Tuesday, July 29, 2008


These are from my neighbor, Alex. she spent the weekend with her family and brought home these goodies. Hundreds of wonderfully rusty old keys. Obviously a sign that I should try rusting fabric...


Large pieces - overdyed

These are the 2 big pieces that I did in the bathtub with dyes that were no longer at their full strength. Overdyed them and now I'm happy with them.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I am beyond frustrated with trying to remove the rest of the wax from the batiks. I really love the fabrics, but this part is making me question my sanity. It's been in the eighties and muggy here and I've had a big pot of water and fabric boiling on my stove for days. does that sound like something a sane person would do. Of course not...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vodka and wax

Currants from the garden soaking in vodka. There weren't enough to make jelly or wine. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
These may be a little harder to skewer than the other fruits I've made into schnapps...
From the fabrics that got a second layer of wax stamping. With all the wax removed.

Not quite what I was trying for, but it's okay.

I'm hoping that washing will get rid of those kind of greasy-looking places around where the wax was.

Day at the beach

Hey! You lookin' at my butt?

Paulie's first time seeing waves -- he was fascinated.
Brendan's favorite activity...fall face first into the water.

Presque Isle lighthouse

Sawdoctor's guitar

Tjay built this case for Tommy. The guitar is signed by the Sawdoctors and it;s going to hang at P J MacIntyre's.

Red oak lined with green velvet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

After the wax is removed...

...you get to see what you actually have! I love surprises.

The right upper corner after I started taking off the wax. Not what I expected at all. By the time I got to this point, I had forgotten what the original dye job looked like...

Yes, it's this bright in person!

This is like looking through one of those ripply glass shower doors. If I squint, it makes me dizzy. I know, I know -- don't squint!

I love the colors on this. I have plans for hyper-embellishing this piece.

A detail of the 4th piece.

The rest of the pieces have been waxed again and redyed. Unveiling -- later today!

More flowers

Maybe I'll use these pictures as reference for some flower quilts to make in the winter. I LOVE my garden!
Stage 1
Stage 2

Stage 3

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fabric in my garden

Okay -- this drove the bees crazy!

What a fun and easy way to rinse out the dye. Got some funny looks from my neighbors though...

The gnome loved this one. See how happy he looks? Hey, what can I say? I'm German and I'm a sucker for gnomes

Do the mashed potato!
Vaguely patriotic looking

I'm going to stamp this one some more and dye it again. The colors are so bright and I left lots of space for more waxing.

I wish I had made a bigger piece of this. I would totally wear this. Maybe I will.

Hope I did this right...

Last night I mixed up some dyes and dyed the batiks for the second time. As I was prepping stuff, I checked my books and found that I should have put the fabrics in the soda ash solution, BEFORE applying the wax...oops! I hauled out a big flattish tub and carefully put all the waxed pieces inside to soak.
Then I got to wondering about how to batch these, since I wanted several different colors in each piece. Here's what i came up with:

I cut a stack of big trash bags down one side and opened up the top one. Pulled the first piece out of the soda ash and laid it on the opened plastic 'envelope.'

Squirted dye to my heart's content. :)

Laid the top of the bag back over the fabric, folded up all the edges and lifted the whole piece (more or less flat) and laid it another tub.I kept stacking them up that way, put a lid on it and set the stove to batch overnight. The pilot lights on the stove seem to keep it a nice temperature for batching.

Then today, I took the whole lot outside, pulled them out of the plastic, hung them on a line in the yard and hosed them off. Here's that piece in the other pictures.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trying my hand at batiks.

Made some stamps for doing batiks. Got to use TJay's scroll saw. Cool. Cut out the pieces and used Gorilla Glue to attach the pieces-parts to a backing. Clamped them and waited an hour.

Endless possibilities for making stamps with power tools...

Made some other stamps after drawing a design on wood and pounding nails. Also endless possibilities...

I'll dye these again this evening. The dark places are where the wax is stamped.

I found that each time I started with a different stamp, I had to hold it in the wax for a little bit, to warm up the tool too.

This will be cool...I hope.

Waves, fishies and bubbles. The fabric was textured too, which adds something extra to this one. I think it needs more waxing, before I dye it.
I'll stamp this one again, after the next dye bath.

And the potato masher made as awesome design!

Fabric hardener experiment

I tried the Paverpol last week. I decided that it was really kind of awful to work with. The stuff was horribly thick and the working time was very short. It was drying on the fabric as quick as I could get it on there.
Someone suggested exterior wood glue, so I'm trying that now. I like $8 a quart better than over $40 a litre (with shipping). It's yellow in the bottle, but has dried pretty close to clear.

I covered a pint glass with cling wrap and covered it with strips of fabric thoroughly saturated with Titebond II.
Removed the glass and cling wrap after 24 hours. Here it is after 4 days, pretty dry and hard. I'm moving outside to test for sun and rain. Then I'll stick it in the freezer...

I got some terra cotta colored Powertex from Crafter's Cafe and will try that next. Powertex also comes in bronze, clear, and charcoal colors.

More work on Ballycroy.

Awww! Isn't Biscuit pretty in the flowers?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Goodies in the garden

Red currants to pick tomorrow.

Millions of mulberries. Time to make a new batch of Chateau Towner Mulberry Port

And the first blackberries from the plant I started 4 years ago! Yay!

And a bazillion strawberries...