Sunday, July 30, 2017


Two cast away garments, a blouse and a vest, both linen, have been reborn.

Gifts that will keep on giving.

Alas, linen has to be ironed.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

dirty thread updated

here they are

Dyeing thread this way is much like glazing pottery - you just won't know what color you are going to get until the very end of the process.

I'm going to take some time and work with the stuff...see what comes of it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I like mending. Taking something that's been used hard out of love or utility, and bringing it back to life and usefulness with a cloth, stitch and some more love.  This was my Mom's little "go bag".
She carried it slung from her wheelchair for the longest time. It was stuffed with tissues, crackers, coins, pens, lunch leftovers sometimes. It would get pretty nasty when she forgot about the food that she'd squirreled away, so it's had its share of machine washings and every zipper still works. Credit to Vera Bradley for a well-made product. I've been needing something to hold just wallet, keys and phone. This will be perfect. Again.

My head is also mending today. two consecutive evenings with a migraine, courtesy of the toppings on the pizza we had for dinner (and leftover for breakfast) Wednesday and Thursday. Live and keep learning.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Invited back

I've been away from the cloth for a time now. While duty calls me back, it's the promise of something wonderful that will get me there.

I was digging through the tubs of cloth when these fabrics made themselves known to me because I'm still convinced that my missing notebook in here somewhere.

Dark and exciting for a baby blanket, don't you think? It could be the flip side of something light and fanciful. As much as I love the spots on the avocado field, I can't use it because they were discharged and won't stand up to a lot of laundering. I have mending to do, a slew of buttons to replace. All homey stuff that matters to someone.

And for fun, these. Making them is like eating potato chips. Why stop at one?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

seeing clearly

I've been lazy, taking "quick and dirty" shots with my cell phone. I'd forgotten how good digital photography can be. These are from the storm series. All are vintage hankies, doilies or cocktail napkins...I guess. Now, they are stars in their own right. There will be dirty threads in the same(ish) colorways, too.  I left the pictures large so you can dig in for the wonder.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

the storm that didn't arrive

All morning it looked like the sky would break open. Hot, thickly humid. There was no going outside for anything. I've been plagued by chaos lately, internal and external, so I did what was at hand - a long overdue purge and cleanup in the studio. Even half-finished, I feel a lot better.

During the rout of un-named boxes of unknown crap, I found a collection of hankies and other tiny, hand embellished things from an era before Kleenex. Into the pre-dye secret sauce, they went. I had a full set of threads prepped and ready for color.
An hour outside on the deck and the additional secret ingredient was my sweat. Everything is in the washing machine right now. If the finished products don't hold up to these wet shots, I'll delete them...the heartbreak of wet photography is real.

And Joanne...look at that little linen blouse. I could kill the woman for being so tiny!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

down on the farm

That is Charlie's grampa, Papa Doc. He does blacksmithing demonstrations at various venues including nearby McDaniel farm park. We visited with him a bit then toured the park on a hayride and spent time at an amazing new playground. Thank the weather gods for cloud cover.

The parks department has restored and maintained the farmhouse and outbuildings as a typical 1930's working farm. There was a table set up where someone would be giving a talk and demonstration about cotton. No one was around to answer our silly questions as it was early.

That shred of raw cotton in the right foreground got picked up by inquisitive fingers and dropped on the ground, from there to my pocket.

Once I got home, I examined the bit of fluff. I picked out all the bits of dry leaves. pesky business. There was almost a dozen of those little hard beans stuck in the fiber. I'm assuming they are cotton seeds and I'm going to see what I can find out about growing them.

Maybe I will spin the cotton into thread too. Obsessive. I know. There will be dye.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

creature comforts

Please tell me I saw this post when it was new and made all the proper, civilized responses. I love what Ann does with my cloth.

I rewashed all the waiters this morning. Sweetie had been nesting in them with her "friends". Said friends are being evicted in a mighty battle. Anyone with pets knows what the hell I'm talking about. Clean cloth stowed tightly in the closet until it's time for more dyes.

Studio archaeology

Small scrap from the tubs. Color by Sharpie & alcohol.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Remains of the day

This is what's left of round three. I'm going to have to make this a semi-monthly thing. Have more on hand when I put them up for sale. This is all that's left of round 3.

From round 2, every wish granted, every order shipped. Most have landed.

I need to get back to the story - there is no such thing as writer's block in this house. Not permitted.

Sunday, July 09, 2017


I took a few minutes in the bright first light of the studio to wind-off and prep the latest batch of Dirty Threads. I had my doubts about this latest group right up until the wind-off, but they are beauties. A new twist in technique has brought more depth and consistency. With dyeing, you just can't tell about colors until things are completely dry. You think I would have learned that by now.

I like to do this hand work while I'm listening to music, or NPR or a book on CD, just like people who are actively creating - stitching, knitting, crocheting - the hands are up to one thing while the mind is elsewhere.

My political escapism continues. I rewatched the first two episodes of  "John Adams" last night. This time I was paying extra attention to the so very much that went unsaid by his wife, Abigail - so amazingly portrayed by Laura Linney - Her hands were busy doing the thousands of things that home and children required in colonial times and yet her thinking was every bit as sharp and focused on the problems of the birthing of our country as were those of her statesman husband. I'd like to read more about both of them.

This morning, I left the external input off because I've been questioning a lot of things lately and needed time to listen for and process any answers. Handling/creating raw materials frees up that space in my head where the dialogue happens. I even took notes.

Those answers?
There is great value in all levels of making, especially when it comes to textiles.

Cloth and all that attends it is so basic to the human condition. We spin, we weave, we protect and adorn ourselves.

I'm struggling to find as much meaning in wordsmithing as there was in making blankets for warmth. The great Art/Craft divide remains. You can write to entertain or titillate. You can write to some higher meaning. Straddling the divide is trixie.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

dirty thread dancing

I fooled with some of the Dirty Threads last night. Reading glasses would have been good, but they were off somewhere wandering around with the other lost stuff, so I faked it a bit.
No bloodstains, so it's all good.

Just posted a new batch. Looking forward to doing so more vivid colors when the sun comes back out.