Friday, July 21, 2006

Rust & Clay Dyeing Book

Rust and Clay Dyeing on CD ROM 63 Pages of How to correctly dye your fabrics with rusts, clays and pigments!

This CD has 4 video clips demonstrating 4 different techniques. I'm offering it over the weekend at the show price of $19.95

You can purchase it here Rust & Clay Dyeing Book

Or you can come see us in person at the Art Cloth Symposium tomorrow only, from 7-9 pm at the Minnesota Textile Center. If you do stop in make sure you say "howdy"!

Art Cloth

Come see my fabrics at the Art Cloth Symposium Trunk Show Saturday July 22nd, 7 to 9 pm. It is being held at the Minnesota Textile Center in Minneapolis.

I am bringing my art cloth, a bunch of gorgeous scarves and the books I've written with me.

Want to know how to make the fabric? I tell you how to do this AND more in my book Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentation Techniques now on SALE at Prairie Fibers

This piece of fabric has been composted AND Rust Dyed. You can learn all about rust dyeing in my other book Rust and Clay Dyeing

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Electronics & inadequacies

This was the weekend of machine turning against man - well woman in this case.

My main computer kept crashing on me, turns out it was hungry for more RAM. We bought some, WOW what a difference a little extra memory makes, starting with it staying on, and ending with that really quick boot up at the beginning of start up.

Photoshop is still draggy though, even with 1.5MB of RAM it's still giving me fits.

And then the inevitable happened, the cell phone died. Now you'd think that after 4 years of use and abuse it'd keep on ticking, or am I confusing this with a Timex watch???

I went to use the phone and it refused to turn on. And when it finally did it merely blinked at me, on, off, on, off - and it's still doing it too. I've been informed that the battery is fried, and probably fried a few things along with.

Sooooo, cuz I have Sprint I had quite the credit wracked up for a new phone. It has all the bells and whistles you can imagine, all of which cost extra money to use btw.

I was lamenting its complexity on a particular list when a member chimed in that her not too much younger daughter than I had mastered said identicle phone in 20 minutes.

And I thought to myself: Self are we inadequete because after 20 minutes we still are unable to place a call - but can take a really nice picture with the phone???

A twinge of inadequecy at first and then a full out screaming NO! Hell No!

First: I'd really like to know what said daughter does for a living, probably something in electronics I bet.


Can she repack the wheel bearings on her vehicle, let alone fine the dip stick to check the oil???

Can she butcher a hog, render the fat into lard, make her own soap?

Can she sheer a sheep, skirt the fleece, wash the fleece, spin it into yarn, dye it with materials from her own backyard (if she even has one) and then weave it into fabric??? I bet not.

If the world goes to hell in a hand basket tomorrow can she start a fire using primitive means, build a survival shelter, find edible food and potable water? I bet not. But I bet she has FEMA and CNN on speed dial.

I momentarily thought to myself that I am royally incompetant because I cannot master a little piece of electronics, btw I can place a call on it today, but then it dawned on me that all of my available brain cells are tied up in the basics of life. So does this mean I need new RAM??? I've used my brain for so many other things (life skills), there's no room left for learning a new gizmo. I'll squeeze the new phone in over time probably around the time it needs replacing.

I'm sure the mother was just wanting to tell everyone how proud she was of her daughter, or she could have been letting me know what an electronic yutz I am - after all I'm only 7 years older than her daughter. Her comment definately made me thing though.

I look at todays youngsters, ran into one at the mall last night that showed me how to program my phone, I wonder and I worry about them. Can they take care of themselves in the event of a "what if"? I think not actually, the prevailing attitude is "it" can't happen here, it can't happen to me, yet there is too much historical evidence to the contrary. The Golden Age is coming to a crashing end, nature is a cruel mistress - no matter how much we think we can control her by applying labels (global warming) and the like we cannot. We may afflict damage, but the damage Nature inflicts is far greater and total than anything we could ever concieve.

Well I have a DVD to finish editing, a book to write and a class to prepare for. And if there's anytime left over I would like to get some apple sauce put up for the winter. Some apple butter would also be great to have on hand, I'm out at the moment.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pantone Colors Fall 2006

Click here to see the actual Pantone Colors for Fall 2006 Pantone Colors

Simply Taupe
Frost Gray
Pale Khaki
Apple Cinnamon
Bijou Blue
Golden Ochre
Purple Magic
Mineral Red
Red Mahogany

As a fiber artist who has had many art history course, color theory classes, and once was a military brat, I have to ask has anyone else noticed that these are the colors of war?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mark Making with Nature DVD

Will be shipping next Saturday, the 22nd. We finished the reshoot tonight, and discussed the editing and now that I have my brain wrapped around this, how video editing works we will finish this off with great speed!

We filmed the video, the colors and lighting is gorgeous, but somewhere in the process I forgot that editing is a natural thing. Anyway, to say that I hated the video would be an understatement, and I could not ship it out the way it was. I'm not sure why editing was no where in my brain - oh yeah I know why because I'm not a video person. Just give me some cloth any ole day and I'll be a happy child ;-)

I'm much happier now, and I'm sure those who buy it will like it, probably more than me actually. I've been informed that I'm my harshest critic by far, this is probably true.

Anyway I'm taking pre-sales you can purchase it at Prairie Fibers

The DVD will be 40 minutes plus (I think it's much longer but can't remember off the top of my head) of actual DVD and then there is also a instruction portion, in the form of a PFD, with another 30 plus minutes of embedded video instruction and a gallery.

Solar Dyeing

A bit of solar dyeing with natural dyes.

The dyes are left to right:
Osage Orange, Madder Root, Cochineal, Black Walnut Bark, and Nettle. The fabric is a silk crinkled crepe, one fat quarter each per quart jar.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Peppers doing so much better now, he's back to his ornery self biting and the like. I have to worm him again in eight days, not fun btw! I'm sure he'll be thrilled by the experience. I still have to worm The Old Man of the Woods, probably tomorrow now that things have settled down a bit around here.

Tomorrow afternoon we will finish filming the DVD, it was done, but I was royally unhappy with the dvd, no fault on anyones part actually but it wasn't what I was hoping for. I think this has more to do with being radically inexperienced with these sorts of things, it's times like this that one needs a stage manager to tell you what to do when being filmed.

I've been practicing photographing my fabric pieces, I need better bulbs for my photo lamps. The ones I have are way too blue, and the others are tungsten and won't work either - unless I use tungsten film which can get spendy and really quick like.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


He's doing better, letting me pet him and the like. He even managed to eat without getting sick so I have hopes that he will pull through this without any further intervention.

I wormed him last night, poor baby, without knowing that he had been in the bathtub -that hubby had put cleaners in earlier. John did this thinking he would let it soak and come back later to clean it, in an effort to help me clean. Needless to say pet wormer and tub cleanser doesn't mix! Luckily for him he didn't get too much of the cleanser.

And hubby has now learned that if you spray the bath tub with cleanser, if you plan to leave it to soak and come back later, then close the door; because the smell of the cleanser attracts cats!

Linen Thread

I bought this from Native American Visions, which went out of business in May, I'm looking for more of this thread, it was billed as French Linen Thread. It is considered, from what I gathered from the description at the time, to be authentic for re-enactment garb. Not that that really matters I would just like more of this thread as it is not coated in wax and has a nice heft to it. Also if I could get it in a cone rather than a spool all the better.

So if you know where I can purchase more of this thread please drop me a line, you can do this by emailing me at

Update on Pepper

He's still very ill this morning, I need to call the vet and see if I can get him in, they always want cash upfront and I don't have it right now it's July and as usual sales have been slow.

I pay for the pets their food and their care and our food, hubby pays for everything else, try and explain it to the vet however that people just don't shop in July, but pets still get sick in July, the vet simply does not care.

I'll just have to call and ask, I doubt that she'd be interested in healing Pepper in exchange for artwork. And they could definately use some artwork on their walls in that office, all she has hanging up is the heartworm posters. I digress...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One of those days

Things just haven't been going right all day, period. It's like fighting an up hill battle, and the hill is muddier than all get out. And if things weren't bad enough, now my tabby cat - Pepper - is deathly ill! I'm not sure what his problem is, except he has the same symptoms that Angel had earlier last week, so I wormed him, I hope this helps, we will know in a couple of hours.

I might add that a liquid wormer doesn't sit well with a tabby cat that doesn't want anything in his mouth. Both John and I ended up bloody in the attempt to worm Pepper, we both now have battle wounds in an attempt to keep the tabby alive. I'm hoping it's nothing worse than worms, he's been barfing all over the house for the past hour.

He seems stable at the moment, laying on the floor gently wagging his tail. I'm keeping him in the laundry room for the moment - serves several purposes, one he can make a mess in there all he wants, and two it's very close to my wet studio, two rooms over, so I can keep an eye on him. And last but not least htere very few places for him to crawl into or under so I have easy access to him if he does get worse in the next few hours.

Compost Dyeing CD_ROM

I put the Compost Dyeing CD ROM on clearance, it was $19.95 and I have marked it down to $9.95 as I want to move the remaining stock. If you have been waiting for this to go on sale you can purchase it here Compost CD

Art Cloth Symposium

I'm going to be part of the trunk show at the Art Cloth Symposium, July 22nd. The show is open to the public and runs from 7-9pm. I can't wait, I'll be there with my Mark Making with Nature DVD, Rust and Clay Dyeing book, Compost Dyeing book and all of my art cloth! I've been busy creating just for this show, so if you come to the show please stop by and say hello.


Coming very soon, I'll find out hopefully today or tomorrow how many more days it will be before Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentatition Technuiques will actually be in print! I was told the turn around is 10 days, I can hardly wait!

Monday, July 10, 2006

More Fabric

The only part about producing fabrics, scarves and the like that I truly dislike is all of the ironing/pressing, it's a necessary evil however.

Now to get the notebooks done for the workshop. I'm hoping to have the book in print, yes actual real print and not a cd rom, by the time we go to New Jersey but I have a feeling it won't be done until we get back.

Composted Velvet

This piece was dyed with osage orange first, then compost dyed using red yeilding dyestuffs. It turned out gorgeoust! Too bad it's only a fat eight, and not say three and a half yards.

Mark Making with Nature

I'm teaching Mark Making with Nature: Surface Design with Natural Dyes at Peters Valley the end of this month, July 28th to August 1st, 2006. Peters Valley is in New Jersey and from what I hear the area is just incredibly gorgeous! I'm hoping to get a few hours of R&R to take some pics of the wooded area, new tree bark and lichens, just give me 15 minutes I tell you and I'll be a very happy camper.

Part of this classes emphasis is Compost Dyeing and Screen Printing with Natural Dyes. We will do immersion dyeing as an aside while we wait on things to compost, cure and/or dry. I am anticipating a bit of fabric painting with natural dyes as well.

I teach this class online so if you really want to take the class but can't come to New Jersey then purchase it at Prairie Fibers I will be teaching the class again beginning mid August.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

large transfer prints

Sounds easier than it really is.

Some like it...

It got really hot here today, it's about time actually, it's a nice hot but it's hot none the less. The corn needs this heat to grow so it's a good thing, it's been unseasonably cool the past two weeks actually. I finally turned the central air on, about 20 minutes ago, I couldn't take it any longer it was 90F in the house. Mainly my dehumidifiers can't keep up with the heat, it's only 76 in the basement, however even with two dehumidifiers going it's still damp feeling down there.

In about an hour it'll be fine again, and I can go back to dyeing fabrics, been doing a lot of video taping of the dye pots, and making digital prints.

Speaking of prints, I've been wrestling a 24x36 transfer print for two days now and finally figured out it wasn't me but then new transfer film. I am unable to purchase the film I had been getting before, I'm not sure if the company (HP) quit making them or not, anyway... I'm getting my execrise wrestling with the new product. I guess the upside is I have lots of samples of what happens when you don't do it right the first time, and I'm writing it down on my samples of I know for future reference.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Franklin Ground Squirrel Again

Hey this baby is rare, as in endangered, won't stop that subdivision from going in though, never does.

Click here to see Franklin Ground Squirrel

For more information click here Franklin Ground Squirrel

Franklin Ground Squirrel

Was Prairie Dogs

Check it out, this is exactly what they look like!!!

Prairie Dogs Again

Well the verdict is still out, they are not the kind of prairie dogs we call prairie dogs, but they sure act like prairie dogs, but they are definately NOT 13 or 7 striped ground squirrels either (commonly known as chipmunks). What we are suspecting is that they are a hybrid strain of prairie dogs bred for the retail market that have been "naturalized" if you know what I mean. What that means for the local environment is anyones guess. My neighbor is going to look up a few other native ground squirrels to see if by chance they could be one of these. Prairie dogs are a member of the squirrel family in case you didn't know. These creatures h act too much like meerkats, another scary thought, but are too small, but who knows maybe it's an import set free to naturalize. If we find out for sure what they are I'll post what we find. I'm bummed because I was really hoping for prairie dogs, of the non--hybridized variety.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Portrait Pic

This is the pic I chose, she doesn't sickly in this picture. Now I just need to figure out how to enlarge it to something like 18 x 24 inches in size so I can pick fabrics and shiny objects and get her done. I'm hoping to have it done by Sept 22nd, her birthday. I'll be working on it on the way out to New Jersey and back at the end of this month.

Shiny Objects

I've decided to make a portrait piece of my mother, she died last year at the age of 57. I was thinking quilt but I have a feeling it's going to be a bit more mixed media, though all stitched down, now.

I've got a call out for shiny objects as I don't collect those sorts of things, I'm into straight fibers myself, but mom was a bit of a crow - she liked bragging on that fact herself actually. The only one that could out do her in the shiny department was her cat Bandit.

I started to make a piece, it was of a pic I took right before she died, the day after my grandmothers funeral, and have decided against it, she looks horrible in the pic though it was her natural way to dress. Instead I've decided on a pick from the 80's she looks pretty healthy in the pic, and I'd like to think that she would prefer that pic instead as well.

Prairie Dogs

Ok your never going to believe this, I know my neighbor didn't and she works for the DNR seh's now way to go check it out, we now have prairie dogs IN town! Big deal, ya betcha! This is prairie pothole/marshland the town is sitting on, the entire county actually, and while drained prairie dogs are NOT native here. So this is just so so exciting! The dogs are moving east! I've been seeing more jack rabbits as well I think the climate is becoming more westerly here.

Wet Dog

This is the one that was sick yesterday - Angie Lou

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

No Fair!!!

This seems to be what Angel is saying to me, she sure doesn't like having her picture taken right after a bath. Poor baby she's been very ill all day, so she got a bath because she was starting to smell like she's been on a three day drunk.

If she's still sick tomorrow I'll take her to the vet, yes she will ive hat long. Based on what I'm seeing (do I really need to give details here? I think not) she's got a super bad case of worms, I wormed her this morning we'll see how it goes.

Needless to say I haven't gotten anything done as I've spent the entire day either cleaning up after the dog, or cleaning the dog herself, she's not as neat and tidy as the cats when it comes to getting sick, I've never seen a dog get itself so messy before.

Anyway, back to the grind.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Todays sunset

Well it's not quite sunset here yet, but it's going to be a beauty. It's been absolutely gorgeous here today.

Out on the line

Ok it's hanging out on the line, what I see when looking at the whole piece are figures, or a single figure walking in a strong heat along a path, slowly fading, or dissolving into the horizon.

Table Dimensions

Btw my screen printing table is 9'l x 4'w x 3'h. I'm going to do some serious thinking on this piece over the next hour, it's definately going to be a whole cloth experience, with lots of layers of goodies piled onto the surface, ala my style. I just need to get the logistics of how I'm going to assemble it down first. I really wish I had access to my old design wall it was 12 feet long, now my office lives on that wall space. I guess there's always the clothesline outside.

Holy Cow Batman!!!

That's gonna be one huge piece! I have to go read the rules for a few upcoming compeitions but I"m thinking that two layers is suffecient enough. Both layers are compost dyed, top layer is silk organza, bottom layer is cotton lawn/batik.

Ok my table is 9 foot long and is 3 feet high in most places, and the end of this quilt is haning off of the table somewhere around 30 inches, it's also over 54 inches wide, I'm still not sure how I'm going to handle all of the stitching, maybe some hand stitching will be required.

The lighting sucks in these pics, I need to get my daylight bulbs out and put them into the photo lamps. The piece is mainly purples, mauves and light oranges, you'd never know that by looking at the pictures.

So my mission tonight is to get this bad baby together, along with another super sized quilt, and put everything back onto the table and get ready for tomorrow. Yeah right and who needs sleep right.

SP Table

This is the screen printing table without the vinyl and felt laying on top of it. And a view from the other end of the table.

Studio Mess 2

There's no room in the inn literally! I'm going to have to do some serious cleaning and organizing.

Hey I'm listening to Barrow, AK right now and it's Cold THERE!!!!

Wet Studio Mess

And it was even cleaner a few minutes ago, I need the table to put a large quilt together. I'll try to post pics of it in progress but can't promise.

New Cabinet - Sorta

This was hiding in our attic, well it wasn't hot pink when it was in the attic, it was varnished, now it's pink! It'll get two more coats of primer, cause I have lots of hot pink primer for some odd reason, and then two coats of lady bug red semi-gloss paint. It is going to be hung in the kitchen, I'd rather have it in my studio, and I"m going to put all of those pill bottles we seem to collect in there. I'm not sure why it happens but it would seem that as a person ages the number of pill bottles also increases in number. Why???

Btw hubby doesn't know that I painted this cabinet, he will when he gets home from work and I"m wanting him to hang it on the kitchen wall!

Also a new - sorta kitchen cabinet/counter top. We're removing the enamel table top from the metal table base, it has casters on it, and DH is mounting the table top to a wooden cabinet, two doors behind which lives two shelves, just under the top three smaller utensil drawers for his thermometer collection, and the little graters for spices and cheese. Finally I'll have a place for my cast iron skillets to live, they will no longer be out in the open collecting dust. It'll be painted lady bug red as well, the wood was all curb side salvage! Gotta love a man whose more than to willing to stop by a pile of junk and pull out primo wood.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Problem Solved

Well sorta. With two studios the invariable storage issue always arises, and more often than not, needing a free or very cheap solution to the problem. Mine was accessibility to my color pencils t hey were stored way back and I mean way way back in a cabinet so you can imagine my excitement when I found this old tobacco tin to store my pencils in. In my other studio my other set of color pencils, yes I have two sets, lives in a flower pot - a square flower pot.

Now to just figure out where to put all of the fabric and the very very large sheets of paper, while they are waiting for the next surface treatments.