Friday, August 25, 2006

And Yet More Monoprinting

This is what one does with the left over natural dyes on the printing plate. The fabric is cotton that has been dyed with weld - immersion dye bath. I then proceeded to use it to mop up the rest of the dye on the plate, by placing it face down and using a brayer to get good coverage on the fabric. It actually has potential. I'll be doing this again tomorrow as I have more printing to do but I'm really tired tonight.

It is important to note that the fabric will not be this color after it's done curing and has been washed. The yellow will be bright yellow, not gold as it now appears. With natural dyes in order to get a good color transfer in any method involving a binder you need to have the color concentrated 30 to 50% more than what you actually see in the paste. The dark color is logwood grey, which will be purples whence it is done, has also mixed with the osage orange to form a very interesting green color. These colors will be stunning on the silk fabric when I'm done with it as well.

More Monoprinting

This silk charmuse fabric was indigo dyed, compost dyed and then monoprinted with natural dyes. It's smallish 18 x 24 inches.

Monoprinting with Natural Dyes

I managed to work one hour tonight in my studio, for which I am sure pay dearly for later, creating some cloth. I was gong to submit this piece, after it cures and I had quilted it, to Quilt National, that was before I made a huge mess on the silk and hid it with the swallows. So now I will have to create another piece of cloth to be made into a quilt of some sort.

This piece, which was compost dyed first, is actually hanging horizontally, I flipped the image to vertical so you could see it better, hence the reason it looks odd. I screen printed the image of the swallows onto the fabric. Actually it looks a lot like a day hubby and I spent out at the prairie - hoping to photograph bison - but all we saw were swallows dive bombing dragon flies in the tall prairie grasses instead.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

On Writing Articles

I was asked to write an article for Quilter's Home Magazine, which I promptly did, and I have to say now I regret doing so. What was supposed to be a small article is a large quote, so the article is hard to find - hey I wrote it and I couldn't find it!!! It's called "Plant Your Stash" in the August 2006 issue on page 53.

No I didn't pick the title. And no the "easy-for-a-moron" comment is NOT mine!!! The person who wrote part of the article made that comment. I find my techniques while quick and easy, to be quite respectable, though the person commenting on my techniques clearly does NOT.

I told my husband that this just supports my idea of including compost dyeing under the "Mark Making with Nature: Surface Design with Natural Dyes" title instead of writing a seperate book under the Compost Dyeiing title. Hopefully this book will be done and delivered from the printers by October 1st (ish)!!!

He finally conceded that I may be right after all. I can see the book "compost dyeing" being placed in the gardening section of a book store - actually that is NOT a bad thing, but it may make it hard for surface designers, who are interested in learning my techniques, to find the book.

But I never thought of compost dyeing as being an unrespectable thing to do. Rather I see it more as being cutting edge, incorporating nature into ones own work, the act of relinquishing control over the final outcome, but I never saw it as a disrespectable craft.

So I think it goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, it's interesting to hear and see other peoples perspectives/perceptions on what you do artistically. And sometimes you hear things you don't want to hear!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sewing Machine Hell!!!

Step away from the machine mam and no one will get hurt!!!

It's been demonized that's my story and I'm sticking with it! Seems like it might be time to take it in to the repair shop. I"ve cleaned it twice, changed the needle three times, and gone through a butt load of thread types and weights and it's still breaking thread. The thread seems to get snagged in the arm that goes up and down and it's breaking there.

Who knows what it's problem is.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pattern Numbers

Butterick B4827 and Butterick 3552! Very lady like indeed, me wonders what kind of hat one would wear with such a dress? I also bought another pattern so that I would have the appropriate under garb to wear with such a dress, if you know what I mean.

What I'm Working On

It still needs a glaze, I'll put that on tomorrow, then I can stitch the piece. It's huge, for this type of work anyway, 23 x 32 inches.

What I"m Up To

Well this week I'm going to be filling orders like a madd woman! I'm also finishing off my online class stuff, video taping can be such a pill at times, and then I'm uploading it all at once so it's all there.

Tonight I decided I wasn't filling orders, instead I worked on some artwork, which is actually for one of the online classes I'm teaching. More samples!

Quite frankly it's really nice to not have to work the weekends anymore if I don't want to. From now on my weekend work will entail sitting out in the woods drawing and painting, or collecting specimens, and my dye pots. Well there's always housework but there's always housework so why get tied up in a knot about it right.

Brenda, my best friend that actually lives here - as I have several, and I went to JoAnns today and bought patterns. Normally I don't buy patterns but they were on sale for an incredible price so I couldn't resist.

I bought a mists of avalon style dress pattern that will show case my fabrics beautifully. The best part is the pattern is big enough to fit even the likes of me! I can't wait to start dyeing and printing fabrics for this dress, it's a Butterick pattern and I don't have the pattern number handy at the moment, but I'll try to post it later. I admit it I'm a sucker for that kind of dress and if it were to come in vogue again I'd be the first one in line to have such a wardrobe.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Business Reduction Sale

Greetings from the Prairie

40% off Storewide Reduction Sale

Summer is a really rough time for most businesses, August being the
worst of months for sales and Prairie Fibers is no exception. I am
sitting on inventory I cannot move because we are unable to compete
with the big guys price wise, and with no wholesale natural dye
supplier in sight (70% of our business) I am forced to make the
painful decision and reduce the size of the business at this time.

NOT INCLUDED in the store reduction sale are the Online Classes,
Gift Certificates, and Art Cloth. No Rain-Checks on Back Orders.

All Sales ARE Final, No Returns, Store Credit Only.

Discount will be applied to Order Total at the end of your sale.

Back to the Prairie - Kimberly

Monday, August 07, 2006

Beautiful Fabric

Sandy Marcoux sent me this beautiful fabric, it came from Sweden. The colors are very rich and are very vivid! The smaller peices appear to be burned/heated nylon and gold leaf, it's a lot sturdier than it looks actually.