27 February 2018

It started as a book cover

I used these scraps from a project to cover a book I use frequently. Every time I had it on my lap I end up petting the fabric. I love linen.

I took the book cover apart and added the deconstructed cotton. I thought I was done with this horizon, framed it, hung it on the wall, then took it  down, unframed it, put the frame away and set the piece aside for more work.

More to come here.

23 February 2018

A gift from a friend

When I went to IKEA, I met a friend who has been at every single one of my workshops. She lives near the IKEA which is four hours, 240 mile each way for me. We had breakfast and she gave me a gift card as a thank you along with 2 packages of Artist Trading Cards. She will also be at the NEW MidSummer Maine Event which is all about inviting the Muse to play, boosting creativity, and working out these concepts on paper THEN fabric.

This packet contains many kinds of Strathmore Artist Papers.

Oil pastel on watercolor paper with watercolors painted on below.

 I am trying various mediums on them and these are the first few I tried.

Unfortunately this was my interpretation  of an Alpaca

An automatic pencil, bamboo pen and conventional ink pen along with a sketch of a Raven's skull.

20 February 2018

Valentines Day Cards

My partner and I have friends in Milwaukee who always send us a Valentines Day card. Each year I "promise" myself to reciprocate next year. Well, after 12 Valentines Day's I am finally keeping my promise to myself. After all isn't love the most important thing we can give our friends, neighbors and the world?

I tried to think of what love was exactly and then I came upon this Helen Keller quote which kind of said it all.

I used my Winter Solstice Card format which I had saved to word and used "card" and printed 4 on each sheet. Then I laid them face down on my work table and stamped on hugs and kisses.

I used alphabet stamps in X's and O's in two different fonts and rollered out paint on my gelli to act as a stamp pad.

I cut a heart out of compressed sponge by cutting out a paper heart, tracing the outline on the sponge, then carefully cutting it out.

You can see my gelli "stamp pad".

Cut with my paper cutter and Voila!

16 February 2018

The "Over-the-Top" Valentine Heart

A few years ago I made two of these. Now that I have a sister, I have to make her an over the top bejeweled Valentine heart

Getting ready

Madeira Lana (50% wool thread)

Bead city

Top of heart

I never said I could embroider

However, I can bead!

The back of the heart was attached and the heart stuff (with love)!!

13 February 2018


From a major dyeing blunder

to am almost empty pallate

The promised 10 inches of powdery snow fell last night which made today "Snow Dye Day". Let's get on with the fun. I was a little  apprehensive about trying this again but I had made a strong concentrate of "grape", a new green with lemon yellow and navy and I had a nice bottle of turquoise. 

I made up a gallon of warm soda ash solution and soaked this shirt in it for about 45 minutes because I was busy mixing dyes and I figured extra time in the soda ash wouldn't hurt.

I also had these four skeins of #3 pearl cotton that had been getting in my way for a long time so I decided to dye them too.

A bucket of fresh Maine snow and a wrung out shirt full of promise.

 I always try to get it opened up completely with as few actual folds as possible then I "gather" it into the center leaving hills and valleys instead of fabric folded onto itself. I hope you get what I mean.

Covered completely with snow.

When I applied the dye, I started with the grape and scribbled it on followed by green and turquoise in the blank centers of the scribbles. I finally applied a back and forth line of plain blue making sure I got the turquoise and green all the way to the edges.

These top two are turquoise and green and purple and green with the bottom two purple and blue and green and blue. I like those combinations.

Going, going

Gone.......and I see some yummy colors that I love

This is what I was talking about. The green split out a bit into some small patches of yellow but I am very happy with this.

Front and back

The skeins on the net lingerie bag they were washed and dried in.


09 February 2018

Top with color removed

Today it is in the 40's so I am taking advantage of the great temps to boil my Thiox on my deck. What a stinky mess. I had to wear my big respirator. Just holding my breath didn't work (cough, cough).

I weighed the fabric and it was under one pound. I put my lobster pot ( for art ) on my hot plate with 1.5 gallons of water and then added the Thiox, synthopol and soda ash. It foamed. As soon as the fabric touched the liquid, the color went.

This is immediately after adding the fabric to the pot. Remember how red it was?

Below is the fabric after an hour of boiling. 

As soon as the fabric touches air, the exposed areas turn blue. 

Below is the fabric drained (in my backyard) then rinsed in water. It is now in the washing machine.

If you ever want to use Thiox even outside get a respirator - a serious respirator.

The shirt washed and dried photographed with a flash

and in indirect light

Not a drop of fuchsia in sight. Next snow storm, I am mixing FRESH GRAPE dye along with green and turquoise.

Tomorrow we are expecting 10 inches so stay tuned!!

06 February 2018

I'm ready

I have finally recovered from my HUGE disappointment over my artist shirt. To day I went to Google for help. I typed "using thiox to remover color from fabric". This is what I got:

 THIOX can be used to remove the color from most cotton, rayon, linen, wool, silk and blends which have been dyed with fiber reactive dyes (Procion) or direct dyes. Not all colors will come out 100%, but they can all be lightened enough for overdyeing. It can also be used to strip color from yarns, fabrics or already sewn clothing.
It will not necessarily remove all the color of all types of dyes from all types of fabrics. It is always best to first do a test before using it on something of considerable value to you


The instructions below are for one pound of fabric. You can divide or multiply to suit your requirements.
For each pound of fabric put into a pot:
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 Tablespoon Soda Ash (Fixer)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon synthrapol or liquid dish washing soap
  • 1 Tablespoon color remover
Add the fabric and heat to a boil. While the mixture is simmering, add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of Color Remover every 15 minutes for an hour. (1 extra teaspoon total). Stir gently and simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove and rinse well.
I can't do this indoors here (snow and ice storm) but I will try this out in my garage with a hot plate. It is in the Art Greenhouse in my yard so a trek through lots of snow will ensue. I have decided I have nothing to lose since there is no way I am wearing a fuchsia top. You notice I didn't call it a dress since I don't wear dresses.

02 February 2018

Eccentric Concertina - the tip of the iceberg

MidSummer Maine 2018

 Monoprint, gelli print, paint, cut, fold, sew, mark with pen, pierce, punch, perforate, glue, couch, stamp, create mark making tools, collage, DESIGN. These will be the springboards for further work.
You don't want to miss this event

June 22,23,24
July 20,21,22


 First layers

 resolved pages

2 page spread

2 page spread

2 page spread

Three page


Two page 

Two page