Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mark Making with Nature eBook Package

Mark Making with Nature eBook Package
Own all four eBooks for one low price of $30.00!
  • Mark Making with Nature
  • Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentation Dyeing Techniques
  • Rust and Clay Dyeing
  • Getting Started with Natural Dyes!!!
Details on my website!

Mark Making with Nature eBook Package - It's Bacccccccccckkkkk!!!

Mark Making with Nature eBook Package
Own all four eBooks for one low price of $30.00!
  • Mark Making with Nature
  • Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentation Dyeing Techniques
  • Rust and Clay Dyeing
  • Getting Started with Natural Dyes!!!
Details on my website!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Livestock Tank as Raised Vegetable Bed

Got these lovely livestock tanks this afternoon from an old friend of John's.  They are delightful in their shape, patina, and the fact that they will keep my madder root contained!

In addition to the livestock tanks, John also got a yard of composted horse manure for our gardens.

He's beat from all of the shoveling and moving of topsoil and manure, but I'm thrilled to have everything in place for the growing season!  This weeks forecast is rain, rain, and more rain.

All three beds are now dressed with composted horse manure.

More Birds

Digitally printed silk organza stitched to a timtex base.

Machine embroidery on painted timtex. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Raised Vegetable Beds 042713 Part 2

Round two of off loading the amended topsoil.

Almost ready for the compost!

This raised bed holds a full two yards of soil. 

"I bettter get some pesto this year..."  I'm betting dollars to doughnuts that's what's going through his mind when I took this photo!

My babies!!!  All grown locally in a local greenhouse, and here I said I wasn't going to have a large garden this year... well this time we're gardening smarter by laying down cardboard and then mulching those areas heavily.

Filled and already sporting some plants.

So far two plantings of chives, one dill plant, two peppermint (with the dark purplish black stems) three jalepeno's and three purple cabagges in this bed.  The soil temperature is around 60 degrees.

All three beds need new bird netting, to be added this week, and will be painted a lovely color called Copper Pot, looks just like terra cotta. 

More Crows

I stitched the digitally printed silk organza net to painted timtex, lesson learned the pink is way too strong and overpowers the digital print.

Backside of the digitally printed bird, the sad part is the brighter pink side was on the back side not up against the printed fabric.

Raised Vegetable Beds 042713

Perinneal Leek and Garlic bed getting more topsoil, next up is a layer of compost and worm castings.

Topsoil layer is finished.  The top round of wood is the cover for the bed, this week John will reinstall the pvc pipe hoops and I'll help with the bird netting. 

John loading the middle raised bed, otherwise known as my salad bed, with topsoil.

Just a couple wheelbarrows more and this bed will be ready for compost as well.

We saved money by purchasing the amended topsoil locally and by picking it up from KCI Landscaping, we save even more by not having it delivered.  So far we've purchased two yards of the amended topsoil. 

My herb and kale garden, still needs topsoil and then a final layer of compost.  I'll probably tuck some beets, parsnips, and carrots in between the rows of kale in this garden.  I'm dreaming of a fresh sun kissed salad!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Making Crows

Digitally printed silk organza fabric layered atop painted timtex.

It's best to stitch all of the finer bits of the bird before cutting out the shape, otherwise those bits will be damaged by the presser foot.

Cut away the excess fabric/timtex before cutting out hte final bird shape.

Trim away the excess threads for the final bird shape and add additional stitching if needed.

I still need to add the eye.

Auditioning the crow to see how it looks in the niche.

A closer look.

Barbed wire detail, backed with a piece of watercolor paper painted with gouache, watercolors, and ink.

Digitally printed silk organza fabric, machine stitched, aurifil threads.  Natural dyed silk organa, painted timtex, wooden clock body, and barbed wire.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Digitally Printed Fabric

Tomorrow it's all about the crows and the redwing blackbirds! 
Silk Organza and Cotton fabrics.

Spring in Iowa

Immersion Dyeing

Spring has finally sprung here in central Iowa!  Rumor has it it's going to make it into the 60's today.  Starting next week, after I hang my upcoming solo show this coming Sunday, I will be hitting the dye pots and hard.  Also on the docet is the natural dye garden, I'm planting native dye plants, and if all goes well madder root in a livestock barrel to prevent it from overtaking the lawn.  Stay tuned for photos, video, and more.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Still Auditioning

I added a photo cut out of a crow, taken on the roof of my house, to see how if it would work in this piece, it has potential.

Auditioning Elements for a Work in Progress

Very simple, but lacking in additional interest.  The goal here is to avoid being cutesy.

The piece definately needs a pop of colour, but which colour and where?  If I attach the cochineal dyed silk organza I'll add stitching in a contrasting colour.

I'm not sure that this works either, but it's interesting... just the wrong colours and not enough of them. Acrylic on watercolor paper.

Here's a bit of gouache and watercolor, with ink sketches, on paper behind the main panel.  The main panel is still lacking, it needs a pop of something, anything... but it has to be the right element otherwise it just sits there like a lump.

So I will continue auditioning elements into the wee hours of the night, once I have this niche figured out the remaining eight niches will be a snap since I'm working in a series.  I will be adding additional elements to the outside of the niche in the form of copper and/or black brads and tacks.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Now to make the egg box for the niche, and then audition backgrounds for the egg box, I'm thinking copper or silver leaf.


This whitish egg will be replaced by one that has been painted to look like a crows egg, it's currently drying.  Now to make the sides for the egg niche and make a decision on the larger niche's background.  To paint the niche background copper or not to paint?  To collage vinage papers and fabrics or not to collage?


Machine stitch on painted timtex.

Monday, April 22, 2013

WIP - Niche's

Niches for an upcoming solo show, am still playing off the theme of Queen Anne's Crows from last year.

The door on this piece, and another similar piece, were confounding me.  This issue has now been resolved... the big reveal will be this coming Sunday at Cafe Diem, stay tuned. 

She was Third Class to the right of these two pieces.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Birds on a Wire Collage

Now that I have a few things figured out about Adobes Photoshop CS6 I'm back to working up new digital collage pieces.  Tonight I will be building some new works up for my newest niches, tomorrow I'll print them off onto fabric, stitch the collages up and then add them to the niches. 

Waiting for Summer


Redwing Blackbirds

Redwing Blackbirds hanging out in a sycamore tree.