Saturday, January 31, 2009

20 yards of muslin later...

All 20 yards dyed, dried, and pressed:

And now I need to find the other 13 colors! And another bolt of muslin!

Drying Dyeing

Below are two of the batches drying on my clothes line, the yellow and black pieces. No, I'm not a Steelers fan! You can also see the gloves I used to protect my hands from the dye, it takes a LOT of squeezing after taking them out of the pot to get most of the dye out of the fabric before hanging them to dry. In between batches I am cutting up the plastic bags, eating, and reading my book. Right now the scarlet and dark green batches are steeping, by the time they are ready to rinse, these will be dry and ready to press.

During Dyeing

Been dyeing for a while now, I am using yard pieces and dyeing 2 yards at a time in a color bath. The batch below is my 11th and 12th yard. The fabric has to steep in the pot for over 30 minutes. I am using both liquid and powder dyes. So far I have used dark green, scarlet, black, sunshine orange, yellow, and purple. Two batches dried and ready to be ironed, two batches hanging on the line to dry, and two batches steeping on the stove. Lots of gloves and lots of rinsing involved! Definitely a labor of love, I smile every time a piece goes on my clothes line!
Here is the scarlet batch, after taking the pic I smushed it down into the dye, but took the pic this way so you could see the color:

With the fabric balled up like that you get an interesting mottled, tie dye effect.

Busy Day Today

I have so many cool things to do today that I actually had to make a list! I left my school work on my desk so I wouldn't get sucked into the vortex of grading, etc. Four things on my list:
First, take the bags pictured below and iron the crap out of them to make Alisa Burke's paper.

Second: Take the doodled flowers that came from directions in Alma Stoller's Soulcraft Zine and finish my black and white Rolodex cards for a swap in my Yahoo group. Here is the before picture of my supplies:

And my favorite project for today:DYEING MUSLIN! After school the other day I went to the local Wal-Mart that still carries fabric and purchase an entire bolt of unbleached muslin and every color of dye they carried. I haven't worked with the liquid dye yet so we'll see. I got every color they had to see if I can mix the colors in the Dec/Jan issue Quilting Arts article by Judy Coates Perez. Jane has a project for us tomorrow using the dyed fabric. The before picture of 21 yards of muslin and 17 packages/bottles of Rit dye:

Now, I'm off to work!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Funky Holiday Swap

Over at Bad Baby Art I am hosting a year-long swap: Funky Holidays. Instead of doing the run of the mill themes like New Year's for January and St. Patrick's Day for March, April researched some lesser known holidays and the swap was off and running! January's theme was Women in Blue Jeans day. It was fun to see the different interpretations each participant came up with for her 4X4 page. At the end of the year each swapper will have 48 pages if they swap for all 12 months. I made 8 pages instead of 4, the second set is going to Jane as a Christmas present. The pages were so good I am thinking I might have to make 12 pages so that I can have one of each! It was painful to only get 4 out of all of the quality work! Next month is American Crossword Puzzle Week, right up my alley..........I love crossword puzzles and have even watched the documentary Word Play about the New York Times crossword puzzle annual competition. Pretty interesting if you like crossword puzzles. Below are the five pages I kept (I have an extra as one swapper made an extra for me):

and here are Jane's: (mine is the one on the bottom right and April's is on the upper left)

Fabric to Dye for

In the latest issue of Quilting Arts magazine there is an article with really good directions for dyeing fabric with Rit dye. All of the directions I have seen before have been very sketchy. I tried to tie dye a piece of muslin in my washing machine awhile back and the dye didn't take at all! ARghhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... so when I saw this article I got out my packages of dye and tried it again, on the stove this time. As a teenager in the 70's I tie dyed MANY t-shirts on the stove in my mother's ceramic pan, but that was so long ago I didn't remember how to do it. I used the leftover teal dye from the first attempt and this is what I got:

unbleached muslin

I LOVE the mottled look of both pieces. The package of dye only makes so much dye and I used small pieces to test the method. Now that I know it works just like I had envisioned, I need to buy more muslin and double or triple the batch in a bigger pot!!
Working on a black and white swap has stymied me until I remembered the cut out doodle flowers that are in Alma Stoller's SoulCraft Zine. I doodled on the pages of an Alice in Wonderland book. These are the ones that are ready to cut out and use somehow in the swap:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Orangutan Baby and Beaded Charms

Ok, so here I am a few months old. I told you I look like an orangutan baby with that hair stickin' out all over!

These are the beaded charms I received through Bad Baby Art, love them!

These are the beads I contributed, made from leftover gel tar paper from a different swap and beaded:

Blog Slacker

That's me this week.
Excuse #1: I have gone back to working "full time" even though I only took time off the past few months from contract teaching to go back East for visits. I signed a contract for 7th grade Language Arts taking over for a wonderful teacher whose husband has been transferred to an Air Force base in Japan. I think right now this will be a great niche for me (until the next great niche presents itself!) and I am looking forward to concentrating on teaching one content area. Next step is to take a proficiency test in Language Arts/Reading to satisfy No Child Left Behind highly qualified status to teach a content area. The test is in late March and since I minored in English eons ago at SUNY Cortland in NY it should be a breeze.
Excuse #2: I haven't really focused much on creating the past week or two, just sorting and organizing my mess...........wasn't really successful in that area.
Excuse #3: Running an invitation only Yahoo group and participating/hosting several swaps at the same time.
I have received back a couple of swaps that I participated in and I love the quality of everything I have gotten from the members of Bad Baby Art! Thanks to Pam C. for getting me hooked up with this bunch! The charms I received are fabulous. I will take a photo and upload this weekend.
I also have to share a pic that my sister in NY sent to me, she sent several, but one makes me laugh when I see it. It is me when I was an infant with this shock of black hair sticking out...I call it my orangutan baby photo! Too funny, I will take a pic of the pic and upload as well.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Journal

I have been looking at the pieces of leftover paper from my Collage Unleashed swap and I just had to put them on something! So, I took the composition book in which I have been recording swap info and stuff for my yahoo group, cut the pieces into smaller ones so I could see both sides and glued them onto the front. Also had to use a leftover piece from Dave's purple plastic bag journal and another piece ripped off from Studio 23 trash. First is a closeup of my star flower and Dick and Jane strip:

And the entire front of the book (which is stuffed with stapled papers and notes for swaps):

Rule #1 Journals for 2009

I won't explain what Rule #1 is, anyone who knows me well enough knows what that is! I have made two journals for 2009, one for my husband and one for me. My journal is quite large at 12 inches square, only so that I can put full size sheets of paper on the page and still have room to write should I need to add more. I chose to do one month at a time with a page for each day......thus only one month at a time, I don't think I could sufficiently bind 365 pages at once! I plan to use birthstone colors as a guide for each month, so January is garnet themed...........

In the new Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (Jan./Feb. 3, 2009) there is an article by Alisa Burke (author of Canvas Remix) and I followed her easy directions to make paper out of plastic grocery bags. Very easy and very cool to work with! I painted a piece with purple metallic acrylic cheapo paint, sewed my star flower onto it and then sewed on a Starbucks coffee sleeve. I also added a line from Dick and Jane (thanks, Jane!) that has Spot on it (we dog-sat a cool dog named Spot!). You can see how wrinkly and unique the paper turned out and if you look closely can see the grocery name in red at the bottom peeking through the paint:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sewing on Canvas

Happy New Year! I have been working on many projects lately, but just had to share this piece I finished on canvas paper. The background paints are what was left on my brush and on the palette when working on a set of swap pages for Arttechniques. As I worked I had several canvas papers handy and slapped leftover paint onto them and used my punchinella (sequin waste? not sure exactly what it is called) for accents. Inspired by Traci Bautista's book Collage Unleashed I wanted to freehand sew a flower (I love hers!) so I just grabbed this canvas and started. I used a dark green for the stem, leaves, and flower petals. Added some purple tufts of grass at the base and then changed to white for the stamen-like stems between each petal. I call this my Star Flower Canvas and I am pleased with the way it came out.
The canvas:

Close up of the flower: