Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walking Iris

My new journal page, "Walking Iris" is the Everyday Matters Challenge by the challenge was to draw your morning cup or mug. My cup is always accompanied by "Iris" as I walk to the coffee stand with my neighbor and her Australian Shepard. The photo of Iris is collaged, and the drawing is mechanical pencil, and cheap kids watercolor tray paints, then over drawn with a Pigma pen for detail. Who can resist the beautiful blue & brown eyes as she stares at the Baristas, she has them fawning all over her, and often gets biscuits from both of them. A "Two Bone Day" is what she has come to expect. And it makes me want to go for my morning walk, as I can't disappoint Iris.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flower Sketches

I have been trying to do a little sketching lately, and have been drawing flowers. I have been following the blog and also they are both wonderful for helping you learn how to draw, and for inspiration and ideas. I use a mechanical pencil to do the original sketch, then use colored pencils, watercolor pencils, or kids watercolor paints to add color and detail. Then I do an ink detail over it all, to outline and detail, I really like the finished look this gives it.

The bunchberry was done from a book on drawing, and the gaillardia was from a blog, so they are both copies of other drawings. They are done with a kids watercolor set from the dollar store.I am getting better with the watercolors it takes a little practice to blend colors and get the right shades.

The poppy was done from my imagination, I have drawn them lots of times for quilt patterns. The colors came out very bright. The hydrangea was drawn from life, sitting in my garden on a bench, under the shady maple tree. I am getting better at the depth and perspective. I used colored pencils and am happy with the blending of the colors, but I wish I had used watercolor pencils instead, for a smoother, more intense color.

The ewe and lamb are done in mechanical pencil, and is from a photo on the cover of the Dharma Trading catalog. I think I managed to get some fur texture in it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another Try at Marbling

I tried to get the marbling to work again this morning, I put the goop in a small 8 X 8 pan, and tested paints. Adding water to thin them and adding dispersant, I kept shaking them and trying a drop on the goop. Still sinking, still not dispersing, some were getting close, but the second time I tried them, Nope. :( The Marbling book suggested Synthrapol as a dispersant instead of the Ox Gall drops that Dharma sent, so I tried that and it seemed to help. As I got each color paint just right, I made a few prints, so most of the prints are pink, lavender and light teal. As I worked on the blue, green and burgundy, I tried for more color variations on the prints.

I mostly just used a bamboo skewer to stir the pattern free hand, and did not worry about trying to make a pattern. It was still frustrating, so I decided to try again tomorrow, with maybe a new batch of goop, thicker this time. It should NOT be this hard to do! It makes you appreciate the marbled fabrics that are available commercially, and the price you pay for them. If I have more luck tomorrow, I'll have a few of the ladies back to my house to try it again.

August Winner

The winner for August of the change purse is....Andri Chama, I'll email you, congratulations!!! Her favorite was the purple pansies. Check again at the beginning of September for your next chance to win. Thank you for checking my blog, Amy


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dye Workshop

What a wonderful weekend, dying fabric and trying to marble fabric. 10 of our artists from "Fyber Cafe" got together and had a dye workshop, this is our 5th annual event. The ice dyeing on the silk scarves worked out beautifully, we all made several scarves and some even dyed yardage. See more details on It was a hot weekend, 93 on Friday, 104 on Saturday, yikes! We were outside most of Friday, and thankfully her studio had air conditioning. For details of the ice dyeing see previous post here also.

In the afternoon, we did prep work for marbling on Saturday, soaked the fabric in alum, and hung it up to dry. Prepared the goop that is used to float the paint and make the patterns on. Unfortunately we had trouble making the paints the right consistency, for the marbling, and got rather frustrated. A few of us are going to try again on Wednesday at my house.

We did have a great time, opening our scarves after we left them to sit over night. We hung them on a tree and they flapped in the wind and glowed in the sun. The potluck was tasty as always, lots of goodies, including apple crisp and chocolate zucchini bread.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ice Dye Results

The ice dyeing from yesterday, turned out very interesting. The blue/turquoise/black did not hold it's color very well in the washing. I don't know if this is because the dye was old, or it just looked so much darker wet, so that I did not use enough powder. The red/raspberry/orange came out very vibrant and colorful, with the blue added the purple was very bright. The only problem I had was with the golden yellow, it caked and clumped up and did not want to dissolve. I mixed it around a bit with a rock and it did bleed in and dyed very intense, but did not spread very far. So judge for yourself the colors and patterns. The pictures of the fabric are pretty good representations.

Some were fat quarters, some were half yards, I went to the larger pieces cause it was hard to pile the ice on the smaller ones. But it did not make any difference, once it was folded and scrunched up, they were both small piles of fabric. I've seen in the magazines and blogs, that some people put the ice in a large jar or bucket, this ends up all melting together and sitting in the dye, like a "parfait dye" process. I think on the wire shelves, it made the dye and ice seep through the fabric, and the muslin wasn't sitting in a puddle. I have two wire baskets, I'm going to try also.

The results look very similar to tie dyeing also. I folded into triangles a few pieces, accordion folded some and scrunched up others. I like the patterning, and will try mixing more colors next time. Using the dry dye powder was simpler than having to mix up all the jars of solution, but I think it used a lot of powder. I dyed 4 yards of fabric, but I think the dye would have done more fabric if made into concentrates, and immersion dyed. I feel it was a good use of old dyes, but if I just spent a lot of money on dye, it might be a waste. I hope you enjoy following the process with me. I get to do it all over again tomorrow at our two day dye workshop, but we are doing silk scarves. I think the colors will come out scrumptious!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Practice - Ice Dye

Found - one VERY OLD shoebox of Procion dye powders. It took me a while to find them, in the basement, but I knew they were around somewhere, just not the first 12 places I looked. We are going to try ice dyeing this weekend at Vera's and she said to bring any old dyes, we discussed "How old is old?" I mean really old, from a textile art class I took in collage, probably 1977? We did batik and tie dye, stamping with fruits and vegies, and several other things I can't remember. The teacher purchased in bulk from Dharma, and we divided the dyes with the students. Dharma was maybe a few years old at this point. I remember their first store in Berkeley just down the street from me. They were stored well, in plastic baggies and in Tupperware brand spice shakers, the rubber bands on the bags were crumbly, but the dyes seemed in really good shape. I decided to try a sample, cause I did not want to take them to a workshop and ruin someones silk scarves.

I had been saving ice for a BBQ in the big freezer, so away I went, I got several wire shelve units, soaked muslin in soda ash, and bunched them up on the racks. With a face mask, sweating in the shade, I piled ice on each pile of folded or bunched muslin, then used a popsicle stick to dip into the dye powder, and shake it out on the ice. Then sit back and wait for the ice to melt, have you ever sat and waited for that, not very interesting. My boredom kept making me want to poke and prod, add more ice, more powder, etc... But, the instructions said "Let sit over night" so I waited, waited, took some pics..... wandered off. Give the dye time to migrate through the layers and twists of fabric, so it can penetrate the fibers. I did pick one piece up and look at the underside, so far so good. Stay tuned for the reveal tomorrow as I rinse and see the fruits of my labor.

August Give Away

I've noticed several blogs have a monthly giveaway, to entice people to check out their blog, so I am going to start doing this. Post a comment on the end of this post, before the end of the day on the 5th. I will choose a random number from the posts to win one of the change purses I made. Your choice of fabric from the posts yesterday and today. Good Luck!

Today's fabric choices are purple pansies, sunflowers, bright butterfly/birds, and thimble mice. These are so fun to make, I just can't stop! I still need to get some more snaps, I'm sewing a few on at a time. I had some beautiful Laurel Burch fabric in teal with horses, but the horses went the wrong way on the stripe, too bad. :(

We are getting ready for our dye workshop this weekend!! YEA!! The highlight of my summer. We are going to try ice dyeing, marbling, and as usual dye painting, parfaits, tie dye, & Shibori techniques. As much as we possible can in two days, so check back next week, when I post all the fun stuff we did.
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