2018: Some Intentions

Now that 2017 is a memory, I’m looking at setting some intentions for this year. I gave up resolutions quite awhile ago!

After all of the political turmoil, mass shootings, and the other ugly in the world, I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness and a kindness army.

Kindness QuoteThis kindness army doesn’t involve any tests to pass, or uniforms to wear (except maybe a smile), or rules to follow. All you have to do to join this army is be kind.

CBS Sunday Morning on Christmas Eve had a wonderful segment on the power of kindness. Here’s the link. Just think if everyone would do one random act of kindness, even just one per week, how much better the world would be.

Little acts of kindness really count.  I remember when I was having an awful time at work and a friend surprised me with a piece of cake from a local bakery. That was such a small action, but it was so special. It really made my day. So whether it’s greeting someone with a smile, or baking up some cookies and taking them down to the local garage, I want to make a difference and introduce more kindness into my little piece of the world.

But as important kindness is to others, we also have to be kind to ourselves.

Another intention is to read more focusing on more non-white writers.  A month ago I finished Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, a native of Limbe, Cameroon. Her novel is about a fictional family from her country who are looking to make a better life in the US. It was a wonderful read and I look forward to more books from her.

I’ve been reading  Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me. It’s a difficult read for me so I’ve had to read it in small pieces.

Here are a few on my book stack waiting their turn. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior I read 15 years or so, and I thought now would be a good time to revisit it. We rented the movie and watched it last week on my birthday. I love Harlan Coben’s mysteries. They are just fun, and fast vacation and summer reads. When we go on vacation, I’ll take them with me, read them, and then leave them in the lodging for the next visitors to read or not. The bottom three I’m really looking forward to reading. I think I’ll start with the Book of Joy which is a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

As for my art, my word this year is Show Up. I’m not sure what that means right now, but it just seems to be the right word(s) for me.

Right after Christmas I dyed some bibs and a onesie for my hairdresser. I thought she might like little ice dyed pieces. I did have to tell her that they are not tie dyed!

And I continue to play with wool felt. I’m not really sure where this will end up, but I’m having fun stretching a bit.

I’ll be teaching a new online class, Easy Silk Dyeing, which is essentially my local class, but now anyone can take it online. It’s been so much fun teaching it locally, that I thought it would be nice to share it outside my neck of the woods. There will also be a teacher’s module for those who might want help and my tips setting up their own silk dyeing classes.  It should go live in early March. If you’d like me to email you a reminder when registration opens, email me at lheines@wowway.com.

I think these intentions can all be accomplished this year. If you’d like to share your intentions or what you are thinking about doing this year, please feel free to comment below. As always, thanks for dropping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to: Felt Bookmarks

Happy New Year!

I thought I’d start out the year with a tutorial on how to make these felt bookmarks.

For the Girls Night Out group Christmas party I made everyone a felt bookmark. My goal was to highlight my ice dyed fabrics (and a piece of stamped fabric).

I used my Scan N Cut to cut out the felt. However, you could easily cut out these with scissors.

You will need the following:

  • Felt (I’m using wool felt, but you could use acrylic felt.)
  • Fabric you want to showcase
  • Fusible batting
  • Mistyfuse or light fusible web
  • Light fusible interfacing
  • Glue stick
  • Sewing machine
  • Cutting machine or scissors/rotary cutter
  • Charms

I’ve made two different bookmarks, but the directions are the same for both.

Here are the measurements:

Front felt: 7.5  x 2 inches

Back felt: 8 x 2.5 inches

Fabric: 7 x 1.75 inches

Fusible batting and interfacing: 7 x 1.5 inches

Cut out the front and back pieces of felt. For the front, the less you cut out, the more stable the felt is when you sew all of this together. However, you see less fabric.

Stablize the fabric with a light fusible interfacing.

Add glue to felt. I chose a glue stick. You could probably use any glue that works with fabric.

Add fabric piece on top of glued felt and press.

Here is how it looks so far.

Now add fusible batting to the back of piece.

And press.

Turn over and press.

The next step is to sew around the fabric opening. Then sew on the charm.

Add lightweight fusible (I’m using Mistyfuse) to the back piece of felt and press using a pressing sheet.

Add front felt on top of back piece and press.

Take this sandwich to the sewing machine and sew 1/8 inch from front piece edge.

Once sewn, cut the back piece even with the front piece. And you are finished.

That’s it.  I really enjoyed showing off my ice dyed fabric while playing with the felt I’ve come to love.

Again, Happy New Year! I hope 2018 brings you peace, joy, love, and lots of color.

 

 

 

Posted in felt, ice dyeing, Sewing, tutorials | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Looking Back 2017

This year I’ve been saying I didn’t get much accomplished so looking back will show me if I was right.

Both falls this year (January and September) brought me to almost a standstill. I quit my thrift shop volunteering and local teaching. After quitting physical therapy, I realized I needed more help, so I signed up with Lisa, a trainer at the local gym. Since May I’ve been working with her twice a week. I still have pain in my back from time to time, but am doing much better and I’m so much stronger than I’ve ever been. I did have my glasses checked and I believe they are what caused me to fall. So far so good! And I’m so thankful that I’ve not broken anything in those falls.

My word for this year was Expand. My goal this year was to not restrict myself to fabric as I have in the past. I wanted to try some different art.

One of the neat things this year was drawing my mandalas on rocks. I’ve always loved rocks and adding mandalas to them was so exciting. It was also something I could sit in my recliner here in the studio and do. Here are just a few of them. Many of them left my studio to new homes. Here is a link to my first post on these rocks.

Before drawing on rocks, I drew on wood discs!

I did a little studio redo, moving stuff around and again going through my stash.

Dave and I made our every other year cherry picking at the local orchard.

Yep, that’s me.

So we ended up with lots of cherries for the freezer.

Dave and I got away in July and went on a Berea Getaway where we both took classes. We’ve wanted to do this for years and it was so much fun. I stretched with both classes, but especially the Embossed and Punched Jewelry class where I made this bracelet.

I spent time stencil making. Something I’ve wanted to do is make a stencil from one of my mandala drawings. I finally did that here.

I also shared with you some of what I’ve been reading this year here.

I also played a bit with resin, something I’ve wanted to experiment with for years.

I shared my art again with viewers on WEHT Local Lifestyles with my friend and the host of the show Ange Humphrey.

One of my biggest accomplishments this year was sewing these purses. I have this thing about perfect when it especially comes to sewing, and I was so happy with these even though they still weren’t perfect, but almost!!

In October I spoke to a local group of artists at StaC Gallery about teaching online.

In November I taught the one and only Easy and Fun Scarf Dyeing class for the year. I’ve missed teaching it, and look forward to teaching it more in 2018.

Then this month I’ve gotten involved in wool applique which I love!!

Wow!! Now that I look at the year this way, I did expand my creative path, but also got a lot done. Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2018 is your best year ever!!

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2017 Six Favorite Things

Looking back, I wanted to blog about what were my six favorite things in 2017. I originally wanted this to be five, but couldn’t stop there! These are six things I couldn’t or wouldn’t be without in my studio.

The first is one I’ve had for years. I use this padded portable desk when I’m sitting in my recliner working on stitching, painting, or drawing. I did a lot of that this past year. I have no idea how long I’ve had it or where I bought it, but it’s always next to my chair ready for me to use.

Since I’ve been stitching quite a bit, this set of Thread Art Perle Cotton #8 threads I bought several years ago have really come in handy. I remember buying them on sale and I wasn’t sure how much I’d use them, but I have really enjoyed sewing with them since I got into the wool applique.

Something I’ve not used since I was a kid is a needle threader. After changing thread colors frequently, I realized that I needed help threading. I bought this online through Amazon and it has two different size threaders. I’ve only used the small one so far. I’m amazed how strong it is even though it looks pretty flimsy. While looking for something else in my sewing supplies the other day, I came across one from years ago. So now I have a backup to this one!

One of the biggest help with working in my recliner is this flexible Ottlite. It comes with a clamp which I attached to a leg of my sewing table. I bought it at Tuesday Morning, but I’ve seen them also sold online. I like that I can direct the light where I want it to go. I love it so much I’ve thought about buying another one to use with my sewing machines.

Another great buy this past year is Karen Buckley’s 6-inch adjustable ruler.When I’m working small, which is most of the time, it’s nice that I don’t have to get out my long ruler to cut. I just make the ruler as long as I want it. It comes with a nice case to store when not in use.

Lastly is Superior So Fine #30 thread. I bought a set of their #50 Sew Complete thread and it works great. However, when I want to see those beautiful stitches, this thread is the one to use. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why my top stitching wasn’t “perfect.” It was because I wasn’t using the right thread. I only bought a few to get started. However, if I continue to sew I will definitely buy more of it.

Well, that’s my roundup of my six favorite things for 2017. I’d love to hear what some of your favorites are.

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Best of 2017 Tutorials

As we end another year, I am again looking back on my best of 2017 tutorials. If you missed them, the links are at the top of each picture.

I really have enjoyed making those cord bowls, but instead of covering the cord with fabric, I dyed it. Check out the tutorial here.

I’ve always loved the look of reverse applique, so this year I tried it with some of my ice dyed fabric. Here is my tutorial.

I’ve tried carving stamps and I really have not enjoyed that. However, making stamps out of foam is really fun. Here is my tutorial on making foam stamps.

Dry brush dyeing was another fun technique I tried this year. Check out the tutorial on it here.

I love to sun print. However, this year I decided to over sunprint to fix a piece and/or to add another layer. You can find my post here.

Over sun printing

Lastly, this new ornament this year made from my fabric stash was so easy and so much fun. Here is the tutorial for my fabric scrappy ornament.

If you’d like to see other “Best of  2017” check out Meadow Mist Designs the Best of Linky Party.

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2017 Christmas Ornaments

If you’ve been following my blog you know that Dave and I make each other ornaments for Christmas every year. It started back in 2005 when we were dating when he gave me the first ornament. If you’d like to see what we’ve made over the years, just google Christmas ornaments in the search box.

Since I’ve been into wool felt, I made this ornament for Dave. Originally it was going to be designed from one of my mandalas, but I had trouble with such small pieces. If I made it a normal size it would be too big. I settled for this one which is a take on my mandalas. Most of the felt I used is the felt I dyed earlier.

Dave made me this snowman from several different kinds of woods. Isn’t he cute? That snowman in the background was another one he made me for another Christmas.

We also make cards. Since I’m into wool, I added this poinsettia to his card.

It’s really a wonderful tradition. Only our homemade ornaments to each other are hung on our little tree.

Something that always reminds me of Christmas and grandma are springerles. I never liked them as a kid. I guess I just didn’t appreciate them, and after all she made other cookies I liked better. As I’ve gotten older I really appreciate these German anise-flavored cookies. I picked up a dozen yesterday at the Donut Bank. These are good, but not as good as the ones made by the sisters in Ferdinand, Indiana. We used to make a trip up there for their Christmas craft show where they also have springerles and other German cookies for sale. We need to put that on our calendar for next year.

We had a couple of our bluebirds visit one of the feeders on Christmas Eve. Dave caught one of them sharing the feed with this beautiful red-bellied woodpecker. We always love seeing our bluebirds staying close to their home.

And before I go, we bought a new kitchen gadget. Since we will be going through a kitchen renovation in late January, we’ve been thinking about how we’ll cook when the kitchen is torn up for a month. We have the grill, a hot plate, and our microwave/convection that they’ll remove and relocate to the dye studio. However, Dave uses the pressure cooker a lot for a variety of meals especially beans. So we now are the proud owners of an Instant Pot. He’s been using it quite a bit these last couple of weeks. He made vegetable beef soup the other night. He started with pressure cooking the beef bones. Once the broth was done, after removing the bone and skimming any fat, he added all of the rest of the ingredients and slow cooked the soup. Now that it’s my turn to cook I’m looking forward to learning how to use it.

It’s been a wonderful Christmas. I hope all of you are safe and warm and enjoying your holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Merry Christmas!

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Indigo Bag Birthday Giveaway

Giveaway is closed! Thank you all for your comments.

Congrats to Jan and June!

This is my birthday month and I am celebrating by giving away two of my small indigo bags to two of my readers.

I love these little bags and carry one that I made with my ice dyed fabric in my purse. I like to give away something I love, and these I sure do. I’m hoping that they will find homes that will love them as much as I do!

All you need to do is comment below. Due to postage, this giveaway is only open to US and Canada residents. 🙁

Be sure your email is listed on your comment so I can get back with you. The giveaway will close on Wednesday, December 27 at 8 am CST. Good Luck!

Posted in Giveaway, indigo dyeing, Sewing | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

Playing with wool applique

I’ve started playing with wool applique.

Earlier this month I told you about dyeing the wool felt. I started cutting the wool using freezer paper. That seemed to take a long time so I put my Brother Scan & Cut to work and came up with these.

These two heart pieces are made with the wool clothing I bought at the thrift stores.  These hearts would be great at Valentine’s Day.

Now to make some wool pennies. The shell buttons are from one of the wool sweaters I cut  up.

I do believe I’m just getting started!

My Christmas decorating has really decreased over the years. Now I just put up this small tree that sits on our fireplace. The only ornaments on this tree are ones that Dave and I have made for each other. I treasure the bird house which is the very first one Dave made for me when we were dating in 2005. I’ll post my new ornament for him on Christmas.

Now back to playing with the wool felt. Hope you are enjoying this holiday season.

 

 

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Writing on Fabric

Today I’m writing on fabric and not doing a real good job of it!

Several years ago, early on my blogging journey, one of my local readers ran into me at the local Joann’s. She came up to me and asked if I was the one who wrote this blog. I guess I really looked like my picture.

She complimented me on my art and mentioned how it all looked great. I told her that it all wasn’t. There were lots of ugly work that I don’t post. “Why don’t you post those so readers know it takes mistakes to get to the finished piece?” Great question!

So today you will see a couple not so good pieces!

I’ve been wanting to write on fabric with thickened dyes. I could write with fabric paint, but I wanted the hand (feel) of the fabric to stay soft. If you’re not familiar with thickened dyes, it takes a little prep. You have to first make chemical water by mixing warm water with urea. Then you mix the chemical water and sodium alginate and you get print paste which you add dye to make the thickened dye. It’s not difficult, but just takes a little time.

The dry fabric which has been soda soaked the day before is pinned to a padded surface. Then the fun begins. I rarely use black so I chose to use Raven and a Cardinal Red for this experiment. The first piece I wrote on the fabric with large words and then wrote over again and again.

Writing of fabric textOne of the tricks is to make sure the bottle tip is touching the fabric. Otherwise you get big globs. I set it aside to dry and worked on another piece.

Writing of fabric with scribblesLooking back now, I really liked how this piece turned out. If I would have just left it alone but, no, I had to add more. So I set it aside and after it was dry added red dye and some circles. I don’t like it at all now!! Often when something gets this far it’s time to push through it, but I don’t see how anything would make this piece look better.

Writing on fabric adding red to scribblesMeanwhile, after the first piece dried I added red to it.

Writing on fabric adding redThat turned out okay, but again something I wouldn’t reproduce. It will probably be okay cut in small pieces. We’ll see.

So now you see some of the dreadful stuff I create! Reminds me of the saying, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.” I think I have lots of frog kissing before I get this writing on fabric blog worthy!

In other art news, my Icy Delights is now $10 off. The sale lasts until December 20 at 11:45 pm CST and then the registration will be closed until February 1. If you would like to take the class, make sure and use this link before that date. Once you register, you can access the classroom whenever it fits your schedule. All of the pdfs can be downloaded to your computer if you wish, and the videos are in the classroom available when you have a break from you busy schedule. So if you have been wanting to take the class, this is the last opportunity until February.

Ice Dyed FabricIf you are already a student, nothing will change for you. You will still be able to access the classroom and the Facebook page.

Thanks for dropping by today to see my “mistakes.” Hope you are having a creative day. I’d love to hear about your adventures in writing on fabric.

Posted in dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, Icy Delights, online classes, thickened dyes | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments