Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tongass Rain Forest Festival 2011 Photography Project

The annual Tongass Rain Forest Festival is coming right up, with a photography show kicking things off in early September.  One of the categories is 'altered images' including work that incorporates photos in some way.  The theme of the exhibit is 'celebrating our natural home'.  This week I got started on my entry, using fabric prepared with Dan Smith's digital ground for inkjet printing and photos taken on our many walks through out the year.
After the images were printed onto the raw silk and cotton, I used Mistyfuse to attach them to Timtex, fusing the backing onto each piece at the same time.

Made a quick trip to the library - in close proximity to my studio - to get a bird book to look at while I drew a raven for the base.  He will be a surprise hidden on the bottom.  I made the drawing on tissue paper, spray basted that to the fabric/Timtex sandwich, and stitched him with my sewing machine.  On the lower right is the base, trimmed, ready to be edge finished with cording.

I had lots of mindless fun making the cording by zigzag stitching over multiple lengths of embroidery floss and other fibers. 

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter walls finished with cording zigzagged to their raw edges.  Before trimming and cording, I machine quilted each photo with simple wavy lines signifying rain.

A detail of Summer's roof.  Have you guessed what I am building yet?  Stay tuned in days ahead for more on this project.

Oh, before you go,  I want to show you the banner with its fused design complete:
This work is now on the back burner until I get fall commitments met.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Changing Colors in the Forest

Suddenly - subtly - this week, we are seeing the end of the season of screaming green.  The Forest is beginning to change her costume, adding accents of ruby, magenta and gold to her chartreuse, viridian, and  emerald robes.

I love the stunning inner glow of this tall plant, which was bright green last week.

Devils Club fruit is ripening.

We don't eat it, but I think birds do.

I will leave you with these tiny fairy-hat flowers, wishing you a happy day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Freezer Paper, Mistyfuse, and Banner Progress

The big banner of the workers in the vineyard is coming along.  I got started first thing on Thursday morning, pinning the dye-painted background up on my wall alongside the design to enable me to place the first shapes quickly.
Design wall on Thursday morning (look closely, you can see Flossy's ears in the lower left, just above the wastebasket).

 The process goes like this: I trace the shapes from the drawing onto freezer paper, then iron these pattern pieces onto the right side of the fabric.  I lay a piece of Mistyfuse (cut to fit the fabric) on a Teflon protector sheet, then put the fabric/pattern on top, cover with another Teflon protector and press lightly with my iron on wool/silk setting.  The assembly is then ready to cut out along the pattern lines and place on the background.

This is where I ended up by quitting time Friday.  (At this point, I have returned the background to the flat surface of my big ironing table).

Nothing is adhered to the background in this detail, as I was still getting the positioning figured out - kinda a head-scratcher at times!

This is where I left off today.  The figures are ironed down onto the background, as is the lower portion of the vine.  (You can see pieces still covered with freezer paper at the top of the piece).

I still have a ways to go but the hard part - positioning the major design items - is complete.  I highly recommend Mistyfuse - it is the easiest fusible product I have ever used - no need to reverse your design, and it adheres to fabric super quickly.  Freezer paper is also a terrific versatile material, thin enough to use as tracing paper but very durable, and re-useable/positionable after ironing to fabric.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


My branch of the Scar Clan went on our annual camp-out yesterday and it was one of the best. 

We woke this morning to a blue sky and summer sun, with a breeze in the boughs.

 About a dozen of us spent the night, and the elders who drove home for the night came back out for breakfast.

Most of the family slept in tents...

...and some of us slept in our cars.  My little car is a dandy camper with the seats folded down, foam pad and sleeping bag under my cozy quilt and my cozy dog snuggling.

Flossy and I took a little walk before breakfast.

The morning light revealed all sorts of little miracles...

and such tranquility at the creek-side.

Back in camp, things were cooking!

Scott assisted Joe as the bacon got done.

Flossy, Titus, and Shadow - our pack of three - kept the lid nailed down at the campground, and did their part at keeping food scraps from becoming a problem underfoot.

 Joe's famous scrambled eggs were fabulous as always.  I am so grateful to belong to this community of 'people who would not ordinarily mix'. 

Is there a special group outing in your summer plans? 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dye Painting

After several weeks of delay including ordinary garden variety avoidance, I got going on the biggest dye painting I have ever attempted: the background for the Workers in the Vineyard project.
After preliminary stamping and an abortive attempt at silk screening, I began painting.   My intent is to create a very layered, textural surface.  (The silk screen idea failed because I used too thin a piece of paper for my stencil and it melted after a dozen or so prints). 
Flossy has become very possessive of the old couch in the studio, so I got her a new bed and banished her from the couch - makes for much less snapping at visitors.
I was working with Procion dye slightly thickened with ProChem print paste and applied with brushes to dry, soda ash soaked cotton.
The large surface (84"x42") was challenging to cover, and took most of the day to complete.
I covered it with plastic to cure over night, and then uncovered it the next day to allow it to dry prior to adding the next layer.
Flossy settled into her luxurious new bed very nicely.
Today I got out the softkut and made four new stamps.  I mixed up a brand new red dye concentrate and thickened it to the consistency of heavy cream with print paste, applying it to my stamps with a foam brush.
The stamped leaves float on the original underpainting...
giving the illusion of depth I was hoping for.
The painting before I covered it with plastic to cure again.  Next time I will wash out the excess dye and start working on dyeing fabric for the figures.
After work we had a lovely walk on the beach.  Getting there through the tall grass was quite the safari for my dog.  Have a great new week, all!


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