Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Plains Art Museum

Sandstone 2 is leaving here tomorrow for the Plains Art Museum
in Fargo, North Dakota. I was asked to participate in a group show with other quilt artists who live in this part of the country. I wish I lived closer to the Museum as it looks like it's going to be a stellar show with many very talented quilt artists.

Monday, July 30, 2007

More Osage

Here's a top view of the Osage Orange slab. The smaller logs will be debarked and chipped for dyestuffs. I'm back in the game for yellow dyebaths some of this will be for sale.

Fresh Chips

Osage Orange chips, very freshly cut as in this afternoon! The smell is out of this world the color unbelieveable~!

I'm going to cover these, about five pounds worth, in everclear to extract the best yellows and they will then be soaked in water for several weeks to extract the remaining yellows. This method produces a yellowish orange color.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Altered Pages

These need to be quilted yet it's from my Green Tree Series which seems to be growing exponetially. I'm starting to think I need to bring my sewing machine home over the weekends, my Janome 5124 doesn't'like metallic threads so this has become an issue the 6500 never says a peep.

Inspiration Trays

Some of this will be used in my artwork~!

Altered Bindings

I cut the back off of this book and drilled through it and then tied it off with artifical sinew. I painted the cover with Tsukinek's gold ink. Everything posted tonight has been made in the past two weeks or less.

Altered Clock Class

Anyway I've been teaching an altered clock class and true to myself I take the clocks completely apart never to work again. Imagine my delimma when I get student(S) who want functioning clocks, I was up against a wall because none of my clocks function. So I am making this altered clock, I simply added some whimsy to the face and it still functions. I did alter the body a bit though, t aking out the frame that occupied the lower portion. This clock will now house a couple of art dolls and can be viewed from both sides. I also added feet in the form of old wooden spools to the clock.

You can see Pet Cemetary, anothe clock I altered at my other blog

Altered Clock #3

As you can see from these photos I have a definate color palette in which I work, well I actually have three different color palettes it all depends on what theme I'm working with and the materials.

In Progress

Here's a little booklet that will go into the book called Last Wish, it is accompanied by tags I've been embellishing and other items that inspire me.

Last Wish

This book was titled "The Last Wish" I have an old skeleton key that is going into the niche. Eventually the book will be completely finished cover and all it is meant to be sculptural it does not close. I'm putting a series of mini books inside of this book, in the front half, where I have removed signatures to accomodate their size. The books are concertina books which I use a tie and button closure when they are not viewed. I'm also decorating it with paper beads, pearls, buttons and such.

Old Lace

Here's a simpler way of altering I simply folded the pages and sprayed them with distress inks. I included a top view so you could get a better feel for what the book looks like. I plan to drill through the folded pages and create an alternative binding at some point in the future.

Petit Jardin

I forgot to photograph the cover will try to get to that tomorrow sometime.

Petit Jardin - More Views

Altered Books - Petit Jardin

I forgot to photograph the cover and it strikes me atht one of my altered books walked this week out of the studio, never to be seen again I'm sure. It has a mousetrap in a niche accompanied by a fake mouse on a gold background with a few drops of crimson red ink to add drama. The book was called "The Trap" in which I spoofed various types of traps. This book was created from a golden book that I cut down to a diminutive size.

Pet Cemetary Update

Here's better view, I'm going with the milkweed pods, haven't decided what I will fill them with yet.

Rusted Rods

I have enough of these rods that I'm making them available to others! You can purchase a bag at my etsy.com store, just click on the store to the left of this box.

One bag contains six rods, the rusting intensity varies and, isn't overly rusted making them easy to stitch.

Pet Cemetary

In Progress: I'm still looking for a bone, sticks or something to top the piece off with, I'll get there eventually. So do ignore the white stick in the middle at the top of the piece I've since elimnated it from the design simply because it was too white.
What I've decided to do instead is wrap the copper nails with copper wire and horse hair and see where this takes me, I've plans to put a few beads on the copper wire to carry that from the quilted piece in the middle. My employee doesn't like the pine cone but I do so I guess it doesn't really matter now does it! Why do I like it? I like it's singularity. I like the fact that the pine cone, often thought of as dead by many is actually a seed, or many seeds to be correct.
The watches, don't know about the cemetaries in your area but clock faces seem to be quite popular in cemetaries around here.
And I should note that the blueish sticks on the inside of the piece are a very dark blue green, bordering on becoming black, now

Rusted Carrier Rods

Here are the carrier rods, rusted, washed, and then dried. Now I've plans to make them into something lovely.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Silk Rods

I'll take a picture a bit later this afternoon but I have to tell you the cocoons are incredible! They have rusted to a level I did not expect, I've plans to put more on to rust this evening.

Annual Wool Sale

Come join us at The Prairie Fibers Company, in Ames Iowa, for our Annual Wool Sale.
All Wool Fibers 30% Off

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tooth ache and the Simpsons

I'm slowly recovering from having poison ivy in my lungs, makes for a cheerful countenace to say the least. Now I have a tooth ache, which is why my left ear has been bothering me non-stop for the past month or so. And knowing that you'd think I'd remember to make a dental appointment, right.

Movies: I can't wait to see the Simpson movie, looks pretty good and I'm not even a Simpson's fan, wonder with the King of the Hill movie will come out.

Rusting Carrier Rods

Didn't think I'd ever get the images off of my camera but here they are in progress, they should be done enough tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Rusting Carrier Rods

I put a bunch of carrier rods on to rust tonight, they are currently buried under black plastic on my work table (the table that lives in my driveway). I'll try to post pictures tomorrow, I expect they will be plenty rusted enough tomorrow evening as it is really hot and REALLY humid here right now.

I have plans to make a few samples out of them for my extreme embroidery class I'm teaching, in studio, this fall. I like working with the carrier rods, they can be manipulated in so many ways creating really wild surfaces. They don't handle a lot of aggitaton well so if you are wanting them to remain intact (keep their shape and form) don't overwork them. I found that when dyeing them with natural dyes the excess rinsing took it's toll on the rods, I could still use them for my purposes but others may find this to be quite frustrating.

Rusting Before and After

Fabric that has been dyed with cochineal, light pink coloring, rust dyed, and then compost dyed.

Rusting Notes

I've been reading on several lists about some not so happy experiences with rusting fabrics, get my book read it and you will be much happier with the results!!! From what I"ve been reading, on various blogs, is the fabric is not staying wet enough long enough for the rust particles to transfer in large amounts. The end result is the fabric has very little to no markings on it, note: cover the fabric and rusty objects in plastic wrap, after soaking with vinegar, to ensure a humid enough environment for the fabric and rusted objects.

Yes you can overdye the rusted objects, I do this all of the time with natural dyes and using my composting techniques, I'll search my files for a some good examples and post them later. If you are using acid or MX dyes don't expect much in the way of color shifts, natural dyes are more prone to shifting colors when in the presence of iron.

You can also using paint, Shiva's, inks, and more over the rusted areas, rusting is just one of many steps towards complex cloth.

How do you know if you went too far??? Well when holes develope in your fabric, you can work this to your advantage though, use the piece for layering.

Oh and don't forget to neutralize your fabric in a baking soda and water solution, this stops the rusting process, albeit only for a little while. This procedure depends on how humid it is in your area.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Yes it's true the longer you soak your fibers in the mordanting baths the better the colors, especially with dyestuffs that are prone to fading or being difficult. Madder Root is one such difficult dye material, always wanting to go towards orange with strong hints of yellow.

Rinse your madder root first, I soak overnight and throw that water out, 0r use it for my indigo vat,yep you can do that too.

Then soak your madder root for 30 days for the best colors.


Well I spent about 4 hours tonight washing fleeces, all cold soak. Now I have about 4 pounds of white lincoln that is a lovely cherry color and 4 pounds that is a lovely blueberry! In the washer is about a half pound of lemon yellow Lincoln that is kind of varigation of sorts as the fleece itself was white and oatmeal colored.

I'm still not sure why blogger is having problems it's still creating weird break lines.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I tried to change the header image... but it's not working. I saved the image as a draft and pasted the code hopefully it'll show up later.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's Green!!!

After battling the patina's the piece is finally turning green! Now I just need to get the copper sheeting shined up and nailed inside of the piece, then I can start adding the remaining elements to the surface and to the niche.
Btw this is a headlong shot in the studio looking towards the store front.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Pet Cemetary

Still in progress here the patina is fighting me it won't turn green. Tis ok because I went and bought a new bottle of both the patina and the antiquing solution , hopefully it'll turn green now.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I'm not sure why blogger is condensing my posts but it is, maybe it'll all work out later on, just know that yes I do have a sense of paragraphs and the like.

In Progress

I've been working on this piece for about a month now, it's been slow going since I've been really ill - btw I have poison ivy in my lungs in addition to having strep and pneumonia. Anyway for the first time in two weeks I've felt creative and started on this piece.

It was supposed to be a part of a book but it kind of grew beyond that and has now become a sculptural piece. You can see the multiple pages for the book in the third picture down. The book was based on the one in the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors (Summer 2007), well it's my varioation on the theme that is, and as you can see I moved beyond the book. The book in the magazine is really nice btw, I just ended up doing my own thing as usual.
Anyway, I found this clock body this afternoon and just had to put the piece inside of it, first I have to paint the interior, I'm planning on rubbing metallic waxes over the surface to spark it up a bit. It reminds me of a copper moseleum (sp?) that resides close to my husbands first wife's grave.
I love cemetaries they are incredibly peaceful, and there's no end to the designs that exist on the stones, the oldest stones that have been in the weather for decades hold the greatest fascination for me. More later I have a class to prep for on Saturady, I'm teaching an altered book class and it is going to be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

I'll post pictures of the parade later as it's going to be right outside my door! It's a scorcher here today but I'm inside (the shop/studio) where I can enjoy the festivities with air conditioning.