30 June 2014

Plans for new work

Although this is an older picture of my two grandsons, I love the smiles, true sense of brotherly love and mischief all at once. I decided to do a fabric portrait of the boys ages 2 and 4 for my son and daughter-in-law who live in Malta. I will be visiting them this fall along with the wonderful women I have met through the blog from the Netherlands.

I am using either this posterized photo

Or this cut-out photo

 Later in the week I will go into the pattern making process.

And now for something just silly!! When my hair started to grow back in after chemo very curly, I new it reminded me of someone/something?????

Betsey Wetsy 1954

Beth Berman 1948

26 June 2014

Has it really been that long?

I knew I hadn't blogged for a few day, but NINE?

Here is an explanation. The floor of my barn where I park my car collapsed and the barn was so rotten that it had to be torn down. A few snaps:

And now that it's down, I have time to have fun. I am working on a new portrait project and I have a workshop or two coming up this weekend so stay tuned...

20 June 2014

Books, Books, and more Books

After the last handmade book giveaway, I decided to make a nice big fat sketchbook for a Canadian friend from Nova Scotia.

Here are the pieces.

I showed this last week but now it is finished

Nice paper that can handle mixed media including water.

Which color waxed linen thread?

I like this one the best.

I also asked my across the street neighbor to come over for lunch and a book making play date. I finished my book while she made hers.

Either side can be the front of the book.

My neighbor Grace took her book home to finish the coptic binding and here is the results

The colors look a bit pale because I took this picture outside at high noon!!!

Grace used some of my paste paper but now that I have her "hooked" on bookmaking we are having a paste paper playdate with Marcella Tuesday. Then Grace will have her own stash for covers!!

Another readers had made two books after reading my bookmaking tutorial and sent pictures of her lovely book. This is the link to your blog post and she goes into detail about how she did it. Great to see how each person can make a book but that each one can be so creative and different. Thanks Elle!!

18 June 2014

More on Judith and my playdate

I am hoping Judith will write a bit about this technique in her blog and show finished pictures of her work. Meanwhile I will tell you what I did. First off I took NO process pictures (smart). Well, we were just playing.

First we started with pre-treated cotton. I will do a huge batch 10 plus yards and hand it out to dry then just keep it on the shelf with the other whites. You can't pre-treat and store silk with soda ash but you can pre-treat and store with vinegar.

We laid it out on my padded print table with a covering of ROLLED not folded heavy table plastic

Available at Walmart and I'm sorry to say I know no other place to buy it.

Folds will show up on the finished product so be smart and keep it rolled when not in use.

Judith was extra smart and opened bin bags and laid them on top before she laid out her fabric so she could easily remove the fabric from the table when she was done. I didn't but will next time.

I drew a design on the cotton with charcoal then mixed up my dye. I made a bit over a quart of thick SH print paste. I used about a 1/3 cup in a yogurt cup for each color. I just put a bit (maybe a 1/2T) of MX dye powder on the end of a plastic knife then used the knife to mix the dye into the print paste. We used credit cards to apply the dye. It was easy and uses less dye plus it makes "accidental" marks on the fabric from going over the same place twice. You can see the yellow and black.

Also when you lift the credit card it can leave a line of dye which darkens.

I drew my organic shapes with charcoal then started by laying down a line of back on the charcoal lines which I thought I would mash into the fabric with the credit card but the line of dye from a fine tipped bottle was so thick it just smeared. Yuck! I ended up using a brush. I only had outlined two of the shapes so I tried a different technique on the rest of the piece. The blue shape in the above two photos were the shapes onto which I brushed the black line. I used a credit card and filled in the shapes with color. I tried to stay away from the black outline on the first two shapes but the dye was thick and some ended up blending with the color

Not too bad. When all the shapes were colored I used the fine tipped bottle to outline the rest of the shapes. I waited till it looked like it had "sunk in" the fabric. There was SO MUCH print paste and so much dye on the fabric that I had no idea what would happen. I covered it with plastic, folded it up and threw it on the porch to batch. 

What happened was the shapes that I outlined in black at the end wicked out and branched. It was unintentional but looked kind of cool. On the first two shapes I brushed the black onto, I tried very hard not to let the color touch the black so I ended up with a bit of white between the black and the color.   

In the end, I ended up with two very different effects; one outlined and the other wild and branched. Now you know how to do both.

You can really see the difference here with the blue shape and purple shape.

The whole piece.

As you know there was SO MUCH dye and print paste on this I decided to take it out in the yard and hose it down as I showed in this post. I'd love to see what you come up with using this technique!!

16 June 2014

Winner of Beachy stuff

Claire, You are the winner so email me using the contact form at the bottom of this page and give me your postal address.

This is one use for the shells. I am applying glue to bookboard and paste paper making a sketchbook for a special follower.

Check back in a few days to see this special sketchbook

13 June 2014

Too busy this week

Judith came over yesterday for a playdate. This would be on any other week the bright spot of the week but this week I had actually forgotten she was coming. This week I am having an estate sale. Some things from my parents - mostly music equipment and some things of mine. The pressure comes from the fact that everything was in my barn which is being torn down Monday. This and about 4 other "immediate" tasks have taken my attention. However in the midst a hot day and repeated phone calls we did manage to get something done.

Usually I don't put pictures of Judith's work on my blog because she has her own blog but I am making an exception today. My friend Marcella sent me a link to this YouTube Video. I sent it to Judith and she wanted to do it. The video is about silk but Judith wanted to try it on cotton before investing in silk chiffon.

Because ALL of my tables are now housing estate sale stuff we had to use 4 horses to hold the padded printing table. It turned out to be much better than the tables and we will use these from now on. I want to say the horse were 2 for $12. at Home depot and are collapsible plastic. Judith used charcoal to lay out her design.

Judith's work

My bright idea was to hose it down with high pressure on a hose (thumb on opening) to get the gobs of print paste off the cloth before washing.

My two pieces which I forgot to take "before with wet dye" pictures

The fabric is vibrant but you can't tell in these pics because it is raining and the light is poor. I'll try again on a sunny day.

The wicky black lines were not intended to look like this but I actually like them this way.

Credit card