Friday, November 27, 2015


 I've been sitting with this one for a couple hours now and am satisfied that it's done, on the surface of things. Tomorrow, while the turkey is in the oven, I'll back it with something appropriate and try to decide on how I want  to orient it so I can stitch my mark in the corner.

Voodoo has sequestered himself on the floor level of a large bookcase where I keep just a bowl of clean water for them. He is studying the infinite, slumbering and dreaming. It's been a very good life.

I'm thinking the one below will win out.

When Charlie was younger, he'd snatch you bald-headed if you gave him a chance. I wore my hair up in a bun for about six months.  He's stopped pulling my hair, thank goodness. Now he will stroke my bangs when I hold him and if I'm down on the floor with him, he'll get behind me and pull the loose ends free of whatever clip I've put my hair up with, carefully, gently.  I caught him at it today with my phone and finally realize that he's singling out the white hairs.

the long week

It just feels that way, I guess.  And I didn't even have to cook, except for a couple of pies which came out perfectly. For the first time, I followed instructions and put little strips of foil around the edges so they wouldn't get over-cooked. It really works.

Colin and I joined Jake, Missy and Charlie at Missy's father's place up in the Georgia mountains for the Thanksgiving feast. The house, with it's wonderful wrap around deck, was aswarm with toddlers this year. Charlie and his cousins Jack and Charlotte milled around in a state of perpetual motion and astonishment. I was too busy to take pictures. Saturday, I'll cook a bird for our little crew.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

a few more lines

It keeps asking for smaller things. tighter focus. A few lines of code is turning into an epic.

Dropping down from the  4x 12wt cotton to four strands of machine rayon to carry one strand of gold or silver metallic.

Needing a little mindless escapism, I am watching the American Music Awards. For a few minutes, I was feeling lost and out of touch.

After a few more minutes, I realized that it wasn't I who was lost and out of touch.  There is nothing enduring going on there at all.

Here is where I find the most meaning and fun lately. I spend thursdays and fridays with Charlie and experience the world anew through his eyes.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

playing catch up

this scrap pulled me in this morning

Lest ye think I either shuffled off this mortal coil or have been snatched into the witness protection program. No excuses beyond being absorbed by life and it's trivialities. All the little things that make up our time. I've been needing to buy some new 1.75 reading glasses. The last pairs I bought were cheap and are warped and scratched. My eyes have been tired from fighting with them, so there's been no stitching at all this whole week until this morning.
"codelines" continues

I left the space heater on in the studio knowing that the morning light would be waiting for me in the sewing chair. It's passed now, an hour is enough. I'm lingering over this piece like a box of truffles. There will be another right behind it or maybe, a kid quilt or two. No Christmas gifts. I won't put myself under the gun like that. It's enough that I've promised my crit partner a rough draft manuscript by New Years!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

the marked day

I hate the way the calendar we use wobbles through time. Dates falling on different days, year in and year out. The sloppy flux of numbers on paper. One day, more or less, in a whole month of days, so I'm not going to pin any crown of thorns on this one.

By some fool's measure of time, it's been two years since Jimmy had to leave us. On some days, it feels like forever; on others, just yesterday. It's been hard on all of us who counted on his love, his calm presence, his confidence in all things.

He and I never talked about this day as if not believing it would come could hold it back. Yes, once or twice toward the end. We made our promises to each other and kept them. He is proud.

We do what we must, what he would insist we do. Live life and love it, joys and heartaches coming in all flavors, bitter to achingly sweet. I don't feel as if he is receding from me in time. Each day that passes brings me closer in time to where he is.

So here's to you my darling. All my love, all my life.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


On a gentle note, our feline codger, Voodoo appears to be on the mend, taking larger portions of food. Sitting up and complaining loudly about the room service and hogging the bed.

The weather got seriously cold overnight and I got the rest of the houseplants in at the last minute. This morning, from the prime seat in the bathroom, I observed something moving the jungle vines of the jojoba plant. Something as yet unseen lurks.

The french knots continue to blossom on "code lines". and speaking of french...

The tragedy in Paris.

I have no platitudes here. No merciful thoughts for the innocents. I want to run through a crowd of these animals and help them to their damned reward with my rusty machete. And won't they be shocked when they find out just how pissed off Allah is at their actions and attitudes. I am out of patience with religious fanatics of every stripe.

Contemplative stitching is difficult when what I really want to do is paint the streets with the  blood and brains of terrorists.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pause for Crass Commercialism...

...which means somebody needs something that costs money!

In case you were wondering just what a Fat Baggy was, this picture should help clarify and what a deal they are.  First, there is tea and an episode or two of "Downton Abbey" reruns or something like it - engaging but not demanding. "Predator" and "Aliens" work just as well.

I sit with one or two large tubs of random, hand dyed cloth and select small pieces making sure I don't repeat myself. Then I roll them up like tiny Cuban cigars and cram them into these little bubble mailers until I can just barely fold the flap over and pull the glue strip. And people buy them!

I've learned it's smart to write the address on the envelope before I stuff it. Writing on the stuffed ones is like writing on an angry hippo. On average they weigh out at the post office to be 1.5 pounds, give or take an ounce.

I'm working from these two tubs right now. There are at least six more. My stock is well churned and shuffled through. Some of these pieces go back to dye sessions from several years ago.  If you've bought one in the past six months, I'm willing to bet that you've already used up much of it.  Time to restock!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


A little sunshine, a spoonful or two of kitten food and some water. Voodoo may be working on his tenth or eleventh life.

He curled up next to me  last night and I listened to him breathe, his purring like a locomotive idling in a siding. Little by little he quieted and the spaces between breaths grew so very long.

More sun and warmth for him tomorrow. He can watch me drag all those houseplants indoors. Winter will be hard on him this year.

It was clumsy, but I stitched with him in my lap for as long as I could hold the position. The swarms of french knots are working out nicely. There's always tape for cat hair.

Monday, November 09, 2015


The Kantha stitching was gone with a flick of the pick and left a few rows of shadows that will fail as I handle this piece.   As I suspected, the solution is my old favorite, the French Knot. They do the construction work and yet remain unobtrusive, only gaining design strength if I group them or make them fall in lines. These are done with four strands of 12wt Sulky cotton. There will be lots more.

I'm kind of in vigil mode today.  Voodoo is feeling every bit of his seventeen years on the planet and is needing a lot of attention. He spent the night with me last night, mostly cause he couldn't get up and relocate.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

ongoing stitchery

I'm not liking the white running stitches. Too much going on. Quiet white space is needed here.

 I'll let it rest a while before I take the scissors to it.