20 March 2015

What I did yesterday

I have been making things for my new online store, Necessities or Not, and one of the most popular items are bags I made from a failed quilt.

I have now used up the entire quilt and thought to myself, "Why not make another quilt like the failed one?" Great idea self. So I started out yesterday dyeing a piece of cotton 45" square purple. It seemed very dark but ended up not as dark as I wanted it but what the heck, this is supposed to be a failure. 

I made the phases of the moon just like the other quilt then sandwiched it up with warm and natural (a bad idea) and put on a white backing. I pinned it and started free motioning  leaves and had the entire quilt made by dinner time. I actually can't believe I did it all in a day!

18 March 2015

This summer at the Art Greenhouse

I now have all the workshops schedules for 2015 at the Art Greenhouse in Searsport, Maine. Some of last years workshops are gone but in their place are book making, adding art to your journal as well as a revamped mark making workshop.

Please stop by and check out the workshops. You can contact me by using the contact form at the bottom of the page. Any of these workshops can travel to your location on the days you would like them presented.

I do have lodging available at the Art Greenhouse for a modest amount. The new apartment sleeps five with room for one more. So plan a visit the the Great State of Maine and a workshop on the coast. I'll even tell you where to get the best lobsters.

16 March 2015

A few odds and ends

I am always surprised where some of my most beautiful fabric comes from. I have 2 huge "table covers" 45" wide cotton by 8' that I used in the past to cover my table. I am making a new piece in my timeline series out of one of those covers.

This last couple of play dates with Judith, I decided to put another white cotton cover on the print table. The table is always covered with a flannel sheets which is quite beautiful now so I thought, why waste all that color. Am I right?

When we were done, this is what the white cover looked like. That was after 2 days.

I let it dry on the table then threw it in the washer and dryer without washing it out in the sink first. Judith discovered that if you let it dry completely, you can do a cold wash followed by a hot wash without pre-washing the now dry dye out of he fabric. Being the Queen of Lazy, I embraced her discovery.

Just before I put it back on the table for "next time".

Oh, and this is a paint brush holder I made for Judith. I am making a lot of them for my retail site which isn't open yet but these long bags are great for paint brushes, knitting needles, pencils, rulers and are just plain cool.

12 March 2015

While Judith was here

I didn't take as many "wet" pictures as I thought I should but you know me; when I'm in a zone I don't stop for pictures. This first piece was one where I had drawn the black lines and washed it out before the lines dried. I also did a piece with drawn lines on pre-treated fabric and let it dry. I used the small silk screen to "color" these ovals and the other ones I did on dry cloth. On this purple one, I had to spray with soda ash water.

These are the soy wax batiks I set up yesterday

I initially laid them on my dining room table on opened bin bags but then thought about hanging them to dry. During the batching period (on the table) most of the fabrics "set up" and weren't so drippy. Although I applied the thickened dye with a credit card, on a few I had to spray with soda ash water making them kind of wet and gooey.

On the green one below, you can see how a line of dye has gathered at the bottom of the O. After wash out, it almost looked like a wax halo.

Famous clean up rag - a former failed "pink" snow dye

OK, so why did I decide to dry these batiks? The only way to remove the soy wax is either boiling water with Ivory dish washing liquid or to iron the wax out between sheets of newspaper. I couldn't iron wet fabric and I was afraid of losing too much dye with the boiling water technique so I hung them on this rack to dry. I put a sheet of waxed paper on the wood bar to keep the dye from bleeding and absorbing into the wood.

Tomorrow the ironed washed and dried results

11 March 2015


Judith is coming tomorrow so I thought I'd get a few preliminaries done before she arrives. This is what I did.

First off I found this GREAT hard paper tube in my friends recycle bin. She is obviously not a surface designer!

Then this is the clean-up rag I used the day after Judith's last visit when I continued to play 

These are the fabrics I am starting with today.

I got this from a dream (again). I made this black and white fabric last Sunday. I let the lines of dye dry but didn't wash it out. Now I will use this cardboard silk screen which is tiny with a tape resist to add color inside the ovals tomorrow.

All of these are waxed for batik

My "dot" maker

10 March 2015

Exciting News

I was asked to join an online art gallery called Galleribba. You can find the artists by scrolling down the homepage. I was thrilled to see I was joining a few people I know and many I admire.

There is a Galleribba logo to the right so you can find it easily. I am so thrilled to be part of this group. I hope you have a chance to check it out.

09 March 2015

More results

Instead of being smart like Judith and letting my squirted dye dry completely, I thought I knew best (a life long character defect) and tried to quickly wash it out in ice water. When Judith came back she said it didn't look that bad. It looked like I had drawn the lines on a grey mottled piece of cloth. I redid this design and it is DRY and sitting on my dining room table waiting for Judith to come back in two days for more thickened dye fun.

This is that snow dyed piece that really didn't take the dye well. I still think it might be a blend. It was given to me by the woman who had the indigo dye party.

 I am plotting planning our next play day and thinking about what I learned about working in a series, or at least where a piece can lead you, from Terry Garrard Dimond. So stay tuned and see where I am going,