Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oranges. Sunshine for breakfast!

Here is the orange picture as it stands at the moment.  Lots of stitching.  Fun to work on developing and melding the values with the stitching as well as the fabrics.  And I can see how I am going to need more drawing skills than those I learned (and have clearly forgotten) in that little introduction in Grade 8 art!!  Quite a few years ago now!  Not to worry, this little study has taught me a lot and I am thinking I may do it again in a slightly larger version. I do love the learning part and then, to have a little something at the end of it all, bonus!!!
More to do today.  I'll be back....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I am dyeing for oranges!

 I have dyed some cotton fabric (and some organza) in a range of colours from yellow-orange to blue violet. Well, I thought I was!! Clearly I haven't got the colours quite right because I don't think I should have got such a lovely range of greens!!! But that's all right.
I am interpreting one of my holiday photos and this was the purpose of dyeing these fabrics.  This is only my second attempt at a 'photo' piece and I'm still not sure if it's something I want to pursue.  Nonetheless, I wanted to give it a try. Who knows, I may come to love it!!  I have started to stitch the fused pieces and to further colour the various bits with thread.  I don't normally show you my 'in process' pieces, but hey, why not!!! It took me all day to piece these little bits!  I have a lot of respect for those people who do this sort of piecing (and even more now!!) and to think that sometimes all the little edges are turned under and/or pieced as well.  Yikes!!!  So, hats off to those of you that do!!!
OK, I'm off to do a bit more stitching.  I'll show you again when I'm done.  Fingers crossed it comes out all right!!  We'll see....and you'll see!  I'll be back....

Monday, January 28, 2013

Still needlepunching. Still having fun!

This is yesterday's needle punch/embellisher piece.  This is for the on-line course I am doing at the moment with Dionne Swift, do check it out   Such fun!!!  (I'm doing Drawing for Textiles although I'm also signed up for the other two on-line classes that Dionne offers.  This one has been fabulous so I'm pretty excited about the other two as well.)

I bought some more thread today (!!!) to use on the stitched piece I am working on, based on one of my photos from my holiday last spring.  I have dyed the fabric for the piece and am starting to put the bits and pieces together.  It is using quite a lot of orange which is not normally in my colour repertoire, so you can see why I had to buy more thread.  Really, you can see, can't you?????!!!!!

So I have plenty to do!  I'll be back.....

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Needlepunch, embellishing machine

I am taking an on-line course with Dionne Swift.  She is an artist from the UK and her work is spectacular.  And the course is brilliant....such a lot of fun.  I would heartily recommend that you check out her website and maybe even consider taking a course with her!
This is a piece that I did this morning.  I am using the scrims and threads that I dyed the other week.  It's so nice to have a stash on hand.  I am dyeing more fabrics today.  So much to learn...this really is too much fun!
OK, I've got to go and add the soda ash!  I'll be back...

I am adding Dionne's link below...check out her on-line workshops.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Watercolours. More pears.

I really like painting pears.  I love their shapes, their colours and in the end, I love their taste!!  I did these three little pics at my watercolour class the other evening.  I started with ink for the outlines and then added the colour from there.  Lots of water.  I normally don't paint with quite so much water and it was really fun. Mostly, I love that there is so much to learn.

And of course, I'll be back.....

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another gradation

I've done another gradation of black, this time using black from Maiwa in Vancouver.  It has a definite blue cast to it.  Interesting.
I agitated the fabric quite a lot before even adding the soda ash and there is very little mottling.  In retrospect, I might have liked a wee bit more, but if nothing else this will be great for discharging.

And I am working on another piece for the Jane Davies' Extreme composition class.  Not finished with this one yet, but not quite sure where to take it.
I'll continue to work on both projects.  I am so very busy and having quite a lot of fun.  Lots of different ways of making marks both on paper and on fabric.  So much more to explore!
Onward......can't stop now!!
I'll be back...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Making more marks with Procion

I have been playing around with making marks on fabric using thickened dyes: stamps, stamping, stencils, brayer marks, needle-nose bottle for drawing, etc.  Such a lot of fun. Black and charcoal grey onto white and off white fabrics, although the second piece above is shot under lamplight so that's why it's that colour.   (I'm not sure I'd order charcoal grey again since it seemed to be a slightly less robust version of the black dye I was using.)  And then I steamed them, but this time using the canning pot, with the stand to raise the pieces above the water, and the kitchen stove.  I wrapped the pieces in paper and held them in a roll with masking tape.  But I think I must have had the pot too hot (Is that possible?? Is simmering less hot than a full boil??? Is the temperature that different??).  Anyway, I believe I must have scorched the soda-soaked fabric because the fabric came out sort of tan coloured (which makes me think it was scorched) and the black dyes came out burgundy.  Yikes!! And when I steamed everything the other day using my big stovepipe steamer, everything came out fine.  This time, also, there was absolutely NO loss of colour into the rinsing water....interesting.

I spent some time making the marks and as soon as the fabric was dry (i.e. no batching) I steamed it.  And then rinsed it right away.  And then I read that one should wait 24 hours before rinsing.  Oops.  I rinsed right away...but as I said, there was no loss of doubt because it had been so thoroughly baked in!  Oh well, lots to learn, and I now know the kinds of marks I can make with the thickened dyes.  Not a total loss then!!!

Onward.  I'll be back...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dyeing Gradations

 I have dyed seven different gradations of black to grey.  I used Jet Black, from Dharma Trading.  It has a slightly purple tint to it and the washing-out liquid had me a little worried, but in the end, all was well (as opposed to today's dyeing effort, which I'll show you next time.  Very weird.)  In the shot above is the cotton fabric I dyed plus some purchased yarns and some tencel fibre.  Oh, actually the grey fibres in the middle are tencel as well, dyed at our local fibre shop, Knotty by Nature.  Lovely shop, I always get myself into big trouble there!!!
This picture shows is all the pieces I dyed in the seven different values.  There is cheesecloth, cotton scrim, harem cloth, silk organza and cotton, all Dharma fabrics and yarns.  I dyed three batches of yarns, some silk, silk and bamboo and cotton.  The silk yarn that was dyed in the most intense dye bath took the dye well but the other two skeins, each in a dye bath of decreasing strengths, didn't dye black at all, but instead came out a lovely warm brown colour.  No matter, I will use it elsewhere.
Lots to learn.  I'm having fun.
I'll be back....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Making Marks with Procion

I spent a bit of time yesterday and made some marks onto fabric.  I used soy wax as a resist, Procion as a liquid dye concentrate and also thickened using the dye paste mix from ProChem.  Such a lot of fun.
I find it so hilarious that when I try and write on fabric or write in free motion embroidery, I always revert to the MacLean's method of writing that I learned in grade 4 using an ink pen dipped into an ink well (and yes, the boy behind me did dip my braids into the ink well...sigh).  I suppose it's because it's a continuous line and that's the easiest to manage in these situations.  Still, it's funny...haven't written like that for years!!
Soy wax circles drawn around with thickened dye from a needle-nose bottle.  I like the way it scraped over the fabric when I took a credit card to it.   I didn't bother to wipe the dyes off the soy wax before I steamed the fabric and I rather like the bits of colour that are left.  I suppose if I didn't I could be a lot more careful and remove the dye, but for now I quite like it.
The circles here are a rubbing of a cardboard 'plate' with glue gun circles drawn onto it.  The squares are from a stencil (you can see where I have written the word 'stencil' above it, as a reminder, which I seem to need these days.  More loud sighing.)
I like the way the marks are different, depending on how damp/wet the fabric is.  So much room for experimenting here.  I tried out the steamer for the first time....put it outside...very cold out there but not raining and no wind.  Lots to learn there too.

I have also washed out the black to grey gradations.  I 'll show you that next time.  Have to photograph them first.

I'll be back.....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Today I am dyeing, with an E

I dyed a gradation using Dharma's Procion Moss Green (using their Cotton Sateen fabric as well).  It is a really lush green colour and I love it.  It does require some careful mixing however:  you will see in one of these pieces (and in other too, that you might not see) that some of the red has not sufficiently dissolved.  And so there are some little red dots sprinkled throughout the pieces.  That's ok for the moment since I just wanted to try a gradation and now I want to try some discharge work onto some of the darker pieces as well.  But next time I must remember to either stir like crazy or filter the dye through a metal coffee filter.  Who knew!!!
The colours are quite a lot richer in 'real' life and there is a strip of white paper on the left hand side that may show up if you enlarge the pic....just so you know that I didn't post white fabric!  I have to figure out how to get more true colours with my camera.  I tried with natural light and whereas I find the built-in flash often washes out colours, here it offered the closest representation of the actual colours.  Interesting.  So much to learn!!
I'll be back....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Another horizon.

Here is another horizon pic that I did for the Jane Davies class.  I think it's my least favourite of the bunch, but still it gives me food for thought.  I went a bit crazy with the texturing, but it was kind of fun.  I'm thinking about how I can get this kind of texture with fabric and still be able to stitch into it.  I suppose one could do all the stitching by machine first and then roller over it with colour...that's a thought. Or use big chunky yarns.  Then there's collage.  And I've ordered some fun little spray tools from Dharma that I can use with Procion dyes that I'm sure I could spray on top of stitch, just being sure to add the soda ash to the dye mix.  The strike on the threads would be less than reliable but could add an interesting resist to the mix. Or I could stitch it all in white, soda soak it and then colour it.  I'll have to give different sorts of texture-making a try.  Oh my gosh, so many possibilities.  I'm feeling a bit light-headed!
I'll be back...