Monday, August 23, 2010

Eco print update

A quick lunch time update on the dye pot from Saturday. I experimented with some of the pressed leaves that I had gathered in the spring. I want to know what types of leaves I should be gathering for the barren winter months. I know that the results may not be the same because of the difference in season, summer vs spring harvest but I want to know what is worth a shot.
Here is part of the experimental piece.

I also did three others in the same pot.
I am very happy with this one...and it is a finished scarf! Unfortunately I can't remember what the other two were or where they went so I guess I won't be showing them.

In the scarf below I really like the pattern I got from the tying but I don't like the colors.
This is an over-dye of a horsetail yellow scarf.

And here are the finished scarves that I laid out that day. One of them was a blank that I want to Eco dye so I won't bother to show that.

I almost always make my scarves different on both sides.
And since those went fairly well I laid out a few more which I will roll today.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I am feeling a bit stressed about all the things coming up the next few weeks. A week long felting retreat to prepare for, for which I leave on the 30th. Come back on the 5th, a one day show on the 6th, and a show on the 11th and 12th. It may not sound like much but I am someone who lives a quiet, stay at home life and generally stresses about everything anyway. At least I feel good that I have been finishing things. Having a deadline can be good in that way.
I finally finished this hat that I started maybe a year ago. AND  I am happy with the way it came out!

The feathers are from my buttercup rooster who happens to be molting. I risked being pecked to gather them from the pen he has been incarcerated in. The black ones have a green iridescence. (I washed them before I sewed them on!)

I used my jelly rolls to make some hair clips for the booth.

And I rinsed, pressed, and photographed some of the silk scarves that I dyed (wash fast acid dyes). I was going to use them for felting but I liked them too much as is. Maybe they will sell. (An added stress factor is that I have been over spending and really need to make some money!)

I had a lot of fun taking photos of the scarves dancing in the wind.

I also finished this bag. It is a 'green' bag; undyed, locally sourced wool, some of which was raised right here in town.

And though I told myself I needed to hold off on the natural dyeing I must confess that I did do some and in fact have a pot going right now. I decided that could be cooking while I am rolling the four felt scarves I laid out yesterday :)

These are my eco-print experiments overdyed in a pot with the berberis thunbergii I got from the local convenience store.

I made this piece with a fun piece of metal here that I think will see a lot more use.

This chocolate silk piece was in the same iron pot. I also had partial success with using my metal roosters as a resist as they are exact mirror images.
Not crazy about the colors I got (this was an overdye) but I can see the roosters do have potential.

Lunch break is over now so back to work...

Friday, August 20, 2010

copper water update

Well, I think that Dianne Stott hit the nail on the head with her suggestion that it could be the copper pennies that were turning the water a cobalt blue instead of aqua. I thought that the pile of pennies I used were all pre-82's, I can remember sorting some out. Apparently I was wrong. Check out the really eroded ones. What the heck is in those things?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

making copper water question

I posted this on the 'Sustainable Natural Dye Practice' Yahoo group but I thought I would post my question here as well.--
I have a question about copper water. I have made several jars using some old copper wire and they always come out that lovely pale greenish blue typical of oxidized copper. I decided to start another jar with a piece of copper pipe and some older pennies. I thought I had used vinegar in the first jar so I put that in with water (1:1) and waited...and waited...etc. No color was coming so I opened both jars and smelled the contents and could tell I used ammonia in the first jar. I poured out the vinegar water and added ammonia water (1:1) and got an instant color change. Now after a week or two the color is a very deep cobalt blue. Does anyone know what is happening?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I can't come up with a witty title so...

I will just jump in. This post is just a log of what I have been doing since that last post.

My sister Beth, who has not been in the hospital since the early 70's got appendicitis. She is fine... thank God/Jehovah/Allah/Buddha/the Creator/et al....with apologies to whatever deity I missed. So part of my time has been spent thinking/worrying about her and at her house trying to be a bit of help. It was actually very nice to feel that I was able to give her some loving care because she always does so much for me.

It was also the week before the August guild meeting which was taking place in Vermont.  That meant I had to do some things to get ready. I needed to make an art card for the swap but since I had so many small felt pieces already made I just had to pick one and get it mounted on some card stock. Here is the one I choose to give.
I also had to pack extra stuff for this meeting since
1.I had the makings for the flower vine that we are doing as a guild project,
2. I was delivering a felting machine to Dianne Stott as a favor for my new friend Sharon Janda (who I meet in person at Shakerag),
3. I was going to be tenting as I LOVE sleeping outdoors and it would give me a quiet place to go since I often get overwhelmed with all the doings at these meetings. It can be tiring to have lots of people around since I am used to staying home with just my Dad. Linda Veilleux was one of the hostesses for the meeting and she has a gorgeous backyard to put a tent it is in November.

The sun came up over those mountains and at night I got to see stars (we don't see many here due to light pollution). I even saw some 'shooting stars' (Perseids) and the Milky Way!!

Joei and I traveled to Vermont together. We had so much stuff to bring that we had to borrow my Dad's minivan at the last minute. We took the scenic route on the way up on Friday and stopped to see Moss Glen Falls in Granville. (Slalom driver Joei loves those curvy mountain roads!)

The weekend was great. We laughed, ate, drank,and talked, talked, talked (as any group of women are quite good at) about felting, dyeing, and all kinds of fibery well as some general life stuff. We had a workshop by Jennifer Hoag of the Northeast Fiber Arts Center on using a drum carder.
She must have spent a lot of time getting the carders set up as this is just some of them.
We then had a slide lecture "Have Yurt Will Travel-Felt Journey from Mongolia to Australia" by Dutch feltmaker and anthropologist, Martien Van Zuilen. We also got to see some of her work in person.
She will be coming back to the States next year to teach the techniques used to create some of  these pieces.
Then it was on to the usual meeting stuff, Potluck dinner, Show and Tell (one of the most inspiring things),

art card swap...(not many this time, many got forgotten or arrived too late)

and then the business meeting. The only bad part of the weekend was that I lost my glasses, (they were found after we left in the driveway, I don't know how THAT happened but I am grateful to Superhostess Linda for finding them and mailing them to me!).
Joei had Monday off and since she had to drive as I could not see too well, I convinced her to stay over with a bribe of gathering some dyestuff from the fields around my house. You would think she would have been sick of me by then but she stayed. My "cool" dad (her words)  found and cut her a length of iron pipe to use in her dyepots so now she has lots of things to play with if only she can get some time too. A commodity none of us creative types get enough of as the ideas are almost always flowing.
I have spent the rest of this week starting and finishing some pieces and making little (hopefully saleable) things for my two up coming shows. 

P. S. I am not sure why I use so many parenthesis...or ellipsis. Especially since I get annoyed by writers that over use punctuation such as! exclamation! points! Maybe that is just the way I think.
...for all the unfinished thoughts and ( ) to try to make clearer all those thoughts. It can be a mess in my brain for sure (insert exclamation point here).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Newest Felt Project

This is just a quick post because I told my friend Joei that I would post my latest project. I wanted to do an experiment to see how the eco dyed silks would felt up. I had know idea what kind of color changes I would get with all the soap and water. I have not been washing out the silks, just picking off the plant matter. India Flint says that the colors cure with time so I just press the pieces with a steam iron without rinsing.

Here is the project laid out. I used prefelt and just ripped the silks in rectangles.

I  had trouble getting an accurate photo today of the final color but here are two shots.

Some of the pieces did not felt in too well, but I should be able to needle or sew them down with out it looking too bad.
To give an idea of the color shifts I took this photo. As I expected the choke cherry changed to a more bluish grey color, but I still like it.
I cropped two of the photos so you can see the color shift better. I can see that when you are using all natural dyes they do all go nicely together even when they change.
I don't know how or if I could put the pictures side by side which would be helpful here. The top is before felting.
The real colors are not as dark as in this photo.