Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Colors!!

No, I'm not talking about the newest Pantone colors, or fashion colors.  I'm talking about a rather unique way to celebrate the coming of spring that I experienced for the first time this weekend.

I've blogged before about the Krishna temple we have in Spanish Fork.  We've gone to some of the events they have, mostly because it is so radically different from the rest of Utah county.  I'd never been to the Festival of Colors, though, and after seeing it, I'd have to say it has got to be their biggest event.  You could walk Main Street to the temple faster than you could drive it; estimates I saw said 80,000 people attended.  Yikes- that's in a town with a population about half that much!!

They sell the colors at the temple- it is simply very intensely colored chalk dust.  So here you are, my pictures that are worth several thousand words!!

Walking up the hill to the temple.  This was probably the only time we weren't in wall-to-wall people.

Now we're wading into the crowd!

The view from the second story of the temple was pretty entertaining.

Every couple of hours, the crowd would throw the color into the air, creating an almost opaque cloud of colors.  It was impossible to escape, I was just trying to keep my camera from getting too dusty!

Jay was one colorful boy!!

I don't know how I escaped in relatively colorless fashion, it wasn't like I was going out of my way to avoid the thrown chalk.  But here I am, against a temple wall decorated with hand prints.

All in all, a colorful and fun way to spend a couple of hours.  Thank goodness we could get home a back way!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scarves Again

Here's some more that came out of the dyepots last weekend.

Both of these are light rayon, LWI.  The one on the right is actually much paler than the picture shows.  The one on the left was a surprise- I had no idea the colors would split like that when I did them.  In hindsight, I should have expected it, I used the bright palette and the colors have all three primaries.

This is a circle scarf, light cotton jersey.  

This last one is silk, with printing done with stencils and paintstiks.  This one is understated and elegant.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scarves, Encore

I got a bunch more scarves dyed last weekend, and more still to finish.  I have the last three rayon scarves in the washer right now, and I have several silk scarves I'm adding a second layer with paintstiks, stencils, and rubbing plates.  I've learned that the bright colors in my Dye Bible look really different done with low water immersion vs. full immersion!  I have some scarves I love and will be happy to keep if they don't sell, and others that I'm not so sure about.  So without further ado, here's some of my collection thus far.  I hope they sell!

Bamboo Rayon, LWI                                                                           Rayon, DSP and LWI

Light rayon, stamped on wrinkled fabric                                             Silk, DSP and overdyed
and LWI

Silk, dyed and printed with paintstik and a rubbing plate

Silk, dye painted.  I was hoping the blue wouldn't blend so much into the yellow.

More to come!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tangled Textiles Reveal- Balance

Yesterday was the reveal for the Tangled Textiles group- our theme this time was Balance, and I had fun with this one.  But do wander over to the TT blog to see the wonderful creations the group came up with!

I had so much fun with the freeform piecing (from Rayna Gillman's second  book) this winter that I decided to use it in this challenge.  I immediately went to the meaning of balance in art, and wondered if I could create a work that left the viewer with the sense of being unbalanced while being balanced from a compositional perspective.

You'll have to let me know if I succeeded.

Can you tell I'm tired of looking at brown and gray?  It felt so good to be working with these wild spring colors!

The piecing was fun, and once I'd figured out how to get the size I wanted, came together pretty quickly.  To go with my relatively straight piecing lines, I decided to quilt it in circles.  So I sprang for a gadget for my Bernina that lets me sew circles easily.

See that pin thing sticking up?  It slides- that determines the size of the circle.  Then you take your fabric and do this--

That is a piece of rubber over the pin, to keep clumsy folks like me from stabbing their hands.  The fabric spins around the pin, and voila, circles!

Overall, I am very happy with this piece- it makes me happy to look at it.  I hope it does you proud, Rayna!

If I haven't been posting much when I usually do (weekends), it is because I have actually been working in the studio, mostly dyeing like crazy.  I have done cotton, rayon, and silk scarves, and am now starting to add another layer with paint stiks.  So I will have plenty of pictures of those in a few days.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Scarves Galore!

I have my second batch of scarves in the washer as I'm typing.  I mostly printed or painted these.  I can't wait to see how these come out of the wash!

These are both rayon scarves that I printed- the left with a stamp I carved a few years ago while the fabric was wrinkled, and the right with a foam roller.  I plan to overdye the one on the left, I'm hoping the other one will be good right out of the wash.  I've got four silk and another rayon scarf in the wash with these.

Five more rayon scarves to go, and about a dozen silk.  Then I need to get started with the paintstiks so they have plenty of time to cure!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mental health days. .

are good for the soul, and definitely good for the deadline list!  I can't remember the last time I felt like I got so much done in such a short time.

My Tangled Textiles piece is sandwiched and ready for quilting.  I'm trying something a little different for that, and it involved getting a new gadget for my machine.  I think it will work!  Here's a sneak peek at a corner- the reveal isn't until Sunday.

My eyes are starved for color after winter, and my palette reflects that.  I really had a lot of fun doing this one!

I am participating in a craft fair the women's group at my church is organizing- I will have my hand dyed fabric and scarves.  I bought some cotton and rayon scarves to dye; I already had some silk I hadn't done anything with.  I started dyeing Saturday with some solids, then last night got five dyepots going with some LWI scarves.  I hope they sell, I have the possibility of a sales venue close to home and I'd like to know if the general public would like them before I commit.

On three scarves, I tried a new product- Color Magnet.  You screen it on, and the color is darker there.  Of the three I did, the coral colored one is my favorite.  You really have to be extremely careful to not get extra spots on the fabric, and to make sure it is saturated.

I made a couple of screens to do deconstructed screenprinting with, and did two scarves this afternoon- one rayon and one silk.  I'll let them batch overnight.

After I wash them out, I plan to overdye them.

I also overdyed a bunch of silk scarves that I'd decided were dogs, and had been run through a Thiox bath.  I think they are all salvageable now- the colors at least don't remind me of a baby's diaper.  Most need something else, I'm thinking I'll stencil some motifs with Shiva paintstiks.

The weather has been gorgeous the last couple of days- almost 70 F!!  That is way above normal for March, but I will take it.  I'm sure that, and the time change (I LOVE daylight savings) has helped energize me.  Whatever the cause, I hope it sticks around awhile!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ugly Fabric

I belong to a Yahoo group just for MX dyers.  The moderator likes to do what she calls ugly fabric challenges-n she sends out half to one yard pieces of fabric she has dyed and not liked, and the recipient has three months to change it.  You can use any process, but it must include at least one overdye with MX dyes.  I decided I had to try this, especially seeing what one member created last year.  Cherie, who came to Carol Soderlund's workshop last summer, brought her fabric to show, and it was drop dead gorgeous.

I received my package Saturday.  I opened it up to find---

Really ugly, right??  I guess if you don't like orange!  The texture is phenomenal!

I now have it hanging on my design wall.  I will probably stick with warm colors, since I don't want mud.  But I have time to think about it while I finish my Tangled Textiles challenge, due in a couple of weeks, and dye scarves for a craft fair at church on March 31.

And I need to figure out what to do with 'Grace.'  The flowing quilting lines have just disappeared, and that is not what I wanted.  So I will add some different colors of thread, and maybe even Shiva paintstiks.  We'll see.  I'm taking my time with this one, I don't want to botch it this late in the process.

I am feeling energized creatively- a nice feeling!  And the signs of spring that we are seeing certainly can't hurt!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

An Art Date

I decided I needed some mental health time, so I took off Thursday afternoon.  Shannon and I went to a Korean restaurant for lunch, a place I'd been once before.  Korean food bears no resemblance to any other Asian cuisine I've had.  And, all the jokes on MASH notwithstanding- we both agreed, we liked the kim chee, it is tons better than German sauerkraut.

After lunch, we headed over to the BYU Museum of Art.  Every once in awhile they have an extraordinary exhibit, and this was one- Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Art of Islamic Culture.

This exhibit pulls together items from all over the world, and ranging from a few twentieth century works to some pottery and metal items that were over one thousand years old.  There was fiber, pottery, metal, mosaics- it was amazing.

We watched a short video at the entrance to the exhibit.  One of the concepts that I found most intriguing was the idea of pattern within pattern, image within image.  The idea of  multiple layers is integral to Islamic art- multiple layers of images, and multiple layers of meaning.  The work also tends toward the ornate, and for my taste, a little bit goes a long way  But is was all undeniably beautiful.

There were sayings from the Koran painted on the walls throughout the exhibit.  I was fascinated by the 99 ways to name God.  Many of the verses saddened me, leaving me to wonder how some segments of modern day Islam have come from the beauty expressed in the sayings in the museum to the radical views that our politicians seem so focused on.

I have completed the pattern quilting on 'Grace', and it's clear to me I still have work to do.  The flowing lines should be the center of attention on the quilt, and now they seem sort of lost.  So I am going to add more thread to them, to try to add highlights and shadows.  I will probably also try adding color with some Shiva paintstiks, if I can get colors I like with what I have.  I will definitely be making samples for this.

I'm off to made a lemon pudding cake- a lovely sounding low-fat dessert.  Hope your weekend has been a good one so far!