) had suffered for lack of thoughtful footwork. Wallowing in the pool doesn't lend itself to fresh ideas lately, just bliss, too much of which turns the brain to jelly. Ask any opium smoker. 

Less than a quarter mile in, right at a convenient stone perch in the deep shade, I got down a substantial portion of a scene that I have been avoiding since it had a name. I called it good and went to stand on the bridge and watch fish for a while because it was hot and I was out walking will.

I have been a bird watcher, a bird noticer, my whole life. Seeing an unusual bird is meaningful to me. A sign of sorts. There, in the stream, playing on a sandbar with a few flycatchers was a feathered jewel. The small bird was completely
peacock blue and just glittered in the dappled light. I only know of one bird that is so relentlessly blue, the indigo bunting, but I had never seen alive, only in pictures. I can only assume that the greenish light of the glen gave it the turquoise cast, otherwise this was an alien visitation. Tomorrow I'm going back with the good camera and see if I was crazy.