– Details, details

I’m here to say for the record that what Cindy Monte does at Handstories (aka Hazel), creating gossamer swaths of stars, is very, very hard to do (well). That being said, when I awoke this morning to green grasses glittering in the early morning sun, I had to try …

Patch #21
It doesn’t quite capture the magic of the scene outside my window, much as Christmas tree lights don’t capture the magic of stars seen through evergreen branches. Nonetheless, having stitched it will help me remember this morning’s magic and appreciate Cindy’s creations all the more.
Likewise, I tried to capture the sense of an overnight wash of raindrops in the gauge. Though there was too little to measure, the rainfall was worthy of recording with a fringe of blue linen and tiny pricks of pale blue basting along the edges of the sunlit yellow patch  …
Other details I’ve stitched are too subtle to see unless pointed out, like these two weather patches joined with orange thread, a recollection of driving into Austin at daybreak last week …

I’ve also stitched some seams in gray, a nod to partially cloudy days. They are beneath notice unless one knows where to look. A stitcher’s conceit … and therein lies the explanation for the fun I’m having. [Later: I just recalled that software game developers who hide images in their work call the images “Easter eggs”]

By the way, today’s green patch was the outcome of a thrift store binge yesterday …
The three table cloths on the top left are finely woven cotton/linen blends … all 55″ x 55″ square and there were four more I left behind (2 beige, 2 a rather bilious yellow). They undoubtedly came from the same home, from someone who loved to set tables, someone like Dana at Raven and Sparrow. At least, that’s what I choose to believe … it makes for a good story.The teal placemats on the lower left seem to be the same cotton/linen blend, but I confess to being a bit unsure, even after doing a burn test, as they could conceivably be rayon or a rayon blend.
The shirts, on the other hand, are 100% cotton (the one on the left) and 100% linen (the two on the right). The green shirt is a men’s medium, so lots of cloth to be had. The two ladies’ blouses are another story: my favorite colors … for stitching or wearing? I can’t decide. Don’s Solomonic recommendation is to put them in the closet to see if I actually wear them before putting them on the cutting block. Works for me.
And to finish the thought thread that I started last night, here’s the Kantha stitch that I ripped out of Land of Flood and Drought
Double-strand DMC

And here’s what I stitched in its place …
Single-strand DMC

Visibly the difference is subtle (there’s that word again), but to the hand it made all the difference in the world. 

– Looking back

Dee Mallon has been an ongoing inspiration, most recently with her thoughts on gratitude realized after the fact. So today’s patch is apt …

Patch #20

It’s a scrap from a trial piece of linen worked almost two years ago when I first stumbled onto the notion of slow cloth (which I first mentioned at the end of this post). It didn’t take long for me to discover Jude Hill after that … and all the Kindred Spirits began to appear after I took her interactive class Considering Weave.
The little blue stem outside my window on this mid-winter day is the only tall grass left, the others having fallen to ground and the Texas wintergrass not yet more than promising mounds of green. The blue stem isn’t actually blue at this time of year … having dried to a rusty red, it will continue to stand tall until next year’s crop overtakes it. Wondrous stuff!
On another note, I’ve been meaning to mention that the daily patches aren’t the only projects I’m playing with. I’ve been adding Kantha to Land of Flood and Drought

Two strands of DMC floss Kantha stitch on linen patches
And then taking it out again … two steps forward, one step back. More on that tomorrow as it’s now too dark to get a good picture of where things are headed.

– So much to remember

First, today’s patch …

Patch #14
which was cut from the end of one of the (very long) ties on this dress from my teens, one of the few pieces of clothing I saved (sadly) …
100% cotton made in India

I loved this dress (still do) … bought it in a Roslyn Heights head shop when I was a senior in high school … wore it all through college … and used it on Halloween during my parenting years whenever I needed a costume (peace y’all). But can I find any pictures of myself wearing it? Not a one. Note to self: remember to organize the photo collection.

After stitching the patch-of-the-day, I made my usual run through email, Facebook, and KINDRED SPIRITS blog posts. My one-time college roommate Jane Russo had posted a link to her daughter Sarah’s blog, which is being written from Turkey where her military husband is stationed. Sarah’s post about a bombing in Istanbul made me want to follow Another Year, Another City, written by “just a girl trying to save the world.” For future reference I’ve placed a link to the blog with the other KINDRED SPIRITS.

By late morning, Don and I were headed out to run errands in San Marcos, which included a stop at the library to pick up Women who run with the wolves. As I left the library I spotted an intriguing art exhibit …

Remembering a quirky house fronted by a fence full of folk art rooster heads just down the road, I put two and two together, went back into the library and asked whether the artist resided at said house. Yes indeed, I was told. A bit of Googling once I got home yielded up a Facebook link called Chicken Head Fence. Take a look … it’s hard to forget once you’ve seen it!
Turning back into the library had another fortuitous result: a book sale item caught my eye, the cover and spine illustrations incredibly familiar …

 a cookbook purchased by my dad for my mom …
published the year I was born … which may explain
why I don’t recall my mom actually making many of these recipes

I’m pretty sure the copy from my childhood still resides at the Shelter Island house (which is now my brother’s vacation home), but I’m looking forward to having one here in Texas, too.

Finally, ending on yet another library note, my copy of KEEP a part of the Modern Library installation by Jody Alexander arrived in the mail …

As a retired librarian, I found her take on books and mending fascinating with its Kantha stitched pieces of book covers and cloth … 

Note the hand labelled black spine at the upper left …
what I did at my first job as a library assistant in the late 1970s
and am delighted to have her artist’s book to remember it by.