Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fall Foto Friday

More Surface Design And…

Random Fabric

The surface design exercises are continuing here.  Everything is in process and not yet ready for photos (i.e. in a dye bath) so you will have to wait a day or two for pictures.  I am working through the first two exercises in Jane Dunnewold’s book Complex Cloth and enjoying this so much — I am loving each piece of fabric I am creating.  Except the part where I spilled a couple gallons (yes gallons!)  of dye bath all over the laundry room!

Also have a new art quilt on the design board.  I have fabric up and a couple of sketches.  I am really excited to be making a new art quilt.  It has been WAY to long since I have 1) been inspired and 2) let myself just play and create.  Its feeling really good!

Dying to Dye

I spent a wonderful weekend up to my elbows in fabric dye, print paste, screens, stencils and other surface design fun.  It’s been a long time since I have had an entire weekend just to play like this.

Everything is still a work in progress so no photos yet.  I have a couple different surface design projects going on now.  One is working through the exercises in Jane Dunnewold’s Complex Cloth.  Second is resurrecting some of the really ugly fabrics that I have dyed and overdyed and still they are just ewwwwww.

I’m working through the Jane Dunnewold exercises because it has been so long since I have done any surface design that this kind of structured play is a good review and gives me some structure to work within.  Because trying to rescue some of these overdyed uglies is exactly the opposite — anything goes here cuz it can’t get any worse!

Activities for this weekend included immersion dying, which I have done very little of anyway.  I typically dye smaller lengths (1 yd or less) using a very different technique.  Lots of screenprinting, which I love!  I did some deconstructed screenprinting a la Kerr Grabowski and Rayna Gilman.  And more traditional printing with paint and thickened dyes.  I have a lot of thermofax screens from Marcy Tilton and I was using those like crazy!  And a little stenciling and a little stamping too.

This week it’s back to my regularly scheduled sewing projects, with a little bit of surface design too!

To Infinity and Beyond

Upcycled Infinity Scarf

Well, maybe not beyond.  But definitely to an Infinity Scarf!  This is a great project to upcycle an old tshirt.  This was one of my favorite tshirts, but I lost some weight and it just didn’t fit like a tshirt should.  I didn’t want to part with it…I knew I wanted to upcycle it somehow but just hadn’t found the right project.

Enter Alicia at Art for All.  She posted this awesome tutorial and I couldn’t wait to get started.  This is a supereasy project, easily completed in an evening.  And it is a lot of fun!

My favorite tshirt

It all starts with a tshirt.  This was a great choice because it has some color design to give it a little pop and some subtle graphics as well to keep things interesting.

Cut into equal segments

Cut the shirt into fairly equal segments.  I also cut off the hem so that the edges would all curl up prettily on the finished scarf.  This part was hard, kind of like cutting your hair after it has been long for awhile.   You know you want to…really you will be happy when this is all done.  But you just have to take that first big step!

After this step, you will have two big loops.  Cut them in half to make two long strips.

long strips for scarf

All that is left now is to sew these two strips into one big loop!  Honestly, this part took me the longest.  I decided to use my serger for this step instead of my sewing machine.  The serger was threaded with black thread…not a good look for a green scarf.  So I re-threaded it with four different colors of thread (I thought it would be fun.)

If you use a serger, you know that re-threading is a little scary.  The easiest way to do it is to knot the new thread onto the already-threaded-through-the-serger thread, push on the go pedal and before you know it you have your new thread in the serger.  It works great.  Unless you are in a hurry and don’t check all your knots.

You can guess what happened next.  Luckily it was only one of the needle threads that didn’t hold up, so it wasn’t too hard to fix.  It just took a little time to find the manual with the threading directions to get it rethreaded.

Hope you enjoy this project as much as I did!

Blog Thoughts

So I have been doing a lot of reading lately about blogging.  Ironic, to be reading about blogging instead of actually blogging.

Anyhoo…the original idea behind starting this blog was not to showcase my crafts, photos, etc.  Rather, my thought was to flesh out what I would focus on selling in my future Etsy shop.  That is not the direction I ended up.

I ended up following some guidelines…to schedule my posts, to have regular features ie Foto Friday, to post three to five times per week.  However, the common theme I read about regarding blogging, at least as it applies to art and handmade items, is to be authentic.

For me, authentic means not writing a week’s worth of posts ahead of time.  It means not scheduling posts, not establishing regular features, etc.  At least for now, being authentic means writing about what I am thinking about.  Sometimes that is what I am working on in my studio, or what I am out taking pictures of, or what my current inspirations are.   Sometimes it includes pictures, sometimes it doesn’t.

So back to the original idea behind this blog.  I am still firming up what my Etsy shop will look like.  Or if I need two shops.  And I will still show some of my crafts, because that it what my Etsy shop will be about.  But sometimes I will talk about my life, my thoughts and my inspirations.  Because that’s how you will really get to know me.

I Think, therefore I Blog.

Long vacation from blogging…Life sort of took over and activities were re-prioritized.  Things are calming down now.  The new normal is feeling pretty good.  And blogging is back on the schedule again.  So glad to be back!

Thanks Mom!

My Mom

My Mom…it’s because of her I

1.  Know how to knit and sew

2.  Love to read

3.  Make lists…a lot of lists!

4.  Sing out loud

5.  Can find my way around any city in the world

6.  Love to travel

7.  Enjoy the comfort of a cuppa tea

8.  Eat desert first

9.  Love the ocean

10.  Smile everyday

Thanks Mom!  I love you!

Big Wheel Keeps on Turnin

My Spinning Wheel

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the world to my spinning wheel.  She is a Kromski Mazurka in the light finish, and I love her with every fiber (pun intended) of my being.

I have never taken a spinning class, never sat down with a master spinner to learn the tricks, and have had very few opportunities to even watch other spinners.  Like many of my crafts, I have taught myself from books, and of course from YouTube!

CVM on the bobbin

As a result, I don’t spin the finest of yarns.  They are uneven.  They are usually thicker than I intend.  And my singles are too tight, my ply’s too loose.

But I don’t really mind.  What I love is the process of spinning.  I love sitting at my wheel and transforming lovely fiber into lovely yarn.  I love the process of drafting.  And I love the zen moment when everything is working together just the way it is supposed to.  I love the challenge of spinning different types of fibers and figuring out how thick the singles need to be.  Can I use a long draft or a shorter draft?  More efficient and experienced spinners know these things before they start.  But I like to figure it out as I go.  It doesn’t take long.  And it’s all part of the process.

A Few of My Favorite Things

In no particular order…

1.  Sunset over the water

2.  My sewing machine

3.  Fabric

4.  Soft yarns — current fav is Gobi by Bijou Spun

5.  Spinning yarn

6.  Taking photographs

7.  Hiking in the woods

8.  Sewing and quilting

9.  Spending time with my kids

10. Going to fiber shows and festivals

What are some of your favorite things?

Crafter, Artist or Maker?

Hmmm…this is a question that I often find myself asking.  Sometimes, when I am making clothes for myself or knitting I feel like I am a maker.  When I am quilting (traditional) or spinning up some yarn I am a crafter.  And when I am making art quilts, drawing or painting I am an artist.

So the answer is “D” all of the above.   My path right now is to find my focus, to make a commitment to crafter or artist.  (I think I will always be a part-time maker!)  In other words, figure out what I really want to be when I grow up.

So what about you?  Crafter, Artist or Maker?