Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hurry hurry!!!

This lovely puppy is a liver Bedlington Terrier. Unfortunately, not MY liver Bedlington Terrier. But it's the dog I want. My husband is allergic to dogs and Bedlingtons are not only adorable, but also hypoallergenic. We met with a breeder last year who has promised us a liver puppy. However, the female has taken a REALLY LONG time to go into heat and the male she was going to use was recently neutered! What crappy luck!! I am getting rather desperate for a puppy, let me tell ya.
This morning we saw a couple of ladies who always walk their adorable greyhound along the creek. Today, however, they had a new addition. A greyhound puppy! It was hilarious because the older one was just walking calmly along, while the puppy looked like it was on springs! She was so excited to be out! It gave me that I-really-really-want-a-dog-pang in my chest, that I'm assuming might closely resemble the pang that some women feel for children. Hmm...that's kind of scary... But just look at that face!!! :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


My husband and I went out for pizza the other night. This is a HUGE deal for me because I'm lactose intolerant and going out for pizza means I'm craving it so bad I'm willing to put up with the...consequences. Our favorite place is in Bethesda and it's called Stromboli's. We always get a large ground turkey and bacon pizza. I mean, if you're going to break the diet and go out for pizza, you might as well get the most awesome pizza, right? Well, this is it! Sometimes Kurt adds black olives to his half and I add brocolli to mine, but that's only on very special occassions. :)
Kurt was on his last piece when suddenly he starts eating it crust first! Very strange. He ate a piece of the crust, then went back to the bottom, then back to the crust...I had to take a picture:

Concerning crafts, I am suuuuper excited because I just got a mega, heavy duty paper cutter in the mail. I scored it on e-bay. I usually have to go to my local bookbinding studio to cut my textblocks so they have a nice and even edge, but now I have my very own desk top version. I can't wait to use it. I think I'm going to bind some books this weekend. Maybe some quarter leather or some larger versions of the candybooks. Hmmm....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Baltimore Craft Show

The Baltimore Craft Show yesterday was really fun. It's always amazing to see so many talented people all in one room. Glass blowers, quilters, shibori artists, wood turners, furniture makers, embroidery artists, knitters, jewelers, and many many more. I tried taking as many photos as I could, but believe it or not, I was rejected by some artists because they thought my only motive was to, "send my pictures to China to market their ideas and make a fortune."


I couldn't believe it! After the third time I was accused of sending my pictures to China, I told the artist that I didn't even HAVE contacts in China. He said, "India, then?" And gave me this look of, "I'm on to you!" I was enraged. I decided to put my camera away before I said something I would regret!

Soooooooooo....on that rather strange and annoying note, below are pictures I was able to take. Amazing artists whose work I saw after putting my camera away, include Laura Hunter, Kathleen Lamberti, L. Oneill Design, Jonathan Winfisky, Jeung-hwa Park (my idol), Jane Sisco, Britt Rynearson, Peggy Loudon, Jerry Kermode, Cordwainer Shoemaking Workshop, Pat Flynn, and Messina Designs.

And now those forbidden photos...Just so you know, I updated my Etsy shop this weekend. My latest scarves have been posted, so I hope you're able to grab one!

Oh't market the above ideas in China, ok? ;)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cool new stuff and screenprinting

Picked up this really great tablecloth from a local store here in Takoma Park. It was on sale for $19. I can't wait to have a studio with work tables so I can use it! It's a bit too small for our kitchen table.

I also got this cute door hanging. It's a row of soft little hens. It jingles softly when you open the door.

In terms of new projects, I'm working on a set of napkins! I first made a positive and negative image using black and white paper.
I then transferred that image onto a transparency and burned the image from the transparency onto a screen. Finally, I silkscreened the image onto the napkins, which I had previously dyed. Ta Daa!
I'm thinking of doing more with the napkins, but haven't quite decided what yet. Since this was my first go at screenprinting, I was focused on that and forgot to think of what would come next! I definitely want the rest of the napkin to have a contrasting pattern as well, though, so they're not just plain khaki. Stains will show up very easily on khaki!
Although I'm going to be busy tomorrow having a blast at the Baltimore Craft Show (can't wait!!! I'll make sure to take lots of pictures for you), I'm also planning on doing a shop update this weekend to include my new scarves, so stay tuned! :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dye Pots Part IV - THE FINAL RESULT!!!!

Thank you for all the wonderful fabric suggestions! I loved the last two options: Etsuko Balance and Etsuko Scene. Very beautiful! This fabric is also GORGEOUS. It's from India and it's embroidered so it has a great textured look to it. Kind of pricey though...
And now, the moment we've all been waiting for! Last night I checked my scarves and they were completely dry (yeah!) so I removed them from the poles.
As you can see, the side that was hugging the pole is still the original turquoise or fuchsia color, while the side that was exposed to the dye is now purple or black. Aren't those wavy ripples awesome?
This unique dye distribution makes for a very cool diamond pattern once the scarf is opened.

They look even cooler on! The pleats in these scarves allow you to arrange the scarf any way you want. It can never look "bad" or as if you put it on "wrong". There is no such thing. I just threw it on for the pictures so that you can see that you don't need to mess around with it for a long time to get it to look cool. I did this twice for each so you can see two different possibilities:

I hope they were worth the wait! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dye Pots III 1/2

The pole wrappings aren't quite dry, so I thought I'd play it safe and leave them on the pole for another day. I want those pleats to be nice a crisp. BUUUUUUUUUT, I did take a couple pictures that give you an idea of how cool they're going to be! Hee Hee :) The first one is the pink one with black over it and the second one is the turquoise one, with purple over it. If they feel dry tonight, I'll take them off the pole, and photograph them. But since I know a lot of people are anxious to see some results, (me included!) I did take some pictures of the green organza that I dyed along with these, remember? I sewed quilting grade thread in rows along the fabric, scrunching as I went. You just do a running stitch all the way across. I did that in two sections. Here's what it looked like partially scrunched up:

I then over dyed it with a darker shade of green, removed the thread with a seam ripper (if you wait until it's dry, it's a lot easier), and ironed it flat. It's a very subtle pattern, but I think it would make a nice lining for a bag. I've been itching to make totes and bags for my shop using hand dyed fabric, so this green organza may be just the push I needed to get started. Anyway, here are pictures of the final result!

Pretty, isn't it? :) What fabric colors/patterns do you think would go best with this lining? Any suggestions for the outside of the bag?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dye Pots Part III

Hope you all had a good weekend!

On Saturday, I dyed the pole wrapped fabric from my last post. I dyed the turquoise one purple and the fuschia one black. Here's the process:

1. I soak the pieces in warm water for about an hour. This ensures that the dye will penetrate all the fabric it can reach, not get stuck along the way because the fabric is dry.
2. I then put salt and dye in warm water and stick the poles in. I leave it for about 20 minutes or until I get the darkness in color that I'm looking for (keeping in mind that it's always lighter once it's dry). I sneak peeks every now and then to see how the color is setting:

I then add the soda ash to set the color and leave it soaking in the dye for about an hour (a bit longer for black). Make sure to set the timer!

3. This is always a good time to make yourself some tea. You've got a lot of waiting to do and since it's pole wrapped, there's very little stirring to occupy your time.
On Saturday, I chose some Japanese genmaicha. MMMM. :)

4. After having the poles in the dye bath for about an hour, take them out and rinse them in cold water first. When the water is clear (no color is bleeding) gradually rinse in increasingly warm water until you're rinsing in very warm water. Because my colors were so rich, and also because I wanted to keep them on the pole so they retained the pleats, I decided to soak my poles in clear water to make sure that all the excess dye was gone.

You can already see the water turning pink on this one!
5. After all the excess dye is removed, I wash the fabric with Synthrapol. You can also use a soft dishwashing soap like Dawn.

6. After washing the fabric, pat dry with a towel (don't use any nice ones!) and set out to dry. If you don't care for the pleats, just remove the fabric from the pole while you're rinsing and washing it and iron flat. This is also very pretty, but I wanted to keep the pleats so I have to be more patient. I checked the poles this morning and they're still damp, so I think they'll be ready sometime later this week. When they're dry, I'll remove them from the poles, take photos, and let you all see what all the fuss is about!

I can't wait to see them!!