Sunday, May 28, 2006

Untitled in Red all pinned up

And somewhere to go! I haven't decided the orientation yet, other than it will be vertical. I need to flip it 180 degrees and see if I like it the other way first, then I"m off to audition threads and thread colors. I definately decided on machine stitching, dh informed me that he knew I'd decide on that as hand stitching would take too long on such a large piece; it's 54" or more long.

Now I just need to go fetch my music from the wet studio and I'm good to go. I may do some attachements to this piece, haven't decided yet. I will redeem my sample piece however, with attachements, and a psuedo applique of sorts, I'll show you all later. I have a quilt piece I need to get done for Doing Small Things and this sample piece is going to fit right in with what I was thinking.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Untitled in Red part two

I have it pinned to some batting, Hobbs cotton quilt batting, and a linen backing fabric that is a dark mauve color - dyed with natural dyes. As soon as the humidity level in the house drops, probably in an hour, I'll start stitching on it, until it sits in a wad on my desktop as it's too sticky in here to touch anything.

Wet Studio

A nice collection of fabrics to play with. I'm not nearly as busy as I'd like to be, but a certain husband of mine didn't have time to make the new platform for the encaustic pots to go onto, so I have to wait until he gets home. Normally I'd use them on my counter top, but that's well out of view of my camera, which is mounted, permanantly to the ceiling. I need the platform so I can work on my screen printing table without melting my surface, this also happens to be where the camera is pointing.

I've decided that shutting off the phones is the way to go! I'm interrupted way way too much by the phone and it's no wonder I never get anything acomplished.

Untitled in Red

The coloring is off a bit here and it's too icky outside to photograph it outside today. It's a bit darker, but not by much. Here's two views hopefully you can decifer the color better this way. I'm hopping excited to quilt this beauty.

Btw this IS the piece that you see a few posts down from this one! As you can see washing it darkens the colors after composting. There were quite a few rusty nails on the fabric, rust i.e., iron shifts red bearing dyestuffs towards the blue end, or in this case purple, end of the spectrum. Ooooooh the bug to create.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fertile Ground Before Washing

This is what the fabric looked like whence I unwrapped the bundle, before it went into the washing machine - three trips before the water rinsed clear. So you can see that the colors darkened slightly upon washing, but not much.

Fertile Ground

I can't wait to start in on this piece "Fertile Ground" I'm so glad I composted this piece of fabric, I have a few other duds I'm going to compost now, including a rather large rusted piece. The rubbery stuff from the gutta is still fighting coming off, I've been picking bits of it off, and it went through the washer three times. It needs to be ironed before I can do any stitching.

The weather here has been really weird all day, and it's humid beyond belief I guess it decided it was time for summer to begin?! I just know I"m tired of the sound the dehumidifier makes already, and it's not even June yet.

The other piece of fabric

Maybe I'll use this piece with the red fabric piece some how???


I was going to send fabric to QSDS but have finally decided not to do so. One my fabric isn't done, the way I want it to be done, and two I want to turn these two pieces into quilts. Recenlty I got the bug to start producing again, both yardage and artwork, and I want to keep with that momentum. Which means in a nutshell NOT shipping of the fabrics I love to an exhibition to be sold off but rather using them myself.

I've also gotten the bug to do handstitching as well. I have this gorgeous red crinkle crepe that I need to wash yet, and will hand quilt/stitch it when it comes to construction time. I need to dye up some other reds to go with is as I'm thinking of carving this one up and using it bit by bit.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another Love

I showed the fabric, that I love so, to my hubby, he said it was nice but he likes what I have hanging on the line a lot better.

This is a piece of pink cotton that was originally dyed with cochineal On cotton to get the best colors you really need to alum tannin alum your fabrics, and this gives dull dusty flesh toned pinks, if your cochineal vat isn't concentrated enough. I then screen printed over it using natural dyes.

This cotton is really soft and has a loser weave making it ideal for hand stitching.

I'm in Love

I'm in love with this piece of fabric, I can't wait for the curing process to be done with, about 3 weeks this time of year. I can then wash it and get to the business of stitching it. Should have taken a better pic of it too, it's screen printed with lac over a cochineal immersion bath on silk dupioni.

More fabric

These are composted fabrics, I undid the bundles tonight, I'm going to leave them on the line, though they are almost dry now, because it's going to rain tonight. It'll give them a nice preliminary rinse, and it won't cost me anything!

That's my husbands pile behind the cloth, it's leaving soon as we will be doing some landscaping, ie leveling out the yard. So we now need to find a place to put all of my garden fencing and the like. Gotta keep the rodents out of the garden. Normally I don't mind sharing but we are over run with chipmunks, rabbits and squirrels. I"m not sure what the ground hog eats.

No Room in the Inn

Here's what you do with fabric you don't like, you give it a make over! These natural dyed silk pieces are drying after having been screen printed with natural dyes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Picture of Me

My aunt commented that there is a weird box in the far right hand corner. Yes this is where the picture of me is supposed to go, so far I've tried several things and it won't accept and of hte formats it states it wants. I even had my image reduced to 32Kb and you get a max of 50Kb. I uploaded the image, saved it both as a .jpeg and as a .gif it wouldn't accept either format. So who knows, so here you get to see the pic I was going to use, how I'm going to get it into my profile is beyond me.


I'm so excited I figured out how to make the changes by myself. I'm learning more code than I ever thought imaginable!

Blog Changes Again

I managed to find a free 3 column template for my blog, from blogger no less. Scroll down on the right side, when you get to free blogger templates go there, there are a lot of options.

However, while I like my new 3 column template a lot I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get rid of the header and footer images. I have my own images I want to insert here.

I've been looking at the template for a couple of hours now and still cannot find it, so if you find the string of code, that will actually change cause that one at the bottom of the code isn't working for me, please let me know.

Thanks - now back to our regularly sceduled surface designing!

Blog Changes

I'm hoping to change this blog into a three column blog today, so there will be some changes, and even some mistakes.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Gelatin Plate

I love it when everything goes the way it's supposed to, look no bubbles!!!

New Online Classes

My new Online classes begin tomorrow, I'm teaching three classes simultaneously this time,

Gelatin Plate Printing starting tomorrow (Tuesday)

Digital Printing - starting Wednesday

Encaustic Painting for Fabric and Collage - starting Thursday

These classes will be information rich, I need to go update my web descriptions now, I see I forgot to do that.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I've been composting and screenprinting away today. Here I have some fabric that was already dyed red, with a madder lac dyebath. I've wrapped the bundle in copper wire and put it out doors.

I've been working with this lace tablecloth for the better part of the day, screenprinting it as a resist. I've printed up lots of fabric, some yardage pieces, all using natural dyes, and a natural thickener as my print paste.

It just goes to show that if you get in the studio, and start producing, and keep at it long enough the creative juices will come back. It helps that I brought my little portable stereo to the basement so I could listen to my music. I listen to alot of instrumental, it helps get me into the creative mood/flow.

Birch Fabric Detail

I Got My Groove Back & QSDS

I'll have to post pics of the fabric later, but I've basically been sitting on some fabric for five years now. It's a huge piece of silk dupioni(sp?) that I compost dyed. I've wanted to do something with this fabric ever since it came out of my washing machine, but to date have only hung it as yardage.

Well tonight I got my groove back, it's been a long two years peppered with too many dead relatives. Anyway, John and I were out looking at some fresh cut downs, cottonwood, locust, birch, and ash. He brought home some logs of each variety. I went gah gah over the birch, or I should say the bark anyway.

I hope to work on this piece this weekend, I have too much to do tonight, plus I need to get the other elements ready first. But I went to town photographing the wood, the next step is sketches and some samples of things I want to try. I should have it all worked out by Saturday, and will probably spend most of Sunday working on the pieces.

I'm excited the deadline for QSDS has been changed to the 26th, so I still have time to submit my yardages. There's a piece, further down the blog, that I plan to submit. So if your interested in the piece it is for sale and you can buy it at QSDS.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rust & Clay Dyeing Book

It's done and out the door. It took two of us to finally figure out the reason behind the video snaffu. But FINALLY it's on it's way.

My husband gave me a high compliment, as he was burning cd/dvd's he said it looked really nice.

This coming from a man who is impressed by nothing!!!

Anyway I have a total of four video clips on the CD Book, each clip discusses one technique, the ones that I'm asked about most frequently. You can purchase the book here at Rust & Clay Dyeing Book

Monday, May 15, 2006

Twilight's Mystery

Here is a picture of Twilight's Mystery, a black male llama. He's a beauty and if the natives in town wouldn't go so bonkers he'd be mine! But alas the city fathers always win on these issues.

Twighlight is for sale and information about him can be had from

Blooming Prairie Llamas

GOL Cleopatra

GOL Cleopatra is a female. For purchasing information please click here Blooming Prairie Llamas

Again June and David, the owners of these beauties are moving 1200 miles in about a month and need to sell their herd. They are located in central Iowa, if you are interested please contact them at the weblink above, it's highlighted in green, or email me directly.


BFL Copperstar

BFL Copperstar is a female. For purchasing information please click here Blooming Prairie Llamas


Superstitions Sable

-- Superstitions Sable is a female. For purchasing information click here Blooming Prairie Llamas


Cream Puff Llama

Cream Puff is a female. For purchasing information please click here Blooming Prairie Llamas


Masterlock's Perfect Combination

Masterlock's Perfect Combination a male Llama. For purchasing info click here Blooming Prairie Llamas

JJ-HH's Chip N Dale

Here is a picture of JJ-HH's Chip N Dale, a male Llama. You can find out more information about Chip at Blooming Prairie Llamas



I have a friend who is moving 1200 miles in about a month. She has a few llamas she needs to sell. Check out this site here if you are interested, Blooming Prairie Llamas is located here in central Iowa
Blooming Prairie Llamas

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Another view

Here's another view of my fabric, now that it's been dried. I really like my photography lamps, why I haven't used them until now I do no know. I know they don't work well with the digital camera, I'll have to dig out the slr for that task. So the fabric may appear a bit bluish in this pic. I may take a pic outside tomorrow, in the daylight.

I haven't decided if I want to screenprint on this piece yet or not, it's very tempting. It'll be the first time I've ever screenprinted on a piece of my compost dyed fabric. I have some madder lac extract made up that would add some real dimension to this piece. If I were to use the osage ornage instead it'll end up discharging some of the surround colors, which could be really neat. Decisions decsions.

Speaking of which I'm learning a very valuable lesson, burning cd's/dvds with video takes forever. Oh and I need new/more ram for my computer as this will make the burning process go faster.

Detail Shot

Here's a detail shot of this fabric. It feels so so so good to be making fabric again.

Long view of the fabric

When it's dry I'll hang it up on the wall and take a better pic of this piece, it's gorgeous. It's silk charmuse that has been compost dyed, in fact this is the sample piece I made in the video/DVD.


I have a couple of pieces of fabric I may send to QSDS for the fabric contest. Here's one such piece it's been compost dyed.

Btw if your interested in learning how to make this fabric then check out my new DVD on Mark Making with Nature available on my webstore at
The Prairie Fibers Company

I'm still debating whether I want to screen print any designs onto the piece before I ship it out.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fabric Painting. I teach this in my Mark Making with Nature: Surface Design with Natural Dyes class, I also cover the information in the DVD by the same title. Posted by Picasa

I've been busy screen printing fabric, now to figure out where I laid this piece down!!! The dark print is Logwood Grey, a natural dye extract. Yes the design is my own. Making your own designs is pretty easy just look around at nature and start drawing. I'm fascinated by vines, tree bark, and rocks. But you could also look at animal patterning, especially birds and insects for additional inspiration. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fishing and other things

We went to the lake today, it was windier than all get out. I spent some time drawing.

Field Set

Here's a pic of my field color set. The plastic case I bought at Michaels Crafts some time ago for a few dollars, I then squeezed my watercolors, from tubes, into the appropriate holes and let it dry for a week. I also take watercolor pencils, a few drawing pencils, disposable technical pens, and various brushes and erasers. With the exception of my pan set, it all lives in that little orange bag which gets thrown into the backpack.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Thyme & Gourds

This is the garden w/o all of the junk in it! I have Thyme seed to plant in my little pocket garden, that's the garden right outside my back door. I planted three varieties of thyme there already, I want some more to grow up in between the rocks.

Whence they are done poisoning the yard this week, hopefully next weekend I'll be able to plant my gourds. I will be putting them on the dog run again this year, as the added shade was quite beneficial to the dogs.

A Lil' Garden Patch

I can taste the garden fresh cabbages already! In the interim I planted some lettuce, radishes, onions and the like in between my tomatoes and cabbages. They will be gone by the time those plants are big enough to need the space.

Hmmmm and I planted some mustard greens as well. Hubby commented that I was really getting into the garden this year. You betcha!

How I Spent My Saturday

Well after I got 35 packages out the door this is what I did. It actually started on Thursday, but I was so sore yesterday evening that I rested instead. Now I'm off to work again, business work.

I think the area outside my back door looks much better now, I spent two days digging up and removing galic chives. I've decided that garlic chives are evil!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Half Painted Lady

My Queen Anne Wanna Be. I"ll post it later I see that Blogger is still screwed up royally.

The Necessaties

But maybe not so desirable. I just finshed mowing the lawn. I wish hubby could have gotten it done himself, but it was already pushing two feet high, yes we have had that much rain, and it actually started raining again while I was mowing! But I got it done anyway.

I'm not sure when we're supposed to get sunshine again to be real honest. And no I'm not supposed be mowing the lawn, between bad knees and hips, and a severe allergy to creeping charlie, a noxious weed, I'm betting I'll be hurting tomorrow and big time.

Anyway, hubby can run the weed whacker for me. I'd really like to get into my garden and start transplanting my plants - hostas, lilies, lily of the valley, and the like. And I have a bunch of perinneals I bought to put in the yard, thyme, bee balm, actually I guess that was all I bought. Anyway, we have cabbages to plant as well.

More later. Here's a picture of our summer project, getting the rest of the house painted this year. Two words, paint sprayer!

Monday, May 01, 2006


Encaustic Group

Click here:
Encaustic Painting and Collage to join.

Encaustic Painting

I started a new group today for Encaustic Painting. Encaustic Painting is painting with beeswax, or you can use soywax now days. Anyway, I wanted a place for those who are just beginning as well as the advanced to meet and discuss their wax adventures. A friendly place, especially friendly towards new Encaustic painters.

Click on the title above to get to the group.

Major Changes

With the help of several online friends, Debra Roby being the queen of blog changing, I am going to change my blog this week! It looks rather sloppy and has for quite some time now. So the blog may be screwy the next few days or so!