Round Robin Purse finished! When does the Cruise start?

[portfolio_slideshow id=254]

I belong to a local group of exceptional fiber artist that have been meeting over 25 years. No president (just a moderator to keep talk on track), no treasurers report (we pay dues to cover expenses, but it is so minimal no one wants to hear month to month reports), no secretary (someone takes notes and sends out a newsletter)… it’s mostly about the art. We have a year long project which we share progress monthly. Lively meetings filled with lots of love and creativity.

This year we decided to make collage purses. Some decided they wanted other things (a box, a knitting needle holder….), but the basic rules were the same – we were to bring in all the sides to our pieces – fabric on both sides sewn shut with some light stuffing in the middle. Then someone took your purse home, did some technique to it and brought it back the next month when it went to someone else to work on. All in all 6 people worked on embellishing a piece.

I used some of my hand dyed cotton I had and gave the theme “Ocean Dreams”. I intended to make a basic purse with 3 pieces: front, back, flap. But as with all good plans when I got the pieces back they just didn’t want to go that way. Then I thought I might make a tote bag – but that just wasn’t totally working. So I used two of the pieces to create just the front of a tote bag. I am really pleased with the results and can’t wait to use it on the cruise!

WIth the third piece I did make a purse using it as the front foldover flap. Since I cut up a pair of old jeans for the body and strap I took the back pocket and added it just inside the purse. I had a tiny scrap of lace from my mothers wedding veil and really liked the look of denim and lace so that was my final touch. I am going to use the purse right away as I am considering adding a purse to my line this year and I want to ‘road test’ this design before going into production.

Where To Go From Here ?

With a few posts under my belt I have been thinking about the direction for this blog. Basically, I have been thinking of it as diary of creativity ….. and life.  The two are intertwined – even though people are always saying that the have no creativity I truly believe it is like breathing – we all do it, but we don’t always recognize that we are doing it!

Personally I like blogs with lots of visual stimuli pictures, drawings and the like – most people are probably like me when it comes to that. It would explain the explosion of Pinterest! I have totally become one of the addicted ones – 1,000 pins and counting. Taking a look at all the different DIY/craft/recipes gathered it occurred to me that it might be fun to choose one to do and report on the results here. Especially the ones that ignited a creative spark and gave me an idea to explore. So, here is the first one I have started with……

First the original pin: Space Nebula T-shirt

Very cool – being a child of the 60’s I have long had a fascination with space. NASA, Star Trek, I loved all of it! This is done using a black t-shirt, spraying bleach on it (and then using anti-chlor to neutralize), adding different dye colors, splattering white paint and adding some larger stars. I could try this way, but I don’t have any black clothes to try it on, but I do have lots of white. So, maybe I can do it backwards – dye black leaving some area to add colored dye later, the doing the paint bits……The beginning of that idea has been dyed the first time…..

Still more I want to do to it, but it is a start! Stay tuned…


Tuesday Tip – Dyeing

OK, I know it’s Monday, but the Ann Arbor show set up is bright and early tomorrow, so I wanted to get this posted. I will be posting events that happen at the show, so stay tuned. If you are going, my booth is on Main Street (near Starbucks) #157 – stop by and say ‘hi’!

Once you begin dyeing it in inevitable that someone will either ask you to teach or donate your time to a group. I have done both over the years. I like to arrive with the dyes pre-mixed (with no soda ash). It took me many times of having the dye jars leak in transit before I found the perfect container:

Water bottles.

Finally a good use for these throw aways! I mix up 500-750 ml of dye at a time and put them in 750 ml bottles. Knock on wood, haven’t had one leak, yet! I mix up my soda ash to 3X the strength (I like 1 cup of soda ash per gallon of water – I put 3 gallons per container, so use 9 cups of soda ash)  and carry it in strong gallon containers (I have heard stories of milk containers leaking – so I like old tea containers like Arizona Tea). I carry everything in old, clean kitty litter containers. When I arrive it doesn’t take long to put the dyes out, add one of the gallon containers of soda ash to the kitty bucket + 2 more gallons of water and start the fun!