Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm Late, I'm Late, I'm Late!! Arghhhh!

I am so sorry this posting is so late…my only excuse is that Mars has been in retrograde since October and believe me…it’s been a challenge! However some super awesome events have happened to make  even the most challenging “Mars please leave me alone” day a real great experience.
I FINALLY was able to get entries to the North Carolina State Fair this year.(been meaning to for years!) I know I posted pictures last month. The results were excellent; I won two Blue Ribbons and a Red!
This is the first time since 1982 since I’ve entered a County or State Fair so I was quite flattered that they awarded my work.
Painted Wholecloth
Nuno Felt Scarf

Batik Scarf, squares, Ice Dye

Something else I’ve done is register with and I’ve stated to sell my scarves wholesale. I officially registered my site Friday November 1 and I got my first order on Wednesday November 6 from a lovely gift shop located in Cincinnati Ohio. The name of the shop is “Frame House Gallery” and Kathy, the owner was kind enough to send me photos of my scarves hanging in her shop on Saturday. Kathy was also kind enough to alert me that the first one sold there yesterday, November13. (Happy Dance cha cha cha!
Scarves Hanging at the Frame House

I finally got some creative flow going in spite of Mars and I made some really neat Sun Catchers and Greeting cards using Strathmore Artist Papers On Saturday November 9, I lead a demo on how to make these at the make and take room at the Art of the Carolina’s event that Jerry’s Art o rama puts on every year at the Raleigh Hilton North. My (peeps) guild, the Carolina Mixed Media Artist Guild maintains a “make and take” room for anyone that wants to play with products being sold at the super fantastic vendor area. 

Greeting cards

The way I made these was as follows:
Take a Strathmore Artist Trading card (ATC) or a blank Strathmore Card (mixed media stock)
   1)     Apply color in some way. I used water color pencils and gave the ATC’s a wash in different colors
   2)     After card is dry, I used a die cutter and punch out a pattern. (Sign your ATC at this time)
   3)     Then I took some clear contact paper (sold anywhere where shelf paper is sold) and after pulling off the paper backing aligned it over the ATC making sure that the entire card is covered.
    4)     I arranged some pressed flowers I had collected in the die cut. (don’t go too crazy, you want to be able to “see” the flowers)
   5)     Cut another piece of contact paper and carefully line it up with the card and quickly cover the flowers. (static electricity from the new piece of contact paper will pull the flowers off the other piece if you are too slow)
6)     Trim the card and cut away any excess contact paper along the edges.
7) Punch a centered hole at the top of the card and then pull a heavy thread though with a needle.
    8)  Viola, you now have a very pretty piece of art that kids can do and looks very pretty against a window.
You don’t have to only use pressed flowers for this. I also cut out a rectangle large enough to insert some fortune cookie words of wisdom. You can also use some scrapbooking punches to add more shapes to the project to make it interesting.
I did the same thing with the greeting cards, the only word of advice I’d like to give on this is:
 *  Cut out pieces of contact paper to JUST cover your flowers, or stamps, or anything else you are going to insert into your card. (if you cut out one large piece of contact paper it will create a “glare”.
 1 **  Be careful when you apply color (I need to follow this myself!) less is best and you can always build up color value and intensity however it you have it heavy handed already, it’s extremely difficult to tone it down. Pressed flowers are delicate looking and can get easily lost if the color is dominating the eye. If you use stamps or something else you can probably get heavier handed with color.

The ATC/Greeting card would be a great project to do with kids, in fact I’m going to do this with my Grandchildren the next time they are over and Papa Wonderful can’t take them bikeriding.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

PS: I have had a devil of a time getting the directions to format correctly...If you would like the instructions to make the cutout sun catchers, please send me an e-mail and I'd be happy to send them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Whole Cloth Painting

Time flies when you are having fun...I truly cannot believe it is October and almost time for Halloween...I wanted to wait until after the opening of PAQA-South's new show, Freeze Frame at the Page-Walker Arts Center in Downtown Cary to show off some of my recent projects.
(I must back up a tad)
In May I took a class with Susan Brubaker-Knapp called, Whole Cloth Painting. The idea was to take a photograph, enlarge it, trace it on cotton fabric and then, using paint, thread and batting, re-create the photograph. LOVED IT and LOVE the technique!!
The above is how it looked when I finished with the painting. (The small photograph on the right is Susan's photo)
Then I added a fringe and beads around the flower center

Then I added french knots in the center and some hot fix crystals in the center as well as areas on the petals. (saw an awesome set of quilts at AQS in Grand Rapids, Michigan that used the crystals to embellish with) This will be in the North Carolina State Fair this month.
I also made another one for Freeze Frame, PAQA-South's  Fall Art Display.

This is the first time I made it into a juried quilt show. I really liked how it turned out.

Here is how it looked while it was in process.

The Freeze Frame Show is going on until October 20.
There are over 50 wonderful quilts by phenomenal artists from all over the Southeast. This show is a wonderful treat for the eyes.
The Page-Walker Art & History Center is located next to City Hall,  119 Ambassador Loop in Cary, NC.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Play Date with the Carolina Mixed Media Artist Guild in August

There was just all kinds of fun to be had in August!
The CMMAG (Carolina Mixed Media Artists Guild) held our quarterly play day at the studio of one of our members. on Sunday August 11.
We each brought a snack to share and if an adult beverage was wanted, that was OK as well. Four of us did demo's Linda did "Book Folding", Penny did "Homemade Washi Tape", Heidi showed us how to color clay beads with dye and shaving cream, and I demo'd how to make a felted geode.

Linda had worked at Barnes and Noble for a time and she had all these lovely books that had the covers removed. She showed us the different designs one can make when you just fold the pages in different ways.

This is a pretty neat way to do something while watching television or if you have itchy hands and need to do something. Follow the below link to see some other examples of folded books.
More folded book images

Penny showed us how to make Washi Tape using different varieties of tape. Penny used blue painters tape, cloth (first aid) tape, and masking tape.  The then used stamps, different inks and  pens to

create some very lovely tape that could be used in a variety of projects.

Parchment paper is the key in working on the tape since the tape won't stick to it after you work on it.

The results were stunning!

Heidi then demo'd the beads colored with shaving cream and dyes. This was fun! Heidi showed us how to make the beads using a clay, not quite a polymer but similar and easy to use. After she rolled out the beads, she put shaving cream in a small cup......

and then added some dye
and then started to color the beads...

You can add as may colors as you want and then you want them to dry with the shaving cream on them. Her husband made her a wonderful drying rack for her beads...

you can see in the background some finished beads...I'm just sorry I don't have better pictures of the final results.

Then last but not least I showed the guild how to make felted geodes.
Unfortunately I don't any photo's of the process however I do have photo's of the finished results.
I will say that my plumbers helper caused a word of warning, when you purchase a toilet plunger steer away from clear acrylic handles that have a bumps put into them for better holding looks like something else....anyway, below are pictures of the results.

It was a very successful day!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Second Annual Art Festival at Logan's Trading Company

It was a great day for an Art Celebration at Logan's Trading Company in Raleigh at Seaboard Station Saturday August 10. I really didn't know what to expect regarding where we were going to set up. It was a very pleasant surprise to find out we were setting up on the grounds around all the lovely plants and shrubs. Even nicer was my spot was located along the railroad tracks so I was partially covered by a long narrow roof and netting. With my tent covering what the roof and netting didn't cover, I was pretty much shaded from the sun and comfortable. (at least as comfortable as one can be outside in 90+degree heat). I had some great neighbors, Rick and Lisa and lots of friendly, helpful employees from Logan's to make sure we were doing well.

I'm not sure what this roof was supposed to be for however it was very nice to set up under
You can see the netting I mentioned earlier
There were more artists at the other side of Logan's
Here are pictures of my new friends
Rick Bennett owner Artist of Tipping Art

Lisa Mathias owner Artist of Snazzy Trinkets
This is my friend Robyn owner Artist of Whimsical Robyn

some of my Cityscape's and scarves

These are the Ice Dyed Shibori

Some of the Burn Out and Iced Shibori

Nuno Felted Scarves

How could anyone resist these?!

At some point, while I was stamping dragonflies  onto paper lunch bags, I felt that wonderful breeze come through and stopped what I was doing and listened to a beautiful rendition of "Blackbird" sung by two ladies who were accompanied by a fiddle and banjo, I became aware of how lucky I was to have that moment and how lucky I am to be who I am at this phase in my life. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

How To Batik A Scarf

After reviewing my files, I found that I really haven’t covered how to batik a scarf.
Batik is a  wax resist dyeing technique that is very ancient and has been found in archaeological sites dating as early as the  the 4th Century in Egypt, China, India and Japan.

The tools are very simple.
Of course there is wax bees wax is more commonly used, however  I used soy wax instead of bees wax because it’s easier to get out of the fabric and it’s easily washed out with hot water, (after the bulk of the wax has been ironed out) Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil and has a low melting point..

To apply the wax you can use different items.

Today I’m using hake brushes


PVC connectors for circles

Also available are Tjantings they are used to create fine lines  (I didn’t use them this time)

You can Batik cotton, linen, bamboo cotton and of course silk.
I soaked the scarves in soda ash solution and let them dry. I then put soda ash solution in a sprayer and used it to iron the scarves flat

I applied the wax using the circles.
You want to use something to catch any drips as you move the circle over the scarf.
When you get done, hang the scarf up so the wax will harden.

You can also paint shapes on your scarf using the Hake brush. I painted squares 
I also did lines and curves. (not shown as yet)

I hung them all up until the wax was set.

I decided to ice dye these scarves instead of painting on the dye.

I finally invested in an ice shaver! It’s an awesome tool and thanks to Mr. Wonderful it has a nice strong body that I can easily move my tubs under it.

 This baby can shave 145 pounds of ice in an hour...

 I had tossed the waxed scarves into the freezer for about 10 minutes to make sure the wax was hard. (it was at least 90+ degrees in my garage!)

I put a layer of shaved ice on the bottom of the tub. This shaver worked WONDERFUL for this.

After I finished with all the ice, I pulled the scarves from the freezer and laid them out on top of the ice.

Then I shaved more ice to cover all of these scarves.

can I say again how much I love this machine!!!

I sprinkled dry dye powder over the ice covered scarves.....

It looks awesome does it not?

After the ice melts, rinse out the scarves and air dry. When they are dry, you need to iron the wax out of them.

Make a layer on a hard flat surface, one layer of newspaper, then a layer of paper towel.

Lay your scarf on the layer of paper towel

Then layer paper towel, and then newspaper on top of the scarf.

Using a hot iron, move it over the paper layers slowly. You can see how hot the iron is because the newspaper is starting to brown.

When you lift the layer of newspaper you can see the wax absorbed into the paper towel.
This is how the scarf looks after the wax has been ironed out. 
After it's been ironed, since I used Soy Wax, I washed it in hot water with Syntharapol in the washer.
Below are the results of my color adventure.

The square and circles
Curves and Squares