After being charged with creating the silk pocket squares for The Wedding, I did a bit of digging around for the easiest way to do this. I ordered ColorHues dyes and silk pocket squares from Dharma Trading but very little instruction was offered up on using the ColorHues.
Along came Juliann of The Sick Chick here. She also has color mixing tutes here and here. Really great information. About the ColorHues dyes: These are instant set, non-toxic dyes for silk (or other protein fibers). No heat, no boiling, no long set times. They aren't the cheapest option but they are the easiest. These would be great for a group or kids. Good summer fun.
After dyeing the pocket squares, I decided to see what I could do with a silk scarf, also from Dharma. So let's make a groovy scarf!
I used the pumpkin, rose, goldenrod, yellow, green and turquoise dyes, mixed up in small plastic cups and used pipettes to "paint." Lay some plastic down on your work surface and have a wiping rag (another piece of silk?) at the ready.
You may want to ease up on the colors. Mine definitely looks like Gerry Garcia was here.
This was super easy. I wet and squeeze the excess water out of the scarf. Squeeze it really hard because excess water will dilute the colors.
Take the scarf and fold it in half. Now twist it around really good and secure it with rubber bands every few inches. Simple tie dye.
Using the pipettes, move along the scarf and squeeze color onto every section. Take your time and be mindful that you will get browns and grays if you mix rose and green in the same area. I don't mind this as I like muddy color in some areas.
After everything has been saturated, squeeze the roll and massage gently for a couple of minutes. Dunk the roll into clear water and squeeze to discharge any unabsorbed dye.
Now you can remove the rubber bands and unfold your creation. Hang to dry and let your freak flag fly!
PS: I will be starting a new class called Taming the Critic in a couple of weeks. This is a reformated version of last years 21 Secrets class. Soon after that, I'll start the "very beginner" art journal class. So stay tuned.
I am feeling a bit sad. A confluence of my upcoming birthday and a bit of sadness with a good friend who was just fired (!) from a job she loved and did well because she is now older and, therefore, undesirable. Why pay one person a lot of money when they can pay 5 younger people a tiny bit? Oh dear, no. I won't rant right now.
I wanted to thank you all for participating in the last two post conversations. Such a rich response. I keep sending out replies to you via email but nothing is getting onto the blog. What gives Typepad?
Sewing lesson today on resizing a pattern for my dress for The Wedding. More to come on this. I've been busy with craft and sewing projects for the wedding and will share with you.
Amazing set of comments on Wednesday's post. I hope you'll read through. Now here's the sticky question: how do you manage to improve your craft without freezing yourself with thoughts of "I'm not good enough and I'll never be good enough."?
Boo writes that she is "accused" of being a perfectionist. Yeah, me too. I ignore those folks and see it as craftsmanship. (And btw, I've responded to all of your comments but they aren't showing up in the list - did you get my replies?)
If you can view other's artwork and craftsmanship as an inspiration to you, this is a good thing. It pushes you forward to make your work speak stronger. Alonquin notes that she's worked hard on her drawing skills over the years and used to confuse this skill with talent. I believe that talent is part of the human condition: it is a desire to communicate (in any artform). The craftsmanship (drawing, for instance) can be learned. Artists are often described as craftsmen in terms of their draftsmanship or drawing.
I knew a little girl - all grown up now. She would sing at the top of her voice off-key. It may have been torturous for some but to me it was delightful. A big joyful sound. Someone finally told her that she sang off key and that was the end of that glorious song. She could have learned if someone had taken the time. It still breaks my heart.
I loved Jill's story as well. Beautiful Oops by Jamie Lee Curtis is her recommendation and she read it to her children. Beautiful. Karen makes the distinction between a critical eye and a judgemental eye. Read her comment!
Note: I'm devoting my art time on my embroidery craftsmanship. It hasn't stopped me from working on my new art pieces. I'm just slowing down, experimenting and learning
I have a weakness for collective nouns. And purses and any kind of bag.
A few years ago, I ordered some purse frames which came with crappy instructions and failure was the only option. I've had the bug to try again lately and with my recent flu giving me some "lay down" time, I dove back in.
I found instructions here on Etsy, along with the glue, Guttermann's (super important) and purse frames. Good start. I also began haunting U-Handbags, a company owned by Lisa Lam. Lisa authored a couple of books and (sheepishly) I bought a Bag For all Reasons (linked below).
It took me a few tries to get this right but it is absorbing. I can see making these purses with embroidery and fabric collage piecing. In the meantime, my first commission is to make purses for the bridal party and a few family members for the wedding. Practice makes perfect.
Amidst the logistics of planning my daughter's wedding is some straight on fun.
The bridesmaids had their hearts set on fascinators and when I found this tutorial on making chiffon flowers, the deal was done. The edges of the fabric curl when held over (ahem, not IN) a candle. A trip to Fabric Row in Philadelphia with my buddy Susan, provided everything necessary to make these frothy confections. Susan found the perfect fabric for the leaves.
It was pretty easy once the fabric circles were cut. The largest circle is about 4.5". Anyway, flowers done, one to go *the bride needs one, right?* And a lovely silk hairband with flowers for our junior bridesmaid.
I'm thinking of all of the sizes and colors you could make these in for pins or embellisments. I made a tiny one - about 2" across that is quite cute.
I managed to make a couple of prints using my new Gelli Artz plate and Golden Open Acrylics. Amazing. Making prints is thrilling for me. I minored in printmaking in art school so this was really REALLY exciting. The cleanest monoprints I've made without a press ever. I am using washi paper and the plan is to turn that into papercloth and do the stitching on it.
I think I need a bigger plate.
In the straight up fabric and stitch, there is more inspiration than there will ever be time to complete ...
The violet and golden in the upper portion of this picture is making me drool ... sun and mountains.
I am off to pack my bag full of stitching while I take over the nursing. Eeegads. I'm a dreadful nurse but my sis, who actually IS a nurse has been there and will train me to take over. I'll bet we do fine! Wish me luck.
I woke up mid-dream turning cartwheels. And sticking them. Clearly a sign of improvement. When I was small, I could do a cartwheel. Somewhere along the line, I lost trust. I didn't lose the ability to turn myself into a human wheel but trust in myself prevented my legs from reaching for the sky. Self-doubt plays a huge part in mind, body and spirit.
I recently took up yoga after several years hiatus. One of the selling points on this class is it is specifically aimed at Seniors, which I am not. But that is OK. It is the right place for me.
The big intention on my part right now is Balance and Earth. I am very intentionally grounding myself and trying to strengthen my core in order to focus. I drew a metaphor the other night while working on the granny square project. It is tempting to go out and learn every granny square pattern online. But no. I am sticking with the classic. Turning the process into an artform. Improving every detail of my form. Reaching blindly into the basket of yarn and using whichever color comes to hand. Trust.