Sunday, February 25, 2007

A New Love

I got this great new tool I figured I would share with you, if you are not yet familar with it. It is called a waterbrush. It is really wonderful for blending pastels, inks etc. Here are a couple of pictures of what I have been working on. Basically it has a built in water unit and you press it to release small bits of water onto the brush. This also works great with watercolor pencils. Although, for boldness, I prefer the pastel crayons and ink.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I made this journal for our journal trade on Surface Design. I am a trade partner with Carol Straus. I hope she like it. I used the embellisher on the front to trap the threads and wool. I also knitted the Sari yarn and then hit it with the embellisher. I like this technique. This was my first attempt at knitting and I think I know shall be included knitting in my compositions.

Monday, February 19, 2007

More Wool Dyeing

I broke down and bought a special pot because I really wanted to see how procion dyes take the wool. Terri was kind enough to send me some of her old dyes that were a few years old and these are perfect for this since they become less potent for cotton dyeing purposes. But, the wool does require a lot of dye to get vibrant colors. The orange was from Kool Aid. You can see that the yarn takes the dye a lot more stronger than the roving. I dyed fuchia and turquoise. And, I think I could have used even more turquoise to get a more vibrant color. Terri, some of this wool will be on it's way to you since you so kindly contributed to my learning process!

Also, I tried dying silk batting. The silk batting is what is in the front (blue). I had gotten some samples a year ago and thought some day I would find a use for it. I'm wondering what silk batting would look like as silk paper...maybe that's the next step?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dyeing Wool and Yarn

I tried two different methods of dyeing roving. One with food coloring and the other with Koolaid. I am thinking with the Koolaid I should have added even more. I added two packets of cherry and two packets of grape and you can see that it probably needed more. The advantages to Koolaid is that you get a nice smell as the wool smells like you are on a sheep farm. But, I like the intensity of the food coloring more. I chose to use kitchen friendly dyes so that I could use my pots. But, I was reading that old dyes also work nicely on wool.

I love the boldness of the way the yarns dyed but I think next time I'll add more coloring for the roving. But, I'm also thinking that just buying the dyed versions is just as good!

More Dyeing

I've been dying some more! Dyeing is quite addictive. I have been trying to experiment with color combinations. One thing I need to spend more time on ...is getting the colors to not bleed to much into one another. This is difficult! Because if you don't apply enough dye you have white spots. I think I will try the spoon method on my next batch. I also got this great silk yarn from Dharma and it dyes up beautifully. This will make great surface design material. Also, I have this burnt out silk I dyed. I dyed it in purple and it turned out beautifully. I was thinking I would dye it deep purple because this is the color of royalty. I would like to use this in a journal composition but I am not quite sure how yet.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Playing with the Embellisher

I have been playing around with the Embellisher and dying some different textures. I bought some different textured linens from Dharma Trading and some spectacular velvet from Exotic Silks. I love the way velvet dyes! Also, my next venture is to try dying some of my own roving and thread. I know with wool you have to treat it differently than cotton. So, I think I will take the safe route and try some Koolaid! This way I can still use my pans again.

On this PC, it is all hand dyed textured materials with the exception of the yarn. The yarn is from Cherry Hill. Love their yarns! Also, I think I shall seek inspriation from this other skin of Cherry Hill...aren't the colors just grand!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Use for Charms

I made a charm clock today...and they work out great. I plan to experiment some more with this. The background was just simply put together to experiment with. But, I love the idea.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Don't you hate it when you spend oddles of time on something and it turns out like garbage liner material! I spent the last couple days on a project for a journal cover and I hated the front but thought ..I'll keep going but nothing I did made it any better. So, I've cut them up for charms! Now, I'd like to do something other than attach an eyelet to them. So, I've asked the members at SurfaceDesign to see what they can come up with.

I've also been playing with my embellisher...here is something small I created from silk and wool fibers.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Challenge and Earth Day

The "stained challenge"is now closed and Debbi has accepted the challenge to make a PC. Here is what I will be sending her...I hope she enjoys it. In looking at Debbi's blog it looks like she likes bold colors like me. There are both silks and cottons in the mix.

Here is a picture of two journals I received from Carol Straus. The "grey with moons" one is mine from a journal swap and the other will be up for grabs in our Earth Day auction! You can click on the picture for greater details. So, if you would also like to contribute, please let me know. The deadline is March 10th.
Carol does such unbelievable work...I'm sure this will be a hot seller. It's such a great journal!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Dyeing Days

I've been dying more fabrics over the last week. I love the result of dying..instant gratification. I was ironing my fabrics and my husband said 'These look stained." This kinda hurt my feelings lol. In dyeing this time I was going for the look of letting the colors run. Here are some of my results...I'd like to know your opinions. I admit some of my results were pretty scarry even for me...but that's what happens with experimenting. But, a lot of it, I really like. My husband stated...I'm not sure what you'll do with these. I have a pretty tuff husband! Guess I have to come up with some great things.

What do you think of the black and white? This is probably the most dramatic...I was going to use some of this in our black white and one color challenge on Surface Design.

I have another proposition for the first 2 people who are interested...I will send you some results of my latest dye job days. I'd like to see what you come up with. In return, I'd like a PC. You will get way more than what makes a PC. These are both silks and cottons. If you'd like to try, put in the comments...."I'm up for the "stained" challenge. Ha Ha

Texture Swap

I finished this PC for Angela for our texture swap. The thing that was different about this swap was that we were given ingredients and then we had to make something with texture. Well, if all of you in blog land know Angela, you know she loves cats! So, I knew I had to put cats somewhere in there for her. And, I had a lot of fun dying the ingredients. Thanks Angela! I loved being able to create the color. Angela mentioned she was into orange at the moment, so this is the color I used. I am not sure what the base of the fabric is..Angela is going to fill me in. But, the postcard feels really lovely and soft...kind of like a nice cuddle from one her cats..I bet! I am really interested in this base fabric it was thick like felt but I know this is not what it was. I also used dyed cheese cloth around the the PC for an interesting effect.

It was really great to do an international swap because you get things you normally wouldn't have here. Angela is from the UK. But, she forgot to include some Cadbury's in her packet...slight oversight on her part I'm sure. I was born in the UK and my parents are both British so I just love things English. In fact there is this great soap that most people in the UK watch called Coronation Street and me and my mother like to watch it. She sends them to me on disk. It's much better than a US daytime soap.

Anyways...enough of my ramblings...here is the ingredients and also I thought it was interesting how I dyed some of her lace and some of it took and some of it didn't. I'll send this back to Angela as well since I think it turned out really beautiful.