Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Tie Dye!!

Well, it's not exactly tie dye, but it definitely is NOT level, solid shade dyeing. I bought a package of onesies, and was up early this morning seeing how they take the dye.

I did three of them in an Ann Johnston color parfait.

And I'm doing another one in Arashi shibori- now that I have Mandy Southan's book, I can figure out how to do some of the tying and clamping resists.

Can't wait to see how this one turns out- hopefully it is a pretty pale lavender. I also used dental floss for the first time to do the tying, so that should give me nice skinny lines. I'm not batching these overnight, think I will be washing them out this afternoon. And if the color parfait turns out to have a lot of mud on it- hey, that would mean any poop stains wouldn't show!

I'm also doing some samples to help me figure out exactly how I'm going to mix the dyes for my workshop in Grand Junction in August. I'm about to the point where I'm going to develop my own recipes for LWI dyeing, so this will just help with that process.

Now I'm off to finish sewing the baby bumpers. Later!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Another Dye Day

I was up early yesterday morning, getting fabric into dyepots. I have a project I need to get done this month, and needed the fabric for it. I dyed twelve half yard pieces, in three step gradations. I wanted to see the effect of slightly toning Dharma's Strong Orange with turquoise, its complement. Because the orange dye can be overpowering, I only used 1 teaspoon per two cups of urea water. The trio on the right have .5 ml turquoise in 3/4 cup of orange dye solution, the next one has 1 ml turquoise, the third has 2 ml. turquoise, and the one on the far left has 3 ml turquoise in the orange dye solution.

The toning is most obvious in the darker values, and I think I will end up using the one on the far left. There are also areas where the color is changed, I am certain it's because I just dumped the soda ash solution on the fabric instead of taking the fabric out of the dyepot before adding it. And, I actually like the two color effects it gave the pieces.

Tne next step is to do some samples with my thermofax screens using turquoise dye- I need to see how combining those two colors that way looks. That will probably have to wait until next weekend, however.

I have some baby stuff to get done and shipped off to Florida so it arrives by the 15th. I scoured some onesies to dye today, and have the last of the sewing to do on the bumpers. A cute cuddly blanket is cut out, and shouldn't take long to sew together- then Shannon gets to help with the ties. That's why the sewing studio feels like it is a mess, even though I cleaned it just a week ago!

Hope your weekend was productive, relaxing, or both!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lovely Lavender and Other Natural Delights

Shannon and I took a drive down to Mona to visit the Young Living Lavender Farm this morning. It's only about fifteen miles south of us- but as close as it is, we'd never been there.

We were a little late in the season- the big lavender celebration is in early July, and corresponds with the peak of the lavender harvest. But we had a good time wandering around their lovely garden area, and then checking out the one lavender field that still hasn't been harvested.

The gardens were great- cool, green, and lots of different flowers and herbs.

I also had fun playing with my camera, taking closeups of the flowers. This is only a few of the many I took.

Across the street, the lavender fields against the mountains and sky was gorgeous.

We headed back home via the highway instead of I-15, and made a stop at the Red Barn. They had produce and other goodies- we came home with farm-fresh eggs and a bag of cherries. And, we enjoyed some ice cream. The barn is surrounded by cherry orchards, so I had to get a picture of them!

That tree is loaded!

Can I just say I am loving my Pentax? I was expecting to be intimidated by a DSLR after using a point and shoot for so many years. In fact, the opposite has been true. The camera has a simple interface, clean and clear menus- I am just loving it. Next week, I'm taking a three hour class from a camera professional, so hopefully I'll learn even more about the ins and outs. If you are thinking of making the jump, I'd highly recommend it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Llama Fest

Yesterday was the annual Llama Fest at the Krishna temple, so we took a drive up there. We had Jaden with us, we thought he might enjoy seeing the llamas up closes.

I never cease to be amazed at the detail that went into this building.

The entire temple is done in this style, and it is just breathtaking. I may not share their spriritual beliefs, but I can appreciate the artistry that went into this.

We had great seats for the llama race! I'm trying out the different settings on my camera, and tried the action setting for these. Here's all the llamas and their handlers getting their directions before the race-

And off they go, heading to my right--

run out to the pasture, around a tree, and head back to the starting point, which is now the finish line!

Some llamas were more into this than others, clearly!!

They have added a pavilion in back of the temple, with a stage and seating. When we got there, Los Hermanos de los Andes were performing. They had quite a routine going with their sticks.

I love this view of the koi pond, with the mountains in the distance.

There were plenty of fish in the pond, swimming among the lily pads. Some of the fish were HUGE!

There were a couple of vendors, so Jaden got this little drum, I think similar to instruments they use in the Andes. It had McQueen from Cars painted on both sides of it- which meant Jaden loved it, and I just mutter under my breath about disgusting American commercialization.

It was a fun way to spend a Saturday evening.

Hey, I've even gotten some fabric stuff done! I've needed something to hold business cards so I sat down and made a couple last night with Timtex and some of my hand dyes. I liked these so much, I'm going to make a couple more than are longer and have several pockets in them. No more hunting for purses or wallets with multiple slots that actually hold your cards!

I also got the studio cleaned up from my last bit of dyeing- now I can get going on a couple other baby-related sewing projects. And, try out my new screens!

Hope your weekend was a good one!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fun in Heber

Shannon and I drove up to Heber this morning, so I could make a couple of Thermofax screens at Timmie's. It felt a little cooler up in the mountains, it is bloody HOT here in the valley.

We stopped and had lunch at the local hamburger joint, Granny's. The hamburgersand fries are good, but the shakes are thick and yummy. And huge! Neither Shannon nor I could finish the shakes, and we got the 'mini' size. Yeah, right, mini.

I only have a couple of tiny holes to tape in one of the screens, and it shouldn't make any difference to the image. Right next to the barn where Timmie has the Thermofax, she has a big plot of culinary lavender. I couldn't resist sitting down and trying to get pictures of the bees on the lavender. A couple of them actually turned out pretty good!

We stopped at an overlook going home- there was lots of activity on Deer Creek Reservoir. Between the deep blue water, and the blue sky, the colors were intense.

That's Midway off in the distance, and the site for the sheepherding trials late this summer.

And, we got a good view of the backside of Mount Timpanogos.

Right now, it feels good to be in my air conditioned home, even if I am doing laundry and other mundane chores. Maybe later tonight I'll get the screens taped and ready to use.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pictures Again!!!

I got my new (to me) camera yesterday, and I've had a little bit of time to play with it. I really think I am going to like this, the menus and such seem easier to navigate on a camera with some heft rather than a tiny little thing smaller than my hand.

Tonight I took it outside, and played with a couple of settings. The zoom works great, I took this picture of the playground from our back gate.

i love taking closeups, so I tried out the macro function. Here's some pansies and honeysuckle growing in our little patio--

I struggled getting depth of field effects with my point and shoot- seems like it may not be such an issue with this camera!!

And I realized I showed you the pictures of my totalled Corolla, but none of its replacement- another new to me gem, a four year old Prius with only 40,000 miles on her. I am loving the mileage, I'm getting 50-55 miles to a gallon of gas.

Life is good- I am back in the picture business again!

Friday, July 10, 2009


That would be the easiest way to describe the weather today- HOT! Our cloudy, wet, coolish early summer weather is definitely over.

Once we got the mundane chores done, I was back in the studio, dyeing some clothing blanks I got from Dharma. One is just a tee, but the other is a lightweight rayon kimono jacket. It will be great to wear in hot weather over a tank. I'm going for some lighter, pastel shades.

I also dyed three different PFD cottons- I wanted to see what differences there would be. I used the Hoffman Bali PFD I just got, Pimatex from Dharma, and the Kona muslin I have been using from Joann's. While there were differences, they were pretty minor. Hopefully next week I'll be able to post a picture!

Not having a camera is driving me crazy. My new one is on its way- as of noon yesterday, it had left Hopkins, IL. Nothing else has been posted on the tracking data since. Hopefully it is in Colorado someplace? Or Nebraska? I should have it by Tuesday, not soon enough for me.

Sigh-- maybe I'll just get Shannon to take some pictures with her camera tomorrow.

It's late, I'm off to bed.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Last of the Two Color Dye Runs

I do have pictures of my dyeing over the weekend- we finally figured out the error message on Shannon's camera. Can I just say I don't get the fascination with the tiny cameras available now? Shannon has a Fuji Finepix Z10fd- it takes very nice pictures, but it is SO SMALL!! I don't have big hands, but they feel huge around this tiny camera. My Canon Powershot A95 was a perfect size- small enough to cart around easily, big enough I could comfortably get my hands around it. I'm really looking forward to getting acquainted with my Pentax- at least I know it won't be a midget!!

So here's my four dye runs, using Fuschia, Light Red, Lemon Yellow, and Golden Yellow (all Dharma colors).

The two on the left use fuschia, the two on the right, light red. The middle two are golden yellow, the two ends are lemon. The run on the far left does have one goof- I didn't have enough red dye for the second one from the top, so it barely moved off yellow.

Today I've done very little. I had an appointment with an ENT doc, to try to figure out what is going on with the recurrent nosebleeds I've been having. After he scoped my nose, and cauterized it, I am now officially miserable. My nose is running non-stop, I want to blow it so badly but can't. I think it will be early to bed, with an Motrin to help me sleep.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

R. I. P.

Yes, there was tragedy (of a sort) yesterday. I'll explain----

We left for Scofield early in the afternoon. I managed to get shots of the windmills as we headed east up Highway 6.

An hour later, we were at the lake. We went into town to check out the small 'craft fair"- not a lot going on there, at least not for me. One of the longstanding traditions on the Fourth at Scofield is the rubber ducky race, with the winner collecting $1000. This year, 2400 (that's right, twenty-four hundred!!) rubber duckies hit the river for the race. So we decided to walk up to the bridge to see the finish.

Shannon and I found a spot to sit, right above the river but down from the finish line. Here's Shannon on my left, you can see the finish gate in the distance. (I have no idea what prompted the face on the boy in the red shirt about Shannon's head!)

We enjoyed the sun, the lovely green mountains, and just the festivities. Then just a few minutes after I took this picture- my camera fell out of its bag, and tumbled down a steep embankment into the river. It landed close to the edge, and Shannon did manage to fish it out of the water. But it took her a couple of minutes to get down the embankment, so my camera was in the water long enough that I knew it probably wouldn't survive.

We took out the batteries and the card, and dried it out. We left it sitting where there was a breeze- after all this is DRY Utah. But, several hours later, when I tried turning it on, it froze and gave up the ghost.

So, I have no pictures of the feast we enjoyed with our friends- including the killer cake Shannon made. I have no pictures of us playing Redneck Horseshoes. I have no pictures of the fireworks, or the lightning show that accompanied it behind the mountains. By the end of the night, I was having camera withdrawals.

I did manage to download the pictures I'd taken earlier in the day using a card reader I have- so at least those weren't lost. And I was up early this morning, checking out camera reviews online, and debating how much I could afford to spend. In the end, I decided on a used Pentax DSLR kit. It got great reviews, from both the pros and owners. And the price was right- less than any other DSLR I've seen, including the discontinued Nikon D50 or the Nikon D40. I should have it in a week or so.

If you are looking for camera equipment, my brother (the amateur photographer) told me about B & H Photo and KEH Camera- both places recommended by professional photographers and where you can buy used equipment with confidence. I got mine from B & H. When you're looking at used, you never know what they will have in stock!

It also means I have no photos of my washed and ironed dye runs. Next, I think I am going to do a comparison of the mercerized PFD I just got, and the Kaufman muslin I've been using.

I'm not working tomorrow- one more day to play! Maybe moe work on the dryer sheets--

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day! (To those reading in the USA!)

I hope that reflecting on what our forefathers sacrificed to get us our independence may help us focus on what we need to do now, ourselves, as a service to our country and our fellow citizens.

I have been playing more in the wet studio. Last night, I did 4 sets of dye runs using the two red and yellow primaries from Dharma. The differences are more subtle than with the blue-yellow runs, but they are there. I'll probably leave these to batch until tomorrow morning, then do the washout. They spent the night under the heat lamps- so nice to have a way to dye even in cooler weather.

This morning I spent time hand-painting more dryer sheets. I pulled in more colors,and just played away with my paint pots and brushes. Here's the results of that, drying on my Ikea rack. Love that thing!

Tomorrow I will fuse Misty Fuse to the back of some pieces, and cut away. I should have plenty of samples from which to choose the challenge piece.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Magnification, Part 2

Wow, it's only mid-day on the first day of my long weekend- and I have something that is worthy of a post! After getting the usual errands done this morning, I've been playing again with the painted dryer sheets and black felt. And I like what's developing!

The bottom one is the first I did today, the top one the last. With the bottom one, I was using multiple dryer sheets fused together. I just cut freehand, and fit the pieces in like a puzzle.

The second one, I decided to play with one of my recurring shapes, a circle. I found three different size circular objects I could use as a template with my soldering iron. Once I had them arranged and fused to the felt, I made the marks with the iron- working very hard not to cut through the felt. I only had one slip-up.

After this piece, I decided I liked the look of single layers, overlapping rather than multiple layers of the sheets. So I just freehand cut shapes, overlapping at times. Again, once they were fused to the felt, I cut the marks with the iron. I like the movement I got in the last piece.

Now it's on to the sewing machine, to see what stitching will add. I'm not sure if I will hit these with a heat gun or not.

I upgraded to Elements 7 this week, and the interface is waaaay different than the version I've been using- 4. I won't be able to figure this one out without a book, that's obvious at this point.

More playtime today, maybe even a little in the morning. We are headed up to Scofield in the afternoon, to spend the Fourth with friends from Price who have a cabin there. They shoot the fireworks over the lake, and we'll have a front row seat. Pictures of that later!