A few years after moving into our house, I set up a home maintenance piggy bank. Anyone living in a house will know exactly what it’s for; houses are greedy things. The house was new and automatically came with, at that time, carpeting throughout. In a couple of years everyone knows what happens to that kind of carpeting, so we began to replace the carpet on the first floor with nice hard, easy to clean surfaces. Many years went by and the second floor became my studio space as well as storage space for show supplies. The place was packed full. Every time I looked at those floors, with their now really old and yucky carpeting, I didn’t know how or when I was going to get those floors redone.
Old flooring (ugh!):
Finally, last fall I made a decision; it was now or never. So I called in our flooring people and we looked over the situation. It was suggested that they could find some packing help for me. I considered it very seriously but then thought, I would have to be with them all the time anyway to help sort so why not just do it myself. There were 3 rooms involved. With all that was in those rooms there was no way they could be done at one time. I started with the main studio and largest room. I packed and moved and packed and moved. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw the room so empty. The room was now ready to be done and the work started immediately after the first of the year. They leveled and installed the flooring in a whole lot less time I took to pack! I told them to come back in 2 weeks to do the other 2 rooms. So now I unpacked (and half put away) and then packed and moved and packed and moved.
Once again the installers leveled and installed the flooring in slick quick time. The floors looked great. The walls looked like crap. Painters came in. Now there are 2 rooms with fresh paint. I’m still trying to get things unpacked (in all 3 rooms) and put back where I think they should be.
Actually, there were a lot of ‘wins’ from this exercise. I managed to clear out, while packing, things no longer used; some will be sold, some will be donated. I am doing the same thing while putting things away; finding more things to ‘re-home’. Now maybe I can get back to working on my projects. Lots to do for me and lots to do before the CHT conference in June. I’m ready for a lot of creative time.
A quick peak at the floor:
These kinds of projects just make one feel righteous!
Another wonderful workshop at the 2016 International Quilt Festival. This one was with Houston’s own Ginny Eckley. What a talented artist she is as well as a great teacher. Our topic was ‘Japonisme’: the Japanese influence on art nouveau. This was my first foray into silk painting and silk screening. These things are way outside my comfort zone. I was, however, determined to give them a try and see what happened and what techniques I could, perhaps, transfer to my current endeavors.
Below is my test piece. The goal was to find out what colors worked, the required saturation and their effect on one another.
Below is my second and final piece. I decided to go for minimalism: color and details. Someone in our workshop had done, for her test piece, a sample using dark grays. I liked the look but wanted the colors even lighter. Because my colors are so muted they were difficult to photograph. The upper left corner is a green gray. The lower left corner is gray. The fabric was then washed with a pale yellow. My butterfly had a little too much ink on it but it turned out okay after I added a few bits of yellow and orange to the body.
Not sure these processes are in my future but, who knows, I may be able to combine techniques in a way I hadn’t considered as yet. And the workshop was worth getting up at 5:30!
International Quilt Festival Houston 2016 is about to begin. The workshops started yesterday and I braved getting up at 5:30 so I could get to my first workshop on time.
Glennis Dolce didn’t disappoint, as usual. We were supplied with 3 packets of folded silk (along with instructions on how to fold our own fabtic). We were also supplied with some dissolving thread and instructed to draw and then sew our designs on each packet of silk. Once that was done, we were given some silk dye (which doesn’t require heat setting) and a couple of pipettes. Thus armed, we began to paint our designs. After the painting was done, we dissolved our stitching and opened up our “masterpieces”.
I am very fond of my “firstborn”. Glynnis only let us use 2 colors for our first piece.
My second piece was a bit overwhelming to me. I had intended for small sections of black but the black dye has a mind of its own.
My very favorite was my final sample. I like the colors as well as the resulting shape.
Next workshop is in a couple of days. It is with the very wonderful and talented Ginny Eckley. Looking forward to it (even if its another 5:30 morning!)
I was gathering together the items I had selected to be in this year’s sale. When it was time for me to pick out a few of my eco print scarves, I came across one that I kept going back to look at. Many eco printers strive to have perfect prints of each piece of foliage they place on their fabric. Their results are very stunning. I, however, like to have a few identifiable leaves in my work but enjoy the shapes and subtle colors of the other botanicals (not all will produce color or distinct patterns) that are also used on the same piece of fabric. To me, this gives the piece a great deal of depth.
This shows the outline of pine needles to the left and the leaf ribs on the bottom.
More leaf ribs and subtle color.
Leaf shapes everywhere especially a magnificent oak.
A sweet gum drifting in the background.
The more I looked at this scarf the more I knew it was not going to go to the sale. It has moved to my closet where I would be able to select it to wear whenever the muses strike.
P.S. The CHH Annual Sale is November 17 – 19 at the Guild House. Check http://www.weavehouston.org for more details.
The leaves of the hamelia (hummingbird bush) have always been a reliable source of green when printing.
This piece was printed with only the leaves of the hamelia and a few annatto seeds.
Add some eucalyptus and a bit of tannin (with a small assist from a bit of iron) and the hamelia still peaks out with a bit of greeen.
Add a bit more tannin (with an iron assist) and the green is still there.
How can anyone help not love this plant(its also a favorite of bees and hummingbirds).
P.S. Always use a bit of copper when printing hamelia. It helps bring out the greens.
Since I mentioned working on my shibori stitch resist techniques, thought I would share some photos of a few of the patterns I have been doing. Most are very geometric. A few are pictorial. I have several more ideas. This seems to have taken over my life for the moment (it is rather additive).
I’ve been spending a great deal of time this summer on my indigo processes; resist methods and dyeing. I do, however, try to sneak in a bit of time for some botanical printing.
There were a couple of batches that I am particularly fond of. The colors and images just seemed to be in harmony.
My favorite leaves for images are oak, pecan and sweet gum. There are other leaves,however, that leave wonderful tints and shadowy hints of their presence. Those are the leaves that give the pieces their overall look.
I will admit not all the leaves are from my area. My sister-in-law does send me small periodic parcels containing a few of the leaves from her area in the Michigan woods. I happily include those in my compositions.