Monday, March 31, 2008

nothing to show nothing going nothing doing nothing to say nothing happening nothing but nothingness............

I have been pretty busy with my mother-in-law. Alzheimer's is no fun. I haven't been able to do art and barely had time to work on student orders so it's been bleak BUT the time spent was time WELL spent. I think we should have had more kids so that when we get older we would have a bunch of them to share the load and thin it out over the crowd. Maybe 12 would have been a good number....ah me.

I'll get back to the BBQ piece and the Fish and do some more with the Anti-Fuse stuff on silk and post pictures when I have recovered.

I don't even have any pictures to show you and my pal Myrna is busy with her relatives so she isn't even emailing me....this is baaaaddddd.

Hope the rest of the world is still spinning.

Friday, March 28, 2008

No Flow,Stop Flow, Anti-Diffusant, Anti-Fusant

One of my QU students asked me about a product that I SHOULD be familiar with but am not...until today. It is made by Jacquard and is called by a whole boat load of names which has always amused me but not enough to investigate it...until today.

This first picture is how "No-Flow Primer, Stop-Flow, Anti-Diffusant, Anti-Fusant" looks when it is applied to silk habotai. It looks and feels and acts like very diluted water soluable gutta resist. Maybe that is what it is. Maybe we could all save a bundle of cash by just thinning down our stuff and be done with it, I don't know yet.

So what I did for my first experiment was to paint on three bands of "NFPSFADAF". I was wondering how I would know where it was on the silk since it is clear or kind of milky looking. You can see that it leaves a dark place where it is wet. As it dries the lines fade but you can still see where the stuff is when you come back with the dyes.

Next step was to paint on the dyes. I painted a 1" line across the entire piece with blue and then green Procion MX with the chemicals added as you can see. Notice that right away, the places that have the Flow Stop keep the 1" line in tact while the open spaces do what silk does best- the dyes spread and merge! So far, so good!

Here is a detail shot of the bands of color. Awesome! Look how well this works! I'm excited about the possibilities! Next step when the dyes are dry will be to wash out the resist.
Here is the piece finished. One thing that happened that will be something to watch for in future uses of this product will be that in a few places I must have applied too much No Flow because the dye did NOT go through so there is a white line. Those places were pretty slimy when I rinsed them and felt a lot like gutta does when dissolving. You can't see it in this picture. One other thing- the places that HAD the Stop Flow contained the dyes in a much more localized (or concentrated) place so those bands are darker in color than the places where the dyes bled and spread and are a lighter shade than the 1" bands! Very interesting. I certainly will be playing with this product some more. Love it! Love having a new toy too. Thank you, Kristin for the question that led me to something new.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Salt on Silk results

Here are some examples of the experimenting I did with the last lesson in my QU class regarding the use of rock salt on silk habotai. Even when I did this using a faster method than in the instructions, the dye separated and moved and reacted to the presence of the salt.

Here is the blue section with a bit of the purple seeping down into it. It has some movement and separation of color.
This isn't easy to do and is something that takes practice and knowledge of which intensities of color will give the best results. If your silk is too wet the salt can't absorb all the dye. If it is too dry, there isn't enough to work with so the results will be less dramatic like you see here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Show and my fish

Still working on the fish. Here she is with the background in place. The background is a combination of fabric dye and fabric paint. I have started machine stitching it and it is looking okay. Not fabulous yet. I am not sure how I like the way the machine stitching is taking away from the luminous qualities of the paint. We'll see.
She Spilled Her Guts is on display at the 40th Annual Olive Hyde Textile Show in Fremont, CA. It looks great where it is hanging. Show reception was fun with quite a few members of the California Fiber Artists group represented.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Myrna's Classes and My Fish

As you may or may not know my friend Myrna Giesbrecht has written a seven week course called “Discovering Design” that starts at the end of March. The class is almost full but you can check out the details at her website - - and get on the list for a future one or sign up now. I just edited the lessons including adding a critique of her developing piece with each lesson. You can watch her progress through her own design and hear me put in my two cents worth every week. The workshop is not only fun and doable, it's thorough and comprehensive. Added to that, she will share her personal reviews and insights about YOUR projects. You can trust Myrna to be gentle as always. Discovering Design is loaded with information, projects, and personal help that will help you rev it up a notch; maybe two or three. It'll be an awesome class. Get yourself over there to keep your right brain active and sharp.

So while Myrna has been writing AND arting away in her studio, I have been painting some more and thought you might like to see my Moonlight Gourami so far. This fish is fantastic. You mostly see it as kind of a drab, silvery fish but when it hits certain light, it shimmers and picks up all these colors that make my eyes go nuts. I have to capture it on fabric. The next thing I need to do is work a bit more on the body, blending in the spots on the underside and back and then I am going to use some fabric dye for the background colors. I'll post the next picture tomorrow as I work on that phase of the project.

Size is going to be 24" x 46" when finished. This fish absolutely glows. Hope I can capture that. Happy painting/dyeing/arting everyone.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Marcail's Senior Show

Wednesday night was the opening of our daughter's senior show at California College of the Arts in Oakland. She did 6 pen and ink drawings of the houses on our block. The show was called "First And Laurel" which detailed what it was like for her living among the oak trees, Victorian homes, and history of this city built at the turn of the century. Here is a picture of our daughter on the left with her dear friend Maria. Maria had HER senior show last night at the University of California, Davis.
This is one of her drawings of the cross section of an oak tree. Next to each piece she wrote a bit about what the inspiration was for each drawing and a memory she has of the subject. It was wonderful to see that the people who came to see her show took the time to read each statement. The stories were personal and touching. Each piece is 22x28.

This drawing is called "Oak". This city used to be covered in Valley Oak and it is said that in the 1800's even up to the 1960s, you could walk from one end of the town to the other completely in the shade. There are many 300+ year old oaks left but many are decaying and being taken down for safety measures.
This is our house. I was surprised with each of her written pieces because there was at least one thing in each essay that I didn't know; hadn't heard before, or had forgotten.
This is the Nicholson's home. It has been wonderful to have this as our view across the street from us for all these years. I forgot to take a picture of the Blevin's house drawing which is directly across the street from us, so if you were at the show and have a picture of it, please send it to me!
Here is the drawing of Roy's house. This house is on the same side of the street as ours and across Laurel Street.

Here is our daughter with two of her cousins who came up from Fresno to see the drawings and be a part of this last event before graduation.

It was a wonderful show. Personal. Elegant. Lovely. Just like you, Marcail.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today's work-

Today I added a layer of silk and polyfill to the otherwise harsh environment known as The Old Webber. This is a gray silk scarf I hand dyed a few years ago. I hot glued it to the sides of the Webber. Next....added some silk sewn and stuffed to look like briquettes. Some of the pieces are silk charmeuse and some are cotton that was batiked- white dots on black background.

They are very pretty and look like little jewels...too bad they'll be covered up some with the next part but oh well. I know they are there and you know they are there.

They look pretty hot, if you know what I mean.

So this is the last thing I did this morning...guess what these are? not brownies. Stuffed silk habotai never tasted so good. I have some "dogs" I will stuff tonight so tomorrow you should have a good idea of where I am heading with this piece. Really having fun with it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Next project!

I'm not going to tell you what I am going to do next. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will let them do the talking. Here are the first two shots. You can guess what this is but maybe not. The white lamp is NOT a part of the sculpture.

Here is another angle of the piece. It is sitting on a drawer of our son's old desk that has been covered with fabric. It will act as the base for the art piece but maybe not. I am still trying to think this part through because the REAL legs are broken and not able to hold the top up any more. There's so much to be done that I'm not sure I should invest myself in this but the idea is a good one. What do you think? Should I go for it? Maybe not. I could try and then decide as I go along. What do you think???

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Silk Dyeing Class- project one

Here is the video of the Quilt University Silk Dyeing class's first project that has some students a bit stumped. One thing I realized as I was making the video that I am assuming you know is that you can add more dye as you go along. You do not need to ONLY use what is on the fabric. You CAN do it that way and it will work but takes longer than what you will see me doing here which is heaping on the dye and sloshing it around as I go. I do mention adding more dye in the DF but perhaps you are thinking the only way to blend is to use what is already ON the silk. Hope this helps. You know what to do after it cures and is ready for rinsing so I left that part off of the video.


Happy dyeing!!!! See you back in class.

By the way, my next class at QU is Cotton Dyeing Basics opening March 22nd. Then Shibori Dyeing April 19th. Tea Stain Dyeing comes up May 17th.

Check out all the fantastic classes at

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Two acceptances and one rejection

Here are some random pictures that have nothing to do with anything but I know people like to look at pictures so here they are. This is our daughter in Japan getting ready for her dance team performance.

I told you that I was accepted into the Olive Hyde Textile Exhibit in the Bay Area. That's good news. You can see the piece in an earlier post. It is called "She Spilled Her Guts".
I also told you that I was accepted into the California Fiber Arts group. That is a very nice place to be.
Then I applied to a third group (which I will not name) and was not accepted which was what I thought might happen but also thought that perhaps there was a chance that I might get in so what the heck. Nope.

Here is a picture of our son kicking a soccer ball while at a family reunion in Oregon. A major portion of my husband's family plays soccer so there was a lot of this going on.

So here's the question- why do we feel so bad when someone or a group says "no" to us? I had two acceptances but there was a bit of a sting when the last group said, "sorry". It never is something we can just shrug off even when our brains can tell us other consoling things about how worthwhile we are and how much we have accomplished.

Here is daughter kicking the soccer ball. I never once touched that ball even when it came over in my direction. Tennis balls I will play with but not soccer balls.

To not be accepted is a human condition. It is going to happen to us all and happens to us more times than we care to admit. I was beginning to actually think that with those first two acceptances that perhaps my work was becoming too mainstream! I am so used to NOT being a part of the group.

Here is Steve kicking the soccer ball. He is really good at keeping it in the air.

I must say that it's really okay that I didn't get into the last group because I can now apply more of my efforts into the ones I AM a part of but rejection is an interesting phenomenon. It can cause you to withdraw or it can cause you to excel and more often than not, I have found that it causes me to step up my game. It can be a good thing or it can be a paralyzing thing. At the moment I have shrugged it off and am looking for the next thing to do.

Talk to me about your experiences with artistic rejection. It's a good thing! It makes us who we are.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Next Shell Piece Completed

I just finished my second shell piece. It is a bit different from the first one as you can see. I used lots mor fabric paint and applied it in a looser fashion and even used a palette knife and slabbed it on like putty. Machine stitching finishes it off. I did use some fabric dye on the pink portion of the shell to keep that portion of the piece soft and almost paint free. I am enjoying the combination of dye and paint and will be exploring this more in future pieces. The photo above is the true color while the picture below is more yellow due to the lighting issues.Here is a detail shot. You can't see the stitching on the blue background very well but it follows to contours of the thick paint and brings the focus back to the shell.

About Me

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Woodland, California, United States
I am a fiber artist. I am a teacher. I am a Reverend. I teach, I create, I counsel, I listen.

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