Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One of those weeks

Ok so it's going to be one of those weeks! I've felt like I have been wading through a heavy fog all day, after being up sick as a dog last night, now hubby is very ill, same symptoms yada yada yada. So I guess that makes it official we have a bug of some sorts. I actually got a lot done today, shipped out a bunch of orders and the like but this heavy icky feeling could go away and I'd be all the happier. I did get the chicken veggie soup fixed for dinner, maybe this will help push it through our systems faster.

Maybe the picture will post tonight, I tried last night but blogger wasn't cooperating. Here's a pic I took of the leaves a few weeks ago.

Monday, October 30, 2006

One of those days

I seem to have misplaced some fabrics, a HUGE pile of fabrics I might add. This is really frustrating as I was planning on using these fabrics in my classes as examples, they will pushed even further surface design wise.

In other news the weather changed here, the temperature dropped about 30 degrees in an hour, the wind is blowing a good 30+ mph hour now making my allergies scream. More later from the studio front.

So aside from the above I got to sleep sometime after four o'clock this morning. The city in it's infinite wisdom decided it needed to work on the sewer last night, starting sometime around 10is pm, right outside our front door. The equipment they used was noisy, and this is an understatement. Couple that with the weimeraner being very ill with an infected dew claw, I didn't sleep a wink. The dog is doing better, good enough to be tearing at her bandages. I have to go out and get some bitter apple to put on the bandage to keep her off of it for another day.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rust Dyeing a Primer

You can purchase the book with complete details here Rust and Clay Dyeing Book

Rust dyeing is a surface design method that adds dimension to your fabrics and fibers. I use the technique predominately on cotton or silk fabrics. Natural fibers take the rust colors better than synthetic fibers.

You can rust dye onto commercially dyed and/or printed fabrics. However, fabrics dyed using synthetic dyes, or those dyed with natural dyes take rust dyeing best as they usually do not have anti-stain coatings on them. When applying rusty objects to naturally dyed fabrics the colors will change. Iron, i.e. rust, is a modifier and is used as a mordant with natural dyes. Modifiers change the existing color via shifts in the pH levels. An example would be hibiscus or cochineal, each yield a red color, when you add iron they shift from red to purple. A minute amount causes this color change.

You can place rusty objects next to wet fabric and acquire rust patterning over time. However, vinegar will speed up the rusting process, it aids in breaking the rust particles free from the object that is rusting. Rusting occurs normally due to oxidation, i.e. contact with the air. Be patient. Rust dyeing with water takes about a week. Using vinegar produces color in less time usually twenty-four hours.

I use straight vinegar and all sorts of rusty objects to acquire my rust dyed patterns. Old nails and wire work well for this technique. Wire can be used for bound resist techniques, especially when wrapping the fabric around a rusty pipe. Or you can simply lay the wire in a loose pattern on the fabric and rust it in that manner.

Pole wrapping and bound resist techniques work well with rust dyeing. Simply wrap your vinegar-saturated fabric around a rusty pole, being careful not to tear the fabric, scrunch and otherwise manipulate the fabric to created patterning.

You can sprinkle iron mordant or iron shavings onto your fabric for other patterning. Iron mordant is preferable to shavings. Shavings are often sharp things that can cut you or the fabric. Metal shavings may be coated in machinery oil which would put unwanted stains onto the fabric.

If you like your rusty pieces and want to push the rust dyeing technique further, rinse the fabric and neutralize it in salt water, rinse it again and then rust the fabric once more. This will help prevent the fabric from rotting through.

Natural rust is an iron oxide. It comes in about ten or more natural colors depending on what it is in the neighboring the iron ore. Wear gloves and a mask when working with it. Iron in this form wants to bind with your hemoglobin blocking all available sites for oxygen, ask me how I know. You can become gravely ill from too much contact with raw iron products. In addition, tolerance to raw iron varies with each person.

You can mix a small amount natural rust with water, I generally use one teaspoon rust to one cup liquid, or with soy milk to paint fabric. Stir well. Let it sit for 24 hours to ensure that all of the color will dissolve. Then apply the rust solution to the fabric. Use a old brush you can dedicate to this kind of project. Natural bristle brushes work best with this technique allowing the liquid to wick up the bristles and not leave a mess on your fabric. Cure the fabric dry for 24 hours. Rinse and neutralize your fabric in a saltwater solution.

When using the rust technique if you want the process to stop you need to neutralize it with a salt-water solution. Dissolve about 1/4 cup salt into four gallons of hot water. I do this in a five-gallon bucket. Soak your fabric in the salt water about fifteen minutes. Wash the fabric using a non-phosphorous soap or a mild color free shampoo.

I teach workshops on rust dyeing, several workshops on natural dyeing and several for clay/pigment dyeing

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mark Making with Nature DVD

Mark Making with Nature is done and is shipping!!! The DVD is available on my webstore and is currently 40% off.

Natural Dye Topics covered:
Bound Resist
Stamping & Other Resists
Mixed Techniques & More

The DVD is not as detailed as the online classes - many of you have asked me this question - This is a wonderful introduction into the world of surface design with natural dyes, creating art cloth with unique marks utilizing nature.

Over one hour of techniques, and a supplemental PDF file with tips and helps.

And if I can ever figure it out I will put a blurb from the video onto my blog.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mark Making with Nature DVD

Mark Making with Nature: Surface Design with Natural Dyes - DVD

It's Done! It's Done! It's Done!!!

This has been a steep learning curve for me, technology wise, but was well worth the effort! I'm hoping to have a video clip uploaded to my blog and to my websites later today, another steep learning curve. The reality is it will most likely happen tomorrow as I'm still sitting here burning DVD's.
Topics Covered in the DVD are:
Screenprinting with Natural Dyes
Monoprinting with Natural Dyes
Bound Resist with Natural Dyes
Alternative Resists
Stamping and much much more
Also included with the video is a PDF Booklet (100+ pages) on tips and instructions scouring and mordanting fabrics, making the binders, properly curing your fabrics and much more.

Rust Dyeing

Rust and Clay Dyeing Book The book has 4 embedded video clips and complete instructions on how to dye with rust and rusty objects.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


We have been very ill with that headcold crud that's been going around. I'm pretty thankful as I haven't had the fever like my hubby has. He's missed two days this week now, and my not go to work tomorrow if he doesn't shake this fever.

I have chosen not to do anything too technical, basically been sleeping a lot and doing some beading. More later from the homefront.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Winter Survival Gear - A Partial List

This was being discussed on a list I'm on so I thought I'd post part of my list here. This is obviously going to vary depending on the part of the country you live in. NOTE: I own a truck w/topper and I'm a military brat so I am programmed, by my dad who was insistant on teaching us winter survival skills, to be prepared for every possible situation.

I also live in Iowa and my most likely winter survival situation involves being stuck in a ditch someplace, Lord willing my vehicle is not in water, upside down, and/or not on fire!

It can get dangerously cold here (Windchills of -60F or greater which can freeze you to death in minutes) in the winter. If your vehicle is trapped in snow STAY with your vehicle it makes for a much bigger target when searching in the snow! And buy a car color other than white for Pete's sake!

So that being said here's my list: (And if you are good little kiddies I'll take pics of it for you later)

TOOLS (The big Stuff for your vehicle):
Shovels - two differnt species: large scoop shovel and a flat blade shovel (Make sure the handle length is appropriate for YOU and this will make shoveling easier and faster producing the least amount of sweat).
Ice Scrapers and Snow scrapers
Tow Chain/Strap - A TOW CHAIN because someone like me might come along and can pull you out of the ditch!
Chains for your tires
Kitty Litter/Sand for those slick icy situations that don't require a tow chain/truck
Spare Tire, and tire changing tools - you know this should probably go without saying but you should ALWAYS have a spare tire in your vehicle - I carry two, for my truck, in the winter and 6 when I'm pulling my tandem trailor!
Hammer, Screw Drivers, Ratchet Set, Wrenches, Channel locks, Vise grips (all in a small tool bag) -whats that you don't know how to work on your vehicle - well someone may come along and can fix it for your if you have tools!
Jumper cables - Make sure you have a new battery for your vehicle every few years.
Flashlights with fresh batteries
Flares/Emergency placards you put on the ground
Oil - 6 quarts and this one comes from personal experience
5 Gallons of Gas - If I'm going on a really long trip and I'm not sure about the area, better safe than frozen to death!

NOTE: Most folks end up stranded because they have run out of gas - so fuel up before you head out.

Thin wool Hat and Gloves
Insulated wool Mittens that fit over thin wool gloves
Sheepskin bomber style hat that fits over wool hat
Down Parka with hood
Thin wool sweater
Down vest
Thin winter coat that fits over sweater and under the vest and under the parka
Carhart overalls - the insulated variety
wool long johns
wool scarf
Wool Socks a thin pair and a thick pair to go over the thin ones
Boots rated to -40F
Cleats (boot cleats) for walking on ice - you'll have to go to the bathroom eventually

Wool removes moisture from your body and doesn't allow it to freeze on your skin. Cotton and other fibers promote hypothermia!!! Wet and cold equals a quick death if one is not careful. In extreme colds a lot of the fashion fibers will actually break and they can catch on fire easily - nylon being one of those fibers that burns easily. Wool doesn't burn so easily.

Peanut butter crackers - well if you are allergic to peanunts then substitute accordingly - can be bought in bulk at Wal Mart for very little money
Snickers Bars
Beef Jerkey or those sausage rolls

Extreme cold means you burn a LOT of calories protien is the way to go!

If I'm traveling with my dog I put a bit of kibble in the truck for her as well.

TP (Ok not food but I'm including it here anyway)
Handwipes - well you know, do I really have to explain???
Charger for cell phone - might be wishful thinking here but it can't hurt.

TOOLS: The necssary stuff!!!
Gerber multi tool (tis what I have)
Big knife (not sure what the brand name is)
Trowel/small hand shovel - for bathroom breaks (see TP above)
water proof and wind proof matches
instant light mini logs - if you need to make a fire
Those pocket/glove/boot heaters in the sporting goods section

Down Sleeping Bag rated to a minimum of 0F -40F would be better and is attainable with a down insert (Mine is Mountain Hardware)
4 Season Tent designed to withstand high winds (Mine is a Mountain Hardware)
the tent is in case you have to leave the vehicle!
2 wool blankets

MSR Stove and Fuel Bottle
Water purifier (I think mine is a MSR) & tablets - btw ditch water isn't all that yummy
small pot for melting or boiling water
Head Lamp (Flashlight on a strap that you can put on your head) these are great when you need to change that flat tire in the middle of the night.
Fishing pole and small tackle box, small hand net
Edible plant book (small pocket variety)
Walking Stick with pointy end - gives you extra balance on the ice

plenty of band aids & butterfly bandages.
Kotex (heavy duty pads) - can be used to absorb blood from major wounds (lets say your hunting and get hurt and then end up stranded due to an injury) each heavy pad holds approximately a half pint of blood and this lets emergency personnel know how badly you are bleeding!
Styptic pen (men use those for shaving) stops bleeding on small wounds.
Small mirror

I'm sure I will add to this later on - it's time to go winterize my truck as we went from summer like temps to winter like temps in a heart beat.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

More Studio Disaster Pics

Now you can see what my stubborn little sheltie dog did to my studio floor! She refuses to be house broken!

Studio Clean Up

It's in progress! This is what I've been doing in between DVD burns and video editing bouts - cleaning the studio. I've ignored far too long now, to the point that I can't get to anything. I'm also purging a lot of junk that has accumlated - giving me a lot more floor space. The next room to get this treatment is the east bedroom, that room I'm turning into my loom room! My two Navajo style looms and my Leclerc floor loom will live in there, along with the spinning wheel and all of my spinning supplies. The Navajo looms are home-made jobs from plans I found on the internet but they work really well for the task at hand. I'm also putting my beadweaving looms in there, I'm hoping to start using the one my dad made for my mom by christmas.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Well this is what I do when I'm up late, unable to sleep but too tired to do anything else. Natural Dyed Silk Cocoons, Ink and Natural Dyed Silk Dupioni, Shiva Paintstiks, Machine Stitched. Approximately 8.5 x 11 inches. I think I might put it up on my Etsy.com store for sale - see link in the side bar.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Artist Ruck Sack

Here's a pic of my traveling art supplies. I have a small cosmetics bag filled with several brands of watercolor pencils (I once had one of those kits but have been replacing the colors one-by-one and buy what I can find locally), Dewert Graphitint Pencils, a few drawing pencils, and some erasers. In the main bag I carry a small jar of water, with screw on lid, brushes, technical pens and my water color palette, the portable one, and last but not least my Paperchase journal. For watercolor in my journal I back the page I'm painting onto with waxed paper.

Sometimes I even take my box of Caran d' Ache crayons with me into the field, I have the big box of 60 Neoart Aquarelle's (these are very creamy) and the big box of 84 Neocolor II. I typically take these when I'm going to be very close to my vehicle, or inside of it like when I go to the prairie to draw and paint the buffalo.

And of course I have my digital camera with me, you never know when an opportunitiy will arise.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall is Here

In the northern hemisphere (my part of the world is Iowa) the leaves are now falling from the trees, some colors are spectacular, most are quite muddy this year. The trees are heavily laden with seeds and fruit, in preparation for next summer.

This is an excellent time to go out and photograph nature. Digital cameras are a great tool for this, and can be had for very little money now, as you can see the image immediately and delete any unwanted images.

During the fall I look for patterns, noting the way the leaves have fallen from the trees, how they are interlaced with blades of green grasses.

Going out after a rain storm can also yeild many beautiful images as this is a prime time to capture rain drops laying on leaves, some have formed puddles in the folds of the leaves, others are simply sittng there as if carefully placed there for good keeping.

Because the leaves are falling from the trees the patterning of the bark can be seen in all it's glory. Experiment with photographing the bark at different hours of the day and in different conditions, a cloudy foggy day as opposed to a bright clear day.

I also enjoy photographing the fields, after they have been harvested. Pattern dominates everywhere in the countryside on both a macro and mircoscopic scale. Don't be afraid to get down on the ground and look at the base of the plants themselves.

In addition to my digital camera I take my sketchbook and watercolor pencils into the field with me. I also have a portable watercolor tray that I take along. I keep all of this in a small ruck sack I bought, but have found a small toiletries bag also works well.

- Kimberly

Wild Sage

Here is about 20 pounds of the wild stuff, Spirit Bro' Chris brought me this from Wyoming. I hear tell that his wife was really happy to get rid of the stuff as she is very allergic. I made a bang up greenish color with it in an old iron pot at Beaver Creek '06.

My vat is now fermenting away outside, I'll have to bring it in before it freezes so the pot won't crack. Sage doesn't get that slimy smell to it, it's one of it's better qualities. The yarn would be darker if the sage had been allowed to sit in the pot for several days, instead this is the color you get after a few hours.


Here are my two favorite ornamentals, these are actually the culinary type but I like the way they look. I am hoping to put another one in my yard next year as well.