The creative and spiritual journey of a (textile) recycler. . .

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now. I just couldn’t seem to get started. I thought. . what would I say, what would I do and really . . . . . who would care.

Last year I had the great fortune to witness a ‘happening’. As a spouse at a reunion (I know, groan) I was both an observer and participant. This reunion was attended by some of the most creative and talented people on the face of the planet. Really, no exaggeration! But many were holding onto life long insecurities. They didn’t think they were talented enough and embarrassed to perform in front of each other for fear of . . who knows . . . finger pointing, whispers, laughter, ridicule of some sort for sure. Once it was revealed that many shared the same feelings, the healing began. And I was the lucky one. I got to witness it all and benefit as well.

So, the message is that we all think we are not good enough compared to someone else, but we are. Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you. We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s talents.

This revelation and the kindness / support of strangers has propelled my creative journey to a place I had given up ever getting to. Tho I thought my creative juices were dried up forever, they have merely been reawakened. Many thanks to all involved in my process, including in-part . . Victoria B, Mrs. W., Charles Mc., Claudia H, Mary B, Cindy G, Sandy B, Traci B., Kat C, and my IAA family. So, thank you. I dedicate this blog to all of you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fine and Performing Arts High School

I have not been productive at all lately. .  at least creating my own work. I've been using my creative time to help a local fine and performing arts high school get a booth at an artist's market set up to exhibit and sell student work. So that also means corralling kids to get their art work to the market for sale. Tiz the season after all! For art fairs and artist markets that is. . . .

After 3 weeks of being in the booth on Saturdays and Sundays only, we finally had our first sale! The artist is a senior, graduating in just a few months. His work is phenomenal! His style is very graffiti-like. He uses recycled materials to paint on to create his fabulous one-of-a-kind works. So far he has 15 large pieces available for sale along with some smaller works.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snow Dyeing

I have waited patiently all winter for snow. Not because I ski or play other snow games. Not because I enjoy driving in hazardous weather with crazy drivers on the road. No, I like to dye fabric with snow!
All winter we've had reports that it was coming. I was excited with anticipation. But, it just never showed up. At least not in my immediate area. The state has gotten lots of snow, but not where I live. And, the more I eager I am for it to come, it just doesn't. Hmmm, conspiracy?

This happened once before. Several years ago I signed up to take part in an online snow dyeing swap. Right away I started getting fat quarters of wonderful dyed-with-snow fabric in the mail. I, on the other hand had to make major apologies because we had no snow! Finally at the very end of the season I was able to fulfill my commitment with the meager amounts of snow that fell, or more like blew over from somewhere else. Thankfully, everyone was happy to receive my colorful stragglers. 

So without any new pieces to show this year, I am reliving a past session with my easy-to-do-how-to (which I call the lazy way to snow dye):

I first put aluminum roasting pans on my washing machine and dryer with plastic sheeting underneath.

Next, I place some plastic zip lock bags in the pans, fill the bags with pre-soda ashed fabric, then plop the snow on top.

Next, I pour random mixtures of dye on top of the snow. No thought, no cares, just random pouring here n'there. Then zip lock the bag tops closed.
I generally let the fabric batch for at least 24 hours. This photo shows the fabric after the snow has melted and the extra melted liquid poured out. 

By now I'm usually chomping at the bit to see what the finish product looks like. So the fabric gets rinsed, then washed in the machine, dried, and ironed. 

Voila! Unique, one-of-a-kind snow dyed fabric, ready for your next project!

Some results:

I used my hand and snow dyed fabric in art quilts. How do you use yours? Feel free to post comments and pictures.