Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Time to play!

It has been my custom over the last several years to reserve some time between the end of one craft show season and the beginning of the next, to experiment and play with new techniques, try out ideas for new products, and just let the creative ideas flow.  This year will be no different, and I have already begun to play with some ideas that have been fermenting in the back of my mind for some time: thread bowls!  What on earth is that, you ask?  Well, here are a few I have finished:

These bowls are more delicate than my coiled fabric bowls, but I love how they look!  And I love that I can use thread scraps as well as Angelina fibers and other fiber scraps... lots of possibilities here!  I learned the basics from a tutorial I found online, written by Wendy Hill.  I later ordered her book 

"Fast, Fun & Easy Incredible Thread-A-Bowls: 2 Techniques-5 Projects-Unlimited Possibilities", which describes the process and suggests several projects.  

I have also been working on creating some tree ornaments for the Arts Connection Gallery Holiday Tree:

 The birds above are fabric fused on timtex, a double-sided fusible heavy interfacing; the edge is a dense zigzag stitch.

The cactus are fabric stitched to a batting.  #1 has a soft green covered with a lacy overcoat embellished with sequins; #2 is the soft green fabric, with beaded "light strings" hand stitched on both sides; #3 is the green fabric, overlaid with Angelina Fiber.  I'm not big on making seasonal items, but decided to do what I could to add to the holiday decor.
I also took a brief foray into making a couple of bowls from heat-moldable double sided fusible interfacing - geez, that's a mouthful, isn't it?  Anyway, I've seen some examples in quilt stores of items made with this product, and decided to give it a try.  The jury is still out on the product... it's a pretty arduous task to use it, so I'll try again over time.  Here are my first results:

These don't photograph well as bowls, and in truth, they are fairly shallow.  I think I will do some research to find what others have done with this product before I try any other projects with it.
Well, that's my story!  I will post further over the next couple of months as I dabble in this and that... meanwhile, happy Election Day!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ramping up for October shows

Since Flagstaff Open Studios tour in late August, I have been working hard to add to my inventory for the 2 shows coming up later this month: Holiday Artists' Marketplace coming October 22, and Autum Leaves and Holly, October 28 & 29.  See Show Dates for more details.  here are some of the items I have been working on:
Covered Journals

Inside of a covered journal

Covered notepads

Inside of a covered notepad

Coiled fabric bowls - green series
I have plenty of my tie-dye shirts and jackets, currently on sale at the Arts Connection gallery at the Flagstaff Mall, and lots of my dyed silk and rayon scarves, so there will be plenty of selection at the shows, and ongoing at the gallery after the October shows.  Great opportunities for early gift shopping, or just to splurge and treat yourself!
Back to the studio I go... you never know what will emerge next!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Open Studios Tour and Gallery news

Last weekend was the 19th Annual Flagstaff Open Studios Tour... my 8th year of being a participating artist.  We had 6 artists at our location, and a record number of folks stopped by to browse, buy, and talk with the artists!

The tour is over for another year, but the Arts Connection Gallery in the mall is still going strong, and I added my rack of shirts and jackets along with scarves and bowls to the items available there:

On my schedule of things to do this month: make sure I have enough inventory for my final 2 shows of the year AND the gallery!  Back to the salt mines... ;-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A brief side trip

I got sidetracked a little this past week from my regular routine of dyeing shirts, making coiled bowls, etc.  My blogger buddy Lynda Heines posted a tutorial about how to make cloth dolls, and I decided to try her method which was a little different than one I had made last year.  Here is my doll:

I like how this came out, but decided to do a little on-line search for other types of Spirit Doll, and found another tutorial by Joanna Powell Colbert which is quite different, and it intrigued me.  So several days were devoted to gathering twigs, culling through my stash of fabric, yarns, etc.  Here are the 4 I made from her tutorial:
I finally had to pack everything up yesterday and hit the reset button in order to get back on track, but I don't think these will be the only ones that come of my new obsession!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

July in review

July just flew by in a flurry of dyes, fabric and wax!  Continuing to experiment with ice dyeing, I decided to try swirls to see how they would come out.  Here are a few examples:
Brazil Nut

Sage Green

Sage Green
I'm working to build up my stock in colors that guys as well as gals would like, thus the softer more subtle look.

As promised in my last post, I have begun to build up my stock of Autumn Leaves shirts, as well as adding the pattern and colors to my Waterfall Jacket collection:
Autumn Leaves Batik with Brazil nut background

Autumn Leaves batik with Moss Green background

I plan to have a large selection of these ready for our 19th Annual Flagstaff Open Studios tour August 27 & 28

Our Prelude Exhibit Opening Reception was held at the Artists' Coalition Gallery again this year, and we had a great turn-out!
With my friend Cinde at the Opening Reception

Full house at the Opening Reception

My Vase with Flowers sold that night!

So here we are in August, and I am working to prepare for Open Studios, followed immediately by a return of my booth to the Gallery in September, then Autumn Leaves and Holly show at the end of October.  Never a dull moment, but I'm having a wonderful time!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

More Ice Dyeing, a Vase of Flowers and Autumn Leaves

Continuing my ice dyeing experiments, I have tried several more colors which netted mostly good or great results:
Lavender Avocado Mandala

Brazil Nut stripe

Mermaid's Dream stripe

Lapis Diagonal Stripe

Plum Soft Orange Diagonal Stripe
I am now a firm convert to Ice Dyeing, thanks to Lynda Heines' class, and will be doing more as time permits.
Meanwhile, I have been working on a piece to show in this year's Prelude Exhibit at the Artists' Coalition Gallery.  I call it Vase of Flowers:
This started out to be just the vase, but when I finished it, I decided it needed something else.  I looked at dried floral arrangements, but didn't think they would be what I wanted.  Then I came across some instructions on how to make fabric flowers using floral wire as the base, and set about to make some.  This took a little while, since I had other things I was working on and each petal had to be glued to the wire and left to dry.  I finally finished enough, and decided it was ready to go.  This will be on display in the gallery for the month of August.
And in preparation for the Open Studios Tour, I now need to start cranking out my Autumn Leaves batik shirts, which are always a popular item for the show.  Shown below is one from a previous year:
I think I am going to experiment with Brazil nut mixed, for a background color.  Then it will be time to fire up the wax pot and start dyeing!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ice Dyeing, and more!

My friend Lynda Heines is offering a great on-line class in ice-dyeing, and I decided to treat myself to it!  I have tried ice dyeing a number of times in the past, but never liked the results.  Lynda's excellent class has made all the difference!  Here is a link to her class... if you've ever wanted to try this great technique, this is a wonderful opportunity!  Here are a few examples of the results I have achieved using her instructions:

I will be doing a lot more dyeing using her instructions, and will post pix here soon!
Meanwhile, I got an order from one of my long time customers to dye some "Mommy & Me" outfits for her daughter and grand daughter - here are a couple:

These were a little challenging because I was using black dye, but she wanted black, white and gray. I did a few tests on shirts before I got to this point, and glad I did... these came out better than I thought they would!
On a non-dyeing note, I have been nurturing some seedlings - tomatoes, basil, chives and snap dragons to start.  

Started transplanting into larger containers a week or so ago, and they are doing well.  Spring is finally starting to warm up here, so I hope to be able to move them out to the deck soon.  Meanwhile, I'm working on enhancing some bird areas in the yard... added a couple of hummingbird feeders, added 2 watering dishes, upgraded my bird seed feeders... love to watch 'em!  And my Irises are budding up, so I should have pictures to share soon.  Happy Spring, and get ready for Summer! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I've been busy this month with a variety of activities... first craft show of the 2016 season, a shopping trip in Phoenix to a great fabric store, and a new on-line store, to name a few!
First, my new store - it's on Scott's Marketplace, and there is a convenient link on the right side of the page... I am moving some items over from my artfire store to give them new exposure, and have also added a few items that I have not listed on-line before.  The nice thing about Scott's Marketplace is you can choose to shop local by selecting the state you want to shop in!
I have built up my stock of tie-dye jackets, and just finished a couple with the rainbow spectrum:

This and the others will be back in the Artists' Coalition gallery next week, when the Recycled Art Exhibit comes down and the Co-Op goes back in.  I also have some new bowls and pots going in, so if you are in the Flagstaff area, be sure to stop by - the gallery is in the Mall, close to J.C. Penney's.
Here is one of the bowls I recently finished:

And, of course my scarf collection will be available as well.  Here are a couple of the more recent ones:
 These were dyed with Jacquard Acid Dyes, and the colors are really vibrant!

Coming soon, I will be participating in the Flagstaff Symphony Prelude, a shopping extravaganza sponsored by the Flagstaff Symphony Guild.  The event is Sunday, June 5, at Forest Highlands and it is a fundraiser for the Symphony Orchestra.  I'm excited to be a participant in this event, and hope to see many of my Flagstaff  friends there!
Time to get back to the studio...