Category Archives: In the Company of Cloth

notes from a quilter, collage artist, fabric collector


Yesterday, I was too unsettled to focus and coming down with K’s cold, so I cleaned a little. Dusted our big corner cupboard. Rearranged things. This always satisfies me.

And lo! I discovered a SECOND Aquarian Tarot deck. Noreen’s spare. Not the one worn with frequent use that I passed along to Deb, but an almost pristine version. I was shocked and pleased to count 78 cards.

(I made that little cloth case years ago).

Today, I’m more sick. So much awful barking and coughing last night. I’ll watch old Vera episodes and eat the leftover potato leek soup and perhaps not much else.

What I WON’T do is listen to any of the 87 messages discovered cached in Comcast voicemail. Didn’t know they were there. Yesterday, I listened to a few from summer and fall of 2016. I don’t know which was harder, my sister’s child-like reports designed to gain my approval or her ridiculous wrath about my inadequacies.

I never wanted to be her mother.

(I DID use some pink thread, after all).

Domestic metaphors

I made multiple attempts to upload a video about collage on Sunday and Monday. Spent hours clearing space on my iPad because full storage seemed to be the problem. It wasn’t.

Furthermore, memory kept automatically reverting to full. I have no idea why. It’s not as if the videos/apps that I deleted were restored.

On Tuesday before my class here, a twelve ounce drinking glass grazed the counter on its way to the dishwasher and EXPLODED. Shards everywhere!

Quick-crated Finn and got up all the pieces. There’s something satisfying about hearing glass bits rattle up a vacuum’s metal tubing. One last shard turned up in my pants pocket hours later.

Not long after my sister’s death a Pyrex dish of hers shattered violently, sending chunks of glass all over the stove top and floor. There seemed to be no good reason for it.

What an apt metaphor, I thought. Relationship with my sister involved enduring regular explosions of her rage, often triggered for no apparent reason. It was always dangerous, on some level, to be around her. Her fury and its wounding mess.

But this week? No clue. Maybe it’s her dropping by to say hello since the one year anniversary of her death is on the horizon?

I ended up being glad I couldn’t upload my comments about collage because that’s so last month. Writing in both classes has moved ahead at lightening speeds. Novel and not novel. For some reason, I couldn’t formulate anything to say here, as if the attempts at recording and the failure to upload left me mute.

This ramble is an attempt to come back.

A welcoming space

I went abstract with the Prompt to depict a welcoming space from which to create in the future. Note: WP fucked with my type again!

The sky blazing with sunset. A shell with her boundaries and her secrets. And a leaping big cat with a body of prose.

The collage speaks to time, self, and energy, rather than to space.

I spent part of today at Staples, hoping to have fun making shiny copies of some of the last month’s collages. I transferred images from phone to a thumb drive in advance, but turns out the machine needed pdf’s and mine were jpeg. A young guy helped with the conversions. That took awhile.

A few pix were weirdly formatted (HEIC?). He speculated: an apple format designed not to be compatible with anything. Printer guy smiled when I muttered, “the fuckers.”

But the real disappointment was the copier itself. On the former color copier I could adjust for scale (necessary to make SoulCollage cards) and could play with color saturation.

Not anymore. Just print. Plus each print required four button presses, each with their dragging delay. More if I wanted a preview.

You can email pix to a staples website, too, so I tried that after a while. You email pix to their site and they shoot you a code and you input it and go from there. But since I chose medium resolution (thinking higher would take forever), the results were disappointing.

There you can see my nifty phone-jacked thumb drive.

Why is it that so many technological advances strip out features that were critical to an interesting and satisfying result?

Prompt #29:

collage a welcoming PSYCHIC space that supports your ongoing creative goals & activities.


Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

A test – leftover bits

Will the type go wonky? The comments be turned off? I’ve recently made appointments that the office in question had no record of and ordered a book that never came and when hunted down does not appear to have been ordered. My drugstore doesn’t answer the phone anymore.

It’s not just WordPress, in other words.

This photo of a flag adorned shack was the prompt in the writing class I take on Thursday.

I went dystopian — to a place where only the super rich have access to fresh food and where it is illegal to possess a flag without also possessing a gun. I’ll spare you.


Between the furor over the novel “American Dirt” (which has relevance to my writing a southern story set in slave times) and a truly depressing Twitter thread about the compromise and demise of the SDNY, I felt sunken today and tired.

Had my Thursday writing class, though, and throughout the afternoon continued to reshape the opening of my novel, making it sharper, I hope, with fewer extraneous details.

I had already ordered “American Dirt” when I read this damning review.

After all, Oprah had recommended it and the last two of her picks that I read were really good (Colson Whitehead and Ta Nehisi-Coates — both historic fiction set in slave times). I will want to read “American Dirt,” just like I wanted to read “The Help.” To see for myself.

But! Since some of the outrage has to do with disproportionate advances and super hyped promotion for white authors (and not just cultural appropriation, savior stances, violence porn, and lack of credulity in the work itself), I took note and ordered a novel by a Mexican writer. I will read it first.

The best news I can come up with for today is that the Gaslit Nation women, Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa, have endorsed Elizabeth Warren.

notes: the gravemarker was photographed in Charleston, SC; the chicken wire profile was an art installation in the hotel that K and I stayed in in a Rome this past spring; this hooded figure came from Natl Geo; dotted moon is from a quilt. I wish I could remember where the front facing woman photo came from but I can’t. The vertical row of crosses came from a quilt.

21 year in review?

Today is an editing day. A Twitter read and groan day. Record and watch trial day. And maybe, switch to British Interior Design contest day, being unable to hear the facts again from the Democrats or to revisit the appalling and democracy-destroying bluster from the Republicans.

Also, at this point I can barely stand to look at Chief Justice Roberts. Moving his pencil about. Glasses on. Glasses off. Doing nothing of any import whatsoever.

So collecting experiences in a visual record seems more than I can do today. I’ve been mulling over some of the big points of 2019 though: witnessing my sister’s death (March 13) and cleaning out her apartment; spending two and a half weeks in Italy, catching Easter week in a medieval catholic town being a highlight; training as an Amherst Writers and Artists facilitator in June; a writing retreat in August in Hawley, Mass.; finishing the first draft of my novel.

This year included a couple of protests in Boston. Postcards to voters in California and Georgia. Calls to my Rep Kennedy (NOT LA rep Kennedy) before he was on board with impeachment. A call thanking him after. And other stuff. Donations to Hickenlooper, Emily’s List, Warren and Harris, Southern Poverty Law Center, the African American Museum of History and Culture, the Slave Dwelling Project,

Continued to learn about slavery.

Built up the a new front garden bed and revised existing one. Planted three birches, a fat pine, an arbor vitae and a rose (of those plants, only the birches seem happy). Spent a long weekend in Rockport.

Gave away tons of my sister’s belongings. Scattered her ashes in September.

Signed up estate planning documents and started more actively planning for K’s retirement.

Whoo – whee. That’s enough, right?

While thinking on these things, I moved some images around. Boots pic (above) is glued. Prince was made over the weekend. But the rest are from today and unglued.

I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well last night.

Prompt #21

Create an open treasure box of experiences and creative devotion/whimsy rather than material objects


Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album. SoulCollage and the tags here on the blog

18 the center

Prompt #18

consider The Center of it all.  As that relates to you and your life/the world you’ve made around it.

More below*

Not sure I’ve done the prompt or a lead in to the prompt about Center, but here is: a sweet terrier in a lush enclosed garden, Saint Francis, the entrance to a place of worship, and hands cupping light.


Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album. SoulCollage and the tags here on the blog

Prompt #18

consider The Center of it all.  As that relates to you and your life/the world you’ve made around it.

Not – although I know it’s a rather impossible ask but just try – the center that can’t hold.  Not the center of a statement you feel that you must personally make/carry/protect/live by and through as much as humanly possible. Not even the center of why your individual life feels important and vital to something larger than yourself. Instead focus on the center of our body’s coiled energy. Consider the center of your instincts and refined vision. The center of your heart – the never-had home so many of us don’t so much carry in our hearts as we are carried by it. The center rediscovered every time we have an opportunity to breathe deeply and just Keep Still(ness) for a moment.