Sunday, August 29, 2021

spinning the tale

 This was once snow-white. Part of a bridal trousseau. Italy, c. '30s The fact that it seems to have been never worn, creamy now with time, hints at heartbreak. 

It's made of the finest cotton lawn, delicate, yet still strong. Ankle length. Once I pulled that satin ribbon from under the spider webs of lace under the bustline, it might fit me, so she was no sylph. A woman of substance. But I won't put it on. Won't ever wear it.

Cursed? Perhaps. This would have been the last layer between the blushing bride and her husband. 
Did he leave her at the altar?
Did he die in the war?
What tragedy befell this bride?

That will be part of Angel's story.

I'm going to put this away in the closet for some time.
The tiny slip stitches securing the satin ribbon in place. I actually put this through the washing machine. The other half of the ribbon is in there somewhere. 

These two tiny buttons are all that secures the shoulders.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Elements mercy


Yesterday was my day off from the whine mine and I was determined to seize the day.  The candidates for transformation were already gathered up. I should have known there would be weirdness when I had to drag the container down the stairs because I couldn't lift it.  

Those containers. I got them to grow stuff in on the deck but they also make great cloth buckets. Good handles and soft sides make them easy to cram into tight spaces 

I mixed blends this time. Quick and dirty. All nine little cheese shakers topped off.

Got a large tub of soda ash ready, the new umbrella unfurled. Rolling Stones on the box in tribute to Charlie Watts, who  I always thought of as the Dad of the stones. It was hot and I was cooking. By noon there was a table full of witch camo, demon hides, and dragon skins. 

After the last scrap was dyed, I went down the steps and got straight into the water clad only in my Provence schmatte. I felt like a mermaid with the cloth swirling around me in water. I swam laps until I couldn't, drip-dried a bit, then made ready to meet up with Charlie after school. 

We hashed over the ongoing tale of Ace & Little Bea, watched some Larva, and played Twister until Jake got home with a pizza. I grabbed a slice and ran because a storm was brewing. Before I was halfway home, it was like driving in a carwash. When lightning looks a foot wide and the car shudders, you know it was close.  

Just as I pulled into my neighborhood, the street lights cut out. I came home to three cats standing around with all their hair frizzed out and eyes bugging. No power, no AC, no internet, but bless these solar lights....plenty of hot magic out on the deck getting a blessing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Hear it?

That summer sizzle. I can still tell the difference between NY and GA cicadas. Here, they all seem to yak over one another in a hot white noise. In New York, it was more like a gospel call and response that cycled up to a frenzy. Then, when the others were taking a breath, one loud one would grab the mic and TESTIFY until the sound spun out into a shocked silence often punctuated by thunder. They knew what they were talking about.

I was hoping for a twofer with that peace sign, but the kids were skittish today. There are a pair of big bombers with five-inch wingspans patrolling the area that I have angling to charm. So far no luck. I may flinch if one of those lights on me. 

This arrived today. Maybe a dye fest tomorrow.  All I have to do is remember to crank it down when I'm done with it so the rain and winds don't trash it. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

amendment to that stitch

this one. I should have mentioned that it's best to use a tapestry needle when wrapping the base stitch. Little to no chance of snagging the stitch or the cloth.

I'm going back and adding a little bling here and there. Waiting on the 20x20 pillow.

I'm going to need a bigger bed.

"It's the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance.

It's the dream afraid of waking
that never takes a chance."


The last of the Dirty Threads (until Fall)  have been reorganized in the shop.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

the dogless days

I have taken up this sampler again. I love the words and the making of it, tinkering with the letterforms as spacing and mood allows. 

If I can score a market umbrella, there will be another dye day or two this season. Fred did take out the tent. Permanently this time. 

Hurricane Fred mostly gave us a pass but for one rainy day which was overdue. And trashed my deck tent.

Summer slithers, but the shift is on. Charlie was here on Sunday. We were thrashing about in the pool when he stopped, looked around and said, "Something is burning."

Yes. I had tried to ignore it, but someone was burning leaves nearby. Fall. 

"I like it, " he said. He grows wiser. I grow older.


Friday, August 13, 2021



If you've ordered anything in the past week, it's on the way. 

I'm going to do my best to disengage electronically this weekend. Put other things in my line of sight. Slip into other flows.



Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Churn


I love this basket. It's big. 18" high and wide. Heavy even when it's empty. 

A gift from a neighbor years ago when she grew tired of supervising her moving sale. I need to get some wheels for it. Right now it's chock full of fabulous. Below, four shots. I dig down to the bottom, grab a handful and slowly bring it to the surface, then stir.  I got mine, of course. The rest is up for grabs, one fat baggy at a time. There's lots of damask in there now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

glory squared


There are thirty-something of these vintage damask napkins waiting for me to sort and iron. Eventually, I'll be cutting most of them into ninths or more, mixing the pieces into the big basket that I pick Fat Baggies from. 

It's been a long time since I've had any damask to share. The Skin of the Gods!

I'll be keeping a handful of the biggest ones for my ongoing text project.  The blue background on the last one was too busy. Made it hard to read the letters. My bad. Lesson learned.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

The rhythm of August


Work until midnight. Sleep until the cats say they'll eat my eyes if I don't get up and feed them. Sevenish.

Then a few hours of quiet stuff. Stitch, read, web.

It was sunny and hot today. Rather than let the dyes got to waste, I cut that tablecloth into nines. Rounded up some other colorless pilgrims in the studio and threw them down to the dye deck. 

Sweat and thunder rolled. No matter. I was still in my bathing suit.

This is a king-sized flat sheet. Loomed in Italy. Not too old. It may not be able to hang on to the colors. It happens.

We have a little algae.

Friday, August 06, 2021

damasks on the dyedeck


Remember those damask napkins I scored?
It was going to be hot and sunny today and the weekend weather was not very promising so I decided to sacrifice a pool day and mixed colors right after coffee. 

Got all of those napkins tucked into the sauce to soften and soak, then hit the deck just around lunchtime. I lost count, thirty? The largest ones are 20x20, the rest just a little smaller. 

It's been some time since I worked the jellyroll blues with cloth like this. 

At the last moment, I picked them all off the table and dropped them to the deck to poach in the sun for the rest of the day. 

You can bet I'll have them in the washing machine before my coffee is perked tomorrow. No wet cloth porn, I'll hang them to dry because the dryer is not good for this cloth. Lint from Hell seems to happen.

 There might be some late-day ironing just to show off.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

new light in the studio

It's been a long time since I was comfortable scouting for cloth in person so I returned to ebay and got incredibly lucky. I bought the table cloth and a dozen matching monogrammed napkins. Kind seller tossed in another dozen because they had the same monogram! A few tiny rust marks here and there, but such Treasure!

Can someone explain why damask was never made into garments? What a fine winter robe this cloth would make. 

 With the Wild Island in front of the house gone, I'm getting  great late-day light in the studio even though the main window faces east; a perk of being in a hollow. Light bounces off everything higher than the house. I've ordered a long handled window cleaning thingy. So overdue!

Humble little scraps hop up and demand attention.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Home. Again.

 I've been missing this place for two weeks now. Not that I went anywhere. The house has. I miss its cozy wildness. But the truth was being hidden by all that overgrowth. At long last, I faced the truth and did what had to be done.

Built in 1971, we moved here in 1998 and never once painted or stained the exterior cedar planking. It was well past time to do the necessary.

The grove out front was drastically cut away, leaving two mature trees that are now festooned with dead and dying ivy. English and Poison.

Replacing the wood siding was beyond my budget by a mile so, vinyl is final.

The gutter guys were walking around on my roof at 7:30 this morning. It remains to be seen if the shrubbery has caused damage to the foundation. A good day of rain with the new gutters in place will reveal if that last step has to be taken.

It's a blank slate and I'm still reeling a bit. On the upside, I love a blank canvas. For the first time ever I will have a sunny growing space under the three kitchen windows and along the south face of the house. We plan on building some decking out on either side of the front landing. The stone face needs power washing and probably paint.