Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I've been busy...

I've spent an endless amount of time going through old projects and fabric...sorting...organizing. I have lots of bundles to give away to different people, scraps to go to a quilt store that uses it for stuffing, and a package to Wendy for the children. I've done some more experimenting with the dye pot, stitched on my leaf book, found more bits to add to my magic cloth and added some lace to my lace guild shirt that I started back here. Here are some pics. Click for a closer view.

part of a silk jacket folded in thirds with leaves and wrapped around a tin can

this is the back of the piece above

do you see the almost perfect A...twice

more of the silk jacket wrapped around the can with string and pushed down shibori style

some hand dyed cloth enhanced with stencils and shiva paintstiks

started stitching on glycerin treated leaves for my leaf book

hand dyed doily added to my lace guild shirt

more lace embellishment for the lace guild shirt

There were lots more things on my list for this past week but never got to them. I wanted to start learning tambour beading but haven't gotten there yet. I did see a wonderful movie called 'SEQUINS'.  It's a french film with lots of glimpses of beautiful tambor beading by a master beader who does work for Lacroix.

I hope you all had some time for yourselves this past week.

Everything you do leaves its mark elsewhere...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

an update...

Back here I posted about my bobbin lace collar and the fact that I was 25 beads short. Erin pointed me to some beads on amazon that I ordered. It turned out that not one bead in that mixture matched but mixing them along with some of the ones I was using has worked perfectly. So thanks to Erin. I need to start working on this at home so I'll finish it sometime in the near future. Just working on it 4 hours a week in lace class is just not enough time to make any headway.  Here is a picture of the center portion which is almost complete.

bobbin lace collar--linen thread
Down the street, at the community mailbox, there is a tree that is shedding the most beautiful autumn colored leaves. I have been picking them up from the ground to use in dyeing but I wanted to try and make some sort of a book with a few of them. I researched for a method to preserve them in some way and decided to try the glycerin method. I bought a small bottle of glycerin in the drug section of the supermarket. I mixed up 1 cup...1/3 glycerin, 2/3 water...

leaves covered with glycerin solution in a tray

a piece of styrofoam over the leaves and some copper pipe to hold it all down
It sat in that solution for 5 days. I removed them today and just laid them down on a paper towel to dry.

the texture of the leaf is nice and soft but they darkened considerably
close-up of front and back of a glycerin treated leaf
Now to figure out how to make a little book. I wanted to write on the leaves but they are quite dark and I don't think the writing will show up....so thinking about it...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

sorting fabric...

I have spent the past 2 days sorting fabric and haven't really made a dent. I'm determined to give away lots of fabric that I know I'll never use. My goal is to have it all organized when I finish. Lots of it is already organized. It's just that there is too much around for which there is no place. I actually enjoyed going through bins and stacks and finding pieces that will go into my magic cloth.

just a bit of what's already been gone through

I also removed all those orange hexagons from my cloth, wrapped them around tin cans and dropped them in the dye pot. I like them much better now, and played around with some ideas.

just playing around with some ideas

I unbundled the silk/linen that was wrapped around the copper pipes. I like the fringe effect the string wrapping gives. I'm learning how to wrap the string to give different effects.

silk/linen in colorhue dye and then wrapped around copper pipe and simmered in the dye pot.


And finally, this article was posted on facebook by Fabienne Dorsman-Rey: The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric. I found it very interesting. You can find it here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

and the WINNER is....

YVONNE of Fibre Heart. Yvonne, please send me an e-mail with your address and I will send the lace pouch right out to you. My e-mail address is on my profile page.

Thanks to all who participated and for being followers of this blog. I appreciate all of your comments. I have learned so much from all of you.  I will be having another giveaway real soon, so keep watching.


Friday, December 16, 2011

a must see film...and a new book

Rivers and Tides is a must see film for sooooo...many reasons. Andy Goldsworthy tells about his magnificent creations and shows his process. The complete movie, which is 1hr and 30min long is available here and is also available on Netflix, if you are a subscriber. Here are a few images for inspiration.

this web is made only from sticks found in nature

the wool from sheep is spread out on the top of this rock formation

he builds these egglike shapes from flat rocks
and then watches as the tide comes in and takes it all away. He says, "I have not made the work to be destroyed. The work has been given to the sea as a gift and the sea has made more of the piece than I ever could have".

I hope you will take the time to watch this movie. It was recommended to me by Henrietta and I am very grateful.

AND  I'd like to share with you a new book I found. I had some time to kill and walked into Half Price Books just to browse but couldn't resist this one. There is so much inspiration here for manipulating cloth and my list of ideas is already a mile long. Lots of shibori possibilities here as well.

and just a few images from within

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a quickly composed piece...

I was inspired by Judy Martin's tutorial here on making dots. I had done reverse applique before but wanted to try making these small dots as eyes, which has been a discussion over on Jude's Magic Diaries workshop.

the dots are hand dyed silk and the outer cloth is hand dyed silk/linen

The next day, I took the rest if the hand dyed silk/linen:  

and started cutting and moving things around:

I'm calling it 'reflections of the moon'
That little 'eye being' has paper moon eyes right now but they will eventually be stitched. There will be lots of stitching done here. There's another eye and a bird hidden in the cloth that needs to be enhanced. This little 'eye being' reminds me very much of 'marcel the shell'. I have linked it, in case you haven't seen this delightful video.

I did some more dyeing this morning using the tin cans. This time I dyed 2 pieces of cloth in the colorhue dyes before wrapping around the cans.

before and after pictures

on the left is a cotton cloth that was soaked in soy and then put in a green colorhue dye. it did pick up the green color but is no longer visible after the dye pot. on the right, is a habotai silk dyed blue with colorhue and there is a hint of color left.

These were simmered in the dyepot for about 1 hour and immediately removed, opened up and washed. It seems the iron content of the can is the one factor that is giving good results immediately. I forgot to mention that I did insert some leaves in the can wrapping. You can see a hint of them in the photos, but most of what look like leaves are just folds in the cloth. I am especially pleased with the way the silk turned out. Silk seems to never disappoint.

AND REMEMBER THERE IS A GIVEAWAY HERE: if you are interested in winning a pouch with a bit of bobbin lace trim, just leave a comment over on that post. The drawing is on Saturday morning.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

not much change in color...

after washing out the pieces posted yesterday. The black sections are slightly lighter (that is a good thing) but not much else changed after heat setting and washing. I love looking at different sections of the dyed pieces for beasts, figures, etc., so I'm sharing with you some of the sections I really love.

even the bit of onion skin took on an interesting color and shape

a bride walking to the alter--do you see her? her veil is blowing in the wind.

you would guess these are leaves but they were only folds in the cloth around the tin can

2 dolphins swimming toward each other and blowing rings of bubbles

interesting...what do you see?

I found this book at the library to inspire the drawing of some cave beasts

AND ON ANOTHER COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TOPIC: a new type of mesh yarn came out a while ago and I just wanted to play with it a bit. I'm using the one called Chrysalis by Yarn bee (found at Hobby Lobby), but Red Heart also has one called Sashay. I tried both the knitting and crochet instructions but liked the fullness given with the crochet so that is what I'm trying (just playing). Instructions here for both methods.

a small sample with a crochet hook size J. looks like a ribbon on the ball but opens up to a mesh.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

more dyeing experimenting and ANOTHER GIVEAWAY...

For several weeks, 2 tin cans have been immersed in vinegar water to create rust. Cotton and linen cloth has been soaked in soy milk for days and then allowed to dry. More explanations below with images.

cotton cloth wrapped with string and banded at the top of the tin cans. the can on the left has some banded copper pennies and the can on the right has onion skins wrapped around with string.

Silk/Linen within a metal embroidery hoop and then excess cloth just twisted and knotted. all dropped into a steaming pot of oak leaves and acorns for close to 2 hours. I also added the iron vinegar water where the tin cans soaked.
 AND THE RESULTS: everything turned very black. I suspect I should not have added the iron vinegar water or maybe it was the tin cans. I am not sure, but because of this, I removed all the pieces from the dye pot and just let it sit. Today, I unwrapped it all and I am allowing it to thoroughly dry before washing.
metal embroidery hoop removed ( i had put some onion skins on the top of the hoop)

the tin can piece with the copper pennies

the tin can piece with the onion skins
These pieces are reminding me very much of the walls of the Chauvet Cave in the movie "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" that I posted about last week. I think I will be using these pieces (if they hold up in the wash) to create some beasts and for background.

This is one of the pouches that was in the Austin airport display for several weeks. I have just gotten them back and this is the one I have chosen for the giveaway. It measures 5½" x 4" and has a piece of bobbin lace that I made stitched to it. The front image is the true color. I will randomly select the winner next Saturday, Dec.17th. You just have to leave a comment and you will be included in the drawing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a mystery...can you help?

At lace class this morning we had show and tell. Show and tell is usually not lace as it takes forever to make one piece of lace. Christine brought this beautiful wooden wheel??? She found it at an antique shop and had to take it home with her even though she had no idea what it was. We all made guesses having to do with spinning, yarn winding and the like but we just don't know. I suggested that I post it on my blog because surely one of you would know what this is or have a better idea than we did. So here it is...4 views and it is made of wood. I can't wait to hear what you think.

The string that you see in the center is just string that Christine used to hang it. It was not there when it was purchased. I didn't measure it but my guess is that it's about 16"+ in diameter.

 UPDATE ON MYSTERY: Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011
looks very much like this. something fits over the spokes to hold the thread around the wheel.
 Thanks Geraldine for leading me to this search of a 'silk spinning wheel', and to all of you who contributed with suggestions.

It looks like Geraldine took a picture off of her tv screen of what she saw.

winding the silk on the wheel before weaving. it was on a UK program called 'Manor Reborn'. It appears to be a renovation of Avebury Manor. They are capturing the silk to weave the curtains.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

If you haven't seen this film, put it on your list. It is showing in the theatres in 3D but I saw it on my TV through Netflix. It is about the Chauvet Cave that was discovered by some French hikers in 1994. It is an amazing film and I so wish I was one of the scientists that was allowed to walk through on the special platforms laid down as walkways to preserve the ground beneath. They were not allowed to touch the walls or anything on the ground and had to film with LED lights. The cave is 1300 feet long and the paintings on the walls have been determined to be 32,000 years old. The goal in collecting all the data is to create stories of what might have happened during that time.

part of a painting on the walls of the Chauvet Cave
Scientists and Archaeologists filming in the cave

 Here is a link to a video where the director talks about the film. There are lots of good videos about this film, as well as some great images of the paintings on the wall. Just google "Chauvet Cave", if it interests you.

I imagine seeing this film in 3D is an experience in itself but I enjoyed it immensely just seeing it on my 32" TV. There were several people interviewed (in the film) about the research they were doing with all the data that was collected and it is just amazing what info they glean from the little data that there is. I can't remember the exact circumstances of this conversation but someone in the area of the cave was painting and he was asked, "why are you painting"? he answered, "I am not painting. It is the hand of the spirit". That response just sticks with me, even three days after hearing it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

my best dye results so far...and...

I did an unbundle this morning after 3 weeks of waiting. I think these results are the best I've gotten so far. I started out with white cotton soaked in soy milk for a couple of days. Bundled with eucalyptus leaves, onion skins and a few copper pennies and wrapped around copper pipe. Simmered in water with oak leaves. It seems using the soy milk as a mordant really makes a difference with the cotton.

cotton with euc leaves, onion skins, copper pennies and copper pipe

the circles are where i embedded copper pennies in the bundle

I see a swirling going on and some sun rays that will be enhanced with stitch

Some of you asked to see a larger view of my magic cloth.  So far, it measures 29" x 22" but will be approximately 48" when complete (don't know what year that will be). I would like to do as much embellishing as possible on what is here so far before adding more around the edges. It's just so much easier to handle that way.

measures 29" x 22" here

this area might wind up being filled with eyes of beasts at night

lots more stitching needed here

I split some Japanese silk in half and filled in with black and white

a black and white trimmed cloud raining on a bobbin lace leaf

Still working on the meditative stitching when I get stuck on where to go next with the magic cloth and starting to add some scribble stitches in color.

adding color to the meditative stitching

Over at Magic Diaries, we're talking about eyes and the designs they can initiate. This is my eye that I'm playing with. Hope it's not too scary.

So that's what's going on here. Lots to keep me busy for a while.
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