Friday, May 26, 2006

wordplay on
in inner intuit

ndulge fanciful imaginations

nvoke illusion

mplore forgiveness

nspire innovation

improve (dance better, he said)

in-print in-the-pink and in-love

Thursday, May 25, 2006

my haiku

without you
drank japanese tea
birds called


he days that the rains came down . . . on southeastern and coastal New Hampshire . . . the
Monarch School of New England flooded; it flooded on Sunday ~ and again on Monday.

On Tuesday, 25 volunteers came to start the clean-up process. On Wednesday, 30 volunteers came to begin the sanitizing process. Monarch students are severely disabled and medically fragile; it was necessary to go beyond . . . everything was cleaned with a 4-1 bleach solution. No matter how big (like freezers and large filing cabinets) or how small (like desk top stuff). On Thursday and Friday more volunteers came to put everything back in place and make the school ready for students.

heart ~ full * heart ~ filled * heart-to-hands * hands-to-god * happy heart * light hearted

Next, the rug cleaners came. And the tile cleaners.
Then the health department and the environmental safety people; all pronounced the school "good-to-go". And we did!
Happiness is . . . a clean, dry school: School re-opened nine days later. Students and teachers came with happy faces.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"I think if one kind property is sacred,
it is the kind that is the product of our own minds
and made with our own hands."
Camille Pisarro

Sunday, May 21, 2006

WordPlay on "G"
gulls on Appledore
gardenia *
constant gardener
glen, gleeful, glee club, goat cheese
gabby, gargantuan,
galahad, sir & glenda, good witch
go go girl and same for boots
gallo, gallon, gallup, gobble
gurgle, gown and gwen
Greece & islands
Grecian Urn, An ode to * Glass Lake
poor george, he was born with a
silver foot in this mouth
George and Gracey, both Burns Plimpton, too
George the Younger, gorgeous, too
Washington, G. father of......
gold, digger, filling, karats
golden, paint and colorado
gelding, geezer, giddy-up
stop 'n go * get up 'n go

Saturday, May 20, 2006

wordplay on "f"
fortune, my grandchildren
fortune cookie, for a while all mine read,
"you will get new clothes"

Fried Green Tomatoes
which I've watched fourteen times
Funky Divas of Gospel
I am fammy to Anthony, Victoria, Dylan, Maddie and Olivia

flossie, you did read the Bobsey Twins.

Pfaff (I know) but it works in Germany
An Unexected Event Challenges
Patience * Peace * Quiet

Yesterday I needed to be in Natick for an early morning seminar. The day was dry and clear; MapQuest assured me I could do this drive in under an hour and a half. My target was to arrive by 8:30; the seminar started at 9:00 but that would give plenty of time for coffee and registration.

So, carrying an umbrella (just in case) and my ever-present travel mug of coffee, off I went. By the time I was on Route 495 it was raining.



Blinding water.

Traffic thickened and slowed. I started running behind.

Directions from MapQuest put me on I-90 for a short while and then with a fews hooks and turns I'd be at the Crowne Plaza on Route 9 in Natick.

This was not to be the case.

As I approached I-90 it was clear that something was wrong! Automobiles were jammed and coming from all points. Converging. Attempting to merge onto the on-ramp.

I could feel tension. Palpable tension. And looking briefly to my left I spotted the cause: an overturned tanker truck cross-wise across I-90.

And the rain continued. I mean major rain; scaryrain considering the 12-inch rainfall of recent days.

Well, at the end of the day, it turned out the tanker was carrying propane and both the east- and west-bound lanes of I-90 remained closed for the day and the traffic back-up lasted for ten hours. The chemical had to be drawn out of the tanker before it could be moved, dangerous indeed.

I did finally get to the seminar but it was 11 o'clock and I was two and half hours late. And I was tired. Wired. Frustrated. Cranky. Sweaty.
But the presenters were good; the information useful and I came away pleased that I had doggedly pursued my destination.

And one the way home later that day, I treated myself to a shop that I have only visited online and that was a truly wonderful glorious redeeming part of the day.

Friday, May 19, 2006

WordPlay on "E"
elfin * small * tiny ~~ the opposite of enormous
meet each day with enthusiasm
be open and expansive
Sleepless in Seattle, the epitome of chick flicks
expensive, my champagne taste
expand, time to BE in my studio/playroom
exploding in possibility
emote ~~an ever-present cross-word puzzler

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

is the name of this little beaded number

that has been my focus during this long stretch of rain and more rain.
I've been beading. Sitting alone and quiet in my studio. Listening to the rain and hoping the lakes that have nearly formed a moat around the house recede before the next band of rain comes in.

This is the back of a small purse.
I'm beading the lower front now.
Both will be lined with deep blue velvet and then assembled using a bead embroidery stitch.
Here in coastal New Hampshire,
we need a little sunshine.
I need to remind myself that this rain
will produce bountiful beautiful blooms in June.
This is another of the flower photos I took last summer
in Celia's Garden on Appledore Island.
Surely a one of my favorite places in all the world.

This rain brought an unexpected hiatus from work as flooding has overcome the neighborhood where my school is located. The effects of this storm on the infrastructure of the school building are quite major; there is no indication when school will resume.

A planned vacation is one thing. If it is a trip one has planned there is the preparation and then the savoring of new sights and sounds. If it is a stay-at-home-and-catch-up kind of vacation, one plans projects or day trips, picnics at the beach and relaxing with a good book.

But this unexpected vacation from work has me at sixes & sevens (I have always LOVED that sooo British of phrases!). And so I wait.

For the rain to stop.

For the rain to stop.

For the rain to stop.

We are told there could be another three inches of rain today on top the previous eleven inches from the preceding days.

But how fortunate we are here in my little coastal town. There have been no evacuations as in other towns. Our roadways have held strong with the exception of two washouts.

Perhaps the sun will shine tomorrow.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Another rainy day
if this keeps we'll soon
need an ARK

Raindrops courtesy of

Thursday, May 11, 2006



  • My garden yielded lovely flowers, herbs and vegetables for the table all summer long. But it also gave me petals, leaves & roots for fabric dyeing.

    These are some pages from my dyeing notebook in which I recorded my experimentation with various herbal and floral mixtures, various fabrics, with overdyes and with different mordants and after dips.

    I pressed the petals or leaves onto the pages and recording whether the dye bath used dried or fresh plant material. Almost always, I added the finished fabric to my notebook.

    The day I found woad plants for sale, I shouted with joy as they are not commonly found in garden centers. In fact, I never had seen it growing before that day! Although some people consider woad a pervasive weed, it was the northern European version of indigo, used mostly by the early celts who painted their bodies with it before going naked, or nearly so, into battle.

    The results of these vegetable dyes are a wonderfully soft palette of earthy colors ~~ not highly saturated. But they are color fast because of the mordants used.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Dale Chihuly, art glass-blower
    I took this photo at the San Antonio Central Public Library in February.
    It was the first time that I'd seen Dale Chihuly's work
    up close and personal and was blown away.
    Just imagine.
    He had no inclination towards art
    and no desire to pursue a post-secondary education.
    It was the only the urging of his mother
    that got him into a junior college.
    While in college, he helped his mother redecorate
    one of the rooms in their home
    and that directed him towards art.
    In a weaving class, he was challenged to weave
    with a non-fibrous material and chose glass.
    And that turned him towards art glass.

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    "Your life is your art,
    your own creation
    constantly in the making.
    You are designing it
    moment by moment....."
    quoted from "O"

    The photo at the left is me reclining on a Victorian chaise in the
    Oceanic Hotel on Star Island . With a balloon hat on. And a huge smile.

    This is what coming home looks like.

    It was taken on the first day of our annual summer retreat at the opening cocktail party in the verrry formal Victorian parlor. A professional clown is a regular part of the group and he was busily making funny balloon hats for everyone. Silly icebreaker. This was the most organized part of the week.

    Time on Star has wonderful positive effects because there are:
  • No automobiles.
  • No news in papers, radio or TV.
  • No telephones, cell or otherwise.
  • No streetlights.
  • No ambulances. No fire trucks or police cruisers.

  • What is there, you ask? Well. There is time. To be. Quiet. Thoughtful. Reflective. Dreamy. There are wide old-fashioned porches with lots and lots of New England rockers: the grandest place for reading. Or napping. Or chatting. There is hiking and walking and taking dips in the ice-y Atlantic. There are exquisite sunrises and sunsets.

    One can do; but it is not de rigeur.

    So a softening begins. One feels it (and it can be seen by others) in the face muscles.

    A sweet letting go of STUFF. Day by day. Ahhhhhhh.

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Victorian White Linens
    I am an avid collector of antique linen. And I derive a lot of the pleasure from hunting for beautiful things that tell stories of a gentler time, a more graceful life style.
    This cloth was probably used at family celebrations. It is a huge banquet cloth that I purchased from the Tarbell estate in New Castle .
    Edmund Charles Tarbel, an American Impressionist (late 19th and early 20th century) lived in New Castle and was reknowned for his paintings of family life at the turn of century. The cloth is drawn thread and cutwork and depicts a celebratory scene with dancing, a jazz sax man and florals all around. A wonderful special occassion cloth that came to me in pristine condition rolled around a long, large heavy cardboard cylander and wrapped in paper. Just so perfect!

    Thursday, May 04, 2006


    Piece of cloth
    in Swahili

    I finished the beading!

    This close-up photo shows the thread work and beading.

    I felt more comfortable -- well more confident with this piece. Much more confident than "Glitz, Glam, Gigawatt" on which I agonized, doubted, picked out, re-beaded and re-beaded.

    The photo below is a close-up of the upper right corner. You can see the batik on the right and the Japanese barkcloth next to it on the left. Both photos above show the Crazy Quilt style of embroidered beading.

    Here is the entire "piece of beaded cloth".

    It is tiny, a mini-beaded quilt only about 6x7 inches.

    I haven't put a back on it yet and need to decide what type of hanger to apply.

    This is going to be a wonderful New England day! The rain is gone. Blue sky. Soft spring air. A day to experience. What will bring joy to your life today? Me, myself and Larry are making a picnic lunch. Going to the beach at noon for our first of the season.

    I will look across the 9-mile expanse of water to the Isles of Shoals. And try to see Star Island, shimmering on the horizon. On a clear day, I can almost knock on the front door of the Oceanic Hotel.

    Today, I want to drink May. Posted by Picasa

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Kitambaa (piece of cloth) is my current project: a beaded & embellished mini-quilt
    (a la crazy quilt)
    using embroidery-type stitches with beads & only about 6 x 8 inches.
    I just started to add objects like the 1940s button that I beaded thru the holes.
    The colors in the photo are not true; I needed to darken the photo in order to see the elements.

    Life is "trying things to see if they work."

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Here is an African-Inspired Crazy Quilt that I've been working on this week. I'm calling it, Kitambaa (piece of cloth in Swahili).

    It's a fabric collage with beaded embellishment. I'm using bead stitches that are similar to those in thread embroidery: chain stitch, cross-stitch, feather and fly stitch and so on.

    I've used commercially printed fabrics with the exception of one PFD ~~ prepared for dying ~~ piece that I dyed with herbs from my garden.

    I audition and select the fabrics I want and lay them onto batting or fleece and pin them stability. I use my sewing machine in free-form "thread play" to hold them together. It will be about 6 inches when it's finished.

     Posted by Picasa
    ~~ WORD PLAY ~~
    This is a good exercise; I like the free association - the memories that are evoked - the senses that are aroused. What a surprise when doing the letter "A" and I suddenly remembered my mother's passion for tart apples with salt sprinkled on them ~~ and best if they were stolen from someone's orchard. This from a very straight-laced woman!

    Dahlia, when I was in Alaska, I saw dahlias as big as THIS!!!!!! You can't imagine. . . . . .

    Ding Dong Ms. Frances school, my brother's favorite morning TV show and he'd be embarrased if he knew about this

    Dion, a 1950's? or 60s? singer

    Damask, a wonderful woven linen

    Dally, as in dilly or while away your time with day dreaming

    Delectable mountains, a patchwork block pattern
    Delectable cloth, a fabulous fabric store in Brattleboro

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    A Labor of Love . . . . . . A Patient Rescue Operation
    I am a rescuer by nature, champion of the underdog.
    So it is not surprising that I got hooked on antique linens a few years ago.

    Fabulous handwork done by women of another age and a gentler time had lost its appeal by mid century. Heirs had no interest in fluffy, frilly things in a post-modern world. Auctioneers had no knowledge of their value.
    Often boxes of handmade linens found their way to town dumps or if they were lucky to the local charity shop.
    But thankfully there has been a revival of interest in these wonderful pieces that tell of women's history.
    Here are just a few examples of pieces I have found and reclaimed.
    This is a hand-embroidered silk boudoir pillow from the first quarter of the 20th century.
    Isn't she just wonderful!
    A pale-almost-petal-pink silk with delicate handwork.

    This is a close up of her face
    you can see the only flaw
    beneath her nose and onto her lips.
    I am of the opinion that it does not detract from her loveliness.

    A heavy linen laundry bag with a draw string
    on which someone lovingly embroidered
    the floral design and the word "Laundry".

    These women seemed to like naming their things!

    This textile is probably early bark cloth
    about 24 inches wide by 36 inches long.
    A pocket at the top is to insert tubular cardboard.

    I don't know what it was called but it was used to store linens
    which were laid upon it and rolled up.
    A ribbon at the top was tied to secure the package.

    Linen is a brittle fiber;
    folding for long periods causes the fibers to break.
    Knowledgeable housewifes of the 19th and 20th centuries
    devised ways to protect their precious commodities.

    Here is a closeup of one block of an early 20th century quilt.
    Entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted.

    This is one of a set of tea towels for each day of the week.
    The scene is a common depiction in the first half of the 20th century.

    This is a piece of ethnic embroidery on linen.
    It is probably European and has an art deco feel to me.

    I love this linen and lace tea time placemat
    heavily padded satin stitch, richelieu cutwork
    handmade lace
    one of a large set.

    These pieces did not come to me in pristine condition.
    With few exceptions they were soiled, stained, musty and dusty.

    I soak each piece in sodium perborate that I purchase thru a chemical shop on-line
    sometimes for days
    before drying and ironing
    (no never in the dryer!).
    Sometimes a piece falls apart in the bath
    but mostly they come clean, sparkling, fresh
    and ready to grace another table, bed or whatever.

    I cherish hand-embroidered Madeira sheets and pillowcases from Portugal
    an Edwardian-era silk cape for a child.
    Two that did come to me in "as new" condition:
    a banquet cloth with elaborate cutwork
    of dancing women, musicians and 24 matching napkins in 2 sizes
    a silk damask lined bedspread that is sooooo beautiful.

    And on and on.....

    Working with antique linens is a labor of love and a patient rescue operation.
    It is impossible to do it without a deep respect for the textile,
    its history and graceful design and the woman/women who executed it.