Wednesday, March 31, 2021

mummification, day 2


All the tools and materials responded just as I remembered except I couldn't get the lid off the jar of liquid matte medium so I gouged a nice little hole in it, poured what I needed, and plugged it with tape when I was finished. No studio should be without a roll of duct tape.

The heavy matte gel is as thick as library paste. The kind that was so tasty in elementary school. I only needed it for the edges and in places where the cloth was three or four layers deep.  It's easy to thin to whatever consistency is called for.

I stayed away from the bright white stitching. The stitch lines stayed crisp.
The damasks soaked the medium up like kitty litter.

I was even able to convince that uneven edge that closer to a right angle would be more pleasing to the eye.

This piece will be ready for its photoshoot tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

the process

"The Bruised Heart" will be my first guinea pig. Finished back in the Fall, it's my favorite from the year. October, when the country seemed to be eating itself like the Ouroboros. We were all wound up pretty tight, especially here in Georgia.

I still haven't settled on the orientation for this one. My perennial problem, deciding which end is up.

This is the easy part. I've left the edges of the finished piece loose so I can fiddle the edges into line when I start working the gel medium into the cloth. 
I'll keep going back to the tutorial so I won't forget all the little nuances that I worked with and around all those years ago.

Being mindful of how the next step can darken the cloth. 

Slowly. slowly.

I have a lot of detail shots of this piece to document how it will change. See just how much I can control. And how much the cloth will do what it will.

Kill your darlings, they tell all writers. The scene that inspired this piece lives on. Dark and dangerous. A switch tripped for the main characters. Everyone right at the place of no return. 


Sunday, March 28, 2021

so, anyway...


Before anything else, Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell has totally sucked me in.  

Late last night I finished reading a scene that went on for three pages before I realized I was reading a love scene. When it was over, I clapped the book shut in despair. That's how I should have written it. Damn, it was delicious and she never even took off her boots.

Yesterday's post all full of bluster about what would go on today? Such hubris to have written it. The piece I wanted to work with is much larger than any of the canvases I have on hand. I need to go back to Goodwill to score something large enough to carry it. 

On a side note, I went there for the first time in a year. Scored a Ralph Lauren flat sheet that will become the first tablemopper of the new dye season when the sun finally graces these parts. 

Instead, I spent a little time prepping this one. It needed a piece of light batting to keep the finished piece off the canvas. Give it a little dimensionality. That was cut, fit, and stitched into place in no time.

Know your tools.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Light a Fire


I've been walking in some pretty tight circles lately. It's time to shake things up, day by day. As the interview said, "Someday is here."

There is nothing more aggravating to me than having all the materials for a project on hand and not even coming up with an excuse for not getting on with it, so, tomorrow I'm going to get this one mounted on canvas, fiber mummy style.

Has it really been eleven years since I first tried this? I have a half dozen pieces in the closet that turned out great that never got the marketing they deserve.
Something else to be remedied because it's coming up on time that I need to get that shit rolling.

But first, the work. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

My backbones

...according to the MRI and the doctor, are some decrepit shit. 

I won't bore you with all the medical jargon. My own eyes glazed over after fifteen seconds. No Shit!
I'm three inches shorter than I used to be and can hardly stand up straight or walk any length of time. 

The good "But" came next. There is stuff to be done for it that does not involve surgery or shots. Good stuff. Aquatic therapy! (Did she notice my webbed feet and gills, you think?) Chiro, core training, drugs. Did I mention drugs?  

All of this leading to a positive improvement dependent on my diligence. I'm so diligent. So That nonsense dealt with, the audiology tests upcoming and hearing aids likely. I may be ready for the Marines by my next birthday.

Until then, I could not have gotten through this week without the help of my crew, my darlings. I'd hold an award show, but I know how y'all are.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

What's real.

 I'm out of practice. Rising before dawn, driving in the dark. He was on schedule even if there was no bus to meet. After a long day of digital school at home,  he was eager to work on his own project. An Idea Jar. 

"Nana. How do you spell ...." 

Jake and I coached him through sounding out 'dance', 'play', 'pretend' and others of his own conjuring as he did his best printing on slips of construction paper.

I could hear the key turning in the lock on the magic trick of reading and writing.  

Five years ago, I watched him take his first steps. This was better by far.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Some fun!

The past year has been hard on everyone. Impossibly hard for some. 

We have a long way to go yet and need to reach out to each other. Things will never be the same and in some cases, right on.

I want to celebrate the changes, the facing forward, and lean into life.

In a small celebration of Spring and other welcome changes, I've dug into my hoard (yes. I have been greedy) and sprinkled in a couple of Bailey's colors and will wrap them in a nice chunk of hand-dyed lightweight linen as a prize.

April Fools, or a day thereabouts when he's in my care, I'll ask my co-pirate to draw a winner. And this time, we are GOING WIDE, as in International entries are welcome. 

To enter the drawing, pop your email in that blue box to be notified when Prophets Tango goes on sale. One entry per email, of course.

If you already have, you're IN this drawing. If you're not sure, email me and I'll confirm it for you. And I promise, no spam and I will not sell your email to anyone. That would be crazy. And if you'd rather not sign up and still want a shot at the goodies, email me anyway.

I know a lot of textilians are also readers. We work hard at balancing our brains. But even if "...a genre-bending romantic saga with a deep twist of paranormal, a hearty dash of thriller, with the heat index on incinerate..." is not your cup of tea, I'll bet you know someone who'll thank you for turning them on to Prophets Tango. 

A good time is guaranteed for all, stitchers and readers alike!

Friday, March 12, 2021

The Bailey Brights


Just as I finally got comfortable, he trampled over me like a herd of wildebeest. Stood on my hip. Rumpused up to my shoulder then back to my feet. Sasquatch working a mountain ridge. 

I got up. The day had poured from murky to golden. Headache be damned. 

The new linen arrived earlier and I'd prewashed a big square. I grabbed it from the machine, bundled a double handful of skeins in it and went down to mix some magic. 

Bailey followed. 

This is on him.

Monday, March 08, 2021

the Survivors


It was a very mild winter here in Georgia. There might have been a dozen flakes of snow that never made it to the ground. One or two days with the potential for black ice.
A scattered handful days of barely below-freezing weather. 

This grayish-looking thing is a butterfly bush that I bought late in the season. The mailbox garden was already overrun so I parked it in this planter and crossed my fingers. A few of the pansies made it too, tough little buggers. 

Once I get the mailbox garden cleaned up, I'll move the butterfly bush up there to keep company with the other perennials.

This hollyhock was grown from seeds that *someone* sent me years ago. I found the little plastic bag in the bottom of a container and planted them with no idea if they were still viable. 

I'll have to dig it up and move it back. It's literally right at the edge of the asphalt and if it gets as tall as it should, it will block the mailbox.

On the left, the children of Satan, I mean irises. I thought I got them all dug out and re-homed last year. Silly me. 

Righ behind the mailbox is my gardenia, poised to intoxicate me with its fragrance every time I pull up for the mail. It needs shaping and feeding. 

Peonies are just breaking through the soil on both sides of the gardenia. That's Bailey being nasty as I watch!

I confess that all my horticultural attention was focused on the back deck last year. That worked out so well, I won't need to repeat the effort this year and hope to get this little patch back to glory.

It needs topsoil, manure, vermiculite, Miracid for the gardenia. Worms would be good. Coffee grounds and eggshells. Some packets of nasturtium and marigold seeds. My back hurts just thinking about it all.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

A good day away from the World.


This is what I needed today. A few new books (and the time to start each).  A little spell stitching (Liz, I ripped out the ERS in Sisters and re-did it properly)

And the good company of a fellow artist and writer over bacon, coffee, and fried onion chips.

He's working on his interpretation of the Gravity Falls zodiac. Making his own up as he goes. 

We talked about The Cheese and confirmed that the best, number one Cheese needed to be Family & Friends, followed by Lego and TV.

I taught him the old phone prank: "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"
(interlude to google Prince Albert Tobacco)

"Well, let him out before he smothers!"

He took his tablet downstairs, called my phone and we executed it flawlessly. It still makes me laugh, but I think Charlie just went along to amuse me. 

Then we learned about commas.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Some excitement!


All night long I kept hearing a freight train coming. Shazam! It's here. 

I haven't been decent before lunch in a while and before the croak of dawn this morning THIS transpired. 

I am so grateful to all of you who have ridden along this far, brave souls. I will be naming names, so, no place to hide.

AND to remind myself that this is just the beginning and there's still a lot of work to do.

Fine day

Somehow, the Way with this one revealed itself this morning. I'll be glad to have it to wring on from time to time.

There was a Publix picnic then, Art in the Park. 

My copirate and I leered at a bright yellow Corvette in the parking lot. He said he would have a blue one with no top. 

Another rag-topper!
They are learning about time in school. Analog time!
Wrapping up the day with more good company.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021


Dug this unfinished scrap from the closet while looking for Bailey. When he's not terrorizing the other two cats, he's taken to hiding in there as if he was expecting kittens. At least he's happy with laying on the floor and not digging through the baskets of cloth

I'm hoping that working this will keep me out of trouble and keep my mouth shut for 24 hours. Big excitement pending regarding the book. 

Hear me sisters, Fire, Wind, Water and Earth, in all your names and guises.

Light the watchtowers for us. 

Hold back the night.

I ask cover from all quarters.

Bless us this circle and we within.