Friday, January 30, 2009

I've lost track of what day this is-

Today I dyed the fronts and backs of the large center panels and the smaller side panels. Here they are in their full immersion tubs after the chems had been added. They don't actually look this blue green in person.
My dye room floor really does look that awful. There is a mixture of mud, dyes, salt and soda ash from may years of slopping and dripping. Maybe once a year I swab the deck. I have yet to do so in 09.
I was disgusted with my work on the side panels. I got distracted with the first set and cut them 12" wide rather than the 24" they need to be. The second set were just flat out too wild and detracted from the main event so I did them over again today. Way better. Much softer and they look right now. Sigh. I need to get my head back in the game.

After fixing the third and final set of side panels, I began to wash the plastic that had been under the pieces I had dyed this week. I rinsed them with the hose and hung them out to dry.

Next thing was to wash the fabric "rags" I always use to mop up my slops and blops.
After the allotted time, I washed the backings and hung them in the house to dry since my line was full with the other stuff. Now that we have expanded our vegetable garden, the second 60' clothes line requires me stepping over the low garden fence to use it. The fence is there to keep the dogs from entering and eating the tomatoes. It was just flat out easier to hang the fabs inside this time.
I was wondering last year why the heck we weren't getting any ripe tomatoes. I'd see them on the plant all nice and green but then they'd disappear. One day...I caught Rox chomping away on one and then Gibson was caught standing IN the garden with his head all the way into the center of the largest plant. Who first discovered the delicious fruit remains a mystery. Solution-3' high wire fence that runs right under the second clothes line. Oh well.
It's the weekend and I plan on not working! Yay me! Tomorrow I hope Steve and I can do something fun and outdoorsy. Sunday is church and the Superbowl.
See you Monday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 12

Here is a picture of the backings that are pre-soaking. I will be dyeing them light olive green to match the top most portion of the flames banner and the greens that will be found in the fisherman banner.
The process will be full immersion dyeing with the chemicals added at intervals for solid colors rather than mottled. I'll post a picture tomorrow of how they look.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Days 10 and 11

Yesterday I took out the cartoon once more because I thought I should look over the design before committing to it and sure enough, I decided that a portion of the composition should be moved up about 5".
While the paper was out on the back lawn, the animals enjoyed using it as their beach towel to bask in the sunshine. By the time I got my camera out, only Rox was left sitting on the priceless work of art.
I ended up putting the fabric onto the paper right there on the lawn and drew the design onto the fabric taking full advantage of the bright sunlight.
Next, I did another pass on the side panels you saw earlier for the flames banner. As you can see, they graduated from the lawn to the studio worktable.

Today, I waxed the lines for banner #2. That's it for today as I have a lot of cleaning to do before I start dyeing this piece tomorrow. All the work tables and the sheets I used under the frames have to be washed and dried.
I am starting to slide into a droop as our daughter flies farther away across the wide Pacific Ocean. I love having our adult children visit and I love it that they have their own lives to live but it is such fun to have them here and when they leave a part of me goes with them. "BOATS AND----! BOATS AND ----!" (Phew! Almost lost it. Thank you, Joel for that line.)

Day 10

I forgot to post something yesterday. Today I will post double the stuff so come back around 6 (PST) and you can see what I did.

Daughter left for Hawaii this morning...actually her plane leaves right now. Aloha, my love.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 9

Today I was back at it after a nice break in the action fixing broken plumbing and chasing down mice.

Here is a picture of the side panels ready for the dye to be applied. I accidentally deleted the picture of the panels with the dye on them. Sorry.

It was a nice sunny day with no rain in the forecast which is excellent. Once this project is completed then I pray that the heavens will open up and the reservoirs receive their much needed water.

Our daughter is leaving for her next stint with WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Her last tour was in France. Her next session will on The Big Island -Hawaii. She is studying sustainable agriculture with an emphasis in textiles. The farm she will be working on specializes in coffee, bees, fruit and sheep. Today was busy as we took care of the things that need to be done for her stay which will be anywhere from 2 months to a full year.

Tomorrow (day 10) I will finish dyeing the side panels. Wednesday I hope to wax banner #2. I will paint on the first layer of dyes and let them cure. Thursday I will apply the second layer of dye. Friday- last layer of dye. This weekend I need to rest and regroup. Next Monday, I'll begin sewing the backs to the fronts. Tuesday should be my day to hang the piece to get photographs before it is shipped. If all goes well, I should be able to ship this piece on Wednesday. That is the Fantasy Plan. You will see the Reality Plan as we move along the road.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fixing a leak and battling back the vermin in Mt Shasta, California

Hello all. We are in Mt Shasta, California fixing a leak in the pump house. Frozen pipe. The mice have moved in and we actually caught one- had to hit it on the head with a axe. I couldn't do it but darling daughter did. What a gal! One down, 3,000 to water so we are melting the snow to wash up until the pipe is replaced.

See you Monday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Taking the day off-

Had to settle a business issue today. My efforts today hopefully saved someone in another part of the USA from some bigger hits to come.

To you credit card terrorists out there- be forewarned. Stop cheating. What goes around comes around. God is not amused and either am I. You will answer to a Higher Power.

See the rest of you Monday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 8

Well it finally rained in California today. That wasn't something I scheduled into the mix. I have limited space even in my large studio but had to get the banner up and off the work table for a bit so I could do another order that came in for some scarves and sarongs, and finish the Hawaii silks. All of these items should have been hung outside but...rain. In hanging up the banner like this, I failed to consider that a portion of the red was still a bit damp. It bled onto another section making me mad, mad, mad. I couldn't believe how dumb that was to do! The fix was to re-pin the whole thing and reapply the dyes which I had intended to do anyway to give the flat surface some dimension but felt that I lost a day by having to back track and redo the entire surface.

You can see where the red bled into the blue in the picture above. I'll post a picture tomorrow of how I fixed this. It actually looks a lot better now. That happens so often. What I think is going to be the end of the world turns out to be an excellent thing.
Here are the scarves dyeing away and almost ready to be rinsed.
So the theme for today was live and learn. Again. I seem to revisit this theme quite often. Do you?
I'm turning into a hermit. If anyone wants to see me they have to come over and walk down into the salt mines of my studio. Talk radio is my companion. I know it's bad when I start talking back to the goof balls that call in to say the dumbest stuff! I should have my own show.
I went to the post office and the bank and the grocery store in my "work clothes" and of course got some double and triple takes. Now that I look at my dyeing clothes, it does look like I might have just come from butchering a farm animal. No I didn't wear my new gloves to these places...I have to draw the line somewhere.
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 7

First of all I want to show you a gift I bought myself. I found these gloves online and they are ex-pen-sive BUT...they are thick rubber and go all the way up to my arm pits! I am soooo excited about them. I have had it with those disposable surgical gloves and the Playtex gloves that split after 6 or 7 dyeing sessions. These are the Mother of All Gloves. They were $32.00 but suitable for evening wear. :-) I feel like Audrey Hepburn when I wear them. Now all I need is a long cigarette holder. Love them, love them, love them!

Today I started (and finished) dyeing the background on the batiked banner #1. The top portion is olive green and blends into the blue you see here. The dyes are still wet so they are brighter and darker than they will be when rinsed and dry.
Close up of the lower section. You can see where I have done some color blending. The lines will be much less obvious when dry.
It was a good day. I finished up the dyeing project for A'kai Silks and will rinse them tomorrow and send them on their way. Tomorrow I will rinse this banner and hang it to dry and then start banner #2 and also start the order for the company in West Africa. I will do the wax removal all at the same time later.
I DO have some fun coming up this weekend so am looking forward to no work and some play. Steve, our daughter, and my friend Nancy are going up to Mt. Shasta to check on the house, do some hiking, and let the dogs run wild. It's great timing as I am becoming WAY to excited about stuff like new gloves and waiting for the UPS Guy. Not good!
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 6

Today I finished painting the flames. Tomorrow, the background goes in and I will dye the backing fabric for banner #1. Now I'm seeing progress! See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 5-banner work

Today I started waxing the first banner as you can see from this picture.
Notice anything unusual about this picture compared to the one below it? It's backwards. After I waxed the whole thing, I hung it on my design wall to make sure I had everything in the right place and when I pinned it back on the frame I had put it on backwards. Doh! After I took the picture I took it off and put it on the right way for painting.Once I had all the lines where I wanted them, I began to apply the dyes.
I decided to paint in the flame portions first and then go back and do the background colors last. It's really six of one; half dozen of another as to how this should be done. Doesn't really matter. I suppose that to do all the painting at the same time would require less pinning and re-pinning of the fabric but that's okay. I may change it up on the next banner.
I am still waiting on the other large commission to dye 150 yards of canvas and then turn them into acoustical panels. Good thing these projects are staggered a bit!
This week I need to get a good amount of work done on these banners; finish the silks for Hawaii, and do a large order of scarves and sarongs for a company in west Africa. When it rains, it pours.
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's Saturday!

Today I went to the annual meeting of the California Fiber Artists in Sacramento and didn't have time to work on the banners but hey- it's Saturday, right? Since this is my job, I do need to take time off so I went to the meeting which was fun, fun, fun! If you "do" fiber art and live in California, you should consider joining us.
When I got home I set up my table and equipment so that when I go back to work on Monday I'll be ready to go.
I won't be posting tomorrow so I'll see you Monday. Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 4-Banner Project

I learned something today! I used paint rather than a Sharpee pen this time to draw the design on the paper so that I could get a feel for how this design would look on a somewhat larger format. Because the paint is quite dark, the lines showed up really nicely under the fabric.
My light table is wonderful- it was built by a neighbor and has a large surface area measuring about 30" x 36" . These banners were going to have to be drawn in sections (which I have done many times before) but with the painted lines, I could lay out the entire banner and trace it all at the same time. Lots easier! You can see from the photo above how easy it is to see where to trace the lines.
Here is a closer look at the lines. was transferring day. Tomorrow the fun part begins that gives me the most satisfaction- the application of the wax. Come back and see how far I go in one day, okay?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 3-banner project

Thanks for all the lovely interest I have received over this project. You people are amazing!!!!! It helps keep me going!
Today the only work I did on the banners was to measure and cut the 6 panels and their backings. I had other life commitments today so tomorrow will be the day to transfer the design onto the panels. See you then!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 2- Banner project

Today's activities included washing all the fabric to be used in the creation of these banners. What you see here is 27 yards of 90" muslin. Washed. Drying in the warm California sun. Sorry to all of you who are buried alive in snow, snow, snow.
Next step- lay out some of the colors to be used on Banner #1. It might not look like much at the moment but it helps me know where I am when I go to draw at the light table tomorrow.

That done, I then prepared the second humongous piece of paper for Banner #2. Once all taped together, I then block out a grid so that I know proportionately where the design should go.
Drew out design #2. The dimensions are larger on this banner than on the original so I do have to adjust the size and the lines here and there. This is the dove (upside down) that will be at the top of the banner. It was just flat out too small so I enlarged it.
Tomorrow I will cut the fabric panels and transfer the design onto the material using my light table.
(Can you believe I blogged 2 days in a row???)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Starting banners for Sierra Vista United Methodist Church, San Angelo, Texas

I've just starting work on two large scale hangings for a church in Texas.
I know that my fiber art students will be interested in seeing the progress on these sanctuary banners so I will document the work as I go.

The first step was to make a scale model paper "cartoon" of the design so that it can then be transferred onto the fabric. I often think this is the hardest part of the whole process. Certainly it is the most time consuming as you will see.
Each banner will be 72 x 108 when finished and flanked by side panels that measure 12 x 98.

Next step is to draw out the design using a grid.
This church has chosen designs that I have done before so all the negotiating about what to portray and how to place it, plus color decisions were easy!

Next, I use Sharpie pens to finalize the penciled in designs. It's important to have nice, crisp, dark lines so that when I put the paper and fabric on the light table, I can see where I'm going!

I will finish drawing today and tomorrow when the fabric arrives, I will wash it, dry it, cut it to size and be ready to transfer the patterns onto it and get going with the fun part!
If you want to comment on my progress, please do so. I won't be seeing many people for the next few days/weeks. I can feel myself doing the hermit thing- plus I have another huge commission for 150 yards of hand dyed acoustical panel fabric coming in on the heels of this one...badda-bing!
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Banner Art going out to West Texas

I will be posting the progress on two large scale banners for a church in West Texas. The pieces will be batiked and measure 75 x 108 with two side panels attached that measure 12 x 108. Today and tomorrow I will be drawing the templates. Pictures will follow.

Friday, January 2, 2009

E-newsletter to be sent out this weekend!

I am sending out my e-newsletter this weekend for anyone interested. In this issue I am reviewing a product called Paverpol.
I have been taking pictures of the process of sculpting my first project with this stiffening agent that makes fabric hard so it can be painted or varnished and stuck out in the yard as "art". Yes, I have had some problems with it and yes, I think the worst is over now. I'm much wiser at this point of the process and will show you what NOT to do with the stuff.
Email me and I will put you on the list. I will only send you a newsletter every other month at the most. You can always tell me to go away if you find it annoying.

Tub of Paverpol

Fun to play with and a good way to junk up your yard!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hi Lorraine!

Happy New Year everyone. Hi Lorraine. I can't believe you look here every day. I need to be a better blogger....that could be a New Year's resolution...could be...

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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