Absolutely no rug hooking done this week. However I did work on the website. Or rather my web developer did with my input. It should be fully operational now. If you encounter a problem please email me under the “contact” button.
I designed a pattern based on our travels in South Korea this spring, and put it on backing today. It is large – 36″ X 25″ – for me. I will have to do some dyeing for it. Probably tomorrow or next week sometime. I find my days getting busy now I’m back home and well again!
It’s come to my attention that my photos could use a bit more organization. To that end I spent considerable time today organizing them. I have them in three places, supposedly. Unfortunately, due to technological and human failure, I have some only in one place. I need to organize and rectify the situation.
How do you organize your digital photos?
I have thousands. Right now I set up a file system that starts with ‘Photos 2006’ and has folders up to this year. Inside each folder I have the year and month folders (eg. 2017 August). After that I tend to fall apart. Right now key events get their own folder in the year folder, among the month folders. For example, “2017 Sauder Village”.
This seems to be a good way to keep photos from getting lost. Unfortunately, I still have to use the search engine more than I’d like to find images. I need to get these labelled properly and under control.
I have close to 16,000 photos (including duplicates and edited versions). I’m looking for a good way to organize these so I’m not panicking whenever someone needs a photo of my work.
I plan on a working Saturday and taking a break Sunday. I hope everyone else has a great weekend!
I knuckled down yesterday and dyed some fibre for “Escapees”. I needed a variety of lighter greens. My stash is mostly blue greens at this point, and I have a lot of them. Might need to colour plan a wall hanging to use some of those up. I also need oranges and grays for “Escapees”, but I have the grays from a long time ago, and the oranges were dyed earlier this year.
My website has been up and down this past week. There seems to be irregularities with it. I have my web developer working on it.
I’m thinking of sorting through my leftover worms and offering some for sale in the near future. I’ve been thinking of doing a scrappy rug for some time, but now “Escapees” has come up and it will probably be a while before I start something else. I seem to produce leftover worms at an amazing rate!
I’ve finished designing the photo book for our South Korea trip. Hubby and I are “letting it sit” for a few days before we send it in to be printed. He may have extra photos and text to add. I’ve been impressed enough with the program from this company that I’ve decided to create a mini portfolio through them. It would be more like a look book – just a taste of my work. It’s much smaller than the large book we’re doing for our trip. The trip book is 12″ x 12″ and 145 pages long. The portfolio book will be 5″x7″ and 100 pages long…or thereabouts. Not entirely sure yet. First we’ll see if the trip book turns out okay.
In big news: I will be off August 7th – 12th to watch my niece swim in the Canada Games. This is a great achievement for her and we are extremely proud of her.
Below are some of the results of Dye Day in more detail. I’m loving the casserole dye jobs. The photos are showing more white than there really is on the fabric. That’s wool on the left and silk on the right.
My new iMac. Still loading updates. Still have to configure mail. I’m making this post off my iPad.
I pulled out a new pattern to start hooking. It’s called “Escapees”. It’s a design of some nasturtiums escaping their fenced in garden and reaching towards the sun. Again, an actual photo and place on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, where everything grows with wild abandon! Last week I adjusted the pattern. This week I’ll be dyeing fibre for the backgrounds. I need some medium toned Kelly green.
This will be my demonstration piece for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair on May 27th. I will be between Montague and Athol Streets on the south side in the shade. That’s on 13th Ave. in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. If you’re in the area that day come check out my booth!
Well, here are the results of this week’s dye jobs. The photos do not do the colours justice. They are more intense and deeper than the photos show. I really enjoyed dyeing these colours. I’ve been away from the dye pot too long!
An added bonus this week was receiving Gene Shepherd’s “Prepared to Dye” DVD set in the mail Monday. When I wasn’t dyeing fabric I was watching his DVDs. He does an excellent job of making what some see as complicated into a much easier to understand and do process. The first DVD in the set covers the basic traditional rug hooking dyeing methods. The second DVD is devoted to various spot dyeing techniques. And the third DVD is devoted to various dye bleeding techniques. I am excited and eager to try some of his techniques.
All this dyeing and class prep got me thinking it might be time for another trip to my favourite rug hooking supplier in Cochrane, Alberta – Legacy Studio – for more supplies. I’ve been making a wish list for the trip.
I am also busy preparing for tomorrow’s Start to Finish class. It’s on colour planning and material selection. By the end of the class we should be hooking rug.
I hope everyone has a good weekend planned. This weekend is a special event for us. Hubby is being honoured at a community event and his 65th birthday is Monday! We plan to make the most of it.
Hi everyone. This week is the first dye week I’ve had in a long time. I’ve been putting off dyeing since Hubby retired last fall. Now is the time. I warned the boarder and Hubby and we had a discussion about mealtimes around dyeing time – I do not mix the two! Our Chinese boarder had to struggle with the English a bit, but once he figured out dyeing meant adding colour to fibre he was okay. Have to watch how I use the word ‘dyeing’!
I am running out of my bright coloured fabrics. Lots of the more sombre colours in my stash still, but not so much the bright ones. Today will be yellows and oranges. By the end of the week I hope to have some bright colours to showcase in my Friday Weekly Review.
I had a great From Start to Finish class on Saturday, even if it was a bit rushed. My student learned a lot, and I learned a few things about teaching too! I am looking forward to this coming weekend’s class, in which hopefully we’ll move at a slower pace. I am excited to see how my student’s rug progresses. I love the simplicity of the design already.
Sunday Hubby and I went for a drive to a small community to check out a new restaurant – 641 Restaurant. We really enjoyed our time there and I took time to take photos for some ideas for rug making. Lots of cool things there.
A half finished Shortbread Cookie Cream, or some such. It was raspberry and strawberry sauce with lemon curd, whipped cream, and a shortbread cookie. Lots of fresh raspberries and strawberries for garnish! Excellent!
An interesting chandelier…
Another interesting light fixture.
Hubby and I loved these glasses. Easy to handle and easy to drink from.
A funny sign.
I plan to work on “Moss” more this week as well.
I also want to delve into the rug hooking books that arrived last week more. We’ll see if I have time.
Hoping to have a successful week, and hoping you do too.
It’s been an interesting week. I have hooked some on Dancing Tree, and I have spent time dyeing fibre blue . Mostly dyeing fibre. Each batch of fibre takes 1 hour to dye. Plus prep time and clean up. All told I’d say 1 1/2 hours from start to finish, if you don’t count soaking the fibre overnight so it will accept the dye more easily and thoroughly.
I am also starting to prepare for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair. Checking over inventory and prioritizing what I might want to put on display for sale. It’s that time of year to organize my thoughts and design a booth to share with my friend.
I am also neck deep in tax season right now, and busy with putting out wild fires in that area.
It’s another beautiful day today! Blue skies! Hmm…and speaking of blue… Look what came from the kitchen yesterday morning. And today I’ll be dyeing more blue. Time to replace some of the lighter colors in my palette. Have a wonderful day everyone! 🙂
This week I am focusing on the background for Dancing Tree.
It is also looking warm enough to open windows and dye some mid-tone and light blues.
And I want to be thinking about what to hook next. I’m seriously thinking something scrappy might be in order. For those of you who do not know, a scrappy rug or piece of hooking is a piece made of leftover scraps (also known as worms) from other projects. I have a huge bag and some boxes of worms that seriously need to be used up.
Hubby and I were over to the Art Gallery of Regina this weekend to see my wall hangings on exhibit. It’s nice to see them hanging with so many other local artists.
This week will be a mix of in and out around here. A lucky someone purchased Prairie Sky – the large version. So today I’ll be packing it up and hopefully, shipping it off. 🙂
The weather is forecast to be in the teens for most of the week. That means yard work, and maybe just some general fun with the camera and my rug hooking frame outdoors. I will also be working on cleaning the room our new boarder will be going into the end of the month.
I still need to put hanging sleeves on Sprouts and Blue-eyed Grass.
Still contemplating my next piece to put on backing. I may pause to dye some silk fabric, especially if I can open the windows. Might have to wait till next week for this though. We are getting a couple of cooler days midweek this week.
This week will be a busy one for me. We have company till Tuesday. We will be celebrating Hubby’s birthday tonight…for the third time this weekend. We’ve had a fair bit of company. 🙂
This week I’m hoping to remove the remaining colour from the nylons. Last week I managed to get them to a pale yellow. But I am after white, so there will be more colour removal yet.
I also managed to scan sketches of potential wall hangings into the computer. I have them on my laptop, and did the editing and re-sizing this weekend. I’ll print them off to put on backing as I work on them one by one. Usually I draw directly on backing for my wall hangings. But these are more detailed pieces that I want to maintain element placement and scale, so I am going the long route to putting them on backing.
I also hope to go out on more walks and photo shoots of the neighbourhood for more inspiration. I love capturing moments in time with my camera. Though I am still a bit self-conscious about using it. It’s not a cell phone camera, but a big DSLR camera.
Other activities this week? I am hoping to start the actual hooking of Blue-eyed Grass.
I finished Sprouts. And I started Blue-eyed Grass.
I removed most of the colour from the nylons, but need more RIT colour remover to finish the job.
I scoured my sketchbooks for more wall hanging ideas. Will transfer some on backing today, as I still have to wait to pick up the RIT colour remover. I will be spending some time sketching as well today.
I was to the opening of the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show this week. It was a great evening celebrating a diversity of styles of art and craft. My work showed well and I was pleased with how it was hung. A big shout out to the people who made it happen.
It’s a nice sunny, warm day here today, and I hope to go outside with my camera. Nothing like a little spring inspiration.
Hi everyone! How’s your morning going? Mine is going great. I managed to put Blue-eyed Grass on backing the other day. Today, if the temperature warms up to above 10 C, I’ll be popping open windows and taking some dye out of the nylons.
If not, then I’ll be drawing more designs on backing for some hooking fun.
In other news, I knit a few more rows on the cellular baby blanket, but not enough for another photo shoot.
My current rug hooking WIP is The Barn. Colour planning is the objective for today. It could be a challenge that sees me hanging about the kitchen over dye pots again. We’ll see. I’m trying very hard to use up what fibre I already have…and I have a lot.
The Barn is a slightly larger pattern than Wascana Creek. It has similar elements and started out as a plein air piece also. It will be interesting to see this develop into a larger piece.
I will also be working on updating my hooking portfolio. I have let it get sadly out of date.
My non-hooking project for the time being is the knit baby blanket. I tend to put it aside until I know I have an hour to work on it, because it takes that long to knit a full repeat of the pattern. I’m a slow knitter. It is a lace pattern that also requires concentration, so I prefer to do it when I’m alone.
That’s my plan for today.
What’s everyone else up to out there in Internet land?
What’s a girl to do when she’s sick? Why planning of course! I spent most of the afternoon yesterday going through my sketchbooks and coming up with some ideas for next year. Look forward to new products, new wall hangings, and new ideas! 🙂
In other news, Okra and Paisley Prairie Sky made it back from a very successful summer in Weyburn, SK as part of their Fibre Art Destination 2015. The exhibits were a huge success, attracting many national and international visitors, as well as more local ones. Hopefully there will be another Fibre Art Destination in future years.
For now, Okra and Paisley Prairie Sky have gone up on my Wall Hangings for Sale page as of today.
As for my week in review…hmm…not much done that I’d planned. Too sick/busy processing food. I did over dye the yarn that arrived the other day. Here are the results…
Over dyed to yellower greens, but too dark for my purposes. Would work for a Boreal forest scene though. 🙂
Well I’m better rested now. It’s extremely hot outside. So I’m staying inside today and…working on putting together rug hooking kits for classes.
I am also going through my greens to see what I need to dye next week. It’s a terrible time of year for dyeing. It’s going to be close to or above 30 C the next few days. But what has to be done, has to be done! I may try dyeing on our old camp stove, if we still have it. Then it would be outside. I remember Shirley Poole dyeing that way at the one and only rug camp I went to.
I need to pick up around here and do laundry too. Time to get a little bit more organized. I finally packed away my winter clothes this morning! My house has that lived in look, if you know what I mean. I always notice it when I come back from vacation.
I also want to re-design the hanging of artwork on the dining room wall. I have more paintings I’d like to hang there. We seem to have a surplus of artwork around here. Lovely work, but a lot none-the-less.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday. Enjoy the nice weather while you can!
In my studio this week I hope to finish Rose Hips. It was on my list of things to finish last week, but I ran into difficulties with the leaves, took a morning off for Plein Air hooking, and some things came up other than rug hooking. So had to deal with them. It is going to be finished this week.
Also I am hoping to put together fibre kits for classes. Once I start working on them I can determine if I need another dye day or two to dye more fibre.
I also need to prepare for a trip to Alberta next week. We have a memorial service to attend for a very special woman – the woman who taught me to rug hook.
But before we go, I will be celebrating the end of one of the groups I attend for summer break this week as well. Plus the gym, and possibly more company. We enjoyed company for a bit this weekend, and expect some today briefly, and again on Wednesday, and possibly Thursday.
Then Friday evening at 7 PM at the Mackenzie Art Gallery is the opening reception for Dimensions 2015. I hope to attend. 🙂
Onion skin dyeing lightfast test results…with the exception of the red, which is onion skin combined with Koolaid and regular white vinegar.
Hi everyone. There’s been a lot of talk about using natural dyes these days. I find a lot of people like the idea in theory, but when it comes to buying artwork they want guarantees their piece is not going to fade anytime soon. For that reason I use mostly commercial dyes.
This is not to say that natural dyes fade more easily or quickly. It all depends on what mordants (chemicals used to set the dyes) were used when in the process, how much was used, and how the dye bath was processed.
I thought I’d share an experiment I did in dyeing in 2003. I used natural dyes – onion skins to be exact – and various mordants, or chemicals, to set the dye (make it stick to the fabric). Not only that, but I applied the mordant at different times, creating an even more varied color range than usual.
This post is just an overview of the project. To go in-depth would take some time. The general process is this:
You make a dye bath of onion skins. I used the large yellow onions we get on the Canadian prairies from Superstore. Be careful. From what I hear, different onions give different results.
I prepared my fiber for dyeing by soaking it overnight in a mild detergent, specially formulated for fine textiles, and water.
I pulled together my mordants for the job.
I pre-mordanted some wool. Pre-mordanting means I treated the wool with the mordant before dyeing it.
I started the dyeing process. It took me several days to dye all the wool below.
I recorded my dyeing process as I went.
I hung everything to dry.
I put strips in paper to check for light fastness (see above photo). I left them in a south facing window for a month before opening the tops up to reveal little if no color difference.
Copper pennies (mine did not have enough copper in them),
Iron and Cream of Tartar.
There are lots more mordants out there, including human urine! It’s said the ammonia in urine is the mordant agent.
When you use the mordant in the dyeing process also determines color. Pre-mordanting happens before dyeing the fabric. Simultaneous mordanting is when the dye and mordant are in the same water at the same time with the fiber. And adding the mordant after the fiber has been dyed leads to either blooming (a brightening) or saddening (a dulling of colors).
When dyeing with copper now it’s best to use a copper lined pan or a piece of copper pipe. Unless you have access to a bunch of pre-1970 Canadian pennies. The color difference is significant because the Canadian mint changed the composition of pennies in the 1970s sometime.
Warning! Colours are not good in the photos and probably not on your monitor. But the range is from gray to browns to greens to yellows, and everything in-between.
Pre-mordanted Alum, onion skin dye bath, and new wool.
1) Pre-mordant Alum and onion skin on new wool.
You must be careful to get the right type of alum! I once did a dye workshop with a friend using the wrong type. We were very disappointed. No bright yellows. You must use dyer’s alum, available at dye houses across North America.
Simultaneous Alum and onion skin on new wool.
2) Simultaneous mordant Alum and onion skin on new wool.
Alum added after the dye bath, causing the color to brighten or bloom.
3) Alum – blooming – and onion skin on new wool.
Simultaneous Baking Soda with onion skin on new wool.
4) Simultaneous Baking Soda and onion skin on new wool.
This makes a nice mushroom color.
Iron added after dyeing, and Cream of Tartar added to the bath to make the color darker.
5) Iron – saddening – and onion skin on new wool.
I used a horseshoe made at the Calgary Stampede. And yes, leaving the wool in the dye bath for longer periods of time results in a fuller, deeper, richer color.
6) Iron and Cream of Tartar – saddening – and onion skin on new wool.
Aluminum added after dyeing to sadden the color, or make it duller.
7) Aluminum – saddening – and onion skin on new wool.
Salt added after dyeing, saddening the color, or making it darker.
8) Salt – saddening – and onion skin on wool.
Washing Soda added after the dyeing, causing the fiber color to bloom or brighten.
9) Washing soda and onion skin on new wool.
Pre-mordanted Copper Sulphate, onion skin dye bath, and new wool.
10) Pre-mordanted Copper Sulphate and onion skin on wool.
Copper Sulphate added after the dyeing caused the color to bloom or brighten.
11) Copper Suphate – blooming – and onion skin on new wool.
Malt vinegar added after the dye bath, causing the color to bloom.
12) Malt Vinegar and onion skin on new wool.
Simultaneous Canadian pennies (not enough copper in the ones I used).
13) Simultaneous copper pennies and onion skin on new wool.
As you can see you can achieve a wide range of colors just from using the humble onion skin. Not only that but you can combine mordants to achieve further variation in color. Other plant materials are worthy of experimentation as well.
To see an application of onion skin dyeing, here is a table piece I hooked in 2000. I dipped all the wools I used in an onion skin dye bath to “marry” them together. That means to make them all look like they belong together.
Rice Bowl – ~ 12″ x 22″ – $300CAD
I have found the alum mordanted wool to be extremely lightfast, and have used some of it in my Prairie Sky wall hangings. I have a bookcase full of wool that receives south/south west sun every day (this is NOT a good idea folks, but I’m working with limited space). In it are the yellows and golds from my onion dyeing experiment. They seem to be holding up well. However, some of the mordants, like vinegar, do seem to slightly change color over time.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive treatise on natural dyeing with onion skins. For that you need to take a real live class with an experienced dyer. But I hope it gives you an idea of the variety of results that can be achieved, and a bit about the complicated nature of dyeing.
Well I did do a dye job yesterday. I love the results!
As you can see one piece turned out lighter than the other. That’s not unusual in the dyeing business. Not sure how it will work. I will have to try it out today. I’m thinking I’ll use different parts for different areas of the background.
I also dyed some yarns and ribbon to vary texture in the background. They are even lighter yet. Hopefully the background will not be too busy!
I had a blog post all typed up describing spot dyeing, but it disappeared. I never know what’s going to happen with technology around here!
Basically spot dyeing is when you mix up multiple colours of dye and pour it in spots on some fibre that is all scrunched up and sitting in a casserole pan lined with tin foil. You add the mordant (chemical that sets the dye), cover the entire thing in tin foil, and steam it in the oven for about an hour. Pull it out, let it cool, rinse thoroughly, dry, and, voilá, beautiful fibre to hook with! 🙂
As for my Saturday review…my chief goal this week was to sort out the Customs situation with the Sauder Village pieces. That was accomplished to the best of my ability. Also to draw the patterns for Rose Hips and Saskatoons and get them on backing. And to start hooking Rose Hips. All that was accomplished too.
I’ve had an opportunity for another exhibit put in front of me, but am not sure I want to enter. I have three more exhibits to prepare for, and I’ve sent work to two already this year. This would make a sixth. I have to think about it. It would mean some fast hooking between now and June 22nd. I don’t think I could manage that. But I might manage using a newer piece already hooked. Hmm…will look in my stash and re-read the requirements.
I don’t receive a lot of notice for some of these exhibits. I prefer about a three to four month lead time to fit a new group exhibit into my schedule. Especially when I have so much on the go, like this year.
Well that’s about it for this week. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks for reading! 🙂
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a dye day. Today is the day. I am soaking wool and rayon fibres to dye using a spot dye method. I’m making up the colours as I go. This could be very hit and miss. I looked through all my fibre yesterday and decided this was unavoidable. I have the fibre to dye, so that’s not an issue. It’s just I have a lot of fibre in the house right now…but very little spot dye, and I think the background to Rose Hips really calls for spot dyeing.
Aside from the dye job today I have gym this morning and a lunchtime meeting to attend. A bunch of women are getting together to sew reusable sanitary napkins for women in Kenya. Apparently there is a shortage. The meeting today is to finalize a design before we embark on some production sewing at Crafting.
I have no idea what I’m doing today. But I know I have gym this morning. I am without car as ours is in the shop for regular maintenance.
I think I will try to phone the U.S. CBP about their “recommendation” my wall hangings for Sauder Village have an HTSUS number before entering the country. Can’t find a phone number anywhere on their website, and they have yet to answer an email I sent mid-May. And I cannot find a definition of HTSUS or how to acquire such a number anywhere on their site either. Very confusing.
I am also wanting to put together some star kits today in preparation for future classes.
And I am wanting to figure out a way to print some photos larger than 8.5 x 11″. If I can do so, then I would like to transfer a couple of designs on backing today as well. Then it will be time to pick colours and dye fibre, if necessary.
Looking forward to a busy and productive day! Hope yours is too! What is everyone up to these days?
How did I let my sunroom studio get in such a mess?! I have been busy all day off and on on this small piece of territory. It’s only 8’x12′ for goodness sake! But my, what a mess! I have way too much stuff for the space. But I do use it…most of it. I have enough fibre for a while. I’ve been thinking of going through and culling some of it. There are some naturally dyed fibres that are not quite as lightfast as I’d like. They will go.
Speaking of lightfastness…in the past I’ve used Majic Carpet dyes for all my dye jobs. Some set with vinegar and some with citric acid. I’ve determined I prefer citric acid. It seems to hold the colours better over the years.
I am also in the process of switching to ProChem dyes. I suspect this will take a few years, and I still intend to set with citric acid. Citric acid does smell though, so I restrict my dye days to days I can open my windows for a nice breeze…preferably warm. That’s about 6 months of the year here.
In the process of cleaning up I am attaching price tags to work I’ve yet to tag for sale. My cleaning slowed down considerably yesterday afternoon as a result. I cannot believe I let myself get this far behind! Good thing I’m doing it now. I’ll be ready for the CVAF Street Fair (Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair) this May. It appears I haven’t tagged anything since last fall!
I have a busy week planned for myself. This past weekend I had a lovely student who did very well learning to hook with variable types of fibre. She left happy with a hook and hoop. I hope to see her finished piece some day soon. 🙂
I am planning more hooking this week. My main goal is to work on Goldfish. It would be nice to finish it, but I suspect it will take until next week. It is a bit larger than some of my other wall hangings.
After that I have a prairie sunset I would like to plan and hook…a larger one again. I am hoping to submit it and the large prairie sky for Dimensions 2015.
Other things on my plate?
Searching the Net for more learning opportunities.
Getting the final bit of information into my accountant’s assistant for my taxes.
Posting some work on Etsy for sale.
Plus I need to think about spring inventory for the shops.
And do some checking of fibre to see if I need another dye day soon.