Thursday, June 28, 2007

My new tote bag

I rust dyed this canvas tote for myself, it's pretty cool as it has pockets on the front of the tote bag, great place for my scissors to live! I have more rust and indigo dyed books on my store.

I've been contemplating taking this bag and over dyeing it with quebracho red and some madder root, this would give me really nice purples and greys.

What I'm working on, sorta

I'm in progress on this piece right here, I'm not sure why the printer cut the sky off, yes that's a bunch of 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper taped together, it's my cartoon. My wide format printers are not here yet, did you guess that one??? Oh well I'm not sewing onto printed fabrics anyway, I'm stitching and needle felting onto canvas and silk.

The bags are made of canvas and have either been rust dyed and/or indigo dyed with natural indigo. If your interested they are listed on my store.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fleeces Ahoy Matie

Well what can I say but here's one postive vote for cold soaking and rinsing! What it does is remove the barnyard from the fleece before you do the hot wash so the hot washing will remove the lanolin and other ickies that cold soaking does not get rid of!

I have about three pounds in the washer right now, it'll be rinsed in about 30 minutes and if it's satisfactory will go straight into a pine green dye vat. I'm cheating I'm using acid dyes, country classics to be exact, no one around here wants to pay for fibers dyed with natural dyes, though they all claim to be Eco-Friendly and fight to have the most carbonless footprint in existance. I will be dyeing about half of this fleece with natural dyes - indigo and osage orange.

Silver Romney lends itself quite well to becoming green ;-) I have a lovely poundish amount of terra cotta as well. I got that by mixing half a container of Butterscotch with a heaping teaspoon of Turkey Red, very lovely. My next batches will be blues, teals, and purples as silver romney doesn't do yellow very well, it looks odd.

Altered Book Making Anyone???

I'll be teaching Altered Book Making level 2 class in July here in studio. I made this sign up after being asked what an Altered Book was.

Little bit of color

This pile of fibers here would be hand-dyed silk fibers, throwster's waste and degummed waste to be exact.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Washing Wool

I've been washing a fleece, I'd love nothing more than to say fleeces but alas it's a single fleece at the moment. It's a romney fleece that was incredibly big, and heavy. It is currently cold soaking in 8 five gallon buckets, it'll get rinsed tomorrow and then will be washed in hot water in the washing machine.

I have two pounds of said silver fleece currently dyeing, on color is butterscotch with a bit of turkey red added to the pot and the other pound is pine green, and I might add the pine green is stunning on this silver fleece. I can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow when I remove it from the vat.

I know I know pictures please! I'll have to bring the digital camera from teh studio as I am no longer able to find my other card for the video camera - thank you John for rearranging my desk!

I'm feeling somewhat better, I knew the smell of a dirty fleece would be just the ticket to perk me up, only felt like hacking a lung up twice today. I'm really tired of being sick, I can only imagine what it's like for people who are chronic.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What's Up

Well after a trip to the ER tonight my antibiotic "is" working, even if I feel as if it isn't, on day five. Apparently I'm making great progress, even if I feel I'm not. My left ear is screaming at me and I'm still coughing like crazy, but apparently this is all par for the course, even if I feel I should be a lot better by now. Oh did I mention I can still bearly talk and doing so makes me cough so badly that I feel like I've inhaled my last breath.

Anyway... I'm going to go back to bed and hopefully will wake up feeling better tomorrow.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Interesting Week

Well this has been an interesting week for events, right now I'm battling walking pneumonia and a nasty ear infection - all set off by an allergy attack.

Today we had a pretty wild storm that ended with a tornado that set down on the south side of town, near the airport. Luckliy no one was hurt and there was very little damage. The boundary outflow was incredible, I watched my husband drive home in it from the storefront window, within 4 minutes the tornado sirens were going off.

More later with pictures.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Whole Sale

I've been getting inquiries about wholesaling my books and dvd's and the anwser is yes I do sell whole sale. Minimum is 5 of each title, you only have to buy one title, and you pay shipping. The discound is 40% off of the retail price. NOTE that at the end of June the Mark Making with Nature DVD will be undergoing a new format and packaging and price change. I have a few copies left of MMWN and whence it's gone it's gone.

You can contact me directly to purchase wholesale or purchase over on my store. I do need proof that you are a business though, I accept PayPal, MC & V.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Online Classes

Online classes, with The Prairie Fibers Company, will resume in July.

Altered Clock Class

Altered Clock Class, being taught by Kimberly Baxter Packwood, in July at the Prairie Fibers Company in Ames, Iowa. This class will be a LOT of fun! Create your own personal time piece using found objects, ephemra and more.

Altered Book Class

This class is being offered at The Prairie Fibers Company in Ames, Iowa.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Buffalo wallow at the prairie, this one is a new one, must have smelled extra nice as it's much larger than the others.

Thistle ID

Not sure which type of thistle this is, it's in the prairie plant re-intro program at the prairie so it's hard telling. The education center was closed so there was no one to ask. I think it's Nodding Thistle, but am not a hundred percent sure.

The Thistle that Saved My Hide!

I figured God was really looking out for my sorry hide today, as I ended up with a REALLY flat tire! And not one of those slow leakers but one of those I barely made it to the service station.

I stopped to photograph a huge purple thistle, the size of which I haven't seen in eons and overshot my stopping point. As a result I had to walk the lenght of my truck and about 50 feet to get the thistle, what can I say yes I could have backed up but it was a really lovely day to be out on the prairie. Needless to say I noticed my truck was hissing. Not a good sign. I went and took my pictures and sure enough it was still hissing, so I know it's not the air conditioning. Well I went to the education center but it closes at 4pm, who knew, my cell phone won't call out but I can get calls in, go figure. Sooooo I made my way slowly over to Prairie City, where I spent three dollars making phone calls on the pay phone - remember those? - and finally was able to get ahold of my husband.

First the spare wouldn't drop from the truck - so bring me another spare tire please. Good thing he showed up with a star wrench as my piddley little jack bar would have never gotten the lug nuts off the truck. Wanting to know why I didn't do this myself I was vindicated when HEEEEEEE couldn't even get the lug nuts off, using a star wrench and a cheater bar - with ME standing on the cheater bar!!! (Oh and I"m not exactly light of foot if you know what I mean in a rather rotund way). Finally he set my flat tire free, turns out it has about a three inch screw with sheet metal lodged into it's rubbery flesh. I've been informed that my tire is ruined, hubby pronounced it so.

So that's how I spent my day off, I did get some footage of the prairie though, never really got to see any buffalo though, maybe I'll go back later in the week, if he'll let me leave town by myself ever again.

I'm not sure which type of thistle this is, any ideas???

Saturday, June 09, 2007

New Techniques

Regina Rooks demo'ing the Tsukineko inks in aloe vera gel at my open house - Regina is a super talented artist who makes exquisit jewelry! Here she's painting some flowers on fabric using the inks and the aloe vera.

I've been working with the Tsukineko inks all day and wanted to share some new techniques I've picked up along the way. Regina, you can see her on my blog, found a link for mixing aloe vera gel with the tsukineko inks to created a controlled effect, it worked so well that I decided to try my hand at screen printing with the inks today, in the aloe vera gel, and it works very very well! I'll post a video on my blog/ later this weekend so you can see the results. Anyway, heat set with an iron as ususal. This works really well with the Setacolor paints and natural dye extracts also.

More later from the studio front - I'm having an open house today.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Open House Invite

If you are in Central Iowa this weekend I'm having an open house for my new commericial studio. It is located on Main Street in the back half of the Prairie Fibers Company (Main and Burnett). I will be here Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Grand Opening

We are celebrating our grand opening this weekend so if your in Ames Iowa check us out we are on Main Street (Corner of Burnett and Main)!

We will be demoing all weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will be doing some rust dyeing, painting with pigments, and much more. Lorretta will be demo'ing needle felting, drop spindling on Friday and Sunday, Brenda will be demo'ing Shiva Paintstiks, Regina will be demoing Tsuineko inks (I'm doing the inks with Shaving Cream) and Water Color Crayons on Fabric and Wendy will show you how to distress papers and more for ATC"S.
I think the space will look much better whence the sign and the awnings arrive, don't you???
I'm off to ship some books and then hang more artwork.