Sunday Colors: October 26

What lovely weather we’ve had the past couple of days. I really love this time of the year and all of the color.

I worked out in one of the shade area yesterday mulching and getting it ready for the winter. I have found out that if I mulch it in the winter, my work in the Spring is so much easier.

Shade area

The ferns are still so beautiful.


I’ve cut back most of the hostas. That didn’t take long since the deer had already gotten to them. However, this one I’ll cut back in the next couple of days.


I was surprised this last week with Istanbul, a rebloomer. I rarely see any irises this time of the year.


Our Calendula has been blooming all summer. Dave’s been drying it for soap and salve making. Here is an old post about infusing calendula.


The blueberry bushes have turned such a lovely shade of red.

Blueberrry bushes

These little ornamental grasses are too cute!

small ornamental grasses

Our Encore azaleas are blooming too!

Encore Azaleas

I love all of these berries on the Nandinas.


My lavender didn’t do well this year and I had NO harvest as opposed the previous years. I lost most of my plants and ended up planting new ones. However, a couple of the old ones are blooming right now.


We have three dogwood trees on the side of our house. This is the only one that is turning red so far this season, but it’s a beauty!


I love sedums and how they are so pretty this time of the year.


Dave grew this Amaranth in his butterfly garden. Kinda nasty looking if you ask me!!

AmaranthAnd a few more pictures:


ornamental grass

golden mop

Well, that’s our sunday colors for today.

Ace has been “helping” me in the studio.

Ace and Portrait

And I was able to sneak in a little dyeing this past week too.


I hope you’re enjoying your colors. Have a great Sunday!

Posted in gardening, irises, Lavender, Photography, Sunday Roundup | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Around the World Blog Hop

Artists from around the world are participating in the Around the World Blog Hop. My talented friend Lisa Chin asked me to participate and I was happy and honored to be asked.

Around the World blog Hop

Before I answer the four questions, I just have to tell you that Lisa has really been an inspiration to me. I love her art and she is the one I blame for “encouraging” me to buy my Silhouette Portrait. If you don’t know Lisa, check out her blog here.

Now to the questions:

1. What am I working on? 

The indigo dye bug has bit me. In addition to the class I taught recently, I am continuing to work with indigo. I’m thinking about keeping it going – or seeing if I can keep the vat “live” over the winter – but then I think about how I wasn’t real good at keeping my sourdough starter fed!

In addition to my new passion with indigo, I have started to work with silk. I’ve mentioned this before, that prior to taking Evi’s class last year, I was scared to death I would “hurt” silk, so have not played with it much at all. It’s just been in the last several months that I’ve been really pushing myself and I really LOVE it! I love the look and the feel. Below are two silk pieces: a scarf and a handkerchief that are sitting on a cotton bandana I just dyed for hubby. Does that mean I’ll give up cotton? No way!

indigo dye pieces

I am also working on my serger. I bought this baby a couple weeks ago. Right now I’m facinated with rolled edges, but I’m still at the playing stage.

My Elna Serger

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As far as being different, I don’t know. I do love to try different products and processes to expand my knowledge. I also love to share them with you and hopefully encourage you to try something you might not otherwise think you can or want to do.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I create because I have to. I have no choice and it makes me happy. I’ve always loved crafts, but it’s just been the last several years that I’ve been so drawn toward fabric. I know I’ve mentioned this before in one of my ramblings, but when I was a kid Mom would drag me to the local sewing store where she spent what seemed like hours looking at “yard goods.” I used to tease her about it and mock how she looked at every bolt. It’s amazing that I’ve become her! I write about my art to hopefully inspire you, as I mentioned in the last question, but also to keep a written journal of my art.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

It depends on what I am doing. If I’m working on something with a specific topic such as the Printed Fabric Bee monthly challenge, I research that topic to find some way to turn that idea into a fabric design. Some topics are easier than others. Then I decide on the background. Sometimes it’s from my stash. Other times I will start with white cotton and dye or paint it. Then I test out my design on a scrap piece of fabric until I’m happy and then complete the piece. For my other work I might see something online that spurs an idea or a blog post that reminds me of something I’ve wanted to try. In the last post, I was given that dinner container and I had to create something with it. I’m always looking for new and different objects and mediums to try. If I can’t think of anything to create, all I have to do is open my notebook to those pages of ideas.

Now to pass this hop on. One of the online artists who has inspired me and I swear we are sisters from different mothers, is Judy Sall, aka Judy Tie Dye. Along with Lisa, Judy is someone I feel I can touch base about some burning art question and I’ll hear back from her. And Judy’s tie dye is not your grandma’s or mom’s tie dye. Check her stuff out here.

Posted in art, blog hop | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Using Cleanline resist

I have been hunting for a good water soluble resist. I’ve used blue school glue and it works fine, but I wanted something a bit thinner. I have tried several bottles of Jacquard resist and have not been happy at all. It spread all over the place. I was told by a chemist at Jacquard a year or so ago that they were changing their formula. I don’t know if that happened or not. However, recently while trolling the web I ran across Cleanline, made by Lumi. Before I go on, this is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share this with you.


Before I begin, here are my results with the Cleanline on both silk and cotton. I used the same color and design so I could make a good comparison.

Cotton and silk pieces

I used Jacquard Dye-na-Flow on both the silk and cotton hankies. The tutorial shows you the steps on the silk.

The stencil I used was given to me by Susanne in my Indigo dyeing class last week. They are the packaging for frozen dinners. I was pretty excited when I saw these!

stencil from Susanne

I ironed freezer paper to the back of my silk hanky and began to stencil using the Cleanline. (I didn’t need to use freezer paper with the cotton.)


It is nice that Cleanline is colored so you can see what you have marked on your fabric. I also used a brush from my stash.

cleanline3Now this resist needs to dry. The bottle says it dries in 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on how thick it’s applied. Since I did this at night, I let it dry until the next morning.

I removed the freezer paper and started painting with water added to the Dye-na-Flow.

Painting with dye-na-flowAnd here is the piece painted.

finished paintingNow I needed to wait until the Dye-na-Flow was dry. Once it was dry, I ironed the back side of the fabric for three minutes to set the paint.


Once it was heat set, I ran the hanky under warm water to wash out the resist, and then popped it in the dryer. Here is the finished silk hankie.


Here is the cotton hanky.

clearline cotton hanky

I was happy with the results on both of these hankies. The marks on the cotton are not as white because I was in a hurry to get this done.

The good news is that this resist works great on both fabrics. The bad news, according to their website,  is they are “retiring” this product. I’m so glad I took a chance on this product.

Hoping you are having a creative day! Looking for more inspiration? Check out Nina-Marie Sayre’s Off the Wall Friday posts.

UPDATE! Lumi, the company that makes Cleanline, contacted me to say they have decided not to retire this product. Great news!

Posted in art, fabric, Fabric Resists, silk, silk painting, surface design | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Indigo Dyeing Class

The weather cooperated last Thursday for my indigo dyeing class at Sherry’s Studio 4905 in Henderson Kentucky. At the start of the week it looked like we might have storms that would cancel our outdoor play. Since the class would be held under the carport I wasn’t concerned about rain. We could handle that. Strong, blowing storms we couldn’t.

The week was filled with rain. Predictions for Thursday started at 80%, down to 50% and then that morning back up to 60%. I was really tired of watching the weather reports. When I left for Sherry’s it was sprinkling. By the time I got to her place it was still overcast, but not raining. And then the day changed. The sun came out and it was a perfect day for indigo dyeing.

octindigoclass1I started the class with information and handouts on making a indigo dye pot, different ways to fold and tie the fabric, and how to wash out these lovely pieces when they arrived home.



Susanne ties her piece while Betty waits to dip her fabric.




Frances’ first piece. And she said she wasn’t talented! Isn’t this lovely?



Nearing the end of the class Susanne caught me sitting down helping Sherry tie her piece.



What a lovely day and a fun, fun time. Everyone left with many beautiful pieces. It’s been awhile since I’ve taught and I sure did enjoy it. I am looking forward to teaching this class again next Spring.

Posted in dyeing, fabric, indigo dyeing, Shibori - Itajime | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Book Review: Gelli Plate Printing

I received this book from the publisher right before we left for vacation. After a quick scan that day, I looked forward to reading and reviewing it.

Gelli Plate Printing

Gelli Plate Printing (mixed media monoprinting without a press) is written by Joan Bess, co-founder of Gelli® Gel Printing Plate.

Here is the description from North Light Books:

You’ll love this Gelli® Plate Printing book if:

  • You are new to Gelli® printing
  • You are an experienced printmaker looking for new techniques to send your art into a new directions
  • You love incorporating printed patterns into your mixed-media art

This is the first book ever to hit the market completely dedicated to Gelli® Plate printing! Author Joan Bess, co-founder of Gelli® Gel Printing Plate, fills the book with excellent Gelli® printing techniques that beginners and experienced printmakers will be sure to have a blast while pushing themselves to explore and experiment.

In this premier guide you’ll discover 50 step-by-step monoprinting techniques to use in your mixed-media art.  Discover how to create captivating patterns with homemade tools, and household items like sponges and corrugated cardboard. Become a texture hunter and explore the fun texture you can achieve with metal tape, lace, embossed papers, natural objects, stencils, stamps and more. Anything goes in Gelli® printing! Explore different mediums and the interesting affects you can achieve with metallic paint, gel medium, dimensional paint and more. Along the way you’ll experiment with printing on a variety of surfaces included glass, wood, fabric and metal.

Well, I’ve played quite a bit with my Gelli® printing plate. I usually play on fabric, but have also spent time with it on paper. I wanted to read this book to see if there really was anything new.  I was pleasantly surprised!

The author starts out with the basics: tools, paints, brayer care, and even a glimpse into her studio.


She then moves into techniques that include step-by-step instructions, great process color pictures, and the finished prints. Of the 50 techniques, she includes eight different texture plates. Below she creates the plate out of corrugated cardboard. Lovely!

Gelli Plate techniques

This technique uses masking fluid. Interesting!

masking fluid as a resist

The last section in the book is the gallery of beautiful pieces from a variety of different artists. Many of these artists I am familiar with. I love when I “meet” someone new. Quinn McDonald’s piece is absolutely beautiful.

Gelli Plate galleryAs I mentioned earlier, I’ve played a bunch with my Gelli® plate. However, there are so many techniques in here that I’ve never even thought about. Most of these are demonstrated on paper, but many of them can be used on cloth.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves using their Gelli® or a homemade gelatin plate. For beginners, this book is a wealth of techniques. For those seasoned plate artists, you still will learn some new stuff. Also, seeing what other artists are creating is so inspiring.

Gelli Plate Printing contains 144 pages, retails for $24.99, and available through your favorite bookseller or online from Interweave right now for $18.87.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Posted in craft book reviews, gelatin printing, Gelli Gel Printing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

October Indigo Dyeing Day

Last week I played again with indigo. If weather permits I’ll be teaching an indigo dyeing class Thursday.

indigo napkinsI dyed napkins, bandanas, and several shirts for Dave and I.

Here I am removing the strings where I had tied up one of the shirts.

rinsing shirt

If you have never dyed with indigo, it is magical. When you remove your fabric from the dye pot, it is a yellow green. As the fabric comes in contacts with air, it turns blue. On the shirt below you can see what I mean. This shirt had been out in the air for over a half hour, but it was tied up. Once I untied it, the part that didn’t get to the air was still green.


Within a minute or less, that same shirt turned completely blue.


I was concerned it would be too dark, but after washing and drying it, I was quite happy with it.


Here is another one of my shirts. I really like the markings on this one.


I also dyed several shirts for Dave including these two. This first one turned out pretty classy.


This one definitely reminds me of the 60s.



Indigo is really lovely. You can dye with fiber reactive dyes and get close to the color, but there is something so special about indigo. Every session I dye with indigo just reminds me why I love it so much.

Here are closeup shots of three napkins.

indigo napkins indigonapkin2 indigonapkin1

I love, love, love the texture. If you’ve been thinking about indigo dyeing, please go ahead and try it. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll end up with some lovely pieces.

Now to keep my fingers crossed for a good dyeing day for class on Thursday! Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in dyeing, fabric, indigo dyeing | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Asheville Arts

Asheville is such an artsy place – so many artists and so much talent.

Being soap makers, we love meeting fellow soapers. Victor Taylor owns a great soap shop,  Appalachian Naturals, in downtown Asheville.

Victor Taylor of Appalachian Naturals

Victor Taylor of Appalachian Naturals

Even though we have enough soap to last us a lifetime, we LOVE buying other soapers products and love talking to them about the process. Victor was so much fun to talk to about his family business. If you are ever in Asheville, check out his shop or you can email order from his website. We also saw his soap at many of the stores we visited during our trip.

This is what we brought home from his shop. Dave is anxious to try the Neem and I look forward to using the Rosemary Lemon Poppyseed. Yum!


We also visited the River Arts District where artists’ studios are open to meet artists, watch them work, and buy goodies. We stopped in the Asheville Glass Center and bought these two lovely glasses.


We did visit a fiber artist’s studio. Her stuff was lovely, but she didn’t have time to talk with us. We were the only ones in the studio except for her assistant. She was more interested in photographing her pieces. Her assistant ended up answering questions. I would have bought one of her scarves which she was taking pictures of that were displayed on the wall,  but it was evident that she was not interested in my money. Enough said.

Later in the trip we went to Blowing Rock and at the Main Street Gallery we met Cathy Taylor. It’s so funny. Last year I was thinking about going to Create in Chicago and the class I really wanted to take was Cathy’s! Cathy and I chatted away like old friends. Cathy has a book coming out, Pigments of Your Imagination: Creating with Alcohol Inks. 

Another real neat shop in Blowing Rock was Handtiques. This shop sells art from all over the US. I’m enjoying my morning tea in my new mug from that shop.

newmugWhen we stopped in the Mast General Store, I found this new masher. Yeah!

masherHere are some hopefully inspirational pictures from around Asheville.



Loved this bathroom!








Even the food was a work of art!

villagecafeIt’s been fun sharing our trip with you. Now back to some art. Yesterday I fired up my indigo pot, so I’ll be posting some of those results soon. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in art, vacationing | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

We Love Asheville!

Dave and I took a week off and traveled to Asheville, North Carolina. Usually the garden keeps us here, but Dave worked it out so we could get away.

I have to sum up the trip: art, food, and lots of walking. So much fun!

We found on Trip Advisor this lovely apartment located in South Asheville that was close to everything! I didn’t take pictures of the inside, but here is a link to lots of pictures. If you travel to Asheville and need a nice place to stay, we highly recommend it.

Dave and I had both been to Asheville many years ago, but not together. We were really looking forward to sharing the experience. One of the places I didn’t see on previous trip to this area was the Biltmore. It’s a lovely home steeped in history and also has some lovely gardens. We even took the Butler’s Tour to see more of the house.

The Biltmore




A view from the Biltmore.

biltmore view



And the gardens

screened arbor



Outside the conservatory

grapes1 plantatbiltmore2 plantatbiltmore

But there was so much more to see in Asheville. We also checked out the Asheville Art Museum.

Asheville Art Museum

This metal sculpture was pretty unbelievable!


We can’t go on vacation without dropping by a farmer’s market or two.



The Mast General Store was really neat. I’ll show you tomorrow one of my finds.

Mast General Store

Woolworth Walk with their soda fountain – just like the one I remember!  Besides the food, there was lots of art to see and buy.


And the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue Ridge Parkway

And food – lots of choices. We did lots of eating. Here was my plate from Chai Pani, one of the Indian restaurants downtown. Yum!

chai pani

Tomorrow I’ll share some of the art and hopefully some inspiration.



Posted in vacationing | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway #10

With this giveaway, we at the Printed Fabric Bee are completing our first year! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. For me it has been a great experience to stretch myself – to force myself to use different colors and work with the monthly themes. As the months have passed I’ve seen my art improve and this month’s piece is my very favorite.

Leslie Tucker Jenison is the queen this month and her theme is “Urban Surface.” Leslie said, “I love the layered textures of old walls, peeling paint and graffiti on building walls.” Her size for this piece is 6 x 24.

I started with that sun scrunched fabric I blogged about here. It’s the one on the left.

Scrunched sun printing

Scrunched sun printing

I chose it rather than the gray piece because it reminded me of brick walls.

Then I wanted to add some blocks to the piece. I made several stencils with my Portrait using freezer paper and ironed them down.

freezer paper stencil on fabric

Next I came in with Jacquard DeColourant around the edges of the stencil. I wanted just a faint hint of blocks.

Using Decolorant

After the deColorant dried, I ironed it. The block markings are very faint.

ironing over deColorantNow that I had my brick wall I wanted to add some sort of graffiti. I used Black Screen Printing Ink with this Artistcellar Romans TEXTure Series stencil.

Adding screen printing ink

And here is my finished piece for Leslie.

Finished piece

Here is the giveaway piece.

#10 giveaway piece

And below is the giveaway collection you can win!


 If you’d love to win this collection, just visit The Printed Fabric Bee  and leave a comment.  The deadline is October 15. Good Luck!




Posted in Giveaway, stencils, surface design, The Printed Fabric Bee | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lots of Dyed Silk

You know I love fabric and surface design, but I’ve always gravitated toward cotton. Really, to tell you the truth, I have been scared to death of silk. It’s such a lovely fiber, but I’ve been so afraid I’d mess it up.

Then last year I took an awesome silk painting class from Evi Slaby. I posted here and here about that fabulous class. Evi helped me walk through my fear of silk and taught me a lot about silk and how it takes dyes. Through that class, Evi and I became friends and ended up displaying our work together in our Colorful Friendship exhibit this past January. Unfortunately, Evi will be moving to the Chicago area – a big loss for our area and for me! If you live in the Chicago area and have a chance, check out one of Evi’s classes.

That being said, I’ve been playing a lot with silk. And I have so enjoyed it. I am dyeing them using Colorhue dyes. Check out this basic tutorial I posted a couple years ago.

silk scarves

Here is a closer look at four of them.





It’s funny. I would finish one scarf and think it was the best one so far. Then when I finished the next one I would tell myself it was my favorite! I really do need to play more with silk.

Meanwhile I’m still thinking small. I made this in a class several weeks ago. I definitely will be making more of these.

quilt pendantAnd some Boro Balls. My hand stitching sure needs some help! Practice, practice, practice!

boro balls

The temperatures here are changing as autumn moves into our area. I do love this time of the year. As mentioned earlier, I’m looking forward to playing more with silk. I plan to dye some cotton shirts before it gets too cold in my dye studio (garage). Working on my hand stitching is also high on that list.

What are your artsy plans for the coming months? I’d love to hear from you. Have a creative day!

Posted in Colorhue, dyeing, fabric, Sewing, silk, surface design | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments