30 October 2015

My mojo is back

I have had a huge creative blog for 5 months. Finding my birth family took up so much time, then a trip to Little Rock followed by our move to the first floor. After getting organized in my new space, I couldn't settle but the love seat my brother bought me has become the heart of my studio. I was still blocked and someone mentioned Feng Shui. I realized how PACKED these two rooms were. I paid my neighbor to come over and move things: stuff in the garage up to the second floor of the garage, stuff on the seconf floor of the house down and things down out to the second floor of the garage. NOW I can breath. 

The biggest help was Judith coming over last Friday and telling me we were going to do anything I wanted. Our last two play dates were eco-printing - blah. So we set up my 4 X 8 print table and went to town all day. Of course I can't show you anything because everything I made was for the December FIRE blog: a dozen uses for a silk screen. 

Remember how I complained about people putting photos of their flowers on their blogs (hehe)

You can see how more open the room is with the dining table removed

The small metal box on the floor is to keep my partner from walking into the chandelier. I ordered a table from IKEA and they sent me a duvet - not kidding. No they want me to "wait a while" to see if the coffee table shows up.....

The biggest change here is the sewing table on the right. I took my machine off the dining table and my neighbor dragged that heavy bad boy down here. Although it takes up more floor space, the wall is bare. There was a 18" deep X 3' X 6' storage unit there piled to the ceiling. You eye travels across the wall making the room look and feel more spacious. 

27 October 2015

Judith came over

Judith was so nice. The last two play dates were eco-printing in which I have no interest. Here are a few photos that I took as the official photographer.

Lunch was great fun even though it was POURING outside.

The nice part was Judith coming over this past Friday and announcing that we would do anything I wanted. I wanted (and needed) to do some printing for the December blog posts on the FIRE blog. We both had a ball with thickened dyes. You will have to wait until December to see my work on "A dozen uses for Silk Screens" but I also had a few great clean up clothes.

The one below is from scraping out my cups of thickened print paste instead of just throwing it out

This was a very soft piece of innocent cotton I was planning on using as a handkerchief  that I snatched up and used to wiped my hands and squeegee. It will make a nice handkerchief. 

This was actually a large piece of cotton that was left over. It was soda soaked and not great quality. I had some red and yellow thickened dye from the December blog work and I don't like red and yellow. I could bare to throw it away so I put blue in each and used a credit care to apply the green and purple (which I do like) to the cotton. I have plans for this!

26 October 2015

Sixth Blog Anniversary

I went back and read my first blog post. It didn't really say much but that was then.

My virgin post

I can't believe I started out this morning without a thought of creating a blog yet I sit here having created one. One of my daily stops is to the Whipup  website checking out all the lovely and creative daily additions to their site. Most of the entries are connected to a blog and I have read many of them over the years. Most of these women are young mothers who have to squeeze in stolen moments throughout their day to create, sew, cook for fun and generally tap their creative essence. I am so fortunate (Thank you Universe) to have finally gotten to the point in my life where I do have the time and moderate resources to do all the things I've always wanted. It IS like being a child again when I can wake up with such anticipation for the day ahead knowing I can sew, make jewelry, start a quilt or other project, read my beloved Quilting Arts magazine, watch a "How to" DVD or just read. Life is good

Since then the creator of Whip-up and her husband drowned on vacation  and I don't subscribe to or read Quilting Arts Magazine.

My life has changed exponentially and my focus turned from art quilts to surface design. I have started to paint and will be doing more of that in the future. However, I will always sew. I am making my cousin, Patricia, a queen size quilt which you will see develop. 

I wanted to say how appreciative I am to those who read and comment on this blog. It's good to know there are people "out there". So many of you have become friends via email or in person. I'm so grateful to have met you all.

23 October 2015

Then Janine and Judith came to play

OK, so I'm still not all cleaned up. I had those silk screens sitting in a stack in my garage for almost a week. Little did I know that the dyes had exhausted in that short time. Liquid dyes are OK but the dried dyes croaked on me. Judith wanted to use the indigo vat to work on some heavy rag paper (100% cotton paper). Meanwhile Janine used the thickened dyes on her own project.

These are Judith's dyed paper after applying wax and leaves dipped in wax to her paper before submerging in the indigo vat.

This is a simple folded book.

This was my deconstructed screen prints which I didn't know were exhausted. That 4 X 8' sheet now is a new cover for my print table. Very sad but eventually it will pick up all kinds of incidental marks and colors.

This is a hoot and I'm almost embarrassed to admit I put 100% wool in a baggy with MX dyes. Yup! They were dark purple and dark green or would have been if MX dyes worked on wool. Sad but true.

Here they are on their way into my dye microwave with acid dyes.

Much better.

Here some pics of the "old" print table cover. This piece of fabric is so fabulous. I want to do something special with it. It had been on my print table about a year. In December I am doing a month on the FIRE blog about silk screens so I'll bet I get all kinds of cool marks on the new table cover.

20 October 2015


During the "cleaning up" and organizing process, I found this "sandwich" that I had been free motion quilting while trying to test various patterns. We all have these"scribbled" sandwiches hanging around, right? I thought, why not put thickened dye on this too? It was not pre-treated so after applying the thickened dye, I applied soda ash solution with a spray bottle.

I also had a clean-up rag on to which I could apply thickened dye. This one in the bag is plain cotton and had already been used a bit and it had fabric paint as well on it. I put soda ash solution in the baggy and waited an hour.

The piece below is linen from my day with Marcella

And this piece below if from the baggy. NICE!

Since the used sandwich was a good size, I decided to make a zipper bag from it and I gave it to my girlfriend from Lewiston.

I really like these when I use different fabrics to bind each of the four sides

It was white polyester felt on the inside.

16 October 2015

We continued to play

After I mostly was cleaned up after the Maine Event, I set up silk screens because there was so much thickened dye left. You can see them in a stack on the left. Meanwhile Marcella wanted to come over and we were going to make some paste paper. When she saw all the goodies and my print table still up in the garage, we decided to play with hot wax and thickened dye, my all time FAVES!!

The light/white areas are where Marcella applied hot soy wax. Then we used with thickened dye applied with credit cards.

Mine are below. I made two.

Washed and dried 

They were actually very vibrant in color so the light was probably dim where I took these after photos. FUN!!

14 October 2015

The Maine Event 2015

If you missed, I'm sure you are regretting it. This was the best and most fun year yet. Here are some photos of the action.

These first 12 were taken by Elaine, a first time attender from New Brunswick, Canada. She was ushered into the "art' scene by Lois and Sandra! Can't wait to see her again next year.


Tape resist


Both indigo 

Ann having fun outside the church with silk screens

The indigo vat - a big hit!

Deconstructed silk screens

The use of line ( or dribbles)

More of Elaine's work

Nothing better tha dyeing fabric on a fabulous day!

The wine and cheese reception

Soy wax resist on a silk screen

These are all Jodi's pieces

Thermofax and deconstructed screens

Indigo and thermofax

 Shibori with dye

Judith's stitched shibori. Judith will be doing a stitched shibori workshop next year plus we will have indigo vats all 3 days.

Dyes and indigo on the lawn

Creativity in the garage.

Indigo on the line oxidizing 


Some really exceptional indigo dyes

The soda ash spinner

Artists in the Art Greenhouse

Shibori and liquid dye

And finished

and these are from Cris

Indigo vat with bloom on top

Removing bloom while in use.

Soy wax resist

 The five below are from Margaret

These are from Diane Johnson who not only made some great silk screened fabric but has made finished quilts out of them. They are wonderful Diane.