Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

1943, my dad is second from the left. And, above, with my Aunt Gladys, the only remaining sibling of four; she's now 86.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men (and women)
who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Friday, May 28, 2010

Influences and more discharging

Thanks Joyce, Vickie W. Christina, Caterina, hwfarber, and Lise for leaving comments, your names have been added to the give-away list. (Let me know if I've missed anyone) I've enjoyed your comments!!

I should be out in the garage, the temp is cooler today; it's been way too hot the last two days, but I wanted to get these posted, that's the story that sounds better than I feel like road-kill and would rather be in bed. While I was trying to find more room to stash more fabric I came across the fat quarters that I bought in March when I visited Roger in Greenbrae. There was a fabric store near the hotel, anyway, what struck me instantly is how those pieces of fabric have influenced some of the dyeing I've recently done. I haven't seen the quarters in awhile so maybe it's the other way around? I purchased what I'd like to create in the way of color choices and textures? Over the weekend I worked with avocado and dark green and a variety of white fabrics. Very interesting that I had purchased similar colors a few months ago. On the top example of the greens is mono printing with print paste. On the right is a waffle fabric that shrinks and creates a waffle texture when washed. I've found remants of it over the years. Below that is cheesecloth. The piece in the bottom center is over-dyed over a not so stellar DSP, however, the pattern created by the DSP is quite interesting now. In the center below the mono printed piece is a grid pattern white-on-white fabric.And on the left top is a piece of crinkle cloth and below that is a gauzy fabric. Why the variety? How about a monochromatic art quilt based on a variety of textures? I'm doing the same with rust and grey, and reds.
 I finally got a decent black, though, it's not brilliant/rich enough, but it's black with some bluing at the edges. These two pieces are DSP (Deconstructed Screen Printed.) The goal is to get a rich black that doesn't look faded nor has a green, blue, or red cast to it. Something to aspire to, I guess.
Quote: “Always aim your goals and aspiration for the moon, because even if you don't make it, you'll always end up reaching the stars”

Monday, May 24, 2010

Discharge experiments continued and Blogaversary

First off, thanks to Kim, Julie, Darlene, Penny, Marilyn, Nellie, Seth, and Joyce for leaving comments for the Blogaversary give-away. If you'd like to be included leave me a comment. (Forgive me for not replying but I'm a bit distracted right now, see below.) Please let me know if I've forgotten anyone.

It was 100 degrees last Thursday but a cold front moved through and we were near freezing yesterday, well freezing for us! A low in the 80's on Sat. and 70 degrees yesterday. Nothing left to do but take advantage of it and if my energy and physical strength had lasted longer than it did I might have dyed and discharged bolts instead of yardage. But I'm happy with the results, some of which I'll share. A few pieces have blown me away and when I create something from them I'll share them then. Suffice it to say that I'm mystified and in awe of what discharging can do. The variables are the key and my notes aren't helpful. I have to do better at immediately jotting down things like the temp in the garage and the age of the discharge paste and dye. . . . and so it goes.

A few pieces are both discharged with bleach and Thiox. (no examples on this post.) And, yes, I'm getting browns, greys, cream, and some white all on the same piece of fabric. Amazing. I've screen printed some and brushed on discharge paste on others; I've only scratched the surface.

Sometimes blogger can drive me crazy! None of the photos are in the right orientation or placement! Oh well, today I don't feel like coping with that as I have an appointment with the garage that I don't want to miss. It's supposed to be in the 80's again today and 90's the rest of the week. Bah!

Quote: Want to have a perfect day? Decide to have one. Sally Huss

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Discharge experiments and blog anniversary

Five years ago on June 20Th I started this blog. This post is number 479; you'd think that I'd have more posts than this in five years, wouldn't you? Since keeping count over two years ago this blog has been viewed about 16000 times and that amazes me! Huge Thanks! So, to commemorate the anniversary I'll be giving some things away around June 20Th. All you need to do is leave me a comment starting today and please add your email addy. I tried to respond to some comments today and blogger must be off-kilter because a lot of profiles don't exist; I know they do because I've responded before. So, if I haven't emailed it's Google's fault.
 In the next few weeks I'll announce the give-aways of which a few books will be included along with some art work. If you don't wish to be included in the give-aways leave me a comment. Thanks!!!
The first piece is dyed and discharged on black kona cotton and isn't finished yet. The second piece is thiox discharged and an effect I'm hoping to do more of when I can get back into the garage. 100 degrees today; there is a rumor that it might drop to the 80's over the weekend. Fingers crossed here!

Quote: When you think that all goes well in your world, it will. Sally Huss

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Discharge experiments

Thiox has entered my life, thiox discharge paste that is lest you think something else. I couldn't get my head around the information that I read on-line and in numerous books but Dear Rayna gave me a simple recipe and if I had followed it the first time, well, I needed a break from the broiling garage, 95 yesterday and even standing directly in front of the portable AC I wilted. I assumed, incorrectly, that if I put the fabric with the discharge paste on it under plastic that it would remain damp enough until I could steam it, after all I do that  with DSP. Wrong. The discharge paste only worked in small areas where it was heavily applied; the brownish/tan areas evident in a few of the examples are from the first go-around. The fabric was rewashed and a new batch of discharge was mixed up and rather than take a chance that it wouldn't work again I erroneously doubled the amount of thiox. Over-kill isn't necessary in this instance. The steaming worked fast and, what? I was expecting white or off-white due to the fact that the few bits that discharged on the first experiment had gone white(ish). A yellow cast? Not too thrilled about that but okay, maybe the discharge paste will improve some Kona muslin that was part of a parfait batch; I'm not impressed with the Kona, very lackluster. Stripes are interesting, aren't they? There was a little bit of discharge paste left so I sponged some onto a fabric that had laughed at bleach; who knew that bleach doesn't work on all fabrics? The Thiox worked but the discharged color is a green/grey, not particularly appealing. Around 12:30am I tossed the fabric into the washer and watched some TV. Some sort of documentary about the Rolling Stones was on Jimmy Fallon, is that the guys name? He follows Leno, anyway during a break I pulled the fabric out of the washer and surprise, the yellow cast from the Thiox was nearly gone and only white, tan, and little yellow remained. My guess is that only a little Thiox is necessary in order for the discharge to work. The fabric is from Dharma, they claim that it will discharge and it does. The recipe is:  1/2 tsp thiox and 1 tsp of soda ash to 1/2 cup print paste. Dissolve the thiox in a bit of hot water first; ditto with the soda ash and add them to the print paste. (apply to fabric and immediately steam or iron; from what I understand the iron should hover just above the fabric, it's the steam that activates the discharge paste. I steamed the fabric for about 10 minutes.) It's good to use a Darth Vader mask, though, I didn't! Claustrophobic here, I did use a dust mask and might break down and use the DV one. I did, however, open the doors in the garage and pray to the Dyeing Gods for good ventilation. I use Rayna's print paste recipe from her stellar book, "Create your own hand-printed cloth." Info about Thiox can be found here:

Odd dreams last night, from the Thiox or from watching a film about the Stones when they were in exile living in France? In any case, I'm in love with thiox and am hoping that the temps allow me to experiment some more. The weather report is that by this last year there had already been 5 days of 100+ temps and so far we've only hit 98 twice. Gosh, like I can tell the difference!

Quote: You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need. Rolling Stones

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rust dyed

Dharma sells table runners ready for dyeing or embellishing, love that! After this one was washed it was dunked into vinegar before placing steel wool randomly over the surface. Then the table runner was rolled up and put into a bag. Magically, two days later the organic patterning happened.

Thanks for the comments about the flour paste resist. It seems to be true that one person's trash is another person's treasure; I wasn't pleased with the FPR over the screen printed fabric but now I'm starting to look at the results in a new light. A similar thing happened when I parfait dyed another 10 pieces of muslin. Even though Dharma cautions that each bolt can be a lot different than previous ones I still expected the same results and I didn't get them. There are so many variables that can go wrong and one can go nuts trying to determine exactly what they are or one can accept the results and know that every piece of fabric is useful in some way. After scouring the heck out of the fabric, maybe the fabric wasn't accepting the dye as easily, and dyeing a small piece to check if that worked I finally came to the conclusion that I'm being too frugal. Dye mixed and used within 3 days was glorious, but dye left to sit in the broiling garage for longer than 6 days lost its vibrancy. Lesson learned, stop being so frugal! Or, try freezing the mixed dye after 2-3 days. I'll let you know how that goes.

Quote:Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers,
and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of
life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are
inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex.
- M. Scott Peck

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Flour paste resist

Others have written about this resist including Judi so check out her blog for some info.  The first example is of what not to do, at least for me. I had great hopes that the crackle would save some really bad glue resist screen prints. Nope, now they're even worse. But if you take a closer look at the right edge on the blank muslin there is a possibility that I might be able to get something great.

 The black crackle is a bit overdone, but it's great. A light coat of FPR was applied over canvas fabric and once the FPR was dry and cracked black Dye-na-flow was painted over the surface and allowed to dry. To heat-set the Dye-na-flow the back side was ironed about 5 times, then I soaked the fabric in cold water for about an hour before rinsing it under cold water and then tossed it into the washing machine to remove any remaining FPR.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I believe that mother's are courageous.

This digital image is still in-progress, but for now it's gone as far as I know how to take it. The background is a scan Parfait dyed fabric and the cactus bloom is from my garden.


A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
~George Cooper

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont
The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.
~William Goldsmith Brown   

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Parfait Dyeing part 2

Rather than show the individual pieces this time I thought that it would be fun so see how the progression of Parfait dyeing. Upper left, deep yellow/lemon yellow dye. Upper middle, fuchsia. Upper right, turquoise. Middle bottom, Avocado. Bottom, charcoal grey/pewter dye.

Also in the same jar are: on the left, scarlet/Chinese Red dye. Upper middle, Palomino. Upper right, dark green. Lower middle, purple. Bottom right, black combo of #44 and #300 from Dharma.

The finished tree piece from an earlier post, April 12. I seem to have dropped the ball on the Passage Challenge. I'm racing against the weather and until I can no longer dye fabric in the garage I don't imagine that projects will be completed.It was 95 in the garage today. The portable AC was whining and so was I. Components: deconstructed screen printed background. Transfer and the red shapes are painted fusible web. There is a little machine stitching and the 9x11 inch piece was edge stitched.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Parfait Dyeing

I'm sold on Parfait Dyeing! What a great way to get a variety of fabrics with luscious colors to choose from. This time I did it a little differently than I did the first time with the browns. (a few days ago) I cut up 8 fat quarters and either folded, twisted, or scrunched the pieces. Because the mixed dyes were under 4oz each a bundle of fabric was placed in a tray before dye was squirted on. I tend to use small squirt bottles. Then the color was massaged through the fabric and the bundle was placed into a plastic jar. When all of the bundles were in the jar mixed soda ash was poured over all of the bundles until they were all submerged. Twenty-four hours the bundles were individually removed and lightly rinsed before they all went into the washing machine for a proper removal of excess dye. It's a bit shocking to see the soda ash turn murky in the jar and trust that each dye color is doing its magic; the results speak for themselves. Some color combinations are better than others, but I think that each piece has possibilities.
The first layer above is deep yellow/lemon yellow that was mixed 1:1. Raw colors can be a bit harsh thus I mix a lot of them.

Fuchsia warmed up with a pinch of brown.

Turquoise warmed up with a pinch of brown.

Scarlet/Chinese Red, 1:1. (this combo usually looks more orange, but the neighbors on either side of the bundle played a huge role this result.)

Charcoal grey/pewter, 1:1.

The same yellow combo as layer 1.

The same dye combo as layer 4, scarlet/Chinese red.

Black. Procion dyes from Dharma #44 & #300, 1:1
Eight bundles in this Parfait batch.