Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First try

I can't remember how long it's been since I wanted to try to crochet a hat... probably close to 15 years!  Well, I finally got some patterns and some crochet cotton, and here is my first try at it:
It looks pretty cute on the mannequin head, but when I put it on, it looks lousy!  Partly, I'm sure, because I don't have a long slender neck, but also because I think the brim is wider than it should be.  I'm half-way tempted to rip out several rows on the brim and see if it looks any better.  But the other thing is, I really wanted to find some raffia to use for this style... I have a picture I got... forget where:

This looks similar in shape, but it looks a lot lighter, and appears to have more body for shaping the brim.  I may try starching the one I made, but I really think the cotton I used is too heavy for what I'm trying to make.  I want a light, airy summer hat.  If you see this and are good at reading patterns, maybe you could let me know what stitch you think is used on the lower hat.  It almost looks like straight double crochet to me, but my eyes are much less familiar with crochet than anyone who crochets a lot, so I can use suggestions! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Testing photo upload

Melody Johnson, whose blog 'fibermania' is one of my faves, is having photo upload problems today, so I thought I would test mine to see if I have the same problem... bear with me!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dyeing day

Got a show coming up in a month... can you tell?
Got 11 dyed this morning, and tied and soda soaked 7 more to be dyed tomorrow.  I'm real low on kids' clothing, so hopefully this will catch me up.  Still got some dresses and sarongs to go next week... spring is here!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Soy wax/discharge paste

I posted a picture awhile back of an assymetrical top I batiked using my 'Autumn Leaves' design.  Unfortunately, when it got to my friend Patty, she discovered it was too small.  So she asked me to create the same design on a rayon poncho.  No problem, I thought!  Only I found out the hard way that soy wax on a loose-woven garment doesn't work as well as a resist as it does on cotton jersey.  After overdyeing, I washed out the garment and discovered that the browns had all but covered the leaves that were supposed to be protected by the wax!  Rats!!!  Well, I decided that the only possibility for saving the project was to use discharge paste to recreate the leaves.  I could barely make out the leaves, but slowly painted on the discharge paste, let it dry, and steamed.  Here are the results:

The design is more muted than it was on the cotton top, but I'm pleased with the overall appearance, and hope Patty likes it too!  Next time, I'll know that if I want to batik on rayon, I need to do multiple layers of wax!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Progress in the Living Room

A few days ago, I posted a picture of a wall in my living room that I was painting, but I never got around to the "before" shot.  Here's what it looked like before I started:
This is the wall where I have my 'gallery' - paintings and other wall art I have created over the years, along with a few purchased items.  but the wall itself really never added anything to the personality of the room.  All the walls in this house were white until I started this project.  As of today, I have declared this wall in the living room all but done... the last thing I plan to do is paint and add molding and quarter round.  For now, here it is:
Couldn't do anything to disguise the smoke alarm, unfortunately!  But I definitely like the feeling from the warm color of "Spiced Pumpkin"!  Our carpet is dark chocolate, and this color goes really well with it.  Now for the rest of the walls... need to wash with tsp, then I will probably use a white that is really close to the original color... much easier to apply than the "Spiced Pumpkin"!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


So... you have to understand that normally, when I go to a Home Depot or other building supply store, it's usually not to buy things to use for projects around the house.  Those are my "Other" art stores!  But recently, I began a household project... painting the interior.  We have lived here almost 8 years, and I have only painted one wall in the house until recently!  So this week, I started painting the living room.  One wall is to be "Spiced Pumpkin", the rest will be off-white.  One challenge has been that the walls are "texturized", which means a lot more work to get even coverage!  Here is the first coat:
I know you can't see it from this shot, but there are lots of "holidays"... spots where the paint didn't cover the white below.  And I was using a roller to apply the paint.  Where I was trying to get the paint into the crevices, I spread it thinner than other areas, so the whole wall looked very splotchy.  Last night, I started thinking about maybe trying some "Faux Finish" techniques, and decided I would look at the store today to see what they had:
Now, I had pretty much already decided that I would apply a second coat to the wall before deciding if I wanted to go to all the effort of using faux finish, and I have completed the second coat and am pleased with how it looks now.  But I absoloutely had to have this kit!  It's a Martha Stewart product, but I don't really car who made it... what I'm excited about is what I can do with these to create Complex Cloth!  Woo-hoo!!!  When I took Melly Testa's class in 2007, she suggested picking up faux finish tools for creating Complex cloth, but I never found any until today... I will definitely post pix when I have time to play with these!  In the meantime, I may also use them somewhere in the house on wall decor, but I'm thinking the texturized walls might be a bit of a challenge!  Anyone know how to remove the texture from walls?  Just kidding!  

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I am definitely feeling like Spring is coming, so to celebrate, I'm posting a picture of a shirt I dyed almost 4 years ago, then later added some embellishment to.  I think it's totally appropriate!