Sunday, January 29, 2012

the second time around...

I re-packaged yesterday's cloth around a tin can, this time. It went back into the dye pot last night, undone this morning and into the dryer before washing. A much better result today, I think. Kind of like a spider web.
I also took some 1½" cotton tape and did some shibori stitching and threw that into the dye pot as well.

shibori stitched cotton tape and re-bundled cloth

cloth kind of like a spider web

And I've been playing around with my double moons. Printed them on paper to play before cutting into the cloth.

deciding how to create my double moon

If you haven't read about the The Golden Spider Silk Cape, or even if you have, here is a very interesting video showing how it was created.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

i got impatient...

Actually, I read the word bundle someplace and immediately went and opened the bundle that was still wet. It really doesn't seem to make much difference though. I threw the cloth in the dryer and have not washed it since I've decided to re-bundle it. 

will try to get a ring in the center this time

I found an old sketchbook/journal and started flipping through pages. Interesting to see what was on my mind almost 5 years ago.

2007---that sketch titled 'Revealing' might be something I'll work on now

some notes on 'tikkun olam' from 2007. I think I was reading about Kabbalah back then.
Here are some links if you're interested in the subject: tikkun olam (world repair) and the mystic Abraham Abulafia.

And then in another sketchbook which is probably from around 2009, I found this:

I still see some possibilities here.
I always have good intentions when starting a sketchbook but lose interest quickly so most of them have lots of blank pages, but looking back and remembering is interesting and sparks new ideas for me.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I think I've got my double moon...

Was doing a bundle that I'm hoping will turn out to be some kind of a kaleidoscope design and 2 scraps of fabric appeared from somewhere. So used 4 can covers to try to make some moons. I think I now have the makings of the double moon I've been after for my magic cloth.

some silk folded in a kaleidoscope shape with leaves, pennies, and nails within the folds and wrapped around a copper pipe. it will be a while before this bundle is dry.

small pieces of cloth between 2 tin can covers and rubber banded together

nice 3" circles...perfect for my double moon

Still stitching on my magic cloth but it's slow going so here's just a peek.

all the flower petals will be covered with stitch

Monday, January 23, 2012

9 moons, rings, play with

The wool bundle was still a bit damp this morning but I couldn't wait, so I unbundled and threw it in the dryer for about 40 minutes before washing. Lost practically no color in the wash. I always handwash in hot water. I want all the color that will come out to come out before I start stitching.

The copper pipe left lots of pale green sections and the rusty nails and pennies left nice markings. You can see how the iron in the dye pot (from the tin can dyeings) really darkened the wool that was exposed on the outside.

dark section on bottom was where the wool was exposed to the dyepot

back side...wool closest to copper pipe up at the top

This piece is really nice and soft.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

a new shape emerged...

This didn't turn out as if you can plan with eco-dyeing...but I'm happy with the new amoeba shape. And the onion skins gave good, deep color all around the outside. I also see a turtle shape there. This might turn out to be a cloth that will stand alone with some stitching.

a silk fabric before and after the dye pot

an amoeba shape developed created by the 3 rubber bands at the top

do you see the turtle?  the piece measures 20" x 16"

Another bundle tomorrow done with wool, copper pipe, rusty nails and pennies. That one is still too wet to open.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

fingerless gloves...

almost finished with these. They were fast and easy. It's mostly knit and the edges are crocheted. I wanted to use some of my colorful beads but the yarn wouldn't pass through the small holes.

just a little slot on the side for my thumb

love having the use of my fingers when wearing gloves

If you would like the pattern it's here. Scroll down to pattern #222. I think it calls for a sport yarn but I used a worsted weight. You might have to sign up to enter the site, but it's free and there are lots of nice patterns. It's the 'Knit and Crochet Now' site. They also have a tv show where they demonstrate different  patterns and stitches each week.

Friday, January 20, 2012

pencil play...

I've been playing with my set of Inktense Pencils on paper and on fabric. I love being able to color with pencil and then with just a bit of water brushed on, it gives it a watercolor look. If you decide to buy them, check ebay before paying full price. I got a set of 12 for $7 including shipping. They work really well on fabric as well as paper, leaving the fabric soft and stitchable.

on fabric and paper

this cat wasn't dark enough so I enhanced the color with the pencils

And more experimenting with natural dyeing.
I'm trying  to achieve double and triple moons. I used several rubber bands over the tin can. There are also some onion skins stuck under the silk fabric as well. A couple of days should dry it up so I can see if it worked.

rubber bands and onion skins over a tin can

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

what was old is new again...

Back here I showed you my yearly ritual of changing my ironing board cover. the old one was a pale blue cotton that had all kinds of stains from ironing dyed fabric. Well, I threw it in the washing machine and wrapped it around a tin can with eucalyptus leaves, bark and oak leaves and am quite pleased with the result.

I wrapped some scrim in with the cloth around the tin can
It will make a nice background for a stitched piece. It is a commercial fabric but it is real soft and easy to stitch through. I know that some of you were concerned that I was just going to throw it out...never would do that.

ALSO want to share this short video on "The Power of Words". You can see it here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

a bit of blanket stitch for TAST 2nd week...

just under the wire with the blanket stitch. new stitch will be posted tomorrow.

a swirling blanket stitch on the magic cloth

still sorting, purging and organizing going on here. can't remember the last time my cutting table was this exposed. nice to have a place to work. hope I can keep it this way...

cutting table ready and baskets with projects and scraps

wanted to share with you a documentary I watched this weekend that was quite good. it was a documentary of Frank Gehry, the architect, and his process in designing and developing a building. it was nice to hear what goes on in his head during his process. think you will enjoy it, if you get the opportunity. it is called:
SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY. I watched it on Netflix and here is a trailer to give you an idea of it.

Frank Gehry also has some wise words for his students that you can see here. he advises to Be Yourself. these are both under 2 minutes long.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

it had to have velvet...

I just love the feel and look of velvet so I had to add a piece to my magic cloth.

lush purple velvet
My magic cloth now officially named:  The Playground (the old, the new, the imagined, and the possible)

Did a bit of dyeing this are some images.

leaves on habotai silk wrapped around a tin can

added a copper pipe on the second can

the result...some leaf definition...both pretty much the same

Sunday, January 8, 2012

yes, I know...

that the full moon is on the 9th, but it looked full to me so I went with it yesterday. There's some interesting info about the full moon names here.

I played with the image of the moon and the double exposure turned out looking, to me, like the entrance to a tunnel. Do you see the tunnel?

It turned out to be an optical illusion. The tunnel has 2 entry points. One is at the top and one on the side depending on how you manipulate your eyes.
Can you see them both?  Maybe this will help...

same image...2 entry points
This double exposure moon seems perfect for the night sky above the cave section of my magic cloth.

I have spent the whole day sorting and organizing a lifetime collection of threads. I can't ever find the color I'm looking for and I wind up buying something I already have. It was a mess.

just a quarter of it here in a mess

part of it being organized
It's all organized now (didn't take a picture) and just needs labeling. Now to be disciplined to put things back in its place. I feel like I accomplished a lot and I shouldn't have to buy any thread for the rest of my life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

more meditative stitching...and...

Really want to incorporate some needlelace here so cut out one of the holes and started experimenting. also added and manipulated some cloth.

It seems to be saying...RELAX...

The section of the magic cloth with the goat was too light to my eyes so I added some bits of fabric to darken it a bit and added some paw prints to hopefully connect it more to the cave section above.

more stitching to be done here are my FLY STITCHES for TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday)...

added some bullion stitches and beads

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

my yearly ritual...

At this time of year, most people are switching out calendars and moving info from one to another. I use a 5 year appointment calendar so I just can look back quite easily. My yearly ritual is to change the cover on my ironing board. It gets all stained from the dyed cloth and occasional burns, etc. I like ironing on a smooth cotton surface so I hunt through my stash for a big enough piece of a solid color. This year I'm going to try and use a small piece of cloth on the board when I'm ironing newly dyed cloth to prevent it from staining so easily.

the ironing board is right in front of my design wall and stays opened
 I also did some doodling on the cover of my leaf book. I posted about the leaf book  here.

a bit of zentangling
 My magic cloth is 'feeling' better each day in the handling. And I did some more work on the meditative stitching piece. More about those two things next time.

The best way to change an others point of view is to always be yourself...

Monday, January 2, 2012

stitching on the cave walls...

A few weeks ago I wrote about the movie "The Cave of Forgotten Dreams". That post is here if you missed it. A couple of my hand dyed pieces reminded me very much of the walls of the cave.

hand dyed cloth with leaves and wrapped around a tin can, simmered in oak leaves and acorns.

I cut and arranged and stitched all the layers together. Some sections are 4 layers thick but it feels so good as the top layers are the dyed silk. I made some stencils and templates and added beasts to the walls of the cave, made footprints on the floor and placed some trees in the night sky at the exit of the cave. So here is what it looks like so far. I plan on doing more stitching on this section. This is my favorite section of the magic cloth so far. The fact that this section doesn't really blend in with the rest of the cloth is not really bothering me. I'm going to make it work somehow. Click on the images for a closer view.

inside the cave with the drawings of the beasts on the walls

paw prints

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