It will be a glorious weekend, weather-wise. I really do think that Alberta has Ontario’s weather this year! That being said, there will be some serious fencing and planting going on.

I am also reminded by recent cruisings of other sites, that i have a stockpile of natural dyes that are languishing in the cupboard. “Saving” things does no good to anyone, and things get old and weak, so best use them.

The indigo vat i started 3 years ago was very successful, then i forgot about it (????). It has also frozen through 3 winters, and at last year’s Wada Workshop, i asked Yoshiko if it might be still useable. With the liquid in it still being green, it’s a possibility, so that must be reactivated.

I also have brazilwood, sandalwood, madder and walnut. The walnut pot had been started two weeks ago and is going well, revving up some ecoprints that weren’t that fantastic.


(Sorry, it’s already gone to a good home :) )

Since i am still having problems getting into the stoodio, these things can be done while gardening. Waiting is a big part of the dye process and gardening, so might as well make good use of both wait periods!



Posted by on May 20, 2015 in dye experiments


in the backyard

The “May Long Weekend”, aka Victoria Day weekend, is traditionally the start of gardening season in Canada, and especially for such climes as Calgary’s Zone 3 conditions. If you’re interested in gardening–and mine is going to be featuring dye and ecoprint plants–you’ll find me happily (though today quite wearily) ensconced at my “dirty” blog, The Dangerous Mouth of the Rose.

My stoodio creativity is at the moment on hiatus, so i will concentrate on my second passion, that of grubbing in the dirt and exclaiming over growth of a half inch at a time—-if you are not a gardener, don’t feel obligated to visit.

It’s satisfying my soul and that’s all that matters right now.





flow slow 2

I mentioned at the end of March that as much as i enjoyed making the Mister Finch bulbs, i wanted to do other things that were more original and personal. These aren’t meant to replace actual work i am doing in the Stoodio, but little bits to develop ideas, stitch strategies and spatial forms. (And my fingers need rest from rust!)

pitcher plant inspiration

It took me three hours of sketching, swearing, redrafting and re-sewing test pattern pieces. I hope the end result will be as wonderfully whacko. I’m using Deb Lacativa’s delicious hand dyed cottons again.


I have also fired up Lalage. Recent advice from a friend, as i noted in a previous post, has me doing some R&D with no fixed results in mind. I haven’t done a lot of this for too long now, instead myopically working on pieces that “have” to be completed. It’s wonderful to be able to DO the serious stuff, not have it lost in a UFO pile, but part of stoodio life is some playing too, yes? Tying in with the previous post, i am working with text again, in my own egocentric way!



And by the way, that dear friend (Karin Millson) and i will be teaching again in September, in Regina, Saskatchewan. This time we will be “abusing” our machines with Karin’s extreme tips, and then doing some ecoprinting! I will post details as i get them–we are still “formatting” and working out details, so stay tuned :)



Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Jam Days, media experiments


THIS is why i tell people i will not follow their blog, just because they have followed mine!

Got this in my email today, after i left a comment on a truly vile, sensationalistic, depraved and contemptible blog that i would not follow just because he had hit the “follow” button for my blog.

I wonder how You are getting dragged into a scandal you had nothing to do with. One man’s junk is another man’s meat. You cannot have a skunk in your house and say the smell belongs to someone else. You must own both the smell and the skunk. Your blog is worse than a skunk!

Obviously this jerk has nothing better to say, or anything remotely intelligent, indeed nothing even worth saying, period. Comments like this immediately land you in my SPAM filter, and are in serious violation of courtesy and common sense. Repeats get you reported to WordPress as scum.

Again, i say: don’t bother. If you have nothing that interests me, and i mean whether it’s a repellent and degenerate show-photos-of-of-dead-people-in-war-torn-areas blog (SERIOUSLY? ARE YOU SICK????) or a subject like gaming, teeth, life coaching, sunshiney fashionista, whiney teenager, bad poet or whatever, i have NO interest. Just as i/we don’t join groups that don’t interest us, neither do i/we follow anything else that has no pertinence to my/our world.

Blog on, True Hearts. All others can bite my poison garden plants.


Posted by on May 13, 2015 in blog and net etiquette


less action, more words :)


I quite fell in love with Sara Impey‘s book “Text in Textile Art”, so much so that i renewed it from the library 3 times! Initially i suspected it would be a dry academic read, but was very pleasantly surprised. A sense of humour, clear histories and stories from the author and other artists, decently sized photos of work, techniques and inspiration all made it something i’m going to buy a copy of for the stoodio library.  I don’t buy that many books anymore, not because i don’t enjoy them, but because there are too many redundancies in the publishing world, or books that dumb down with “whimsy” and stoopidly simple DIY that didn’t need to be re-invented. Sara’s book is none of those, instead being a good reference for those who are interested in a little more meat and less lambchop panties trying to dress up cheap cuts. This is a book for artists, not a product oriented “let’s jump off the bridge because X and Y have gotten famous doing it”. (I also loved that she mentioned she too was floored by Germaine Greer’s rather uninformed “review” of textile art, something i wrote about in response several years ago.)

I have been having a Crisis of Faith again, not getting much of anything done, a dry well and needles rusting in rusted cloth…. A dear friend advised me privately that perhaps it’s time for some play instead of nose to the grindstone myopia, as most of my work is, being hand done. Since i have several days in a row this week to myself, i shall take up her words to the words in my head, and fire up some stretching exercises. Sara’s book has fermented a few ideas so that will be my jumping point i think. I sifted through years of sketch/note books and photos, finished work and crap you’ll never see, and have decided some writing whether asemic or “real” would be a nice little interlude. I’ve written before of my love for poetry and text in textiles: sometimes you need to return to your primal/primary interest.

Perhaps 2012’s “word of the year” “Origin” should be in effect again. Shudder, those word of the year things were such a waste; how can you build art on the premises of “joy”, “finish”, “dream”? So trite. Go jump off a bridge :)

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in "Art, fear and permission"


dirt therapy

I spent several hours outside today, gardening, walking Nessie around the marsh and along the riverbanks.  We saw and heard a million red winged blackbirds, and spoke hushed to one beaver. The sun melted that horrid white stufff, we lay in the grass and dreamed under the apple bees. I picked May tree, Saskatoon berry and Black Currant blooms.

maytree saskatoon berry and wild currantHeaven scent filling the house, warm and clear and sweet. Intoxicating spring. There should be a fragrance button for blogs at this time of the year.


Posted by on May 11, 2015 in not so ordinaries


failing at Queen of the Universe

Haven’t done any stitching of any sort since April 28, just can’t get up the energy after having to do the day job regardless of how i feel. This stupid virus has had three and a half weeks so far in me, and i have little inclination to do anything about anything. I had hoped to get some gardening done today, but oh no, just because i bought the prettiest osteospermum last evening, it SNOWED today……..

cause and effectPatient DogFaced Girl has been cuddled well these past two weeks, but the walks have been few and far between……..we have a big backyard for her to race around, but it’s Just Not The Same as a decent walk. Today i will muster some energy, bundle up, and let her drag me where her schnorg leads.



A lot of my favourite sites are getting sparse, postings very infrequent and most short on words. Have we all been blogging too long and run out of things to say and show? Life “intrudes”, whether happily or not–myself, i’ve often wished it would go away and just let me do and make, but that ain’t the way, is it?

I myself have either less to say, or have decided not to say. Though there are still the odd occasions i blunder in with my big mouth…….. For the most part i am staying away from the computer deliberately. I find i’m needing to consider things longer, keep my mouth shut a lot and consciously turn away from things.

We are our own wells, so it’s best i draw from there, instead of trying to drink and end up fighting/envying at someone else’s water supply. But, i can’t even say i’m working on sketches and ideas, or planning anything. The well is pretty dry right now. I miss my stoodio time, but there’s just no interest right now. Haven’t felt like this since my 15 months in Edmonton, when of that i did NOTHING for a full YEAR.

I have a few days off in a row this week, so i best force myself to do something, or i’ll be whining about wasted time again. What a vicious circle.



Posted by on May 11, 2015 in "Art, fear and permission"


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