Friday, March 29, 2024

title and theme


I love this hard-assed morning light. In a week or two it will be filtered and muted by the new leaves on the big Water Oak in the front yard. At the moment that tree is festooned with strings of yellow, pollen-laden flowers.  All parked cars are yellow. All eyes are a little red.

A new car wash nearby is having its grand opening giving away free car washes. I got one a little while ago and the attendant said I should come back again tomorrow. Jumping Jack Flash was seriously filthy.

I'm working on the layout for the Spell project but I have to stop and find a hard surface to work on. Large enough to tape the cloth down. Hard enough to allow for a good transfer. In the meantime...

This cloth was folded into thirds and hand-stitched two-thirds of the way on the sides to form what looked like something to hold paper money

I didn't think I'd ever use these. So full of history and mystery. But when I pulled this one from the river basket and saw the monogram, there was no question that I would use it. 
Putting the bells on a cart before the horses are even born, I'm making a cover for the novel I'm working on. Their surname is Bell. 

Where did my metallic gold thread get to?

A disturbance in the force of my household has been healed 

and it's Baseball opening day. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Such problems

I had my heart set on using those rich dark greens and blues for the text on the Spell project, but reality spoke up loudly. "Your background is DARK, dummy!"

So, the paler blues and gold will carry the text. I'm still refining the letterforms and won't rush myself. There are too many other things to attend to.

All those on the bottom half of the picture are the rest of the recent overdyes. Some have little to no variation, but you never know what makes a stitcher's hair blow back.
They are here.

I'm putting off the first full dye session until Eclipse Day, hoping the weather will cooperate.

 Here in GA there will be 90% starting at 1:45 and peaking at 3pm. Since I need to see what I'm doing, I'll be finished flinging color by the time it starts. 


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Sky work


Colin sent this moonset from the airport this morning.

It's eerie. Has the feeling one has on waking from strange dreams which is my regular headspace lately.

And this was my sunrise in the studio a few hours later. The light at this hour is always a little too much for my camera but I couldn't discard this one because Salem was approving from her new favorite station - a chair cushion behind the Janome.

I will post most of this lot on the shop page later in the week with better, truer pictures.

Friday, March 22, 2024

tasty throwbacks


Been a long time since I've done this heavy color saturation. Experiments on the horizon.

The rest of them will spend a day and a night out in the spring rain. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024


Came as a shock to me too! 
Late this afternoon I finished a task and was at loose ends. I was stowing stuff away when that basket full of losers shifted and threatened to dump. 
I didn't count them, but there were about two dozen skeins of thread that came out so piss-poor or pale that I set them aside for overdyeing someday. Someday arrived. 

I try to keep over-dyeing simple. Choose only three primaries and mix them right in with the soda ash sauce. Not my regular routine at all. There's never any telling if the threads will take the dye or if I've wasted time and materials. It's a molecular thing that I don't have a full understanding of.
Dip here, drip there. Quick and dirty. I didn't take any before pictures; they looked like failed easter eggs.

I'm kind of hoping this intensity will calm down once everything is dry. There can be too much of a good thing.

Of course, I had to get a couple drying. Handling wet skeins is pesky as hell. I wrap them around a cone of mystery thread that never took the dye. It serves. 

I'm very interested in this piece of linen that I used for a table mopper.
Golden Yellow, Peacock and Mulberry... all together now.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Dixie Mink

right shoulder

From what I can tell, I coined the phrase "Dixie Mink" referring to an oversized, denim jacket usually the property of her old man, or boy toy.

It's coming up on time to give it a gentle soak and rinse inside out, line dry and tuck it away until the cool weather comes back.

But before then, I think I'm going to build some snakes down each sleeve from the heart to the cuff.  
right upper arm

left chest 

left upper sleeve




This took forever to finish. The design is by illustrator Roger Dean. I wish I hadn't been so set being true to his colors. Any interpretation on my part was due to being stuck with whatever colors DMC had in stores. I did it on an insane forty stitches to the inch canvas. 
Even so, I'll never stop being irked by the flattening of the circle in the lower right quadrant. 

Remember when the football player Rosey Grier revealed that real men did needlepoint? I taught Jim with yarn on a more forgiving size canvas and he duplicated a few album covers but lost interest once the details were accomplished. I'll look for them. We used to listen to music and stitch like a couple of old ladies. 

I remember an elementary school teacher speaking about pointillism. I started a project using dots of colored paper made with a hole puncher. Library paste, yummy. I was butting the tiny circles of paper up against each other and halfway through my design when I thought "Why can't they overlap like scales on a snake?? ....Project abandoned. 

Finished, but not out of my system. I may modify the original drawing and start over once I have a fresh pallet of colors. I really struggled to complete this with what I had on hand. Parts work for me and parts don't. 

A closer look here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

nest material

The OG cusspot was crafted when I was still working in the whine mine, in person. I remember being so satisfied with the shape and the speed at which it manifested. It's been hard at work in the traveling stitch bag for all these years catching the stuff I stopped throwing on the floor when I found bits of string in some cat hurk. I still don't know which hairy fool was dumb enough to swallow thread. 

This morning, it was so full I had to decant it. Amazing how much was crammed in there. Later I'll take it up to the grove and hang chunks in the crape myrtles for the birds to take as nesting material. 

Before I hear from any ornithological experts, there is no piece of thread longer than two inches, so no bluebirds will be garroting one another. I am that cheap. 


The deck is a mess, but the thyme, lavender and the dumpster rose bush made it through the winter.

Thursday, March 07, 2024


Some keep calendars. Some journal. This is the place&time marker that I look forward to each year. 
Instead of keeping this somewhere I can refer to it (as if) I'm going to cut out the samples and tape them to the outside of the jars. The names don't do a good job of conveying what's in those little pots of dust~
~ speaking of dust, I just made the mistake of sneezing in the vicinity of the open container of Raven. I'm only grateful I had my glasses on. I had to start this over as the whole sheet was contaminated with particles of dye. Cleaned my face, blew my nose, and brushed my teeth again. I'm afraid to look in the mirror~

I rarely use colors straight from the can, but I need to keep in mind:
BRONZE, BUTTERSCOTCH, AVOCADO and ROBINs EGG. How their voices are clear and strong. 

And that RAVEN can whisper.  

And Tangerine, Marigold, Golden & Bright Yellow can easily stand alone. 

There was also a pillowcase half full of undyed cloth and three yards of garment-weight linen landed on the doorstep. 


Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Signs (updated)

      🐲 Yes, the Dirty Threads & Hot Scraps Page is missing~

                                                        ~Will be until Summer checks in. 🐲

 Crazy, but true. I'm putting this and all stitching projects on hold until I can make more threads. I realized this morning that a big part of the slowdown is me staring at what's left of the stash and not finding what the piece needs at any given moment. I don't want to settle, so, a pause. 

Something I've noticed. I need a wider range of VALUES no matter what the hue. 

Does anybody have any strange questions regarding my process? I'm starting to put together a tutorial. 

Do I really have to do a history?       (Why not, lazy bitch. Maybe you won't forget something important.)

Right here I have to remember that Less is Often More.

                                    According to the editing team, I have a lot of other things to do.

Monday, March 04, 2024

Organically slow

 Why is it that the smallest hurts take longer to heal as we age? 

I did some lefting for a few hours here and there. My thumb is better. But placing and drawing needle and thread with your non-dominant hand does things to the brain. Found myself on some unexpected and revelatory thought trains. A mini acid trip. Spring (mental) cleaning. 

I remain a NYer at heart not trusting March for much. Here, I may still have a jump on some gardening. I have weeds and seeds and hope. 

(I forgot about the music. That's some sexy shit, eh?   "Night Lights" by Gerry Mulligan, 1961)

Friday, March 01, 2024



Just when I'm finding a rhythm outside the heaat space/shape, I tore my right thumbnail to the quick and cannot hold a needle. Typing reverts to hunt and peck.

So, a few days away. There are many other things. 

I found the perfect ampersand and the title of my next book. 
Maybe it will be stitched.

Note the changes in the pages bar. Scraps and threads are sold out for now.