Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday Foggy Brain Drain

Wow has added a new feature which allows you to upload more than one photo at a time !!! This sure does make things go a lot quicker!!! Above are two photos of a small denim bag that I made from a pair of jeans. I think I'm addicted to denim the look and feel and color of them. Wait .. i'm addicted to other things too .. dang. Interesting how given the light with which it is taken in the color of the denim changes. 

I made this for dinner the other night and it was so good I just had to take a photo of it and share it here. Don't ask me why ... I just thought it would be fun. This is Kielbasa with potatoes, onions and apple slices all drizzled with honey! It was so yummy!!! 

Below is another wrapping experiment. This time I decided that the bag of clothes that I was taking the thrift store might be an experiment instead. So I took out some of the items and decided I would try to see what I could do with them. You will see on the left is a black shirt that is faded and has one sleeve cut off. I took the sleeve and wrapped it around this small wood crate and tied it with some twine and then painted it with brown house paint. It is setting there to dry.Anyway .. thats it .. I guess I promised a photo of the previous wrapped fabric after it was washed and dried. Maybe I can go take a quick photo of it.

Ok below here is the final result of the wrapped experiment. its so subtle it's a bit disappointing. I can hardly see it. It's there but it's very faint. So .. live and learn. Either I mordant the fabric better before dyeing or leave it on longer or use a different fabric. It's all good and I'm very happy that I took so many photos of it while it was wet. I am certain it will come up in some future work. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Through the Throngs

Today there were just throngs of photos to go through and edit and resize and decide on. It's busy work. I'm always amazed at how quickly the time passes. 

On your left here is my side yard. The woods that I live in are precisely why I love living here. This morning I was sitting out side talking to a dear friend and two birds came really close by and I was surprised because I never see them that close and I really thought that maybe they felt ok about being there because I was busy talking on the phone. I felt like they knew that I was not going to pay them much attention. It made me imagine living in a space that could have the view of the outdoors during the day .. large windows in the middle of the woods and then at night I could close that off so I wasn't a movie for everything outside. 

Anyway .. I have a lot of images and ideas and the creative juices have just been flowing overtime lately. Not sure why but I'm not complaining. Just trying to figure out what's next. 

This is a little illustration that I've done on vintage book pages and then painted with some white paint. I have done so many of these little illustrations it's crazy to me. I think I have about 100 of them. They are all different and most don't have the full scene behind them or an animal with them. Just girls mostly in various poses. I've thought of just mounting them like this on an old book cover and selling them .. but not sure anyone would buy em. I however love creating them. This is the part where I totally feel like a little girl, coloring and drawing my own coloring book. Hmmmm .. maybe I should make that! haha. .. 

This is the wrapped piece that I posted on the previous post. I loved the way it looked wrapped and may just use that image as a photo for other work. This is the wrap with the strings off. I am going to unfold it and reveal the fabric. This is always my favorite part. I love this so much I can't wait sometimes to take it off but I waited about a full 24 hours haha .. which is good for me.

I used a thin piece of wood to wrap the fabric around which would give a firmness to the string that was binding the fabric to it. There is something about this binding process and the unwrapping that is really meaningful for me... and i am really compelled to investigate that alot more. Sometimes I have felt bound, tied up, restricted. I wonder if as people who sometimes do become unbound or unwrapped, unrestricted if we have a treasure that we reveal when we are finally seen. I like the idea of that. And so I also want to mention that I purposefully folded the fabric that I was wrapping on this piece of wood in a way that would create some symmetry. I am that way sometimes. Not always but sometimes. Anyway .. I carefully unfolded and was pleasantly surprised. What I am discovering in this process is that I am not dyeing things in the careful deliberate way of adding or mordanting the fabric so sometimes I worry that I am using a great deal of effort for naught but then there is the aspect of the image that I can photograph for use in other ways so I'm keeping a record photographically. I can't possibly show all of those photos but I will show what I think are the highlights. I also realize that even though I waited 24 hours  of drying time the cloth was still damp with dye. I love the richness of the wet dye on the fabric and the design that it creates. Now just so we are clear this is damp dyed cloth hanging on a wooden dowel in front of the sun. I'm sure you can tell that... I just love the design here. I am excited by the folds and the string impressions. 

Same cloth dry before washing. I almost didnt want to wash it and you will have to come back tomorrow to see the washed fabric. But since I don't have that image just yet I will show you another wrapped experiment I did and those results I was very very happy with. So I am adding another element to the dyed fabric and that is acrylic paint. What I like seeing is the contrast and the   results of the binding clearly evident. If only could people could see the scars that were left on our hearts ... but alas they can't and that is probably a good thing. But this is about the fabric right? So I digress. The next and last image for this posting is another dyed cloth that I was not happy with and I used the same board and same string and paint. Here are the results of that. I hope that you enjoy seeing some of my process. And some of my ranting .. 

And now that I have put the picture here I have to tell you that it is the varigation of the lines that I enjoy most and there is a spiritual element to this for me. Perhaps it is a sort of repetition of crosses or the contrast of the light and dark. I'm not sure yet but I'm bound by it .. and funny to use that word bound to be bound by it in this I mean that I want to look at it alot. I spend long times looking at it. Bound up in the binding piece. I'm grateful to have this visual journal regardless of anything that may occur. 
Until tomorrow. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Madness

This is the evening view from my side yard. This is where my wonderful walnuts come from. Today was another interesting day of experimentation. I collected 20 walnuts in varying degrees of decay. All had some green on them but some had very very little. I put them all in my dye pot and boiled them on the stove for about thirty minutes and then extracted all the walnuts out othem and left the fibrous outsides in the pot. I took the walnuts and put them in another dye pot and proceeded to boil them and hoped to boil the fibrous membranes off of them but got distracted and had stepped away from the kitchen  for a while and realized that I had left them on medium heat ... aaaaccck....................i ran to the kitchen and was so sad to see that the pot was full of scorched walnuts.I added some water and took them outside for a bit and decided a little char may just add to the blackness haha. So I took some white paper to make some swatches of all the different dyes. The photos show the pots of dye good but the swatches were blurry so .. i'll have to try to take another one since they are dry now to see if there is a definitive difference in the shade of brown. Just had me curious. As I sat there doing that I realized that the plain walnut bath of dye had a soupy sort of consistency and had a rich reddish yellowish brown .. if thats a color and I loved it so I took a napkin ( i love plain white napkins with things on them for dyeing, I get them at thrift stores) and tied it up on a piece of wood and threw it in the pot and below is what that looks like .. I really really wanted to rip it off right then and there to see how it looks but I am going to wait till tomorrow when it will be all dry. But you can see how thick the dye is!  So I've drained some off to use inside tonight to paint with. I love it.. love this whole process love mixing and making messes ... haha which I am so so good at. 

I love how this looks and you can sort of see how thick this ink looks. Can't wait to use some of it. I put the pot back on the stove after I drained off the first bit of juicey ink and guess i better go check it.. hahah back it's ok and its thick and juicy for sure. I get so excited about the silliest things. Let's see .. i wanted to show and sort of before and after photo of another tree painting. I started it and wrote some things on it and then decided to make some additions. I like how it's progressing now. It's below.

Now if I don't like it I can't take any paint off haha. and I can't unstitch it. I can only paint over it which isn't always easy to do. 
If you look carefully you can see on the right photo there is a moth that I laid there on the tree. I forgot that I did that. On the left below here is the same painting as the one on the right but with an addition of white.

Not sure what this flower is but I picked it this morning while I was walking the dog. I love love love the deep rich color and the star burst in the center. 

On the left side here is just another experiment. Guess I am starting to obsess a bit. This is a paper with a tree drawing and painting and then I have stitched paper to cloth and then I have added some threads going out from it which I will continue to do. On the right is well I'm not sure really because the paper was part of something that I discarded outside a few months ago and I thought I would look at it. It reminded me of the wrapped tree experiment that I am a part of and decided to have a better look at it. All the wonderful crevices of the paper came out when I painted this paper with the walnut ink. I carefully rubbed alot of the ink off. It reminded me of all the printing of collographs that I did several years back. THIS experiment really excites me a LOT lot lot!!! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Concoctions and Contemplation

This is a photo of my first attempt at walnut ink concoction. You can see on a previous blog post the bottle of walnut ink that resulted. I have found this whole idea of using natural material to create dyes and color and using the fabrics that I have collected/purchased/wanted to discard to make something else with it. I have always just wanted to make these items into something else that I would love or enjoy.I realize that any work that has stitches on it that has been touched by human hands means so much to me. So I sit outside and listen to the birds sing a chorus of beautiful songs and I think about how blessed I am. It seems like a great contrast to recognize a  reality of no job and yet I am so grateful to have this time to create and experiment and make things. I have several ideas floating around in my head while deconstructing a pair of jean shorts. I am intrigued by the pockets and was thinking about how much I enjoy being a grandmother and love my grand daughters and childhood and childlike play and such things just really take me back to that time and so I want to make dolls and pockets with dolls in them that you can take out and put in. My little grand daughter loves to put diapers on her dolls and snuggle them and put them in wraps and take them out and do it all over again. Child like creativity is truely a gift. I see how she loves to pretend. I hope that she will just be a little girl while she is a little girl .. I celebrate her little girlness. And love going back to my little girlness. :)

I love that the floor of my studio is outside. I have so enjoyed being outside creating and plan to take advantage of the weather while I can.

This was just hilarious. I was sad to find this black beetle dead but I loved the shape of it and its shiny shell so I decided to take some photos of it on top of this rock that I have used to crack open some black walnuts. I was totally focused on the beetle and never saw the little bug creeping up behind like it's about to make a sneek attack... haha.... ? A katydid sneeking up on a dead beetle. I thought it was funny. I totally love the nature that I encounter while sitting outside.