background decisions

This background feels much better, stronger, proper:

oneBut not this orientation, because the rusted area squares off too much for an implied figure.

This works better:

twoThe gnarly stitching must be removed, and i think i’ll move the background over a wee bit more–though it’s not large enough for the canvas if i do that, that part will be hidden by the wing, so i *can* piece into it to extend it. The rusted area will be where the heart rests, so it needs to be a bit more visible. I am concerned about the upper right area though–what can i do to “fill” but not detract or distract from the rest of it? Do i move it up a bit too? But then i have to piece the bottom and i don’t want to do that.

This IS the right background, but SIGH, so many other things to take into consideration!


Or maybe the top photo *is*  the correct orientation> How can i soften the edged effect???


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Posted by on July 22, 2014 in Anatomical Textile Art, in progress


pile of red DONE

Well, the embrilting is done at least! Now i have to turn edges, then attach to the backing and awaaaaay we go.

red pile done

I’ve also changed the plan for the rest of the piece: that rusted figure just wasn’t speaking to me. She’ll move into the “possible future projects” pile and instead i’ll be using a piece of fabric i created in my 2012 residency:

openplanbaseIt doesn’t quite look like this anymore, as i previously tried it for other work, bleaching out portions and then adding colour back in the form of red textile paint, but will work for the red wing’s background. I’ll also have to remove some pretty gnarly stitching i had done on it! I’m trying out orientation as well, not sure which direction it should/will go. It’s slightly smaller than the original canvas so i’m changing that as well, which means the wing itself needs thought about where and how much should fall off the edge. Even with all these rethinks, i am quite energized again about the whole!

This too (heart only, not the background) will make an appearance on it, again planned for a separate work, but things are falling together for a reason! (Good thing as i was starting to fall apart on this one with the timeline for finishing…..)

right way

The background will tie all the red and natural colour in nicely.

A title, or the start of one at least, has finally made an appearance in my brain, but i’m not ready to reveal that as it still needs some fiddling. This is one time where i am thinking ahead enough to solidify the “statement” as well! “Concept”, or defining the concept, is not one of my favourite parts of creating, but in the end, they all DO have it, don’t they, or why would we make them, spend so much time and blood on them????


I had hoped to be doing another ecoprint workshop on Bowen Island this fall, but alas, the organizer has a lot on her plate, and we must adjourn it until sometime next year. This means though that i can teach online again, thinking of a stitch class, a different one than previous courses. I will post an update when i’ve finalized plans for that!



OHsier, shop update

Always so dependable for ecoprints!

Clarity 1 bCAbove silk,

below cotton:

clarity 2b

In the shop now.



I should have remembered that any time i have used hibiscus blooms in an ecoprint bundle, it imparted lovely shades of blue, a bit disappointing when the jar and first pull was so beautifully purple, but oh well. The purple tones disappeared, but oh my, i do love these blues!

hibiscus day after dry

I also picked my tansy a bit too early: the blooms have developed but are not showing a lot of yellow yet–nonetheless, i got some lovely soft shades:

first 2014 tansy

I know, i know, yellow IS SO EXCITING IN THE DYE WORLD! OH MY GAWDZ SHE GOT YELLOW! YELLOW, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! (Considering how many plants do give yellows, i doubt anyone else is as thrilled as i am………) Adding natural colour, other than rust though, builds my stash! And putting that blue with this yellow makes them a wonderful complement to each other.


I’m down to the last slogging part of the red pieces… to go, then all the edges must be finished so i can put it all together. At least it’s a really mindless task that can be done in front of some tubage.

90s stitch designs C

I find myself alternating on these between brainless space filling and then more planned intricacies, which fortunately means that no two pieces are alike. Starting to get my freak on too that it’s not going to be together enough to show in any form at the end of residency exhibition.


hibiscus dyed threads

Promising, promising!

hibiscus dyed threads wet july 20Clockwise: white silk, white cotton embroidery floss, previously dyed perle cotton, previously dyed embroidery floss—i *think* the previous dye was an exhaust solidago or tansy, but can’t remember….

I’m not going to rinse until they have sat for at least 2 days. They won’t be heated either, as i have previously done, usually resulting in a colour change! I know they will be lighter, as the colour is darker when wet as with any dye, but i also don’t know whether whether the colour will actually fade as they dry, or change colour—have had purples turn green, beige, grey and anything but purple in other tests with anthocyanin laden plant materials!

Hoofies crossed!


Posted by on July 20, 2014 in dye experiments


the dyeing season starts

Picked tansy this afternoon as Nessie chased butterflies and rabbits. There’s a dyepot steaming on the back patio now–i love the smell, but Greyman gets all wrinkly so out in the sun it goes!

I’ve collected hibiscus blooms all year and decided it was time to use them as well. It’s all fine and dandy to stockpile, but if they never get used, it’s kind of silly.

The release of the anthocyanins was almost immediate! (Here’s your science lesson today :) ) Left to right, after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes and then in the sun as a solar jar.

hibiscus release

anthocyanins chart

I dropped these threads in various cottons (2 predyed already in something last year–tansy? solidago?) in along with some white silk, and as i noted in the little jpg above, i don’t expect deep colours or lasting-ness–but then again, ya don’t know until you try. (Water colour does not always indicate actual dye potential, “stick” or have “uptake” on fibres, for those sticklers, self included, who are going to object to this. Bwaha.)

predye threads

I’ll leave the jar in the sun for a couple of days–i also know that longer than that and things go rather foosty!

PS this is the hibiscus (and the actual colour of the fresh bloom) i save from–i get at least three a week, which takes a while then to make it worth it!

mar hib 1b



flying soon

 i still haven’t found the name of the work that all this red will go one: usually a word or phrase pops into my head, but not this time!

july 18hoping to be done this wing by Monday evening………..

“Red, of course, is the colour of the interior of our bodies. In a way it’s inside out, red.”  Anish Kapoor


Posted by on July 19, 2014 in in progress


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