Sunday, March 29, 2015

more dyeing with black walnuts...

The black walnut dye keeps giving. I've done a few more pieces ... some shibori style.

click on the images...

top left piece was folded in half and then in triangles. the binder clips I used give nice marks

shibori style....wrapped with string

shibori style....circles of stitching pulled taught on cotton/linen

kokopelli imprint on silk linen

I did some more printing on silk like I showed last week. First the watercolor on paper; scanned and printed on paper; doodled with ink pen; and finally, silk ironed onto freezer paper and printed. I should have washed it to test it but I didn't. I'll remember to do that next time....and maybe, try to print on cotton next.

pink silk, hanky, and watercolor painting on paper

mandolins drawn on printed watercolor and then printed on silk

I've started putting together a couple of small pockets....mini pouches....hope to have them finished by my next post....lots more stitching to be done.

the beginnings of 2 pockets

using the printed cloth for a mandolin shape and some hexies. fine piping cord used to mimic mandolin strings.

Ready to go out and put some more seeds and plants in the garden. We already have had days in the 80s and it's getting too warm too fast. I prefer the 60 - 70 degree range, but the plants seem to be happy.

Have a great week.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

another pin cushion...

The watercolor play that I showed you last time wound up as part of a pin cushion. A fellow student in Karen Ruane's class suggested I try printing the watercolor on silk cloth....so I ran with that suggestion and wound up with this....

click on the images...

hand dyed silk and damask cloth and watercolrs


I started out by enlarging one of the watercolor images....

watercolor image printed on dupioni silk by ironing freezer paper to the silk and running it through my ink jet printer. I did paint over the print with some intense blocks to brighten up the color a bit.


I used a fine line Sharpie to draw the design onto the silk

I cut out hexagons and circles and stitched them together. I also cut out prairie points that you can see on the finished cushion.

I chose some hand dyed fabric for the background and it all came together quickly.
 Feel free to try this technique if it appeals to you. I think I will be running silk through my printer again for future projects. Thanks to Jann who suggested it.

I finished up another Sally Doll. I tried doing Intarsia  and stranded color work on this one and gave her an embroidered skirt covered with tulle. I think that's it for dolls for awhile.




There's been more dyeing with the black walnuts but it's all being washed out right now so I'll show you that next time. I've also been playing with repeats for fabric design after watching the first 2 sessions of a five week workshop on Creative Bug.....lots of fun.

The radishes and cosmos are already up in the garden and a few more vege plants are in. It's going to be a rainy weekend so all the plants will get some wonderful rain water.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2015

lots of pics today...

First I must show you the beautiful Amaryllis sitting on my kitchen table. It sat outside all winter and I brought it in the first week of February. So far, one bud has produced 4 huge blooms. Each bloom is 7" in diameter and such a soft pink.

click on the images...

Amaryllis ... each bloom is 7" in diameter

I did finish that crocheted headband I showed you last week and my knitting/crochet teacher says it is the 'SAND STITCH'. I'm sure google has lots of instructions for the stitch, if you want to play with it.

crocheted headband using the sand stitch


I played a bit with watercolors this week and then embellished them with some pen doodles...

watercolors and pen doodles

....and I did say I was going to do some dyeing with black walnuts...I soaked a mesh bag holding about 15 black walnuts in water overnight. I then boiled it all for about 2 hours. I filled 2 glass jars with the prepared cloth and poured in the boiled liquid. I left it in the jars for about 3 days....not really necessary....a shorter period will give you a lighter shade. I then opened all the bundles and washed the cloth in hot, soapy water a couple of times....rinsed and hung to dry. All the cloth I started out with was a light beige or white in color.

soaking some rose and chinese tallow leaves that were saved from last year

preparing some cotton with shibori stitching

using a strong thread for the shibori stitching

all the bundles in 2 medium sized glass jars

bundles ready to be opened

subtle markings on the shibori cotton

this one was pleated and stitched down both sides. that yellow is turmeric that was sprinkled on the cloth.

a cotton bundle wrapped with old rusty keys

a silk cloth with a tone on tone design wrapped with leaves and sprinkled with turmeric and paprika

silk with imprint of the rose leaves and the string wrapped markings

top is silk with an embroidered design....bottom is a piece of linen where i had done some free motion embroidery

and here they are all together. that yellow one, 3rd from the top, is silk velvet. i used too much turmeric on that one.
Some of these pieces will be redyed because I don't like that strong yellow color. I need to use the turmeric sparingly as a little bit goes a long way. Silk always seems to give the best results but it's nice that the black walnuts easily dyes cotton. Hope some of you who have access to black walnuts will try this. There is lots more info online and different methods. Google is a wonderful thing.

Today was a most glorious Spring-like day....sunny and in the 70s. I did do some planting....parsley, swiss chard and a lavender plant and some radish seeds. It looks like two snap pea plants are coming up from seeds planted in the Fall. They probably will not survive as it gets hot real fast here and we usually don't have much of a Spring.

Hope the weather is settling down for everyone and that all the snow will soon be gone. Have a great weekend and see you next time.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

trying to do it all....

The Sally Doll is finished and I've started on a new one, this time with an abstract intarsia design in pastel colors.

click on the images...

her legs and arms are fabric with cross stitched letters and numbers. her scarf is a bit big for her body.
 ....and she is reversible....her reverse side is showing a sad face. it wasn't intentional.
reverse side with a checkerboard design.

a new Sally Doll in the works...

I have been practicing my Calligraphy...probably not as much as I wanted to but I'm getting there.

warm up exercises

I couldn't resist starting this crocheted headband last night. I do love the look of this stitch. It reminds me of the knitted linen stitch. I'm halfway done with this so just a quickly done distraction from all the knitting projects in the works. Here's a link to the free instructions, if you'd like to try it.

crocheted headband

I've been playing with walnut ink all morning but I'll save that for next time.....and maybe I'll have some planting done by then as well.
Have a great week.

Friday, February 27, 2015

a finished pin cushion...

Back here, towards the bottom of the post, are some images of my play with mother of pearl mosaic tiles. I tried several different things and decided that 6 of the tiles would be the center of a pin cushion. It measures 6" x 6" x 1".

click on the images....

finished pin cushion 6" x 6" x 1"

weaving, grass, french knots, bullion knots, mosaic tiles

some embroidery done on the prairie points

spider web trees and piped edge

the back of the pin cushion


We are making Sally Dolls in knitting class to learn how to do color work. We didn't meet this week because of inclement weather so I moved along with mine because I do want to make more than one. I'm going to do the legs and arms out of fabric. I followed the argyle pattern for one side and just did a checkerboard on the other side....mine will be a two sided doll and a bit smaller than the pattern size.

blocking both sides of the doll. each side measures 5½" x 4"
Creativebug.com (the link is here) is featuring a Calligraphy class and I decided to play along. I learned Calligraphy many years ago but this class is teaching it a bit differently with pen nibs and ink. If you are interested, you can see a preview of the class here. I chose to order the kit they offered rather than trying to find all the inks and papers.



some of the things in the kit

I just received my kit so I hope to start practicing this weekend.

We did have some below freezing temps this week so school in all the surrounding areas was delayed by 2 hours because of freezing rain which made for dangerous road travel. We are not prepared for that kind of weather here and thankfully, it doesn't last very long. Due to warm up by the weekend.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend and creative times.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Started a couple of new things....

I have started knitting a button down short sleeved sweater. I'm not liking the sheen on this yarn but I do love the color. I wound the yarn so it would fit perfectly into my new wooden yarn bowl by Furls. I'm following a chart for this section which is the waistband and I'm sure you can see I've already made a mistake on one of the cables....I do have an idea of how to fix it so that it is not so noticeable but I will not be taking out all those rows.

click on the images

started with the waistband

I've been enjoying crocheting these tiny yarn motifs. I do love all the colors but haven't yet decided how I will stitch them together.

crocheted motifs with 1 ply needlepoint yarn

Also started a new bobbin lace project that is a real challenge. I couldn't do it without the help of my wonderful lace teacher Karen Hickman.

that's a picture of what I hope my tree will look like but I'm doing it in purple, green and lavender.

The Modern Quilt Guild Show is in Austin, Texas this weekend and I went with a few of my quilting friends yesterday....lots of vendors and lots of quilts. Here's a link to their blog where you can see some of the quilts as well as a list of the winners and their quilts. Some very inspiring and creative entries. I only bought a couple of pieces of fabric but ordered a couple more of the ones that were sold out when I came home. Carrie Bloomston is the designer of these Windham Fabrics. It will be fun to cut into the different patterns in these designs.You can see the whole line of her fabrics here.

bought the paint brush fabric and ordered some of the other two.

My front yard is full of double Narcissus and I can see some buds on the Salvia. We are having really comfortable days but a cold front is due in tonight so winter is not quite over. I am so lucky to live where we are not having all the snow, ice and cold that I know some of you are enduring. Hopefully it will be over soon. Have a great week and see you next time.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I DID IT.....

This is the last you'll see of the Downton Abbey coat. I have worn it twice and it's cozy warm. It will be a long time before I take on such a huge project. I started it in November of 2013. It didn't actually take that long to knit....just had to stop and give myself lots of breaks due to boredom.

click on the images...

scrollwork on the collar.....tab with 2 buttons

close up of the scroll work done with a crochet hook through the knitting

2 buttons on the front....black marks are in the wool



I've been playing with mosaic tiles this week...It all started with this video. You can see the tiles about 40 seconds into the video. I was able to get a couple of samples of mother of pearl tiles and I'm doing some sampling with embroidery.

mother of pearl tiles on a mesh grid. each tile is 3/4" square

I took the hammer to some of them and did some embroidery

added some grass through the cracks

and did a bit of weaving

Time will tell where all this will lead....I have some ideas. Sometimes, too many ideas.

We've been having Spring like weather but more cold days are predicted. My double narcissus bulbs are blooming so I know that Spring is not far away. Wish I could send those of you inundated with snow some of our weather. Stay safe and warm.
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