Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Button, Button …Buttons on Tuesday


I have just recently discovered the amount of stuff available on ebay, new to this phenomenon, at first I was overwhelmed, but I am an old hand now.  This prolific amount of stuff is an amazement to me – all I have to do is say, gee I wish I had “some,”  insert whatever desire comes to mind, and I am immediately rewarded with hundreds, or even thousands of choices!  A few days ago while I was stitching on my Tattered Gatsby(s) I wished for buttons and voila!  A big bag of buttons arrived today.  But these are no ordinary buttons! 

Very old mother-of-pearl, still attached to bits of cloth, as if someone just cut the buttons off with a hunk of the garment still attached!  Which, of course, that is just what they did!  I love it when I find buttons with thread still in them, but with a scrap of fabric, oh my, its wonderful!  These do not require “aging,”  they are already quite aged, and actually dirty, which makes them even better to me.

Strung together for safe keeping.  All of these are mother of pearl except the very large white ones.  I love to imagine who strung them together, what garment were they taken from, and how many times were they used since their original removal?


Very large (1.5 inch) still attached to their original cards.  These probably aren’t so old, but they are really big and heavy mother of pearl.

They said it was about 500 buttons, but they didn’t say how old and neat they were – and  its way more than 500! Sometimes I am surprised that no one else wants what I want – no one else saw anything special in these!  No rhinestones, no fancy shapes, and it wasn’t mentioned that so many of them were the sought after mop!  A new term I have recently learned in the button world.

The yellowish ones are very old underwear buttons, either bone or “vegetable ivory,” another new term to me, and the little black and white one is a painted china – looks like a zebra, another new term in the button world!  The black faceted ones are glass.  The little greyish two holed one feels like its made out of rubber?

I will be able to fill up my glass bottle-shaped like a hand with tiny pearl buttons now.   Its taken me a long time to collect enough small buttons that will drop through the bottle top, but this found treasure  is filled with tiny pearl buttons! 


Tattered Gatsby


I began sewing strips of muslin that had paint marks on it from wiping my brush while painting, and I was going to just use random stitches and make some pretty little flag flappers to hang outside like Lynn does  does for her beloved trees!  But I began seeing dresses instead.  So I added bits of scraps, a piece of very old silk all tattered and torn, snippets of long ago crochet that someone started and never finished.  Small pieces of old doll dresses, the more worn and tattered the better!  These Daisy Buchannen like (F.Scott Fitzgerald) gowns emerged, and that’s why Tattered Gatsby seemed like a good name.   This is pure relaxation stitching – no rules!  No straight lines, or hemmed finishes!  The sewing is crooked, sometimes irregular, and raggedy.   When I read F.Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby many years ago, I imagined all the beautiful gowns that Daisy would wear, and although the story was great, it was the fashion that stuck in my mind.

“Pink,” with a little brass butterfly and a pink pearl, a very tattered dolls pink petticoat, and a corner from an old beautifully made handkerchief with an appliqued heart in the center.  Hanging on a 4- inch hanger, measuring about 9-inches from the shoulder – can’t you imagine Daisey on a spring-time picnic?

“Glamour,” as in a small spell to bewitch.  I’ve added a piece of twine and a silver face-shaped charm making it look like a long Repunzel type braid fastened off with a silver flower.  A small piece of kimono silk for the top,purchased from ,  and a sparkly scrap at the bottom in gray and purple purchased from Patty at, and blanket stitched in rose-pink embroidery thread.

I haven’t named this one yet – still have some finishing touches to add.  The flounced skirt at the bottom is a piece from a white silk scarf that is so old and tattered Daisey might have owned it herself!  More silk flounce at the yoke.  A brass masquerade mask with a dangling pearl against a hand sewn silk rosette from the ancient scarf.  What is interesting to me is that I have had all these little worn out fragments, some of them for years, and never knew what I was going to do with them.  I think, as artists, we are often compelled to save the oddest things.  Things that a less eccentric person would ever consider saving, or collecting in the first place!  The thing is, as artists, we know we will find a use for it someday.

I thought some might want to know what the backs look like.  I’ve finished off two of them with walnut-ink stained muslin.  I don’t think I’ve finished the one on the left yet, so I haven’t finished the back.  I like the weight the muslin backing gives to these projects – although the unfinished back is kind of interesting too.

Gone Again …


  The house is empty again.  No laughing little boy trailing after me calling “Mimi? Mimi?”  

Everything is quiet, nothing is out of place.

No more teasing Cookie with his sunglasses … or offering bits of food he knows she shouldn’t have, which she always politely accepts!  Ha!  Should we say eagerly begs for!

No more finger painting and toe painting!


Summer is quiet again.  The wind chimes make their songs for me and I remember little hands and bright blue eyes.

It was a magic time had we, a very magical time. 

Sometimes a bump in the night….


“Witch”  Acrylic  on canvas 9×12 inches

It is amazing how surprising it always is to me to discover that someone I know well wishes me harm.  This has happened before with this same person, and I am always surprised at the depth of another’s misguided thoughts and potentially damaging actions.  I know this person very well and although I cannot say I trust this person, I can say I thought benign coexistence was a possibility.  However, apparently this is not ever going to be possible.  She has stolen from me, she has tried to tarnish my reputation, not only as a human being, but as a member of my family and friends.  I will never understand the motivation that drives this kind of person – I try to keep in mind that it is a sad thing for her own soul, but I also have quick hot bursts of anger that threaten to bloom into some kind of retaliation, which I realize is a choice each of us has to make and I have always chosen not to retaliate, not to allow bitterness or anger to become my own path, but it takes strength of conviction and often courage.  I am happy in my life and I refuse to be denigrated by her actions.  Yes?

Treasures for Tuesday


Very old china painting dyes


I got these years ago in a little wooden box .  I thought the little bottles with corks were amazing – and the box had the left-over labels from used up colors they wanted to save, I guess.  The pink yarn is wrapped around a piece of rope – I don’t know if it was a test dye or what?   I used to work in a place where stuff like this would surface all the time and it was usually just thrown out – that’s how I acquired these, from the trash!  The corks are permanently welded in the bottles now, and the paints are pretty much dried up.   

Old lock covers


This is the box for the above bottles, but I needed a place to put my newly acquired collection of lock plate covers!  This was a Mother’s Day gift to myself from e-bay.  When I saw them I thought of Alice in Wonderland – so many choices – where are the keys?   

More treasures


This is an assortment of old and rusty hardware, a Mother’s Day gift  from my youngest daughter!  


The Laughing Dog


A sweet treasure who can always make me smile!   My daughter took these a few years back.  This is my little dog, Cookie Moon, a Valentine gift seven years ago!   She still thinks she’s a puppy though – and loves to entertain.  


Waiting for Spring



                  “Lillith quietly awaits the springtime. ”               

 Mixed media, crumpled paper, hand painted aged newsprint painted green and hand torn into  small leaves.   Wadded tissue, matt medium,  a small piece of watercolor paper underneath for support and attached with matt medium to a journal page.  Mostly enjoyed the wadding and textures created with that and the molding paste, a  failed transfer print of a butterfly  began the composition with  more hope than technique!    I did try to talk Ms.Lillith into letting me add some hair, but you can see by her expression that she preferred being argumentative – so I boxed in her face and planted seedlings on top of where her hair might  have been – she didn’t mind.  She announced she rather liked the small roots growing from the seedlings which gave  her the impression of a “fringe,” her word not mine.  She has also begun to make reference to something she calls a “Lilith Faire.”  I believe it is a concert, as she has been quietly singing some Sarah McGloughlin songs – which is rather nice at times.  I think she believes she is a “free spirit.”

I wish it would warm up here, and there were some flowers hardy enough to withstand below freezing at night for at least another six weeks.   I actually had to turn the heat on today, although I held out until about 3:00 PM when I just could  not stand it anymore.  I had a portable heater that worked very well in the studio, but it broke last week so we are back to sitting hunched over our work thinking of fingerless gloves and Dickens in a freezing room much like the very cold and haunted rooms in scary movies -the  ones that emit strange sounds and doors open and close without human touch.  (there actually isn’t any “we”, unless you count Cookie Moon who doesn’t wear fingerless gloves – mostly because she has paws, not hands.) Anyway being cold doesn’t really do much for my creative endeavors!  So I went off to wal-mart to buy another heater, something simple, just basically a blow dryer on legs – but they had not a one!  Just shelves filled with every shape and size of air cooling fans, which won’t be needed for at least two or three more months! 

The trees that are not evergreen having nothing on them –   it looks yet the dead of winter.  No wonder Lillith has that petulant expression of  “why can’t I have it now!”