Tuesday, March 20, 2018

at hand

My friend Grace is in a new, strange and limiting place. She's working with just whats at hand. The comments tell the tale as much as the picture.

It took me ten minutes to choose these. I took the picture and tossed them back into the sea of cloth.

My biggest art challenge has always been an almost compulsive need to use every crayon in the box. Limiting my pallet has always been painful.

The black & white series from '12-'13 was a sideways attempt to face that issue. Slick me, I found out just how many shades of gray there are between those two poles. Then my life kind of came unglued and I'm still finding my way.

We made it through the storm with no trauma or damage 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Storm watch

Heavy weather always reminds me of you watching me pretending to be scared.
Your sheltering love lingers.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

my cloth addiction is now yours!

You knew it was coming. Just like Spring, a sale! Between now and March 30 all Fat Baggies will be $23.50 including postage to the US. As (sadly) ever, if you are outside of the US, email me and I'll let you know what the $$postage would be.

(I'll be off to FOF2018 the first week in April, so 3/30 will be my last shipping day for a while.)

 Presently picking from this DEEP and WIDE collection.  Snips of silk, swaths of lawn, pinches of flannel. Damask, linen, broadcloth, sheeting,  dismembered shirts, dresses, slacks - Stuff from back in time! All graduates of the Lawrenceville Frankenstein Academy of Color Transformation.

There are so many different pieces in this batch there will be ZERO duplicates in each bundle. I'm stuffing 6x9 bulletproof plastic bags as full as I can and still seal them.

This way to the shop!


When words fail, stitch will hold it all together.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


For days I have been pulling tubs of cloth from the closet. 99% are going into the wider world. This is a BIG basket. A hamper. 18" across and 30" deep, heaped to the brim! After each shot, I dug deep and pulled a fresh batch of inmates to the surface. Zoom in!  All bound for Fat Baggies and someone else's' inspiration.

 There is every possible type of natural cloth going on here.

Cotton lawn, huck, broadcloth, flannel, sheeting, gauze, linen, silk. A few snips of some poly sparkle for fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Have I told you lately that I love you?

learning to pace

I was going to take advantage of the strong morning light and work on Wanderer for a while but after just a few minutes, it hurt too much to sit up. Coffee and drugs are necessary. Today will be a reading and writing day.

Sweetie and I wait for the Aleve to kick in.  Charlie and I had a great day yesterday, but I bit off more than I could choke down what with getting him in and out of a car seat in the back of a two-door eight times in two hours. Soon I'll be teaching him how to buckle himself in and my problem will be solved.

But - all scrap orders made it to the post office, and Charlie was properly entertained, napped, fed and exercised. Today I pay, but it was so worth it to be in his company doing fun stuff.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

hard sun

I had a little time to kill this morning before Charlie arrived. The sun coming in over the birthday chair was fierce - the trees have barely budded so it will be like this for another ten days, give or take.

I'm appreciating how my hand-dyed threads have fast and furious color changes. It makes for interesting lines.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

a Contest for the Whole Planet

(and nearby galaxies if you can send me a postage paid envelope!)

I was clipping and churning the Fat Baggy bucket this morning. I'm pulling cloth from the closet that dates back to when I first started experimenting with dyes.
Much of the really old stuff is good quality cotton - I used to buy cloth, can you imagine? There is a piece that's all swirls of red and yellow - it was crammed, dry, into a three-foot x 2-inch clear vinyl tubing and the dyes poured in the opposite ends while I watched the colors travel, meet and party!

Anyway, I dropped my big scissors into the tub and while rooting around for them, came up with the treasure below. No way to know how old or where it came from. The embroidery/embellishment is too perfect so it's probably manufactured. It's a hankie, a delicate cotton lawn, and it just went bananas for the color I was slinging this most recent dye season.

Send me an email with your mailing address from anywhere in the whole wide world and, at the end of the month, I'll have a drawing and will send this little treasure to the winner. I'll have the drawing on 3/31.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


Picking orders from this large tub of tasties today with my eyes closed so I won't be tempted to re-route any of this into the river basket.

Looks like an all-day rain today, dreary as hell, but I won't complain. Waiting on pictures of the spring snow headed for my friends in the northeast. Stay snug, y'all.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

traveling vs wandering

I've never had a flight canceled out from under me and never lost a bag. Both in one day? I guess the two go hand in hand. This - now titled "Wanderer" was in my duffel along with all my favorite comfort clothing. It took an extra day, but everything is safe at home, hand-delivered by Delta. Who knows where this thing (and my clothes) has been? As Charlie told me, "It's a mystery."

It was an unexpectedly fast turnaround. In NY for only two days, I beat the storm out of town! Sorry for those left behind who are still without power.

Monday, February 26, 2018

just plain fun

I really need to record some of the conversations. He is so funny sometimes.

That's his Dad sneaking up behind us in the park today.

I'll be off to visit the sibs in NY for a short week. Change of scenery at this time of year? Bonus!

Friday, February 23, 2018


The week has been consumed by preparing to go.

I have this small clutch of scrap bundles ready to go. Three of them heavily blue as requested by another customer. If you order today, I will get them to the post office tomorrow! Then it will be a week before I'm back to shopkeeping as I'll be in NY for a short visit with the family.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

a soft day

Warm and soft, windows and doors open this morning while I talk with family in NY about their half a foot of fresh snow.

I finally got a chance to use some of my own dirty thread. It does make me edgy to think that I only have one skein like this. Planning on making a big batch when I'm at FOF18 at the ACA in New Smryna Beach, FL in April.

I stitched while I waited for my lunch date. He's getting to be quite a conversationalist.

He's fond of large plastic eggs. Filling them with whatever small treasures. Hiding them, discovering and opening them as if they appeared spontaneously.

I asked him, "What's in this one?" ( the same one he's been playing with for an hour)

He replied, "It's a mystery!"

Saturday, February 17, 2018


After days and days of cold and drear, the sun stopped by for tea. I opened all the doors and windows and turned off the furnace.

This was about 4pm in my living room. I hated to go.

Intention of line

Lines that define space, lead the eye, or both. Cloth and words.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

blue Valentine

because someone asked, I made up a handful of fat baggies that are mostly blue.

as of this post, there are four left and one full-color campfire.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

on the mend

And while I stitched, Charlie worked at catching up on the sleep he lost last night as he battled the flu.

A mild case of type A, he was fever free for this day.


Reassing lines and transitions.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

stalls, stops & starts

Somewhere on the web today someone spread around a bunch of Kandinsky and my brain lost any organization as I wallowed in the colors and shapes.

This called to me from the UFO shelf in the closet. Time for finishing. 
A lot of things need finishing - resolution. 


Friday, February 09, 2018

crass commercialism Friday

Ordered a Fat Baggy yesterday? It will be on it's way to you in a couple of hours! Good excuse to drag my ass out of the house.

I pulled four different tubs to pick this lot. Stuff I haven't laid eyes on in years.

I put on some good music (I've been on an Alan Parsons Project, Steely Dan, Grateful Dead tear lately, with a healthy dash of Motown) pick up a piece and chop it into nine pieces, not hard logistically, whether by ripping or cutting. Then I sort them out into nine piles. Eight for sale and, you guessed it, one for me. One of these days I'll just bust out my own hoard and let those go too.

(T. I made up two very different ones for your double order. There should be little to no duplication.)

Thursday, February 08, 2018


Beautiful fruit from Chile has started turning up in the grocery stores.

I will have to hide this from her because she will knock it off the table, fang it a bit and leave it.

Like Jude said, Words have worn thin. So I'll have to keep my eyes open for pictures.

I love seeing what other people are doing with my Dirty Threads.

Tomorrow, I'll be making up a bunch of orders for scraps...pictures of that will happen.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

rainy day mending

A good place to start when creative needlework is out of reach. Fix, repair, replace. In this case, one of my Dixie minks has a hole over the pocket. Not sure I like that purple. To be continued.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Dirty threads

I kept the best for myself, but it's time to plan for more.      April seems a long way off.

What have you done with your dirty threads?

Sunday, January 28, 2018


Just seeing if the fingers remember. I have a few spools of metallic thread that I could never get the Janome to like. Not the best for handwork, but they slow me down, which is good.

I'm a bit burned out right now, writing-wise. They say that happens when you are coming up to the end and realize that you have to start from the beginning with a new set of eyes, a different mindset, and really sharp knife.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


So amazed at his skills.

The old steps at the front entrance were beyond decrepit. Nerve-wracking and treacherous. While I spent the day with Charlie, Colin made this happen. I love the smell of fresh-cut wood but I guess this will have to be stained or painted.

The little extra width on each step will be home to my shade loving houseplants when the weather comes to its senses.

Now what to do with the trashed out gardens on either side of the walkway. We sawed the evil holly bushes off at the root.  One project at a time...

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

the habit wanes

because, this...(from last May)

It's very easy to let this habit of reporting slip away when nothing creatively shareable is going on. Writing is like that. Raw first drafts are hard enough to share with other writers in small groups. You are lucky if you can find crit partners who will be both straight with you
I've bored the cat.
and instructive. I've recently been that lucky and have been giving most of my free time over to the first draft, which is morphing into its first major revision.

Stitchers, imagine, if you will, a piece you've labored on, mostly in secret (shades of Quilt National!) - an epic piece, say 8 feet by 22 feet - that's right, I said FEET, not inches.  And so the powers that be have let you know that No Way will it ever see the light of day in that form and you have to make a triptych out of it. Somehow hacking it into hangable pieces.

At first, the rebel in me said, "Fuck you and your pony!" but after looking at this steaming pile of  222+k of words for a while, I think I've found a way to serve both the muse and the commercial masters, namely, publishers. Only time and a whole lot more writing and rewriting will tell.

Update. Nope. Can't chop it up. Last word count, 229,745.  I'm looking for beta readers.
 If you think you might be interested send an email.      deborah*at*lacativa.com

Monday, January 15, 2018

a vanished week

That was the week that was, but it's Charlie Monday still. No going out in this crappy cold and I don't want to be too far from any facilities. He's working hard at this toilet training thing.

He's also completely fed up with having his picture taken. 

Nothing fibrous going on other than yesterday I packed some cloth up to travel. None of what I was handling spoke to me much.

The weekend was spent at a micro-retreat for a local writers group. We wrote, we ate, we kvetched. Like that.

I bumped up against the idea that the scene I've been having trouble with has only been giving me trouble because it's done and it's close enough to the end to warrant some fireworks, but they are coming up very soon.

Sunday, January 07, 2018


Like most everyone I know, winter of the body and the soul continues. Part of me says, "Hey, Yankee, it's only the beginning of January. Suck it up!"  All we have had here in this part of Georgia is cold temperatures.

It's been colder and we've done it without central heat. It's the soul cold that I'm feeling today.

At night, between callers, I've been mindlessly using up the rest of the mystery string. I was thinking about a different configuration, something that hangs with a hole on the side so that birds might make nests.  There are also a half dozen new potholders at work down in the kitchen. Same fiber, same outsized gauge. For scale, that is the large spool of Sulky cotton.

And these are my rescues from Kroger.