Archive for the ‘my life in stitches’ Category

breaking ground

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

starting is often the hardest part of any project for me. have been thinking lately of transparency and layers – in terms of my life. (of course, it’s all about me.) no image in mind or even a vague idea of what to do. no car to run fetch fabrics or inspiration. having thought way too much of late, it’s time to move. to act. to start. so i went around the house in search of materials that spoke to me, no explanation needed. just do something, i told myself

so i have a dryer sheet:


a bit of pink satin from a camisole i once wore:


a bit from one of those laundry bags used to wash delicates in the washing machine, a bit of pink lace, and some delicious fabric from a pair of pants that i’ve not gotten around to mending:


cut up a jacket to capture a bit of dragon, something else i’ve been thinking about lately:


the women we are

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

a(nother) week without internet access finds me catching up (again) after enjoying an all-too-short week-long mother/daughter trip to the beaches of hilton head island in south carolina. one of our most favorite spots on earth.


while there, we enjoyed a sunset supper and the full moon from the beach on nearby sea pines:



another night we took a sunset walk on the beach. okay, folks, i admit it: though i love being AT the beach, i do not like being ON the beach. don’t like it AT ALL. i just can’t STAND the feel of salt and sand. (imagine a long involuntary shudder here brought on just by writing about it.) looking at the beach, listening to beach sounds = beyond fabulous. feeling it on my person = not the teensiest bit of fun. if i did every negatively-inclined word in this paragraph in all caps, it wouldn’t be enough to convey just how much i DO NOT LIKE being ON the beach. that’s why this picture of my size 5.5’s ON THE BEACH will undoubtedly prove how much i love my daughter and doing things mother/daughter style. i mean, really.


sometimes it was hard to tell algae from sea critters, and thus we have another reason i do not like being ON the beach (did i mention that before?). though fun to look at something i just don’t see every day, i figure that’s what the zoom lens on the camera is for.


another day we boarded a boat and cruised to nearby savannah. don’t these grasses just BEG to be stitched?




at night we’d sit and stitch: alison knitting a purse to hold her money and key at the upcoming civil war reenactment she will attend, while i worked on alison’s deep dish, a piece that took a decided turn (partly of necessity = scarcity of resources/materials), detouring from the image that appeared to me several months ago into something related-but-different. sitting there stitching with alison those nights in hilton head, i felt compelled to stitch the names of our matriarchial lineage:



(since my freestyle stitched handwriting is barely readable, i opted to do a stitch-over. the marker i used is a fabric marker but not of the erasable variety, so those occasional pen marks that peep out from under the thread? we’ll just consider them “shadows”.)

all too soon, our mother/daughter week at the beach was over, and it was time to head home, a trip that took a mere 14 hours because my car threw a hissy fit on I-95 which meant waiting in front of the convenience-and-liquor store for 2 hours and 17 minutes on a tow truck. temperature in the mid 90s, lovebugs swarmed and proved (once again) their preference for silver cars and our hot, sweaty skin. (can anybody tell me exactly how those disgusting gelanous bugs benefit the big world of nature? i mean, really: what is their role?)

the tow truck driver got there (finally) and despite having been told twice that there would be 2 passengers accompanying the car, still seemed (unpleasantly) surprised to hear that we would be riding with him. he loaded miss T2 (my car) (stands for Miss T’EyeWanda, the word uttered by kathy bates’ character in the movie fried green tomatoes as she repeatedly rams the car belonging to the 2 rude, self-obsessed girls in the walmart packing lot), we hoisted ourselves up the two stories to the cab of his truck, and off we went. we’d scarcely left the parking lot when he announced that he had to go pick up another car. it was near the hospice, he said, but he had no idea where the hospice was. didn’t even know there was one.

because it was now 4:28 and knowing that the dealership and car rental place closed at 6 pm, i took charge: got him to get the address from his dispatcher, googled it on my phone, retrieved the phone number, and called for directions. because the driver seemed decidedly uninterested in the impending possibility that we would be stranded in the parking lot outside a locked car dealership for the next 18 or so hours, i became chatty cathy, encouraging him to talk about his (apparent) favorite topic: his 7 drag racing cars. chevrolets all, one has a $60,000.00 engine and 3 parachutes. all have 1-3 guns (best i can tell, each gun makes the car go faster), and, except for the block, which he subs-out, mike builds the cars all by himself.

he shows more than a bit of his propensity for speed on the ride to first the mechanic’s shop where he delivered the other vehicle then onto the dealership, where we squeaked in with about 27 minutes to spare.

which would have been enough if the young woman – the very one i’d talked to on the phone 4 times that very afternoon – hadn’t been on her way out for a smoking break as we entered. now i don’t know if (a) there was some memory-sucking agent in her cigarette, (b) it was almost quitting time on friday, (c) the end of a long, hard week or (d) all of the above, but in the 12 minutes that expired between her pointing to a table and assuring us that she’d be with us in just a few minutes and her coming back in (looking at us like she’d never seen us before in her life) to inquire if we’d been helped, she had obviously totally forgotten us. and the 9 other people who were clothes in dealership insignia are either blind or big on ignoring customers, because not a single one said so much as “howdoyoudo” as they swarmed around us, filling the “hospitality center” refrigerator (no, he didn’t offer us anything as he good-naturedly endured the ribbing of his coworkers who apparently have had to fill the fridge before); answering the phone: chatting about weekend plans; and (my personal favorite): watching the golf tournament on the big screen tv in the customer hospitality center.


the main thing is: we are safe. no small thing given what ailed miss t2. another adventure fetching miss t2: we got home around 12:30 a.m. (after seeing Les Miserables), napped till 2 a.m, then up and on the road for the 6 hour drive to get my 4-wheeled girl. turned in the rental car, picked up miss t2, and were home by 3 p.m. in time for alison’s voice students.

so that’s enough catching up for now. not much stitching going on this week or in the foreseeable future, really, given that daughter and i are renovating a house, but am hoping to stitch my way through this evening. or maybe i’ll spend my sitting time traipsing through my favorite stitching blogs, reconnecting with e-friends i’ve missed so much. if no stitching to share over the next few weeks, perhaps i’ll post snaps of freshly painted walls or newly-installed light fixtures . . .

glad to be back, i am. so very glad to be back.


roots reunited

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

server issues now seem to be a thing of the past – thank goodness. when i first realized there was a problem last wednesday night, i was frustrated. tried to convince myself that some quiet time would be nice.

it didn’t work.

i missed you.

in cleaning out during my forced electronic exile, i found my old smocking machine, gave her a dab of wd-40, and rolled a piece of batiste through (breaking only 42 needles in the process and inventing more than a few new cuss words). a former jeanne taught smocking and enjoyed smocking clothes for the chiclets.


being a bag lady then and now, i pieced the salvageable ticking fabric from grandmother’s clothespin bag around the smocked panel and created a little tote.



Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

chemical changes. waning chlorophyll production no longer produces enough green to mask and conceal the spectacular, bold, brilliant colors. it’s how we are, the women on my tree. it’s just how we are.


dressed-up linings

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

sometimes we line the jagged holes with shiny, smooth pearls and tell ourselves the oyster story over and over and over again until we are convinced.



Sunday, August 17th, 2008

what if this is FUN? using an xacto knife i’d forgotten i had, i made three cutouts then wrapped one of them using 4 strands of floss (2 of each color). used 4 for no particular reason – certainly not for additional coverage because this fabric doesn’t ravel. that was so much fun, i (ambitiously) went ahead and bugged-up the entire leaf. what if we see what else we can do with this? i have a stray idea or two. others will show-up, no doubt, once i get going. might need some magnifying glasses, tho.




leaves of sass: begin

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

what if . . . is one of my favorite motivational tools. when i’m having a fog-covered, moving-at-the-speed-of-cold-molasses day, i play “what if” with myself and first thing you know, i’m perking again. it’s a little bait-and-switch trick i learned/taught myself as a child.

and it still works like a charm. (used it quite effectively just yesterday and again today, as you’ll see . . .)

jude plays a mean game of what if. acey does, too. so does paula, and judith, and cathie.

so today i got to thinking . . .
what if i join in and play with jude, too?
what if i do something i seldom-if-ever do and detour from my current project, setting it aside before it”s finished?
what if i take a placemat that just happens to be shaped like a leaf and use it for something else?


what if i remove the vein that’s shaped with wire?


what if i ponder and sketch and sketch and ponder and eventually come up with an aha that tickles me?
what if i have more show-and-tell tomorrow?


stitch-through complete

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

the piece is finished, writing still surfacing. interesting development, though.





silk or sow’s ear?

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

some speak in purple silk using flowery, witty, ornate language as they voice their angst at the vicious, mean bullying taking place. wringing their hands in private emails, assuming that by saying nothing to the venomous gossip spewed to and around them by the bullies, they are not contributing to the attack.


the importance of tension

Friday, June 20th, 2008

okay. this particular place at my dinner party is called w.i.t.w. which stands for woman’s inhumanity to woman. not a pretty thing from any seat at the table. my daughter and i fell victims to two particularly nasty emotional thugs a month or so ago.

such women seem to feast on the weakened and the vulnerable. can anyone explain that to me, please?

so much viciousness, so much meanness. well, i really don’t want to recount – shoot, i don’t even want to remember. words are beginning to surface, but not enough yet. am still stitching my way through to situating the tenacious event since i know understanding and clarity is and will forever remain impossible.

yesterday acey commented on the BULLion stitches. (thanks, acey.)

you know, there is something metaphorically therapeutic about wrapping the thread around and around and around the needle, then pulling and sometimes even yanking it so all lie down orderly, perhaps even prettily next to each other. it’s in the tension, i think. wrap the thread too tightly around the needle, and experience stuck: can’t pull the needle through. get nowhere. don’t guide/manage, and threads quickly escape then poof – they’re gone – requiring one to start all over.