Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rainy California Visit

It rained my entire visit to southern California. My flights in both directions were late. On my return, part of the baggage machinery broke down and it took an additional twenty minutes to get my bags. And then it poured last night here in Arizona. However, I am home and sleeping in my own bed. There is no place like home!!!

In California, my mom, sister and I baked cookies and cakes all day Sunday. Here is a picture of mom hard at work. 

We had a great time making and sampling our products. Monday, we took mom shopping and watched a movie. We had fillet mignon for dinner that I cooked. As many of you know, my husband does almost all the cooking in our house since he retired. 

As I was typing this post, the cookies I put in the oven almost burned beyond recognition. I set the timer for 45 minutes and came into the studio to write this post. I had the clothes dryer on which is between the studio and the kitchen. Ali was making chestnut soup for dinner. This was a new recipe from book his Austrian friend sent him on Trieste. 

The timer went off for the cookies and he just ignored it. I did not hear it because of the clothes dryer.When I came into the kitchen for dinner I remembered the cookies. The other rim is burnt, but the inside is okay. The soup was just okay. Ali did not like it and did not even finish it. So we joked about our two cooking fiascoes over dinner. Better that then cry!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Florida Bird Safari

Last week, my husband and I went to Florida to visit the Everglades and the Keys. In reviewing all of the 351 photos I took, I decided that I would characterize them by topics. The first topic is birds. While we did not see any bald eagles, we did same some amazing birds. First, were the birds we saw on the beaches on our trip from Tampa to the Everglades.

Next were the birds we saw in the Everglades while on a boat trip through the coastal mangroves.

As we traveled down a creek in the mangroves, we kept starling many of these white birds from their sanctuary, as depicted in the next photo. This was an awesome adventure.
The next bird is an Anhinga. They have no oil on their wings, so they have to dry them in the sun after diving into the water for food. Their feathers are beautiful.

We next visited the "River of Grass." While walking on boardwalks we saw a blue heron and other friends.
All of these ducks had eyes that were this gorgeous green-blue color. I was amazed!

Then we drove down to the keys. In Key Largo we had lunch on a boat dock. While there, this great white heron also came by for some lunch.
This small sea bird was not very happy with the heron.

When we arrived in Key West, I noticed that free range roosters and hens just wandering the streets. Check out this color guy!

I leave for California tomorrow to visit my mother and sister. Rayna, I will post some non-bird pictures when I return next week.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mix Media Wood Collages

Yesterday, I finished five mix media collages mounted on wood. I am getting ready for the Wild Women Artists Trunk Show which is scheduled for this Sunday. I will be selling my dyed clothes, dyed scarves, mix media collages, and cell phone purses.

Four of mix media collages contain fabrics that I have colored either with dyes and/or fabric paint. A variety of techniques were used to created the interesting textures on these fabrics. The first two collages were mounted on solidly painted wood panels.
I decided to get a little creative with the painting of the wood panels for the next two fabric collages. I just love to paint. 
The fifth collage was made using colored tissue paper that was torn into pieces and glued together with a mixture of elmer's glue and water to form a new sheet of paper. I plan to do some more with this technique. Texture was created on both the paper and the wood panel by applying gold metallic paint with a large holed sponge.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Monday, I finally went to look at some petroglyphs that are located northwest of Tucson. They are not the ones I went to see several years ago with my husband and a visitor from Austria. The two guys did not want to hike in the desert to see them. I was very disappointed. Years later, I finally got to see some petroglphs near my home.

This time I went with a girl friend, Kris.

I love the dancing figures!!!! And right above them is a spiral, which definitely speaks to me - it is part of my logo, which can be seen on my web-site and soon on my blog.
 Kris and I plan to go looking for some other petrogylphs in our area soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oaxacan Motifs

Several years ago, my husband and I traveled to Oaxaca to see this rich cultural area of Mexico known for two major groups of indigenous people: the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs. Mitla is the town built by the Zaptotecs around 100 AD. One of its noted features are the geometric decorations that can be found on stone walls and door frames. I have always been intrigued by these decorations that were created by fitting together thousands of polished stones without mortar. I took many pictures of these decorations so that I use them to create interesting motifs for my art cloth. Last year, I started experimenting with one of these wall decorations.
Using a Canvas 11, a vector based program, I traced the major motif and then began experimenting with combing groups of them. The first motif I created was just a simple rotation of this element.
Then I tried combing several of these motifs to form a more interesting one.
Next I created a more intricate motif by repeating the basic one and also adding a truncated version of the original design element.

Basically this was created by flipping and rotating the various smaller pieces. Today, I returned to these designs and added one more.
These were printed and silk screens produced with my thermofax machine. I am really excited about using these on some scarves. Since tomorrow I have to get ready for an art sale this weekend, I may have to wait until Monday. I will just have to see how my day goes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MORE Leggings!

This weekend, I dyed four more pair of leggings.

Then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I dyed rayon blouses. You will have to wait till next week to see them. I still have to iron them.

We are driving tomorrow to CA to attend a 50th wedding anniversary party for third cousins (I think that is what they are or second cousins once removed). I never really understood how that works. They are having a big party at a Mariott hotel. These are some of my favorite cousins. I am looking forward to celebrating this event with them. I was almost 10 when they got married. Now I am almost ????

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blog Update to Include Garment Shop

I am currently reading Blogger, Beyond the Basics, in order to add blog pages for workshop listings, dyeing process descriptions, dyed garments' shopping, and more. Please be patient with me.

The prices for all my garments are based upon the number of times they are dyed. The red poncho featured in the last post was dyed twice and it fall special price is $73.00. The regular prices for the rayon ponchos are prices as follows:
  • Dyed once: $76.00
  • Dyed twice: $97.00
  • Dyed three times: $129.00
 Fall specials are:
  • Dyed once: $57.00
  • Dyed twice: $73.00
  • Dyed three times: $97.00

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rayon Poncho Modeled

As promised I put on one of the ponchos and ask my husband to take my photo. Please remember I am not a professional model - far from it. It was a little breezy outside so the poncho just fluttered in the wind.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Left Over Black Dye

I had left-over black dye from last week's screening of the spirals. Can't let it waste away. Consequently, on Monday I decided just to play. This is only the second time I have worked with black dye or paint. I do not know why I never tried to before. I think that will change now. I recently bought an 250 ml bottle of black Seta color.

My first experiment was to use one of my fabric tools -  a brayer with rubber banks wrapped around it. I used it to print on a silk organza scarf. This was followed by printed with twelve erasers attached to a piece of plexi-glass with velcro on another one of these scarves. Usint the velcor was something Jane Dunnewold told us about when I took her Complex Cloth workshop about 10-11 years ago.
I was going to over dye them until my artist buddy, Chris, came over yesterday morning. She said leave them as is. When I showed another two artist friends in Tubac yesterday afternoon, they concurred with Chris. One even order a stamped version and requested that I use maroon instead of black. What do I know?

I next played with several small pieces of cotton that I had dyed previously. The next two I thought I had already steamed and washed out. However, after playing with the black dye, I steamed them and discovered new brighter colors popping out.

Like I said, I was just trying different tools and not worrying about creating a finished piece. I figured I could just cut them up for some of my fabric collages. I even tried using a sponge brush with one of my silk screens; which I did not like - too much dye through the screen. Again Chris surprised me, she said that these two should be framed or mounted and sold as is. I guess I need to filter my left brain. What do agree with Chris or should I just cut them up and use them in collages?
Below is another piece I experimented with. I do not like the middle section, but I think parts of it have possibilities for collages.

I do not know whether I like the front or the back of the last piece the best. Again, I do not think I had steamed and wash it before applying the black dye. That is why the front and back are different.
Which one do you like?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rayon Ponchos

Monday and Tuesday I dyed the following rayon ponchos for a store in Tubac, AZ. Wednesday and today I ironed them after soaking and washing them. I love the colors. So much of it is serendipitous, which makes it so much fun. This is my opportunity to just play with color!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Farmer's Dress

Saturday, I delivered this farmer's dress to Ann Over, an artist friend of mine. She bought one earlier this month and asked me to dye her another with some color requests. She was thrilled with the colors and it looked beautiful against her complexion.

Ann is a wonderful artist and a master serigrapher. Visit her web-site to see some of her incredible work. I always learn something new from my visits with Ann. She frequently loans me books to read. While there this weekend, she showed me the Ulano film she uses to cut intricate stencils out of. Many of her pieces were created with as many as 18 different colors. The amount of layering is phenomenal.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Name This Piece of Art Cloth

Last year I applied several layers of deconstructed silk screening and a little sponging on a piece of Kona cotton. 

Yesterday, I used some of my new spiral screens to add another layer over the above cloth. What do you think? Any suggestions for a name?