I don’t always plan out this much, or in such detail. I know things will migrate, mute, change, become more subtle or disappear.

It looks more complicated than it is.

It will be simpler when all the threads and fabrics translate the idea to form.


combo plate #1 or “how things come together”

This is how we riff in this studio.

Original paint sketch above, below colour adjusted in photo edit program–if she were madder (HA! I mean the natural dye of course ๐Ÿ™‚ )

And what if i “translated” her like one of the figures from “Tabula Memoria”?

but gave her a background like this?

and treated some of the shapes like this:

I can do this.

when you do a series, and didn’t realize it

I was looking for something this morning in the studio, and in the photo archives, and realized i have inadvertently done a series of these. Based on my original pen and ink drawing from 1975 (!) (photo cropped because the other side has a drawn-by-an-angsty-18-year-old demon figure ๐Ÿ™‚ ), apparently i’ve kept returning to it in my textile work.














This/these are what i’m looking for, as i have some more ideas in mind ๐Ÿ™‚


And they involve Lac and Madder dyed fabrics from the recent dyepot adventures, and BLING.

Who says bling doesn’t go with naturals?



Above, original drawing/painting from 2012, below work inspired by the sketch, started in the same year (!!!!):

(these 2 clickable for enlarging)

She still needs a few more stitches, and a name though…… As much as i love her, there’s been something holding me back with her, still undefined.

Playing a bit in photo editing (i use Irfanview, a free program and relatively easy to use), i put her into “negative” and got this lovely indigo surprise:

Now THAT gets my juices flowing. Any juice these days is appreciated. I’m still wavering mightily between giving it all up, and scrabbling searching scraping probing studio and psyche for new work.

This necessitated buying some cheesecloth to supplement the harem cloth. Harem cloth is sheerer than most cottons, but not quite transparent enough to layer as i wanted for colour gradations. And i’m too tired these days to worry about purism, so i’m combining indigo dyed cotton , with some fabrics i dyed with commercial dyes as well. I’m using what i’ve got, in other words. I don’t see a lot of use with natural dyed threads either, by other artists, so ain’t gonna fret it. (Though i do have them in the shop….)

Those ***“commercial”dyes are quite pretty on these soft fabrics, cheesecloth left and top, harem cloth bottom right:

Need a few darker ones, as well as a dark indigo for the base, and then i can start laying out, and (probably ๐Ÿ™‚ ) stitching at work.

***“Commercial” dyes in my books are everything from Tintex and Rit, to Procion, Pebeo silk dyes, Jacquard products, and other products that are usually predictable colour-wise for everyone.

Al Dente

Throw it and see if it sticks!

Not much happening by hand, but a lot of “research” has been on the table. I ordered a copy of a very old illustrated anatomy book “De Humani Corporis Fabrica/The Fabric of the Human Body” (much abridged and less annotated, as the actual book reprinted costs $1650US………..) Vesalius didn’t get it all right (dog parts anyone?), but my own copy fits the bill for inspiration. I do still love body parts in my own work ๐Ÿ™‚

I found out about this book from an episode of either “Criminal Minds”, orย  “Cardinal” or something similar! Some serial killer had it on his coffee table…and that’s where i keep most of mine while perusing them ๐Ÿ™‚

I also signed a great WHACK of textiles design books out of the library, not how to’s, but histories and pattern bases focusing on yardage. Intriguing how design in this field changes, re-occurs, cycles and reflects.

Since i am now dealing with heart issues (mild to moderate damage, so FIXABLE), i have returned to that part of the ol’ bag of bones, squidgy bits and blood we all wear. Inspired by the “electrical current” of the heart, i’ve also been painting and drawing and note making about this:

A very liberal depiction, but adequate for the task. More accurate below, though of course with science and art, there’s never a way to actually capture electricity naturally moving through a body!

Different treatments:

It may be that none of these specifically will make it to cloth, but that black and red combo is really speaking to me again. (I keep remembering Raggedy Black Heart, and red used to feature quite often in my work, pre hand stitchย obsession.) I have huge yardages of both in cotton, and have to venture into the back room to dig them out. I have 11tybajillion ideas, but know i am going to be sidetracked, (have in mind some functional objects as well) and that’s okay. I need to be doing something, and that’s all that counts. Maybe the art is there.


I had my Thalium heart test yesterday, and am keeping my hoofies crossed that the “mild to moderate damage” is more to the MILD side. I’m also giving a round of gold stars and hero biscuits to the tech who could actually find my vein for the IV without butchering my arm ( my veins really really hide but we discovered Left Arm is more co-operative..), the one who cheered me on at the treadmill and took graciously my blurted “well, fuck you” when she said she’d had *her* morning coffee (i’d had none since 630AM the day before, woe is me), the nuke crew member who got the thalium into the IV without me even noticing (!), and the one running the MRI who chortled when i screeched “WHAT?” when the machine told me to stop breathing. I don’t feel quite “normal” this morning, but given that up to a month after, you have to show paperwork that says what was done to you if you are travelling–don’t want to set off those security checks with radioactivity!—-i don’t feel too bad. The only visible sign of anything happening is the bruises on both arms from the blood pressure bands–kept telling them THAT hurt more than the IV! (Apparently Right Arm is the one that can have the dystolic heard!)

Obviously there are going to be some major life style changes made because of all this. I’m not a sloth, but neither have i been a cheetah!

you just start somewhere

In the annual purge that takes place in January, i found an old “mark making” journal. A period of mixed media and a lot of colour, it was my antidote to living and working in my MIL’s basement, a horrible place and situation in many ways. “Notes from Mother Nature”ย  was made in October of 2008.

My “epiphany” is gelling, if indeed epiphanies do gel. Reflective searching thought, and research has led back to some ideas, but unless i actually start somewhere, nothing will take form. Simple, right? There are many many parts i wish to use again: the studio worktable is a jumble of sketches, fabrics, notes and paper scraps.

So, start small, because small can become big when the sum of the parts become the whole dance.

fool me once…….

HA! It took me TWELVE YEARS to figure out here was something wrong with this sketch. At the time, i was quite concerned that i get the valves and tubes all facing the right way, (there was an actual, real life cardiac surgeon on the QuiltArt list in those days, who helped a lot), but what about the hands???? Who holds a heart like that (pre-supposing one could, and not as part of some nasty ritual ๐Ÿ™‚ ) ?

It’s not the intended Next Big Thing, but a smaller part of the whole, perhaps a new “series”. Either that or a very intense sampling ๐Ÿ™‚ The hands are done on a potassium permanganate/rust/brazilwood cotton from a residency, with naturally dyed threads used for the embroidery.

I’ve done some dyeing now for this particular design, both “potperm’ and cochineal with iron (I want deep purple, not fuschia), and have some logwood dyed cotton as well for bits. I’m torn between using an indigo with potperm background, or just potperm–or something else entirely different!— and have to decide reasonably soon so i can commence the rest of the work.