Monday, June 30, 2008

Haven't blogged in awhile..........

.............& I apologize! Seems like life tends to get in the way every once in awhile :)

My DH & I took a 4 day trip, just to get away. It was relaxing, however, no art was created at this time (sounds like a disclaimer). It was relaxing, but I was itching to get back to my work. On our trip, we went to a military cemetary & we saw this beautiful memorial to all of the military branches. This one was my favorites (reminded me of my uncle, who was in the navy, that I lost to cancer about 4.5 years ago).

I'm sure anyone living in the US, has heard about the terrible flooding in the Midwest. Both sides of our family live in Iowa (opposite sides of the state) & luckily they didn't suffer any damage to homes, etc. My in-laws live in Davenport, which the Mississippi River, runs right next too. This river tends to flood parts of Davenport about every other year & this year was no different. My mother in-law sent me these photos below. They do a great job at reflecting the havoc the river caused.

In the first photo, the building closest to you, is called the Levve Inn. When my dh & I lived there, you could walk up to the window & order fast food. It's been flooded so many times, I'm not sure if it's even being used anymore. What's interesting is on the outside walls of the building, they have markers of past floods, I don't think this one was as tall as the '93 flood, but it was close.

To give you an idea of how far the water is out of it's banks, see the lamps posts on the far left of the first photo, there's a side walk to the left of those, then a metal railing that you then look over and down to see the river. In the second photo, see the street lights running through the center of the photo? That's River Drive (a street). In between the 2 metal fences are train tracks & to the right of that is parking for one of the river boat casino's, which isn't open right now.

I LOVE this last photo with the pedestrian crossing sign (someone should paint waders on the guy).

I promise to post some of the pieces that I've been working on either tomorrow or the next. Would have had one for you today, but, one of the journals I was working on, needed 2 separate fronts & backs & I miscalculated on the size & didn't make it big enough, so had to start all over & since I'm making it from dyed paper towels, there are a few drying steps before the finished piece.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New journal, with removable pages

First, let me say that I'm really enjoying my journal making classes with Sue. But please don't tell the teacher that I just didn't like making this journal. I think it's a really great idea using 1" binder rings (I used 1.5" because I couldn't find the smaller ones) since you can add in & take out pages to this journal as you go. But there was something that I didn't like about it & I'm not really sure what it was.

Ok, there were a couple of things, but I'm not sure if that's what made me not like this one. The binder rings were slipped through grommets, which I had to install..................NOT FUN!! I didn't have any problems with the bottom & top grommets since I was able to use my 1/4" hole punch. The center holes..............a completely different story. How was I going to do this? Ok, take a deep breath & relax (yeah that didn't help). I never bought an awl for the class since I figured why spend the money when you can use a nail & hammer to do the same thing. Trying to keep in my relaxed state, I sat on my garage floor with a board underneath my journal & I pounded a nail through the journal where I wanted my center grommets to go. I had to do this 3 or 4 times since I needed the hole big enough for a 1/4" grommet to fit through. It still wasn't easy, but with some wiggling of the nail & some deep breaths, I got it to work & I told myself never again unless I find a better way to do this!!

The other thing that bothered me is that even though I used 70 Peltex, it's a pretty soft & flimsy piece & I think for what I'm wanting, I need it to be stiffer.

Below, you can see the inside of my journal. I created pockets for scissors, pens, etc. I also decided that this would be a perfect journal to keep all of my dye swatches & their recipes in!!

I almost forgot to tell you, I hand dyed bamboo poplin (just love how the orange turned out) & for the pockets, hand dyed bamboo again, then black misty fuse with red eyelash yarn. The closure I used velcro.

In each of the journals I've made so far, I always seem to get hung up on the closure apparatus. After you've hand dyed the fabric & made this wonderful journal, you then finish it with Velcro? Velcro just seems so cheesy to me. I need to find a better closure option. Metal clasp? Toggle? Wrapping it with beautiful yarn? My DH does beautiful wood working & has a lot of exotic wood scraps laying around.......................hmmmmmmm??

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Burgundy Part 2

(This is how I store my dye swatches with their recipes, so if I ever want to create the color again, I can. I keep these all in one binder & if you're wondering, you can find these clear sheets when looking for coin protectors.)

I think I got a lot closer this time, I see a few there that might actually work. Hopefully my friend will think so too.

Lynda asked me in my last post what my plans are for those dyed pieces that didn't make the burgundy cut...................I'm really not sure yet. Possibly some journal covers or maybe a nice small 8" by 10" quilted piece................I really haven't worked much in those colors lately. I'm one of those after I've dyed something & I really like the color, I need to live with it for just a little while before I cut into it.

Oh, if you're wondering what colors I used? I used 3tsp Turkish Red & 4 tsp of Dharma's Better Black to 1 c of chem water with each & then did an 8 step run. You might have also noticed (if you click on the photo) I like to dye different types of fabric to see how the dye takes to it. With this run, I tried P&B Muslin, Bamboo Poplin & Tencel.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trying to find burgundy & not very successful

Before I discuss, my failure in making burgundy, I wanted to show you this beautiful paper towel pendant I received from Debra N in one of our FAT trades. I just LOVE it!!(sorry she doesn't have a blog).

And now my woes of trying to find burgundy. Maybe I've found it, but I don't think so. When a friend of mine asked me to make her something in burgundy, I thought, "how do I get that color?" "What do you mix together to get it?" I was completely dumbfounded (& apparently still am).

Here are some different attempts. The colors are kind of nice but not the burgundy I'm looking for. I did a color run between Turkish Red & Turquoise.

The above photos turned out a really nice brick red. "How about doing a brick red piece instead of burgundy? No? Ok, how about the photo below? I know it's kind of weird colors, but I really like how the parfait turned out. I know, it's not burgundy."

The first two photos below, I think are too purple(or am I just imagining it)? I do like those colors, though. The last of the three looks a little muddy.

Ok, I know the last two are too blue, but I just LOVE them!! I like how the little specks of turquiose in the first photo "pop" through the darker colors. Is it possible that I'm just starting off mixing the wrong colors?

After I did this run, I decided to try again with Turkish Red & Dharma's Better Black (which tends to lean toward a deep purple). I think those might have turned out a little closer to what my friend was looking for. I'll try to get them photographed & posted here within the next couple of days.

Luckily, my friend told me to take my time in making something for her, since she was aware of my other "art obligations" & wasn't in a great hurry. (phew!!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mail Call

I received some beautiful art in the mail recently. Remember my paper towel jewelry that I made for a FAT trade? This is one of the pieces I received in the swap. Isn't it wonderful!! It's from Maggie & she said this is her first swap. Didn't she do a great job?!!

Below, is a thread painting pc from Carol Clasper. I love the colors & the odd shaped size. She embroidery stitched with varigated threads onto Romeo hot water soluble & attached it to a silk background. Carol is from Scotland & does wonderful work & if you have the chance, you should really check out her blog to see what she's been up to.

Thank you ladies for such beautiful pieces!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Journals part 2

Here is the journal in my last post, completely finished!! I added this wonderful art deco dragon fly button (I love dragonflies) & wrapped more of the turquoise eyelash yarn that I used on the journal around it. Now to keep it away from Matisse my cat who thinks anything that has strings is his to play with.

This litte journal (approx. 5 1/2" by 6 1/4"), I hand dyed velvet for the exterior & P&B muslin for the interior. Unfortunately, you cannot see the colors very well in the photo above, but I dyed it a rich purple & hunter green. I have to say when I turned the journal on edge, it made me think, hmmmm this would make a cute little handbag!!

With the interior, I added a pocket for a pencil. I also hand punched dragonflies on each of the signatures card stock & glued one of the punches (not sure how long it will stay) on the right side of the journal interior. With the left interior side, I hand punched a dragonfly out of heavy card stock & used that as a stencil & painted with lumiere paint. (It didn't turn out as good as I had hoped).
Overall, I was very happy with this one, well actually both of them, but the velvet one is a nice small size that you could drop into a handbag & carry it with you all over & not have to worry about it not taking up much room.
This week, in Sue's class, we'll be making a journal with binder rings so we can add & remove pages & I already have plans for what that journal is going to hold!! (I'll post it when it's finished!!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My first hand made journal!!

Here she is & I'm so proud of here!! :) Whenever I come across a cool journal in a store, I'd buy it. Then, I started thinking, I can dye all kinds of fabrics & paper, why not make them myself, that way, I can have them any size that I want?? But I had no idea where to start in making a journal so I signed up for Sue's journal making class & here was my first assignment!!

This journal is 7.5" by 9". I started off with dyeing some bamboo fabric, my favorite neon green. I layerd turquoise eye lash yarn on top of black misty fuse. With a teflon pressing sheet, I fused the eyelash yarn & misty fuse with an iron to the neon green bamboo fabric.

This was the inside of the journal. I parfait dyed some kona fabric & the green triangle on the left side is a pocket. You might need to click on the photo to see it, but I free motion quilted the piece to add design to the inside of the journal & to also help hold the eyelash yarn down with the misty fuse on the front. The nice thing is that the thread blends in with the eyelash yarn so you can't really see the thread unless you take a closer look.

These are the signatures that will be sewn into the my journal. Do they look familiar? I printed closeups of some of my work onto heavy cardstock with a color copier. After this, I realized, I could do this with just about anything & the possibilities are endless. I'm a stamp collector as well, which made me think.................."how cool would it be to make a journal cover with old US postage stamps??