Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Color Palette Challenge

Vicki Welsh and Judy Laquidara are teaming up for the 2012 Color Palette Challenge! You can read about it at either of their blogs (linked) or by clicking below.


It sounds like a great way to explore color combination and possibly finish a small project at the same time.

Both of these women are so talented and I appreciate the time they take to share so many things on their blogs. Vicki has also been instrumental in piquing my interest in fabric dyeing.

And she spells her first name correctly. Ahem.

I’m in! Wanna play along?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Odds and ends

A favorite uncle of Mr. DJ’s passed away last week and we made a quick trip to Sioux City, IA for the funeral. This uncle was his dad’s brother and his mom’s sister’s husband which makes all the children of the two couples double cousins. As sad as it is to come together under these circumstances, it’s also very nice to see everyone and catch up a little.
We rarely go past the arch in St. Louis as Mr. DJ likes to take the bypass routes around bigger cities, but this time we went through on I-70. We didn’t care about stopping, but it was fun to get a closer view.
st louis arch

Remember this piece?
deconstructed prints2
This is after over dyeing it in blue all scrunched up in a low immersion bath. The patterns are very unpredictable.
over dyed screen
Four new colors from dyes that had to be used before they lost their punch.
jewel palette
A mixer cover to add to the shop soon.
mixer cover (2)
I can now knit across a row and back pretty well and have created a ..... rectangle! By the time spring gets here I could have an entire scarf.
Sarah’s knitting has mine beat! Head over to her Whoop Whoop Friday’s post to see what she and others are up to.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

From ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’

Marcie: Don't feel bad, Chuck. Peppermint Patty didn't mean all those things she said. Actually, she really likes you.
Charlie Brown: I don't feel bad for myself, I just feel bad because I've ruined everyone's Thanksgiving.
Marcie: But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,' Charlie Brown


Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall colors

My favorite tree is the Bradford Pear in our front yard. Here it is in the spring with it’s fluffy white blossoms.

bradford pear tree

This is it’s fall foliage.pear tree

pear tree4

pear tree leaves

I think this might have inspired a new scarf in my Etsy shop. I’m lucky to have my own personal model and photographer.Smile


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


After my whirlwind printing frenzy, I shipped out the fat quarters to my swap partners and now I can take a breath!

All the printing was done with dyes thickened with sodium alginate (ground up kelp).

Golden Yellow and Cerulean Blue (Dharma’s dye names)

thickened dye

I described the Mod Podge screen in a previous post, but thought I’d put these photos up again.

mod podge

One time around with Fire Red. It’s very pinkish.

circle print

Second layer with Golden Yellow and the same screen. It looks better after it was heat set and laundered, but I didn’t get a photo of it.

circle screen

This screen was prepared with strips of freezer paper pressed onto it. As hard as I tried to seal all the edges, there were still places that I knew would bleed.

freezer paper screen

And they did. But, in my opinion, that’s part of the beauty of hand printing and I like it! I had to do some mixing to get a shade of red I was happy with.

freezer paper print

This is where it got really fantastically fun! Enter Kerr Grabowski and her deconstructed screen printing.

Kerr Grabowski Deconstructed Screen Printing

So, I gathered up some stuff from around the house.

deconstructed screen

A blank screen with the dye on the side before spreading it.

deconstructed screen2

Here, you can see the screen after it’s dried and the objects were removed. Beside it is the first ‘pull’ with a paste made from sodium alginate and water. The paste wets and releases the dye onto the fabric.

deconstructed screen3

After a few pulls with only the paste, the image faded, so I began adding more dye.

deconstructed screen4

I covered four fat quarters with the same screen before the dried dye was finally gone and there was no texture left on the screen.

deconstructed screen6

deconstructed prints

This one got some layered printing with the same screen and more dye. My personal favorite. This process is so serendipitous!

deconstructed screen print

This one was made by squeezing thickened Dark Brown dye from a plastic bottle.

deconstructed screen (2)

After it dried, I used Golden Yellow to make the print. Not very much of the brown dye was released, but you can see it a little. It has potential.

deconstructed prints2

Last one! This piece was dyed a few months ago, using soy wax as a resist.

batik circles

This is the same piece. I stamped it with a different shape and over dyed it with Scarlet, which is a more yellow based red than the Fire Red. I love the colors!

batik overdye

If it hadn’t been for this hand printed fabric swap, I may not have explored some of these techniques, so I’m happy as a clam that I signed up. There is a Flickr group, if you’d like to see all the cool things the others have been printing. I really hope my swap partners like their fabric!  I sent four of these pieces out. Any guesses which ones?

Next on the list are two lap size quilts I’m making for Christmas gifts.  They’re designed in my head, so at least that much is done. I really want to dye all the fabric for one of them, so I’d better get moving!


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Just pictures for now ….

Screen print with Mod Podge

circle screen

Freezer paper screen print

deconstructed prints3

Over-dyed soy wax resist

batik overdye

Deconstructed screen prints

deconstructed prints2

deconstructed prints

I’ll post in a day or two about the process for each print. I’ve learned a lot!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honor and celebrate!

Thank you, Veterans!


To Ashley and the C. Man, who is one of my favorite veterans, congratulations on five years of marriage! Love you!


I’ll be back later with more printing results….too much fun!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Printing with thickened dye

These are the preliminary results from the printing session.  

circle print2

As you can see, the print isn’t complete at the top and bottom of the screen leaving a line. Chalk that up to inexperience. I think it has some potential, though. I used dye thickened with sodium alginate, which is a dried, ground kelp or seaweed. It becomes like jelly when mixed with water and it worked pretty well with the screen.

The stamps were another story. Unlike paint or ink, the thickened dye is slippery and doesn’t stick to the stamps very well, especially the lino. I grabbed a couple of foam stamps and those worked a little better, but the dye accumulates in the little crevices and then drips out when the stamp is applied to the surface.

stamp practice

I had to carve the fox deeper, so while I was at it I made a couple more stamps.

paisley stamp

The big one is two sided. The spool has jute glued to the top which made the circles in the picture below.

paisley stamp2


I really like these stamps, but the results with the thickened dye are not what I was hoping for. The paisley piece will need another layer of something…I’m not sure just what that will be.

This is as far as I got today. These two pieces are drying and then will have to be heat set. I have my fingers crossed that all the dye won’t run down the drain with the first rinse!

I’m going to try another screen method tomorrow, so I’ll check in with that when I have something to show!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Getting ready…

to print. I mentioned here that I had signed up for a hand printed fabric swap and I’ve been doing some prep work for that.

Basic set of lino cutting tools.

lino tools

My drawing skills are next to nil, but I figured I could manage a house and a tree. These gray linoleum pieces are pretty easy to cut. They’re very thin so I’ll probably mount them on a wood block before I use them.

stamp house

I also picked up this Moo Carve block to try. It cuts like butta!

stamp moo

There’s no way a fox was in my repertoire, so I leaned on Google for some assistance. I’m glad I didn’t try to cut this from the lino.

Moo carve fox

I wanted to try a screen print without spending a lot on a a thermofax screen. So after some research here and there, I bought a voile sheer curtain, stapled it to a frame and traced a design.

screen circles

Mod Podge is applied as a resist to the areas you don’t want to print.

mod podge

I’m on my way to the dye studio (basement). The plan is to use thickened dye instead of ink to print. Plus, I have six new colors to play with! I love Dharma:)

Stay tuned..