Tag Archives: moon

Turning into November

Time went a little wonky this week. K was in India. I spent a lot of time alone. Sleep, not so great. And, Faulkner’s been taking me on a slow ride in “Light in August”.
IMG_1143Mostly I enjoyed the solitude, the expanses of quiet. And today, with snow and the time change, It is officially another season. A season were ARE MEANT to be more quiet.

One friend sends an email saying she is putting the “NO” in November. Another announces a retreat from social media. In another email, I read: let’s leave the space empty. This is the time of year to pull inward. It helps to be clear.

Even though Halloween is so last week, I have to report that its mood drew me to the studio bin labeled, “body parts”. A few beings ‘fell out of my hands’ (as Mo might say). They gave me sparks of pleasure and in a very real way, kept me company. Those of you on FB have already seen ‘the Plaid Boys’… but here are a few more shots. ‘Argyle Girls’ to come! And a few of my seasonal felt mice.
IMG_1131 IMG_1128 IMG_1109 IMG_1105 IMG_1077IMG_1083 IMG_1087



Gate to Otherworld Quilt

Quilt for sale.


This vertical piece is about 14″ long and includes velvet, cotton ticking, cotton damask, organza, wool challis, and quilting cottons.

Hand stitched. One of a kind. A doorway into the other world, perhaps?

Price: $65, free shipping.

If you’re interested let me know and we can do paypal via email or I can post to my etsy store, clothcompany.

Wrap up

But before I go off to my LIST and my PAGES and the CLEANING I like to do on Mondays, I wanted to assemble a collection of pictures from the summer class I took —  ‘Considering Weave’ with Jude Hill over at Spirit Cloth.  Just as a place to see what I did.  How much I learned.  These kinds of visual bookmarks make a difference down the road…  it is so easy to underestimate or lose track of the volume of threads/cloth that went through the process with me… this will help me remember!

And, by the way, the act of doing this — its value both now and later — is just one of the many, many things learned from Jude.

in-process butterfly received a needle woven body

in-process butterfly received a needle woven body — idea to embroider words inspired by Cindy over at handstories

some actual weave; some figurative

some actual weave; some figurative

one of my indigo cloths with woven opening

one of my indigo cloths with woven opening — made so many mistakes!


a woven patch

a woven patch — lumpy, loveable, functional


the “Triscuit” crater — backing from my indigo vat

woven strip square open and woven at center with butcher's twine

buckling caused by size of opening could not be fixed even with machine stitching to a heavy weight backing

woven 'islands' extending patterning over edge

woven ‘islands’ extending patterning over edge — one of my favorites from the class

woven islands partnered with Middle Passage piecing

woven islands partnered with Middle Passage piecing

visual weave with vertical and horizontal running stitches

visual weave with vertical and horizontal running stitches


the crow got a woven base and flew off to Wendy Golden-Levitt


seeing warp and weft all around

seeing warp and weft all around

continuing on a piece in context of weaving

continuing on a piece in context of weaving — many sections begun in another of Jude’s classes

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more strip weaving because it's hard to stop; travels well

more strip weaving because it’s hard to stop; travels well


speckled vintage linen from Deb Lacativa’s dye pot


blue sky — arashi technique with commercial dye — by moi!


sampler:  Corn Guy

sampler: Corn Guy

as I started 'sewing' more, back neatened up (worked top down)

as I started ‘sewing’ more, back neatened up (worked top down)


copy of Jude’s waves. Woven on primitive box loom (which was a rectangular basket in my case)

Planning to order a bead loom so that I can continue without some of the frustrating tension issues caused by wrapping warp around a basket and taping it to the back.

I didn’t get a chance to make any fringe and look forward to trying.  Would like to edge some of my Star Maps with it. And, I can’t wait to try some of the more experimental techniques offered this month. Any more meaningful reflections on the class will have to wait.  It was a terrifically provocative journey (as usual)… and if other classes I have taken are any indication, the fruits of the learning will keep coming over the next months and seasons.

Bye for now!





IMG_0061Here is a conceptual nine patch. It is about all I have time for now.
IMG_0062 I am intrigued by how radically an image can be altered, just by changing how  much light gets in.
IMG_0063IMG_0068This little landscape moves from left to right in installments like a comic book.  I like finding the mountains, lakes, and moons in the fabrics. I like including time as an element in the story of the cloth.








front yard


back fence

I am in and out of town one more time — so blogging will be more intermittent than usual until after Labor Day. Enjoy the last days of summer!

flying moon cloth, True Detective and Ruin Porn

Here is a 38-second YouTube video of the cloth I’m working on flapping in the wind during a boat ride this past week.  Watch for the moon.

IMG_4571The white bands of stitching were added to the moon’s surface last night. More needs to be done to stop that off-white square from resembling a Triscuit. Triscuits look woven. So was this:
IMG_3678_edited-1Yesterday, K. and I finished watching the spell-binding first season of ‘True Detective’ — a Louisiana murder mystery with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Holy cow!  The sociopath was deviously smart and a worthy opponent of two driven and clever detectives.  The creep could do voices, accents, and evade capture for decades.  But he also made these very cool pagan-influenced twig and rag and bone sculptures that I just loved (think: Andy Goldsworthy).  It was odd to be enamored of the evil character’s creations.

In looking for an image from the show, I came across this:  “ruin porn“.  I understand the magnetic pull of run down and decrepit structures.  In ‘True Detective,’ the central ruin was a former plantation — complete with greying, rotting big house, rickety slave shacks, and an underground fort.  These sets were beyond creepy, and yet mesmerizing, proving, I suppose the “ruin porn” article’s point. (For the record, they went overboard with the piles of broken, vacantly-staring dolls. They were not needed to create the ambiance).  See add on paragraph below about set design.

My cousin Ginny Mallon (photographer/painter/blogger) has been exploring all kinds of ruination, especially along coastlines.  Most recently she photographed Dead Horse Bay, which is in Brooklyn near the Marine Parkway Bridge.  Its beach, “Bottle Beach” is so full of garbage from such a long span of time, that it’s considered a ‘living museum of trash’.  Inexplicably, her photos of the garbage are gorgeous.

Driving from Newton to Brookline today, I almost stopped to photograph a robust rose bush spilling over with vermilion flowers. It screamed ‘summer’. It was beautiful. This is almost the exact opposite impulse of the one I documented a few weeks back — the desire to shoot pictures of parking lots, guard rails or gas stations, in part to upend a narrow sense of what constitutes ‘beauty’.
IMG_3023I guess I am allowed to feel both urges. This door was captured about a year ago after fabric shopping in Arlington, I think.

Debbie’s comment inspired me to find out who designed the sets for ‘True Detective’.  His name is Joshua Walsh and you can read about him here.   The ‘vulture’ blog post had this to report: “’He’s the son of a family that ran a funeral home, and he’s an avid hunter and taxidermist — basically, the perfect dude for the job,’ DiGerlando told Vulture.”

I had just commented below that Louisiana itself is a landscape of ruination, and one we’ve seen before in ‘True Blood’ and ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’.  It is was no surprise to discover that Walsh also did the set design for ‘Beasts’.





Adding mountains, vines. Finding hearts.

This small landscape was simple and now is less so. Adding black sheer along the horizon to suggest hills, but they look like roof tops as well. Another two houses crept in on the left, but since those structures share fabric with the hillside behind them, they are a little ambiguous.

20130910-133336.jpgAnd this was the White House of Privilege (in response to the Zimmerman acquittal), then it became three other houses, and now it’s looking like it’ll be just be a pair (neither the original ‘White House’). Vines have crept in.

The vines were inspired by fiber artist Kit Lang who made two Trayvon Martin quilts, one of which she titled, “Strange Fruit” after the famous Billy Holiday song about lynching. Kit’s comments and questions to me about using fiber art to express outrage and grief were provocative, and I appreciated her feedback and willingness to go a little deeper with me on the topic of race and privilege.

And this piece of garbage caught my eye walking home from the periodontist this morning.  As blogging continues to be a challenge (ongoing tech-glitches and other obligations — nothing new or out of the ordinary), I shall use this found heart to wish you all a peaceful, uplifting week.

meditation on germs and used Kleenex

found-fiberI am perpetually picking up ‘garbage’ on my walks, as I know many of you do, too. Generally, I go for rusted scraps. This find may be Kleenex. I know. I know. Gross, right? But – it was so old, so weathered out of its original use (if, indeed, it had ever been used), that I didn’t allow germ-worries to interrupt my scavenging.

People who know me ask, “When have you EVER let worry about germs slow you down?”

grey-fiber-on-grassI have a long history of being rather casual about germs.

Perhaps it’s because my mother was a lapsed Christian Scientist. She wasn’t averse to doctors or anything. Nor did she instruct us on the powers of love or the mind. But she did seem to think Vick’s VapoRub and aspirin could cure most childhood illnesses. I don’t think I ever heard her say, ‘Put on a hat or you’ll get sick!’  Nor were we issued dire warnings about death-producing cramps when we jumped into the Woodlin Club pool right after eating lunch. Most of all, she did not instill the notion that germs were lurking everywhere, just waiting for the unsuspecting, unhygienic to stumble or swipe into their sick-producing path. On some of these things, she has been proven correct. Regarding germs, though, of course I now know better.

But here’s the thing. Even though I now wash my hands more and will avoid someone sneezing up a storm, I keep bumping into germ-protocols that surprise me. Still!  (To my credit, I’ve always been scrupulous about cutting boards, knives, and raw meat)

The first time this happened, I was about eight. On a really hot summer day, my friend Susan’s mother took us to Jumpin Jack’s along the Mohawk River for ice cream.  I remember being absolutely shocked when Susan’s mother prohibited her from eating the flat bottom of the cone. Why? Because it had rested momentarily on the counter. (As a side note, given that Susan’s house was the messiest (and perhaps the dirtiest) on our block, I found myself wondering how this strict concern fit with her mother’s rather lax approach to housekeeping) (and yes, eight year olds DO think this way). This was just the first of MANY shocks.

The Seinfeld episode on ‘double dipping’ was a revelation to me.

When it came time to parent (nursing for a total of 32 months, I was now hyper-attentive to keeping my hands clean), I found the joke about the ‘five second rule’ ridiculous. It was not a joke for us, but a natural response to fallen objects. The birth order jokes about pacifiers? You know how it goes — boiling for the first kid; wiping off for the second; just popping back into the mouth of the third… did not pertain because ‘popping it back in’ was where we started.

Years later, in an online craft venue — I was shocked again — reading about a potential buyer who would NEVER buy a handknit item, say, if it had been modeled on a person (with skin! that flakes! is redolent with oils!)

Shocked once more to learn that Martha Stewart NEVER sets her handbag on the floor. Furthermore, she buys purses with metal studs on the bottom to keep them slightly elevated from WHATEVER surface they rest on (really? public bathrooms, okay, but everywhere?!) Even though I take all of Martha Stewart’s ‘perfect’ lifestyle choices with a massive grain of salt, (given the minions she has to clean her toilets everyday, for instance, and prepare her much-touted, healthy fresh juices), I can’t help but look at my purse and wonder where it’s been.

Here’s the most recent example. Just a few weeks ago, in writing class I listened to a character sketch of a woman whose signature trait was vulgarity. I asked, curious, ‘what made her so uncouth?’  The example?  The casual (but apparently repulsive) habit of sitting on her shoeless foot. On furnishings. In a movie theatre, so close to other people.

Maybe it was a bare foot, but still. I do this ALL THE TIME. So, I have to wonder, “What ELSE am I doing that is considered repulsive and unhygienic? That I’m not even aware of?!!” (And, just so you know, I cannot sit in most adult-sized furnishings comfortably WITHOUT tucking one or both feet up and under my haunch).

So, I get it. Picking up a potentially USED piece of Kleenex off of Week’s Field is gross.

But I fell in love with it.


grey-stitchedIt is delicate. Friable. And even though it is so delicate, it reminds me of the metamorphic rock, gneiss. It could pass, in some views, as a section of an old topographical map.

I put batting behind it, then, after stitching, clipped some away. I like how the furriness of the batting (normally an annoying distraction) adds to the texture.

grey-house-and-moonsSince this backing print is thick – perhaps cotton duck? —  I machine stitched. The scrap is sewn on the WRONG side of the fabric to dull it down a bit, but photographed up against a window, the print comes through clearly. I added a sheer moon, and couldn’t resist slipping a little blue linen under the leaf-shaped ‘window’ in that sheer. Lo and behold! I had not seen or intended it – but there it is – another house!

found-house-up-closeThe light coming through the needles punches makes me happy. Here the house looks nearly charcoal-black because of the setting on my camera.