Monday, October 15, 2018

Eco Dye on a Saturday Morning Walk in the Neighborhood

A break from the Europe trip.  Are you over it ?  Or would you like  to see more?

While we were on a dog walk yesterday, I began to pick up some oak and maple leaves, bark pieces, acorn tops, twigs, walnut hulls -- whatever I could fit into my poop bag.  It was clean, I bought an extra one!  LOL

When I got home, I dug out my aluminum stew pot I found at The Purple Cow and put on some water and vinegar to boil.

I went into the back yard and pulled some Purple Wandering Jew leaves and some Lorapetalum.  The Lorapetalum is a bush that new growth which is purple then the leaves turn dark grey green.

The stew turned a dark dark dark purple.  I was really hoping the fabrics would turn dark purple too  But you know it is all a guessing game as to what happens.

I used two different fabrics, both cottons. Before the flood I had several weights of dupioni silk, but who knows where they are now or if it even survived.  I know where the silks were and that was below the water line.

I rolled the bundles tightly using a cotton cord onto a few sticks from the yard that would fit into the pot, weighted it all down with a big rock (which turned purple) and boiled it for a long time.

When the bundles cooled and I unwrapped their beauteous selves.

Here is the array of all thee pieces.  But let me show you some special interest areas, well, that will be of special interest to you!

This is a gum leaf that was picked off the tree prior to being put in the bundle.  So it was green.  I also put one in the mix that had already fallen and was brown.  I am not sure which one this is.

I need to be more scientific next time.  It would help to know if there is a big difference either way, or if it really doesn't matter either way.

More scientific.

This was an experiment in stay, which failed.  '

Here is the gum leaf section as a whole piece.  It will need definition with using the sewn line, either hand or machine.  Carol does a lot of machine so

I might start there, since I need these by the 27th.

 Oh.  I am using this fabric to make journal covers for the 100 for 100 Show at the Art Council.  Hopefully they will sell there.

If you look closely at the patterns you can make out leaves.  I don't know exactly which one of the larger pieces were the lorapetalum, which was purple and had smaller leaves on a central stem.

But I can see several things that look like it could be them.

If you look deeply into the darker areas on each piece you can see some leaf designs.  The darker areas were the outside pieces.  So if you look at the ombre effect, the lighter areas are the close tight insides of the wrap bundle.


 The up and down lines are the string wrap lines.  Shibori, really when you think about it.  I did

Eco Dye Shibori! I might have a new thing!

You can definitely see the leaf branch here in the several  shots below.  I was trying to close in on the patterning so you would not miss the wonderful things.  Pleas go back to the top of the page and see if you can find the patterns now that you know what to look for.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Liz Maidment - Everybody's New Obsession

Liz Maidment of France does the most amazing embroidery.  It is not merely embroidery, she has taken it to a new level.

Nearly everyone in our group just fell in love with her work.  The miniature landscapes overwhelmed us with their twists and surprises.

In the two photos below, I give you an idea of scale by putting my hand over the frame.  
Disclaimer:  My hand is not really that fat looking, I do have long slender fingers that could be piano playing fingers if my parents would have given me piano lessons.

The trees and flowers below are on the same scale as the field above.  Most of her pieces were pretty much this same size.


 This scape below was larger, more the size of a dish towel.  the aspect of minimal stitching really appealed to me.

The ochre colored piece was sort of in between the others sizes.  Liz uses the backgrounds as a major part of her pieces.  The embroidery is what makes the backgrounds come alive.

She uses tiny bits of fabric pieces to make the flowers and animals come alive against the stitching and the backgrounds.

I commented that in the whole exhibit, there was probably not a complete yard of fabric!

Now I need you to continue to look at the photos and I will show you my idea at the end of the post.  You will find it......uh...…...interesting.


 you are at my attempt to recreate the background.

I sent off to Amazon Prime to get a Paint Atomizer.  It consists of two pipes set in an L angle.  the negative pressure of blowing though one pipe draws up paint through the other pipe and sprays the paint on the board.

There is a pretty steep learning curve with the equipment.

Yep, pretty steep.

I got everything set up to blow paint on the background fabric.  I tore newspaper for the masking material.  And dipped the pipette into the paint.

And blew.




I changed the angle on the paint atomizer, and blew.




Changed the angle again.


I nearly passed out from hyperventilation.  Really.  I had to sit there on the driveway with my head reeling while I recovered enough to continue living.


So I put my hand up in front of the pipette, and blew.

And blew a startling blast of green paint on the entirety of my bare palm.

So now I had the blowing part (partially) figured out, I had to get the control part figured out.

See that big blob of green?  That was my first blow, a bit of over doing it.  I worked out a system of blowing a few spirts and then recovering from hyperventilating, blowing a bit, hyperventilating a bit.

Right.  I realized at this point that I had purchased green, purple, black, white and yellow paint.

Not blue.

I guess I wasn't planning on any skies...…...right

That is OK, I need a lot more practice.  And better lung capacity.

But it already looks way cool as a new medium to use as a backgound.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Driving to St. Gallen Switzerland

 We left our hotel and headed to St Gallen Switzerland.

No we weren't in the Alps but in the very northern tip of the country.  we passed through a number of tunnels, some quite long, and over the Rhine River at several places.

We also passed by Lake Constance as we left the city of St. Gallen. I think my photos of the lake are after the Church and city photos.  So they will be at the end.

We crossed the border from Germany into Switzerland with little fanfare.  At most of the country borders there was not even a place you needed to stop, I guess they have done away with the idea of borders in this area.

We did stop here for about 15 minutes while Jurgen went in to file a set of paperwork for the bus.

The countryside was beautiful with rolling hills.  The crops went up the sides of the hills and made me want to paint them.  I am not a painter, but I can see why people would want to paint things!

There were some very interesting tunnels that I never figured out.  The direction we were heading was under a tunnel structure, but the opposite way was a normal road in the outside.


 The Appenzell region caught my attention because of my background with Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.  There are 4 Sennenhund breeds, my Swissy the Greater Swiss and of course the ever popular Bernese Mountain Dogs with the coloring like Swissys but a heavy long coat.  Then there are two smaller breeds, the Appenzeller and the Entelburcher.

Both are shorter hair like the Swissy and have all the coloring of the Sennenhund, but have a stronger drive like border collie type for herding aggressively.  And here we were passing through the Appenzell region.  I have always wondered why the Kilchers who are the Alaskan Last Frontier people, who are from Switzerland, have never had a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.  Maybe I need to talk to them.

The city we were heading for was St. Gallen.  It was built around the Abbey which was begun in 612 by St. Gall himself.

The streetlights were hung on wires that transcended the streets.  I have never seen that before!

As you can see, the day was so beautiful.  It was warm, so I was wearing mid calf pants and a short sleeve shirt and was comfortable.  Most people brought long sleeve shirts because we really thought it would be on the cool Autumn side of temperatures, but it was not.

During our walking tour of the city our guide pointed out the oriels on the outside of the buildings.  They were often added to the building separately by the building's owner.  And they added oriels with gusto.

The oriels were indicators of the owner's wealth and status.  So everyone wanted bigger and more elaborate structures.

Oriels are basically bay windows.

Here is a simple one.  But wait.  They get better and better!

This pic on the right looks down the street and you can see how many of the buildings have oriels added to them.

Here is a fairly elaborate and colorful one.  It had a copper dome on the top of it.  You can picture the women sitting in there sewing and looking down at the streets.

Below her is a two story oriel.  and it is pretty elaborate. Fruit was a symbol of wealth.

 They often added creatures to the oriels.  This one has some sort of crouching lions maybe?


 Here are two views, that is an open restaurant on the corner building.  And I loved the colors, that yellow is so beautiful and rich looking!
 This building was flying the flags of Switzerland, the Canton (green) and the city (the bear).

This is a very narrow alleyway between buildings.  They liked these small tiny spaces, I can imagine the winter wind blowing down here and making you wish you had thick woolen clothing with the furs around you.

Somewhere on this street was where George Clooney and Amal came for their wedding attire.  It was the laces and linen that brought them here.
Here is another oriel that is also two storied.  The Swiss were fascinated with the continents and often decorated their buildings with exotic statues.  This belonged to a merchant who traded to America and Africa.  Look at the pot bellied people, and the natives from America.

This was interesting to us, a pelican on a nest with babies.  She is rending her chest to drip blood into the chicks mouths.

Sound familiar?  That is the pelican on the Louisiana flag.  And you thought it was a French idea!

 Here is an interesting twist.  An oriel on the corner of the building on one of the main square!  It was said that the owner's wife could see all the goings on in the square below.

 And she used it for her gossip circles!

This was also a home of a world merchant.  There were 4 heads of men from the 4 known continents - Asia, America, Europe and Africa.  The European guy here was pretty handsome!

And he had this fox with him, can't beat a man who likes his foxy grapes!

Here is a two story oriel with balconies!  This owner must have been very rich!

This red square was some sort of an art installation that was
available for everyone to use and enjoy.
 The city was full of fountains that held clear cool water for everyone to drink. I saw many people dipping  into them with little cups they carried.  The fountains were built in throughout the city to remind the people about the water supply in the area.  Fresh clean water was something of an oddity in the middle ages.


  I still need to tell you about the Cathedral of St Gall.  But I am going to save that for the next post.  The story of the font in there is totally amazing.

Keep scrolling down, there are great photos of everyone walking about the city.

This is so Swiss!  I think of this architecture when I think of Switzerland.

 Here is Debby taking photos
 Here is our tired group waiting for Jurgen and the bus to find us again.  This is where I bought all my chocolates!
 And Ashley ready to get back on the bus after a long walk around the city!