Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Eco Printing Pt. 1

I've been trying to get as much Eco printing in before the trees are bare. I have to admit, I did all this printing right before I left for New York but couldn't get to posting it.
I did take a great workshop with Vicki Bennett but also did a lot of experimenting with my Fiber Junkies group. Vicki gave us a list of plants that work well for imparting color. The beautiful Gingko does not impart color but can be used for other things in this process. Sometimes we just WANT a certain leaf to work and try it anyway - stubborness prevails! We just have to see for ourselves...So I laid out greenery and labeled them as a visual for myself and this blog. Red bud works fabulous, Marigold leaves will print but because they are so "lacy", edges tend to get blurred and Maple is the best.
In this row, Ferns - sometimes, Peony prints very well, Goatsbeard not at all and Rose leaves are excellent.
Oakleaf Hydrangea is wonderful, Zinnea leaves - sometimes and Poplar - no.
Eucalyptus is perhaps the best and if you can get the big leaves, even better. I have only been able to get the smaller leaves lately.

I started with some shingles I had that were warped and weathered (still worked fine) and made a sandwich using 130 lb. watercolor paper (Kilimanjaro at Cheap Joes) cut to the size I wanted...
placed leaves on top...

then another layer of paper, leaf etc until you have around 10 layers.

One of the many fun things about this process is with the paper being so heavy, your leaf will print on the paper it's placed on and also on the paper that goes on top. When the boiling process is done, each paper has a back and front print; the heavy paper prevents each from showing thru to the other side.

Above is the smaller Eucalyptus (right) which print great but I really love the larger leaf.
For me, the Maple is the most beautiful...shape and print itself.

As you can see - top right corner, you can mix the paper sizes. Once you're layered up, you put a top shingle on and clamp it shut. It's not necessary to have a super tight clamp as the water has to be able to penetrate to the center. I will show you what happens in next post when they are too tight.
Once your "sandwich" is ready, place it in a large pot of boiling water - around 3/4 water and 1/4 white vinegar (inexpensive kind from Sams) and let it boil away for @ an hour. Make sure the package is totally submerged. This can be tricky as it tends to want to come to the surface....I've come up with a few ways like dowels cut to the size of the diameter that I wedge in just below the surface, also the tray that sits on top that comes with some of these pots can be rigged up...Next time...more results and some nice prints (and some flops too).

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Good to be Home

I've just returned from New York after a 2 week stay for visiting, reunions and various other things. My husband and I were both born and raised in New York; it's fun to return to one's old stomping grounds but I have to say even better to return to beautiful Asheville. We love NY but are not used to the crazy traffic and crowds anymore.
We always visit the Oconee Diner in Islip LI when we're in NY. The diners in New York are a different breed from all others. They believe in HUGE portions on everything...We love eating there but I'm not a lover of food piled high, especially when I can't take it home for another day.
This particular diner goes all out for much gaudiness makes it rather enchanting and fun. We sat under this huge spider for dinner.
Everything you can possibly imagine was hanging.
As I mentioned, the portions are humongous...I hate throwing food away and felt so guilty having to leave so much behind.
Beautiful, luscious pastries but who has room for anything else after one of their meals..
On to Farmingdale for my highschool reunion...the church I went to as a child...
such a pretty town.
and the reunion was spectacular...Our classmate - Susan, who has done all the reunions does the most amazing job and her attention to detail is wonderful. The composition like books at each place was a directory and included in the goodie bag - a certificate which gave us all a good laugh.

Our reunions are diminishing...we were in the hundreds but still so good to see old friends.
On to New Paltz, NY where my husband graduated from SUNY at New Paltz. It was Alumni weekend and one of the classes featured was his.
One of the things we did was visit my great-grandfather's grave for the purpose of photographing it for ancestry. I had never been there but after doing some research, we were able to locate it in upstate New York on the way to visit my cousins, we made a stop. We had all the information, his marker number and section but couldn't find it....It wasn't a very big area and we walked every inch. We found where it should have been according to the number but no luck...We were to find out why at the end of our trip.
I still felt as though he was there....somewhere; I never knew him but my mom adored him and that's enough for me...I really wanted to see where he was buried.
After our day of "not finding Frederick Vegara", we were off to my cousin's for a one night visit. Missy to my left (your right) and Pammie on the end (left). I'm older than both of them so I'm "Big Couz" and they're "Baby Couz". We had a wonderful but short visit.
The next day it was onto John's aunt who is younger than him...another short but wonderful visit and dinner out.
Than back to Long Island by way of the ferry from Bridgeport, CT to Port Jeff on LI.
The Bayard Cutting Arboretum is beautiful and gave me lots of inspiration for quilts.
I love trees and took many photos for future ideas.
One of my favorite things in the entire trip was this giant weeping Beech tree. From the grounds it looked like a giant dome of branches...(forgot to get a picture), then walking through an opening, you were in a cave with one tree. The branches grew to the ground, attached themselves and sprouted another trunk or branch. It was the most fascinating thing, I could have spent hours in there.
The filtering light made it magical.
I took one of the pictures, put it in Photoshop and applied some filters.
I think this will print out beautifully as a backdrop for something.
Another day we went over the Captree bridge to Robert Moses park and beach. I love the beach in the winter, when it is cool and peaceful. This was just that. The driftwood sculptures were amazing...
and another Photoshop moment.
This brings back so many memories of growing up and the beaches in the north.
These drawings might wind up as a silkscreen.

I love the textures you get in sand...I put this photo in Photoshop but it didn't look as good as I had hoped.
However, this one.......
has possibilities!
And the beach grass...lovely memories.
There are so many bridges to get in and out of New York....
this one led us to another cemetery for more headstones to photograph. We had 5 of my husband's relatives and we found 3 (actually related to his cousin).
One relative was a child who died at the age of 2, couldn't find his grave even though we had the marker and row number....took a picture anyway. When we got home, hubby called and was given the history of this grave. The family was poor and couldn't afford to put a headstone. All children who were buried without a headstone were in row 1 against the we did find him although no marker. That was also the situation with my great grandfather. My husband was disappointed but also very enlightened to the history of that time, which I thought was a nice trade-off.
On to a Chinese restaurant with our cousin Chris and Mary...a fun and very autumn weather day.
I'm almost done...are you tired yet...I get tired just reading about everything we tried to squeeze in.
Back to Islip and a trip to the beach which is beautiful and the beach my husband grew up with. How lucky to be able to ride your bike to the beach.
So we are home, and I've spent every day going thru mail, emails, bills and laundry...My cats are so HAPPY, they have been following me everywhere. They have no concept of time and I'm sure Molly thinks I've been gone for at least 14 it's good, good, good to be home.