Friday, March 24, 2017

fridays off

It was perfect weather for stitching outside this afternoon. Light bright, but not hot. Breezes just a kiss. No phone and a little good music. Felt like a celebration. (in the harsh light of the next morning - this is avoidance activity. My house is a mess, day to day housework behind, the outside stuff hanging fire and there is now a huge gap in the novel where I've ripped out a big, complex scene.  Today, sitting and stitching feels like gorging on chocolate. but I'm an addict, so......

Thursday, March 23, 2017

elements become story



"Grand RĂªver"  2012

It's been pinned up to the design wall where I can see it while nothing much is in my head.

It provokes stories.
How words become sentences and sentences take on life when they gather to become story.

I should back this one. Finish it finally.



See the whole piece here




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Charlie yesterday

Don't let this picture of domestic tranquility fool you. Charlie had a stomach virus over the weekend and was still feeling it a bit on Monday.

I honestly don't recall either Colin or Jake being "terrible twos" except one or two outbursts in public places - I walked off and left them to it, groveling on the floor of the grocery store, but those were simpler times - but Charlie is working on perfecting his act. At one point I had to walk into the next room because I didn't want to laugh in his little face.

You can almost see the little wheels turning when he pitches a fit when he's denied some unreasonable request. If I could conjure bananas from thin air, my darling I would and if I did, I'm fairly positive you would then refuse to eat them!!  This too, shall pass.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

conjuring thread

I can't use it straight from the spool. Blending two, three, even four depending on what stitch and where it's going.

Metallics are always troublesome, but worth it.

A long time ago I bought a kit with a drop spindle and some tufts of raw cotton and wool. The spindle got broken on the flight home.  Probably divine intervention.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

holding stitch for now


Family and friends in the northeast are experiencing blizzard conditions and I feel for them.

It's cold and raw here in Georgia. I know that if I curl up in the sewing chair with this right now, I'll likely nod off.

It's been a busy, productive day already and work in the Whine Mines looms at 4pm.

 I surrender to the Goddess Nap.





and these below, from yesterday, a great Charlie Monday.

Friday, March 10, 2017

the week that was


It's Friday. How did that happen when I wasn't looking? I got to spend a chunk of last weekend with my favorite short person. Charlie had a tough week. Turns out that he was coping with ear infections with no real red flags for we who love him. He's a trooper.



I've been fending off a cold of my own for a day and it looks like it's gotten the upper hand. The hour or so I spent outside today stitching in the sun made me forget about it for a while. At the rate I'm putting my hand to this one, it's going to be a while. I just don't have the hours and hours for stitching that I used to.



Friday, March 03, 2017

anticipation


Even as March has plunged us back into what I've come to expect from winter in Georgia, I'm excited for the dye season to begin. I can't even put my finger on why and don't plan to try.  I had to reach back to '12 and '13 for these pictures. I'm scraping the bottom of the cloth barrels!

The cloth has come first. thrift shop finds and gifts from another artist who is downsizing. I'm still on the lookout for vintage, damaged and otherwise orphaned cloth. The stranger the better. Cotton, linen, rayon or silk.

I'm craving clear, strong colors and have been bouncing back and forth between Dharma and ProChem, window shopping, working very hard at NOT selecting my traditional base palette. I don't know why I bother buying the "pure" colors because I never use them that way. My dyestock always has at least two mother tones.

I already have soy wax I'm coveting those complex, layered colors banging up on sharp edges against snow whites islands. And textures from the usual bizarre sources. Buggy cereals, oatmeal, rice...you name it. My pantry needs a purge badly.

Back to window shopping for the dyes.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Charlie Monday

I'm going to have to hang on to this past Saturday to get me through the rest of this week.

Future engineer and I spent a nice piece of the day at the courts. It was resolved early that he could not play on the equipment without a bigger kid (and not Nana) to help him in high places, so he was content to make repairs on Spencer and chase a ball around the court until we were both tired. A sweet day,

Friday, February 24, 2017

Not My President

 Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.


Friday things


Things in my line of sight and thoughts this Friday.  I litter my desktop with images and thought it would be something to share here.



These are camellias. They grow practically wild here in Georgia, but not on my land. I'll have to find some and move them here.













This is from an artist's studio that Colin is building. The owner wants to use recycled materials whenever possible. A stack of windows was rescued from a dumpster area yesterday. Today they are back doing their work.






Two very elder tuxedo cats that I know are hanging in there, living the good life.

We like to believe that they know how good they have it, but I think they are so perfectly self-contained that anything less would never occur to them.





Big Mama Blue now has a tribe and will get a fresh coat of paint herself, once pollen season passes. I waited a few days too long.

















And of course...........baseball!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

stitching as driving

An experiment this morning.

After spending some time with the manuscript - and running into mental walls and dead ends - I picked up the stitch and decided on the passage, line and colors I wanted.

I wanted the thread to be substantial, but blend, I mixed three strands of machine rayon and one of the 12wt cotton. Experience said they would not play nicely, but I ignored that even as they fought me at the round-eyed needle. I finally had to switch to an embroidery needle even though the rayon is thin as hair.

First pass = a nasty backside nest. "STOP NOW! and go upstairs and get the damn thread magic.

Once the thread was dressed properly, stitching smoothed out.


 There was no TV or background music. My hands were busy with what was now a rote task with little course corrections and design considerations happening in small bursts without interference from cranky thread.

The revelation came when I started thinking about the story again. Missing pieces materialized. Emotions came clean, reactions true. Details sharpened the reality. I put down the cloth and went back to the little wireless keyboard that hooks to my tablet. Wrote for a while and went back to stitching.

And here I thought I was going to have to drive across country to get this book finished.


Charlie Monday


We went trekking yesterday. He has too much energy to confine him to the apartment if it's at all nice out.

There will be trips to the park in the near future. Next time, I'll remember the ball and the picnic lunch. This day we shared and ate "magic". Don't know if I'll ever have pictures of those gestures.

He told his Dad how he pulled Uncle Colin's head down to the X at the bottom and made him disappear from my phone.

Sometimes he makes my hair stand on end!

Friday, February 17, 2017

sun day

I took the basket to the park today. Sunny and warmer than it's been. Somewhere I have some sheers that I want to layer to make value changes.

In the meantime, invisible stitching.

The bright white spots on the piece below kept calling my attention to how it was. Very hot soy wax dribbled onto a very white cloth. Left to cool and harden and then flooded with layers of colors that I hated by themselves, but got along famously, by accident.

There was a large piece of this cloth. This is the last of it.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

down and dirty

Flipping this one to the four points of the wind before I nail it down with a name.

It's good to take part in the conversation about making art again. Jude speaking on design here.

Art you can see and touch.

If I don't spend all my time on one or the other, I may actually make some progress.

Also, there is a way-crossing of stitching and writing in my future. A natural path for me. The fabric of Fiction.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Charlie Monday


and a chunk of yesterday too. Spending time with him takes my mind off everything else (like it or not). Sunday he was dragging me into my kitchen every twenty minutes seeing what else I would come up with for him to eat. Today, at his house, all he would eat was applesauce.




On other fronts,  posts about QN17 have started surfacing. No surprise that I haven't found any pictures of the winners, but splashed across the front page of the QN website was the very interesting announcement that artists are no longer restricted from sharing their ongoing work on the web or social media.

It's almost enough to make one think about goals.

Friday, February 10, 2017

that moonlight through the pines


The moon was just about to set when it blazed through the window and woke me saying,
"Quick! Find that damn camera, the one with the night landscape setting!"

A talking moon the least strange aspect of last night.

A night full of carnival ride dreams, cross-country horse chases under artillery fire and ocean crossings.


Woke up exhausted, but exhilarated.


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

refocus

Thread by thread (and there were a lot of them) I snipped this scrap away from the whole once I realized that I was letting stitch dominate the conversation so rigidly. I repositioned it and basted it back into place with a constellation of long, gentle stitches. It's not going to hold up to a lot of handling so I'll attend to it soon.

That done, I moved to another place in the conversation and stitched it secure as invisibly as I could, the object being to let the shapes, colors, textures and overall design speak first. After all, those things pleased my eye first.

The vernacular of stitch will be last and more like song than spoken (printed) word. I hope. I have a tendency to overwork stuff.

there really are stitches all over this.
All the while I worked this blueish piece I was thinking about this call for entry.

A friend pointed out that my "voice" might serve that purpose, but in the big scope of an exhibit like this, imagery is going to be key and I have rarely worked in representational fashion. There are so many who do it so well.

The last time for me was also political. The piece was amateurish, thrown together as it was, to make a deadline. It was something I felt strongly about. The beginnings of something very good. A great time for our nation. Things have changed. Strong, passionate and daring voices are called for.

My textile work leaves it to the viewer and I don't see forcing a change to be fruitful in time or resonance. I remind myself over and over that every OTHER person I pass in the street (well, maybe not that many, based on where I live) feels as I do. There is still..
This piece can be seen hanging over the doorway to the meditation/classroom/gallery at the  Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore in Roswell, GA.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

old habits get in the way

My stitching is too tight, too studied. Formulaic. I need to stitch drunk, maybe..

It's too soon to be this specific, this defined. Here's to the joy of picking out hasty stitching.

On a happier front, a brief raw materials hunt today yielded a couple acres of the most incredible cloth I've come across in a long time. Winter white sheets with a density and hand that comes close to chambray. Can't wait to see how this stuff takes up with the dye. It's going to be my '17 debut cloth.  There was no makers label,  only this:

Monday, February 06, 2017

Charlie Monday 2.6.17






He won't remember this small disappointment.




There was a big boy haircut to contend with this weekend, too. And more more molars coming in.



Saturday, February 04, 2017

first pass



same old stitch.
same old comfort.

boundaries will do that.

plans afoot for change. just shaking off the dust for now.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Thursday, February 02, 2017

venturing

I took the river basket (already brimming and mostly untouched from the trip to the mountains) to the park today to get a little vitamin D and a few steps in before I turn into Jabba the Hutt.

I have a little app on my phone that tells me how many steps I take each day. Lately, it's been mocking me as a lame ass. So I lugged everything down to the bocce courts at the park. No bocce players, or anyone else around for that matter.  Took up a whole chess table with my stuff.

For a while, I was a little overwhelmed with too much cloth to choose from. Bit by bit, I found some shapes and a rhythm I liked. Pins everywhere and now for some basting, fudging as I go. It looks like I'm picking up right where I left off, design wise. Not a bad thing. Let the basting begin...I like this part.

.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

upcoming madness

I spent an hour fiddling around at Prochem this morning, making lists. Checking them twice. Since I couldn't come to any hard choices, I'll forfeit the coupon that expires at midnight. I'll live.

It's a real struggle for me to NOT choose my perennial favorites and move a few degrees warmer or cooler in each instance and still stay with the pure colors, not the crazy-assed blends, which I do for myself thanks, PC anyway.  I even found that five-pound box of soy wax that I bought over a year ago.

Monday, January 30, 2017

my heartbeat

It's Charlie Monday and this is where family and friends will find us going forward. Social Media has just gotten too ugly. We'll keep our sweetness close.

He wasn't a happy camper today. Croup kept the whole family up last night and he was off his game, but happy I was there today, for the most part. Directives were scorned, blocks were thrown, but only once.

TMI - potty training temporarily suspended. #$it happens, right?