Thursday, December 30, 2021

The sweetest chaos

 New year, new adventures.

Soon, this will be my main place. The best room in the house with all the light. Half of what's here now will be gone to make way for a bed. I have SO much extraneous stuff there have been zero pangs around shoving things into black plastic garbage bags. 

We are shifting our comfort zones to circle the wagons and welcome Jake, Missy & Charlie here while they hunt for a place of their own which, I'm glad they discovered, is not something to do under any kind of rush.

There's nothing like company coming to make me dig in and try to undo the years of sloth I've permitted.  We are still a few steps above Gray Gardens.  Long put-off renovations are underway. A 15-yard dumpster will be plopped in the driveway sometime next week. I think we should have gotten a bigger one. 

And to add to the circus, the little one was rescued by the big one from the airport runway. Too small to tell if it's male or female, it's just Kitteh for the time being. Don't tell the others!

It will be something to have him around full time, if only for a few months,


Friday, December 24, 2021

on the Eve

I love watching it cycle through the color phases. Made it very hard to choose a representative picture, but it's been a kind of blue Christmas. They all are, lo these many years.

But I'm mindful that it's a kids' holiday at its best.

Last year I consolidated all my ornaments down to one sturdy box about a foot square. I also trashed all the decrepit glass balls and half-failed strings of lights.

Colin found strings of led lights that run on just a few batteries that would last forever if I could locate the controls.

Charlie has an eye for spacing out the pretties for good coverage.

Young Jedi in training with what appears to be the ghost of his grandfather looking on. Really, a blurry shot of his uncle, Colin.

So much of Christmas is about nostalgia. We all have our own perspectives on the same moment. My sisters both look like they would have been better off sleeping in. I was already deep into chapter one of "King of the Wind" by Marguerite Henry. I still have it but it's in rough shape.

And my all-time favorite Christmas memory was finding a plastic turtle with a diamond ring tied around its neck with a little piece of ribbon in the bottom of my Christmas stocking. Not understanding the significance until he put it on my finger and asked me for forever. Much later that same morning we told my parents. Somehow we look like we had already seen deep into the future and found it to be as good as it gets.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Scribblers blues

 A weeklong struggle to come up with what  self-published marketers call a "reader magnet" ended in a stalemate. 

testing solar Christmas

An RM is a freebie designed to get readers to sign up on your email list which hopefully will lead to some of them actually buying your books. I am not playing the game well.

Oh, I strapped up and went after the words alright. Got down a 5K kernel that turned out to be the many roomed ground floor of the next volume of Prophets Tango. No way any of it is throwaway. I just can't work like that. 

What is going to happen is like the steel spine of one of the more formidable modern rollercoasters; beginning, the myriad middle twists and rolls, to the kind of end where the riders get off and toss back a cold one as they run to line up for another ride. 

How it will happen?  Story will run riot round that framework organically. I'm letting Life take my players through the paces of change as wild as Kudzu;  growth, bloom, wither, die and be reborn.

Our five dollar Charlie Brown balsam fir! Way to wait, House Lacativa

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

the mid-week stroll


I have never let the holidays make me scramble. If the spirit moves me, maybe. Not forcing stuff - stitching, writing, decorating - is The Way, for me.  If it mattered more, I'd set up the Festivus pole. 

I think part of this contrarian attitude comes from spending my whole adult working life in jobs where I almost always had to work on the holidays. All of them, because if I had to spend 40 hours a week away from my family, at least I would get double time for one or two of those days. 

At least this year I can say, I've gotten all the gift getting stuff out of the way. There will be no last-minute dashes to any big box emporium of bad behavior. 

Thank you Liz for reminding me that I have always been a writer. Everyone is poking around in the web's closets lately. It makes me wistful

Treated myself to fresh bedding over the weekend and these two pillows are fully utilitarian now. Feathers inside, they punch up beautifully and I can get lost in marvelling at my own handiwork. I can remember the acute discipline of my"every stitch matters" mantra. And backing out the crappy ones that happened when my mind wandered. There are no rough drafts when you stitch text.

For lack of anything else to hold on to, I thought about making another sampler, but no burning words of wisdom came to mind, so, there's no forcing this either.

I love watching "firsts". He's getting pretty adventurous, foodwise. We still crack jokes about okra being the gateway to food hell. 

When all else fails, be useful. I packed the entire contents of the scrap basket into ready-to-ship bundles.  Now I can't be snatching bits out and sneaking them into the River Basket. 

The next post office run is Friday.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021


 I would never say that to anyone else, but Keep it Simple, Stupid is what seems to give me the most trouble lately. 

From overwrought stitching to overthought writing, it's so easy for me to get caught up in the details and ignore the big picture.

I don't even know what I want from these two small pieces of cloth right now, so I'm tucking them away together until this warp and weft level of fretting goes away.

I'm supposed to be writing a Christmas story, so of course, I feel it necessary to go all O'henry on it.  

He sells or loses something so he can give her this or that which she no longer needs get the drift. 

I'm already bored. 

Sunday, December 05, 2021

bits & starts

I'm packing up some scrap bundles for a few recent orders. KL, these will be in one of the two bundles headed your way, mid-week.

There's quite a bit of linen in the basket. Less vintage damask. A lot of vintage cottons and a smattering of silk. That poor bride's bloomers and other lingerie mixed in. 

The scrap basket is three-quarters full so there's plenty and if I get stuff to the post office by the end of the upcoming week, they will hopefully arrive in time to entertain you during the holidays.

Sit by your fires or under your suns and stitch.

                                                                        Email me to order.

Whoops...this tiny bit of satin ribbon said, "NO! you must keep me with you. I want to be a bookmark."

okay, then. 

Friday, December 03, 2021

From How High?

 I'm done trying to force this one. 

Compose in haste, repent in long hours of frustration and regret, 'cause you don't just gesso over or hit delete when it comes to hand stitching.

Again, the problem of scale when it comes to cloth and thread. Out of a need to just make something, I got sucked into the square inch dilemma, seeing only what was locked into the hoop. 

Outcome? A big mess that is about to become a very serviceable pillow. 

I've been doing the same thing with the writing. The big picture is not resolving by sketching elaborate  scenarios for the players. There's no end to that shit! I've always had diarrhea of the imagination. I'm having trouble finding the very necessary middle ground between being a plotter and a pantser. 

It's day eight of the kind of cold that pretty much leaves you alone once you get up and have some coffee. Then, come late afternoon, it blooms in your head like a noxious fungus leaking out of your eyes and nose. 

Sorry about that.