Another day of dyeing? You bet!

Got a teal/bright green 'stripe' by dyeing in a braid!

I want to just felt this and make a landscape!

And here is the latest update on the Orchard piece I am working on-
Got the French knots on, but it needs a little fine tuning on the sky and then the wooly stick hanger, then it is done.  And then there are these pieces...

Sugar Free


L'il Lake

I AM: Light

I AM: Breath

About 1/2 of the wooly coasters are done...
There is nothing like the prospect of a potentially good Farmer's Market this weekend to light the fire of completion and production under this artist!


Will Wooly Wonders never cease?

Orchard in Spring is still needing a million pink and white French knots for blossoms...
Front view of woven and needle-felted wooly bag.
I had a LOT of fun with the strap. Meet Dreadlock Aspen, Tree Spirit.
Bag back and more of the strap.


Red Onion Skins & pennies...

This is what I got from red onion skins, copper pennies, vinegar, cream of tartar & alum 'dye soup' on wool. At the end of the simmering time I tossed in some soda ash and that bubbled and fizzed super impressively!  When the chemical reactions ceased and cooled I had to rinse the wool 5 soaking times! Lots of dye in there, so I tossed in a couple PFD chunks of cotton and they are going through the washer/dryer as I type. If the color sticks, it is a fantastic yellow! Will post the results later.
Now to start the bagging and braiding!


Any guesses what I'm doing today?

I went on a wool-dyeing rampage this morning while the DH was off to a morning of golf. Used food dye and vinegar on most of it, but did do one batch of Kool Aid*, the pinky red at the left side of the photo.
This view shows my Adirondack chairs that also reflect my love of COLOR! I can hardly wait until the wool is dry and I can start bagging and braiding it up. I am working on a separate artist website which will have my art, hand-dyed wools and fabrics for sale. I plan to resume participating in the Farmer's Markets of the area and will be in Omak's Art in the Park next month. I am also going to be a vendor at the quilt guild in Wenatchee in September. Look out! I am on a roll! :?}

As soon as my batch of red onion skins and copper pennies is through simmering on the stove, I will get it out to dry and post a pic later today. Tah-tah!


Leaves 101 Tutorial

Hoop up some woven water soluble stabilizer, lower the feed dogs, put your darning/hopping/embroidery foot on for free motion embroidering, choose your thread color and let's make leaves!
This shows Steps 1-4. Below is a close up of Step 1. You start by making a nice sturdy stem, sew out the leaf shape of your choice, and run a vein from stem to tip top.

Step 2: Start sewing from tip top in 'tear drop' loops, from larger, smaller, smallest.
See 2 below.
Step 3. Start at stem or tip top and 'snake' back and forth down the length of the leaf.
           You now have a good strong base to sew your leaf so the threads will all hang       
together when you wash away the stabilizer.
Step 4. Final step is to 'fill in' your leaf. I usually start at the bottom, at an angle, and work my way to the tip top, going right on down the other side. I love variegated thread, it does most of the work for you! But I do make solid color leaves at times, and when I do, I will choose a darker contrasting thread to ziggy zag the outside of the leaf and the stem and run up and down the center vein a couple times.
Once the leaves are completed I rinse out most, but not all, of the stabilizer in warm water. By leaving a smidgeon of the stabilizer in the leaf, it acts like a bendable stiffener when the leaf is dry, making it somewhat poseable.
Have fun with your leaves!

Entire box of chocolates made the ultimate sacrifice...

I ate and ate-then made a quilt!
'Midnight in the Garden of Ferraro Rocher'

I got hangers made and attached-Tadah!

Turn of events...Intriguing

Well, well...life continues to be intriguing. I had not shared publicly yet on this blog, because I am guest blogging on Quilting Gallery and Michele will publish my next (and last) guest blog sometime in May, that our dream year in Scotland is not happening. Our Visas were denied. That is 'intriguing' #1.
Intriguing #2? Two weeks ago my DH and I spent 3 hours in the emergency room while they tried to figure out why he was feeling the way he was. Best guess, 90% sure, was a mini-stroke/TIA. He was put on a strong blood thinner, which makes him have headaches. We are waiting for a scheduled appointment to scan his carotid arteries. Then an MRI...
So, intriguing #3 is DH's retirement date has suddenly been moved to 'effective immediately'. Things feel a little shaky, a bit uncertain, though we know life is life and we will adjust and be fine. He still wants me to pursue my art and business. He is so supportive in that way!
Intriguing #4 is the need for the house to sell NOW so we may move closer to family and medical services and into housing we can afford. 
So, since I don't get to sit in a Gilda Baron class in Missenden Abbey, or a Jill Kennedy class, or Angie Hughes or Myfanwy Hart...I bought their DVDs from Colouricious and will play from there.
Onward and upward!


Vincent's Starry

Now that I have photo to critique with, I see where I still need to needle a bit more...but many, many thanks to Mr. van Gogh. His art was made for wool!

Try anything once, or twice!

Apple, alder, onion, rusty tin, toadstools, dandelion, espresso, rose hips...
There must be 'something in the air' because I can't seem to stop dyeing. A couple days ago DH and I went up into the woods and hiked through the wilderness looking for things to dye with. I love playing with vegetative dyes, it is always a surprise when you are through. Some give fantastic colors, some blah, but you can always re-do the blahs until you get 'ahhs'!
I read another book on dyeing, loaned to me by a friend. I am finding you cannot read too much regarding dyeing, dyers, and each individual's discoveries. The gem I got from this last read was the addition of soda ash toward the end of the dye process. I had boiled down a mass of dandelions, placed wool in some of the broth, pre-soaked in alum and cream of tartar. I also did a jar with soda ash pre-soaked cotton. This morning when I un-jarred them the results were pretty much a blah tan. Since that meant trying something else on them anyway I poured some soda ash solution on both and TADAH! They yellow-greened right up. I am letting them soak a bit more, then out to dry and finish processing!
I also received my ProcionMX order yesterday. Now that I have read this last book with its different twist to dyeing, I pretty much know what I will be doing the rest of this week! I will post the pix as I get the final results. I learned long ago not to get all excited over some color apparently achieved, because it doesn't count until it has gone through the washer and dryer. I sell my fabrics/fibers to the public and the product has to pass muster. Time to go play. Have a great day!


Art and Rescue

Besides art, sometimes I have to step outside and rescue the latest kamikaze bird. We feed the little darlings, everything from teensy caliope hummingbirds to chunky Stellar's Jays and Gray Jays. Unfortunately, all those well feed birds have attracted the attention of a sharp shinned hawk. When he swoops in for the kill the dozens of birds scatter like buckshot, often crashing into our huge picture windows. Sometimes there are fatalities, but often my husband or I go out and scoop up the latest stunned one and hold them until the hawk is gone and they can re-orient themselves. Yesterday this little swallow was my gift for the day. They are so iridescent and beautiful. It was such a privilege to hold on to it until it could grasp the limb. And, yes, it did finally fly away, 'all better'. :?}

If Vincent Van Gogh had worked in wool, this is what it might have looked like...

And you thought I had dyed all that wool just for fun. Well, yes, but I did have plans to use it, and it turns out it is another addiction, or, as a very nice reader titled it, 'a series'. Lindy is working in a series (because she is addicted to working with wool at the moment!)

It has been a good day!


Good day to all!
I was happy to see that Blogger offered a translation gadget for the blogs. I think it is only polite for people around the world to be able to read in the language they know! Thanks brilliant blogger.com persons!


"What if?"

I am in the process of playing "What if?" When I first came across the simple instructions for thread flowers, I hadn't yet found the instructions for thread leaves. When I did, I thought, "What if I put them together?" 
At first I only had a single layer/flower head. Then I thought, "What if I put on another, and then perhaps a third, as center?"
When I decided to use clothesline cording for the stems I bought what  found. Later I discovered that the cording comes in at least two sizes! Eureka! Great for big flowers and little flowers!
I originally used fabric to wrap the stems, but Sunny Days (below) seemed to call for a little more bling...so, I used satin ribbon.
This week I thought, what if I add beads? Just what sun flowers needed!
Who knows what my next 'what if' will be...but that is how we learn and grow. Try 'what if-fing' your current obsession and see where it leads you!
Sunny Days