29 February 2012

Pinterest - what you need to know

I was just alerted to the "transference" of intellectual property and ownership of photos to Pinterest. The Terms of Use transfers ownership of YOUR photos and designs to Pinterest when you sign their "User Agreement."

"By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, *modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.”

The whole story can be read on this indepth post by Claire Leggett. Yes, I did ask permission to link to her blog.

If you are interested in using, printing or even distributing any of my tutorials or posts, just drop me a line first at the email address in my profile. I love to share with REAL PEOPLE.

28 February 2012

Starting a "Store"

I have decided to start a "store" online. I will be selling my covered journals (mooi boekomslag), custom covers for books, covered sketch books, iPad/Tablet covers, Nook/Kindle covers, purses, handbound leather covered blank books, and painted and quilted dolls. I will also sell small and medium sized matted pieces of my fiber art ready for framing.

I just signed a contract to teach 2 classes at Schoodic Art for All this summer along the Maine coast. I will be teaching Silk Screen Construction and Uses (stencils, gel glue resist, soy wax resist, flour paste resist, tape and paper resists and deconstructed screening. I will also teach Stamp Making for making flat and round (rolling) stamps as well as stamps from photographs.

I have applied to teach a class in Silk Scarf Batik and a Bookbinding class at Fiber College where I have taught for the last two summers.

I think I have already mentioned that my friend, Marcella Christensen, and I are hoping to form a non-profit organization that will be a clearing house for art teachers, classes and workshops on the Maine Coast. Lots of big plans. Let's hope they develop well...

26 February 2012

The Liebster Award

I was just awarded the Liebster award by Kit Lang. Kit is one of those individuals who throws caution to the wind and jumps into a project with both feet and a LOT of humor. I find I leave "You are a HOOT!" as a comment about every other time. She is SO funny and has a wonderful sense of adventure. I am shamelessly copying her blurb about the award since it sounded so wonderful:
“Liebster” is a German word meaning dearestbeloved or favorite, and the Liebster Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers - intended to showcase exceptional up-and-coming blogs with 200 or fewer followers. There is no evaluation committee or formal award process for the Liebster; but it's lovelier because  it's recognition from a peer.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:
  1. Show thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from some of the most supportive people on the internet—other writers and artists.
  5. And best of all – have fun and spread the karma.
 So in the spirit of giving, I  am nominating these two blogs:
  1. Quilt Idea  Dea was the second Dutch quilt artist I "met". I have been following her blog along with Suus for about a year and a half. I enjoy reading her journal of experiences while she travels the happy road of artistic expression.
  2. Marjolijn Quilts is my last choice. Although I am relatively new to her blog, I see her going to workshops and classes and perfecting her art. She has had some great posts about thread sketching and quilting, especially her tree branches.

25 February 2012


Well, the BIG SHIBORI project of 2012 is finished. Boy, did I learn a lot from my mistakes so I'm here to share my angst so you can take a lesson.
Did I mention I used felt (above) on top of the Styrofoam? I used 505 basting spray to adhere the felt to the Styrofoam. I started in the center and smoothed it down with my hands, getting all the ripples and looseness out. The I used the spray adhesive again to attach and smooth the shibori piece down securing it with pins to the side edge of the Styrofoam.

I took the painted lath and cut one end on a 45 degree angle.

                                                                    Drying on my table
I drilled three holes in the lath on the ends and in the center to ease the dry wall screw through the wood and easily into the Styrofoam. Any force might tear up the Styrofoam and lessen the grip. I then applied construction adhesive made especially for use with Styrofoam to help adhere the strips to the sides along with the screws.

          I used the bottom screw - 2" long. The wide sharp threads on the screws helped grip the foam.
Mistakes made were using lath JUST big enough without any wiggle room. One corner had to be butted instead of beveled. The bevels didn't meet like the would if I had constructed the frame first and then seated it around the piece. I was left with poorly made corners. I used black "Gorilla" tape to mask the joints which were VERY evident. It might not look perfect but it was  a massive improvement and not that visible from a distance. The gaps WERE very visible when looking head on.
The other big lesson was that I painted the outside and edges of the wood but not the inside of the wood. I just didn't think it would show. Think again. I had to carefully go back and touch up the exposed inner edges with paint. On the first side, I used blue painters tape but THAT was mistake #3. It was pulling the fabric away as I tried to remove it. For the other 3 sides I used freezer paper folded in half, waxed side out and slid it between the fabric and frame while I applied the paint.
Here is the finished piece with Meagan by the table. We had to attach eyes and wire to a wooden strip I will apply to the back for hanging. The show opens March 2 from 5-8pm. Meagan and I will be there for pictures. I'll post them.

                                                                               Our hanger
And a bonus picture of my backyard. Sunrise over the church. The plastic on the ground will be a garden my neighbor is planting to grow food for our town food pantry. I just donated the garden plot.

24 February 2012

Lessons learned

Now I'm glad I am blogging about this because one obstacle became another and now I have an even better way to display this piece. You never know when your solutions might help someone else.
OK, I cut the huge piece (4' X 8') of Styrofoam to 47" X 47". I WAS going to cut it 44 X 44 and wrap the fabric to the back but then I thought of this:
Why not cut it 47" square - just one inch smaller than the piece of fabric and just do a 1/2" wrap. THEN I can add 1.5" wide lath along the sides to #1. hide the cut edge of the fabric, #2 give the appearance of a frame and #3. Have that 1/4" reveal from the front visually  STOP the eye from falling off the frame.
This is the Styrofoam cut to 47" X 47"
These are 5 very straight and flat ratty and filthy old lath strips 48" long

               Blurry but you get the idea. Glue the strips onto the sides of the stretched and finished piece
This will be the reveal from the front (look at the dirt that fell off the grimy wood - yuck!
Lighted sanded fronts, backs and sides. I will hit the edges to remove those tiny "hairs" with a sanding block. I will also paint the outside and edges with flat black acrylic paint to give it a finished appearance. On the back of the Styrofoam I will glue a strip of lath with eyes and a wire to hang the piece - tomorrow...

23 February 2012

My process

I'm not sure if anyone cares about this process, aggravating as it is to me, but I find blogging about it cathartic. I am trying to get this shibori piece mounted and ready for hanging at Waterfall Arts. This is the piece Meagan, the young woman I am "mentoring", and I made for the H2O show. It is our interpretation of water. After more shibori dyeing than I even wanted to do, I now have the gradation of values that I wanted. The piece is sewn and ready to hang.
So what's the big deal? I cut the wood for the frame but I needed to bevel the insides and my bandsaw blade broke. It is too cold to fiddle with it in my unheated wood shop so I tried my big bench mounted belt  sander. The sanding belt broke. It is definitely too cold to fiddle with that too. I felt the universe was pushing in another direction. So I decided to mount the fabric on 1.5" Styrofoam insulation board.

It is light weight, relatively easy to cut and easy to push pins into, to attach the fabric. This is step one.
I have ironed and hung the fabric on the straight of grain even though it will be displayed on the bias (diamond shaped).
Today I will cut the Styrofoam to the correct size and possibly do the attaching. Check back tomorrow...

22 February 2012

Art was the Connection

In November 2010, I stumbled on to a blog created by a woman from the Netherlands. She was doing a snow dye workshop and I had just done some snow dyeing with friends. I left her a comment telling her so. A few weeks later, I had done shibori dyeing and low and behold, this woman was doing shibori dyeing at the same time. I left her another comment.  This woman was Suus. I started reading her blog entries and through her found many other fiber artists from the Netherlands. I have the power of the internet to thank for bringing us together. This was the beginning of a long and ever expanding connection I have made with many wonderful and warm women from the Netherlands. Many of their blogs are listed on my blog list.
During my second blog anniversary, I received an email from Suus, telling me how generous I was and that she wanted to send me some of her wonderful snow dyes. I said yes, if we could trade. She agreed. I have just received her snow dyes, THREE of them, along with a wonderful artist post card with burnt organza and Tyvek. (above)

Although I was a dental hygienist for 37 years, I also have a bachelors and masters degree in Environmental Science and Policy. I wrote my masters thesis on sustainable communities and part of that was in depth research on what community was and how it was created. At the time, 1997, computers and the internet were still in their infancy especially when compared with today's social media, YouTube and apps. One form of community creation that was mentioned in the literature was the internet. Back then I didn't really see it but I am now part of a large community of quilt and fiber artists, many of whom I "met" on the internet.
I have started to study Dutch and one artist "friend" Nienke, gives me a dutch word a day. It is these kindnesses and thoughtful blog comments from others that make my life so enjoyable. I don't know when I will get to the Netherlands but I WILL go there as soon as I am able and I so look forward to meeting these wonderful generous women. Life is GOOD. Thank you my friends.

17 February 2012

Tray Dyeing Tutorial

There are so many ways to color fibers. Using the tray dyeing method is definitely one of my favorites. It is called tray dyeing because many people do it in a tray. I am not a fat quarter dyer. I like to dye at least a full width half yard of fabric so I transferred the IDEA of tray dyeing onto a flat surface. When I dye really large pieces (over a yard) I use 1" Styrofoam insulation board which is cut into 2' X 4' sections. I covere my table or Styrofoam board with a plastic bin bag so I can easily move and carry them. For this tutorial I used full half yards and left them on the bin bag to batch. Here's how I did it.

First I scoured the fabric in hot water and Synthropol to remove any finishes. Then I soaked the fabric in soda ash solution. I usually use an electric spinner to spin and recapture most of the soda ash solution but with this technique I wanted the fabric a bit wetter so I squeezes the pieces of cloth out by hand.  I laid the fabric out on the table on the bin bag which is opened full length.
As you can see I added one skein of #3 and #10 crochet thread and a skein of this odd unbleached weird thread a friend gave me as part of a challenge. It was kind of water resistant and dyed badly. Next I gathered up the fabric into channels. This helps the dye stay in lines and gives the fabric the striped appearance. I squirted the first color along the folds.
 This was purple
This was olive
After I felt I had enough dye on the fabric, I dropped the skeins of yarn onto the fabric and pressed it down to saturate it in dye. This turned out to be not such a great idea. I should of had the thread under the fabric which is the way I usually do it. I also pressed the fabric down flat so my finished pieces were not as linear or striped as I would have hoped.
 The red I added to the blue to make purple came out in globs making these red specks. This was an old purple. Live and learn. The old fuchsia was so clotted that I threw it away and made fresh dye after this.
Here are some more process pictures.

When I was done with one piece I folded the bin bag over the fabric and folded the open ends up to lessen dripping.
I took another bin bag to hold the individual pieces and put them on the floor until I was ready to batch them.
When I had all four pieces dyed and wrapped I folded up the outer bag. It was starting to leak so I added a second outside bag then folded them up.
I took an "art" towel and put my heated rice bags on top to meet the proper temperature during the critical first hour. I used a second towel to keep the heat in.

I put these under my parents bed because their apartment is very warm and my house is cold. I wanted the "package" to stay flat. Under the bed was the safest, warmest place to batch for 24 hours.
The next afternoon I took the package out and lifted each piece of wrapped fabric out of the towels.
I washed each piece of fabric in ice cold water and left them to soak in ice water until I was ready to wash them.
 I put the thread into a separate container of ice water to make it easier to transfer them into my lingerie bag for the wash and dry.
I put them in a quick hot wash for 30 minutes with Synthropol and 2 Color Catchers. If you don't have Synthropol. Use a soap without bleach or optical brighteners.
I dried the thread skeins in the lingerie bag. When the fabric is dried, I spray with water and steam press. Here are the fabrics whole and with a close up picture.
 This piece was red, purple and intense blue

 This is intense blue and olive and green

 This is navy, turquoise and olive

 And my Fave, purple and olive

 This is the thread just out of the dryer not yet dry. I open the skeins and hang them to dry. Tomorrow I will re-twist them back into skeins and store them for future projects.

 This is an old piece a few years old. Wouldn't this make a wonderful sunset?
And this was dyed especially for sky. I folded fabric in half before gathering to get a perfect "reflection" of sky on water (not shown) and I used it in a quilt of a Vernal pond.

I hope this gives you ideas of how to create some wonderfully stripped fabric. If you can just gather and not press the ridges down, you're outcome will be better. Using the Styrofoam boards helps too.
I hope you have a wonderful time experimenting with tray dyeing.