Friday This ‘N That

Just a quick post…some pictures from my first attempt at breakdown printing…

Plastic canvas and sequin waste placed beneath the screen. Squeegeed yellow-orange dye across the screen, let dry. Next day, made turquoise dye paste and activated and squeegeed onto cloth. The little dark rusty looking areas are where the orange yellow dye came off the screen. Interesting. Oh, and there was some pink blotches on the fabric when I started, just so you know.

These I screened the yellow orange dye on and then later dye painted with turquoise dye.


1. It would be good to have several screens available to use to do this with. I have one at the moment, so I made the design on the screen and had to wait a day til it dried, before I could go on. I will be purchasing more.

2. Putting the textural objects beneath the screen and squeegeeing the dye paste on the inside of the screen worked very well, perhaps better than coating the screen and laying objects in it, at least for me. More exploration is required, but I definitely liked the images I got on the screen by laying the objects beneath it.

3. Some of the fabric had been presoaked in soda ash and dried and some had not. I’m not sure if it made much difference in the colors. The turquoise dye itself was activated on both kinds of cloth. The only reason I had some presoaked is that I had made it for another project. I did not do presoaked specifically for this process.

4. There is more work and mess involved screening with dye than with paint, but I very much like the hand of the cloth with dye. Lovely.

Call Me Color Crazy…

I think I am in love with color. After dyeing 15 yards last week, some days I just sit and stare at the colors in the stack. Sometimes I stroke them to feel the softness. Am I obsessed? Maybe. I am enjoying the intensely rich colors. (I also tend to stick my nose in the freshly opened coffee can and take a deep breath, too…these are a few of MY favorite things…remember that song?)

I have also been playing a bit with soy wax. Isn’t this luscious? I applied the wax in a random abstract pattern.

It’s a clean-the-brush cloth that I screened over with Lumiere and Textile paints by Jacquard. It’s very impressionistic. Now put it with this aqua blue hand dye…

Yummm….I think I would wear clothes in these colors. When I got out my 3-In-1 color tool, I found that the scarlet red color is the complement of the aqua blue. No wonder I like it.

I have also been dabbling with breakdown printing. I will post some pictures later.

I Just Had To Do It…

Ever since my round robin piece of fabric arrived home, I have been thinking about writing on it.  (See post from April 26 below.)  When we were doing the round robin, I wanted to write on one of the pieces as a layer of surface design, but I was afraid to…afraid that whoever…would not consider it as surface design. So, tee hee, I get to do it on my own piece of cloth!  So here is layer #8…and I’m not sure it’s done yet!  I may do some other things to it.  I did large and small handwriting with a calligraphy pen.

Dyeing Day

I had a fabric dyeing day Monday.  I put some pieces on the clothesline and poured the dye over them. I have the dyed toes and feet to prove it.  I needed to replenish olive, aqua greens and blues.  I used a recipe I made several years ago on natural muslin.  This time I dyed on pfd white cotton.  There’s a little bit of difference, but really, it’s a pretty good match. I had new brown I wanted to test…I love it.

I did a parfait, stacking fabrics on top of each other.  The first layer didn’t get much dye transferred from the second layer.

The pink fabric turned out pretty awesome, I think.  Here are two different parts of it.  I am really liking the combination of the orangy-yellow and pink.

Monday This N’ That

The fabric dyeing class on Saturday went well. I am now working on the sequel class which is scheduled for September 6. My plan is to teach a few more dyeing techniques, including discharge dyeing, then go on to dye painting and printing with the dye paint. It will be a full day.

But for today, I am going to do some dyeing for myself. I have been working with a wonderful, small piece of aqua green in my collages, and I find that I have no more to use, so it’s time to dye. Aqua blues and aqua greens, browns, some clothesline dyeing (where you get the neat lines), and maybe some painting. This week is a fairly clear week for me, so I will have lots of time to work with soy wax screening too. Yea! Pictures forthcoming later in the week.

I am also still working on a class sample for Sew Tech and find that I am going to need a small amount of more fabric, which was bought up by my friend. Since she’s my friend, I’m sure she will share a bit with me! The pictures of some of those blocks are on the Coming Soon page of this blog. It is turning out really awesome. The blocks are gorgeous. By the end of the week I will be able to post a pic of it with the setting triangles and partial borders.

New collages I worked on last week…I am definitely into a series of “Fragments of a Life”. Everything I do to a piece of cloth represents a fragment of my time, my imagination and my creativity. Every used dryer sheet represents a load of laundry done(!) and painting time. My handwriting is a fragment of my time and thought. Every stamp I carve and then choose to stamp on a particular piece takes time and thought. So, “Fragments of a Life” seems appropriate. Though these are small, 8″x 8″ and 10″x 10″ so far, I am having a great time with them. I will have lots of new small pieces for the upcoming show in August. I also have 2 larger pieces on the design wall I would like to finish and am getting some ideas of where to go with them.

Fragments of a Life #3

Fragments of a Life #4

Stuff I’m Working On….

I am working this week. I am preparing for a fabric dyeing class this weekend at the Rend Lake Visitor’s center. I have been studying and writing my handout and getting kits ready.

I have also been playing/working in my room. My new best friend is gesso. A friend of mine had given me several books of home dec samples. Being the little hoarding and can’t-waste-anything person that I am, I have found a use for some of these pieces. I usually work fairly small, so these do come in handy. (When, oh, when will I work larger?) I am taking the large florals and painting them with gesso, then painting over that with the Adirondack iridescent paints. I love the whitewashed feeling the gesso does to the fabric. The paint is not put on solid, but a bit randomly. You’ll see. I am using these pieces to frame other small pieces of art. I like the look. Now to find a way to mount them for hanging. I glued (PVA, acid free) the gessoed, painted home dec fabric to matboard, but have stopped there so far. These pieces are not stitched yet. The only problem I see so far, is that the lovely gessoed florals are mostly covered up, but I do like the “framing” look of it.

I am thinking “Fragments of a Life”. What do you think?

Again using scraps…home dec fabric, gesso, acrylics, stamping, dyed craft paper, torn paper from a photo, screening, painted dryer sheets, hand dyed fabric, calligraphy pen. This started with a georgous earthy hand dye I wish I could repeat.

I think I will be adding more to this one. I am thinking more background texture. The home dec fabric pieces have a lovely ragged edge on one side (shown here on the bottom), from cutting them out of the book. I would like to utitilize that.

I am looking forward to soon spending a few days dyeing, painting and screening with soy wax out in my patio…if this cold, rainy weather ever clears up!

Let’s Talk About Paint

I have been wanting to blog my observations about the Adirondack paint that I recently purchased. I love, love, love, the Adirondack Dabbers. I got those in Chicago. This is acrylic paint with a sponge dabber in the lid. You simply turn the bottle upside down and “dab” the paint onto your stamp or whatever. The two colors I purchased, Espresso and Lettuce, are very rich, and I am looking for more of those.

At Paducah I was looking for more of the dabbers, but did not find them. I did find Adirondack acrylics. Thinking these were the same as the paint in the dabbers, I purchased them (and they were half off). I reasoned that I could just use my own dabbers. They wouldn’t have quite the convenience of the others, but I could make do. These paints turned out to be metallic, and I was quite surprised because I did think I was purchasing the same kind of paint. There was nothing in the labeling to indicate that they were anything but regular acrylics, so a word to the wise…but they are nice thick paints.

Friday This ‘N That

It’s time to blog again and I feel a little bit lost as to topic. This week has mainly been a week of just doing a little of this and that and tying up loose ends on stuff. I can’t say that I have accomplished anything major.

I did manage to get a tote bag sample made up for a class in June so that I could deliver it when I went to Evansville on Thursday. You can see it at the bottom of the page, Classes In Evansville. I like how it turned out, all bright and cheerful. And yesterday I worked on blocks for another class I am planning for the fall, the 4 Patch Posy. You can see those blocks on the Coming Soon page. I have this group of girls from Indiana that are keeping me quite busy. You see, they have full time jobs, and they just love getting out for a day and coming to the shop, taking a class and learning something new. So it’s keeping me hopping, planning classes and making the samples. But they help out quite well. They choose the class and usually the date they can come. I just schedule it and get the sample made if I don’t already have one. Does anyone want to buy samples? I am getting quite a collection! I do schedule the classes several times to maximize the use of my samples.

I did do some playing around with some art earlier in the week. You see, I will be in a group exhibit at the Arts Council gallery in Evansville in August and have been mulling over what I will plan to put in and what I should make before that time for the exhibit. My workroom is full of scraps of cloth. I am such a hoarder. I even have started keeping the plastic tabs from potato bags, because when I look at them I think, I just know something can be done with that in my art! But my room (needs to be cleaned) has a tableload of “stuff” laying around so I played.

See? Discharged cotton, scraps of painted dryer sheet and painted white cotton with writing on it, a scrap of joint tape, black cotton, dyed paper. I must not forget the scrap of plasticized (from heat) onion bag. It was laying around…can’t let it go to waste. It’s too cool for texture. I really love the challenge of using my imagination and the scraps on my table. I think I could do it all day long and use up the scraps, but then I realize they multiply way faster than I can use them.

I am also working on this. I really like the red free motion zig zag stitching and I think I will find other ways to use this technique.

So what artsy things are you doing today?

Arts In Harmony

Well, the festival is over for this year.  It was quite fun with lots of artists in all mediums.  The first day was quite ‘blustery” and we had to hold onto our hats (and tents!), the downside of outdoor festivals.  The second day was awesome and beautiful.  A columnist for the Evansville Courier, Sally Roth, had a column that came out in Sunday’s paper with a brief mention of the Arts In Harmony festival and a mention of my website and, in particular, a certain fiber piece of mine, called “Leaf”.  It is from a photo of a geranium leaf in my back yard.  She previewed my website and really loved this piece, then wrote about it in her column.  She was at the fair, since she lives in New Harmony.  Since I had prior notice that this column was coming out, I managed to have “Leaf” on hand, mounted and ready to hang…and Sally purchased it.  There were several purchase awards given to other artists, but this was my “purchase award”!

“Leaf” —SOLD