Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fiber Junkies and Tiki Mats

Our Fiber Junkies met yesterday; during the summer months, we often meet at Vals who has a wonderful wet studio in her garage. She is such a wonderful hostess, always welcoming us with open arms, tables ready and everything else to make our day a big fun day. We played with one of our favorite techniques - deconstructive screen printing which we always love. We used dyes but this time we also tried a new version using discharge paste.
 Setting up our drying spaces - Mary with her new rescued drying rack for hanging things to dry.
 All the wonderful things we use for texture including in the foreground some Tiki mats.
 I confisgated these mats which were decorations at my nephews wedding - an outside affair with a Tiki theme. He said "Aunt Judy, what do you possibly want with these mats"? Seriously...? I started to explain and saw the glazed over look in his eye I said very kindly - forget it, you wouldn't understand.
 After laying down some items for texture, we laid our screen over the top.
 Denny was using lots of circles and disperse dyes which she was printing on paper.
 I had one large screen which I didn't get to  print as I ran out of fabric but will tackle that tomorrow.  I've soaked some more fabric in soda ash ready to go.
 Here is one of Val's - a beauty as always.
 Kate was having tremendous success with her color choices - some blues and a raspberry colored dye.
 My dyes looked quite dark when printed on fabric but I know the colors are much lighter once they are batched and washed, I'm very hopeful for good results.
As mentioned before, we also worked with discharge paste. We placed items under the screen, but instead of using dyes to squeegee, we used a clear print paste mix. When dried, we loosed it with discharge paste instead of print paste which loosen the dyes. Results to follow along with show and tell.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Being a Brownie scout meant lots of things - crafts, games, fun snacks and one of the biggest thrills - marching in the Memorial Day Parade. It was a day off from school, the beginning of summer and a chance to be with our little girlfriends. 
 We all carried little flags and someone got to carry the big flag - sometimes me, my mom was the leader and I would beg her to pick me. We would march down Main Street in Farmingdale, New York, very proud, smiling and full of giggles. We knew what the holiday stood for, but for us little kids, it was more of a day of fun.
 Fast forward 35 years and I have my own Brownie troop (me - top right); We still celebrated Memorial Day but no parades with Brownie troops included. Times have changed and I'm grateful for those simpler times.
I'm also very grateful for all the men and women who have or still are serving our country with courage and integrity. A BIG thank you for all you do and all you have done
and Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Match Game

Just a quick post to share my latest project I made as a baby gift for a dear friend's daughter who just had a little boy -  her first baby! I made one of these for my granddaughter a while back, too young for her at first but now she's at the perfect age.

It's quite fun to make and many ways a small child can play with it as my daughter/ teacher pointed out. The pocket in front holds the pieces to be matched to the board below.

Baby Lucien was named after his grandpa LD. LD never lived to see his first little grandson - what a nice tribute to a wonderful man.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Leaf II

This is part of an ongoing series I started with deconstructive screenprinted fabric from a while back. I do have a "leaf I" posted some time ago and finally got round to finishing the blue version. 
 The leaf is created from the deconstructive screen printing technique using blue and green dyes. I thought it needed more depth; using a silk screen, I screened lettering using discharge paste over the leaf to add more interest to the top. It still needed more and was small enough to run through my ink jet printer. I printed the tree branches coming in from the side. I adjusted the print opacity of the branches so they wouldn't be so strong.
 Still needing more, I used the same lettering, this time with a dark color paint to show up more prominently on the blue band that will go beneath.
 Those of you who know me know I live by the philosophy of there's no such thing as too many trees, so here we go again - more trees from a screen of a photo I took along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
 Painted organza binding, free motioned quilted and mounted on a pre-stretched canvas...
and the finished piece...."Leaf II". I will have to get busy gathering more things on my morning walk to do more of these type pieces. I like the results even though the prints themselves can be so challenging at times.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing you a wonderful Mother's day surrounded by those you love.
 What a great time of year to have a garden tour, things are just starting to pop.

 Iris's are blooming and the peonies will be popping in another 3 weeks. I just planted the annuals so they'll be a while...
 but once here, they're here for months - love it. These are our knock out roses.
And Happy birthday to my beautiful daughter...from then - 1976
til now....where have the years gone!
Have a great day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fiber Junkies Show and Tell

We did have an inspiring show and tell at Fiber Junkies the other day. Kate had spend a week at Pro Chemical taking her second workshop with Carol Soderland. The results were beautiful, most of it dealt with neutrals which Kate had samples of in a notebook. 
 This was one of the gradation dyes she did.
 This was another experiment where she folded her fabric and did some subtle changes between the starting and ending color which was quite effective.
 Kate also showed us an amazing quilt she did for her nephew who is in a group - the Ultramarines. Silly me, when I first heard the name, I thought it had something to do with the marines - not so...a video game of some sort he plays in a group. The most amazing thing about this quilt is that it's all hand painted. Kate did an wonderful job; her nephew will be thrilled.
 Gen shared with us the finished pieces of last months ice dyeing, all were beautiful and "drool worthy".
 Denny has been studying with Hollis Chatelaine for 8 years as part of a 10 year class that meets annually and touches base throughout the year. This year the group was studying thread and the effct it has on our fiber work. This study group is labor intensive but Denny loves it and comes home with lots of new information and samples she shares with us, so it's been a bit of an education for our group also.
 We all loved this sample Denny shared with us of her disperse dyes. I have to admit, I've tried them in the past and wasn't that impressed as the color wasn't very intense, but I may have to rethink that. Denny does layer color upon color using the painted papers. The effect is lovely and it doesn't change the hand of the fabric no matter how much layering you do. The only drawback, if it is a drawback, is that you work on synthetic fabric which will take these dyes -  a natural fiber will not. I'm not a purist and I make art quilts so this will be just fine. I can see playing with this technique in the future.
 Val brought some of her ice dyed fabric from last playday and as always - beautiful.
The intensity of the color of this one was incredible.
On another note, I'm off to Atlanta to see my daughter and Audrey - my granddaughter. It's a celebration of my daughter's birthday - I became a mother on mother's day. Have a wonderful mother's day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Geli Printing with Fiber Junkies

It's that time again, always a happy dance day when the Fiber Junkies meet and meet we did at Gen's home for some Geli printing. Gen had everything set up and ready to go; we brought geli plates, plexiglass, paints, lots of fabric, stencils...the list goes on. We were ready to PLAY! I had never used a geli plate and some of the gals brought extra to share. Denny was also thinking ahead and made some homemade gelatin plates for us to try and compare the difference.
 My vote was for the homemade gelatin plates; it had the most give to it and a nice "squishy" feel when you were working with the surface.  My least favorite was the plexiglass which had no give to it and harder to roll the paint onto.
 This is my plexiglass plate with paint on it and more being added; this will be retired after today.
After paint was applied to the plate, a stencil, stamp and other object was laid on top to make an imprint. You can also write in it or make a design of your own. You have to work fast as the paint dries quickly.  Next the fabric or paper was laid on top to pick up the design from the plate.
Here is one that Denny did which is hanging to dry.
 Denny chose to work in disperse dyes which were thickened with alginate. She printed on paper which will then be transferred to fabric - clever lady!

 What a great, and another way to use these dyes which are transferred through heat onto a synthetic or blended fabric.
Mary has been pondering over this piece of wool for many meetings but like a good trooper, refused to give up on it. The above piece which she had already sunprinted, shiboried and ice dyed was not what she wanted.
So here is the after (of the before) where she geli printed an image on top. Mary was literally doing a happy dance, now loves the piece and commits very seriously to the philosophy of not giving up. It really does look great and I look forward to seeing what Mary will do with it.
 I did try and rescue some close to hopeless pieces of fabric, they are a little less hopeless now but I'm still not doing a happy dance over them.
I did do a lot of paper for our paper-fabric meeting which has become an annual event.
 So where to put all our pieces to dry - Denny to the rescue with her make-shift and terribly clever hanging system for holding lots of things - skirt hangers attached to a pole...
which worked great and really did the job - A great day - stay tuned for our wonderful show and tell...til next time...or as my husband likes to say - "Have fun with the Junkies".