Friday, January 30, 2009

More dyeing

I had to get my indigo vat going again to finish off a quilt kit, so once it was fired up and dyeing beautifully, I thought I would try the soy wax in the vat. Again my concerns were that the wax would disintegrate in the vat being water soluble, but the piece below was dipped three times with on effect on the wax at all. I am going to have to work on my skills with the tjanting and I think cooler weather will absolutely be a bonus.

It's a messy business dyeing in the wind, it does come off ...................eventually LOL

I have also been playing around with some different folding techniques for the Chaos Theory Quilt and here are some of the results. I am keen to try some of these on bigger pieces of fabric and then design a new quilt that incorporates some of these lovely patterns, as these are only 13 inch squares.  I love the colour combination you get with this method of dyeing and the unpredictability of it. The Indigo vat is still looking good this morning so I am going to over dye some of my pricions and see what happens. I'll show you tomorrow if they work out OK


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Valentines giveaway

Well I have found out the reason why I cannot join in the fun of the OWOH event, my emails are being blocked as spam :(  I'll have to try again next year, so for those of you that manage to find your way here, this is my gift to you on that special day, just leave a comment on this post and please make sure there is some way of me contacting you and this little packet of brightness could be winging it's way to you :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday Afternoon on the River

Just a quick post today and a couple of photographs of our relaxing afternoon spent on the river. Now the weather has settled and we are not getting heavy rains, the rivers have slowed and we have been doing some canoeing. Might sound a bit energetic, but believe me, with our little electric motor, we glide silently and effortlessly up the river. I even managed to stuff myself with a packet of chips (crisps) and half a packet of jammy dodgers while fishing, much to Steve's amusement, so much for the healthy great outdoors LOL


Here we are rigging up ready to go, doesn't it look so peaceful.

The young cattle always give us an inquisitive stare as we glide by. 
Thought there was more heads and less bums in the picture.

If you look up on the bank, you will see the fence covered in debris from the last flood.

A little birds nest blown down in the last storm.

A large freshwater muscle, these are about as big as my hand and we have actually caught these on small plastic lures.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More wax and a Birthday Present

Earlier this week I got the soy wax and procions out for another bit of experimentation. I am still playing around with this wax to see what exactly it will do. Last time I used it I made up a print paste as the wax is water soluble, and didn't think it would take too much wetting out, however is proved to be a lot more resilient than I expected, so this time used just straight dye. The pieces you can see below are just experimental bits, trying out different stamps, rollers, etc. and trying to get the wax just the right temperature to use with a tjanting to keep a good flow. As whole pieces they are pretty out there and a bit of a confusion, but when they are cut into smaller pieces they are quite gorgeous. I have cropped some bits so you can see. Further down the page, you can see how I used one of the earlier pieces in a project, a little pocket book in the latest Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. These multi coloured fabrics are ideal for this project.

As you can see they are full of texture and colour. 













But the small pieces are terrific, and there's so much variety in just one fat 1/4.

Here are the pockets made for the book, took only a fat 1/8th

The pockets in the book

This little pocket book and itouch cover where Birthday presents for Louise, it's very hard finding presents that are light and  portable as she is travelling OS at the moment. Her itouch goes everywhere with her, and the little pockets will be ideal to store her treasures. Apparently Green is her favourite colour at the moment, so the itouch cover and book cover are made from textured calico with golden acrylics and mica powder.

As I have mentioned the pocket book was a project in Cloth, Paper Scissors. I have only recently subscribed to this mag, having subscribed to  Quilting Arts in the past. Now these wonderful magazines are available in digital form and I get both mags for the price of one in this format. It's terrific, I can't loose them, don't have to find storage for them, can print pages with templates etc. straight from the computer, no scanner needed and the ads are linked directly to the relevant web site for easy browsing. If you haven't had a look at these magazines before, or the new format, then you can see them here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sausages and Bread

Well santa didn't come up with the goods, despite my pleading letter which included pictures so there would be no confusion, but his last minute shopping expedition on Christmas Eve yielded socks, which, yes, I need as I have a thing about cold feet so squirrel pairs away all over the place, just in case. All the cars have a pair in the glove box and there must be at least two pairs in the boat. I also got a lovely array of fishing lures, which someone else has been trying out!! and some other very useful bits and pieces. Luckily it is my Birthday a week later so I got my whiz bang food mixer then. To be fair Steve did go looking at Christmas and was totally overwhelmed by the choices, so it was better we went together, and I ended up getting a fantastic Kitchenaid stand mixer, in "Black", well when your shopping with a man and the assistant who is helping you make this monumental decision to spend so much on a mixer is also male, I didn't get much say, but to be honest, it looks good in my half renovated kitchen, very....... manly .

Then I realised it had all these attachments you could get!! Couldn't help myself, had to get the grinder and sausage stuffer, and these are the results.

A trip to my butcher got me some natural sausage skins and some pork necks to play with. See how well Black fits in with the gyp rock and plaster wall.


Here it is, mincing up all that lovely pork

And ta da - my first batch of sausages

There was a lot of pork there, so the next day I made some more. The darker ones at the back are Italian with red wine, garlic and lots of spices and the front apple and sage .

Last night we had home made bangers, salad and rosemary and sea salt foccacia.  I haven't bought a loaf of bread this year!!  sounds very impressive but it's only the 14th Jan LOL. So I have been keeping my promise to myself to cook more, have made plenty of bread but this is the first photo I have managed without a great hunk missing of the end - no one can resist fresh, hot bread. My creativeness has just been channeled in a different direction the past week, one which Steve finds much more appealing I'm sure, but today I'm sitting here with green hands, which has got nothing to do with any food product and a lot to do with Procion Dye ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Studio Spaces and Work Places

Well I don't know about you, but my studio / workroom becomes a dumping ground over the Christmas holidays, all that stuff you have to remove to put up decorations, make the house look tidy etc. all goes into your precious space because you know you just won't get to play out there anyway. Now the decorations are down, the house returning to is' t usual state of chaos, it's time to go and clean up that mess and get you space back in order. With that in mind I thought I would share with you a couple of cheap household objects that I have found very useful to store and create with. Beware there's a couple of ugly photo's here, not for the tidy sort of person !!

The first is one of those wire herb holder thingys you can get from the dollar shop, they make excellent scissor storage units. This one is screwed onto the wall right next to my work table so I know where my scissors are at all times, well not all times, because in one of those creative frenzies they get spread out all over the place, but at least they have a home to go to when I have a tidy up. If you are anything like me, you will have numerous pairs of scissors, your fabric ONLY ones - those that are fabric but can be used on other things - ones for paper only - ones that are for paper and all sorts of things, Embroidery scissors, your newest sharpest embroidery scissors, pliers, needle nosed pliers, haemostat, the list could go on and on but you get my drift. Don't try and use the rack the other way up, it just doesn't work.

My next little gem of wisdom is to make one of those clothes drying racks into a paint table. I started using this when I was doing the Textured Surfaces workshop. I have put one of my printing boards on top, which is just a piece of MDF covered in sweatshirt material, this gives you a good surface for applying modelling paste ect. and allows you to pin the piece down if need be.  Ok it's not the steadiest of things, but you're only applying paint and such so don't need a really firm surface, but as you can see, it's very light and portable so you can move it around easily to get out of the sun, wind rain or whatever is plaguing you while you work, it's the perfect height to work on and you can peg up you pieces to dry as you go. 

My favourite, most used piece of equipment I have has got to be my Horn craft table. I only have a small work room so use it with just one flap up, but, when I need more table space I can swing it around and open it right up, these things are just brilliant. while I was looking for the link to the craft table I found this storage cabinet, going to put this on my wish list, look very useful.

I would love to hear about your favourite thing in you Studio/ Workroom and if you have any clever storage ideas to share .

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Chaos Theory Quilt

For those of you attending a Dye and Quilt Workshop, here is a picture of the Chaos Theory Quilt in the country colours set, with the olive sashing option. As you can see it is still just a quilt top, haven't got around to quilting it yet, and I'm still lacking a large wall where I can hang the quilts to get a decent picture, luckily today there was very little wind so the cloths line had to serffice.