Wednesday, March 30, 2016

close call

On my 27-minute dinner break from the paying job, this came into my line of sight and I came very close to folding it in half and stitching it into a pillow so I could stuff it with five pounds of balsam fir needles that have been reeking around the studio for a few days. The only thing that saved it (?) was that the Janome was not rigged up with white thread. I'll finish this as Art over the weekend and we'll have an auction!! I'll make stinky pillows from something else.

Colors of the days

I'll lead with the pretty pictures and I can see now that a few of these need tinkering, but I'll stay my hand because these are the concentrates that I will work with, so a little bit goes a long way - even with my predilection for waste. I need to find a good sized disposable syringe, the turkey baster is too big.

While waiting for these to come up to room temp, I replaced the agitator dogs in the washing machine- the final phase of restoring it to useful life before having to knuckle under and buy a replacement. No washer = no dye season. Never mind clean clothes. I work from home. Clothes?

I followed this funny video and found it to be much like playing with Lego. Years ago I tore down and rebuilt the carburetor in our lawn mower and MANY years ago, swapped out the engine and tranny in my '63 Ford Fairlane. Most satisfying endeavors. The washing machine thing was not nearly as hard on the fingernails, but Kids, it's Nasty in there!  Building computers from scratch is a joke by comparison. Hands-on feels good. What's next?  And where the hell did I put last years seeds????

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I missed Ostara... I'm celebrating today while everyone else is Eastering.

I should have taken this outside for better exposure, buts it's drizzling and I've lost the tent cover over the dye deck to rot and old age.

The fun part was trying to read the labels on the powdered dyes. 90% have faded away which doesn't speak well to the way I stored them.

Only time will tell if this batch of dye stock will be valid.

I stuck to the twelve. I'm particularly happy with what looks to be a very neutral black. No more cheesy plastic squeeze bottles. I invested in a dozen 16oz. mason jars which rack up nicely on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

No more fooling with this stuff today, although I'm tempted. I have a writing project with a deadline. These will keep until we get some sunshine. And I'm happy with this salvage job:

Friday, March 25, 2016

the provenance of twine

One of the prototype cusspots.

This one was made from 12 strand cotton string that came from the first post office that my mother worked at in Goldens Bridge. They used to tie bundles of mail and magazines with this stuff. In a pinch, they could have used in a hanging. When the old PO was closed, they were going to throw four giant cones of this in the trash. I was twelve and I knew it was wrong. This was the very last of it.

This is about the size of a baseball and was covered car grime. A soak in laundry detergent, no bleach and it looks like the day I made it and will go back to catching coins in the console of his car.

All this whiteness has me itching to stoke up the dye deck this weekend. I feel the need for color.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


There's nothing sweeter than unexpected company on a Sunday morning.

(My camera needs its eyes checked)

Monday, March 21, 2016

the Sordid Tale continues...

"The Error of Her Ways"  (cont.)

Picking everything out wasn't as bad as I anticipated.  Music helped. The base cloth is a sturdy, service weight damask, not too vintage, so it can take a little punishment without falling apart.

But..web research is telling me I am well and truly screwed for using an indelible (hello!) metallic gold ballpoint ink to so arrogantly lay out the lettering. Such chutzpah!

The solution I'm too familiar with is laying in a needle-turned patch of the same base material with the tiniest, most invisible, made by blind Bavarian nuns, stitching and then, getting the damn words right, bless you Beatles.

Relax baby, it's gonna be OK.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

ugh and shit

That little badge I've been working on? It took me a week of mulling to decide on the text. Another few days of drawing the letters with my finger before I committed to the gold metallic pen. I was pretty smug about how nicely I fit the words around the perimeter of the design. That should have been a warning.

And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love 

you take.

Did you see the error? Neither did I until I was finished stitching. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Scary, isn't it.

Nothing like yesterday, though.

While I was at the park yesterday I scored a few good books from the Little Free Libray on a stick. I owe them a bunch, now that I think about it. Morbid has been the flavor of the day, politics aside.

"A Morbid Taste for Bones" is probably out of print so I'm keeping this yellowed little paperback. I was first introduced to the work of Ellis Peters while I was checking out anything and everything that was unabridged audio back when I had two hour daily commute to the Deathstar.

Imagine my surprise when I investigated the authors backlist to find that Ellis Peters was a little old lady who was dead and not writing any new adventures for Brother Cadfael. Then I stumbled on the BBC TV production of one of her books,  "the Virgin in Ice" and I was reminded of how well-written drama can break your heart wide open.

And while I was doing the dishes this morning, I wrote a scene that has been wanting and waiting to trouble and terrify me. Good day and it's only noon.

Monday, March 14, 2016

practical matters

The sun coming in over the sewing chair is rich in the mornings, strong until 11 almost, but once the trees get leaves all that will change. For now, I'll take advantage of it if I can.

The washing machine heard me boasting about getting a good deal on those lumberjacks yesterday so it decided this would be a good time to up and die. Not if I have anything to say about it.

We jackassed it off the base because I thought we had to take the back cover off. Then I did a little web surfing and found the trixie technique for getting at the works - flipping the lid and yanking off the cabinet from the front. It was nasty in there.

 In search of a clog, hoses were disconnected, but I forgot about the several gallons of dirty water still in the tub, even though we siphoned off most of it. Damp carpets will look cleaner someday. There was NO sock blockage, although I did find an ATM card in the basket that I hadn't even missed yet.

The next part to be investigated/replaced is the timer. Part ordered and an excellent tutorial found. All I need is a strappy t-shirt and crack-revealing jeans.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

passing time

I was going to call this post "killing time", but it's such an awful expression when you think about it. Lately, if anyone was to tell me to my face that they were just killing time I might smack them!

While I got even more fussy with the corded lines on this piece, I waited for a phone call from the tree guy.

The house phone was ringing the other day and out of sheer spite, I answered all prepared to send some telemarketer, politician or bill collector to a venomous hell with my snappy repartee. Instead, I took a cold sales call from a local tree company who must have scouted the property from the street even though my concerns are in the back yard.

He came, he saw and he conquered me with an amazing price for felling a group of trees that have been threatening my pool for years. The time has come. Well, it will come later in the summer after I've sold a few pounds of cloth and/or a few gallons of blood.

In the meantime,  it's Spring Break at the Froggy Club Med. This strange climate year has emboldened a host of tender-voiced leopard frogs to come out ahead of the shrieking tree frogs. Who will eat whom? All of them will be evicted in the coming days.

             I cleaned and relocated my favorite, deep-voiced wind chimes.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

for Grace


Is it just me?

The almost complete lack of winter (as lame as it is here in Georgia) has me unsettled and not recognizing these days as Spring.

Our pool is a pit of green slime, the algae never died off and turned black like it usually does. We are going to have to move up the purge a whole month.

I spent the morning avoiding all (current) media input. It's verging on toxic. I've done my part - did my investigation, made a contribution, slapped on a bumper sticker and voted. For a few days, anyway, the whole process can just catch a handbasket to hell.

What I'd really like is to go to a baseball radio, no TV, just watch and listen, maybe stitch a bit while they are out there having private conversations on the mound.