Tuesday, July 2, 2024

July already!

 I think I've definitely lost track of time!  Can't believe I haven't posted since April!  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know I'm not just laying around eating bon-bons, lol!  But here's a little recap for those who still follow me here:

This has become one of my favorite patterns for tie-dyeing shirts, and now cover up dresses... always comes out interesting, and frequently contains surprises!

I dyed some rope to make a Spring rainbow bowl

Decided to try some black rope and boy does it make this fabric pop!

Tried Jute rope, and it has become a favorite!

This fabric definitely needed white rope - now I'm ready to find more fabrics with white in the

On the home front, I finally arranged to have our deck repaired and renovated - it was over 20 years old, and we neglected it.  Needed some boards replaced, and the couple who did the work did a fabulous  job!  Here is a photo of the end result:

As for the weather, we are already in Monsoon season here!  It usually doesn't really get started until mid July, but it came early and it looks like that "mild, dry summer" predicted was way off base!  I'm glad, because the monsoons cool the temps, and we started hitting 80's in late May, and have already had temps in the 90's a couple of days!

On a totally different front, look who is in our yard this year!  We actually have a pair, and we think there are babies somewhere, just haven't spotted them yet!

And on that note, I hope you're having a great summer!  More to come, hopefully before the end of the season, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Spring is finally here!

 Good grief!  I can't believe I haven't posted since February!  Winter has just dragged on and on, but FINALLY Spring has sprung and the birdies are singing... in fact, we even have a pair of Road Runners who are nesting and I can't wait to see the babies!

In spite of the cold weather, I got back into dyeing and here are a few items I've done recently:

A rayon jersey jacket done in the "Geode" pattern

A "Cosmic Egg" roll - I really love how these come out!

A "Spider" pattern, even though I don't think it looks like a spider - still love the pattern!

And I got back to making some bowls, especially after my annual trip with my friend Joyce
to the valley to thaw out, hit fabric stores and just enjoy the day!

I saw this fabric at our last stop and just couldn't resist!  The colors and adorable critters just had to come home with me, and I had a lot of fun making this!

I found a few batik fabrics in blues that I really liked - this is one of them.  I have another one in the works... hope to pick up some sea shells at our local craft store to use as an embellishment.

Other than that, I'm still enjoying almost daily exercises - been over 3 months since I got back into exercising and I'm feeling a lot younger than my years, yaay!  And it's time for me to exercise, so I'll get this posted and hope to do a little better at keeping you updated on my adventures in the future!

Stay tuned... 😉

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Almost Spring!

 Wow, this month has flown by!  But then, it is a short month, even though it's a leap year!  

Since last month, I spent time playing with watercolors and marking pens, just for fun!  Here are a few of my results:

With each of these, after I slathered water colors onto paper, I thought "how ugly"!  But after they dried, I started creating the lines with fine point Micron pens, and not only was I pleased with the outcome, but I really enjoyed the time just focusing on where to put the lines!  No, I won't be making these to sell, but they are great for "play time", when I just want to relax and unwind.

I also got back to ice dyeing again, and here are a few of the items I've done since my last post:

This is a rayon jersey jacket dyed in Teal and black.  The first one I did sold the day I put it on the rack at Arts Connection, so I got busy and did 2 more.  I have several more that aren't dyed yet, but I'm hoping to come up with some spring colors on them, since Spring is just around the corner!

Today, I washed out my first attempt at a "Cosmic Egg" pattern on a shirt:

I have a way to go before I can do one as well as the example I was working from, but I'm excited to be learning a very unique pattern!  Notice that the front pattern is very different than the back! The shirt is turned inside out, with one sleeve inside the other, then it is tightly rolled from side to side.  I use sinew to tightly tie the rows, letting the shirt roll back over itself, and I continue tying to create some of the patterns.  The front reflects the sinew rows, but the back is a much looser pattern.  I didn't notice until I took the photos that there is an "alien" on the back near the neckline, ooh!  For sure, I'm going to be working hard to get better at this pattern, it's the first time in a long time I wanted to learn something as ornate as this.  Stay tuned!

Oh, and to kick off this year's bowls, I made these to celebrate sunshine and flowers:

Okay, that's what I've been up to on the creative front.  What else have I been doing?

EXERCISING!!  It's been 2 years since I stopped going to the gym for an exercise class, twice a week.  I just got tired of having to drive to town, and I already go to town at least 3 days a week on a regular basis.  Well, in December I fell and hurt my back, so for 3 weeks I pretty much nursed my back.  Then I thought:  if I exercise, I'll strengthen my muscles, and almost simultaneously, I found yes2next, which is a gal and her mom who have made a bunch of exercise videos and uploaded to youtube!  I also joined their group on Facebook for support - the exercises are designed for beginners and seniors, but can be modified to do more or less.  I started January 13, and have exercised almost daily (except on days when I had to shovel snow), and my back is healed!  I may be old, but I'm stubborn!  I did a 50 minute workout this morning, and it was wonderful!  Not bad for an old fart, lol!

Okay that's it for now - looking forward to Spring and longer days, so I can dye and make bowls and who knows what else?  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

January 2024

 Happy New Year!  If you're wondering what I've been up to this past month, here's my story!

First off, most years I wind down the end of the year through the beginning of the next with a creative respite - my creativity takes a hiatus, and I'm left with no energy or inspiration for awhile!  It's kind of like hibernating... the holiday rush is over, and January and February are typically slow season at the gallery.  So I give myself permission to rest and at some point I start to "dither and putter" around the studio.

Well, this year, I had another little thing to deal with - I fell the day after Christmas and hurt my back!  I won't go into the details - suffice it to say, I have been kind of in "healing" mode for the past few weeks... some days I don't feel like doing anything, others I venture into the studio and putter some.  

This year, I decided to play around a little with water colors, and started following some artists on various social media platforms.  Here's an exercise I did one day following some videos by bb henry art:

This was fun - I used some paints, torn paper, pencil and marking pens with no end purpose other than to relax and enjoy the process.

Then I did another little project using scraps of things to create a collage:

I have amassed a large amount of paper and fiber scraps over the years, and the drawer where I keep them is overflowing!  I could do a hundred more of these and never put a dent in the supplies I have!

I recently bought some more watercolors and paper, and decided to start playing with them to get used to how to load my brush and create shapes.  Here's one small panel I did yesterday - just the right size for a notecard:

This was inspired by the work of ana falceta, who I follow on Instagram.  She uses watercolor paints, marking pens, other paints and usually adds stitching to her pieces, which really inspired me to try this!  I plan to try more of these and see if I can up my game over time.  I have no real desire to paint realism, just color, shape and form, but I love the mark making that to me adds such visual interest!  

Yes, I will be back dyeing and making bowls before too long, but I love being able to add to my  repertoire of skills and interests!  Stay tuned for further developments, lol!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Almost Winter!

 I looked at the calendar this morning and realized we're 2 short weeks away from Winter!  This year has just flown by for me... so many projects, cranking out the dyes and bowls, selling my socks off!  And we still have a few weeks left of 2023... looking forward to maybe having a little "down time" to rest and recouperate!

Two things of note:  After almost 3 years, my friend Cinde and I have decided to pull out of Sedona Artist Market.  Cinde has done very well there this past year, me not so much.  But having to schedule one day each month to head down, restock and tidy our booths, has become a little more than we want to commit to.  We are leaving on good terms, and may at some time decide to return, but for now, it's a relief to know we don't have to make the trip down unless it's for a hike on our favorite trail, or because we just feel like it!

The other thing that has happened this year is that I've added a few new items to my inventory!  Late last year I started offering zip up hoodies, but didn't really know the best way to dye them, but this year I've become a little more adept at tying the "Geode" pattern, which for me is a diagonal stripe rather than the more irregular circular version many dyers create.  

And I just added Rayon/spandex open front cardigans to my inventory, as shown in the above photo on the right.  They dye up beautifully!  And the one in the photo got snatched up by one of my fellow artists the day I put it on display!  Got another one I'm getting ready to dye for Cinde as soon as I take delivery of one of the dye colors needed.  And of course, there are the aprons - what can I say?

I wasn't sure how these would dye, let alone if anyone would buy them, but they've turned out to be one of my best sellers for the year!

Oh, and one more item I added that I think I posted about last month:  my "Peeper Keepers".  Not great sales yet, but I get the feeling they will grow on people in time!

So with just a few weeks left of the year, (Holiday shopping time!  I'm going to be jamming
at Arts Connection!) I want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday and hope the coming year
will be your best yet! 

Sunday, November 5, 2023

November already!

 Wow, time flies!  I totally missed posting in October, mainly 'cause I was busy beefing up my inventory for the two galleries!  I've had fabulous sales the past 5 months, and we're heading into Holiday shopping season already!  And just in time, I'm working on a couple of new items - here's a rope Christmas tree I just finished:

This started out with a styrofoam tree form.  I wrapped strips of Christmas fabric around rope, like I do for my rope bowls, then glued it to the form.  Once the glue dried, I wrapped the string of red beads around in the "ditch" between rows of rope.  The base of the tree is a large cork I glued to the bottom, and for the top, I glued a length of bamboo skewer to the wood snowflake, and inserted the point of the skewer into a hole I produced beforehand.  The other project is using a similar method to create a "candle" by gluing the wrapped rope around a foam cylinder, gluing to a base, and leaving a spot on top where I insert a battery operated tea light.  Here's the first one:

I hope to have more of these 2 items made soon.

Here are some "Peeper Keepers" I made, just the right size for storing your eye glasses when you're not wearing them!  Or maybe a good "catch all" to put by the front door for your keys, change, cell phone, etc.  They're about 7 3/4" by 4 1/2".  They were so fun to make, I just kept making them, lol!

Meanwhile, on the dye front, here are a few items I finished recently:

I'm trying to build up my long sleeve shirt collection for cold weather - this one was dyed with just one dye color - Pewter -  but since I'm still ice dyeing, the dyes split while the ice melts and dissolves the dye powder.  I really like this color and had to order more!

I also dyed a long sleeve, asymmetric top with some rich fall colors:

As soon as my ice cube stash is replenished, I will be trying out some new colors along with some of my tried and true favorites, so stay tuned!  More to come...

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Autumn has arrived!

 It's been awhile!  After our annual Open Studios Tour which was a great success for me (thank you to all who stopped in and shopped!) I was busy filling orders I received at the event, then began working to build up my inventory for holiday shopping, which has already begun!

Here are a few things I've completed recently:

And in addition to working to build up my inventory, I'm also experimenting (constantly!) with new (for me) dye colors and patterns!  Here's a shirt I finished yesterday - fun dyes from Happy Cat Dyes called Strawberry Skies and Dragons Egg, and the shirt was placed over whiffle balls in a colander, with ice on top, and the dyes sprinkled over the ice:

This is the shirt, batching over whiffle balls in a colander!

The end result - soft, feathery shapes and a myriad of colors, but very muted in this one.  I hope to improve my ratio of dyes to ice a little so I get more vivid colors, but it's a case of try, analyze the results, and adjust!  

So now we're into Autumn, and the temperatures are cooler, the days shorter and the leaves are beginning to change colors.  Me, I'm busy looking into ways to keep my ice dyeing warm enough for the ice to melt and the colors to blossom!  Time to look into a heating lamp, so I can keep going!

Stay tuned, and I hope to have even more fun things to share soon!