Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Surprise mail

The postcard was a nice surprise in the mail yesterday. It's from Joan and she also stencilled the leaf design on the paper it was wrapped in. (a process we learned from Jane Dunnewold at Fibres West) Thanks Joan, it's lovely.

I'm still getting things done for my Albany workshops but have spent time this week Christmas shopping - I hate doing it more each year.
Definitely turning into a grumpy old woman I'm afraid. I didn't actually have that much to do as I'd already bought some things but it still took too long and there were too many people and it cost too much.
In my husband's family, which is very large, the person who has Christmas at their house gets to decide the format of present giving. I've decided that next year when it's my turn, we'll all contribute to buy a goat or a well for a third world village!

In case I don't post again before, I'll wish everyone a very happy, safe and peaceful Christmas.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Covered Journal

This fabric was one of my Procion dye samples done on calico with a sponge brush, a round sponge stamp for the yellow circles, then stamped over with a sea sponge in a darker blue. I bonded it to felt and stitched over the design before making it into a book cover.

I've been busy lately doing workshop samples and generally brushing up on the techniques I'm going to be teaching at the Albany Summer School in January. My workshops are Heat Gun Bead Making, 1 day and Fabulous Fabrics with Dye and Paint, 3 days. Yesterday I had a good day doing bead making, tried some new techniques which turned out well and revisited some old favourites.
In the evening we went to a Christmas breakup for my husband's woodturning group at Liddlow Homestead. He won 4 prizes for his bowls. Haven't got a photo on the computer to post yet. It was a nice night with lots of food and lovely weather. Looks like Summer's here at last, it's meant to be 35 tomorrow. Hope it's not too hot for Christmas.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New work

Front & back of a bag I finished yesterday. It uses some Napthol dyed fabrics I had, some lino printed with Permaset ink. The fabrics were then pieced and quilted with some patches appliqued on. Inside there are 2 pockets, one zipped. The green frill is silk organza.

Below: a scarf I recently made with strips of procion dyed rayon and knitting yarn. The strips were arranged on soluble fabric then a grid was stitched over. The yarn was applied and some of the gaps were filled with free machine stitching then the backing was dissolved. It turned out nice and soft and I like the colours. I didn't like the dyed fabric before so a good result I think.
The last photo is a detail but you can click on the photo for a close up view.

Back to rainy weather here, we haven't had much warm weather yet, just a couple of days of sun then back to rain again. Its better working in my studio when it's cool but procion dyes set better with warmth during batching. I roll them in plastic and put them inside the car if necessary.
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Monday, December 01, 2008

Dye and print work

I've been doing more experimenting with thick and thin Procion dyes. Techniques used here were roller printing, scrunching and rollering, block printing and hand painting. The lighter patterns were done with bleach and I've added some final detail with textile paint. The top
sample has some shiva oil stick rubbings too.

Two Creative Studios has a great giveaway starting Dec 14 - 25. All you need to do is register for their newsletter. There are prizes each day then a grand prize of your choice of one their online classes free. For details follow the link.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dye work

Above: some of the experimental pieces from last week, all done with procion MX dyes on cotton Most are hand painted with thin or thickened dyes, sometimes both together. One is block printed. The lines are done with thick dye squeezed from a bottle with a small nozzle.

These 4 were dyed in the same container in layers. Unfortunately I'm using old dyes and the second colour, a blue, didn't work. The dark blue on the left is actually black, it looks lighter in the pic.

Today I went to see the exhibition 'Textile Treasures' by the Designing Women Group and was most impressed - some fabulous work and very well presented at the Atwell Gallery in Alfred Cove. It's on until next weekend.
While in that area, I went to the Art Shed in Myaree and bought lots of sponge brushes, rollers etc. I hadn't been there before, but they have quite a lot at reasonable prices. I also bought a couple of new feet for my very old sewing machine because they were on special.

I keep forgetting to welcome the people who have registered as followers of my blog - so welcome! I'm very pleased to have visitors and comments. Thanks all.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

More bookcovers

Today I took 9 of these to the gallery. The butterfly & heart ones I had done a while ago but the other 3 with the ATCs are new. The fabrics were made using dye, paint, block print, and stitch. I always have a pile of various fabric pieces that I've done which come in handy for this type of project.
I've been busy in the studio too this week, brushing up on my dyeing techniques and experimenting with dye printing & painting. I'm teaching a workshop in January so I need to work out exactly what I'm doing, what supplies I'll need to order and do a teaching plan.
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Friday, November 07, 2008

Covered notebooks & bag

Just finished these but I'll be doing a few more as the gallery shop where I sell some of my work has asked me for more things suitable for Christmas gifts. They are quite quick to make, I used some ATCs left over from a swap and some of my printed fabric pieces. the tulip one is lino block printed and the smaller one is a mono print.

The fabric for this little bag was woven by Renee, my eldest daughter who's in Japan, but I had the job of making it up into a bag. It was her present for younger sister Kathleen's birthday recently. My birthday was 4 days later so we all went out for a lovely lunch at the Darlington Estate Winery to celebrate. Great food and a beautiful setting in the hills. Below you can see the lining with zip pocket.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Playing with print

This was screen printed on white cotton drill with Permaset fabric printing ink. There are a few layers of print here, the dark squares were done with a torn paper stencil and the rest was printed through the fused plastic shown below. I also did some prints over the top by inking the plastic and printing directly from that. The top pic shows the whole thing (40 x 110cms) but the close up below gives a better idea of what it looks like.
I think it might be good for a bag as it's a medium weight fabric, although it's rather bright.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Flour paste screen

I made this screen in Jane's workshop at Fibres West last week but didn't get time to print it until today. You coat the screen with flour paste then scratch your design out with a wooden skewer. It's a great low tech way to get a fine line stencil on the screen. It lasts for one print run but I managed to do quite a lot of prints on various dyed fabrics.

The top pic shows the whole design printed on rayon. The crackle design in the background was also done with flour paste but on the fabric. The method for that has been covered in an article in Feb/March QA magazine.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fibres West

For more pics on our week at Fibres West see Joan's blog and also Shirley's blog. Shirley was one of the tutors, she's a brilliant weaver, trained in Ireland, and her class produced some great work.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm back

I spent last week doing a wonderful & inspiring workshop at Fibres West in Bunbury. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, but here are some of the pieces I did. The workshop was Jane Dunnewold's 'Complex Cloth' & she is a great teacher. I can't wait to get into my studio to continue the work, but it will have to wait until I'm feeling better. I came down with a cold at the beginning of the week which made me feel miserable as well as losing my voice but I managed to get through the week's work somehow. Really bad timing though! It was quite an intensive week, lots of work and things organized for all the evenings as well. It was great to be able to concentrate solely on textiles & not have to cook or do housework and I met many interesting people. If I've passed my cold onto anyone else, I do apologise.

We started the workshop by dyeing our sample pieces then overdyeing (Procion dyes), we made tools - eraser printing blocks, stencils, flour paste screens - then experimented with various processes, some of which were new to me.
Next we had to put it all into practise by adding layers of images/techniques to our dyed fabrics . Probably the most valuable part was how to decide what to do next in order to create a cohesive piece of 'Complex Cloth'

The top piece has eraser block printing on silk in white & green. The squares have been cut from the fabric edges then bonded on with Misty Fuse. The borders are gold leafed, a fabulously rich looking process which I'd never tried before, but I love it!
Above: Rayon with eraser print using gel bleach on the blue dyed background. Then over printed with blue paint over circle masks. The orange wavy lines were added last. This & the pic below don't look as clear as they should here, not sure why. You can get a better view by clicking on the photo.

Above: cotton with 2 different eraser print blocks done in green and blue paint then silkscreened with the diamond motif.

Above: a few experimental pieces using gel bleach, stencils, monoprinting, gold foil & gold leaf. the middle, dark piece is bleach stencilled and block printed on black velveteen, a yummy result.

Jane has an interesting blog too where she has posted some photos from the week.
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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Kalbarri rocks collage

Last pics from our recent trip.
Today I did a test print with my duct taped screen just to make sure I had the right kind of tape and it worked well. The only disadvantage was that the tape makes the screen more slippery so you have be careful it doesn't move when printing. My DH has been making 2 more screens for me which he finally finished today so then he helped me stretch the silk onto one of them. I'll leave the other one until after Fibres West.
There are still a few things I have to do before I go including buying a new respirator as mine has perished a bit so it doesn't seal properly.
We have a long list of workshop requirements. I also have to give a 5 minute talk on blogging as an artist as part of a panel discussion on creative record keeping.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

New Postcard

This is another September TIF piece. I've used some of the leftover bits from the last one ironed onto vilene in a log cabin design, then stitched with automatic patterns & some free machine stitching.

This week has been a bit interrupted because it's the 6 month point in my walking programme and I had to be reassessed and measured etc. Tuesday I had to go into the city for that so thought I'd make a day of it and do some shopping too. On Wednesday I had to go to Challenge Stadium to do fitness testing to see if I've improved. I get the results next week.
Today I've had quite a productive day though, did a good walk, then some preparation for Fibres West which is in a weeks time. It's a week long retreat at Bunbury where I'm doing the Complex Cloth workshop with Jane Dunnewold. The preparation involved testing my black fabrics to see if they are suitable to bleach (they all worked) and also I taped one of my old silkscreens with silver duct tape to seal it. I'm going to do a test print to make sure the tape is the right kind after it's had time to cure. Also did some tests using heat transfer dyes on some new fabrics I recently bought. I wasn't sure if they were all polyesters but they worked well.

Tomorrow it's Innovative Stitches meeting day. We're going to make upper body casts by wrapping each other in brown paper tape which is cut up the back to remove when its dry, should be fun! This is for one of the projects we're doing for our next exhibition. The theme is The Seven Deadly Sins. The body casts may provide evidence of some sins, greed or sloth perhaps?
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Friday, September 19, 2008

September TIF

This is where I'm at with the TIF challenge. I may cut it into strips and reassemble but I'm leaving it for now. I know it's not a great photo, a bit washed out & I didn't notice the thread accross it until I saw it on the computer screen. The colours for Sept are not ones I would have put together, although I liked the Sharon's photo that was the source for them. The fabrics are mostly commercial synthetics bonded to vileen then free machine embroidered. It's big enough for 4 postcards, but not sure what I'll do with it yet.

Above & Below: some of the wildflowers we saw on the drive home. These are everlastings which are a papery daisy flower in yellow, pink & white. They last a long time after picking. They are around Mullewa and the Coalseam conservation area.

We saw the one below on the Mullewa wildflower walk. It contrasts nicely with the red stony ground.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008


Here are pics of some of the Kalbarri wildflowers we saw on our trip. Above is salt bush & below is lambs' wool bush which is lovely & woolly. I don't know the names of the bottom 2 but I like the seed pods of the 3rd one. I think the last one is a Melaleuca.

I'm finally getting back to work after some unavoidable distractions, today it's a bit wet and cold so I've been indoors working on my TIF challenge for September.
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Monday, September 15, 2008


Thanks for the awards Jean! There were 2 but I had trouble posting the pic. I'm not going to nominate 5 blogs to receive the award so I'll just say that all the blogs I read regularly deserve an award and leave it at that.
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