Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Rust dyeing

I have never been very interested in rust dyeing before and I really didn't want to go down the path of caustic soda and ferrous sulphate. Living in the coastal tropics as I do, I spend much of my time trying very hard to stop everything from rusting and I always thought why on earth would you do it deliberately!!!
Rust dyeing has come up in two of the online courses I am doing, and Doreen very kindly posted about a very easy way of doing it with steel wool and vinegar. Follow the link to see what she has posted on her blog.
I was in a hurry and thought (quite incorrectly) that I remembered the instructions so I laid out the steel wool, then poured white vinegar over the top and added the paper, which I weighted down with stones ( with no plastic sheet in between). These papers are the result and this is one time when I am glad I didn't read the instructions!!!

I was so taken with the papers I had another go today with fabric instead and I really love the colours and pattern which have shown up in this as well. I have another piece of fabric soaking as I write this. My sister has tried it using a piece of bubblewrap as the plastic between the paper and the weighting stones. She got some fascinating patterns with that so that will be my next effort. this is becoming addictive.

I am way behind with all the samples in the online courses. The end of the school holidays saw the volunteer groups swinging into action again, and suddenly my time was being taken up. I have the last committee meeting for the University Library Society tomorrow, then I hand over the treasurer's books at the AGM a couple of weeks later, yippee! I have been closely involved for about 18 years now and it is time to step back and let someone else carry on, probably in a new direction.
I seem to be spending more and more of my time sitting around in doctor's or dentist's surgeries, thoroughly boring and very expensive, but unfortunately a necessity as you get older. I currently have a lovely white patch across my nose where I have had a skin cancer removed today - some wonderful new method which involves a cream and a very bright red light and apparently leaves no scarring - can't tell you what it even looks like yet till the dressing comes off, but has to be better than surgery.
We are still getting beautiful rain here, over 520 mm for February so far, but coming in fairly steady bursts so that nothing is damaged, just brilliant for the cane fields and all the gardens, and also for the cattle. This is the first really good wet season we have had for about 18 years, we are just so lucky.
Last Monday was a red letter day here, I was visited by two new textile friends who drove down from Airlie Beach (about 2 1/2 hours north of here). We had a wonderful couple of hours playing show and tell, not nearly enough time to look at each other's work, but their husbands arrived early to pick them up. Now we have discovered each other we intend to try to get together and have a mini workshop or something, it is so much more inspiring to work with other people than doing it in isolation. Internet is great, but personal hands on contact is even better.
Must go and check on the other piece of rusting fabric. Catch you all later.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Souvenirs and more

This little box will become a souvenir for sale I think, though if I make some more they will be less elaborate. I had fun doing this with techniques fform the Ratty tatty papers course with Dale. It is tissuetex painted with acrylic paint, then with a shiva stick rubbing before fusing it to pelmet vilene. I do love that stuff, it is so smooth and firm. Next I painted some more colours on som tissuetex and stamped out flowers which I fused onto the base before adding some stitching.

I lined the box with ordinary tissu paper adhered with gel medium - I like the smell of that better than PVA. then I painted over it with the wonderful opulence paint, which is another favourite. I gave the outside a coat of acrylic wax for protection and now it is finished.

These next pictures have come up in the wrong order - my fault, I couldn't remember which way I had labelled them. This is the inside of the padfolio, which I had to show Dale as the stamps were made when I did module 1 of Playways about 7 years ago! I think I am not quite the slowest student in finishing but I must be the second slowest.

These two pictures are of the outside of the padfolio - a photocopy of a lovely swamp bloodwood from the Botanic Gardens on tissuetex fused to pelmet vilene and then with stitching added.

The black velcro dot is no longer there - for two reasons - it fell off and I didn't like it at all. It was only there in the first place because once again I was going too fast and forgot to add the velcro tab before I sewed the pocket on. I will make a cord to hold it together, will look much better. I love the idea of these photocopies and have lots more flowers in mind to try. I have another sheet of tissuetex with this same photo on, so will make that up into bookmarks.
We have been talking about only selling souvenirs which are relevant to the Gardens so that has made me think a bit more, but these will definitely qualify. I am a complete squib when it comes to trying anything a bit different and seeing the printers are part of Bill's business, that makes me even more wary of suggesting anything. However I think I will start soaking some fabric in inkjetset and try that soon too - Bill will have a fit till he sees it work, then he will be egging me on. Perhaps I may wait a few weeks till my sister is visiting, then there will be two of us to gang up................................hmm...
We are having an old fashioned wet season here and feel we should be growing web feet. There have only been 6 days since Christmas when we haven't had rain, but we have been lucky enough to be north south and east of the flooding. I think we have had over 850 mm rain since Christmas, but then a year ago we had nearly 700 mm rain in just one night!!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

ATC owner identified

This is just to let you know that I realised after I had done my blog last night that the Jean whose ATC I received is from England and has a lovely blog - follow the link and do have a look.
We look like having some fine weather for a couple of days so I will probably catch up on some much needed gardening rather than textiles and may not have anything to show for a while again.........................but there are some exercises in the online courses I am dying to try so maybe the garden will be ignored again too.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

ATCs received

Today I received these two ATCs in the mail as my exchange for the Cyber Fyber exhibition. The top one is made by Jean titled Autumn. I am not sure where Jean comes from but I am very glad to have her ATC.
This very striking ATC was made by Joni of South Carolina. Thank you to both girls.

My daughter in law Nikki has just had a birthday so I made her these two little containers for her MP3 player and the earphones. I had to put a hole in the bottom of the smaller container to allow the cord to plug in. Took a while to work out what I would do, but suddenly remembered I have an eyelet kit for my Bernina - did the job brilliantly. Now I have remembered it I shall have to use it more. I remember seeing some beautiful creations done by making lots of different sized and coloured eyelets. I am not certain I will have the patience to make a whole page of eyelets, but we shall see.
Yesterday was our 41st wedding anniversary and today is Dougal and Nikki's 9th so we all went out to dinner tonight to one of the local steakhouses - we had all the family with us so had to be family friendly. Lovely to celebrate together as a family though - we all came back to our house for icecream and coffee to finish up - and watched the end of an exciting one day cricket match, which the Australians won!
The cricketers all gave their day's earnings to the bushfire appeal. There was an appeal conducted around the grounds during the day and sponsors kept ringing in with donations as well. I think over $3million dollars was raised today - what a wonderful achievement for such a worthy cause. The whole nation is in mourning over the tragedy. The floods in North Queensland pale in comparison.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

A few more samples

Not a lot to post tonight, but it is a while since I said anything, I really felt I should put something up. These are some samples from the Ratty Tatty Papers course which Dale is running. The one above is some silk paper, made the easy way with spray starch on baking paper, very quick and easy if it is going to be backed for a project. I do love the textile medium method though if I am making a bag or something similar.

These silk paper castings are fun to do and a different effect from paper castings.

I had never tried making silk paper from rods before - so easy!
These couple of photos are from the Fibre-in-form class I am doing. I am reasonably happy with the colours which have come out, though I don't think this is the effect the class was actually about!

These are two little canvases which were coloured over moulding paste stencils. I like these, though as I said in another group, I wouldn't necessarily have chosen to put a heart in the lower one. Hannah, my grand daughter was with me when I was doing it and insisted! I will give her the canvas later.

This is being written very slowly while I have one eye on the tennis - I think we will be very late going to bed tonight, it looks like being a marathon, and is too exciting to leave!
There is no doubt that Australia is a land of complete contrasts - the poor souls in Victoria and South Australia with that terrible heat, and also the awful fires in Victoria. We have been coasting along with some light rain every day, but now it is our turn to be concerned - there is a cyclone off the North Queensland coast which is slowly deepening. We have had about 150 mm rain in the last 24 hours, with lots more to come, plus the winds have been gusting up to 60 km hour for the last couple of days. I imagine the people in Mackay who were flooded out last February will be getting a bit worried again. We have very large king tides next week also - 6.59metres.
I can't keep writing, the tennis is too exciting - more anothertime.