Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Walnut dye results...

Although not as intense as I thought, I am happy with the paler tone of the fabrics.

The spotted piece is silk that I was able to stain in a nice way. The cup forms are cotton organdy vessels- one dipped in walnut hull dye, and one not.

This image is taken from my sketchbook. I try to draw the stitching first, to see if the effect is what I want it to be, and then I translate it on the actual painting with needle and thread.

This is the result, although I have not decided whether to keep the brocade as an under layer. I may keep it more simple and leave the painting and linen.

Here is a close up- these stitches are tiny! The effect is subtle, but rich.



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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Walnut hull dye project!

Ok- I have purchased a special pot just for making dyes from all of the strange and wonderful stuff I find outside!

This is the walnut hull project!

You must wear gloves or you will have black hands for weeks- really. I had collected these hulls from the backyard of some friends of mine and left them for a while so they would be good and decomposed and moldy and perfect!

I attached shots of the walnuts before hulling, the walnut hulls in the pot, and the fabric I am going to dye. I also attached a picture of the wooden spoon I have been stirring with. This is going to be great!

I will post pictures of the results tomorrow.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Natural Dyes- Amazing!

Red cabbage and avocados!

To start with, I boiled red cabbage. The results were incredible. The water turned first blue, and then, after further boiling, a deep purple.

The fabrics are much brighter than the picture shows.

The avocado was interesting. I boiled the skins in one pot, and the avocado pits in another.
The dye front he pits is a tangerine color! The skins, as I have seen before, developed a more delicate peach color.

All in all, a productive day!


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I had a productive day in the studio today. The first piece I am posting about is a second bird skin study with embellishments. Watercolor on silk, which is then layered onto wool Melton and linen.

The second piece is a bit dark in the photos, but I am really excited about this one. It is another watercolor, but this time I layered it on top of some silk jacquard fabric from India. The stitches are more like crosses than "x"'s. I think I am happy with the start of this piece.

Once again, thanks for following!


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Making dye with Nuts!

I am excited to experiment with walnut dye, but first I have to make the dye!

Since I have little patience, and couldn't find a black walnut tree, I did what all impatient Americans do and ordered them online!

So, as exciting as it is to get the black walnuts, the package made it even more fun- and here are some pictures to show how a shipment of nuts could be fun-

How cute is this!?

Ok- I will now make dye, and post updates later.



Monday, November 4, 2013

Masters weekend

I am just returning from a weekend with 5 amazing women- 3 students who will be traveling this journey with me, and the two directors of the program. It was a very full weekend of taking, crits, and exploration. I can't wait to do it again!
I am posting more of the alphabet project here to try and catch up on all of the work I have been producing.



Friday, October 25, 2013

Exciting demo from Michael Harding

Here in Belmont, some hard working artists have formed a group called the Belmont Art Association. I have just recently signed up and went to my first meeting last night.
When I arrived, I was told the person giving a demo was Michael Harding- a man who hand mixes and sells some of the most wonderful oil paint I have ever worked with! I was thrilled! He explained how he started the business and shared stories of how these amazing paints are made.

He and his wife Karyn were very helpful and generous with their time.

For an art geek like me, this was better than the World Series!



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Leaf bundle results...

Well, let's just say this was a lesson in patience!

The bundles got better each extra day I left them bundled. I am, however, incredibly impatient and so am now trying again with the leaves that showed the most promise!
This is what the bundles looked like...

This is apiece of delicate silk that may not have retained the leaf image so much, but lovely tea staining happened which will work for me.....

This one holds the most promise. These were the only leaves with no fall color to them that I pressed. They appear, however, to be the best at leaving behind color. I am doing this bundle again!

And this is the last one- the mirror image of this leaf turned out subtle, but clear.



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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eco-dying with leaves

I have been experimenting with Eco-dying, inspired by India Flint- fabric dying extraordinaire!
These are images of the bundles in the steamer basket....

And later lined up on my counter. I have to be strong and patient- soooooo hard to do! They should stay bundled (in other words- no peeking!) for several days at least.

I will update when they are unbundled!


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Alphabet project...

This piece is silk, linen, and cotton organdy. I have painted and then stitched the surface to connect the layers.

I have also done some French knot work to define the smaller feather.

Loving the process!
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Another piece in the alphabet project...

This piece is called "Torn". I have Eco-dyed (India Flint inspired) silk and then painted the fabric with watercolors. After that I stitched it with beads and French knots to attach it to a lovely remnant of silk velvet.

I am so enjoying the exploratory process this project is encouraging. There will be 26 total pieces by December. Each piece a little different, but all leading me down the same path toward a bigger vision.


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