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

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Me at work

I am reminded of the Bob Dylan lyrics, “Times they are a changing,” “ I feel a change coming on,” and my favorite, “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.” Change is coming – the wind is blowing from a new direction. There are new thoughts in my head, new ideas, and new ways of looking at what has been and what is coming. I feel my art changing. It is time to grow.

 My work has always been a little funky. I describe my work as non-traditional embroidery, a little inside the magic art box and a little outside of the magic box .  One of the changes is that I have decided to become a blogger.  It will be a blog about my work, the new ideas forming in my head and all the new information I am learning.   I always said I would never blog.  I love to read other’s blogs but they are written by people who I am sure are gifted with words.  Words don’t come easy to me.  Give me a needle and thread and I can go to town! Ask me to write about myself and it is another story.  But changes are coming, and I am going to embrace them. I doubt it will be a daily blog – I am thinking more about a weekly happening.  Who knows, I might enjoy it so much that it will be daily.  We will see.
I’ve taken some classes from Jude Hill.  She has influenced my work. It is calmer, minimalized, simpler, and slower. I have been to Gail Harker’s Creative Study Center in Washington.  She is starting to do online classes and I will be taking and learning from her.  Her first online course is Color Theory.

Each step of my process is just as important as the finished project, beginning with the materials I will be using. I have decided to try to not buy any more commercial fabric but use the fabric in my stash and hand dyed fabric that I make myself or buy from sellers. Sellers that create because the fabric speaks to them. They are cloth whisperers. Glennis Dolce does beautiful shibiori and indigo. Arlee Barr uses natural dyes for her wonderful cottons and silks. Deb Lacativa's hand dyed fabrics are great. I will become more eco conscious – using clothing that has been used before, going to places like Good Will to shop. I will be doing more handwork using my natural machines – my hands – just because I like to feel the fabric. I have read India Flint’s book on Eco Colour.  I will be learning about Eco-dying, using natural materials to dye my natural fibers with and I will be sharing what I learn on this blog.

I am not sure where all these ideas will take me.  I want my work to reflect the new ideas but yet I don’t want to lose my own voice.  There will always be a piece of myself in all of my work. Come and join me on this adventure.