Friday, February 28, 2014

More Snow Dyeing...

After my experimentation with snow dyeing last week (here and here), I couldn't resist doing a little more. I got some comments from people who don't have snow (lucky for them!), but I understand this can be done using ice cubes too, so you could always buy a bag of ice, or make lots of your own and see what you get. I'm sure if you Google it you'll find some helpful tips.

This time around, I used several colours in the same bin: yellow, green, red, purple and black. I used one larger piece of fabric (about ½ a metre) as well as two skeins of thread.

Here you can see the bin in three stages, the first with snow piled on the fibre, then with the Procion MX dye powder sprinkled on and the snow beginning to melt.


 I'm not as happy with the resulting fabric this time.  Although the colour mix is good, they're too soft and pastel for my liking.

Enter some Procion H that I have in my stash.  It's idea for silk painting or dyeing threads and silk rovings, but I decided to play...

Notice I don't really care for wearing gloves. LOL

Notice all those little brown spots on my finger tips?  After showering and washing my hair (washing your hair is a great way to clean up stained hands BTW), I saw all these little spots.  I figured out they are where the dye went deeper into my finger tips thanks to all the little puncture wounds from hand stitching.  Did I ever mention that I've never been able to get used to using a thimble?

Anyway, back to the's what it looks like now, after the addition of the Procion H liquid dye.  Now this is something I can get excited about!

I'll be back Monday to show you all the threads that I've dyed over the last little while.  Until then, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Doodling and Exploring a New Technique...

A little while ago I watched a YouTube video done by my friend Carolyn Dube, in which she used pan pastels and stencils to create a journal page. It looked like a lot of fun, and I needed a quick 'art play' so I gave it a try. I used my Stencilgirl peacock feather stencil, designed by Kae Pea along with colours that you'd expect to see in real peacock feathers.  I just love those colours!
I wanted a really soft, almost slightly blurred background so I used a very soft brush to gently brush over the page, pulling out from the core of the feathers. I probably should have stopped here since I love this...but I didn't...

I then grabbed the stencil and a permanent black pen and I traced the stencil a few times, filling it in with little cross hatch marks.

At this point I added my text and then put another feather up at the top, this time using only part of the feather.  Random swirls and dots filled in some of the border areas before I did a bit of journalling in the space under the two feature feathers.

I'm not sure why I had such a hard time getting good photos of this page, but the black is really dark (unlike the deep grey that you're seeing in these images).

The end result isn't as wonderful as the vision in my head was, and I sort of wish I hadn't covered up that beautiful background.  Oh well, I know how to recreate it!

Monday, February 24, 2014

StencilGirl Blog Hop Featuring Walnut Hollow...

Today I'm playing along in another StencilGirl blog hop, this time featuring a wonderful cornice box from Walnut Hollow.

Before I show you what I made, let me share a quick story... 

A few years ago I made a really cool sign (in my opinion) for our cottage.  I used a wood-burning tool to trace over our name and some of the details and then I used some acrylic paint and some fabric to enhance the design.  Sadly, I didn't take any pictures...I know, what was I thinking!...and even though I used marine varnish on it, it only stood up for a couple of years before the fabric started to fade. The black border you see here was originally done in 1" squares of colourful batiks and the letters in our last name were also done in batiks, with a narrow white border left around them.   I've redone it, this time using only acrylic paint so hopefully it holds up better in the elements.

Well, a while back Mary Beth Shaw sent me her latest book, StencilGirl Mixed Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils and inside it was a project she did using a wood-burning tool.  That got me thinking that I haven't played with mine for a while, so I thought, what better project than a wooden box from Walnut Hollow to get that wood-burning tool back out for some fun!

As I mentioned, I'm using this beautiful cornice box from Walnut Hollow (Dimensions: 3.36" x 11.96" x 9.19").  It's a wonderful size and when finished and lined with some fabric, will make a beautiful keepsake or jewellery box!

I chose to use Jamie Fingal's stencils Zen Landscape and Houses stencils for my design on the top of the box.


I first drew a pencil frame around the top of the box, and then I used the Zen Landscape stencil to create an interesting hilly setting.  Because the box is wider than the stencil, I had to move the stencil around to create the initial wavy path, sometimes drawing in bits to make it work.  In the area under the path I used random parts of the stencil to fill in the area, again drawing some similar shapes myself to fill in all the areas.

I chose one of the houses from the Houses stencil and added it, along with it's funky tree in the little valley created by the path.  Again I took a bit of liberty to draw bits to make it work for me.  I also drew in the little walkway up to the front door. 

Now the fun begins...I plugged in the wood-burning tool and started to trace all of my pencil lines.  This was a great activity to do while watching the Olympics!  You don't have to worry about your pencil lines because they all disappear as you go.  However, if you are a little off with your wood burning, you can always go back and erase the pencil lines later.

Although I was very happy with how it was looking, I thought it needed some of the wood burned design on the sides too, so I drew in the random little rectangular shapes all the way around the box on the lid portion of the sides.  I varied the height to better echo the elements from Jamie's stencil.

Here's what it looked like after all of the wood burning was finished.

I used Silks acrylic glaze and some Byzantia metalic paint.  The Silks allow some of the wood grain to show through, and both give a lovely lustre to the piece. When watered down slightly, it acts like a beautiful stain for the background areas.

The final step was to mix a bit of the turquoise with water to stain the  'frame' on the lid, as well as the remaining parts of the sides of the box.

Great news...StencilGirl and Walnut Hollow  

have giveaways for you! 

All comments left on the hop are eligible for the giveaway so 
the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you will have to win. 
Have fun and GOOD LUCK!

The giveaway will close on Sunday, March 2nd at 11:59PM Central Time. 

Blog Hop Order
Linda Kittmer-You are here!
Mary C. Nasser-next stop...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Snow Dyeing Reveal...

As promised, here are the pieces I snow dyed the other day.


If you looked at the previous post, these two were from bin 2

 This is the result of the bin 1 dyeing.
 And my favourite, the result of the bin 3 dyeing.

This crazy piece was in bin 1, but it didn't take the dye too well. It's a piece that has been used for a wipe up cloth, then had some left over setacolour paint poured over it while it was folded and crumpled, and now it's been snow dyed.  It has some interesting potential in small pieces perhaps.

I also had these skeins of crochet cotton in the bins. Some nice variegation...

I think I'll do some more of this.  We've certainly got enough snow!!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Too Much Snow?...Dye!

I've been meaning to try snow dying for a long time...but usually I think about it during the summer. LOL  We'll, last week someone in one of the Facebook groups I belong to mentioned it, reminding me that it was on my list of things to try, and as luck would have it we're up to our eyeballs in snow this winter.

I started by Googling 'snow dying', watched a couple of videos to find out what I needed to do, and then I got started.  While my muslin was soaking in the soda ash solution, I prepared a few skeins of crochet cotton and then added them to the soda ash solution too.

While that was soaking, I went outside with a big basin and filled in up with snow.

Bin 1
I set up three basins for the dying:

Bin 1. yellow, fushia, scarlet
Bin 2. yellow, turquoise, blue, green
Bin 3. yellow, blue, green, purple

These first images show the snow covered with the procion MX dye powder, most of which has quickly dissolved into the snow.

Bin 2
Bin 3

You're supposed to cover it and leave it for 24 hours, but you know I couldn't do that.  ;o)

...So here's what bin 1 and 2 looked like about 30 minutes later (don't know why I forgot bin 3):

Bin 1
Bin 2
And then a while can see the little blue baskets I put in upside down, to raise the fabric and skeins up out to the melting snow/dye.

bin 3
bin 1
bin 2

Okay, this is scheduled to post at midnight and I'm off to bed.  I'll show you the reveal in Friday's post.  See you then...

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Few More Thread Sketched Eyes...

I know I said I was going to get started on the piece I'm planning with all of these eyes, but I decided I needed a few more...

Besides, they're just so addictive!

I've also been painting some more fabric to use in this piece.  Lots of messy fun in the studio!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Eye've Been Thread Sketching...

Okay, enough with the misuse of the word 'eye'!  But as you can see, I've finally got back to my machine and I've been thread sketching some more of the sketches I shared here, here, here and here.

Now that I have several of them stitched, it's time to start working on the piece for which I've been making them.  I'm not sure how long it will take me to put it together, but I'll be sure to show you when it's ready...or maybe even some sneak peeks in progress...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm Featured on StencilGirl Talk Today...

I'm featured on StencilGirl Talk today to show how I used a Jane LaFazio stencil to help with some design elements in this predominantly hand stitched silk piece I'm currently working on.  I hope you'll pop on over to see what I'm doing.

Have fun and I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cupcakes and a Puppy...What Could Be Sweeter!

I had a great time creating this page...with adorable inspiration like Dime, it's nothing but fun!  It makes us laugh every time we see him sit on the steps like the lower image shows. He's such a fun and funny little character!

I've also been making more cupcakes.  I love how these little snowmen turned out.

And the monsters were a lot of fun too!

I'm not sure how or why, but Google added snow to this image of my snowman cupcake. It's cute...but I don't know how they knew it was an image of a snowman. Do they have some software that analyzes images or is there some person scanning all images and adding snowfall to any that are winter related?