Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Focusing on #Fiber, Friends and #Florida Fun!

Again this year, I invested in Focus On Fiber Florida Style 2017, a retreat the wilderness of New Smyrna Beach at Atlantic Center for the Arts. Participants can stay up to two weeks and take advantage of classes, workshops, studio spaces, privacy, nature walks, and meals prepared by the amazing Chef Tom Kurtzhals. Single rooms, making new friends, catching up with "old" ones, and focusing on art without interruptions make this experience one I hope to do again and again.

Feet up and enjoying the view from my room 
as I prepared myself 
for a very intensive two days in the studio, 
and some creativity cultivation in seclusion...

I signed up for the Eco Print and Indigo Workshop with fiber artist Kathy Hays. She is a marvelous teacher...patient, kind, generous and knowledgeable beyond the basics. She has spent many hours experimenting and perfecting her craft, so what we learned was without question as to what would work, what to be wary of, and what steps to take, in detail, to obtain amazing results.
Kathy Hays sharing her skills...

The workshop spanned two long, intense days (she usually takes three days for this workshop, so you can imagine the feeling!) I am amazed at not only the quality of my results, but the quantity of processes I learned as well. In those two digested days, we learned so many techniques, and how to do them well, not rushing through to get them done, but keeping up a steady pace that guaranteed a good night's sleep!

Not wanting to lose momentum (or my euphoric state of mind) I spent a few days post-workshop reviewing my notes, taking photos, and classifying what was done, so I can replicate the techniques and remember how to do all this when I get back to the studio. A future blog post will show the results, but here are a few random photos I snapped during the retreat:

Leaves arranged on silk  fabric, ready to be bundled and steamed...
Fabric and leaves bundled, steamed, and ready for the reveal...

Bundle finally steamed, and ready for the reveal...


Beautiful day to work in the outside studio space...

Removing leaves from dyed fabric...

Empty studio can mean only one thing....suppertime!!!

Eco process on indigo dyed fabric was yet another dimension we played with...

The path between my "cabin" and the studios...

The grounds are equally as beautiful in the evening.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hooked on #Tie-Dye

This week I've been experimenting with Ice Dyed Mandalas again, fearing I'd forget what I learned at Cindy Lohbeck's class at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. I had some scrap fabrics of unknown fiber content, so I tied them up and went to work! Forgot to take pictures of the process, but basically it's tie, soak, then place in a tray, cover with ice, and pour dye on top.

This is what the ice looks like with the dye on it....so pretty in itself!

Here are the results:
The two fabrics above are a gauzy-weave. I assume they were not 100% cotton, as the colors are lighter than the others. But they're still nice!
I just love how each one is totally different, and beautiful!
Fascinating process and results...

I'm hooked on tie-dye mandalas!

Monday, March 20, 2017

#Sew Much Fun at the Expo

I just got back from three days of inspiration at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, in Lakeland, Florida. This was my third time visiting this annual event, and I was a little apprehensive about it being a repeat, but I learned lots of new techniques, visited some new vendors, and had a great time. Exhausted, sensory-overloaded, and overwhelmed, but SEW inspired!

The first class I took was by Barb Callahan: "Folded Fabric Fun" which involved making an adorable bag using folding adaptations of the Japanese art of Origami. Using some of Barb's collection of fabrics and vintage buttons, we created this pretty pouch and actually finished it in class! I think that's only the second time in my life that I actually finished a new project the same day I started it!
On Day Two I attended "Color Your Fabric with Paintstiks" by Laura Murray. I had tinkered with Paintstiks several years ago, and didn't really care for them. But this class converted me to a user! What a wonderful way to get texture and interest on fabric, with little effort and a lot of fun...it was like being a kid again, coloring with crayons! Just look at this fun fabric piece I made, first try!
Later that day I took a class from the delightful Joyce Teng from TSC Designs. Her effervescent personality got me so excited about using Tsukineko inks for all kinds of surface design, including stenciling, dyeing, and painting...I was so enchanted, I visited her booth the next day and she was kind enough to share even more techniques and information. Love using inks on fabrics!

The last class I took on the last day was intense...Ice Dyeing in a Mandala pattern. It was NOT easy, VERY messy, but the results were fabulous! Since I've done lots of fabric dyeing with fiber reactive dyes, the technique was familiar, but I had no idea you could somewhat control tie-dyed results with Cindy Lohbeck's binding techniques...very precise and somewhat difficult, but again the results were worth it:

Whew...I learned SEW much...now all I have to do is find time to practice, practice, practice!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Latest #SurfaceDesign Obsession...

Abstract designs on fabric SHOULD be easy to do...and these totally ARE!

 The first 2 photos are close-ups of the fabric pictured below. 

The technique is super-simple and totally unpredictable....
great exercise for a complex-cloth-control-freak like me to get out of the box.

The best part? It took about 5 MINUTES to get the design on the fabric!
When I get back from my mini-vacation, I'll share the process with you...
in the meantime, you'll just have to guess!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sinfully Simple #Silk Scarves

Last year, I took a silk dyeing workshop with the talented and amazing Marlene Glickman. We used ColorHue Dyes, and I was instantly enamored with this instant dye process...no chemistry, no steam setting, a real spoiler! I just had to share the technique with my students, so I created a "Sinfully Simple Silk Scarves" workshop. 

We had so much fun, I forgot to take "in process" photos! 
But here are some of the results.

Beautiful, yes? And they got to wear them home that day! 
Thanks, Marlene, for the inspiration!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

#Silk Painting Saturdays!

Five lovely ladies had a lot of fun in my Silk Painting worksop, learning the basics of silk painting using Dye-Na-Flow paints and water-based resist from Dharma Trading Company.

After some practice on small samples, 

they penciled their chosen designs on stretched China silk squares, 

then squeezed resist over the outlines. 

Choosing their own color palettes, they then began the fun part of filling in the colors.

So much creativity!

An added bonus was the salt technique, which produced texture and some great effects.

The ladies took their silks and setting instructions home, and they promised to send me photos of what their creations eventually would become (pillows? wall hangings? quilts?) Can't wait to see!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Scrabble Tiles Make Cute Charms!

I've had a lot of fun reviving my Etsy Store but I still have much to do to get it complete! 
My most recent addition is a collection of Scrabble Tile Necklaces:

These are fun to make and fun to wear! 

 I highly recommend Sun and Moon Craft Kits for supplies and information 
about this and other unique jewelry crafts.