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Studio Happenings

Remember the gray partial wall I painted? I put it in to block the view from the front door to the laundry tubs in the back. It also serves another purpose…I can hang things on it! Here are three of my newest printed scarves. One is screen printed and the other two are printed with wax. The blue one has sold, but the other two are still in the shop.

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My front window and tree:

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I sold lots of soap and most of the brightly painted furniture during the Grand Opening. Lots of locals came in and several asked about and signed up for classes.

Merry Christmas from Sands Studio!

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Monday

Today, my intent was to get started on printing some silk scarves in Christmas colors for my opening reception.  Well, getting started is about all I’m getting done.

First the scarves have to be soaked in white vinegar, then they have to dry.  That takes some time.  Then I made a silk screen with glue…and now it is drying.  So I decided to blog while I’m sitting here waiting for everything to dry!

First, I gotta tell you about all the new flavors of fudge I came across this weekend.  I’m in fudge heaven. I went to a craft festival in Harrisburg to purchase some lotion bars and other products for Christmas.  I came home with MUCH more!

First, the fudge.  We taste tested pumpkin, dreamsicle, white chocolate with apricots and walnuts, white chocolate with cherries and pecans…oh. my. gosh.  I’m in love with the two white chocolate fudges.  I purchased these to send to my mother-in-law for her birthday.  She is a fudge lover, so that is usually what I get her.  I was going to order some from a catalog until I saw this locally made fudge.  I purchased both the white chocolate fudges and some Rocky Road that I knew she would like.  Of course, since I brought it home with me, she now has to share some of it with me! She can’t eat 3 lbs. of fudge by herself anyway!  I have since found a recipe online for the white chocolate with apricots and walnuts.  I will definitely be trying that recipe this year.

drool.......

Yesterday, I crocheted the other wrist warmer.  I had made one and embellished it and had never gotten around to making the second one.  I finished it and then fished out a pattern for a flower that is used on a strand to wear around your neck.  So I had to try those out….

Cute? I think they are.

Little crocheted flowers

I love the yarn.  The red and purple flowers are made from Deborah Norville’s Everyday soft worsted anti-pilling yarn.  There’s no fuzzies on it.  It’s very nice yarn.

So now I put a question to you….should I use this one on my wrist warmers?….

 

…or this one?

I’ll probably just end up putting a row of buttons on the left one, but I did think it would be fun to have different embellishments on each one.  These are fingerless and fun to wear!

Various And Sundry Things

By my calculations, it’s almost 10 years since I started dyeing my own cloth. Ten years…sounds like such a long time!  Actually it’s the same amount of time we have been living here in southern Illinois.  It was 10 years ago this month or in April (can’t remember which), that I took a dyeing class…and it’s been uphill ever since.  Wow. 10 years.  I feel like such a pro!

What else have I been doing?  In between shows and teaching I do get to play around once in a while.  A couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at embossing black silk velvet. I used a rubber stamp with hand writing on it…cool, huh!

Naw…you’re not supposed to be able to read it!

At the Bloomington quilt show, my demo helper was a bit shy about trying to paint a face with Tsukineko inks, so I took the plunge.  It’s actually easier than I thought it would be.  I used a tracing of a face, so how hard is that?  Start with the lightest colors and work your way up.  She is actually not finished as I will do  more highlighting and shading on her and I haven’t painted the eyebrows yet, but I think she is a pretty cool redhead.  This was painted using aloe vera gel mixed with the inks, a trick from the ever cool Judy Coates Perez.

She has red sparkles in her hair too….I’m going to share how that was done in a minute.

Here is the fish I painted using Tsukineko inks.  At the Bloomington show, someone reminded me of something I had wanted to make a sample of…I simply added it to my fish sample…

Bo-Nash bonding agent is a fusible that comes in a can and you sprinkle it like salt.  It even looks like salt!  So I sprinkled it in some places on the water and in the redhead’s hair, then laid some foil over it, heated it with an iron…and voila!  Sparkling sprinkles!  This is very fun.  And I sell the Bo-Nash fusible and the foil, so call me or email if you want some. I think I will start putting sparkles on lots of stuff now…this is just way too easy.

Moving Right Along…

I was right about this new dye color called Curry.  It is phenomenal.  Shown here with streaks of Amethyst,  I love the rich golden “curry powder” color.

I still have more to iron…the ironing is constant when you dye a lot of fabrics.  When I wholesale my hand dyes, I leave out the ironing!  The buyer gets to do that.  But here are some results of Monday’s dyeing spree…

..with onesies to match…

The plan was to clean out the 5 onesies I had in my room that I planned on dyeing a long time ago and never did.  Instead, because  they were so cute and I have some events coming up I think I could sell them at, I purchased MORE!  We’ll learn shortly if this was a good idea or not.

Yesterday, I discharged the last of the black cotton sateen I had…the whole time I’m thinking, did I need any plain black cotton for anything? And I couldn’t think of a thing, so I discharged all of it.  Later, while soaking in the bathtub I remembered…I did need a fat quarter of black cotton to make a sample with.  This may not be a dilemma for those of you who live near a quilt shop or a Joann’s, but I live an hour from anywhere and I have just made my bi-monthly trip to anywhere with a fabric store and won’t be going back anytime soon.  Oh well…

Like the donut design?  That is from a pool noodle.  I cut slices of it and used it as a stamp.

Now off to do the rest of the things on my list. I might have a little fun today and make some more paper cloth….er..well…that’s not officially on my list.

Today’s Lot…

I am dyeing cotton yardage and onesies this morning. I got a new shipment of dyes last week, so now it’s time to try them out. I leave for the Indiana Heritage show in just a little over a week. It’s time to get all the loose ends tied up…what does that mean? For me, it’s dyeing fabric, discharging fabric, and maybe painting some sky fabrics too. It’s always hard to know how much to take anywhere. I guess one just works til the day they leave…and that’s about all you can do. All of my other products have arrived, so I’m good on that front.  I am checking things off my list.

Today I am testing Pro-Chem’s Curry color…I think I’m going to be in love.  :=) Any of the yellow gold muted type dyes are right up my  alley.  They always go well with all the other colors too…the plums, the blues, and amethyst type colors.  I have done some multi pieces and some parfait, which is basically the same thing, but done in a different way…and the results are somehwat different too.  Of course, these are batching right now, so there are no pictures to show you yet…except this one.

I went to Evansville on Saturday to shop, pick up my class sample from the class that didn’t make and meet a couple of artist friends for lunch.  I have this habit now of buying all the luscious colors of thread I can find when I get out there.  It’s weird, I used to be into the shiny Sulky rayon threads, and yeh, I might still use them for something,  but these days my heart has been captured by the colors of polyester that are out there…yummmm….I am so totally smitten…

Hmmm…now that I have them all out, it looks like I am low on oranges…

Making Cloth, Making Art

Some of you might remember these pieces of jar lid resist fabric I posted pictures of a couple of weeks ago. Well, those white circles were just too much contrast for me. I wanted to paint them bronze. Last night I sat and meticulously painted each circle. But not all bronze dyes are made alike…as you can see in this picture…

..it’s too brown!  Today I tried some transparent acrylic paint to make it go more golden…

This is more what I had in mind.  I prefer to use dye paint, but acrylic was faster….just how many days do I want to put into this cloth? I still may mix some yellow dye paint and try it.

In other news, I have been working on my Visioning goals this week.  I got  two small pieces stitched and matted, and worked on one experimental sample, then started another.

This ‘N That

I have been running around a lot for the last two months solid, so it is nice to finally be at home without having somewhere to be this weekend.  I have been catching up on some cleaning and doing some cooking, for a change of pace, as well as anxiously looking forward to creating some of my own work again.

But in between the cooking and cleaning, under the pretext of  “I need to use up this dye”, I have been creating some cloth.  It is time to clean up the patio workspace and using up the dye is a way of rewarding myself for it. This is two fat quarters in coordinating shibori patterns.

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And another coordinated set of fat quarters…

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This one I poured several colors on.  The pattern was made by clamping it with small spring clamps that are two inches long.  I was totally surprised and delighted with how the patterning came out on it.  It was a paint rag and I think it has some metallic paint on it too. I will be making more of this pattern.

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Dyeing Day…

Today I will be working on dyeing….silk scarves and probably some cotton in colors for the commission pieces. I need color swatches to show.

Here’s a scarf I made awhile back….stamped and monoprinted with dye, luscious, buttery, 19.5 mm silk charmeuse, measuring 8″ x 54″. If anyone is interested it is $32, and I’ll include shipping. Email me.

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UPDATE:  This scarf is no longer available. Sold on 11/14/08.

Working…Working…

I made some batik scarves yesterday.  I used soy wax on these, but am wondering if flour paste would be good to use. I may have to try it, but if anyone reading this has any thoughts about it, let me know in the comment section.  I do like the crackly lines.

I am also trying out some new types of silk from what I have worked on in the past.  I really love the flat crepe, the silk satin and the silk charmeuse.  I think the charmeuse is basically silk satin with a crepe backing on it, thereby making it a heavier scarf.  So this has been an interesting learning experience.  Tomorrow I will be putting these scarves out at the artisan’s festival.  I am always interested in customer response when I have something different to offer at shows.