sturm und drang


Something about the valley we live in seems to keep snow out of it. We’ve more-or-less dodged a blizzard: there is snow to the east of us, snow to the west of us, more forecast in all directions, and we’re done. We even have sunshine, intermittently.

This is Main Street, looking towards our delightfully absurd Town Hall, with turrets. No one was driving except people with plows. The walking was nice. I hope the coast is not getting hammered too hard – it makes me feel obscurely guilty for wishing a little more of their snow had hit us!

quiet house

I feel like I should say right up front that I love my family. I’m pleased to have them in the house, I look forward to vacations when the college girl is home, the high school girl doesn’t have to wake up and Al is off work. We had a virtual cousin for two weeks in early January too, which was also wonderful. It was a happy, noisy, convivial time.

I managed to build this model for the production of Godspell we are doing in mid-March at the high school. But I couldn’t get into my studio.

Godspell model 1

I like an empty house to accomplish things in. Yesterday morning, after most of a month of family and company, there was no one else in my house. I finally sorted and thinned my yarn stash, and I have a box to go to the Montessori School for their knitting projects. I finally emptied the baskets of my stuff that had been cleared from the Living Room to make room for Christmas. I found the floor in the studio, and sorted the threads again. Dogs generally need to turn ’round three times before they can settle to sleep. I clearly need to pace three times ’round my studio before I can settle to work. And I need it quiet and empty to do that.

archives: art dolls

I used to make dolls. I made a lot of fabric dolls. Making them, thinking about making clothes for them, was giggly fun. Making tiny clothes, and figuring out how to sew tiny shoes, and even making fancy laces for tiny fancy boots was about the best fun I could think of. My elder daughter Aerin told me, at age four, that she had enough dolls now thank you, and I could stop making them. I kept going for a while, and made more that were were more adult looking, but eventually I stopped.

Here are pictures of the Shaggy Man (who looks suspiciously like my charming husband) :

Shaggy Man face

And the Queen of Hearts – she doesn’t look like anyone I know, but her sister the Queen of Diamonds looks like my maternal grandmother:

queen of hearts full seated

And a valliant attempt at a dollhouse sized doll in paperclay. Alice liked her just fine without clothes, thank you, so she was a kind of nanny in the doll house for a while, before Alice got a mad thing for chain mail and wanted her to more strongly resemble a warrior of the Khan. I’ll take a picture of her all decked in her war finery sometime.

tiny clay lady

archives: Haystack fiber studio 2012

In 2012 I went to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for a two week course with Marian Bijlenga. It was intense, and lovely, and the food was amazing, and I had a wonderful time. We were working with water soluble stabilizer, making fabric out of thread and strange objects and thin air.
water soluble one

coiled twigs, pinecone sections, stitched velvet circles


water soluble two

velvet scraps in thread grid


thread landscape

coastline study, perle cotton, invisible thread

Before I left for Haystack, I was having trouble sleeping, and having stress dreams about not fitting in, not having the skills I’d need… Eventually I had a soothing dream about going to the shoreline, and choosing rocks, and sewing little velvet coats for them. When I got to Haystack, I was fine. I had all the skills necessary, and wonderful people in my studio to work with and share with. But my dream of little coats for rocks stuck with me, and I made several.

And when I got sick of velvet, I made some lined linen jackets for more beach rocks.

white velvet jackets for rockssilk lines linen jackets for rocks






The application of whimsy is almost always a good plan.

archives: nine patch, not so humble

These three pieces are from 2009. I was experimenting with wool – felting it with a machine (dry felting or needle felting) and felting with water and agitation. I incorporated the resulting fabric into pieces with woven fabric and stitching.

Nine patches are a classic block for quilting, but they also make a nice canvas for experimenting with composition.

March 30

wet felted and iron stained felt with cotton strips

March 23 final

machine felted purple and white squares with black wool strips

March 19

commercial felt machine needled to black wool and embellished

three more from the archives

Three abstract works, with an emphasis on the rhythm of repeating squares and circles;

From January 2007, a fabric postcard from the daily ones I made through 2007
Jan 8

From 2008, a larger work about rhythm and counting
May TIF done

And from 2009, counting to fifty. I was thinking hard about turning fifty years old, and wanted to count things. There are fifty tiny shells threaded on five different threads, and centered in fifty silk circles. It was cathartic to make!

April 19

Epiphany and cold

Yesterday was Epiphany, or the Three Kings Day, but I like to say epiphany (say it with me: eeeee-PIFfff-aneeeeee) and I love that it means sudden insight as well as the layers of religious meaning it has accreted.

I have had no epiphanies lately. I am working steadily on making this site smoother and more professional looking, but most of that work is under the hood so to speak, and not readily visible. So have some poetry instead:

The Journey of the Magi (1927)

T. S. Eliot

‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:’


For the rest you’ll have to go over here, but it remains one of my favorites and I recommend it highly.