natural dyes

Queen Anne's Lace: Faded Memories

I'm not sure if I'm finished with this piece or now, notice the tattered edge on the right side?  I'm not exactly happy with it at the moment and am thinking of some additional layering.

If you look close enough  you will see that there is additional stitching beneath the hot pink silk organza net, first layer is a silk damask type fabric I dyed with cochineal and then machine stitched to a layer of timtex.

I stitched a grid of sorts and some Queen Anne's Lace onto the first layer using a variegated pink rayon thread.

The initial audition.  The piece to the left consists of cochineal dyed silk organza atop a layer of indigo dyed silk damask fabric which may or may not be finished tonight.

Things Happen!

Things happen. A few weeks back I blogged that I was cancelling my Vimeo account and taking my videos elsewhere.  Well that didn't happen because I was unable to figure out how to cancel my account, before it auto renewed and to make matters worse it auto renewed two days before the expiration date, which created a TON of headaches on my end.

So, I have lowered the price of my video series, and will leave it at this price until the end of November at which time I plan to take it out of circulation and will replace it with a new video series.

Surface Design with Natural Dyes Series 
RENT $9.95 or BUY $34.95 it today!!! 

Birds in Tree with Madder Lac

Madder lac natural dye extract screen printed, using deconstructed screen printing techniques with my Birds in Tree Inverse Stencil, onto cochineal dyed cotton fabric.

Birds in Tree Inverse Stencil taped to the front of a traditional silk screen for deconstructed screen printing!  Stay tuned for more on this technique!!!

Learn more about these techniques in my eBook and Video series 
Mark Making with Nature!!! 

WIP Red Crow

The madder lac dyed silk organza is much darker than these photos depict, the stencil sketch of the crow barely peaking through due to the lighting.  I managed to stitch an outline of the crow in a coordinating reddish heathered wool thread from Aurifil Threads.

I've decided that this smallish piece will now become part of a larger piece I'm working on for my upcoming solo show, as crows and ravens have always been a prominent icon out here on the western prairie and plains.

Upcoming Challenges at the Academy!!!

Upcoming Challenges at the Academy

Marigold 30-Day Cold Dye Challenge Begins January 1st

Extreme Embroidery Extreme Hearts Challenge Begins January 11th
Join us at the Natural Surface Academy for Extreme Hearts Challenge for Valentines Day!!!  In this challenge we will be using our Natural and eco Dyed fibers, threads, ribbons, and fabrics to create constructed cloth for a one-of-a-kind heart for that special someone!

Constructed Cuff Challenge Begins January 18th
Join us at the Natural Surface Academy for Constructed Cloth Cuff Challenge for Valentines Day!!!  In this challenge we will be using our Natural and eco Dyed fibers, threads, ribbons, and fabrics to create constructed cloth for a one-of-a-kind wearable art for that special occassion!

To learn more about the Natural Surface Academy and how to join, click here.

New Barn Series

New series of barns in the making. Silk velvet that has been dyed with natural dyes (vegetable or botanical dyed), compost dyed and or indigo dyed. The colors really are this vibrant in person! Cotton is not this vibrant but with a lot of work you can get it to this level of saturation ;-)
Now to figure how I'm going to stitch these babies and not lose the naunce of what I'm trying to achieve - which is to NOT have them look like a quilt! I'm not sure what the size is at the moment, I'll have to measure the pieces tomorrow, I"m thinking they are around 22"w x 28"h

Dream World

Whilest I wait upon my other fabrics to finish dyeing, for Malus sylvestris, I've been busily pressing some of my compost dyed fabrics - many of which are now being listed in my store. Then I found this piece tonight, it looks all dreamy and stormy.
This piece is definately calling out to me, I see large thunderstorm clouds, the screen printed lace bit thrown is leads one to think all sorts of things - having survived one F5 and one F3 twister in my short life I'm sure you can imagine the sorts of things I'm imagining!

Felted Bag

Here's the felted bag I mentioned, I need to sew the sides together and make the strap yet, it was needlefelted using the Janome Expression. The dealer down the street, from my shop, lent me the machine and if I wasn't in so much pain I'd make samples for them as well. Maybe next week sometime??? I have another bag done already and it's at the shop in the window display with a bunch of other felted items that is announcing our needlefelting workshop the end of October.

Bottom to Top: Front view with the flap open, the back and the front views, and the front view with flap closed. The views are clipped a little bit but that's because I'm in so much pain I'm not able to stretch up enough to get a better view. I'm taking muscle relaxers and pain pills but it doesn't even tough the pain - which tells me it's in the bone not the muscles cause those muscle relaxers they gave me can drop a horse and I'm not whinnining yet!

The background fabric is wool that has been dyed with natural dyes, and the wool on top is a combination of natural dyed and synthetically dyed fibers. Note that it is nigh impossible to match natural dyed fibers to synthetically dyed ones.

Rust Dye Ribbons

Here's a before and after rinsing shot of the silk ribbons and silk fabrics. Then a post dyeing shot, I'm using an acid dye, that for once doesn't make me sick, to get the green and no I know don't the formula as this was in the pot post dyepainting some rovings and I just had to use the color for something! I'm finding it difficult to photograph the ribbons while they are in the dye pot so bear with me, I have a skein that is in the exhausted vat that should come out lighter.

I'm using these pieces in an extreme embroidery class I'm teaching this fall which I'm making into a zine with DVD. I am looking at duplicators, my computer will NOT burn a DVD to save it's life for some odd reason (and it's on it's second DVD burner but just doesn't like them for some odd reason). I'm hoping to get all of my previous DVD's burned and shipped out to former students and soon. Until now I've been using the neighbors laptop to burn DVD's.

The oragish fabric is commerical cotton that was rust dyed and then painted with seta color paints. The back side of the fabric is the most interesting part of the fabric

Rusted Silk Carrier Rods

I know I know I promised pictures and trust me I wish I had taken some because the bulk of the rods now lie in ruin on my drying screen! I put them in the washer, with a bit of soap, to neutralize them and clean the tree guck off of them and forgot to turn the washer off after it filled. Well lets just say that the agitation cycle is NOT a good for the rods. So I'm thinking that while I can make some constructed cloth with the remaining rods, and there are some that are wonderful, the rest I will make paper *think silk fusion* with this week.

So here's a picture of some silk paper, or silk fusion, seeds that I made circa 1995. And a few silk fusion bowls I also made. I should really find the box these are in and bring them up to the studio for the Silk Fusion class I'm teaching this fall. In the meantime I will try taking a picture of the rods, damage and all, with my cell phone camera - need to find the digicam again - but can't promise a quality image.

Quilt In Progress

I'll have to find my pics and post them later but I finally decided how I want to finish a quilt I started last spring. There's nothing like going through old photos, even if scanning in the negatives are slower than molassses on a january morning, to get inspiration. I have a lovely scanner but it's sooooo slow it's mind boggling. Some day I'd like to have one of those Nikon scanners where you stick the negative strip in and it reads each image individualy.

New rusted rods

I rust dyed about a pound, or more, of silk carrier rods, they are currently sitting out on my skirting frame oxidizing. After the last piece of constructed cloth I've decided to overdye some rusted rods to achieve an even greater depth of color and texture. I so love rust dyeing it's easy and convient, and by convient I mean I can leave it for awhile unattended, I don't have to brood over it like an immersion dye vat.

I'm still recovering from surgery this past Friday, and now have a cold. I think I may have broken my fever, still feeling dizzy though. It's the constant coughing I can live without, no it's not a bloodclot. I thought of that but I had a bit of a sinus drip before I went into surgery but everyone was "it's ok" well... it's not so ok now. I'm treating it, I found a tried and true anti viral product that really is helping with the symptoms, save the fever, and I'm feeling much better today. Sleep and rest will help with the fever, so I'm sitting here anwsering emails as I can only sleep so much and I get really stiff from lying down.

Plains Art Museum

Sandstone 2 is leaving here tomorrow for the Plains Art Museum
in Fargo, North Dakota. I was asked to participate in a group show with other quilt artists who live in this part of the country. I wish I lived closer to the Museum as it looks like it's going to be a stellar show with many very talented quilt artists.