Saturday morning coffee pot post

I don’t have a lot of photos or news to share this week. It has been windy and rainy and I had a lot to do at work, so I mainly came home at night and vegged out on the sofa. I did weave a little on the tapestry diary each night though.

Tapestry diary 2018

Tapestry diary 2018

The plan was to weave March coming in like a lion because of the bombogenesis (I have to use that word whenever I get the chance) but the weather also brought cluster headaches on Thursday night and I realized as I began weaving that I might not be able to weave a whole lion before the weekend was over. So I wove the tail. Now I’m trying to figure out how to interpret the wind again.

It’s a good thing that we never got around to putting up the greenhouse last weekend since the wind has pretty much knocked over most things not attached to the ground, but now I wonder if there is any point at all in doing it. It’s getting a bit late to start tomatoes and peppers, but I might try starting them inside and see if the cats cooperate. I planted some lettuce seed in a container last Sunday.

I had to go ahead and dig up what few perennials I wanted to keep from the studio house on Wharton St. late on Tuesday afternoon, since the house suddenly sold. It was twilight and hard to see but I think that I got all the pineberries, a couple of raspberry canes, and several asparagus roots, although Susanne says that she has not seen any green life come from them yet. I’ll pop them in a big planter and see. I don’t have a bed dug or prepared for them yet and won’t be able to do it since both arms are begging mercy, as well as a knee. I have no idea where I’ll put the raspberries. All of these are still in the plastic pots that I carried them home in on Tuesday, and will have to survive there for another few days.

Anyway, the bloodroot is flowering in the front yard garden and that makes me happy. It likes it up there and has spread. Daffodils are blooming and it will only be a short time before my favorite little blue flowers come out to play.

Continuing with my breakage of the rule not to buy anything unnecessary…I bought Sandy a smartphone this week. It was time. Actually the phone was free but I added him to my account. It will be about $20 more per week, but if it will help him stay on the treadmill at the Y longer by letting him listen to audiobooks, I think it will be worth it just for that. He needs to learn how to use a smartphone – for chrissake, he’s a help desk techie! The trick will be for him to keep it charged and not to lose it. Given that I lose mine about once a week, I’m no one to talk. I would like for him to have a phone with him because we are both getting older and the world is a chaotic place and I’d like that security of being able to call each other or 911. So it is not that unnecessary.

I finished “Straight Man” by Richard Russo this week. A hilarious read, especially for those of us who work in academic liberal arts departments.

Craftsy is having a free all you can watch weekend, so I’m going back to watching the Natalie Chanin classes. These are at just the level of instruction that I need and it is all hand stitching on cotton jersey, which I have a lot of! It’s a good way to sample some classes that I might want to buy later, so I am wrapping this up. If you see this in time, you may want to check it out.

Sunday morning coffee pot post

We’ve had what I assume will be a false spring this week. Lots of rain but also lots of warm sunshine. Sandy and I got into the Back Forty yesterday, pruned the fig tree into a fig bush, and did some general cleanup. Dumped some old potting soil out of the containers into a new raised bed and I’ll fill these containers up with better soil and some compost. They didn’t get enough fertilizer or attention last year with my neck and shoulder problems. I planted a few lettuce seeds into pots, and was on my way to starting pepper and tomato seeds, but time caught up with me and my knee and elbow insisted on a break. It was a good day. I was that kind of good tired. I have to be careful not to overdo it when I get this excited about the garden. That is how I hurt myself every frickin’ spring.

The plum trees are blooming over at UNCG and so the weather and the plum blossoms are the theme of my tapestry diary this week. Work has consumed most of my energy, mainly data entry. Shouldn’t make me tired, but it does. The good news is that I’ve almost finished that particular chore.



I broke my vow not to buy anything unnecessary this year. We bought a Shark Navigator vacuum cleaner at Costco yesterday, and that WAS necessary. However, this large rug caught my eye and the rag rug we have at the front door is starting to come apart and has been thrown up on countless times by the cats. It is very hard to vacuum and clean. So out it goes, and the new rug passes the Pablocito test. Diego has not anointed it with a hairball yet, but it has been less than 24 hours, so my guess is that he is working up a good one.


I’m pretty thrilled about vacuuming. It’s not often you’ll hear that from me, but my house is just that nasty with cat hair, diatomaeous earth, and bits of cat litter after a few months with a malfunctioning vacuum. No more trying to do it with the hand extension.

The fleas are not gone, but they are much better. I comb the boys in the morning and evening, and I usually get 2-3 each time. I’m not getting bitten. Now that I have a new vacuum I’ll give the carpets and rug another dose of diatomaeous earth.

The down time this week has been spent slow stitching this bag that I’m making in India Flint’s Bagstories group. What a pleasure this is. It turns out that the bag is exactly the size I hoped for and I got the strap length just right, so that it can be carried across my shoulders and the body of it hits just below my hip. I’m doing this in a rough boro raggedly style because I like it that way, and it is a stress reliever not to worry about anything being “just right.”





Okay, I have a badly needed massage this afternoon and a social event afterwards. Oh, isn’t my life tragic. I’m definitely feeling gratitude for my good fortune in life today, especially after a week and a half of seeing tremendous loss in other lives. Don’t think that I’m not outraged or saddened. I am. It’s good to have my depression lifted, though, otherwise I don’t know how I’d get up in the morning, much less go to a party later. The introversion is strong in me.

Re(f)use Exhibition at Artspace

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

Even though this Triangle Book Arts group exhibition at Artspace in Raleigh, North Carolina is much better seen in person, as any book art exhibition is, I took a few photos yesterday when Sandy and I visited. Book arts are so interactive – in many cases over half of what is there is inside a book! In the show, there were many forms of books, some folded books hanging from the ceiling, some hanging on the wall, others were sculptural, and others invited you to explore inside them. One even invited you to add to it!

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

All were constructed from materials “reused” that were at least 80% “refuse.”

There were many that I wanted to photograph but a camera just could not do them justice. Susan Leeb’s “Catalogue of Nostalgia” installation using an old library card catalog cabinet and cards could have easily soaked up an hour of my time exploring its drawers, but I gave up trying to photograph it.

Here are photos of my two books in the exhibition. “Flow” hung with a group collaboration and was difficult to photograph because it was very long and the lighting was odd. However, I loved the shadows cast on the wall by another hanging book, “Holy” by Lisa Gilbert, so maybe the lighting was perfect. First two photos are details of the front and back of “Flow.” Then the bottom, then a page in the middle.

"Flow" top cover and three pages

Back of "Flow" (detail)

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

Here’s “First the Seed,” opened to its first page. I really have to write in this book when it comes home. It’s like the book that refuses to be finished.

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

See the shapes on the wall cast by the holes in “Holy?” After this photo is a detail shot of “Holy.” I really love this idea of combining a piece with light and shadow.

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

I love the shadows cast by Barbara Livingston’s fascinating “Renovating the Library” also.

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

Kathy Steinsburger’s “East:West” really got to me, pictured along with other works along the back wall. Again, those shadows!

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

By the way, the other gallery exhibit with encaustic collages by Jane Wells Harrison is well worth the trip also. It made my husband and I both want to play with encaustic. I especially loved the map imagery encased under the wax.

Jane Wells Harrison at Artspace

Re(f)use exhibition at Artspace

The exhibition is on the first floor gallery on Artspace through March 3. You can see other photos by clicking on any of these photos to go to my Flickr page. There are too many to post here – I know I posted too many as it was.

A Seven! Lucky or crapped out?

Birthdays with sevens are weird for me. Today marks my 57th orbit around the sun. The solar astrophysicist that owned the AirBNB we stayed at in Boulder told me to think of birthdays that way. I love it.

I’ll choose lucky, Alex, for $3000!

IMG_20180215_174029_466 (1)

^^^She knows that you parked there, and she is judging you.

Okay, it’s good to start a birthday being silly. The man in the house is still sleeping, but I’m going to make him get up and take me to Raleigh in about an hour. We’re going to visit the Triangle Book Arts exhibit “Re(f)use” at Artspace, then go to the North Carolina Museum of History where I’ll meet a new fiber artist friend who is doing a millinery demonstration there today.

Right now I’m listening to a YouTube feed of beach music. That means something different for those of us who grew up in the Carolinas. It’s really R&B with an easy beat to “shag” to, which is not a sex act in our world but a dance that is like a slow jitterbug. The best beach music is from the 50s and 60s. This is my favorite beach music song: Sixty Minute Man by the Dominoes, from 1951. My voice is really low and I can sing right along with Dan and hit all those deep notes.

The big stress-reliever of the week was stitching together the WandeRBeuteL bag that I’m creating in India Flint’s Bagstories online group. I still need to add a long strap because I like to wear my bags across my body. Easier on the shoulders and back, since I tend to fill them with lunch, books, and a project or two. I will keep embellishing it with scraps from the original pants. The patchwork squares are five inches square.


Of course, Pablocito had to check it out and I couldn’t resist posting this photo with him in it. You can still get the gist of it.


Flipping it inside out, there is a pocket for my cell phone and I will probably add other pockets.


I have been wandering about the bag stitching paths, dreaming of Cornish coasts, Irish walls, and forest deer trails.


The tapestry diary from earlier this week is below. My first string of beads for Mardi Gras weren’t very round, so I added a second string. They look square. Size and fiber makes a difference, as well as practice, with woven circles. I’ll finish the week tomorrow.


Sunday morning bag story

First, the tapestry diary for the week. The knots are showing on purpose, by the way. We had some problems to figure out this week at work. Fortunately, they were resolved and next week’s path forward should be clearer.

Tapestry diary this week.

I wove a little bit on Cathedral, but my main focus was stitching this Japanese tsunobukuro style bag along with many others all over the “whirled” (India Flint’s phrase) in India’s Bagstories Facebook group. She set it up as a companion online group for those who bought any form of her wee booklet “Bagstories” on Blurb. I bought the PDF, since I am not buying stuff that takes up space in the house this year, unless necessary. Like a new vacuum cleaner.

Anyway, I’ve been obsessed with stitching this bag. I love hand sewing but I have to give it up frequently due to chronic tendinitis problems. Right now I’m on a roll.


This fabric is upcycled from two favorite pairs of pants I wore back in the late 80s/early 90s. They are special to me because they were the first “arty” kind of clothes I ever bought, and when I wore them, I felt beautiful and fabulous. They were my go-to clothes for art openings until I quit smoking and gained a lot of weight. They felt like friends, so I could never get rid of them.

I redesigned it after I began because the brown and gray/orange rayon batik fabric was a little too stretchy so I decided to line it with the brown fabric.


I can’t wait to get this bag put together and use it, and start on the one that is actually in India’s booklet.

This is the closest that India has come to doing an online class, and normally I am enthusiastic about an online or video class for two weeks, then I abandon it. However, I love this group intensely, and I’m glad that she cut off enrollment at a manageable size. It is still over 200 people but most people don’t post. So many times I join a group and unfollow because the number of posts become overwhelming as it gets popular.

India seems to be enjoying this immensely so it may be something that she continues. Personally, I don’t see how many of these artists maintain online classes and social media and get so much wonderful work done. I fall down rabbit holes way too quickly on the Internet.

As far as the vow to not buy stuff this year, I’ve broken it twice so far. At the Women’s March in Raleigh I bought this pin from a street vendor. I mean, seriously, how could I not? I’m not made of stone.


The other item was this 4 bottle set of chalk paints from the shop that hosted Seth Apter’s workshop this week. I always feel like I should buy something to support the venue, and I’ve wanted to try chalk acrylics.


Yesterday we drove around disposing of several boxes I had filled with purged stuff from the studio. It was not nearly enough. A box of books went to the used bookstore for credit. I came very close to getting a couple of book arts books that I had not seen before, but I remembered the point is not spending money…the point is making space. A box and a bag went to Reconsidered Goods. A box of denim jeans that were too good to cut up went to the Salvation Army. Normally I avoid the Salvation Army because of their anti-gay stance, but the Interactive Resource Center doesn’t accept clothing donations and they told me that they give vouchers to homeless people for clothing at the Salvation Army store.

Some of the paper ephemera went into the recycling can and into the kindling box. I mean, honestly, why do I save every little piece of paper?

Now I need to fill up 3-4 more boxes this week.