Friday, November 30, 2012

Dye painting the Autumn Leaves

Today, I painted dye on the leaves of the piece I posted about yesterday.  I was going to use thickener to restrict the flow of the dye, but decided against it.  I really wanted a watercolor effect, and that requires the dyes to flow freely.  So they did flow into the background some, but I'm not worried about that.  All the colors I used are lighter than the background, so they should not create a problem.  Here is how it looks now, with the dyes still wet:

I used a couple of small artist's straight-edge brushes and applied first the lemon yellow, then golden yellow, soft orange and scarlet to the leaves in a random fashion.  I got a lot of nice crackling from the wax that created good visual interest on the leaves.  After the dyes have 'batched', I will wash the piece out.  Then I may wax over the leaves and add some more browns to the background to enhance it.  I'll post again when I have more progress to report.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Autumn Leaves batik... the next step

After I posted the picture yesterday of the leaves I traced on fabric, I coated them with melted soy wax to act as a resist to the dye I then applied to the background.  Here's how it looked after I applied the dye:

So the next step was to be painting the leaves with thickened dyes, which I began a little while ago.  Oops!  I goofed!  I'm doing this in a different sequence than normal - I usually pre-dye the item before tracing the leaves on, then wax, then overdye.  For some reason, reversing the process made me forget I need to pre-soak the fabric in a soda ash solution and allow to dry before I add the dyes to the leaves.  Sigh... guess it will sit overnight, then I can wash out the small amount of dye I already applied, soak, dry and start over.  Good thing I didn't have anything planned for tomorrow!
On another note, I ordered a new product today called Batik-EZ by Crafter's Pick.  Can't find it locally, so I found an on-line source.  It is supposed to be another way to resist dyes and paints without having to deal with melting and applying wax.  I'll let you know how it works when I have a chance to give it a try!  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lots of things in the works

Quite often, I tend to work on one project at a time... seems like it's more efficient and allows me to crank out things at a faster pace.  However, once I have done my last show for the year, with no shows coming up until the middle of next year, I like to spend time experimenting with new techniques, or trying new twists on old favorites.  So here are some shots of a few things I'm working on right now:
This is a lousy photo, but the best I could get... I have traced leaf shapes onto muslin in preparation for batiking them, then I will overdye with background colors.  After I batch the piece, I will wash out and hand paint the leaf shapes with dyes.  This is a variation on the normal method I use, and I decided it would be fun to see how it turns out this way.  I'll post more as I progress with this piece.

This is a 1/2 yard piece of muslin that I decided to try dyeing a little differently than I usually do.  I would normally pre-soda soak the fabric, scrunch it up and pour the dyes over, letting it batch for an hour before the rinse/launder step.  Today, I wanted to see what would happen if I put ice cubes over the scrunched and dyed piece, thinking that the ice cubes would serve to dilute the dyes as they slowly melted.  I see a little difference between this and regular scrunch dyeing, but not a whole lot.  No fear... I have several other ideas in mind that I plan to try over the coming months.  And in February, I plan to publish them on a blog where I am a Resident Artist... keep a look out!   

Here, I have created a basket weave on a dyed scarf using soy wax, and when my order comes, I plan to use Dy-Na-Flo to overdye the unwaxed area.  I have discovered that multiple dye baths don't work on silk like they do on cotton, so I am playing with fabric paints to see if I can get a good result without leaving the fabric stiff... more on this soon!
As you may have seen in recent posts, I'm also doing a lot of stamping with fabric paints and rubber stamps, and plan to do a lot more of that as soon as the Dy-Na-Flo arrives.  I'm probably going to need to order a lot more of that... poor planning on my part, but I didn't realize that the fabric paints available in today's market are far superior to any I tried 15-20 years ago!  Progress... anyway, I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Stamp experiments

After playing with my French cursive stamp and fabric paint yesterday, I decided to take a trip to Michael's today to see if I could find a few more, plus some other supplies.  There are still good deals to be had out there at Michaels!  They were having a BOGOF sale on stamps, and I scored 4 really nice wood block stamps for a very reasonable price!  Also found a stencil to use on the t-shirt I referred to yesterday, although I'm having some difficulty finding Batik-EZ by Crafter's Pick.  It's supposed to be available at Michael's, but we have a small store, and they didn't have it.  So I got on the e-mail to Michael's and Crafter's Pick to see where I can get it.  Meanwhile, I decided to audition my new stamps, using some of the fabric paints I have on hand:
The picture above shows a Clock face and a fern... I have learned that not all stamps do well with fabric paint... it floods too easily, as the Clock face stamp did.  I think I will also need to get some metallic inks!  But I love the fern, both in metallic as well as regular fabric paints!

Above is the silk scrap from before, with fern and clock face added... love the fern!
Here is the fern and a post card stamp, using regular fabric paint which I smeared onto several layers of paper towel.  I ended up patting the paper towel over the post card stamp to get better coverage.

 Here's a closeup shot of the fern with black fabric paint... not too much!
And a closeup of the fern on silk with gold metallic paint.

The fern with gold metallic paint on the cotton sample I was working on yesterday.

Finally, a closeup of the post card stamp with black fabric paint.  Can't wait to get my Dyna-flo paints next week so I can give them a try!

Friday, November 23, 2012

New things to try!

I'm always looking to expand my skill set... there is just so much to try!  Well, today I found a tutorial on the Jacquard Products website for a Collage Batik on a t-shirt, so I printed it out.  I was looking over the materials list and instructions, and placed a couple of orders for products.  Then I realized I had one item in my stock already that might work... a rubber stamp with cursive writing.  I had never tried using it, and I also had some fabric paints I decided I could use to try it out.  Here are a couple of pictures of my experiments... one on cotton that had been stamped with vegetables and thickened dyes, and one on silk that had been dyed with color hue silk dyes after I did some shibori stitching:

Both of  these were scraps that have been languishing in my stash, so what better way to use them than to try another technique on them?  I really love this stamp, and I now have a better idea of how to apply the paint... I poured some on several layers of paper towels, spread it out a bit, pressed the stamp lightly in the paint, then pre-stamped on another paper towel to remove any excess.  I used the stamp a couple of times before applying more paint... that way I had some sharp images and some faint ones.  Oh, and here's the tutorial for the shirt... I will be trying this as soon as I get the rest of the supplies:
That was my whole reason for testing the stamp... I have been wanting to branch out a little to find new ways to decorate clothing, and this tutorial has introduced me to a new (to me) product: Batik-EZ from Crafter's Pick, which I hope to pick up at Michael's tomorrow!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mountain Campus Holiday Show - Day 1

The bowls were very popular yesterday at the first day of the Mountain Campus Holiday show... I sent several to new homes with happy buyers!

Here's my booth before the show opened... 
Here I am with my friend Cinde, who does gorgeous beaded jewelry.  She and I set up next to each other so we can chat during lulls between customers.  Today should be a good day... weather is supposed to be nice, and Saturday traditionally brings out a lot of shoppers to get started on their Holiday gift buying.  If you're in the Flagstaff area, try to make this show!  There are over 70 vendors with a huge selection of wonderful hand crafted items to choose from!  It's at Northern Arizona University, de Bois center from 9am-4pm.  I'm at booth 35, so if you attend I hope you'll stop and say 'hi'! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Last show of the year!

I can't believe the last show of the year for me is this coming Friday and Saturday!  I have feverishly been cranking out coiled fiber bowls, have a large stash of hand dyed scarves as well as knit scarves, tie-dye and batik shirts,  Kindle Covers and hand dyed fabrics that will be available.  I will be at booth 35 if anyone plans to attend... hope to see you there!  Next week starts the big cleanup... time to catch up with chores that have been shoved to the back burner for so long!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sign of a REAL dyer!

You have to read this!  Carol Eaton just proved she is a REAL dyer... you'll see what I mean when you read her post... amazing!  As I commented on the post, "when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade"!
You go, girl!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Holiday Marketplace

Yesterday was the annual Artists' Coalition Holiday Marketplace show, and we had a great turnout!  Starting at 10am, we had a steady stream of shoppers, and it only started to slow down around 2:30... my friend Cinde and I set up next to each other, and we both had great sales, along with a number of the other 25 artists/crafters I spoke to... woo-hoo!  Here are a couple of shots I got...
Shot of my booth space

My fabric bowls sold well, as did my note cards

Some hand dyed fabric by my friend Wendy

Cinde and her awesome peote stitch beaded jewelry

Thanks to all who came by yesterday, especially those lovely folk who went home with some of our handmade items!