Printed Fabric Bee: Vintage

June’s The Printed Fabric Bee challenge topic was Vintage. Lynn Krawczyk, the queen bee, requested that the 8 x 18 piece could be any color except pink.

Before I show you the collection that will be given away, here is my piece and my process.

vintagebeeI started by researching vintage colors. When I was growing up in the late 50s and 60s green, gold, and orange were popular so I thought I’d use those.

I started with a piece of fabric I had dyed recently that just happened to be the right shade of green. Then I took this vintage looking stencil in my stash – I think it’s called Retro Circles – and mixed up some fabric paint. When I mixed the color I wanted, I stenciled the piece.



Now to add just a little accents of the other two colors: Gold and Orange. I used PROfab Orange 21 opaque paint but it was way too bright. I added some black to make it a duller orange. The gold I used was Lumiere Bright Gold.

vintagebee3Then I applied the paint to the cloth.

vintagebee2And the finished piece again.

vintagebeeAnd a close up.

vintagecloseupHere is my 6 x 6 for the giveaway.

Vintagebee6x6Now for the giveaway, if you’d love to win this collection of 6 x 6 inch fabrics, just leave a comment on the Printed Fabric Bee Facebook page or Lynn’s blog.  Deadline is July 10!


Stop by the other members’ blogs to see how they created their pieces. Good Luck!


Posted in Fabric paint, Giveaway, stencils, surface design, The Printed Fabric Bee | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spray dyeing with Tulip

This post is brought to you by iLoveToCreate and Blueprint Social. The opinions are my own.


My spray dyed shirt and bandanas are part of the Tie Dye Your Summer  campaign.

Nothing reminds me of summer more than picnics and cookouts. So when I saw plastic plate holders I just had to use them as stencils for this fun, fast, and easy project.


To make the spray-dyed shirt and bandanas you’ll need the following:

  • plastic table covering
  • Tulip One Step Tie-Dye Kit which includes gloves
  • water
  • spray bottles
  • shirt/white bandanas (washed)
  • cardboard to insert into the shirt
  • plastic paper plate holders
  • plastic to cover dyed pieces

To get started, cover your work surface with plastic.

Insert cardboard into the shirt. We will be spraying the back and then the front of the shirt.


Put on gloves and add water to the Tulip dye bottles and shake. Make sure all of the dye is dissolved before pouring them into the spray bottles. I picked these bottles up at Target, but you can find similar ones at other stores for $1.


Don’t forget that these dyes are best used within 45 minutes for the best results, although they will still dye the fabric but won’t be as bright.

Place the plastic paper plate holders on top of the shirt.


Start spraying through the holders.

tulipsprayingWhen you lift them off the shirt you will see your design.


You can continue to add more stenciling or quit. When I’m happy with the design, I like to spray over the whole shirt to pull it together.

tulipoversprayThen cover the shirt with plastic and let it batch for 6 to 8 hours. I waited 24 hours.

Wash with cool water to remove any excess dye then wash in hot water, dry, and iron.


The bandanas were even easier since you only spray one side.


This is a easy and fun project! The kids (little or big!) will love spraying the dye either through stencils or directly on the shirts.


For more fun ideas to Tie Dye Your Summer check out I Love To Create on the following:




Pinterest: http://pinterest/


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Sun printing class finally!

After planning and scheduling my sun printing class, it finally happened last Thursday. It all started last summer when the weather would not cooperate. We rescheduled and rescheduled and then just postponed it to this summer. It was suppose to be the previous Thursday, but it rained. Our rain date was Thursday. The weather cooperated and it was a lovely and fun day.

Here are just a few pictures from the class. I had plenty of  Setacolor and Dye-na-flow, my two favorites for sun printing, for them to play with.

Some of my pieces were hung to give them some ideas. Included in those samples were the ones where using the same colors and ferns, I compared textile, screen printing ink and Setacolor. (I blogged about the results here.)



Just a few of the sun printed pieces out in the sun.


Judy using plastic paper plate holders as masks.


Susanne working with my preserved ferns.


Sherry working with one of the other plastic paper plate holders.


Jane painting her shibori piece.


Lea painting her scarf.


I absolutely love the reveals!


spjanerevealspsherry'sblackpieceSo much fun and such creative peeps! Also, those ferns I preserved last year worked great!

And here’s the class together with one of their pieces.

sunprintingclassNow that they know how to sun print, I hope they will do more at home.  As for me, I need to decide what I’m going to do with all of those samples I’ve been holding on to for this class.

Posted in art, preserving botanicals, sun printing | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Dyeing for baby

My hairdresser is having a baby and what better way to celebrate than to dye her a couple baby things.


I bought a baby blanket from Dharma Trading but after dyeing, it has pilled something terrible. Even after combing and working to get the lint off, I still didn’t think it was good enough to give her.


So I came up with a backup.

I’ve been looking for fabric to replace my crop pants I practically live in all summer. I’ll blog about them later, but the fabric I chose was cotton gauze.

Instead of making the pants out of this fabric, I washed the fabric, cut it, and serged the edges making a small blanket. Then it went to the dye studio to be dyed in one of my favorite colorways. Since this new mom is not into pink for her new little girl, I compromised with this palette. I had previously dyed little Jillian a dress with these colors and also a shirt for me.

leahsnewblanketI absolutely love how the gauze dyed. I serged with gray thread so it really went well with the colors. I see dyeing more of this fabric in the future.

Don’t know about your neck of the woods, but it’s been raining a lot here. Sure wish we could send a little of it to California. Have a fun and colorful weekend.


Posted in dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, serger, Sewing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Cooking up a storm

As most of you know, Dave is really the cook in our family. After several years of me just cooking every once in awhile, we decided to share the task. Now we alternate cooking every two weeks. Since we rarely eat out, this includes planning and cooking two meals a day.

We’ve been trying to mix it up, adding new dishes, and also cutting down on meat.  It’s not like we are ever going to be vegetarians (I did that years ago), but we want to add more beans and grains in our diet. It’s been fun looking for new dishes to cook. We pretty much burned ourselves out on the blackened salmon and mac nut crusted Mahi Mahi! If you are interested in learning about different beans to add to your menu, Dave is posting about them on his blog. This is the latest bean he featured.

Here are several of the recipes I cooked the last couple of weeks. Some are ones I’ve cooked before, but I also brought in a few new ones.

Let’s start with Honey Mustard Tofu Tenders. Years ago my main treatment for tofu was using it in a stirfry. It’s been a long time since I’ve cooked with it and just had to try this recipe from Eating Well. I’ll be making this again.

tofu tenders

Another new recipe was Dr. Mark Hyman’s Sweet Potato Burgers. I wanted to try these because the burgers include beans adding extra fiber. Like a lot of recipes, we tweak. This recipe was for eight servings so I cut it in half. I also substituted spelt flour for the almond. Instead of the spice blend he suggested, I used cumin and coriander which are our two go-to spices. We both liked these burgers and the dressing was really yummy!


Now we can’t forget about dessert.

We recently went to Farview Orchards and picked cherries to freeze since our trees still don’t produce much more than a couple bags. That was a long day including the hour and a half driving time and several hours to wash, pit and freeze these lovelies. But now we have lots in the freezer, which will keep me from hoarding them!


Since we still had a couple bags from last year’s picking, I used one of them to make this Cherry Custard. This recipe is from I absolutely love most of her recipes. This one was okay. I substituted almond milk for the fat-free milk. I’m not saying it’s not good, it just wasn’t what I’d call a custard. It was between a custard and a cobbler. We decided that we liked my cobbler much better. And my cobber is so much easier to make!


One of the wonderful tried and true recipe I made this past week was the Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts, another Skinnytaste recipe. She uses cutlets. This week I did that, but often I’ll used chicken breasts that I’ve pounded thin. This is a great way to use all of that spinach Dave has frozen. Sometimes I’ll substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta, and they both work.


Another great recipe I made was our Taco filling. I used ground turkey, but you can use ground chicken or beef, or even shredded beef or chicken. I fix them as tostadas with lots of Dave’s fresh-from-the-garden lettuce. I didn’t have a current picture so I stole the picture off of Dave’s blog with shredded chicken. But you get the idea.


Being married to a foodie is challenging. Since he is a great cook, I have really been stretched to ramp up my skills. But that has really made me a better cook. I remember years ago when I played racquetball, I was told to always play with someone better so that I could improve. Well, it’s true. I am getting better and much more adventurous in the kitchen.

Just because it has been my two weeks in the kitchen doesn’t mean Dave’s not baking. We got hooked on Dr. Kracker crackers a year or so ago when we started shopping at Costcos. Well, they quit carrying them so we ended up buying them locally and they are really expensive. If you have never tasted them, they are so crunchy and loaded with lots of seeds. Dave found this recipe and made a batch. Don’t they look yummy? And they are!


Aside from cooking, and a little dyeing which I’ll blog about next time, I’ve been busy outside. I finally got the asparagus bed weeded and strawed for the season. I love how it will look once the ferns fill out.


And then I started a couple days ago on my daily harvesting of blueberries. Dave’s been picking the raspberries so we have this colorful breakfast with our muesli. Any blueberries we don’t eat, I’ll be freezing every day.



Well, that’s all about food today. I’m off to wash out some dyeing from yesterday. Hope you are having a great day!

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Overdyeing Indigo

I don’t know about you, but I love indigo. However, I wanted to spice up some of my previously-dyed indigo pieces with some overdyeing. I tore each piece and just dyed half of it so I could see the difference. Then I folded, clamped, and scrunched the fabric.


Here are my results of each dyed and undyed piece with the fiber reactive dye color.



Strong Orange










Golden Yellow

Golden Yellow

The golden yellow piece is my favorite, but then I liked the piece best before it was overdyed and I love yellow with indigo. Which is your favorite? Do you overdye?

Posted in dyeing, fabric, fiber reactive dyes, indigo dyeing, overdyeing, Shibori - Itajime | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Printed Fabric Bee: Found Object Marks

This past month’s The Printed Fabric Bee challenge topic was Found Object Marks. Leslie Jenison the Queen Bee, chose this topic, requesting neutrals with a pop of color on an 8 x 18 piece of fabric. Before I show you the collection that will be given away, here is my piece and my process.


I started with this piece I had dyed with black fiber reactive dye mixed with enough water to make a lovely gray.


Since this was a challenge with found objects, I wanted to use a couple of my potato mashers found at thrift shops. I decided to first stamp the piece with deColourant. I love how this product takes away the color. I’m using my homemade gelatin plate as a stamp pad.



After stamping over the entire piece, I let it dry. When it was dry it was hard to see where I had stamped. However, as soon as I added the heat of the iron, the stamping appeared.

foundobj4Next it was time to add a pop of color. I thought a little orange would be nice so with my wood masher I added Pro Chemical ProFab Orange opaque fabric paint.


And here is the finished piece again.


And a closeup.


Here is my 6 x 6 piece for the giveaway.

Bee6x6foundobjNow for the giveaway, if you’d love to win this collection of 6 x 6 inch fabrics, just leave a comment on the Printed Fabric Bee blog post or the Facebook pageDeadline is June 14.


Stop by the other members’ blogs to see how they created their pieces. Good Luck!


Posted in Fabric paint, fiber reactive dyes, Giveaway, The Printed Fabric Bee | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lots of color

So much color around here right now.

Even with all of the gardening I did squeeze a little dyeing in the last week or so.

I started by dyeing another color wheel. This one is with bright dyes as opposed to this one. The blue green is off. Not sure how that happened.


Then I dyed a large mandala.


I had some vintage napkins I wanted to dye a certain color of green. I dyed three batches before I came up with the color I wanted. The first three were way too blue! But now I do have a nice selection of greens.


And here are the results on the vintage napkins.

donnavintage2And a closeup. I love how the yellow came out.


I really love the vintage napkins because you never know how they are going to dye. They are so much prettier with color than just plain white where their pattern hardly shows.

Other color include our currants.


Our cherries.


cherryharvest531 Our blueberries getting ready to turn.











The astilbes blooming in the shade garden.


Here is our Brandywine viburnum. In the Fall this bush will sport pink and blue berries while in the winter the leaves will turn dark maroon.


I was surprised to see this Louisiana iris that was blooming outside my window.


And the lovely coneflowers are all starting to bloom.




Well, that’s all the color for today.  Hope it’s colorful in your home. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in dyeing, fabric, fiber reactive dyes, gardening, irises, surface design | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Back to Basics: Using fabric as stencils

If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know I love stencils. I love all kinds of stencils, but I’ve really been interested lately in “fabric stencils.” Since I’ve had a couple of you email me about these stencils that I’ve used in the past, I thought I’d tell you all about them in another one of my Back To Basics series.

Back To Basics

Here are tags and fabric completed with these stencils.


This all started several years ago when we were in Hawaii. I was looking for a fern stencil or something that I could use as a stencil to bring Hawaii home. We always stop at the local fabric store which has a great line of all types of Hawaiian fabrics.  She didn’t have what I was looking for, but she did have some lace with palm trees.  It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I bought a yard anyway.

Then I pretty much forgot about that quest, and as I was looking through shirts at the local thrift store I found a shirt with ferns. I absolutely loved it. However, I thought I would love to wear it, not to spray paint or dye through it!

These shirts are made of lace-like fabric, but you can also use cut velvet ones too. When I purchased that fern shirt I really thought I’d wear it. However, after washing it I hung it in my closet. I’d pull it out every once in a while, try it on, but just never felt that it was me. But I absolutely loved the pattern. Then it hit me – why not use it as a stencil. When I found out it worked, I have been on the look out for more shirts like these.

fabricstencilsHere is a new one I just found last week. It is cut velvet with a lovely design!


Here is my Back to Basics video on using fabric as stencils. You can see all of the finished pieces below.


Here are four of the fabric pieces. All four pieces started out as white fabric. I sprayed Dye-Na-Flow diluted 3 to 1 (water to dye-na-flow) through the fabric stencil. I removed the stencil, allowed the fabric to dry just a short time and then over sprayed with a light color. It was fun seeing the pattern pop out on the second spray.


I sprayed through the shirt onto blank tags using undiluted liquid watercolor. For the two- toned tags below, after removing the shirt, I dried it with the heat gun and then sprayed over with a lighter color. I found that when spraying over the pattern you just made, spray with a lighter color.  The other three tags were just sprayed once through the fabric.

fabricstenciledtags1On the tags below I sprayed them with watercolor before using the fabric stencils.  Then I sprayed through the shirt producing these pieces.

fabricstenciledtags2These shirts turned stencils have been so much fun to use and to also to search for when I’m thrift shopping. I used one of these fabric stencils in sun printing. You can see how the fabric turned out  HERE.

Spraying through lace fabric is not new and is also fun. However spraying through this fabric gives you much more of a selection of designs. It has opened up a whole new bunch of stencil patterns to explore on both fabric and paper.

Have you ever tried using fabric as stencils? If you do decide to try it, I’d love to see your results.




Posted in fabric, recycling, stencils, surface design, tutorials, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Blue and Gray

Today is all about blue and gray. I was trying to find colors that would make a nice sun pattern on pillowcases.  I also wanted to play on silk and vintage napkins.

I was dyeing with Celerean Blue, Nickel, and Black. My goal was to have a two-color sunburst. Here was my first attempt.

sunburstfirstattemptI thought it was pretty, but just too soft. I wanted separation of the colors, and I wanted both colors to be darker.

After a couple test batches I was happy with bumping up the nickel and adding black to the blue.


Dave liked this so much he requested a shirt with these colors.


And since I had some dye left I also dyed me a tshirt – one I bought just last Friday at the thrift store. Can’t beat a $1 shirt!


And a silk scarf. It’s interesting how different the dyes react on silk.

blueandgraysilkscarf While I was in this mode I also dyed some vintage napkins using just the blue.

bluevintagenapkinsHere is a closeup. With these napkins I never know how they will turn out.


Well, that’s all my dyeing for now. Hope you’re having a great week.

Posted in dyeing, fabric, fiber reactive dyes, silk | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments