Friday, September 15, 2023

A Sale thru 9/24

 I forgot to mention. Summer is gone and unless there is weirdness or I figure out how to hold a dyefest indoors, the 2023 dirty threads & cloth are it for a while.

Check the shop tabs and stock up!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

The wax this time

Before anything else, I have to tell all of you constant readers that I finished reading Dee Mallon's novel yesterday and I was deeply and profoundly moved. 

Works of literary art are few and far between these days. I feel privileged to have seen this one come into its own. Congrats, Dee. Now, for wings to fly! 


There was no crone stirring a steaming vat over a fire, but there was a sweaty woman stooped over a kitchen sink, swearing every time the water - -from a boiling kettle -- got too hot even for gloves. 

If sweat and cursing is the magic ingredient, so be it. I had forgotten just how wild, beautiful, and unpredictable this process can be. 

A week ago I was hoping for a better camera. This week, I'm giving thanks for the old one still doing its best.

The linen fought the wax just a little. The quandary comes when you have to decide if you want to use the hard or soft side of the cloth. Crisp lines and sharp images or the slightly blurred ones that have their own little ghosts inside.

The wax hits hard and fast, sometimes preserving the existing color, sometimes not and there is no controlling it. Best you can hope for is to not get burned.

These pieces are large, the smallest up top is 41x29. Loomed vintage linen. Middleweight, a little slubby, like silk noil. 

All of them have been ironed which could be a sign that end times are nigh. 

This one is larger. I'm going to take it outside to get some overall shots.

All of these will be for sale, either whole or in pieces. That's up for discussion.


Raven dye is forgiven for being less than black. That was all on me but this stony mossness is all its own. I had forgotten how gorgeous cotton damask shines up when you iron it, giving up the ghosts of its original designs. This one is also large. Heading out to the park for a photo shoot, if the skies don't open up in sympathy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023



Working with resists calls for you to think about how what will remain works with what's born again, changed radically. 

I can't remember the last time I fooled with soy wax resist. Ages. In the scrap basket are a few pieces of cloth showing evidence - a white freckle or slash here and there. I like the way my natural gestures come through when slinging hot wax.

 What I remember most is how friggin' messy it is and "Fierce", representing my largest fail. And the failure was much more about a weak black than the soy wax.

Jumping on a notion without planning and preparation is (for me) either a big win or a hideous mess. This could go either way. Just as I spread these out on the deck to cure, it started to rain. You can correctly interpret "cure" as I was too hot and sweaty to fool with any of it a moment longer.  These are large pieces, feet by feet. 

What I do remember is that my hot water was not hot enough to do the job. When the time comes to finish up, I will be entertaining the neighbors by putting my biggest pot on to boil over the firepit in the front yard. Picture it! Someone is bound to call the police.  

Thursday, September 07, 2023

Take heart...


...even though I feel like I don't have any to spare with this touch of 'Summer's over' melancholy. Season endings does that to me. A New England trait that's born into us even if the weather (wherever we wind up) is boring or radically different. I did get one more day in the pool! 

My heart has been stretched out of shape lately. Nothing drastic or dramatic, just a constant prickle of emotional shoves and a few kicks. 

Keeping a public journal of sorts does it too. Social media will do it for you without asking. My phone is failing in weird ways and I'm almost grateful, but in reality, one more bucket of bullshit to deal with.

In a fit of busywork, another Garden Heart gets stitched into being and now waits on top of one of the linen table moppers trying to get me to decide what it wants to be. 

Not much compares to having a furred, purring creature under your hand as you fall asleep at night.

That is my very first cusspot chock full of thread ends she's guarding. Have not yet caught her moving it, but it's never where I need it these days.

Saturday, September 02, 2023



I looked it up to make sure that I was using it right. Some words get stretched and overused to the point of deviation. Redux is one of them,

Long-time readers will remember the Magic Invisibility Cloak - my half-cocked approach to a project I should have thought about for more than five minutes. But that was back in the day when I was working a half-witted job (from home, thank goodness) and had eight hours an evening to busy my hands with something that should have taken more than just the other half of my wits.

But it was fun for most of the production. I can look at it now and tell when I was running out of ideas and steam.

Once it was done, I only wore it in public a few times because I didn't have any good answers for people who would accost me in the grocery

store or the post office wanting to know if the circus was in town. "Overkill" was one way of looking at it. 

I was reminded of a time when I was staring at a guy who was trying to look like Alice Cooper - his hair was six inches of black roots, fringed with white and neon green at his shoulders. Church wear these days but, back then, he got all the shock value he was going for. 

I stared at him openly, not judging, but wondering how the heck it was done. He gave back a challenging stare and I said, "Well, you did want people to look at you, right?"    He thought about it for a second, then said, "Yeah. That's what I wanted."  Everyone went away happy.

So back to redux. The cloak hung around the studio much longer than useful so today I dismembered it, preserving the more interesting elements. The ones I didn't rush.

I can look at each piece of cloth and remember its provenance. (sigh). the things we fill our brain wrinkles with.

If anyone is interested in any of these pieces, let me know.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

A long season


I feel bad about not getting in the water today.

Maybe tomorrow before we get hurricane dregs.

The second shot is so you know how serious he is about me not moving for a few minutes. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Shirker- updated 8/24


Now comes the hard part. Sharing. Keeping my mitts out of the cookie jar. But there's a hella lot of cookies this trip.

I've already indulged my need for some bloody reds, but I had to pack this set out of sight quickly because I could feel my fingers getting sticky.

And I'm running out of names. Going forward, they are going to be fairly obvious. 

That's Claret   (now SOLD!)

This is my thread box six hours later. It was an emotionally stressful day. These helped. An hour of driving with good music. A big glass of lemonade. A nap. Some 🌿. 

Now replaying "Springsteen on Broadway" and shuffling these around. Seeing tomorrow's stuff.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Conjuring colors

There is a line somewhere between production and manifesting. I don't care for either word, one being too "widget" and the other too "woo".  Neither word nor anywhere in between describes my process.

Once I've set the pallette of colors, all my intentions get very flexible. If I get sick of seeing that yellow and that purple, I'll dump one on top of the other and come up with a warm olive that I never planned for. 

Has that blue slipped too cool? Bring on the goldenrod. There's never too much green because I never plan for any.

It's going to take time to process all this cloth and thread. After four days, I am out of personal gas and will take a few days unrelated to dyeing.

There's still a ton of cloth to be hand washed and dried.

The best part of Saturday? A surprise visit from Charlie and Jake. We went out to lunch and got caught up. Since they moved, time with them makes the minutes we get more precious. 

Today, r&r includes a little stitch, some reading, pool time, and some walking. Putting those needles in my back to the test. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Ripe fruit


Despite weather reports promising another perfect day for the dye deck, Colin sent this sunrise from the airport where he works. "Red sky in the morning, sailors warning." 

Scientifically, more humidity in the air will affect what I'm planning for the day.

I washed out one piece of lines last night and hung it up with the threads to dry. Just one.

Because there have been requests, I'm going to experiment with selling these pieces whole. See how that flys for a while before I rip or cut them up smaller and blend them into the general basket.

The blue/green threads were hiding in the dryer from the last dye-fest. This wire and mesh contraption, which folds up to take up almost no space in the closet, has become an essential tool. 

I somehow tricked my phone camera into giving me an accurate (to my eye) rendering of the colors in this one.

It's part of a light linen blouse. Most of these will be parts of deconstructed garments. 

This one is 12"x 24".  

Friday, August 18, 2023

High Adventures in August

I used flag-shaped lengths of that midweight linen toweling to cover the table and catch the dye leaking out of skeins and bundles. The famous table moppers. 

BIG LESSON - do NOT wash out the cloth in the machine. As tempting as that is, these will get hand washed in a bucket with Dawn and cold water. One by one.

I'm pacing myself. 


The mids of August


About four, I ran out of threads and called it Good for the day.

Left the mess as was.
I see a very hot field. There was rock music.

Tomorrow* I will dial in the Blues.

*tomorrow being now. Me recovering horizontally from back treatment. Gimme a few hours. I'll do the Blues when it's hottest out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023



Evidence of a life well lived. 

Before dawn, I opened all the upstairs windows and doors to the fresh air. 68 degrees, clear and dry. A gorgeous day in the making. James Lee Burke would write "Aborning". I don't think I've ever seen that word in print beyond his novels. 

The post title set me surfing for meaning and I have never gotten back such a load of conflicting crap. I won't even dwell on it.

At the post office, an elderly (listen to me talk) gentleman from Pakistan proselytized gently while we waited in line. I usually have a "Praise Beelzebub" for such conversations, but he was doing his thing and I let him roll on without dishing any snark. He was there for a passport picture.  I advised him. "Don't smile."

Business accomplished, I met a friend for lunch and we cackled and rattled our scaly claws over the indictments. Naming the prosecutors one by one. Cackling some more. 

Came home to a smorgasbord of sense delights. My garden, run wild with some alien-looking weeds. Cicadas tuning up. The big Joro spiders webbing up the windows again. Sleeping cats. 

And a fat package on the doorstep.

I am so in love with these colors. Imagining what they will do dancing together!

This is going to be a very special dyefest. 


dragon fruit

bright yellow


blue violet

houdini blue


but right now, the Braves are still in NY slaying them.  I listen to the game on an AM radio station. The closest thing to time travel I know of.