Saturday, December 30, 2017

the Mystery in the History

There is a mystery in the history of each piece of old cloth. What was it intended for and what actually happened to it. Who was the maker? Who was the user?

So many questions to conjure the answers for. I'll be making stuff up because that's what I do-from whole cloth and dreams. The research will be minimal, imagination to the max.

In the coming year, I'm going to be attempting to bring some of each to the page and with my hands, put some of it into something new with the old cloth.

I've brought them halfway home with the color and I'm feeling responsible for these wayward children.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

the next day

Christmas was all he hoped for and more!
We gathered over brunch, exchanged small gifts and mostly just watched his delight in getting "Just what I wanted!"

I got to come home to a warm house and a productive afternoon and evening in reflective solitude. I gave me the gift of several hours of focused writing with zero distractions.

Like a lot of creatives, I kid myself that I work best with something in the background. It may be ok while roughing things out, first layouts, designing, first drafts, but when it comes to the hard work- revision- I have to be fully present to hear the errors echoing in my head. Hear them, call them out for the shitbirds they are, and kill them, even if it hurts.

So often, with old TV shows or music in the background giving me that creative white noise, I spent hours positioning and pinning bits and pieces of color until there was just nowhere else to move.

Then, with "The Sopranos" or "You've Got Mail" playing across the room, I'd move on to basting obsessively, and even hand-stitching until, hours and materials wasted, another UFO is born.

Not this time.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Glad Tidings!!

Big Best News - GRACE FOREST arrived safely with Tazmena, Tay and goats intact at Oroville California (letter dated 12.16) and she'd been there a week. She won't be on the web for a while and the phone is iffy, but she's happy and it's beautiful!!!....thanks, Michelle!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

the wormhole

I can't even claim to have fallen into the wormhole of holiday preparations. We have a tree, but it's still leaning up against the wall in a corning of the living room. No lights, no wreath, no cards in the mail. There have been some self-congratulations on finding something that will delight Charlie for a long time to come. A few culinary plans for Christmas day. But beyond that, my mood has not been quite "bah humbug". More like "meh".

Like many of you, I've been pouncing on my mailman anxiously awaiting news of Grace from California. Going through the mechanics of tracking someone down with not a lot of information. 

I just finished making up nine Fat Baggies of scraps dug deep from ancient tubs on high shelves. Old cloth, pure colors, many textures. Now that you've taken care of everyone else, they won't get there for Christmas, but what's a bad day when cloth arrives in the mail?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Father & Son

I think if it wasn't for Charlie, we might not have done this.

Jimmy would approve.

The story behind this picture.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

seasonal shenanigans

this was the strange light that greeted me this morning. wonderland.

Not your everyday thing in Georgia!

Surprise guests arrived.   Charlie's first real snow experience.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Don't think. Jump.

There he is, making me crazy. When I first went out, the clouds were ranging all over. I took the cards out with me. As I fanned the deck out of the box, a big round gap opened up and the clouds froze as if the moon didn't want to be interfered with while it was smiling at me.

After each card was exposed to its light, I turned the deck over and touched them blindly, trying to find the one that mattered in this moment. Once, twice, five times, I chose a card, but let it one slip back into the deck. Finally, I took courage, pulled one, and held it up for the moon to see first. All my questions were answered. It was the beloved Fool.

"The Fool almost always stands for new beginnings, new experiences and new choices; the first steps along a new path and the first words written onto a blank page. Like the Aces of the Minor Arcana, such beginnings are like the Fool himself - neither positive nor negative, but with the potential to turn into either, depending on the choices you make and the path you follow. But this must not be your concern, because when a journey begins no one can know (or should know) what will happen on the way to the destination. Never let another person control your life. Live in the present and trust in your own abilities - this is the way of the Fool.
Such journeys always imply a degree of risk, and hence the Fool is pictured walking toward the edge of a high cliff. With any new experience, there is always the risk of failure and the certainty of change; it is the degree of change, and how that change will appear, that is undeterminable. But the Fool has no qualms about taking chances, so why should you? It is through the first steps that we learn how to walk, and it is through changes that we learn how to live our lives in harmony and peace. So jump head first into the abyss of the unknown, and know that even if you eventually fall to the ground, for a while you will soar. -James Rioux

Saturday, December 02, 2017

the work

Perfect weather/light for shooting textiles outdoors yesterday. I've always preferred natural light, but overcast is better than strong sunlight, which causes hard shadows.

I took the batch that came home from the Fierce Fibers show to the park with the intention of laying them on the sloping concrete features of the new skate park. Silly me. It was swarming with skateboarders, so I just flung the pieces between my feet and fired away.

Later tonight, I'll do the drudgery of finding links to the provenance of each piece and posting dimensions and prices. They are all available.

to the Work

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

sea changes

Before I turn into Jabba the Hutt, I've put my feet back on the turtle trail at the park. No turtles to read to these days, they've all gone into the mud for the winter, but I did pull up at this sunny station and get a bunch of handwritten pages done on a problem that I've been avoiding.

Now to boil down mad ravings into something useful. And lookee here, a whole 1188 steps yesterday, if the gadget on the phone is to be believed. By (typical) comparison today, it said 181 steps, but I don't carry the bloody thing around with me while I'm in the house so who knows.

 there was a little retail therapy that included replacement reading glasses and tired eyes eyedrops and, counterintuitively...the makings of homemade socks because I can't find any that I like.

Now I have to learn a new trick.

On the home front, a year ago I wrote that dialogue with Charlie was 95% geeba-geeba and 5% perfectly enunciated words including four-letter epithets. A year later and he asked me for a stand-up routine of jokes to consider whilst seated on his little plastic throne. He wanted to tell me a joke, but he couldn't quite pull the trigger. He will, and soon.  Then we had a lively game of I Spy and after a few rounds, he understood that the object was to not change his pick to suit my guess. Fun begins....

Sunday, November 26, 2017

personal archaeology

Included with some things my sibs held aside for me when Mom passed. From back when making and sending fiber postcards was a thing. Feels near victorian.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

giving thanks

I've been starting each day this month taking stock and being grateful for my life and the people in it. There is so much. Although I'm not traveling or entertaining this year, it's good to know that there are small gatherings and celebrations here and there where I and my family will be missed and thought of with love, as we do the same. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2017


It's bigger than I thought it would be.

I don't want to get enamored of this snowfield, in fact, I may just take those linen pieces back. They can be strong on their own rather than be pushed into a background.

Especially when the players I'm auditioning are such a rowdy bunch. I can decide if I am in the mood for mindful tranquility or mindless raucousness.

I need to clear some space in the studio so I can work this one on the design wall. Take my time. Have the conversations.


Picked up ten pieces home from the Fierce Fibers show. I need to take new pictures of all these and post them to the "Buy Art. It's good for you" page.

Pricing everything with the holidays in mind. 

Now all I have to do is hide it all out from Sweetie. She has a preference for nesting on things with price tags on them.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

sweet saturday

Out of the blue, comes the need to stitch...these days it happens when a scene I'm working on stalls.

Nothing happens without something to build it on so I cobbled together a surface from dismembered linen blouse and shorts. Good stuff. LL Bean!

I'm also noticing that I need to either rest my eyes more often or invest in some 2.5 cheaters. The twos are not cutting it.

And I had a little help this morning. He learned pretty quickly which end was sharp and held a spool so I could pull off what I needed. I am so looking forward to introducing him to the craft.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Celebrate a life by living

Four years. Four days. It's all the same when you miss someone minute by minute.

We do our best to let Charlie know his Grampa Jimmy through pictures and stories. His guardian angel tends us all.
ps. I fired up Jumpin' Jack Flash and took the long way to get a few overdue errands done. Found the new Hotel California Sirius station and rolled loud, windows down, moonroof open. When I got home, I made a batch of Jim's Best chili and my prize-winning cornbread. For dessert, I took the harvest for a test drive. I know he would have approved of all of it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

fall downs

It's the time of year when I started using time rather mindlessly. I finally gave away that blasted acrylic yarn and the beautiful knitting needles to a friend who was serious about learning to knit.

So these containers came to pass.
I still have a basket with five cones of mystery yarn. One is cotton perle, one is bamboo and the others, no clue. The cones are unmarked. Alone, the strands are thin, unsubstantial. Together (and they have to be coaxed gently) they are soft and flexible. I might mix up a little brown dye and see if I can get that Boston bean pot effect.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

historical dig

While looking for something else, these came to the surface. No surprise that they've languished. The colors are abominable. I'm going to tinker with that, see if I can get them to a place I like, colorwise.

These scraps are all that remains of a magnificent double damask tablecloth that I bought for a song on Ebay. The stitching is called Mountmellick.

I used a chunk of it in one of my most successful pieces. It didn't need any additional color.

"Lavanderia" went to ArtQuilts Elements at Philadelphia in 20l2 and didn't come home. SOLD!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

bigger things take time

I continue to be grateful for my cloth and thread customers.

This is Charlie doing his best to ignore my suggestions that we both need a nap, badly.

I really should have packed him into the car and let him run wild at the park before the rain closed in, but I was too tired to drive. It was just a matter of timing.

I've kept the promise to myself to do the Nanowrimo thing and have been spending all my mornings writing. Too much time on one's ass has to be a health hazard.

Walking in the park continues to give me brain space for working on stories even though I can't seem to sustain consistency and momentum to reap any physical benefits so far. Given time, I know it will. I have to work out the balance, but any creative will tell you that when you are on a roll, you'd better slick up and go with it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


 It was a marathon weekend. The bottom fell out of the thermometer on Saturday night. While New England was suffering a nor'easter, we got frostbit here in Georgia. I hauled all of my houseplants into the bedroom. Hitchhikers too. The spiders and stinkbugs in my house are running scared.

It was good to have the Warmth at the touch of a button.

All the orders for cloth and thread are on their way. If some of the packages look like they've been tampered with, that was just me improving the weight.

I don't have a postal scale, always just eyeballed the filling of the envelopes, but these news ones confounded me. Slippery devils. As I started processing them at the self-service kiosk in the post office, some came up too light so I brought them back home and operated.
I'm going through the receipts and will be sending out surprises to a handful that were sent before I started checking the weights. I know where you live. :)

Charlie did Halloween at school on Friday so on Monday we did candy. Lots of candy. There is a new schedule and I get there at 630 in the morning and when he wakes up 7ish, he wakes me with the question, "What are we up to today, Nana?"

Saturday, October 28, 2017

in the river basket

The sun was strong, breezes light. I took the river basket to the park to see just what I'd been squirreling away there all this time.

Could I dredge the urge to thread a needle? Only for the purpose of embroidering smart-ass, lewd remarks. I didn't but the story wheels were burning rubber.

Some of this stuff will probably pop up for sale in time.