Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fabric. Dye. Love.

Bright colors make me happy.
Goodwill scores make me happy.
Ergo creating bright colors on "gently used" white t-shirts and clothes makes me happy.

It's not exactly tie-dying, but "scrunch" dying, according to the tutorial I used to create these babies.  I found it on the Dharma Trading Co. website while shopping around for fabric art things I don't need.  There's another type of application called "ice dying" that I really want to try, but I haven't gotten the  large tubs that I'll need to keep it from making a disaster in my tiny apartment.  The managers are gonna love it when they see my carpet upon move out...when I eventually get to leave...haaaaaaaaaaa
Anyway, this is a bunch of fiber reactive dye that my mom gave me as a treat for my birthday (She's very good with the wishlist!)  combined with lots of white "things" that I picked up at a few local thrift shops.  They're all prepped with the special detergent and jammed into cups and containers.
 Because there's a lot of powder involved, I had to wear protection.  The mask and gloves make it feel much more "official."  Official what?  I'm not sure.
Here's a stack of goods after they've been dyed and rinsed once but before they've been washed in the special detergent that takes out all the extra dye molecules.  (I love that I can use the word molecules in a sentence on my blog.)
And here are some results!  A very earthy t-shirt...I gave it to my trainer in return for kicking my ass.  :)
And a cute little girl's shirt
And a funky pattern of pink and purple that I love...on a t-shirt, I think.
I did a bunch of little onesies and baby t-shirts...they're so cute and mini!!!  My friend, Meghan, is, thankfully, having a baby girl any day now so they have someplace to go.
And, finally, my XL t-shirt that I cut and turned into a little summer infinity scarf!  I made a few and love them all...need to find some bigger t-shirts since they make the best circles.  XXL = bigger infinity.
I have scads more "whites" that are dying to be colorful....haaaaaaaaa  But, I have to wait for my third box of colors to come in from Dharma.  It's gotten to the point of ordering five or so new colors every week.  And, I've only had two sessions of dying.  I'm going with some more blues next time...stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sketch Peek: Inspired by Cones!

My lovely friend, Elisabeth, sent me a birthday present a few weeks ago to help get the inspirational mojo back.  There was a book called The Crafter's Devotional and a big, spiral-bound black journal.  The Devotional is another blog party story that I'm sharing with lots of other creative minds out there who are looking for some more mojo.  But, that's another story for another day.

I decided to start in on the journal with a few ROE (rules of engagement):
- there's no pressure to fill the book
- start in the middle...so it doesn't look like the whole thing's empty when I stop in two weeks
- if something looks ugly or uninspiring or irritating, the page can come out
- only write on one side of each page...that's how I work my "to do" list at work because I hate it when the pen bleeds through to the other side
- try to use the book once a week, but don't stress if you don't
- use it for arts and crafts ideas AND whatever else I want like cool vocabulary words (yesterday I had to look up solipsism and profligacy while reading Newsweek)
- keep a black sharpie in the spine since that's my favorite writing utensil

My first project page....

I had some major brainstorming/idea generation the other day right after I heard from Lorelei with an invitation to be part of her latest blog challenge.  You can see the details at Lorelei's blog, but the basics:  There are six designers tasked to come up with something cool with gorgeous handmade copper cones from Keirsten of Cerebral Dilettante:

It felt great to sketch out a few ideas and then just randomly push out and record the ideas as they occurred.  I actually used the ideas to generate the final pieces...well, almost final.  There's still a few things to work on.  Lorelei asked us to really push the limits of our imagination and try something unexpected...and I did!  I can't wait to share the results during the reveal on 1 August, so be on the lookout!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bead Soup En Route to Bianca!!!

I'm paired up with Ms. Bianca Odenthal, an amazing artist from Germany.
Her blog is here:   Zydies Glasperlen

We're slated for the 25 August 2012 reveal date, so we'll both see you back then, for sure!

I shopped through my stash and came up with lot of handmade goodies to send her way.  I'm amazed at all the things I have on my worktable that I've actually created myself!

Since I can't reveal the goods until Bianca sees them, I used a really cool iPhone app called WordFoto to create a typographical image of it...I highly recommend it!  I've spent hours playing with it...

Friday, July 6, 2012


Is it sad and empty or just waiting for something wonderful to fill it up?
Is it rolling forward or is it stuck?
Does the sunshine feel warm and luxurious or is it just burning-ass hot?
Is it as old as it looks or is it really quite vibrant?
Do the skinnier wheels make it go faster or just make it look that way?
Am I talking about a cart or about a girl?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thankful for Saturday adventures, pretty flowers, thoughtful friends, my rebel camera, powerful sunscreen, small-time farmers, stinky cheese, chocolate mousse, and simple joy...

On Saturday morning my bud, Crackin', and I headed up to Williamsburg to get some "Colonial" experience and have lunch.  It was super-hot, so we headed up really early.  I'm not used to being up that early on a Saturday and he didn't really believe that I'd be awake by then...so, I had to accept his challenge to be at his house by 0800.  I made it by 0750, so we were actually on the road on schedule.  Can you actually have a schedule if it's just two random people going someplace with nothing specific to do?  I guess, 'cause we were on that schedule.  The only plan was to wander the streets (for free, of course...no paying for tickets), take pictures, and then have some lunch at The Blue Talon, a cute little bistro.  We were surprised to find the farmers' market all opened up and jam packed with gorgeous flowers and produce and honey and meat and cheese.  All in the blazing sunlight of the early morning heat wave.  Perfect. 

I was loving on these carrots.  Mind you, I haven't eaten a vegetable in recent memory.  Hmmmm...now I'm thinking about it.  When did I eat one?  Oh, yeah...I had some berries yesterday.  That's probably more a fruit than a vegetable, though, right?  OOOOhhhh...I had carrot cake yesterday, too!  That totally counts. 

And, since I'm a big fan of pink and orange, I was crouched down at this zinnia bunch for a while.  Poor Crackin' was wandering around sweating and trying to find decent cheese samples.  The few he tried were not that pleasant...especially as he turned to me and, a foot away from my face, breathed the phrase, "uh, that one kinda tasted like what I think feet would taste like."  I had to agree as the scent wafted into my personal space and I gagged.  The gum he tossed in his mouth immediately barely helped, but we still stood there and laughed at the funk for two minutes.

We finished out our "colonial" morning with lunch at The Blue Talon.  The last time I ate there it was really good, but that was when I had an appetite.  This time it was just okay...except for the end which was awesome.  We got to have pre-birthday chocolate mousse that was fantastic!  Crackn' even went so far as to put candles in it, so it looked like a pile of poo with sweet little cupcake candles half-lit (there was a breeze in the kitchen apparently).  The waiter probably thought we were insane because I screamed laughing at it, but was a good sport about it nonetheless.  

To be reflective and make this a meaningful, soul-searched post, I'll finish off by saying that I'm so thankful for early morning Saturday adventures, pretty flowers, thoughtful friends, my rebel camera, powerful sunscreen, small-time farmers, stinky cheese, chocolate mousse, and simple joy.


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Bedford, PA, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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