Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shibori Surprises

Shibori - comes from the Japanese word Shiboru, meaning to squeeze or wring out (as in gathering and binding). This is a centuries old set of methods for resist-dyeing fabric, and sometimes paper. I believe this is where we got tie-dyeing from.

Four of us gathered on a Sunday afternoon in September to try out some Shibori techniques on silk and cotton fabrics. Oh my goodness - it was so much fun. One of our group members, Brian, is quite knowledgeable about Shibori methods and we had a great time trying out some of the various techniques like folding and binding and pole wrapping following his expert guidance.

Marbles, Silk Habotai, Dupioni Silk and Chiffon (Click on any photo for a bigger view)

The surprise of this technique is the most fun part for me. Those of you who create, especially if you dye fabric, know that there are no gaurantees that you'll get what you're expecting. For me it's easier to simply be delighted with what appears. Hence, Shibori surprises.

Creating resist patterns in the fabric is the point of Shibori. The patterns made with rocks were done by tying them into the fabric. The little white dots in the purple closeup were resists marks made with wax.

Arashi Shibori - we wrapped some of our silk pieces around pvc pipes of different sizes and then tied them with twine. The little bundle of fabric in front of the two poles is a scarf, folded, banded & dyed.

This is chiffon.
This purple scarf is a silk rayon scarf that I bought from Dharma.I could not have been happier with this piece.

Remember that folded up little bundle -

Here are some of the other pieces we did that day using clamps, wax, etc.

These blue pieces are actually a poly-cotton blend and had already been dyed blue. The dyes we were using do not adhere to polyester fibers which is why they are so soft.

That's it folks, at least for now. Thanks as always for stopping by and feel free to leave any comments, I love them. It feels good to be blogging again. I'm sorry I was away for so long.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Sharing #2 - Prose Poems

Share:  To give or receive part of something. Participate: To join with others in some thought, feeling or action.

Below are more of my thoughts and feelings about life, as it flows. There are so many questions and explorations we can explore while we're here in this life. Feel free to share some of your own in the comments or a link to your own blog. Sometimes I pick a subject or theme but often, the subject chooses me. Even if you've never written poems, letting the words out can help to release what's inside, so it does not consume you. It is all part of the flow. Enjoy.


The darkness of fear or the light of faith?
The darkness of judgment or the light of compassion?
The darkness of anger or the light of forgiveness?
The darkness of sorrow, or the light of happiness?
The darkness of selfishness, or the light of sharing?
The darkness of self-righteousness, or the light of understanding?
The darkness of sadness, or the light of joy?
The darkness of hatred or the light of love?
The darkness of war, or the light of peace?

Darkness or Light, your choice?


Stand for your own heart.
Say what you need to say,
Using love as your guide.
Do the things that move you,
Things that move you forward and
Things that expand your heart
And your vision of the world.
Exercise your right to choose what works for you.
Give what you are moved to give and
Receive  with openness
So others can give what they are moved to give.


Are You?

Are you open or closed?
Are you right or are you open to discovery?
Are you busy or are you aware?
Are you domineering or can you listen?
Are you 'strong' or can you accept assistance?
Are you the 'jury' or can you see beyond your own thoughts?

Are you so fearful that you only give hurt?
Are you so ashamed that all you can offer is blame?
Are you so 'alone' that you cannot see those in your life who befriend you?
Are you so 'unlovable' that you won't allow love to penetrate your defenses?
Are you so afraid of pain that pain is all you experience?

Are you willing to be responsible for choosing who you are in your life?


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sparks of Creativity - Giveaways & Tutorials

Surfing the net is fun, and for me, inspiring. Here are some of the things that I came across this week that are worth sharing. All of these are fabric related giveaways and tutorials. Enjoy!

Give Aways: 


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

I finally got around to taking picture of some of the things that I am working on. My goal is to do this once a week, but ummm, I am not making any promises. My weeks are sometimes fulllllllll, but I try to do some creative thing every day.
First, my painted canvas and hearts. This is just the beginning for this piece. The fabric hearts you see underneath are to be embellished with stitching and beads, then attached to the canvas. The goal is to add some words/phrases about love, some more shapes, etc. Now that I've shared it, maybe I'll get to work on those hearts. I think they will help determine what goes on next and where.
This is of the fabric hearts close up (click on photos for larger view). They are from pieces of my hand-dyed fabrics, fused to  Fast2Fuse (a stiff fusible), which I love.
Second is my little piece with waves. The base is a scrap piece of purple fabric that I scrunched up, ironed down the scrunchies, then rolled on a brayer full of lumiere. Let it dry, ironed it, scrunched it up, ironed the creases in, rolled another color of paint. My intention right now is to add some stitching, beads, wire spirals . . . The waves are fabric backed with a fusible.
One thing about sharing these two is I got a few more ideas while looking at these photos, so maybe next week I'll have progress to show/share.  Thanks for stopping by and if you get an idea from them or for them, please share. Until tomorrow. . .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Saturday Sharing - Prose Poems - Creative Expressions

I'm calling them prose poems because I don't know what else to call them. I express myself in many creative ways and one of them is writing - not 'start to finish' stories but 'glimpses' and 'views' or 'perspectives' if you will. I don't so much write them as allow them to flow out from me. Usually they are triggered by some issue or event that evokes some strong or maybe even subtle but persistent feeling. I like them and usually don't share them, but that changes with this post. I have plenty and will share some each Saturday in no particular order and with no particular theme. I hope they speak to you in some way.

Today there are 3:

The Abyss

You have stolen my heart!
I feel myself teetering on the edge of love -
That joyous and frightening abyss.

My internal struggle is fast and furious,
But love never loses.

I was not afraid before I met you,
But now, as I consider
Relinquishing that last illusion of control,
I am consumed by fear and giddy amazement.
That someone might actually care for me
The way that I care for them.

I know that my heart will survive
The rapid change in beats
As I ponder, gleefully and with complete terror,
What the abyss may reveal.

But, there is no excitement, risk or gain
If I hold myself back.
So, over the edge . . . I fly!

R, 7/07


Ever been to hell?
No, not the one they preach about.
I'm talking about that personal, private hell
We have all taken ourselves to.

The one where we are worthless.
Where we can do nothing right.
Where we are never good enough.
Where we never live up to expectations.

The personal, private hell
Where we endure continuous berating.
Where we hear and believe
That no one will ever love us,
That no one can.
And if they say they do, they are lying.

That personal hell inside our heads,
Where the amusement park is anything but amusing.
Where there are hellish rides,
The rides we give our sanity to experience,
Over and over and over again, endlessly.
At least, endless until we've had enough.
Until we find a way, or simply choose
To leap to freedom.
Grateful to return to the real world.
Always aware
That we can return at any time to the
Un-amusing, self-absorbed, hellish park
Where we thoughtlessly torture ourselves.
Until next time . . .

R 6/09

What . . . if

What if you wait until tomorrow,
and tomorrow is too late?
What if you hold back your love,
and tomorrow they move on?
What if you fail to nurture your soul,
and you become angry and resentful?
What if you won't forgive becuse 'they' were wrong,
and tomorrow you need them?
What if you wait years to say 'I love you',
and tomorrow they are gone?
What if you gave up worrying,
and lived each day like it was the only one?

R 1/06

That's it for today. Thank you for spending some time with me here. Have a wonderful weekend and please, leave comments, especially if any move something in you or remind you of something or . . .

Show & Tell

Show and tell was one of my favorite times in elementary school and it is still one of my favorite things to do when I get together with my friends and family. So, I'm starting a Friday Show and Tell on the blog to share some of my work, past and present.
(click on photo to see larger view)
It is hard to tell from the large shot but this is a full size quilt with 56 photos in the design. I designed this for my boss's daughter for Christmas. The photos are some of her favorites, which I scanned and resized to fit into the piece. Blue is her favorite color. These closeups give you a little better idea of how the quilt looks up close.

The photos are printed onto cotton fabric and are colorfast. The rest of the quilt is cotton, including the batting. The backing fabric has pictures of dogs, she loves animals. I really enjoy custom work because it is creative with a purpose, an audience. And people are usually so delighted with these photo quilts. You can visit my website to see some options for custom quilts for yourself or a loved one.

Wire Wrapped Pendants - my second show & tell

I love wire wrapping and taught the class at A2Z Beads on 43rd Ave & Thunderbird for about 3 years until school got the best of my time. But I still create pendants for gifts and for sale. Some of these are not great shots but will give you an idea of what I like to do.

These are all cabochons, L to R Jasper, labrodorite, rhyiolite, malachite. And my favorite, a purple agate slice. All are wrapped in 22 guage sterline silver square wire and some as you can see have beads added for 'flavor'. I have a pile of them ready to be wrapped and am going to dive into it this weekend. I think I'm finally going to open an Etsy shop.

Today's last show & tell is different. I love to help others with fundraisers and such and when I was invited to paint a bowling pin for a bowling event that raises money to benefit childcare age children here in Arizona, it was an easy yes. Hmmmm. a bowling pin, I finally settled on a sunset and cactus and here are some shots of the full, all around the bowling pin.

I have never painted a bowling pin in my life but it actually looks kinda cool and it was for a good cause.

I think this will be a regular Friday thing. If you have requests of types of things you'd like to see on the blog, please let me know. Comments always welcome and appreciated.

Saturdays might become 'Sharing my writing' Day. The could be called poems or passages and are about life things, some light, some not. Saturday's will be about Hell. So please check back and see what you think. Enjoy your Friday, and your weekend.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Theme Thursday - Creativity

I have to thank my friend Quinn McDonald, Creativity Coach and more, for the idea of Theme Thursday she started at the Creativity Incubator to which I belong (see the link to it on Quinn's blog in the sidebar).

Creativity has been on my mind a lot this year, what it is, how it works, what it does for us, etc. So today I'm sharing links with you to some blog posts and websites I've discovered either thru Twitter or from blogs and references as I have found time to travel around the internet.

I'm going to reference Quinn's blog once again to show you another example of my creativity. I created a stole for her to wear when she does weddings - see some wedding pics here. Quinn is in the sunglasses and the stole is that long blue fabric with the colorful waves on it. It is all hand-dyed rayon and I had a blast creating this for her. Ok, enough about me and on to more stuff about creativity.

1. I found Ken on Twitter where he is known as @mildlycreative and I love visiting his blog, Mildly Creative, because he talks about some aspect of creativity on a regular basis. This link will take you to his post of July 28th titled 'Develop a Should-Free Lifestyle'. If you allow yourself to be creative, and especially if you don't, this is a highly recommended read. I think many of us get caught up in 'how art should be', how we 'should' do it, how it 'should' look. But I find that my most creative and free moments are when I let go of those 'shoulds' and simply do something, without worrying about how it 'should look', just letting it emerge. So in whatever way you choose to express your creativity, and acknowledge it, this post is worth your time.

2. I am one who 'knows' (this is that intuitive knowing) that the things I create, whether it is the poems I write, the quilts I create, or the jewelry I make, that those ideas come thru me in the still moments. This blog post on 'The Top Ten Reasons to Start Meditating Today' that I came across today as I was looking for more information on creativity, talks about the benefits of meditation - for our bodies, minds and creative selves (see #6 on the list). I know some people think it is some type of odd practice or have negative images about it, and that's too bad. I meditate sporadically and every time, I wonder, 'why don't I do this every day?'. It helps me sleep when I do it at night, I think because it quiets my mind, which seems to run constantly. So check this article out, and if so moved, find out some more about the many different ways there are to meditate. I think of creativity as a kind of 'moving meditation', much like my Tai Chi instructor describes that practice as a 'moving meditation' as you are focusing your energy and quieting your mind. Enjoy.

3. I've known for a while that creativity has healthy benefits, so when I stumbled upon this article by Kay Porterfield on 'How Creativity Heals' I thought it would be perfect to share with you.

4. Rick is another person I discovered on Twitter, he is known as @rickdibiasio and I now visit his blog, The Affluent Artist, regularly. I find his posts inspiring because they are very 'real life'. His post of July 29th titled 'True to Your Core Values' made me realize that I don't need to apologize to myself for having a 'day job'. Truly, I work for art supplies and classes I'm that enhance my skills and my technique base. His posts are encouraging, practical and invite you to examine the way that you think. Have fun there.

My belief: creativity is not something you 'get', it is something you become aware that you have and allow more of as you go thru your life. You can learn and practice many techniques that help you express it, but it is there, in you. Creativity is present every time you solve a problem, creativity is present in the the work you do, the way you choose your clothes. Creativity is present in many areas in your life and your expression of it does not have to 'measure up', the benefits are in the process.

Creative expression is helping manage the stress of a full time job, attending graduate school for a masters degree through Capella University (2 more classes to go after this quarter), as well as managing diabetes and the stress of it. Once I started grad school, I quickly discovered that I could choose to be the stressed out student who has no fun and higher blood pressure, or the smarter student who nurtures her soul through hands-on creative adventures. Even if I only spend 15 minutes on something, my soul is taken care of during that 15 minutes and my to-do lists are easier to get through on a daily basis.

That's it folks. Comments are welcome and appreciated. I would love to hear your thoughts on any of this. Thanks so much for visiting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Artist Open House, July 19, 2009

Sunday afternoon, 113 degrees outside. The sign on the door says, Please Come In. As you step into the house and feel the cool air, you notice the tables draped in black cloth are arranged with pieces that delight the eyes. You are greeted by two or three ladies who invite you to make yourself at home, take advantage of the refreshments and snacks in the kitchen and feel free to ask any of them questions as you take in the variety of handmade items that are being presented by the six artists you will meet as you admire their wares.
(The Creative Six - L to R - Julia, Dawne, Cindy, Roz, Rendy & Debi)

Creatively hand painted silk scarves, handmade journals with unique fabric covers and beautifully wire-wrapped gemstone pendants are to your right, all created by Rosaland Hannibal.

The left side of the living room has a table of cleverly created mixed-media artwork on canvas and wood by Debi Siegert,

Next to Debi you see the creative variety of jewelry using seed beads, gemstones and more by Rendy Garello,

Completing the grouping in the living room are fascinating and beautiful pieces of dichroic pendants, earrings, and wine stoppers created by Cindy of DragonFly Arts.

But your journey through this creative and cool oasis in the desert is not quite finished. As you move away from Cindy’s table and enter the dining room area, your eyes are treated to more beautiful glass creations. Dawne Hennessey has arranged a wonderful assortment of fused, slumped and kiln-worked glass bowls, free standing sculptures and other items. Her work can be viewed at .
And of course your eyes are also treated by the cleverly arranged and presented work of our incredible hostess, Julia. You notice that Julia’s jewelry incorporates dichroic glass, etched metal and wire in very creative ways. Her card tells you that more of her work can be found at .

Wow, time for a glass of ice cold tea or maybe a glass of wine as you chat with the artists and other guests and try to decide which items will go home with you . . .

This was such a fun, relaxed and comfortable event for the six of us and, it seems, our guests. It is always exciting when people find just the thing(s) they want and/or need for themselves or as a gift. There is nothing like knowing your artwork, in whatever form, is in the hands of those who appreciate and cherish it. What a blast!

As always, comments are welcomed and very much appreciated.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fabric Painting & Dyeing

Painting on fabric is an adventure that requires a bit of courage, a willingness to risk making a mess of the thing. A willingness to keep going until you really know you are finished. I started painting on fabric about a year, or so, ago. And I still have to let go of, or better yet, push aside the ‘but, what if I mess it up’ thoughts that are always at the ready.

A few weeks ago I took a class on ‘baggie dyeing’. No, not dyeing the baggies but using them to hold the fabric dyes and pieces of fabric. I promise I’ll get back to the painting in a moment. I already know how to dye fabric but this instructor, Adrienne Buffington has been dyeing fabric for years and I have her book, ‘Hand-Dyed Fabric Made Easy’, published in 1996 by That Patchwork Place. I believe it is out of print but may be available again soon. The class interested me because Adrienne is fun to be around and because I was interested in the stuff that never makes it into the books, the stuff she has discovered from her experiments and mistakes (yes, everyone makes them, that is where the learning is) that good instructors are always willing share with their students. The class was fun and I learned a lot.

Thankfully, I have developed the ability to separate the ‘shoulds’ that show up in my head (these are sometimes known as expectations) from the results of the dyeing (and other pieces of art). I forgot to mention that this type of dyeing also requires patience, or at least the ability to distract yourself with other things while you wait anywhere from 2 to 24 hours, or longer, before you take your fabric from the baggies, rinse it, wash it and see how it turned out. Please believe me when I say, you really don’t know the result until you’ve run it through a couple of cycles in the washer. My fabrics turned out wonderfully. Mind you they were not necessarily the colors I was expecting them to be and they had excellent texture – see photos below of a sampling.

I said all of that about dyeing fabrics to get to the fact that I decided to use some of my pieces for painting. When I hesitated about using this piece of fabric, I had to remind myself that I can always make more. And since hand-dyes come out differently each time, each piece is always a surprise, like a Christmas gift; you get what you get and can choose to be thankful and happy with what you get, or not. Need I say that choosing thankful and happy makes life much easier? However, it is easy to forget this option.

I tend to make up what I paint as I go, in terms of what colors to use, in which order and with which ‘texture’ tools – I’ve gotten really good at just going with the feeling and letting it flow (also a much easier life choice at times). So I took the piece I preferred the least, and started painting. Here is the result:

See, it was worth the risk, I didn't mess it up at all. I will admit to wandering around my apartment looking at various household items and stuff in my stash of tools to see what might ‘work’ for a particular project. I made good use of a stencil, a hair pick, a mask (which is a sticky version of a stencil), and sequin waste. I try to keep these ‘tools’ in their own clear plastic container labeled ‘tools’ and most times I am successful in keeping them there.

The paints were a happy surprise as I decided I would finally open the jars of Stewart Gill Paints that I bought last year at Art Unraveled. I also used some Lumiere paints. The Stewart Gill paints are marvelous and they have the added advantage of being rather transparent (the Alchemy line) so that whatever you paint over still shows thru – helps create a nice ‘layered’ effect, in my opinion. Their Alchemy line of paints are also ‘interference’ colors so you get a different look depending on your angle of view. I love them and now will save up to get some more. They are expensive but very much worth it. They worked beautifully on this piece of fabric.

I’m actually quite happy with this piece and part of it is now on the cover of a composition journal that I am donating to Art For the Homeless, which is an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the homeless in America. I discovered this group on Twitter.

Here is another composition journal I am also donating. This one is covered in a piece of commercial batik fabric with paper & wire embellishments.

Links in order of mention in this post:
Stewart Gill Paints – read about them here
Note: A Google search will bring up some vendors that sell these in the U.S.

Art Unraveled – a yearly ‘creative’ conference/gathering held yearly here in Arizona

Lumiere Paints – a line of Jacquard paints -

Art4TheHomeless –

As always, thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment if you have time or are so inclined. I never worried about leaving comments until I started this blog, now I realize it is part of the connection that people who blog seek with the world. So I thank you in advance :-).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...