Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekend in Washington D.C

Jim and I went to DC for the weekend to see Megan and Mike and meet his parents. Saturday was a beautifully warm day with plenty of sunshine. I ran around taking pictures of architecture and other artsy things, and then ran out of battery.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Low Water Immersion Dyeing

I took a workshop on Saturday with Sharon Weltner on Low Water Immersion Dyeing. It was great! I discovered that I didn't take enough fabric, but Sharon was kind enough to let me buy some. The PDF fabric that I used had brought had the best result. We used three different techniques. The first was dyeing in a plastic bag. This was pretty easy - water the fabric, measure the dye and add it to the fabric, then add pot ash as a dye activator. We let the sample sit for one hour and then rinsed (two colds and one hot) for our result. Final rinse bath included Synthrapol. We used ProChem's MX dyes.

The second technique used three pieces of fabric to make gradations. Again using the same materials, we put the first in the bucket, added dye and pot ash. Added the second fabric, and more dye and pot ash and repeated this one more time. Each layer used a different amount of dye. Mine wasn't truly a gradation since I used both green and yellow, but I liked the result.

The third technique was similar to the second, except it was called Parfait Dyeing. This time you use a light color, second layer is a medium different color and lastly a dark different color. The three dyes mix somewhat together, but not completely. I chose a warm palette of brown, coral and yellow. I ended up with brownish red, coral, brown and gold and orange gold fabric.

Sharon suggested that we take notes about the formula, but since we didn't have the same dye base at home, this would be hard to duplicate. In any event we learned a lot and I would like to do this again. The PDF fabric yielded the best results since the white of the fabric, where where the dye wasn't activated by the pot ash remained sort of white and faded to color where the activator worked. It reminded me of tie-dyed fabric, but without the ties.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spinning Again

I just can't help myself. I love everything fiber! After about 20 dormant years, I pulled out my Ashford wheel and cleaned it up. Arlene Graham helped me get started with a quick refresher in her shop. See her blog in my links or here: Anyway, I picked up a beautiful pink roving and I have begun spinning again. I'll post pictures later. I've even recently collected the dog hair to see how it spins up. (I must be sick!) Well, it is very relaxing! More to come.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Goodbye to a Featherweight

Last night I said goodbye to one of my Singer Featherweight Sewing Machines. I felt both happy for Ellen, and sad at the same time. I realized that one of my dreams will never come to be. I had an Internet business (0r actually my husband did) and I had planned one day to quit my day job and work in the shop and sell the things I like best - sewing and related items. I think Ellen got a great deal after looking today at current prices. The machine I sold her looks like the picture posted here. I wish her well with it. I have 3 more machines and I am tempted to keep the rest. (Silly me!) Why am I tempted to hold on to such things? I can only use 1 machine at a time...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Photographing My Quilts

I tried to take photos of some of my quilts last night. I had a horrible time! I read that you should always photograph your artwork on a black background. Use a tripod and good lights. I tried all of these ideas and still only had minor success. I am going to an expert next and will have someone else try to get good images of my quilts. I am including the photos that I took on this blog until I get better pictures.

I made this quilt when I was home on a "snow day" from school. I had been given a crazy quilt patch as a challenge in the Art Quilt Guild that I belong, and was supposed to finish the quilt. All I could think about was summer and how my cats love playing in my flower garden. They get under the leaves and play hide-and-seek and tag. My flowers sometimes really takes a beating! The crazy quilt patch was an antique patch made of old silks and chintz fabric. There was some embroidery on the patch. I cut the back off the patch to preserve some of the original stitching and begain a layering process. I added elements under the silks, on top of the silks and held everything together with a fine blue-gray tulle. I then embellished and quilted. It was very freeing and fun to make, even though it took me a while to get started. Note the Butterfly patch is really an antique cigar silk label that was given to me by my cousin. I added this under the yellow silk patch from the original patch.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My First Posting

I've finally taken the plunge and decided to create a blog to show my artwork. Ironic that today is April Fools Day and I decide this is a good day to post. I'm definitely going to have fun with this!

I will be adding photos soon and appreciate any comments and criticisms. I believe people learn by doing and I think I can grow personally and individually by learning from the work of others. I have titled my blog Artventures, because I think that life is a journey and the process of creating art is also part of that journey. Another reason for creating this blog is that I am encouraging the teachers in the school district where I work to use Blogs as a teaching tool. I hope the teachers learn by my example - and I hope to be able to support them in the educational process of Blogging.