Raw Silk

I am a part of a project in MoFA (Missouri Fiber Artists) called Pairings. The point of the project is to pair up with someone and trade visits to each other’s studios, spend time together learning from each other and then eventually do a collaboration art piece. My “Pairing” turned into a trio because a friend wanted in the project, but there was no one to pair with her at the time, so I asked to put her with my pair. So three of us will be collaborating. We have already had our first studio visit as they came to my place a couple of weeks ago.

Turner Spineto

My two partners in crime, Susan Spineto on the right and Karen Turner on the left. Both are from the St.Louis/Alton area.

So, decisions were made that day of  our meet up. We decided on the size of our collaboration and where we would start.

So here is the start….raw silk dyed with two colors of onion skins.

Collaboration piece

Silk Crepe

I knew they would be beautiful. I love silk crepe. I think it is the most beautiful of the silks. It has weight. It has class. It has style.

So I rolled up red and yellow onion skins in  a scarf….and voila!….I am totally smitten.

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What’s New

I have developed an interest in natural dyeing. The MoFA girls do a lot of that and it intrigues me, so I am trying my hand at it. First try at natural dyeing: I used peony leaves and rose leaves, rolled up in a silk hababoi scarf and steamed.  Results: not so much, kinda bland. So on an impulse, I dipped it in some rusty water-vinegar mixture and voila!~ The scarf turned a nice smoky gray color and  the leaves all finally showed up! Ok, I already showed you that one in a prior post.

The next natural dyeing I tried was with onion skins, again all wrapped up in silk Habatoi scarves and steamed.



They might need some gray. The bamboo sticks I wrapped them around left a gray marking that I like very well, if I could just figure out how to get it over into the other areas….

Next on the agenda are some rust dyed scarves. Again, these are silk Habatoi. I am out of silk crepe de chine and eagerly wanting to order a few to try natural dyeing on.






I’m Still Here

Yes, I am still here even tho I don’t post very much on this blog. I am still doing stuff…

I do love to take leftover bits and pieces and put them together into a piece of art. I suppose it’s the way I was raised, to use what I had and not waste. So here is art with leftovers of this and that, all put together and sitting on a little easel for sale. It’s a little three-dimensional as I didn’t glue it down flat. I like that.



bits and pieces

Junk Mail Art

There is a group on Facebook called Junk Mail Art Collective. I listen in and ooh and ahhh over the artwork posted there. I don’t contribute because I usually don’t get anything done. But this week…..I got to play around a little. There has been some really cool junk mail art posted on FB. I only wish the junk mail I get was that interesting.


Payne’s Gray paint, acrylic INK in Yellow Ochre, label from a shipment I received, acrylic ink in Earth Red, and black acrylic paint.

The acrylic inks are FW Daler Rowney. These are AWESOME inks! I had so much fun playing with them. They are full pigmented COLOR! Very nice! I only have three colors right now, but that is enough. They are beautiful.

Janome Baby!

I need to introduce the newest member of my sewing machine family. It’s not a large family….but this one was a steal.

Next door to my studio is a used furniture store. Lisa Chastain buys “whole houses,” which means she buys everything in the house in one big purchase. She brings all of it to her shop and sells the pieces individually.  She has been in the auction business for a long time and knows a lot of people. I walked into her shop one day and this little Janome Harmony was sitting in a chair. I asked her about it and it turned out to be part of a whole house of stuff she bought. I asked her what she wanted for it. It was a ridiculously low price and the machine was in mint condition, so I brought it over to my place to plug it in and stitch. It’s a wonderful little machine that has been little used. I have always liked Janomes and had friends that had them and we sewed together on them. They are a decent machine and don’t cost quite what some others do. It’s got some embroidery stitches on it that my Bernina doesn’t have. But I really did STEAL this baby….



This ‘N That

My how time does fly….I haven’t blogged for far too long. I’m going to have get better at this.

Since the last post, I have tried my hand at natural dyeing. I heard that peony leaves were good for this and rose leaves. I have plenty of peony bushes and the flowers are now exhausted, so there are lots of leaves. I gathered up all the leaves from them and my rose bushes. I wrapped leaves in a silk chiffon scarf and a crepe de chine. The results were less than desirable. The chiffon barely showed any marks and the crepe de chine did have some on it. The day I wrapped and bundled them, I stuck a huge hunk of steel in a mixture of vinegar and water. It sat there changing the water into a dark sludge. On a whim, I stuck both scarves in the rusty sludge. Oh my! What a difference that made! Both scarves went instantly to smoky gray colors and even after rinsing, it stayed. The leaves now can clearly be seen on the crepe de chine in a reddish brown color. The transformation is amazing. The chiffon came out with softer colors and may need some more application of something….


first try natural dyeing


crepe de chine natural

I have had a busy week…3 of my nieces came down to visit my studio. Two of them wanted to make a quilt; the third wanted help making a pieced pillow. They wore me out! We stayed up pretty late the first night sewing…later than I am used to staying up. That made for a late morning the next day, but by noon we were at it again. I’m so proud of all of them. With little or no experience in sewing or piecing, they did very well!

More Monoprinting

paper pattern posterize



paper pattern equalize



paper patterns 1posterize

Now for the Fun…

During the Paducah quilt show, I was asked to demo at Rend Lake. I actually took a few things to demo but one of the easiest things to demo is mono printing on a gelatin place. I did some with fabric and some with paper. Then I played with the paper ones in Photoshop. Fun results! Such yummy patterns.

  1. paper patterns3 equalize

paper patterns3 ink outlines

paper patterns3 posterize paper patterns3 red

Singer 401-A

Another sewing machine. One would think that I am “collecting” them. Perhaps I am!

The 401A is a sturdy little machine with numerous embroidery stitches BUILT IN! No cogs to change, just change the settings…this machine is not for me. When we went to the sewing machine repair guy’s place, he had lots of used machines for sale. This is a present for someone. Shhhhh….she doesn’t know it yet, but will soon.


I’m thinking about sprucing up the case by spray painting it sea foam green. What do you think?