Friday, May 30, 2008

I've been Tagged!!

My newly found Fiber friend, Fannie tagged me. (Make sure you check out her blog, she's doing some wonderful work!!)

Here are the rules:

  • Link back to the person who tagged you

  • Post the rules on your blog for the friends you chose so they know what they're to do

  • Share 6 unimportant things about yourself

  • Tag 6 of your blogging friends

(playing is voluntary)

6 unimportant things, let's see:

  1. Unlike Fannie, I'm not a chocolate lover. I'm more of a salty potato chip person. Don't get me wrong a Whatchamacallit candy bar every now & then is ok, but not needed.

  2. I grew up in a very small town of 600 with a high school graduating class of 16 (8 girls & 8 boys).

  3. I'm a complete neat freak at my day job & my desk is always clean & organized, unfortunately, I never seem to bring that habit home with me. (I keep a pair of scissors under the couch, because I know when I need them, I'll know where they're at........ please don't ask me the logic in that because I can't answer............but I can always hand you a pair of scissors in my house if you need a pair.)

  4. (See second part of number 3, I know I'm a weirdo, my husband constantly reminds me!!)

  5. My favorite food, beef hotdogs. Wonder if it had anything to do with my mother craving them when she was pregnant with me??

  6. Actually, I can't think of anything else UNIMPORTANT, but I can tell you something VERY IMPORTANT.............since I have started my blog last year, I've met some wonderful artists, made some fabulous friends & acquired some beautiful art through private trades along the way!!

Now who to tag:

  1. Michelle, my "bestus"fiber email friend that I met thru a swap & have been close with ever since

  2. Vicky, one of my run_off friends

  3. Karen, another run_off friend

  4. Marion, an international artist that I've been lucky to aquire some of her beautiful work!

  5. Dijanne, another international artist that does WONDERFUL work!!

  6. Elizabeth, whom I just met as she was leaving one of the groups that we both belonged too. One of her pieces, "Leaves for James" can be seen in the newest Quilting Arts Magazine.

Again, playing is voluntary & it's a great opportunity for those who read this, to check out these ladies wonderful sites to see the fabulous work they're creating!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Paper Towel Art

Yes, you read the title correctly. These pieces were made from paper towels. Michelle taught me how to make these in our Fiber Art Traders group. (The drab green sheets under the pendants are actually sanitary phone wipes that we use in our office, they're like baby wipes. I painted them with lumiere paint - they're for a future project.)

Instructions were to paint a paper towel with acrylic paint but I didn't have any acrylic paints so I used my left over procion dyes (another great way of using your left over dyes & not having to dump them down the drain). I then painted fusible web with lumiere paint. It helped having the paper on one side of the fusible web to keep the paint from soaking through onto another surface (wonder if you could paint Misty Fuse instead -- you'd have to lay something down for the paint to soak through & you'd have to take into account, after the paper towel & fusible web were dry, when those were fused together, you'd need a pressing sheet to protect your iron).

After the two were fused together, I then painted the side that had the fusible web again, adding highlights. This was all day project since each time I would paint, dye or rubber stamp (this was the next step after letting the painted highlights dry), I'd have to wait, so what better way to wait - watch a good movie! (I think I watched 3 movies that day.)

After the rubber stamping had dried, I added embossing powder (very lightly) onto the painted & rubber stamped surface & fused it with a pressing sheet. The final step, before sealing the piece (I used Mod Podge) was to heat it with a heat gun, which brought up the shine of the embossing powders.

While I was waiting for the pressing sheet to cool from ironing the embossing powder, so I could remove it, I then prepared my chipboard (I used the cardboard from a cereal box) which is to be adhered to the paper towel side of this work. I painted it with lumiere paint & added some rubber stamping. I think next time that I do this, I would use a heavier chipboard. The finished piece seemed a little flexible & I was expecting it to be a little firmer.

Before cutting my shapes, I sealed both sides with Mod Podge (you could use any clear medium). Michelle suggests & I agree, instead of cutting all of your finished shapes from the paper towel first, then glueing it to the chipboard, to glue the entire paper towel piece down onto a same size of chipboard, THEN cut your shapes out (it's much easier). I have an old rotary cutter that I use strictly for paper, so the cutting went quickly.

After I cut my shapes, I then added an eyelet at the top to hold a jump ring & neck cord for a pendant, added embellishments onto the piece & then sealed the edges with lumiere paint.

The piece below, I didn't add the chipboard to the back. This is for a journal cover & I was considering adding some machine stitching to it. Was thinking about adding Peltex to the back to give it some support since right now it feels like a really nice piece of handmade banana paper & I wasn't sure how my machine would react with it being so thin & flexible. (You can see in the bottom right corner of the closeup the paper towel that was dyed.) I'm anxious to finish this piece!!! Will post it here once it's completely done.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Busy, but fun weekend

I know I've said this before, but I feel that one can never have enough dyed cheesecloth!! I'm working on a new orange piece & while dyeing my bamboo fabric, I thought, "hey, why not, maybe I could incorporate it into the piece."

I had a terrible time at dyeing my bamboo the right shade of orange this weekend. I had wonderful temperatures in the upper 70's to dye. I used fresh dye & soda ash to pre-soak. It was all perfect, except when I took it out of the dye bath, rinsed it & let it dry. It turned out a lot lighter than planned. I generally dye small samples of the same fabric that are planned for the bigger pieces first so I know what shade I want & the recipe needed to obtain this shade again. It was my own fault. I had dyed some Kona fabric earlier in a "make orange" run & thought that one of those shades would be nice to use for my bamboo fabric. I should have known better, it totally took the dye differently. (I hate it when after taking the time involved in dyeing something - I normally batch my dyes 24 hours - you end up with something that you're not happy with) I ended up over-dyeing the piece 2 more times. I was going after a burnt orange color & it wasn't getting there, so the last time, I took the leap & over-dyed it with a very weak turkish red dye bath & batched it only for an hour (having no idea if an hour was long enough). It WORKED!! Hopefully after the weekend, I'll have some progress to post for you to see.

My husband brought up a good question & I didn't have the answer since I've never had it happen to me. Has anyone ever dyed & re-dyed something so many times that it could no longer take the dye? Is this even possible? Am curious to hear your feedback on this.....

I had to post this below. Have you ever seen something in a catalog or a store & said, "oh I can make that for a lot cheaper" & you never end up buying it or making it? We went to a street fair last July & bought a cute dog collar for our dog, Taryn. Of course, we didn't think at the time about getting her a matching leash, so mom decided to make her one instead. It's taken me almost a year to get it finished (you know how you put aside those things that "oh it can wait, there are more important things to do"). It's probably not very creative, but was a lot of fun to do & it only took me about an hour to make. Taryn is now the envy of all of the dogs in her neighborhood!! :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Beautiful Thread Painting

Received two more thread painting pieces over the weekend. The colors are just gorgeous & the thread painting is just wonderful!

"Live Your Art" is by Michelle & the beautiful flower is by Fannie.

I also wanted to add a wonderful pc I received from Elizabeth from a one on one trade that we did (remember the Green Apple 'Teeni pc). She incorporates hand dyed quilt batting into some of work (which you can see in the leaf like shape in the pc below). Who says quilt batting should always be hidden?

Thanks ladies for such wonderful trades!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thread Painting

I did a thread painting pc swap with 5 ladies. Michelle, Joanna van, Fannie, Carol S & Carol C. I have a great admiration for people who can thread paint like these ladies.

The piece on the left was done by Joanna & the piece on the right was done my Carol S. (I will post pics of the Fannie's, Michelle's & Carol C's cards here once I receive them.)

Below, was my first (& probably last) attempt at thread painting a picture. I think I'll probably revert back to how I normally use my thread painting (layering color & adding depth, abstractly), which I'm a lot more comfortable with!

Monday, May 12, 2008


My husband called me at work to mention that one of his co-workers (the one that brought me back the beautiful textiles from Sri Lanka) wanted to know if we'd be interesting in a week long sailing trip close to Croatia & then a week, or more if we wanted, around Italy & Greece. The trip wouldn't be until next May, since we'd have a little bit of planning to do & $$$ to save for the trip. But I have to wait an ENTIRE year for this????

So I'm totally excited (we've never ventured outside of the US, except for a week trip in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico). And oh, husband says, if we do this Croatian trip next May, my trip to Hawaii for my 40th birthday next year is out. Let's see........Greece & Italy or Hawaii............hmmmmmmm.

So here is where I need anyone familiar with these areas, help. From websites, it sounds like Croatia is totally the place to vacation. Not sure of what to expect (weather, people, things to see & do, what about shopping for textiles & other art & what about communicating with others, is English spoken or am I going to need to carry around a little translation book??)
Help......................... ( I wonder if they make a book, Croatia for Dummies?)

Oh, & have I told you how EXCITED I am?!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Green Apple 'Teeni's

I made some smaller pc versions of my Green Apple Martini quilt (hence the new name). I think something was lost when I made the smaller versions, but that's ok, I still like them. Wished you could see the Angelina fibers better in the photo. They seem to really sparkle in the light.
One of these has been sent off to Elizabeth for a one on one trade. You should check out her blog, she does some interesting work! (I'll post Elizabeth's pc when it arrives.) She has done some painted quilt batting pieces, which I'm very curious about.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Orange anyone?

When I first started dyeing, many years ago, I would have never considered dyeing fabric orange but in the last year or so, I've been really taken to it. This is for a DyeHard-RunOff swap that's due at the end of this month. Am anxious to see what other yellow & red combinations the ladies use to achieve orange.

I used ProChem's Golden Yellow & Turkish Red. Was a little concerned when I started since the golden yellow was SO orange, but I think the color run turned out nicely!

Below is the parfait I did with the leftover dyes & I LOVE it!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Busy weekend with the family...........

Remember the family that came for a visit? We actually had a pretty good time and I got to play tourist for awhile, which was kind of nice seeing things through different eyes. I think being around certain things all of the time, I wonder if we take them for granted? I live in the Pacific NW, in a very beautiful part of the state of Washington, the west side of the state where we're surrounded by beautiful snow topped mountains on all sides, the sound & the ocean that is probably about an hour's drive away. It was actually nice to take a step back & admire all of what is around me.

We stopped at the Space Needle, in Seattle, for lunch, which is always wonderful. Here are the beautiful tulips that they have planted at the base of the Needle.

We then went to Fremont that afternoon for a beer festival called Hop Scotch. At this festival, we had the opportunity to sample over 60 beers from local breweries as well as 10 different Scotches & Tequila's. We are very fortunate in that in the states of Washingon, Oregon & California, we have a huge number of what I call "craft brewers" where making beer is considered an art. Fortunately, there are no laws prohibiting the selling of beers over 4% alcohol by volume since a lot of the beers brewed in this area are around 5.5-9%. I have a friend on the east coast where some of the counties around her are completely dry & where she lives they're only allowed 4% by volume (what a shame).

After the festival, we were all hungry (of course), so we found this place called The Ballroom. Below, you can see the pizza that we ordered. On the menu it said it was a 28" pizza. Ok with me, numbers don't mean anything unless I can actually see it. When she brought it out, I couldn't believe the size of this thing, as you can see it pretty much took up the entire table. One slice (for the visual reference people) from crust to tip, it was as long as the tip of your elbow, to the tip of your middle finger & it was GOOD! (That's my bro in-law with his girlfriend on the right & the gal on the right side of me is a friend of ours.) Daryl & her hubby were off playing pool.

The next day, we took them sailing on Shilshole Bay (Daryl has taken sailing lessons, great another hobby) :) At this marina, they have this beautiful statue of Leif Erikson standing guard over Shilshole Marina & it also serves as a tribute to the Norwegian heritage of the Seattle area. It was a gift to Seattle from the Norwegian American community during the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The statue base is a granite stone about 6 feet high & he is surround by authentic Viking carvings (see below) & there is also a list of over 850 names of immigrants, along with their home towns & years of migration.

Aren't these just absolutely beautiful?? Now see, if I wouldn't have been paying attention, I would have missed out on these beautiful works of art!! (might be kind of interesting to create some fiber art with these beautiful designs..........)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Doors..................

..................and no, I'm not referring to a really great rock band. These below are why I haven't posted in awhile & the fact that whenever I do a somewhat larger piece (post below this one), it puts me in a brain drain for a little while.

Daryl & I are in the slow process of replacing all of our 11 interior hollow core doors with solid maple doors & here is our first four we sanded, stained & replaced. (Aren't they just beautiful?) I just love them. They're so nice & heavy & they really brighten up the spaces that they're in. I can't wait until the rest of the doors are done in the house.

Apparently my little boy, Matisse, thinks he needs to be in all of the pics. Was editing out the ones to not keep & I think he's in probably half of them. "Oh mom has a camera, wait for me!!"

If you look in the second photo, on the back wall, you can see the pc swap I did with Lynda. If you'd like to see a closeup of them you can check it out here.

I have a couple of pieces that I'm working on but I have family coming in tomorrow & staying for the weekend, so I might not have a chance to finish them & post them until later next week.