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.


Posted in ice dyeing, online classes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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.


Posted in gardening, quilting, road trips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in dyeing, ice dyeing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

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.




Posted in resin | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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.








Posted in ice dyeing, sun batching | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Ice Dyeing: Batching in the sun

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.

Posted in foam stamps, tutorials | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Stencil materials

In my last post I wrote about making my own stencils from my drawings. Today I wanted to share with you the stencil materials I use in my cutter.

I’ve really enjoying making stencils since I bought my Silhouette Portrait machine several years ago. Since then I’ve moved on to the Brother ScanNCut and continue to look for stencil materials. For those who have the ScanNCut I’ve posted the settings that work for me at the end of this article.

I started out using Grafix Dura-Lar, but felt it was too stiff. I also tried Grafix Craft Clear Plastic, similar to Dura-Lar. It will do in a pinch, but I don’t really like it except that it comes in 12 x 12 sheets.

My go-to stencil material is report covers. You can purchase these at the office supply store for $8 for 10 covers which makes 20 sheets or 40 cents a stencil. They are strong enough, but pliable. Then last week I found a another option at the office supply store: Avery 8 tab Insertable Style Edge Pocket plastic dividers ($8 or $1 a sheet) made of  “extra durable tear resistant plastic.” They are similar to the report covers, but even more sturdy. However, they are a bit pricey.

Lastly, I tried heavy duty 2-pocket plastic portfolios for 50 cents each or 25 cents a stencil. I found them at Office Depot in the school supplies. They came in all colors, but I thought white would work best. These are even heavier than the report covers or the tabs.

Here is the stencil made with the portfolio.

I like all three of these. The 2-pocket portfolios are the cheapest and the sturdiest, but they all work.

One of my favorite for fabric, when I’m looking for perfect and not in a hurry, is freezer paper. I use precut sheets, but you can also just buy a roll at the local grocery store and cut your own size.

For those of you who have a ScanNCut, here are my settings. Make sure you test on your machine before cutting out the design.

  • Grafix plastic sheets – Blade 5, Speed 1, Pressure 5
  • Report covers – Blade 5, Speed 1, Pressure 3
  • Plastic dividers – Blade 5, Speed 1, Pressure 3
  • Two-pocket portfolios – Blade 7, Speed 1, Pressure 7
  • Freezer paper – Blade 4, Speed 1, Pressure 1

If you don’t have a machine, you can cut these by hand, but the cutter sure makes it easier. I love being able to take my drawings and make stencils.

If you have a favorite material you use to cut stencils, I’d love to hear about it. Meanwhile, I’m off to Office Depot to pick up more of those two-pocket portfolios before they’re all gone!


Posted in craft product reviews, drawing, mandalas, stencils | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Making mandala stencils

This is a project I’ve been working on for awhile – mandala stencils. I’ve spent quite a bit of time being frustrated – trying to figure out how they are made. There are a lot of beautiful stencils out there, but I wanted my design. Also, making it myself, I can make it as large or small as I need.

It really takes a different mindset from drawing mandalas to drawing mandala stencils. What I need to continue to remind myself that what is black will fall out.  I have to make sure I don’t connect any of the black areas or the design will be gone.

So when drawing the mandala or any design for a stencil, black parts can’t touch. I guess the way I finally am thinking of it, is that all black areas need to be surrounded by white.

So as with any mandala I start in the middle and work out. I draw the outline and then fill it in.

Even though I know the lines can’t touch, I still forget. Here is an example of how close the lines got. I ended up taking white paint and painting over the black.

Here is the finished design.

Here is another one.

Now I take my drawings to my Scan and Cut. If you don’t have a cutter, you can cut it out with an X-acto knife. I don’t trust myself with those things! If you have a Scan & Cut, here is a great video on how to scan your drawing. She’s working on a card, but the information is still applicable to making stencils.

I really like to use report covers purchased from the office supply store for making stencils, but I used other plastic too. I’ll be blogging about stencil material in my next post. I like to secure my stencil material to the mat with painters tape. That way I am assured that the plastic won’t move.

Here’s the second stencil cut and ready to use.

I made these stencils to print on fabric, but before I take them to the fabric, I try them on paper first to see how it looks. Below is the paper print and the stencil.

If I’m happy with that image, I’ll start stenciling on fabric.

And the finished results on fabric.

They also work great on paper.

Finally, after many tries I came up with a couple mandala stencils I actually like and that work!  Next up is my comparison of several stencil materials.

Posted in drawing, mandalas, stencils | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Berea Art Getaway

Last weekend hubby and I took off a few days and drove down to Berea, Kentucky to take some classes at their annual Festival of Learnshops. Oh what fun! Here are the projects I made while there.

This was also the weekend for the annual craft festival.

Here is Dave standing by one of the many hands in Berea.

But let me tell you about the classes I took.

My first class was Embossed and Punched Jewelry with Scott Mattingly. I can’t believe how much fun it was.

We started punching a circle out of a copper blank. Here is Scott explaining all of the different tools that he had to punch holes.

Love that orange hammer!

So my first punch. We were aiming for off center.

Then we embossed.

Scott then showed us how to use the dapping block to dome the metal.

Then to polish it.

This is my finished pendant – our first project.

Then from there we could create whatever we wanted to. I made a set of earrings, but what I wanted to do was make a bracelet. I still need to add a clasp and then I can wear it!

You will definitely see more of this. It was so much fun and so many possibilities.

The next day I took Delicollage with Jacqueline Sullivan. Last year I took the eco print retreat with her in Cincinnati. She’s a wonderful teacher and if she comes to your area, check out her classes.

This class was all about playing with deli paper and then making a collage on canvas.

Jacqueline shows us how to paint on deli paper.

We added bling, stenciled, and stamped. Here are some of my papers.

What a fun weekend and great classes. This event is held every year for two weeks. There were other classes I would have liked to have taken, but we were only there for the weekend.  I hope to return next year.

While I was in my classes Dave was taking classes on growing mushrooms (Shitake and Oyster Mushroom Log Inoculation) and making natural artisanal sodas.

Puddin and Ace returned from camp (vet) refreshed and ready to get back into their routine. I caught Puddin doing some cat yoga yesterday.

Well, now to get back to my other art. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in art classes, collage, embossing, jewelry, road trips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments