New Look

August 28, 2010

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I found these old shoes this morning....over 12 years old.  Since I was going to paint I needed something comfy but I wouldn't mind if they got paint on them.  Unfortunately where the sole meet the top at the stitching it gave way and pretty soon my toes were hanging out the end.  So what is a girl's best friend (besides fiber, I mean)

It worked, too!  I could call these my 'PreFelt' shoes as they were used in the studio before felting began.  Sorry, I just couldn't resist.  Oh, there I go again.  
I'm going to whine a bit now.  It was absolutely stunning outside today....the sun, the breeze, the temp..I only took a lunch break and a short walk with the dogs. 
These are cinnamon ferns on the edge of the swamp.  I also noticed lots of these. 
Can it be possible?  It is only August....well, almost September.  When I woke up this morning it was 47degreesF outside! The Season's Change is upon us.  I love the colors of Fall.  It inspired me to try a little experiment....Felt background and a little color on the top. 
I have several ideas as to where this can go and I leave tomorrow for a Felting Retreat in New York.  I'll be back in a week.  But...I'll be taking the camera and the I may have some pictures from the project.
Now, I'm off for a dose of ibuprofen after all that painting of the ceiling ooooooohhh, my neck.  I may have to have a glass (or two) of wine to relax those painting shoulders.

August 14, 2010

Still Stuck in the Dye Pot

I returned from Vermont with Diane after a wonderful trip to attend the Guild's Meeting.  Jennifer Hoag of Northeast Fiber Arts Center gave our workshop.   If you want to see much better pictures and a synopsis of our trip skip over to Diane's blog.  She did a great job.
We had a wonderful time and returned safely.  We went for a walk and picked several different leaves and a few berries.  I put the berries and flowers into the freezer and let the leaves sit over the week.   
Yesterday I started 5 pots for dyeing.
One to soak silk in alum.
One to soak silk in tin (pot).
One to simmer wrapped sticks and a wrapped iron pipe (courtesy of Diane's Dad, Dean).

One to soak rhododendrons in water.

And One refurbished indigo vat. 
  This vat was the same I used in February.  It had sat in the basement, undisturbed for 6 months.  I checked the pH which was 10 and when I added more indigo crystals and thiox it's smell was definitely of fermentation.  
Results...oh, yes, the results. 
This was a piece of brown silk I dyed that would wash out with felting leaving a pale beige.  Even if the brown washes out now (which it didn't with soap and hot water in the indigo final rinse) I'm sure it will be a lovely blue.  
The wrapped pieces came out of the dye pot and sat on the deck to cool. 

The pipe wrapping gave this wonderful grey and orange piece. 
Sumac buds gave me this lovely pink.  Next it needs to be light and wash tested....but I'm letting it cure right now.  Sumac leaves make lovely marks, too.  I have hopes for grows wild and in abundance here. 

Onion skins with St John's wort, daylilies and sumac leaves gave me this.  The actual color is really more orange than peach. 
While the Rhododendron leaves have simmered for about 3 hours.  The liquid has been divided in half and part placed in a tin pot and the other with the alum and tannin soaked silks.  These were simmered for a while and now are left to cool overnight.  
Tomorrow is the Brit Jam...a motorcycle show and we plan on riding most of the day through Southern Connecticut.  I won't be able to rinse my silks until later Sunday evening. 

August 2, 2010

The Weekend's Results

So little many things to try.  But I did try some more experiments with the iron/rust dyed cloth and some garden leaves and eucalyptus.  I also used some rust dust that was in the corner of a cast iron skillet and sprinkled it on some of the squares. 
 Here they are steaming from the pot.
 Drying on the felting table
There are 12 silk and prefelt squares and 2 felted only squares.  They stayed within the color scheme of the previous group....a little Daylily here and there for a bit of purple...some green from Dandelion...and a little Ragweed. 
Lots of lovelies for the landskin quilts' extension
Complex cloth...for sure.
But these leaves on the rust are my favorite.