Happy November!

Time is going so fast! It’s been a couple weeks since my last post. My Easy and Fun Silk Scarf Dyeing Class last Saturday was so much fun. Everyone went home with two beautiful scarves.

This is my last class at Scattered Art. Dolly will be closing her shop in December. I sure have enjoyed teaching there, and I know the community will miss her creative place.

For our book club this week I made grandma’s pumpkin pie, but added some pie crust leaves to decorate it a bit.

The past two Wednesdays I’ve attended Connie’s stitching class at one of our local libraries. In the first class we printed our canvas fabric. I did a bit more at home and then sewed the pages together so my stitch “book” was ready for this week’s class. I even made a faux binding.

Here are some of the inside pages:

And the front.

And a closeup of some stitches.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much done in the class. We are talking about having a monthly group where we can stitch and visit. That sure would help me get this book finished!

The trees and shrubs really started to turn this past week. I love looking outside our front window to the trees across the street.

I just can’t get over the lovely Nandina.

And I did finish my orange rope bowl. I started it quite awhile ago, and then got side tracked when I was making those purses. I ice dyed the rope this time instead of the regular dyeing I did with the other bowls.

This was a much bigger bowl than I’ve made using a little heavier rope.

That’s what has been going on here. I’m off to finish cleaning out the asparagus patch. I’ve spent two sessions so far, and will probably need a couple more before the entire area is completed.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Quilt Shop and More

This week I took to the road and headed up an hour away to Washington Indiana to meet a friend of mine for lunch. Gail and I are part of the “Garden Girls” a group that’s been meeting monthly for lunch for years. Of the five of us, only three are still living close. Chris, the other member, has been real busy so it’s just been Gail and I. Since Gail now lives two hours away, this spot is the halfway point. It’s also a great Amish restaurant.

After a delicious lunch and catching up, Gail was on her way back to Bloomington. I was off to check out The Stitching Post, a quilt shop in Washington.

I was amazed at this shop. First of all, in the window are the owner’s collection of  vintage sewing machines.

It would be worth a trip just to look at all of these beautiful machines. Here is one I especially loved.

But there was lots to see besides the machines – gobbs and gobbs of fabric.

I was amazed by the size of this store because this is a small town. As I walk around the store I thought about my mom and how many times we went to the local Grant’s store and looked at “yard goods.” She would have loved this place.

For those of you who don’t know me, I rarely buy commercial fabric. I spend my money on fabric to dye. However, from time to time I do look to see if I can find something I can overdye. I found these two pieces. I can’t wait to add dye to them!!

Before heading home I stopped at the local St. Vincent’s thrift store. I drove by it on my way to The Stitching Post and thought it I had time I’d check it out. Well, I am hard pressed not to stop by a thrift store! Here is what I found. I especially was happy to get the plastic canvas shapes. They are great for sun printing and stenciling.

I found a use for that canvas I painted awhile back. From that canvas painting project I ended up with these two art quilts. They could even be used as placemats.

But since there was still some canvas left, I used it on this Soul Book for the cover and the page edges.

This Soul Book is made for the SoulBook Gathering Experience put on by the Brave Girls Club which starts tomorrow. If you are interested in learning about this or being a part of it, check out this link.  Instructions on how to construct the journal are on that page. It’s been quite awhile since I made a journal, and I’ve never made one with pages cut from a cardboard box. I love how thick the pages are before I’ve even added anything! I’ll show you more later.

My Easy and Fun Scarf Dyeing Class take place a week from Saturday. If you are in the area, we still have openings. Call Dolly at Scattered Art at 812.490.0074. These scarves make great Christmas gifts.

With the weather turning cold,  it’s time to get the garden areas cleaned up and put to bed. Usually I mulch my areas in the Fall, but I don’t think it will happen this year. Once we have a frost, I’ll be cleaning up the asparagus patch. Yesterday I drained, cleaned, and then refilled the hot tub so it’s ready for winter sitting. I still have the porch cushions to clean and put away and hang up the kayak. I always have mixed feelings at this time of the year. I look forward to the changing leaves, but not the gray winter. However, it’s a great time to recharge and renew, and a great time to get some of that sewing done.

Hope you’re having a colorful and creative week.

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Sewing Purses

I’ve been wanting to use some of my ice dyed fabrics. I’ve also been wanting to make a purse. I found this great pattern, Zip and Go, from Dog Under My Desk Patterns, grabbed some of my fabric, and started on this project.

I found this pattern to be real detailed and easy to follow. I’m not saying it’s one of those sewing projects you can whip out right away, but it is one that is doable.

I loved the process. Here I am auditioning the zippers. The bag fabric on the right is still waiting to be sewn!

The bags are fully lined so you end up with two zipped areas. I used another piece of my dyed fabric for both the lining and the adjustable strap.

I am really picky about my stitches when I topstitch and was so happy that these both turned out with my approval.


I love both of these!

If you are interested in patterns for purses, check out Dogundermydesk. As I said, her patterns are very detailed and easy to understand.

Now what I want to do is make a bigger purse. But that’s for another day. If you have a favorite pattern or pattern source, I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for dropping by and hoping you’re having a colorful day.

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StaC Art Gallery

StaC Art Gallery is a new destination in Evansville, Indiana to get your art fix. Located at 416 Washington Avenue in a beautiful old historic house, owner Ted Nguyen has refurbished this home into a wonderful art gallery.

If you’d like to know more about how this gallery came into being, here is a link to a local article and video.

It’s also a place where I’ve spent several Wednesdays recently at their Live. Lunch. Learn. – Creative Learning series.

Every other Wednesday a local artist speaks on some aspect of art. Yesterday I spoke to the group of artists on Online Classes: Creating Passive Income Streams. 

It was so much fun sharing my knowledge with this group. We always have such good discussions.

I love seeing all of the wonderful local art for sale. If you need a gift or just something special for you, it can be found here.

When visiting the gallery you will more than likely run into Ted Nguyen, the owner and a wonderful artist.

Miai Almeraz, manager, is always available to answer any questions and serve up coffee.

If you are interested in more information on StaC Art Gallery and the many other events they host, check out their Facebook page.

And talking about online classes, my class Icy Delights:Dyeing Fabric With Ice is on sale right now for $10 Off until October 12. This is only the second time I’ve reduced it this amount. So if you are at all interested, this is the time to pick it up.

Use this link to get this offer. Don’t forget that the class is always open. You can view the lessons and work at your own pace. Part of the class includes membership in the Icy Delights Facebook group. It’s a great place to meet other students and share dyeing experiences. For October I have issued a challenge where all students can participate and be eligible for some goodies.

Talking about classes, if you are local, I am teaching my Easy and Fun Silk Scarf Dyeing class on Saturday, November 4 at Scattered Art in Newburgh, Indiana. It is so much fun and you go home with two scarves that you can keep or give away.

Thanks for dropping by.

 

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Road trip and quilts

We took a short trip to Nashville Indiana last week. Our plans included some hiking and shopping and of course, eating. The key word here is “included.” This picture kind of said it all!!

Here is one of the shops we dropped in.

We also found an olive oil bar. We visit these stores wherever we go and were excited to see another one here in Nashville. If you aren’t familiar with “olive oil bars” it’s a store that sells lots of different flavored olive oils and vinegars, but you also can taste them all. Since we cook a lot and also make our own salad dressings, these oils and vinegars sure add a lot of variety to our meals.

If you’ve followed me for a while you know I love potato mashers and playing with them on fabric. I saw this beautiful one. However, it was attached to a basket. Darn!

We traveled several miles from Nashville to the Farmhouse Cafe and Tea Room near Bean Blossom. Not only is it a really neat restaurant, they also sell lots of plants.

What a beautiful place! And the food is good too.

Then we went back to Nashville to check out some more shops. That’s when the trip changed from a three-day getaway, to one day. We saw a bumper sticker on a business door. I walked by it and then decided to go back and take a picture. On my way back to take that picture, I tripped and fell! After spending the last 8 months working on fixing the last fall, I couldn’t believe I fell again. But once Dave helped me up, I took the picture I went back for.

After taking this picture, we went back to the cabin, packed up, and headed home. But the good news is I just sprained my right arm and every day it’s been getting better. I’m sore other places too, but I’m so thankful I didn’t break anything. Tomorrow I have an appointment to see the eye doctor!

Friday I ventured out to our local quilt show. Years ago I was a member of the Raintree Quilters Guild and was even an officer. I was looking forward to seeing all of the quilts, but also hoping I’d run into some of the members I’ve not seen in years. I wasn’t disappointed.

I’m not into traditional quilts, but I do love this Sunbonnet Sue. In addition to being a large quilt, the girls were really big too!

I loved this different take on log cabins.

Here are some of the other ones I liked.

I’m so anxious to create, and hopefully this week I will get back to it. I have lots to share. Hope you’re having a creative and colorful Sunday.

 

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Dyeing Lesson Learned

Several weeks ago I ice dyed this shirt for me. Dave loved it and wanted one of his own.

So that was easy. I weighed his shirt (since it’s a bit larger and would need more dye than mine), calculated the amount of dye, and I was off to the dye studio.  Several years ago he had purchased several of these t-shirts from LL Bean. In 2015 I dyed one of those shirts in my indigo pot. It turned out beautiful.

So when I went to dye one of the white tshirts, I couldn’t believe the results. Ugh! I ended up over dyeing it since the first time the dye barely attached to the fibers.

My next step was to contact LLBean and the mystery was solved.

They responded back to me almost immediately.

“In looking at your husband’s order history, I’m seeing that in 2014, he had purchased several Carefree Unshrinkable Tee V-neck #290353 (PFH1).  These shirts do have a resin-free wrinkle-resistant and stain resistant treatments on them.  These solutions allow the wrinkles and water/oil stains to roll off and out of the fabric.  Unfortunately, the treatments also prevent the shirt from being dyed like an untreated shirt.”

The dye process with indigo is different and I assume those chemicals were able to break through the stain resistant treatment.

So the lesson I learned is even if it’s 100% cotton, make sure there is no treatment on it. I’ve never had this problem before so it took me by surprise.

Our local library has a silent auction to raise money for the library. They again contacted me to donate a couple items for the auction. So I said goodbye to this rope bowl and one of the purses I had sewn with my ice dyed fabric. They always have such a wonderful selection of art so if you are in the area (Newburgh, Indiana) check out the auction starting later this month.

Have a great weekend.

 

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Resin Play

This year I decided that I wouldn’t limit my art to fabric. I’ve wanted to play with resin for several years. In July I decided to see what I could do with this new-to-me medium.

Here are a couple resin pendants.

Here is resin on a tile. These photographs really don’t show the beauty of the glitter and the colors.

Here are resin on discs.

Here is a closeup.

There are a variety of different resins to use. I chose Art Resin. As with all resins, they come in two bottles. You mix equal portions and then poured onto surface. Before pouring I added paint. For the discs and tile I used my torch to move the resin around. Add glitter last.

What got me off the computer and into the studio to try resin was Kellie Chasse’s online class. Info on her classes can be found here.

I really love the jewelry and look forward to making more.

Ice Dyeing

Meanwhile I ice dyed another top for me. This is why I love ice dyeing. The results are usually pretty stunning. If you’ve never tried ice dyeing and are interested, check out my online class, Icy Delights, here.

Soft Kitties

Ole Grumpy Kitty dropped by the studio last week. I’m hoping his friends, who will be joining him soon, will be in a better mood!

Rope for Bowls

I also have dyed a bit more rope for another bowl. This one is 1/4 inch, a bit thicker rope compared to the two I’ve used before. Check out this post where I compared the two different ropes I’ve used.

Worked on the bowl and just ran the bobbin out. Now to reload and finish this beauty.

Sewing Indigo

Trying to use up some of my fabric. Here is another one of those small bags with my indigo dyed fabric.

Hope you’re having a colorful week.

 

 

 

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I’ve been reading

I’m still dyeing and sewing, but first I’d like to share what I’ve been reading.

Belonging to a book study has really encouraged me to read some books I wouldn’t normally read. Also, a couple blogs I follow do this from time to time, and I really have enjoyed seeing what others are reading.

Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What you see before you die.

If you are afraid of dying or you have a loved one who is nearing the end, I recommend you read this. What if we really don’t die alone? My Dad, although I was not in the room and only reported to me by my stepmother, talked to mom in his last days. Oh, how I wish I could have been there to see his face. I’ve always believed the visions. This book just confirmed my belief. This is an easy read and so worth the small investment of time.

 

 

 

Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death

When does death occur? Had the Titanic occurred today, how many lives could have been saved? What is my hospital’s procedure in keeping the body and brain cool? Where does the “soul” reside?

This is an important book to read if you are at all interested in death. I will admit that it is a hard read, in that there is a lot of technical medical information. The author seemed to go on and on when he could have said a lot of the info in a more concise way. However, there is a lot of good info, and it’s one of those books that really makes you think. This should be required reading for medical school. I read this for a book study and we had some great discussions!

Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity

 

“Ministers David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy, along with an all-star cast of Bible scholars and top church teachers, provide a primer to a church movement that encourages every Christian to “live the questions” instead of “forcing the answers.”

The above description says it all. This is an easy read, but one of those books to go back and reread, highlight and talk about. Our book study had a lively discussion on this book.

 

When Breath Becomes Air

This is the account of the author’s journey of on the verge of completing his training as a neurosurgeon he is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. I found it a really slow read. He details he’s work journey more than his internal journey. His wife’s epilogue was more heartfelt and powerful than any of his words. This was a recommended read for me, but I didn’t feel I got that much out of it.

 

 

Here is another book to mention that I read several months ago.

Hillbilly Eulogy

I have mixed feelings about this book. I do believe it gives us an understanding of the hillbilly culture. Even though I spent a large part of my work life working with the marginalized or who we called “poor” people, the population I knew was much different than the culture Vance describes. It was a memoir so it was about his life and how he made it out of the culture, although it still remains with him. And that was the good part. However, I found it hard to finish the book because the last several chapters were to put it bluntly – boring – and at one point even made me angry. Some of the problems he experienced while at Yale, were problems that most of us experience in school – not just hillbillies – and I found it offensive that he felt it was only his culture who had these issues. And in the end I was hoping he’d tell us how he’s working to encourage and motivate this culture to improve their lives. No, no such conclusion. However, I did see him interviewed in the past couple weeks where he was talking about an initiative he’s started to do that very thing. That makes me feel better about the book.

Of course I’ve been reading a variety of craft books. Of my mandala books, this is my favorite. However, I have yet to get the dots looking good!

On my stack of books to read or I’m in the process or reading include Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates,  What is the Bible by Rob Bell, and Some Go Hungry by J. Patrick Redmond.

I’ve also been ice dyeing.  The August red challenge in my Icy Delights online class is all about adding any red dye with another color. My goal is to stretch students to use colors they don’t normally use or combine. After dyeing a fat quarter I just had to dye a tshirt with Oxblood Red and Azure Blue. The patterning still amazes me.

This tshirt is just a couple of my favorite colors.

And a little sewing. This is made with my indigo-dyed fabric. I’ll be sewing more of these once my machine gets back from it’s tune up.

Also felted a couple of bowls. Not real happy with them and they need more work.

Hope you’re having a good weekend. What are you reading right now?

 

Posted in book review, Books, ice dyeing, Sewing | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Ice Dyeing: Batching in the sun

What about batching ice dyeing in the sun instead of waiting 20 to 24 hours?

I really like to give the fiber reactive dyes lots of time to work. I usually let them batch (sit) for 20 – 24 hours. However, due to several students of my Icy Delights online class asking about sun batching, I thought I’d do a couple experiments.

I found that in the hot sun, it takes about two hours for the ice to melt.

I wanted to compare these fabrics batched for only two hours in the sun to the ones that sit in the garage for around 24 hours. I’m using the exact same fabric and size (fat quarter), and amount of dye.

Here are my results:

The Brazil Nut test shows the sun batched piece as faded.

However, the lavender doesn’t show as much difference in waiting the extra hours. This may be due to the red in the dye. Red strikes first on the fabric while other colors take their time dyeing the fabric. Since blue takes longer to dye, you see less blue on the sun-batched piece.

My last test is this piece with three colors: Antique Gold, Eggplant, and Dancing with Raisins. All of the colors are pretty washed out in the sun batching compared to the 24-hour batch.

So in my limited experiment, I found that when compared to the regular batch, the sun-batched pieces colors appeared washed out or muted. However, the lavender sun-batched piece was almost as pretty as the regular batch except for less blue.

For me, it’s not worth saving time for the muted results. It’s also a waste of the dye to not allow it to completely color the fabric. Of course, if the fabric had been sun batched longer than two hours, it might give a better result. It was an interesting experiment.

Something new I have wanted to try lately is acrylic pouring. I saw a video and just had to try it.  It reminds me of marbling. I didn’t get the cells I wanted, but that will come with more practice. I really like the texture.

Hope you are having a good Sunday. Thanks for dropping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How To: Foam Stamps

I vaguely remember making foam stamps years ago and I was not happy with the results. However, after more experimenting I think I may have a new love.

Working on fabric is a bit different than stamping on paper. Also, if you have a electronic cutter, you can also cut some of these stamps out with it. I’ll give the Brother ScanNCut settings later in the post.

If you’d like to see me demo these foam stamps, I appeared on WEHT Local Lifestyles this morning. Here is a link to the video.

I think of these stamps as giving an “organic” print. If you are looking for perfect, these may not be what you want. However, some of my suggestions will help to get a good print.

Here is what you will need:

If you want to print on fabric I suggest the following:

Let’s get started. Gather thick foam, adhesive-backed foam, and cardboard.

Cut the thick foam and cardboard to size and glue together.

Now you’re ready to cut your design and add to the stamp base. This foam is real easy to cut. Since the adhesive-backed foam has paper on it, you can draw your design on the backing and cut it. Or like I do, just cut and add to your base. For these stamps, they do best with simple designs.

If you have a ScanNCut you can scan your drawings into the cutter, and use thin foam (without adhesive). Because there is no adhesive to the back of your design, you need to glue the design to the cardboard. Here are my settings: Deep Cut Blade 8, Speed 1, Pressure 7. Please do a test cut before you cut out the design. You might even start with less pressure and less blade so you don’t end up cutting up your mat. I could not get the adhesive-backed foam to work in my cutter.

When I made these stamps, I added the thick foam last. It’s really easier to make the stamp bases first, but either works.

For stamping on paper it is important to work on a foam stamp pad. Even an old mouse pad will work. This one is great with all of the lines on it (link above).

Once the glue dried, the stamps were ready to take on a test drive on paper. Add ink and stamp.

Here are the first images for these stamps.

A couple cards

Now let’s talk about printing on fabric. First you need a good printing surface. I cover mine with fabric that I can take off and wash when done.

I’ve tried using a brayer or a foam brush to spread a light film of fabric paint on the stamps. It really didn’t work well for me. I found this great stuff called Cut and Dry stamp pad foam (link above)  where you add your own paint. It works much like a stamp pad. Add some fabric paint with either a brayer or a foam brush and you’re ready to stamp.

Here is one of the fabric pieces.

I also tried a different substrate. Instead of the foam and cardboard, I used Grafix clear craft plastic .007 thickness. I bought these for stencils, but they are too rigid. What is nice about using this plastic is you can see where you place the stamps on the paper or fabric. What is not nice about them is they are hard to handle.

I think I’d like a thicker plastic so it would be easier to hold on to. Adding a handle would help. Also, it might be good to use a thicker foam to prevent smudging.

Here are my tips for getting a clean image:

  1. Use a light touch when using the stamp pads.
  2. Smaller stamps seem to work better and are easier to control.
  3. Simpler designs work best.
  4. A thicker foam might even work better than what I used. I’ll try that in the future.
  5. Accept that you won’t have “perfect” images every time.

If you’ve made foam stamps, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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