Saturday, August 27, 2022

A big week


I take this picture to be a good omen. A sense of community that I have missed while I was putting in forty hours a week with people I never saw or got to know.
This is the resident cat posse. Center on the mat, the youngster, Milly. Colin's Christmas rescue. She's a gonif and we are already having to restrict her caloric intake. No more basketball-sized cats in this family. It's really not good for them. 

On the left, Her Dowager Highness, Sweetie. You all know her. I indulge and spoil her. The two of us feeling the weight of life and years, arthritic and lazy.

Center on the steps, Young Thug, Bailey, the lithe fur snake who will interrupt his napping to rush onto my lap with the urgency of a child needing to be soothed after a nightmare. Sixty seconds of head scratching and poof, he's gone, back to his cat business.

Last, but not least, Lady Salem, she of the gorgeous graphics,  is still a bit troubled by Milly, the young interloper. Salem guards me jealously at night treating my hands like her long-lost kittens - licking them clean and moving them with a nip.

I am owned.

I have a few daily duties. I am honored to have breakfast with Charlie. He reads to me before and after school daily. Improving in leaps and bounds, he's found a hero writer in Dav Pilkey, author of the brilliant Dog Man Series. This, from "Dog Man: Mothering Heights"

Every story is chock full of action but sewn together by scenes like this. 

There were seven words or phrases here that prompted spirited discussions. The triple pov endings of this one made me cry, but I'm an easy mark.

He is perfecting his delivery for maximum Nana impact. 

There was a delightful adults-only day that included swimming in a still warm salt-water pool, food, drinks and a Braves game on the radio. Late that day, there was a phone call from the workplace. A wellness call, she described it. Thoughtful, if proforma. 

The next morning, I called and put them out of their misery. Who knew there was something called "off-boarding"?  The deal is done. I am free. 

The daily path is pretty much up to me and the calendar is already booking up. Today, I'll be driving to the gallery to fetch home the pieces that didn't sell.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Dirty Threads


That didn't take long, thank you all. 

I still have plenty, but I haven't had the time to get more sets posted. More tomorrow.

Up to now, I was going to document a dyefest in order to write a DIY, but that's just more procrastination bullshit. Something I am trying to flush from my thought process.

Step One. 

Open a blank page....

Sunday, August 21, 2022

the switch flipped


I knew it the minute the float turned me in this direction, Summer left without even saying goodbye. The water loses a degree or two each day and within minutes of this moment, I was scrambling to get out before the thunderstorm hit.

Tomorrow I will be disconnecting the day job equipment and getting it out of my space for good.  It can stage down in the living room until they let me know where they want it sent. Eighteen cubic feet all told. Bailey will be upset, but that office chair is going too. More space! 

I don't quite know what to do with myself yet.
They do. 

Really, so do I.  Some travel plans are afoot.
Lots of pesky admin stuff to get out of the way.

Stories are spinning up, taking hold.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

August 18, any year.


August 18 has always been an auspicious day for me, on many occasions and for many reasons. 

Laugh out loud times, tears in my eyes times, and the sound of that sweet inner bell saying "Do it!"

So many memorable 8/18s, that at some point in the middle of Summer's last laugh, I always take notice, connect the dots and remember them.

No random pull for me today. I picked all of these for myself. Like the day.

I have walked away from the day job. No regrets. For thirteen years it has both sustained and confounded me. I'm grateful that it was never more than a way to make money and now, time matters more than money. Roll on. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

under the Sturgeon Moon

Yesterday was the best weather for dyeing that I've had for years. Hot enough to get the colors reacting, but not so hot that I was uncomfortable and therefore NOT rushed.  

I took my time making up the colors while I had my coffee. Forgot all about what I needed in the stash, but instincts drew me to warm colors and stayed my hand when I picked up Raven.

My only regret is that I didn't have more cuts of this linen ready to carry and wrap groups of thread. Shortfall?  I threw the threads right down on the deck boards same as I do with cloth bundles. 

Butterscotch, Sun Gold and Lemon had a field day. Avocado came out for the first time in many years. Prochem has improved it immensely. Bright where it used to be murky. Plays well with others too.

An even better day coming up.  I'll get these washed and laid out to dry in time for a decent pool day. Yesterday, I actually got cold. By the time I hit the water, clouds had moved in and the water is still a little colder from all the rain we had during the week.

It's that time of the year when I take note of each swim knowing that good water days are numbered. 

A peek at the results. I washed and rinsed these an hour ago. Hope the cloth stays as intense as the threads seem to be.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Conjuring colors


I shot this through the sunroof the other day. It was quickly followed by a carwash thunderstorm. 

Today is supposed to be glorious, with no rain in sight. I'm about to drag my fingernails over a bar of soap and start cooking up the colors for a dyefest. 

Updates as the day goes on. 

Monday, August 08, 2022


 Pulled this one out of the trunk of my car. It was in the FREE ART bag, destined to be left behind on a park bench some sunny day. 

I was so caught up and in love with some of the elements that I overlooked how hideous the background is until I stepped back and took a hard look.

I spent some time changing the orientation by 90 degrees. That required the sleeve to be removed and relocated. The original stitching on that sleeve looked like I sent it out for the nuns to work on. Took an hour just to cut and pick all the stitches. 

Now I have to decide what I'm going to do about the background. The fabrics are very "touchy", that is, a cotton/rayon blend designed to soak up spills. Anything liquid applied is going to travel uncontrollably. 

I can't use soy wax to mask and protect the central elements (that pink also needs help) because of the silk satin and more of that thirsty cotton/rayon.

It might come down to surgery and if the patient survives, a new name. Ideas are welcome. It's on a back burner for now.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Mixing in the world


Debra Steinmann

As soon as I found out that five of my pieces would be included in "The Material is the Message" I resolved that I would not be attending the opening. The list of reasons was long and boring. Then I remembered. 
This is your new life. Live it. 

I had no "nice" clothes. Turned them all back to Goodwill. Comfort was key. My favorite Led Zip t-shirt and khaki clamdiggers were clean and presentable. Hair, clean and bunned up. Purple cane ready to rock. 

I drove into the heart of Atlanta under a raging thunderstorm--the order of every afternoon these days-- and let the phone talk me through the maze Inside the Perimeter to my friend's home. Left my car and rode with her because parking would be limited.

Even though we were prompt, the place was buzzing with people. So many people. We all seemed dazzled to be out.  A reporter from some local cultural media outlet interviewed me. She was probably sorry she picked me. Diarrhea of the mouth and all. Pictures even.

I met so many nice people. Got to see some great textile work and meet the makers. (One by one I will match the makers to the work and update this page.)

Lisa Rich and Clare Butler

Then someone nudged me, gestured at Cephalopod, and said, "Look!"  
Hell yeah, I squealed with delight!

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

a catalyst


I treated myself to a very special book. Six, eight pounds? A big book for big art, to quote my son. You'll be lucky to find one in a library and if you come across it in a bookstore, don't be shocked at the cost. It's full of magic.

I have Lorraine Glessner to thank for a FB post about the Joan Mitchell exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art. With a slew of amazing pictures. 

Messy March, 1969. The last gasp of my time at the School of Visual Arts. I was just coasting at that point, knowing that I wouldn't be back in September. 

Cutting more classes than I sat through,  I spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly, tiptoeing around in galleries. One day, behind the plate glass of a closed gallery, one painting took up an entire wall. I could make out "Joan Mitchell" on a cardboard placard on the floor. All I remember was an explosion of energy in line and color.  It was both deafening and perfectly silent. What it did was clarify for me that I lacked the drive, the talent, and the chutzpah to set foot in the same world as this woman.  Joan Mitchell made leaving art school easy for me. I never looked back or regretted that decision. 

How could I have changed the ripples in the pond of my life to not bring me to today?

The first day (digital) of third grade for Charlie.

This year, I pretty much sat back and leafed through a fabulous book of "very messy paintings" in Charlie's opinion. 

But we both noticed that someone had chosen a screen wallpaper for the Art section that looked quite lifted from a Joan Mitchell painting. 

Monday, August 01, 2022



What a treat yesterday was. Away from the house, out in nature. Visiting with people most of whom I haven't seen in over a year, probably more. Family, friends, food in an amazing setting. 

Jake and Missy did an amazing job all around. We will be eating leftover bbq and sides for days which means, everyone had all they could hold at the party.

Lake Hartwell is a good two-hour drive from home but absolutely worth the drive. It's been a while since I've had Jack Flash out on the big road and forgot how easily we ease into 90 miles an hour. And still, there were cars that blew by me so fast, I couldn't tell you what they were! 

Then, off the main road, the map voice took me winding through a few small towns that made me think of 1950's movie sets and endless stretches of fields of (stunted!) corn and those giant rolls of hay.

The water is warm and soft, flecks of mica stuck all over everyone. There were the water people (twice what you see here) and the lawn chair folk up the bank in the shade. Not everyone has gills, but you know where I was most of the time. What a day!

Charlie and I were sharing a giant pool noodle and one of the little girl cousins paddled nearby. I asked him her name, but he gestured broadly and said, "This is my TRIBE." It wasn't so much about a birthday as it was just gathering. Of course, the birthday song was sung with cupcakes all 'round.