Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Leaf Prints

In the past couple of weeks (with Fall and Winter shows looming), I decided to get out the dyepots and get my dyeing mojo back on.  I have just been having the best time.  Using a stash of silk scarves that provided the canvas for some beautiful leaf prints, I began dyeing with local eucalyptus I collected and plants from my garden. Days have been spent rolling up leaves in between the folds of fabric, and then after hours of simmering and stoking the dyepots, the "reveal", hoping for success and not a big disappointment.  Just a smattering of the results:

 And a little experimentation with wool fabric.

Very happy with the results but not as happy as I am about the drops of water falling from the sky. Yes, it's true, we've had a bit of rain thanks to Hurricane Paine in Baja California.

Some additional results on silk -- hanging to dry.  They are a little more intense when wet and will be a little more subdued when dry and ironed.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Felting Experiments Continue

I have been continuing with my exploration of wet felting.  I am intrigued by the different flowers I can create using a wet felting technique.  Then, they come alive when I stitch on them with my handspun yarn and add a felted bead and some glass beads.

This particular felted flower found itself in the onion skin dye bath that I had going. It came out a beautiful bronze.  So glad I took that leap of faith and threw it in the onion dye bath.

I had another idea swimming around in my head for a few weeks -- to needle felt on some prefelt to create a textural piece.  After wet felting, I then dyed it.  This will make a nice table runner.

Now, I am anxious to create even more texture on a felted piece.  This week is going to be lots of fun.  And thankfully the heat wave of last week has passed, making it easier to work.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer explorations continue

Even through the brutal heatwave we've been having, I have been working hard on pieces for my Fall shows.  My experimentations with different felting techniques continues and I am very happy with the outcomes. Here are a few of the scarves and shawls that I will have in my booth at Artistic License on October 28th and 29th at Estancia Park in Costa Mesa.  

I will also have loads of my beautiful handspun yarn, which I work on in the evenings when I chill out sipping wine and watching movies.  A sampling of a skein of a polwarth wool and silk blend:

The summer journey through the heat continues and I'll get a short break to the Pacific Northwest in mid-August to visit my dear little granddaughter. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer projects

Just a short check in.  This summer has been an adventure in trying new techniques, specifically in the area of wet felting.  For a long time, I have been wanting to learn how to make felted hats and felted flowers. I bought a wooden hat block at Convergence in Vancouver (2002?) but had never used it.  I tried the template that came with the hat block and did not like the result.  Then, I watched a few YouTube videos but they were way too basic. So tenacious as I am when I want to learn something, I just decided to wing it to see if I could teach myself.  Here are a few of my "experiments". 

This last hat with the bright red flower, won a blue ribbon at Black Sheep Gathering, which made me very happy.  

Then on to some different materials and techniques.

This reminds me of the bark on some eucalyptus trees.

These fabric pieces remind me looking in ocean tide pools.

Could not capture the jewel tones and texture of these pieces, but I love them.
Exploration continues!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spring activities

A quick check in.  I have been very busy going through my bins of fibers and dyeing rovings for the past while.  My roving inventory was dwindling as I spun more and more yarn.  And I needed colors from which to choose and needed to perk up my inventory.  This has kept me out in the dye studio quite a bit.  But, as it started warming up and I was getting a taste of summer, I decided to take some time away from working and moseyed over to the great nursery down the road on Mother's Day.  Okay, so I got obsessed with succulents.  You know, there are so, so many different ones. So every weekend, I have been planting succulents in all the many empty pots I have found around our yard, and I've bought some, too.  These are just a few of the 30+ pots I have planted.  And, the good news is that I have such a great variety, I can propagate them.  Found a great blog on how to do that. 

And in the evenings, I plunk myself down at my spinning wheel, watch Netflix, and spin yarn, with a nice glass of wine by my side.  

Baby camel/merino wool/silk

Gray merino wool overdyed and mixed Blueface Leicester wool

Gray merino wool overdyed and mixed Blueface Leicester wool 

And I used my Mother's Day gift certificate to buy this beautiful book on Indigo.

Life ain't that bad at all here in San Juan Capistrano.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Winter Hibernation is Over

I have been hunkered down this Winter, chilling out, traveling, knitting a bunch, and doing lots and lots of handspinning. Having my first grand baby in February has also caused other interests to take a back seat -- but a very welcome back seat -- as you can see. 

So, Spring has sprung, all of my roses are blooming, and we're having April showers. The nice cool weather got my juices flowing and over the past few days, I got back into doing some dyeing.  My roving inventory was getting down, and I need to have lots of choices when I decide I want to spin.  Now I've got some choices!!

Happy Springtime!  This is also time to finish up my plans for attending Black Sheep Gathering at the end of June and the Taos Wool Festival in early October.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spin In 2016

Since the beginning of the year, I have been doing a lot of spinning.  My stash of handspun yarn had dwindled down to about 8 skeins and was looking a little sad, but since the beginning of the year, I have spun about 7,700 two-ply yards.  As my friends who are spinners know, spinning is a zen like experience and really gets you centered. The process of making yarn with your own hands is one of the best experiences.