Saturday, January 14, 2017

the bounce

Even as I come to terms with the realization that, for a while, I've been just waiting to die, I can turn on a dime and say "No" because there's still so much to do. (Stitchers know this instinctively which is why we always have a backlog of UFOs.)

There's this! Saving for the convention last year taught me buckets about budgeting for luxuries. Sell the silver? Why not. One way or another I'm gonna sell all these comic books. Jim would approve heartily.

the Liberty Clipper

Next week there will be a much-needed change of pace. A few days in the mountains with a few fellow artists. Art supplies, food, drink, and good company if we all don't wind up in jail.

In addition to unfinished fiber art, I have outlines for three more books clamoring for me to finish the one I've been working on, a house in mid-dilapidation that needs a miracle and a family who needs me. Much worthy shit to attend to. No time for whining.

Friday, January 13, 2017

condition dark

  When all you want to do is talk to someone and you can't so you talk to yourself, but it doesn't help.  You run out of words and tears after a while and go still.

Then you listen. In the stillness, there is music and voices from your heart and you go on.

(this wonderful photo by Lynn McCarthy)

Thursday, January 12, 2017


"a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement."

I took enough French in high school to know what "le mot juste" means. They usually have a beautiful word for something shitty. "Ennui" is one of them. I'm not usually prone to such nonsense. I guess, at this time of year, it's better than the flu.

I know I've been awol here for some time. Little to nothing to report on the fiber front other than I'm still in the process of repurposing the studio. Not phasing out fiber entirely. Just looking for a clean slate I guess. The
Closet from Hell has been sorted and ordered, mostly. My biggest issue if dealing with the storage of finished work. 

I have made the decision to do any further reporting here, doing everything I can to get away from the depressing quagmire called FB. And I used to think that online scrabble was a time suck! Instead of bitching I'm going to mine it for the good stuff and provide the linkage here, even if it's only for my own amusement. 

So, stand by, things will be picking up around here shortly. What and how remains to be seen but, I'm going back to being my own best audience, regardless of what  

Friday, January 06, 2017

fresh out of kumbaya

Thinking about ways cloth speaks. Banners, uniforms.

If I hang this in my front yard, there would be serious repercussions. The same if I were to hang the confederate flag. Passions run high when people are afraid.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Bonny blue

This color is being confrontational with me lately. "Bonny Blue" was discontinued some years back. It refuses to disappear. Ok.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

the dregs

A cold and rainy day was a great excuse to not start my daily walking routine. Who really wants pneumonia?

There was a long-promised piece of repair work to do. Of course, mending called for the great annual cleanout of the river basket. I found things in there that have been missing for months! My favorite knife. A book of stamps. Lots of unspooled thread in nests. No mice.

So I bagged and sorted and discarded and relocated for a while. Got the mending done.

These bits were floating around under everything else. I'll keep them together and see if they strike up a voice.

That mending? About forty tiny, blind stitches.  white on white. It looks like I was never there.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Choo choo Charlie

An over-busy day interrupted in the sweetest way. There were some early presents to play with.

Charlie's pirate hat is now an Engineer's hat. I'm worried that his fascination with trains is going to turn out like my girlhood fascination with teams of horses pulling stagecoaches and the like.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wet and raw Georgia winter

All my houseplants are back inside now, possible residents included. The last warm-up was their last chance to make a break for it. But I am going to find some worms to put into the soil around the plants. If there are hungry frogs or lizards in the foliage, well. worms.

I set up the wandering office in the bedroom this morning so I could listen to the rain as I worked.

 It used to be that there was always a TV on in the house somewhere, droning away. The "clank, clank" opening sounds of "Law and Order" were like the chiming of a grandfather clock. I've cut  the cord with Comcast and the house is very quiet now. Too quiet sometimes.

I'm shopping for a used, old school stereo system - the kind with speakers that could double as end tables. And a turntable!

We have a lot of vinyl going to waste. As long as I still have 50% of my hearing, I'm not letting that go to waste either. Screw the neighbors.

Storyteller keeps me on task as I work.

Sweetie is the best office assistant when this is the office. She knows where and how to be useful.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

DIY or call me.

This is Orion approving of a set of window seat cushions I made for his pleasure.

Tomorrow I'll be taking the featherweight and all other pertinent crap to custom fit some closet drapes at his place. There's no decorating challenge that can't be met with a few yards of store-bought batik.

And you thought I was lolling on a beach somewhere.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Annual Crochet fail

Each year, as the chill deepens, I pull out this basket of yarn and start crocheting madly. It's five skeins of Lion brand Homespun. I love the feel of this yarn, working and finished. Soft, cushy and very forgiving of stitch errors. What errors with all that fuzziness going on and a big J hook?

I don't really know how to crochet. It's kind of a spiders-on-acid effect  with more or less "air" depending on my mood.

Over the course of a few hours while watching TV, I cranked out an irregularly shaped piece about a foot square before I had to start work.

By the end of my shift (spent at a keyboard) my right wrist was in fierce pain. Aleve and rest and leave that stuff alone!

Would anyone like some yarn?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Shop Keeping

Spent the morning ripping and packing. Fat Baggies were shipped today and I made some unassigned to owners so all I'll have to do is slap on an address and postage.

 I keep wondering if and when I'm going to run out of interesting cloth, then I find another tub out of the closet, start picking and stop wondering. I think they are breeding in there the way wire coat hangers used to when you left two in the front closet.  Believe it or not, these six are identical in source fabrics, that way it's very unlikely that you'll get two pieces of fabric alike in one order. New addition - pieces of a rayon velvet scarf in deep red shading to chestnut from my very first adventures in dyeing.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Charlie Monday

It's a Charlie Monday. We spend the whole day together working it out. He is a delightful tornado of life and love. There is no doing anything else as he expects and deserves total engagement.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Mom's Christmas cactus is struggling. I have to find the right kind of soil and a decent clay pot it can become rootbound in. Any advice from experts would be welcome.

The turkey is in the oven. Our tribe is very small this year. Jake, Missy, and Charlie are over the river and through the woods. Colin has the tail end of the flu so guests were warned off. I could allow for melancholy but there's too much to be thankful for. Balance, even now. Happy Thanksgiving.

Time for work in the studio. Peel a few potatoes and then beck to revisions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

plans change

As small as our Thanksgiving celebration was going to be, it's going to be necessarily smaller. Colin seems to have the flu and I wouldn't want to guess at when he is no longer a danger to people at risk.

I've made some sense of the cloth I have and hand and have started free-piecing a new "Picnic in Hell", but I think I'll come up with a new name for it. It's going to get big and I have no plans on finishing it by Christmas. Sometime in the coming cold months will do just fine.  My phone camera is seeing pink and purple where there is almost none..this is a very warm quilt, colorwise.

Trying to find a balance between writing and working the cloth because the next book will incorporate both.

Friday, November 18, 2016

catching up

 I spent an entire week in a strange city in close proximity with 100+ strangers and ate all manner of food and did not get sick. So much for my Howard Hughes syndrome. I had to go shopping here at home to find a bag of cut-up lettuce that seems to have missed getting washed.

TWO DAYS of Montezuma's revenge later (no pictures, please) I've sworn off lettuce unless I grow it myself. I must be feeling better because I just finished cleaning The Oven That Had Never Been Cleaned and, necessarily, washing the kitchen floor and I'm not laying on the couch. There will be Turkey this year.

Here are a few more random pics from Salem. A lot of the storm drains are fabulously arted up like this to remind people that the ocean is just a few blocks away and the denizens there would rather you didn't dump nasty shit down the drains.

These payphones were in the hotel lobby. I regret not giving one a try. I sat on the bench across from them  for a long time remembering how central these were in my life long ago. Everyone's lives.

They will still work when all the cell service goes down, but they can only call each other and land lines. Will they know how to find each other?
 Do you know any land line numbers?
Mine is 770.925.0138. I might just answer.

I have so many story lines waiting to use the phones. Remember?

This photo was on a shelf in the nook where the grand old dame read my cards. Furio is either one of her regulars or she's a big fan.

And this mess. Just like I left it although I'm going to have to kick it into gear because  there are Christmas gifts to be made.  Onward.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Salem Commons

thanks to everyone who ordered a fat baggie this past week. I've been away at the WUUCON writer's conference in Salem, Ma learning how much I don't know about writing. I'll be filling those orders once I get home and sleep 12 hours straight.

It's been great being in the same boat with a lot of fun and interesting people who are all afflicted with the compulsion to write.

Salem is a unique small town, it's dedication to it's tourism makes for a comfy, friendly, if expensive, vistit.
New England in the fall is everything I remember and love. Tomorrow is the last day and I'll savor every minute.

Mr./Ms.? Tag up there in B&W is the waiting room concierge at Magika where I had a most wonderful and encouraging tarot card reading today. As if I needed the cards to tell me how lucky I was and how I am loved and protected from beyond. Still, how in the heck did she know that Salvador was my first choice for a first name for my first born? Jimmy was not amused and I conceded. Madam Bruno knew.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

shop stuff

All this is one fat baggy about to be packed and shipped. I found another  large tub of exotics!  I'm going out of town for a week, so if you order today, I won't be shipping until the 15th.   You know you want one.   Let me know.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


Whew. Between family stuff (all good) and getting ready for my trip, my days seem to be about 11 hours long and not much of that for sleep. Excited, is she?

For the first time in my life, I'm not packing the night before I leave. Throwing stuff from one side of the closet to the other and back again. Trying to pack for New England weather even though I don't own (and won't buy) a coat. Ten bucks says I wear the same ratty sweater and jeans all week long.

There was this 

Thought about making and taking a small stitching kit. yes, no? Let it be known that I can actually sew on a button? Bet I'm among the very few who can.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

More babyworks

Finally got this boxed up and sent. Fingers crossed that it gets there before Vinny Boombatz arrives, not that he'll care a whole lot one way or another. I know a month from now he'll be dazzled by the colors.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

cloth, get busy!

The cloth for the notebook cover was dyed six years ago! I was working on a series trying to recreate the palettes from some J.W. Turner paintings. They turned out to be so tasty that I quickly hid them away. Nothing is sacred around here anymore when it comes to cloth.

This one, from the same series, was incorporated into one of my favorites...

Monday, October 24, 2016

crossroads updated

 I wanted something special by way of a notebook to take to the conference in two weeks and foolishly bought one of those ponderous 5 star, 5 subject spiral bound things. Once it got here I found that weighs nearly as much as my laptop.

So I'm out getting the usual at the grocery store and picked up an ordinary, soft cover compostion book with an eye toward traveling light.

Later, I was sorting cloth and came across this in my Holy Relics basket. The overall brownish-ness of it made me think of a grocery store paper bag. Then I remebered how we used to dismembered those bags to cover our textbooks. I fiddled with it for a while, remembering how, then put one of the folds on the outside instead of hiding it on the inside, giving it pockets for what-not on the outside. No stitches required, just the press of time and use.

All my sacred, "can't cut into them" cloths are going to become book protectors, born again into Utility.

I anchored the flaps with tails. Just a frill.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Home Improvement time!

This time last year I was celebrating the brand new heating and air system. This year - a badly needed new roof. Who knew how much damage there was up there from wind and hail? State Farm and TruTech knew and I'm a happy camper.

This was the tarped-over view from the studio. A beautiful light.

The crew was here before it was fully light and soon it sounded like a tribe of rabid Sufi's on crack were working it out on the roof. Sweetie and Juicy disappeared for parts unknown and I even bugged out for a couple of hours of quiet.
Their generators bothered me more than the banging, I think.

They finished and cleaned up by five. I'm having some hedge tidying done soon so I'll wait on the after photos. It's a good feeling. I know Jim would be pleased with the work and the outcome - a big boost to the value of our home.

I feel Jim's love and protection here as strongly as ever. This was my last birthday gift from him,  taking a few hours of fresh air and sunshine.    10.14.13

Monday, October 17, 2016

it's Charlie Monday

I'll be leaving in a little while to spend the day with him. We went to the park yesterday and he was less impressed with one of the new features than I was but we had a good, wearing-out time, nonetheless.

He's gone from two words to three and now four-word repetitions of almost anything one says. All you have to do is pause and wait for him like a little bell's echo. It's amazing. He still says a lot that I don't get and I worry that it's partly my hearing loss. I don't want to frustrate him or make him think that Nana is a dummy.

The coat project is looking to be a fizzle for this season. I almost never wear a coat anyway. But, I won't pitch it or give it away. Just back burner it and see what comes.  There was some long looking and touching here.

I've been pretty much consumed by the first draft of my book lately. Discovered that the expression "First Draft" actually means "Take a hard look and start over with an axe."

The word is RESOLVE

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

gratitude and the coat project

One of my favorite pictures popped up in FB this morning. I have it as a screen saver on my cell phone. Now that little baby looks at it and says, "Nana and baby Charlie....awww."

The picture comes from an old post that I make a point of revisiting around this time of year, as a gift to myself.

So I started work on that coat. Found a selection of gaudy two-toned rayons that just dazzled me until I'd spent a few hours pinning them up and down one lapel of the coat. I was reminded of the recent spate of evil clown sightings and have changed my mind about using strong color. Back to the baskets.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Saturday, October 01, 2016

coat project #2

 This coat repaving is going to be harder than I thought, not execution-wise. I love free-motion nail-downs. I get on a roll and have to guard against stitching my fingers in.  It's the color/design that is going to be hard to decide on.

I was plucking through my private stash, concentrating, really being critical and found a length of fringed black-fade-to-white linen that stopped me in my tracks.

 Should I go for the B&W graphics to accentuate the elegance of the cut or just go hog-wild with color and admit that I really like the idea of that Holy Elephant only I want to be the artist.

The plan is a great deal of ripping, cutting and pinning and rearranging before I even think of threading the machine.

Friday, September 30, 2016

the coat project

Have you ever tried on a coat or dress and the cut, fit and cloth were just so right that you had to smile? This sucker fits me like it was tailor made.

Then, you looked in the mirror and something about it  just so off. So wrong, but not so wrong that wishful thinking made you buy it anyway.

This garish embellishment runs the length of both sides of the front of the calf-length coat and spans the shoulders. I kinda look like the Maharaja's favorite elephant on a holy day.

I got it from the second-hand store for a pittance so, a rescue attempt began. Got out my handy stitch ripper and started to remove the acres of machine embroider. After an hour, I gave up and tossed the coat into the "be gone" corner of the closet.

A little while ago, I picked it up and tried it on again and got that same "Love Me" glow. Then it occurred to me that nothing would be lost if I tried paving over all this grotesquerie with my own cloth embellishing. The Janome is feeling feisty. I've been fondling my stash and know what I have to work with....what's to lose?

Progress pictures as we roll.................

Sunday, September 25, 2016

small trials

Coming up for air after the worst head cold in memory. For forty-eight hours I was too sick to complain. Grateful to be upright and quasi-functional. I was so grateful for two full and productive days poolside last week  that it didn't matter that I was sneezing and sniffling until I sat down at the computer for the day job and realized that I couldn't talk or make sense of what I was seeing on the screen. Over-medicated much? None of it was making a dent in any of my symptoms and I discovered that more was not better. To bed.

It's past and over. So what used to take 24 hours now takes 48, a concession to age that I'm now willing to acknowledge.

This basket of delights is a fat baggie (picked with gloves and a mask!) that will be flying home tomorrow.