Saturday, February 25, 2012

Classes and new works

I have been remiss in writing my blog. I have been very busy working on class assignments. I have finished the online Color Theory - Part 2 course.  Part 3 starts in a couple of weeks.  In March, I will be going to Washington to take a class called - Drawing and Painting for the Terrified. I will fit in perfectly with this class. These are classes taken  at Gail Harker's Creative Study Center.  I have also started a class on art principles at the  It is called the Artist's Toolbox and is  being taught by Lyric Kinard.  I am really excited about this class.  I have had no formal art training and would like to learn  more about art principles.

I have also been working on several pieces.  I wanted to try embroidery on soluble stabilizer where I could leave open spaces in the piece.  This was a test piece done on Peltex.  I was pleased with how it came out but it was hard to embroider through all my layers.
I had decided to make my husband's valentines day present and did this piece with the water soluble stabilizer on a piece of felt.  It was a little easier to stitch through but not much.  If anyone has any ideas on leaving spaces within a piece, I would be glad to know them. I was using adhesive soluble stabilizer - then the fabric - with a piece of see through solvy on top..

The above piece is a new way of working for me.  It was done on wool felt and I used an embellisher machine.  This piece is not finished - I have lots of hand embroidery I would like to add to this piece.

I think that about updates you on what has been going on creatively in my life.  I would like to leave you with a thought that means alot to me.  The quote is from Georgia O'Keefe.  "I found I could say things with color and shape that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."  Have a great week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Regina's Starry Starry NIght

The inspiration for this piece was Van Gogh's Starry, Starry Night. I love that painting! I have posters of it - shirts with it on it and even a mouse pad with the painting on it! I was sitting at my computer looking at my mouse pad (it's pretty cool to get inspiration from a mouse pad - lol) and thinking about Van Gogh's sky and how wonderfully busy it is. I decided to make my own Starry Night.

I hand pieced a background of blue patchwork blocks of similar values. I added three appliqued circles and then the fun begin! I wanted to fill up my night sky with brightly colored hand embroidery. The result is what you see here. As I was working on the piece, I was thinking about the line from a science fiction movie, "Somewhere in a galaxy far far away." This night sky was definitely not Earth's but I could imagine it as a night sky in some far away exotic world.

This piece measures 14 x 14. It is worked on cotton patchwork which is then added to a piece of black felt. There is a hanging sleeve on the back and comes with a dowel rod for hanging. The black hanger is not included with the piece. It is just to show one way of hanging it. You can get this hanger from Dharma Trading Company. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year everyone!  I have been taking an online color theory class through Gail Harker's Creative Studies Center. 
 The class was excellent and I recommended it highly.  There are 3 parts to the class and I have finished the first - the second one starts in a few weeks - then the third one I think starts in March.  I believe Gail is starting another new color theory class for those who missed the first one in a few weeks, too.  I am posting some of my sketch book pages I made during the course.

Ms. Sharma, thank you for your kind comments on my work.  I am just learning about the natural dying of fabric and do not feel educated enough to do a tutorial yet.  I would like to recommend the book, "Eco Colour by India Flint.
 I am learning much from this book. 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hi Everyone and Happy Holidays! We are getting ready here for the boys to come in.  Nathan comes Wednesday and Chuck comes Friday.  I can hardly wait!

I wanted to share with you a piece I have finished.

This is the patchwork I made.  I dyed the brown myself.  First dying was with  Kakishibu, which is from
fermented unripened persimmons.  I then overdyed it with pomegranates. It's a very creamy brown which I love.  The blue patches come from Japan and are indigo dyed.

This is the finished piece.  I embroidered a mehndi design on it.  I am not for sure what I am going to use this piece for but I'm sure I will come up with something.

Life has been busy around here.  I am taking a color theory class that I am really enjoying.  I will post more about it soon.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pomegranate Dying

Hi and happy Thanksgiving!  I have been dying fabric using pomegranates.

Fabric soaking in alum and cream of tarter mordant.

Pomegranate skins simmering.
 I was surprised to know that you use the pomegranate skins and not the red fruit to dye with.  The red fruit always stains my clothing so I thought that would be what you would use but everything I read said you could only get dye from the skin..

Fabric cooking in pomegranate dye.
 I was thinking that I might should have used more pomegranate solution.  As you can see not all of my fabric was covered in the solution.

Cold bundled ecoprints
 I used leaves from my yard and pomegranate slivers for this ecoprint.  You bundle it and let it sit for a month, then open and hopefully have a nice surprise.

Hot bundled ecoprints
 This fabric was bundled the same way as the cold but you then steamed them for an hour.

Dyed Fabric
 This is some of my results.  It is hard to tell but this is linen/cotton on the left, linen/rayon in the middle and 100% cotton on the right. These are all a light yellow color.  I was disappointed that they weren't darker.

Kakishibu on left. Pomegranate on right.
This is a piece of cotton on the left that had originally been dyed with Kakishibu (fermented unripened persimmons). On the right is a piece of the same fabric overdyed with the the pomegranates.

 This is a piece of silk dupioni on the left and raw silk on the right. They turned out more colorful than the cottons.

This is one of the hot bundled ecoprints that was steamed and then opened.  It is light but is a very pretty yellow.  The rest of the hot bundled ecoprints will be opened in a month.

This was an interesting first dying experience.  There are some things I will do differently next time and hopefully get darker colors.  If anyone has suggestions I would be thrilled to hear them.

I hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving will have a happy and safe holiday.  We are heading to Portland tomorrow to spend the time with the boys.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beasts are finished!

Two beasts are finished

I finished the lion beast.  Ended up completely changing the fabric for the body. The orange and green original body was bothering me. I just didn't like that fabric but I am pleased with the new fabric.  It flows better.

I have been working on another beast - a sea monster.  It was for a client who loves the ocean and wanted an ocean scene.  So of course I had to jazz it up a little and put a sea monster coming out of the ocean.  I had a lot of fun with this piece.  I did the running stitch gathering for the water and it turned out pretty cool.  I have started thinking about a new embroidery but more about that later.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Beast

A few months ago I took an online class with Jude Hill called Patchwork Beasts. I just love her classes!  We were to make a project of an animal. For my first piece I did a mythical creature called
Abigal, the bringer of creativity.   You can see her on my etsy site.  For my second piece I chose to work on a lion. I did a detailed embroidery of a lion's face to add to what she was teaching us about patchwork  The blue background is a piece of a hand dyed indigo mosquito netting I got from the Kimono boy in Japan.  I worked on it for a while and then got stuck and didn't know where I wanted to take it.  I've recently gone back to it with some fresh ideas.

I am taking an online class right now with Arlee Barr.  It has been a great class so far.  She does things with the running stitch and the blanket stitch that I have never heard of or seen before.  I did quite a bit of the running stitch on this piece.  It is not finished yet, I just wanted to show you what I'm currently working on. I still  have to do something with the body and I am not sure what I am going to do. I have a few ideas.  Will show you the piece again when I get further.

I hope you are having a good day!  Regina