Making Bridges and Prayer Flags

I bought my Scan and Cut last year and haven’t really used it like I was hoping I would. It seems to have a higher learning curve than my Silhouette. I wanted to make some prayer flags this last week and use stencils for the words. I could easily whip the stencils out on my Silhouette, mostly because I’ve used it so much. But I wanted to make the stencils with my Scan and Cut.


The problem with making stencils is some of the letters fall out with most fonts. For example the “e” in the above words needed to have a bridge added in order for that letter to work as a stencil.

Since I’m sure others who own the Scan and Cut might have the same problem, I decided to make a video tutorial on how to add the bridge to the “e” or any other letter than needs a bridge. It’s really easy.

Here are the finished stencils.

stencilscutAnd my new flags blowing in the breeze.

prayerflagsoutsideI had so much fun making the flags. I’ll be teaching my new class, Wind Wishes: Inspirational Flags, at Gilda’s in August.

Have a great weekend!



Posted in crafts, flags, stencils, surface design, tutorial, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hitting The Wall

Do you have those days when you just have trouble creating? That’s how it’s been for me this week. It seems like I keep hitting the wall. You know that wall, that one that keeps your idea in your head from getting out onto your work table or when the idea comes out you really question why you even attempted it.

I’m not giving up on mine, but just not sure when or if they will be blog worthy.

Here are pictures of a several of them.



This one I believe will work out if I can move with it. Right now it’s sitting on my table waiting for me.


After being so focused on the ice dyeing class for the last several months, it’s been good to look at some other creative adventures. One thing that is good right now is that I do have a lot of ideas and I have been working on stuff. Now if I can just get them out of my head!

Meanwhile, I have been getting some gardening done. I dug up all of these ostrich ferns and got rid of them. They just don’t play nice with the other plants. They are very evasive, and spread all over trying to crowd everyone out. I don’t like that and neither do the other plants including the hostas.


I took this picture before I dug them up. This was just one area they had spread. They were all over this shade bed. The lovely fern on the right is not an ostrich fern so it gets to stay.

fernsbeforeAnd the after shot, although not quite the same camera angle.

fernsafter I like to use ferns to sun print and these ferns were not even good for that. So we’ve ordered some replacements that in addition to playing nice, may even be nice to play with!

This Fallopia is also a somewhat invasive plant, but it’s not real bad. I find shoots several feet from the mother, but they’re easy to pull up. And it’s such a pretty plant.


Here it is closeup – beautiful leaves.


I received this in the mail yesterday. I had ordered it as soon as she announced she had written it. In light of hitting the wall, this is the perfect book for me. I can’t wait to sit with it this weekend.


Hope you have a wonderful and creative weekend. Maybe next week I’ll have a finished piece to show you. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in drawing, fabric, mandalas, Ramblings, surface design | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

More Dyeing and Irises

Since launching my online class, Icy Delights, I have been trying to catch up with what I wanted and needed to do and had put off while getting that class ready. Unfortunately, it has rained a lot so I’ve not got my mulching and weeding done. My goal is to have it completed by the end of the month. We’ll see.

First of all, it’s been so much fun in my class. Students are just starting to show their beautiful ice dyed pieces. Don’t forget, you can save $10 on the class until May 17. Be sure and use this link.

I did dye a few things this past week. Here is a rayon shirt that I ice dyed.


If you’ve not dyed much or haven’t dyed on fabric other than cotton, it’s quite a surprise. The first time I dyed silk I was pretty disappointed. The colors are more muted than on cotton. But also rayon, like the shirt above, is more muted than a  piece of cotton I dyed with the exact colors. So if you decide to dye, whether it is ice dyed or regular dyeing, just realize that there will be a difference. Once your expectations change you will love how the fiber reactive dyes look on these fabrics.

Here is an example of Dharma’s Mermaid’s Dream on cotton and the small silk tissue holder. You can see how muted the colors are on the silk. But they’re still beautiful.


And speaking of dyeing I had purchased some “Muck” dyes from Dharma Trading and wanted to see what they looked like. These are limited run colors and are pretty cheap. However, if you fall in love with the colors you won’t be able to replace them. I chose “Iced Berry” and “Life’s a Peach and Then You Dye” and tested them on some old hankies. I’m not sure I’d call that peach. I believe the middle hankie has a mix of cotton and poly since it dyed so light. Regardless, I like how they turned out, especially the top one. I love pulling colorful hankies out of my purse!


I’ve been wanting to play with these kids blocks I bought at the thrift store.


So I thickened up some dye.


And then used them as stamps. I’m not real excited about this piece, but it’s a start.

kidsblocsprintMy other experiment with the thickened dyes didn’t turn out well enough to post. I’ve not given up on my idea, so I’m sure I’ll be sharing a better version soon.

Of course the iris count still goes on. Here are a few more from our gardens.

That’s all for today. Again, don’t forget about saving $10 on my Icy Delights class. Here is the link.

I hope you have a colorful day and as always, thanks for dropping by.

Posted in dyeing, fabric, fiber reactive dyes, gardening, ice dyeing, irises, online classes, surface design, Thrift store finds | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Icy Delights Registration Opens

Yipee!! I am so excited to announce that my online class, Icy Delights: Dyeing Fabric with Ice is open! I have been working on this class for months and it has truly been a labor of love. You will also save $10 on this class until May 17.


I’ve created this class for beginners. However, if you’ve ice dyed before I’m sure there is information in this class for you. For instance, I’ve dyed 34 different colors so you don’t have to guess how the colors will split during this process. With the average price of dye at $4, you’ll be saving quite a bit not having to experiment. I also have created 9 color combos from those 34 colors.


Here are just a few of the 34 colors.

Here is some of the other information about this class.

  • You will learn three different ways to ice dye so you can choose the way that gives you the results you want.
  • I’ve taken the guesswork out of how the colors split by including my master list of  34 different colors I’ve ice dyed. This list will save you from buying colors that may not give you the results you want.
  • You will immediately be able combine pleasing colors with my favorite color combos list. But with the master list, you’ll be able to create you own easily too.
  • You’ll also learn which are the best dyes to control color splitting.
  • You will receive detailed information about the supplies I use, and a supply checklist, making it easier for you to get started.
  • You’ll learn dyeing safety precautions and the complete ice dyeing process.
  • To keep you organized, you’ll receive a worksheet to keep notes on your dyeing sessions.
  • Lastly, in the bonus lesson you will learn that using just a couple simple resists will produce stunning results.

The class includes 7 videos and 8 downloadable pdfs.

As I mentioned earlier, to kick off my new class I’m offering $10 off until May 17. In order to get that price you need to use this link: Icy Delights.

I look forward to seeing you in class!




Posted in dyeing, ice dyeing, online classes, teaching | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Sunday Stroll: May 1, 2016

Happy May! It’s spring!!

I’d like to welcome my new subscribers. I’m so glad you’re here. You might not know that I am also a gardener, although my art has pretty much pushed it to the back in the last couple of years.

The Sunday Stroll is where I like to show you what’s going on here at Happy Acres. I am amazed every spring how things come alive.

April seemed to be off and on cool with rain. Since I have been working on my online class, Icy Delights, that weather gave me an excuse to stay inside and work on it instead of gardening. Now it’s time for me to get out and be one with the soil!

But before that, let me talk about irises. When I started this blog in 2009 I counted every one of my irises. We had quite a few back then. However, some have died. Others have been moved, and one area has put back into grass. But I still have a few and still love to count them.

Last year I dyed fabric to match them. Not sure I’ll get around to that this year, but if you missed that and love dyed fabric, check out this post on my iris-inspired colorways.

Here are a few so far this year. The white-looking iris at the bottom is really light blue. I really love irises, but sure wished they’d stay around longer.

The shade garden is really looking good. I try to get out and mulch before the hostas and ferns are up, but didn’t make it this year. I’ll just have to work around them. I bought the mulch last week and put the bags in the area so tomorrow I can start working on that area.


These lilac bushes are outside our back door and part of the new landscaping we had done around the house. They aren’t as pretty as the old ones we had, but they sure do smell good.


This is the first year for the Encore Azaleas to really bloom nice. They were also part of the landscaping around the house we had done a couple years ago. The plants that were around the house when we moved in were really high maintenance. Since this area doesn’t demand a lot of my time now, I can spend it in the shade garden and other areas in the back.


This picture makes my heart and tummy happy. The blueberries are coming on! Yipee!


The Blackberries are also blooming.


Again for those of you who are new to my blog, hubby grows a lot of what we eat. If you are interested in gardening, or just want to see what we’re eating right now, check out Dave’s blog.  This is the main garden. Since we have LOTS of problems with deer, the fence is necessary. Also, Dave sprays all of our hostas and other deer “food” on a regular basis during the summer. Otherwise, there would be no shade garden to enjoy.

Gardenmay2016That white object on top of the fence post is our weather station. Dave loves to keep up with the weather. You can check out our weather here. It’s pretty neat to have that information for gardeners and weather geeks.

Dave also grows a lot of stuff in the greenhouse and the cold frames.


Inside I’ve been working on getting my Icy Delights online class finished. I worked on the last couple of videos this weekend so the dye studio in the garage was all set up. Since I’m filming in the garage, even though our road is quiet, Friday afternoon when I shot two of the videos I forgot about all of the school traffic. We live right down the road from a school. The only time we have a lot of traffic is before and after school. I was so happy to have the videos finished, but came inside and watched them and behind my voice was the roar of cars driving up and down the road. Anyway, hopefully I will finish them today or tomorrow so the class can go live in the next couple days.


If you haven’t entered the fabric giveaway on this post, be sure and comment. The deadline is Friday.

That’s all for today. I sure hope you are having a wonderful and creative Sunday. As always, thanks for dropping by.




Posted in gardening, ice dyeing, irises, Sunday Roundup | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Printed Fabric Bee: Ice Dyeing with Cleanline and Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Congratulations to Darcy Berg!

This is the fourth and last in my series this month on using resists with ice dyeing. This is also posted on The Printed Fabric Bee blog.

This is my last post for this month on ice dyeing with resists. Another resist that you can use with ice dyeing is Lumi Cleanline. I love using this product when painting on fabric. If you’ve never used Cleanline, check out my post about it here.

So I tried it with ice dyeing.

You follow the same procedure as when you are ice dyeing with soy wax or Color Magnet. Soda ash soak the fabric and hang to dry. The Cleanline resist is then applied to the dry fabric with whatever tools you like to use including, but not limited to, thermofax screens, wood printing blocks, or potato mashers. Then let the Cleanline dry before ice dyeing.

When completely dry, I scrunched it up and ice dyed it.

Here are the results. With Lumi Cleanline resist, since it is water soluble, you don’t get a strong resist due to all of the melted ice water that sits on it, but still gives a nice, almost muted, background.


These are just a few of the resists you can use with ice dyeing.

As I mentioned in my first post this month that I am working on my online class – Icy Delights. Registration will open in May.


Because a lot of the dyes split or break out to their component colors in ice dyeing it’s difficult to buy dyes not knowing how they will look. For my class I’ve ice dyed 34 different colors so class participants can see which colors they might like best for their projects. I’ve also included some of my favorite color combos. But more about the class later.

Let’s get to the giveaway.


For my giveaway the winner will receive 4 fat quarters of my favorite ice dyed fabric (and maybe a surprise). To comment, enter below or on the Bee Blog. The deadline is Friday, May 6 at 8 am CST. I’ll be posting the winner at the top of this post.

Good Luck and thanks for reading my posts this month.





Posted in dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, Giveaway, ice dyeing, surface design, The Printed Fabric Bee, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 40 Comments

Printed Fabric Bee: Ice Dyeing with Color Magnet

This is the third in my series this month on using resists with ice dyeing. This is also posted on The Printed Fabric Bee blog.

Oh, how I love Jacquard Color Magnet! Since I love ice dyeing and Color Magnet, I wanted to see how they would work together. Color Magnet isn’t really a resist but a color attractant, but I still thought I’d put it in the resist category.


If you’re not familiar with Color Magnet, I wrote several posts about it including this one. I received several questions after that post that I wrote a follow up  Color Magnet Q & A post.

For the above fabrics I pulled the Color Magnet through my thermofax screen. After the Color Magnet dried, I ice dyed with Cerulean Blue (left)  and Brushed Steel (right). As you can see, the Color Magnet and ice dye worked great on Cerulean Blue, a “pure” dye. However, it didn’t do so well with Brushed Steel due to the way the dye breaks out during the ice dyeing process.

So from my limited experience with combining CM and ice dyeing, I’d recommend just using “pure” dyes or those that don’t “split.” This was a scarf I did the same process on again with Cerulean Blue. The silver marks are Silver DeColorant.


Well, that’s all for this week’s post. I have one more post on resists with ice dyeing. Next week I’ll post my giveaway too.

Posted in dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, ice dyeing, Jacquard Color Magnet, The Printed Fabric Bee | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Springtime at Happy Acres

I love Spring. I don’t know about you, but for me this time of the year just makes me so happy. Along with the happiness brings lots of things to do including gardening.  However, yesterday I worked on one of my favorite places for this time of the year – our screened porch.

We enjoyed dinner out there last night, the first of many lunches and dinners and  lots of porch sitting.


While I was cleaning the porch yesterday I was wondering when my love of screened porches started. We never had one when I was growing up, and it wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I lived in a house with one. I moved from that house to a house with a deck instead of a porch. I realized how much I missed that screened area. When we moved here one of the first projects on our agenda was to have a screened porch added. I’m so glad we did since we do enjoy this area so much.

The blueberries are coming on.


I’m almost finished mulching the rows in the asparagus bed.


The cherry tree has lots of blooms!


I usually don’t take pictures of the before weeding and mulching, but here they are. This area will shortly be filled with ferns and hostas.


And here is the sun garden with the lavender plants waiting for me to weed. Looks like they all made it through the winter.


This is the first year in a long time that the deer have not eaten our tulips. I dug most of them up since they never have a chance. Here are a few that came back.


Inside I’ve been busy. I dyed this cotton gauze for a baby blanket with a matching burp cloth. I still need to surge the ends of the blanket.


This pincushion was made from some of my fabric.


One of the local magazines, Love It EVV, featured one of my mandalas I drew just for them for an article on mandala mania written by my friend Ange.


I’ve also spent a lot of time working on my online class, Icy Delights: Dyeing Fabric With Ice, which should go live soon!!

Well, that’s all for this beautiful Sunday morning. I hope today brings you happiness and joy and some creative fun. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in gardening, Lavender, Sewing, Sunday Roundup | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Printed Fabric Bee: Ice Dyeing With Soy Wax

This is the second in my series this month on using resists with ice dyeing. This is also posted on The Printed Fabric Bee blog.

As I mentioned in the first post, I’ve been ice dyeing since 2011 and have really loved the surprises from this fun dyeing technique. But as I’ve grown as an artist I’ve wanted to add even more texture. I love soy wax, so thought it would be fun to use it as a resist.


If you aren’t familiar with soy wax or want a refresher, I wrote a blog that included all of the supplies needed. It also included two videos where I used soy wax on silk. Here is the link. If you’d just like to see the video, here it is.

Ice dyeing is a bit different with soy wax because the fabric must be dry. The first step is to soda ash soak the fabric. In regular ice dyeing, that wet fabric would then be put on the dyeing rack ready for the ice. However, since the soy wax will dissolve in water, the fabric must be dry before you start this process.

After the fabric has been soaked in the soda ash water for 30 minutes, remove and hang to dry.

Once it is dry, you can lightly iron the fabric if it is too wrinkled for you.

Now it’s time to get the soy wax out. For this example I used a paint brush to make my marks. You can make marks with a variety of objects. I really like to use potato mashers.

soywaxonfabricOnce the wax dries, which only takes a couple minutes, lightly scrunch it up and set on the rack inside of the dyeing pan.

soywaxfabricreadyAdd the ice.


Then sprinkle on the dye.


And after a 24-hour batch, here is my fabric.


And another one.


And a couple more.

soywaxicedyed4 soywaxicedyed3

If you’ve not tried marrying ice dyeing with soy wax, I sure hope you’ll try it.

Next week is about another resist we can use with ice dyeing. Also, I’ll be announcing the giveaway for this month. I hope to see you then.


Posted in dyeing, fabric, fiber reactive dyes, ice dyeing, soy wax, surface design | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

First attempts at stamp carving

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at stamp carving for a long time. My friend and fellow artist, Lisa Chin, has been carving some lovely stamps. Check out her video on this topic.

I’ve had the supplies for several years. So the other evening I sat down and started carving. These aren’t great, but I wanted to document my process.

I started with a couple erasers. Oops, I didn’t realize how dirty my cutter is!!

firstcarve3 firstcarve2 firstcarve1

And then some material I bought years ago. I was going for a mandala, but I didn’t quite accomplish that.


It looks neat carved, but doesn’t print well.


It was fun, but I see that I need a lot more practice!!

I’ve also been ice dyeing a lot for my online class. Here are three of my favorite color combos (so far!) from my dyeing session this week. The more I work on the class, the more I’m adding to it. I’m hoping I’ll get to a stopping point soon!!


I’ll be teaching a couple more of my Easy and Fun Silk Scarf Dyeing classes June 10 and 11 at Scattered Art in Newburgh, Indiana and I’ll have silk tissue holders available in case participants would like to dye them too. I am really happy with how they turned out. I love how they add a little color to a purse or desk.

dyedkleenextissuesI’ve also done a little bit of free motion.


I’ve continued to harvest asparagus, but it’s been slow due to the cold weather. Looking forward to some warm here. Here is the last bunch on the grill.


In cat news this week, while I’m working on the computer I heard some slurping. I quit typing and listened again. It sounded like a cat drinking water. I glanced over and there was Ace drinking out of my water glass.  I will often leave my water here in the studio while I am in another part of the house. Now I’m wondering how long this has been going on. I finally caught him the other day in the act! Looks like I’m going to have to get a cover for my drink!


Well, that’s all for this post. Hope you have a wonderful and creative weekend. See you next week!





Posted in acrylic paints, Colorhue, crafts, dyeing, ice dyeing, silk, stamp carving | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments