Archive for January, 2015

Tibetan Prayer Flags

January 17, 2015

I’m still home, but dreaming about going on vacation, so thought I’d try my hand at making some prayer flags in the Tibetan manner to help nudge me on my way.

Traditionally, prayer flags come in sets of five: one in each of five colors. The five colors are arranged from left to right in a specific order: blue, white, red, green, and yellow, but I’m making my flags with Tucson on my mind. This is the first one I made:

Tucson Emb

The sun embroidery was sewn out a few months ago with plans of using it for the base of a Bead Journal Project, but thought it was perfect for this project. The sun always seems to be shining in Tucson, so I used a built in alphabet in my sewing machine to sew the city’s name in lots of different rayon thread colors. The design is from Kreations by Kara

The second design was done this past week when I got home from the hospital:

Hand Spiral

Inktense pencils were used to create the watercolor background on the same muslin as the first flag. The colors used were Burnt Orange, Sicilian Yellow, Baked Earth, and Chilli Red.

I much prefer the bottom of the piece. I like how some of the background fabric shows through, and I like how it looks a bit like paint flaking off an old fresco.

Too much water was used in the center, so the colors blended too much for the look I was going for, but this was a good learning experience. If you click on the photo it will enlarge for you, and I hope you can see the difference between the bottom and the middle.
It’s the first time I’ve used these pencils, and I definitely plan on using them a lot more. The fabric was left nice and soft.

Then I placed my hand on the colored fabric, and traced around it with a pencil, and added a spiral design on the palm. It looked pretty flat to me, so to create some depth, I made a freezer paper mask for my hand, and stamped spirals all over the piece. Oh yes, instant depth.

Metallic YLI thread was used to sew around the spiral in a double straight stitch on my sewing machine, and then I hand beaded around the hand image.

I’m pretty sure I’ll make a third flag, maybe with a saguaro cactus on it, but then again, it could be more spirals. That sun is spiraling, the palm design is a spiral, and I actually had that spiral stamp used for the background in my stamp collection. I obviously have a subliminal attraction to spirals.

Hugs…

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Dye Play Day

January 2, 2015

Yesterday was a “what if” surface design day for me, and I added a couple of techniques to a piece of fabric I had been saving for a dye day. It all started a little after Thanksgiving.

I had a lot of left over paint from making Child’s Play, and decided to use it all up after the piece was finished. I cut a piece of PFD fabric, placed it on a plastic drop cloth, and proceeded to draw circles and make marks:

Painted fabric 1

I let them dry for 24 hours, then heat set them with an iron. The holidays arrived, and the fabric sat in my laundry room till yesterday.

I love stitch resist dyeing so did some straight line stitching in a 12” block arrangement. 5 rows every 2” horizontally, then 5 rows every 2” vertically. Gathered the stitching to get this:

Scrunched Fabric 2

Now to use the last of the print paste I had mixed up – which somehow hardened. I really didn’t want to mix up more, so added a bit of hot water, nuked the container, stirred, nuked the container again, stirred some more, and Ta Da the print paste was rescued.

As this was a totally fun play dye day, I didn’t weigh anything or do any math. I put a plastic teaspoon full of soda ash in the print paste – and I have no clue how much print paste was in the container, with a dash of Pro Chem’s Deep Purple #8147. The fabric was not presoaked in soda ash, so soda ash had to be added to the print paste for the fabric to dye. Using a sponge brush, I painted all the high spots on the dry, gathered fabric, then let it sit in the sun for an hour:

Print Paste 3

A couple of months ago, I had mixed all the dye concentrate I had into one bottle. I have no clue what colors, or depth of shade it was, and being over 2 months old, wasn’t sure if this concentrate would still dye the fabric, but went for it. This concentrate was poured into a plastic container, but didn’t cover the bottom, so I added some water. The fabric was laid flat and squished a bit so there would be no white spots.

After 15 minutes, I added a cup of soda ash water, and batched it in the sun for an hour and a half, and this is the result:

Finished Fabric Close-up

I’m pretty darn happy with the results, and learned quite a bit.

First off, I lost all the red circles made with the Liquitex ink and aloe vera. I’m not sure if that is because the dye concentrate color covered it or not. Most of the yellow disappeared also – made with Adirondack alcohol inks and aloe vera, while only some of the green did, and a lot of the blue stayed – both made with Daler Rowney inks and aloe vera. The bronze circles stayed the best, and they were made with Golden acrylics with lots of textile medium added for a very watery consistency.

The inks were very easy to sew through and gather. The thinned Golden acrylic did not want to be tightly gathered. It also changed the hand of the fabric. Since I used an iridescent bronze there are wonderful highlights in those circles. Everywhere the light hits, it shines.

I know I’m not done playing with this fabric. The bronze circles are way too dominate, and I liked how the circles linked together in the first step, so will definitely add more circles.

I achieved my goal of using up all my old mixed supplies, and now have a totally clean dye studio – also known as my laundry room. It won’t take me long to mess it up again, but it sure was nice to be able to see the top of my washing machine and dryer again. Anybody want to start laying bets on how long it’ll stay this clean? 😉

Hugs…

Happy New Year 2015

January 1, 2015

Nothing profound or earth shattering happened to me in 2014, and while I could have stood some enlightenment, I was very happy nothing earth shattering occurred. I usually associate earth shattering as something negative, due to all the disaster movies I’ve seen on the SyFy channel, so all is actually good in my little part of the universe.

For those of you who remember my focus on trying to destash some of the “stuff” in my home, it has slowed significantly. That must mean I really want/need what I own. Only 93 pounds of “stuff” departed in 2014. My grand total has reached 3,181 pounds out of here. It looks like it will take an actual household move to get me to the 2 ton mark.

No recap of what I’ve accomplished this year, no list of what I’d like to do in 2015, but I do have to admit, I have a file on my computer titled “What I Want to Make”. It’s getting longer and longer. I’m like a little kid at Thanksgiving who puts too much food on their plate. Their eyes are bigger than what their stomach can handle, but I consider having that long list a very good thing. It fills me with awe, inspiration, and offers a world of creativity for my future – an opportunity to learn something new every day.

I wish you all the same future, plus one filled with good health, happiness, and love – lots and lots of love.

Hugs…