Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lots of Dyeing and Tyvek Beads

In my last post I mentioned those two big rolls of cotton fabric. Well I washed and measured and ripped and packed ready for the workshop this weekend, then couldn't resist dyeing some up. Below are my two colour way dyes in oranges, greens and purples, well these particular two primaries don't really produce true purples but a lovely array of brick reds, chestnut and wine colours. I used the photo stitch program on the first pic as I have a rotary clothes line.

Here are all those 1/2 meters washed and ironed, I even remembered to dye up numbered sample pieces so I have reference charts for future dyeing. 

I have recently been following a lovely blog Love Stitching Red in St Ives Cornwall, my former home land, Cornwall that is not St Ives, but only up the road from there. Carolyn posted a really good tutorial on making tyvek beads. I have meters of the not so nice tyvek that has small dots all over it and lots of acrylic paints and metallic threads so spent Sunday afternoon playing. Be warned if you haven't tried this before, you wont want to stop once you start!! Here are the beads I have made - so far, I still have lots of painted up tyvek just waiting to be made into these little delights.

This weekend I will be up at Main Creek with a wonderful group of Ladies, dyeing up a storm. I will post some pics next week, fingers crossed for good weather, dyeing is so much more fun when the sun shines.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shall I - Shan't I

I have just received a delivery of two big rolls of crisp white cotton fabric to get ready for some up coming workshops. It is just screaming out to be dyed LOL. I haven't made a quilt in a long time and have been toying with the idea, so went through some quilt designs I have tucked away. This one I like being bold and quite geometrical. I pulled out my fabrics and put these together as I know I can reproduce these colours successfully, well as close to as is possible with hand dyes. Can't make up my mind, shall I , shan't I - what do you think?
I am frantically washing all this fabric to get the kits ready, but there are big black clouds looming, they did say showers developing, I hope they meant like 3 this afternoon, not 9 this morning :( think I'm going to have a lot of wet fabric hanging around as the rains going to last for days!! My leaky roof will curtail all dyeing activities until the sun decides to shine again. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Names and Beach Bits

You may, or may not, have noticed that the name of my blog has changed. Recently Paula from The Beauty of Life referred to my blog in a list of blogs she had been visiting recently. All the blogs she listed sounded fascinating, with lovely imaginative names until I came to Tracy's Blog, how uninspiring LOL. I remember back to when I started this blog and it asked what I would call it, nothing came to mind, hadn't really given it any thought, so to fill the space put in Tracy's Blog. I'm not sure Transient Tracy will stay long either, but it's how I'm feeling at the moment, changes are in the wind, for good or bad I don't know, but I feel a change is coming. Also all the pieces I am working on at the moment are very different, I have several on the go and am constantly changing from painting to machining to sculpting. These pieces are gifts for people that read this blog, so I can't show you, or I'll ruin the surprise:)

In my last post I talked about my drying rack that has become a very sophisticated work place, well a name has popped into my head and like one of those bad songs that just won't go away, it's stuck there. I've waited all week hoping it will go, but it wont, so, and I'll hear your groan it's "Able Mable the Painting Table" and yes I talk to it when I pass by.

With Steve getting back into the surf, I have been going with him for some lovely long walks on the beach. This weekend, the surf was pretty big and heavy so we went to a sheltered corner where the surf wasn't too bad. He took off in one direction, board under arm and I strode off in the other, looking for treasure. I was absolutely appalled at the amount of plastic on the beach! There has been big swells and strong onshore winds for a few days, so the expected weed and wood and coconuts were there, but the other rubbish just blew me away. Having been a stranger to the beach for more years than I'd like to remember, it was a real shock to realise the beaches have got in such a state. If I could ignore the rubbish, the walk reminded me of the wild weather and long beaches back in Cornwall, minus the biting cold wind.

We met back at the car, and I was met with the remark "I've never known anyone go down the beach and come back with so much crap!", yes he was referring to my treasures LOL. I'm not really a shell person, but found the piece below which reminds me of a type of fungi. Later that day we went for a second walk on a different beach which had far less plastic but some nice bits of wood. Now I do try and restrict myself to one piece of crap per walk, but seeing as this was the second walk of the day, did bring home two pieces of wood, the second was so small it shouldn't count really :)

Finally, my roof monster has not made another appearance, I get a very sceptical look from Steve whenever I mention it. It's still a mystery as it was definitely too big for possums and there are no drop bears around here as suggested by Paula. I'm rather hoping it does come back so I can see what it is.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Table Mods. Eyes and Things that go Bump in the Night

Back in January I told you about the cloths stand that I had adapted as a work / paint table while I was doing Carol Mcfee and Lynda Monk"s online workshop. The table seems to have a permanent position in the garage and I use it all the time, so today it has had some modifications/improvements in the form of another trusty herb rack, a yogurt pot and an old dolls head, all attached with cable ties. I now have a pot for my brushes etc, a rack for scissors and other bits and pieces that I happen to be using at the time and a pin cushion so I don't keep losing my anchoring pins. It's starting to develop a bit of a personality, I might find myself giving it a name soon, you know how people name their cars, or those shopping trolley's with wheels, I can see myself going down this not so sane path.

Eyes have been on my mind the past few days, for two reasons, one being my own have been scanned and inspected and photographed until I thought I would have permanent dots swimming in front of my eyes, and the other because I have been trying to make some decent, realistic looking eyes for my sculptures seeing as my own don't see as well as they used to and I'm finding it really frustrating trying to paint them on a finished face. I think I have found a technique that will work for me, just got to refine it a bit and try some smaller eyes.

Last night I spent another evening alone, while Steve had to work late yet again, was totally bored, telly usual rubbish, couldn't work on anything as my pupils were still as big as saucers so couldn't focus. I wandered out into the garden on dusk and saw just how huge the random pumpkin plant had got and how wild the lawn had become with all the rain we have been getting. The evenings have still been so mild and the garden was a cacophony of noise, so many different cricket and things all competing with each other. I wish I could have recorded it for those of you that have not heard an Australian garden at dusk

Later that night there was an almighty row of a different kind, the screen door slamming lots of banging and clattering, I thought Steve had come home and I hadn't heard the car, but looking out the window, there was nothing there, another few minutes went by and it sounded like an elephant charging around on my roof, which is tin by the way. It was so loud it bought my neighbour out to investigate, being home alone this was a bit unnerving to say the least and the neighbour and I ended up out in the street inspecting the roof line, looking for some unearthly creature up there. Hopefully Steve will be home tonight, so if it comes back I might be brave enough  to go looking with a torch.
I'm not convinced having a tin roof is a good thing, it's very australian, and with the hail storms we get, very sensible, but oh so noisy. We also have the big old telly aerial still up, from the days when you had to get your signal from way over the hill somewhere. This is a constant source of amusement for the cockies who sit up there and slowly dismantle it, dropping the bits down to bounce on the roof.
Well that's enough rambling for today :)  It's wet and windy and nothing is drying very fast so time on my hands, if you hadn't guessed, better have another coffee.