Wednesday, April 26, 2017

breathing color

You would think the dyefest would be underway by now. It just hasn't been hot enough. All revved up and nowhere to go....

Saturday, April 22, 2017

rescues



These were from the marked down cart at the grocery store. touched with today's sunrise. They may only have a few days of glory left, but I will appreciate each minute.

Same day I rescued a half dozen snapdragons and a gorgeous Boston fern from the "less than perfect, less than half price" aisle at the big box store. I'm really glad that people are stupid this way.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

toast

Several times I've picked this piece up and couldn't find what I wanted to do next. Generally, that means, done. finished. I need to back it, square it up and set it free.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

testing

mostly because I had housework to NOT do.

This is post wash, rinse and dried in the sun. Gives me a good idea of what it in the jar, no matter how it thinks it looks. Some need doctoring but I rarely use them straight anyway. The black, Raven, by Dharma, is rich and promising.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

a new stitcher

Spent the day with Charlie again. As ever, he was intrigued with whatever I was putting my hand to. After we got back from our maiden voyage to the park, he gobbled his lunch and napped.

I was working on this when he got up and he was full of questions and anxious to get "hands on". First, I showed him that needles were sharp. With some healthy respect for the tool, I let him pull the needle and thread, setting the stitch. He understands 'slow and gentle' and the thread behaved. After a few stitches, he was content with playing with the spools of thread. I just remembered that these are the same hoops that my grandma Nell put in my hands when I was four or five.


I need to find out about making sage smudges before this plant takes over the pot


Sunday, April 09, 2017

some Sunday stitch



Once the trees in the front yard leaf out, I won't have this morning light from the east. For now, there's an hour, give or take. I take it when I can.




Until we give it thought, heart and soul, it's just so much cloth and thread.








Time passes, the cloth speaks and stories take shape.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Cusspots explained


 The name "cusspot" came to me out of the blue (like all my titles do) when I was thinking about how to name these little containers that I started crocheting at work rather compulsively. When I made the first one, I put it on my desk and put a few coins inside with the notion that the nickel and three pennies might breed like hangars in the closet tend to. Didn't happen.

Then I remembered how some offices and families have a Swear Jar that you have to put money into if you swear out loud, as a kind of punishment or deterrent to bad language. Where I grew up you got five upside the eyes for anything past "Hell" or "Damn" (and those got you the very evil eye). Of course, we swore like sailors when the parents were not within earshot.

I swear a LOT on my job, violently and elaborately, but inside my head, at my customers. I curse them all, need it or not. It keeps me from burnout. My little crocheted container would never hold a day's worth of swearing fines, they were not big enough to be real Swear Jars, they were merely CUSSPOTS.

I started poking thread ends into it instead of letting the bits fall where ever and getting more evil eyes from the vacuum cleaner guy late in the evening. The threads stuck to the office carpet like crazy and he had to spend extra NOISY ANGRY minutes around my desk once a week. In the spring, I pulled all the thread bits out and left them in the shrubs around the office for birds to make nests with.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

the waitlings

That snowdrift is just part of the cloth that I will be dying this season.

The package from Dharma arrived today with the rest of the colors. I forgot to buy urea, but in all honestly, I never use it anyway.

The deck itself is awash in storm trash from yesterday and winter long neglect. The lunatics at the weather bureau indicate that the temps will be in the 80s all next week. It could happen.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

for immediate rehoming

"Firefly Cotillion"  2010

That "immediate rehoming" is an amusing euphemism for "Buy Me Now". Until I can come up with something better, it will do.

This piece is hand dyed vintage cottons, damasks, some commercial prints, the base a Japanese import - all gifts or magical finds. It's hand stitched and embroidered and permanently mounted to a 16x20 canvas, ready to be framed or hung as is. You can click through for a larger image.

  $150.00 includes flat UPS shipping to anyone in the US. International customers, I'll have to get you a price. Please email me  if you are interested. 

I'm in the serious process of clearing out the studio. After a week here, I'll be moving posts like this to the Buy Art! It's Good For You page.




Saturday, April 01, 2017

time tripping



A new reader to my blog is working her way through the years and the statcounter notifies me.



This germ of an idea from November, 2010 eventually became the launching pad for this late in 2012/



angels watch

We had a powerful storm the night before last. I was working (the day job) in the studio at and called my supervisor to tell her that I was going offline until the storm passed.

The lightning, wind and thunder seemed to be right on top of us. I could barely hear the callers and was pretty uncomfortable being tethered to something with power running through it. I never heard this happening behind the house.

So, the tree guy was here yesterday and we both stood a long time being amazed at how very lucky the House of Lacativa was.  He calculated that, yes if that tree (those two trunks come from one huge base) had fallen toward the house it would have taken the pool, the deck and, depending on the angle, me in my bed.

As things lean now, they pose no hazard and would cost thousands to be removed. There are two remaining that have to be taken down as soon as $800 materializes from thin air. Deep and profound gratitude keeps me going.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

the rainbow plunge continued

I'm so glad I kept this as a record of last years colors - not that I wrote anything down, of course. I'll be taking a different heading when the mixmagik starts in the coming days. We've had one or two warmish days but nothing close to what's needed for optimum results. I've waited this long...


the OG RBF

I had to ask the spawn to translate his title suggestion.

"Original Gansta Resting Bitch Face"

Yes, that's exactly how it was.
1967. The photographer and a few of my female classmates who, moments before had been giving me grief about not wearing makeup, were going to great lengths to make me smile.

They couldn't pay me enough.

All I could think of was, "This shit is nearly over"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

taking the rainbow plunge



Raven, Daffodil, Tangerine, Pagoda Red, Rasberry, Grape, Peacock, Bronze, Silk Black, Golden Yellow, Scarlet, Turquoise, Curry, Nickle, and Avocado.

Jelly jars await you!

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!