Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's Done

For the most part anyway, here's a shot of "Pet Cemetary" against two different colored walls.

In Progress

Do the petals look off??? Good ;-) Now to find some yummie beads and buttons to embelllish with.


I sold one piece of art, and one of my compost dyed silk scarves yesterday! Sondra "Hot Poppies" are on their way to you! Tis all very exciting and very uplifting.

I have a piece I've been meaning to work on the past few days I need to iron the fabric so I can get it put together, but have had a serious case of the lazies. Well when I get home from working a 16 hour day, at the shop, I'm too pooped to care - ever been there? So having sales on my store is just the squirt of energy I need to get more done in the studio. Happy creating and crafting everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2005 Journal Keyhole Pieces

Keyhole Series

Here's a piece I made the other night. My stress levels are very high and with that goes the ability to design. So I started looking through my stash of art quilts I've made over the past few years and decided I liked this design - it's from my 2005 Journal Quilt Series I never sent off to Houston. I'll post those as well.

I've decided to work this design in different mediums, pushing it until I arrive at something I'm happy with, again.

New dyed fibers

Here's a hat Regina Rooks (you can see her blog here made for me, from hand-dyed wool yarn I purchased seveeral years ago. It'd be perfect for a small childs head.

A close up of the batts, click on an image to get an even bigger view.

I've been dyeing fibers and making batts for the shop. Most of these are blends of silk bombyx sliver, Austrailian wool, and mohair. Some of the batts have angelina in them. Some are really pretty, I don't have a picture of them will do that tomorrow, pinks and greens, yellows and greens. Using the drum carder makes my back ache.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mild Winter

My Foot! It's anything but mild here, and it's an early winter at that!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What I Did Today

I cleaned the carpet in my studio - unfortunately my sheltie thinks carpet is synonomus with grass. Sooooo John bought me a carpet cleaning machine for Christmas! Merry Christmas sweetie! Tomorrow I'm doing the library (in a modern home this is known as the family room but we don't have kids so...) We only have two rooms with carpet, so to speak. I'm quite pleased with the results, I'm not sure but I think I need to rinse it again I'm worried there might be soap residue left in the pile, I'll know more tomorrow. But the carpet doesn't look so evil now.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fun Fun Fun

I made this eye glasses case, for my granny glasses, out of constructed cloth, it is lined with pink felt.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What I'm Up To

Well a lot actually, here's a picture of the wall of wool at the shop!
Tonight I"ve been sewing some small quilts, journal quilt sized. I'll post some pictures tomorrow, they will be available on my store tomorrow. I think I left my camera at the other studio, not really sure at the moment. I decided, after talking with a customer who is going through her stash tonight, that it's time to make some small pieces with all of this fabric I have laying about. Being stumped, at the moment, I decided to go back to my journal quilts I made in 2005, I'm using those as my design and am focusing on color and texture instead. It's a lot of fun so me thinks I'll keep this up until I either run out of steam or fabric - I'm betting on steam.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ice & Hand-Dyed Yarn

We are in the throes of a major ice storm here. I'm anticipating losing power as it's really coming down out there. Cell phones are charged, bought batteries for flashlights, am washing clothes as I write - will probably want plenty of clean wool socks to wear - and stocked up yesterday on kerosene for the lamps. DH wanted to use the propane heater for the house but hehehehehehe the tanks are frozen to the ground. Soooo I guess we'll have to use the kerosene heaters instead if need be! If I get a chance and the power is still on later I'll post pics of the great out doors, the digital camera is currently charging.
Here's some of my hand-dyed yarn, Loretta calls the colorway Clown Snot, I think of it as being more the colors of chicklets gum - remember that stuff!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This is the front of the piece, I added painted wonder under and angelina to the surface. I'll do some more embellishing and embroidery later this week.

More silk throwsters paper! This is the back side.

Felted Throwsters Waste

Well sorta, or you could even call it silk paper. You take silk throwsters waste and pull it into thin sheets spritz with water and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Press with a hot iron until the water stops sizzling. This creates a nice sheet of silk paper/fabric. The sericin glues itself together.
I then needle felted the silk fibers onto a piece of silk organza net with wool and angelina so that it would look like the aurora borealis. This is the back side of the piece.


Take copper add puff paint, lumierie paints, felt, and thread subject to a heat gun and you get this!


When your back is up against a wall the only thing that is left to do is create art!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guest Artist Regina Rooks

Regina Rooks will be my guest artist this year! Her watercolors and jewelry are mouth wateringly beautiful! So if your in Ames Iowa this weekend come on by and meet Regina - she'll be demoing some of her painting techniques on fabrics.

Holiday Open House

Friday, November 09, 2007

What I've Been Up To

I've been dyeing fibers like a mad woman to be exact, and the pile isn't going to get smaller anytime soon! I'm not sure why the one image, of the silk noils, is so blurry. All of the fibers are available in my store.

Big Foot

Pepper to the left, Thomas to the right. Pepper is glaring at me, and the camera because I woke them up from a nap. They sleep together all of the time it's pretty darn cute! Ignore the messy bedding, it's what they like best!
And here he the sleepy head with his tongue sticking out! I woke him up, he's not nearly as grumpy as Pepper when I take his picture.

I just had to show everyone how big Thomas' feet are! He's finally growing into his feet and will most probably be quite the little chunker!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Studio Clean Up

We spent the day cleaning and rearranging the classroom and studio today. I ended up putting the counter top, for the cash registar, at an angle which really opened up the space making it more accessible. I'll take photos tomorrow.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Rusted Constructed Cloth

Finished piece of rust dyed silk carrier rod rusted cloth, approx 8 x 10 inches. I sewed it freehand on the machine, backed them with aquabond - doesn't leave a film on the silk rods.


Check out my August 2007 for images of rust dyed ribbons and the like

Rusted Carrier Rods In Progress

The rods don't look like much here, I ended up letting them dry completely and then resoaked them with vinegar and put more gears on top of them. It was rather windy and I think the wind got up under the black plastic - which helps them rust faster btw - and dried them somewhat. They were still damp, but not enough to rust suffeciently.

I think the images of the rusted rods I turned into constructed cloth must be on the other computer as I"m not finding them here. They are on the blog somewhere back in July I do believe.

More Rusted Rods

Blogger is painfully slow tonight, everyone must be updating their blogs or something!

Rust Dyed Silk Carrier Rods

Here are some on an extreme embroidery piece I've been working on, I also have some that I made into constructed cloth. I have rust dyed carrier rods available for purchase on my store.

Rust Dyeing Notes

Rust dyeing is a surface design method that adds dimension to your fabrics and fibers. I use the technique predominately on cotton or silk fabrics. Natural fibers take the rust colors better than synthetic fibers.

You can rust dye onto commercially dyed and/or printed fabrics. However, fabrics dyed using synthetic dyes, or those dyed with natural dyes take rust dyeing best as they usually do not have anti-stain coatings on them. When applying rusty objects to naturally dyed fabrics the colors will change. Iron, i.e. rust, is a modifier and is used as a mordant with natural dyes. Modifiers change the existing color via shifts in the pH levels. An example would be hibiscus or cochineal, each yield a red color, when you add iron they shift from red to purple. A minute amount causes this color change.

You can place rusty objects next to wet fabric and acquire rust patterning over time. However, vinegar will speed up the rusting process, it aids in breaking the rust particles free from the object that is rusting. Rusting occurs normally due to oxidation, i.e. contact with the air. Be patient. Rust dyeing with water takes about a week. Using vinegar produces color in less time usually twenty-four hours.

I use straight vinegar and all sorts of rusty objects to acquire my rust dyed patterns. Old nails and wire work well for this technique. Wire can be used for bound resist techniques, especially when wrapping the fabric around a rusty pipe. Or you can simply lay the wire in a loose pattern on the fabric and rust it in that manner.

Pole wrapping and bound resist techniques work well with rust dyeing. Simply wrap your vinegar-saturated fabric around a rusty pole, being careful not to tear the fabric, scrunch and otherwise manipulate the fabric to created patterning.

You can sprinkle iron mordant or iron shavings onto your fabric for other patterning. Iron mordant is preferable to shavings. Shavings are often sharp things that can cut you or the fabric. Metal shavings may be coated in machinery oil which would put unwanted stains onto the fabric.

If you like your rusty pieces and want to push the rust dyeing technique further, rinse the fabric and neutralize it in salt water, rinse it again and then rust the fabric once more. This will help prevent the fabric from rotting through.

Natural rust is an iron oxide. It comes in about ten or more natural colors depending on what it is in the neighboring the iron ore. Wear gloves and a mask when working with it. Iron in this form wants to bind with your hemoglobin blocking all available sites for oxygen, ask me how I know. You can become gravely ill from too much contact with raw iron products. In addition, tolerance to raw iron varies with each person.

You can mix a small amount natural rust with water, I generally use one teaspoon rust to one cup liquid, or with soy milk to paint fabric. Stir well. Let it sit for 24 hours to ensure that all of the color will dissolve. Then apply the rust solution to the fabric. Use a old brush you can dedicate to this kind of project. Natural bristle brushes work best with this technique allowing the liquid to wick up the bristles and not leave a mess on your fabric. Cure the fabric dry for 24 hours. Rinse and neutralize your fabric in a saltwater solution.

When using the rust technique if you want the process to stop you need to neutralize it with a salt-water solution. Dissolve about 1/4 cup salt into four gallons of hot water. I do this in a five-gallon bucket. Soak your fabric in the salt water about fifteen minutes. Wash the fabric using a non-phosphorous soap or a mild color free shampoo.

To purchase "The Rust and Clay Dyeing Book"

Fall Etc.

Well I believe I may have mowed the lawn for the final time this year. The oak tree has completely lost it's leaves, which is really odd for our red oak as it's habit has been to lose it's leaves in the spring. The weather has been strange this year so I'm chocking it up to that.
The Jerusalem Artichokes are cut down, need to pull some so there will be room for them to produce large tubers next year.

I still need to deal with the blackberries, they have invaded everything! I'm thinking of digging in the ground and pulling the roots for a natural dye bath. I have about six fleeces left to cold soak and then put through a final wash in the washer, and a couple of alpaca and llama fleeces to skirt and I'm done with that for the season as well.

The house needs a final cleaning and the windows need to be dealt with otherwise I think I'm excited that winter will be here and really soon!

Art Starts

I'm working on this sign for the store, it's called Art Starts. It is muslin fabrics that have been ironed to a pelmet (I think it is) that has the fusible on both sides. Now I plan to stitch it, add stitched rat tail to the edges of each card, add brads to the corners and wire each panel together.

Art Starts, which Loretta thought up for me as she did NOT like the name Make it And Take it, is for our lunch our customers that want to try out the many techniques we use in the studio. Problem is most folks are tight on time, lunch hour, and cash. So we have devised a method for partially producing what will be a finished piece for them, like ATC's and Fabric Postcards, and they can have a blast in 30 minutes or less.

So me, being a fiber artist and all, decided to NOT produce "another" paper and laminate sign, via my computer, and decided that it was time to make the signs out of fibers instead. I stenciled the letters on with shiva paintstiks and a stencil brush. I"m quite proud of myself this is my first time stencilling on fabric and I was able to get crisp letters! Yay. I must say that this is way easier than stencilling on a wall!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Dyed Fleece

Here's another shot of my dyed lincoln fleeces, in front is silk noil lap, dyed lincoln behind, and again dyed silk lap behind (purple).

Fiber Batts

I've been making fiber batts to use in the studio, and for the open house that is coming up - weekend of November 17th. Here's a sampling of what I've been doing.

Left to Right Ingeo Fibers, Silk Noil, Lincoln (grey overdyed with red acid dyes) and Domestic wool blended with ingeo and angelina fibers.

Wine Bags

I'm teaching a wine bag class on Wed night, next week. What I'll be teaching is a constructed cloth method as this lends more beauty to what could be a rather ordinary bag. Here is also
a detail shot with the flash on. I made this with a coppery polyester sheer fabric as the lining, and a bunch of glizt yarns as the topping.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Check It Out

Was checking out shops on tonight and found this mans work, Danny Manmith seeing his work makes me not only want to get back into my studio to work, but to use up all of my scrap fabrics I have on hand!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Posts and Links

I'm not sure why the links are not showing up as hot links - did that one for Regina's blog here's the addy Will have to work on this!

Wool Batts

And not the kind that fly in the night! I made a wool batt tonight at the shop, haven't done this for about six years now. I was chatting with my friend Regina while making said batt. I blended a bunch of hand dyed fibers, ingeo (sp?) wool roving and angelina into one ounce of beautiful cherry red fibers. I'm inspired enough to fire up the spinning wheel tomorrow!

Monday, October 29, 2007

What I've Been Up To

Check out my studio blog to see what I've been up too. Now I'm tired and am going to call it a night.

Oops Forgot

To post this picture of gelatin plate printed fabric, this is metallic paints on cochineal dyed cotton fabrics.


Been raiding my stash for making constructed bags and scarves. Here's a pic of some silk paper, and various yarns I've been using. As you can see my palette is very bright these days.

Silk Fusion Bag

Here's a pic of a silk fusion bag I've been working on, I made the fabric several weeks ago when I taught the silk fusion workshop. I'll post more pictures later, I have an extreme embroidery class to get ready for tomorrow night.

Gelatin Plate

Color on Laces and Such, note that the color is now gone from the gelatin plate itself

Gelatin Plate

This is the layout of laces on the gelatin plate that I used to create the fabric.

Peak Under

A little peak under the wonder under.

More Photos

Metallic paints on Wonder Under layered over angelina and thread couched felt.

In Progress

this is what the bag looked like before it became a bag!

Finished Clutch

Remeber those? This one is comprized of melted tyvek, angelina, felt, couched threads and yarns and was melted with a heat gun. I lined it with a soft copper colored polyester organza.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Work

Well sorta, I've been fermenting on this idea for some time, in fact these are just the color studies for the actual piece that is hanging on my studio wall - and it's 9 x 10 feet, yep 9 x 10 feet (which translates roughly into king size for the quilters out there).

These pieces, Hot Poppies, are a set, free stitching on painted timtex and they really are this bright! I'm making prints and they will be available on my store - see little etsy icon to the left. They look much better in person but I am having a hard time with the bright colors and contrast, I actually tried fixing it in Photoshop to no avail. I even scanned them in, they looked really bad then, even with some adjustments to contrast and the like. Tis the bane of photographing bright,high contrast, art.

Signs Up

The sign is up on the shop that is and I'll take a picture of it tomorrow as I only got a partial picture today. Here's a pic, from inside of the store, of hubby, on the right, and our neighbor, sitting on the scaffolding putting the last of the screws into the sign.

Btw - blogger is having some problems tonight so if you thought it was you it probably isn't!