Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ditto for Me...(and please don't sue me)

Do you ever read the policy/etc posted on websites/etc when you join? You know...that multi-paragraph stuff that you have to "accept" to continue? neither.
However, today Yahoo Groups changed the appearance of my Shawkl_Blog_Files group and I got curious if any major policy had I skimmed over the information. 
Here is one section that I found interesting...and also a little tiny bit humorious to see (not funny about folks having any illness that causes this...just odd to see this in writing...)
Now, my guess is that someone has filed a suite in the past against Yahoo because too many hours spent in front of their computer screen caused a seizure of some sort. forewarned...pace yourself! And, don't even think of filing a I have no assets...unless you want beads and ribbon.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dye and Painted Lace -- Playtime!

All of the lace that I dyed last week turned out great! Whew, a long sigh of relief!
The next step was to paint some details. But what to use for the paint? Well, I dug out all of my supplies...and in a visit to Hobby Lobby on Saturday with Aidan and my pal Pam...even more things were purchased to play with. This post is about the results...
The starting point was white the little heart to the left of the above photo. All of the lace was dipped into a bath of 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Permanganate and about 1 1/2 gallon of hot water. The amount of time in the dye bath determines the shade of golden tan that the lace becomes. The hearts on the right of the above photo are in three different shades...but all came out of the same dye bath.
I ordered my potassium permanganate from the Science Company on line, it cost about $18 for 500 g of lab grade strength. A word or caution...the potassium permangante is a strong oxidizer agent. Read and follow the instructions on the packaging. And, if you leave lace too long...or use too can 'disintegrate' your lace. Read this post if you think I'm and learn.
The first over-painting was done with fabric markers. I had never used these before, and probably will not use again. It was too hard to get the "ink" to go into the crevices of the lace. But, the results were adequate...and in a hurry might be suitable for some projects.
The next over-painting was done with Glimmer Mist. These sprays come in different shades...and you "spritz" whatever you desire. They are designed for paper...but did cover the lace nicely. No real change in color, mostly just a slight shading and some shine.

Next, some little bottles of ink called "Smooch". I had never seen these before, but there were several shades...and who can pass up that! I found them on clearance at Hobby Lobby and when they were opened I figured out why...they were almost dryed up. I added a bit of fingernail polish remover to liven them up...and they did just fine. The 'brush' is really just a plastic wand..and I would have liked using a real paintbrush much more but could not get one into the little bottle. These were fun to use.

Next came the real workhorse of over-dying...various fabric dyes. The first one was Oxepol. Really, this was not a good candidate because the lace was rayon...and Oxepol is designed by Victorian Elegance to work with nylon and synthetics. But, I tried it out anyway.

Victorian Elegance also sales a dye especially made for rayon, Oxecraft. It works wonderfully and comes in many shades that can be mixed and matched. The website on the bottle is if you are interested. I've had my dyes for almost two years and need to replenish some colors. I like the results and ease of use. I forgot to take a photo of the bottles...but here are the lace results.

 Next, a dye that is distributed by Ribbonsmyth called Rainbow Dye. It is premixed and you can combine them to have different colors if you like. Their website is at and the dyes are really easy to use with a small paint brush.
Lastly was over-dying (or over painting) with paints. The first was with Lumiere which is a metallic acrylic paint made by Jacquard. It is made for use on fabrics and my colors were Pearl Turquoise and True Gold. The turquoise was a big harsh for this treatment, but it was all I had. I liked the ease of application, and could see using their gold and silver on some holiday pieces for sure.
Next was painting with standard acrylic paints. For painting on fabric, acrylic paints need the addition of textile medium. I also add some water to thin the paint/medium down to the consistency of ink. It saturates the lace better that way. The application is stiffer than with inks or dyes, but still has a beautiful result. These paints are from Hobby Lobby and are their Ceramcoat line.
I love the light pastel colors...and found these little plastic containers to mix in.

And, the last experiment was with Dye-na-flow liquid color by Jacquard. These are designed for synthetic or natural fibers and paint on just like dyes. They hold their true color but can be mixed. I have Emerald Green and Magenta...which are both really bright colors. I loved the way they held their color and didn't run all over the lace. I'm going to be getting some white for blending and see how these look lighter. month...but definitely want to play with these some more.
So, in general I was pretty happy with my playtime...and like the results. While some are bright and bold (not my usual style) each will find it's place on a project one day I'm sure.
This post is not intended to be a tutorial or even a comprehensive review of all the ways to over dye or over paint lace. I mean, it doesn't even include my favorite dyeing method (acid dye) for which there is a tutorial on the blog...or using food dyes...or common natural elements. It is simply a recording of my fun weekend of just playing around with what was easily on hand for over-dying...and what I found new at my shopping trip. I do encourage you to experiment with dying and over dying of your might really find the "child" in you!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cabs and Lace...

What a week so far...very busy! And, I'm not even having to get any children back to school this year...
Brady continues to be a joy every day...but his poor dad has worked late almost every day...which of course, means that I work late too. It has made me more tired than usual...guess I'm getting older! Hugs!
I've been working on these purple cabochons while the baby sleeps...but he has been taking power naps (short ones) and I do more putting down than picking up beads it seems. I managed to finishe the two large crystal ones...but the purples will take a couple of more days perhaps.
The camera is not capturing the purple very well...but, it is purple.

This afternoon I decided to dye some lace. 
After it dries (in a couple of days perhaps) I'll hand paint some accent pieces and get you some closeup shots.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Merry Merry Snowman - Block Nine


It's been a while since I have worked on my Merry Merry Snowman blocks...and this past week I found time to complete the set. Yeah! Here is block #9...the last block for the quilt top. Next is to cut and sew the borders and assemble the quilt. For me, that's the hardest part! When I can "visualize" the finished muse gets bored and doesn't want to finish. That a HUGE reason why I have so many un-Finished projects!

Pretty Fairy Silkies

Saturday, the postman brought me these beautiful little silkie mermaids...I'm going to have loads of fun creating with these as my inspiration! Thank you Annette for such a delightful surprise. If you have not seen Annette's work before, check out her website...she is a very talented artist!
Her gift inspired me to finishe up a little giftee for a friend. Four little pillows to adorn a shelf, fill a basket, or sprinkle over a bedspread. The words are from my Aussie pal Jenny's blog...Elefantz.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Center of CQ Piece Done...maybe

Okay, I know that when you look at are most likely gonna say "what does she mean, Maybe? couldn't fit anything else in this!". Yes, this is an encrusted it has a lot going on in it. But, well, my muse wants to add some snails and ants and who knows what else. I'm resisting...but in the end...I usually give maybe there will be other changes. If so, they will be minor. 
Also, the blocks are still in the frame because I have yet to decide what type of border to put on them. I'm leaning towards framing the piece...but my muse wants a dyed lace border. Either (or some other idea entirely) will take more, for now...the project will be put aside until I/We make up our minds.

If you've been following might remember that the very, very beginning of this project was not a project really at all. It was a 6" block round robin over at HGTV Message Board. The ladies did a very nice job of completing four blocks. One of the blocks I have kept aside as a label for a different project. Three of the blocks are included here, or at least parts of them. And a blank block that had not been worked was completed entirely (the upper right one above).
Now, you might be someone that "doesn't touch" other folks work...but, I'm not that way. While I certainly appreciate very much what someone else stitches for is not always a good "fit" for a project once I decide what to do with my returned round robin blocks. Especially, when I decide to combine several blocks into one single block...then, what looks great on a single block might not work well with the other "partner blocks"...and has to be removed or altered. That is what happened here.
So many additional elements are included in this project...that the three ladies that helped by stitching the upper left, lower left, and lower right blocks might not even recognize their original seams or motifs. 
I've included the Full Block, the Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Left, and Lower Right in this post in that order. 
And the remaining photos are some closeups for your enjoyment (hopefully). 
So, here's a question for you: "When you receive round robin blocks you ever alter them to suit your own taste or project needs? Or do you keep them 'as-is' even though you would rather have something different on them? Or do you leave them 'as-is' and stack them back somewhere...because you don't want to alter someone else's stitching?
As the owner of the block...I have no qualms about changing any block received. Obviously, as you can see from these photos. My personal feeling is that the person creating the stitching put their best effort to it, and I enjoyed seeing what their vision was and how they approached the block. Often, I'm even inspired by what others have done. But, if I'm going to put the blocks to use...and I own them...and I am the person to view them for years to come...then I want them to fit my style, vision, purpose, etc. So, I change whatever I want. That doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the blocks beginnings...just that I want it to evolve to something I'd enjoy even more.
How do you feel and treat round robin blocks you receive?
Sending hugs out to you today!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Moment of Silence Please...

My Janome 5700 "may" have stitched it's last stitch this week. She has been making a grinding kind of sound for the past few weeks. The repair guy said it sounded like a bearing was going out perhaps. But, last Saturday...she turned herself off without any warnings or strange sounds...and refused to turn back on. The repair guy said that sounds like a blown board...and that could cost several (as in 7-8) hundred dollars to fix. So, my nephew (Brady's dad) has her now to break-down and see if he can get her to start working again. Even though he is a trained high-voltage electrician...he is the family "electronics" fixit guy. He has worked on several of our televisions and computers that have seen better days...We shall see if he can resuscitate my little sewbaby or not.
For now...I've pulled out my old trusty Pfaff 1469 which I purchased at the Post Exchange in Germany way back in 1983-5 when we were stationed overseas. It has been banged around in several military moves...but still has a pretty stitch. The presser foot lever doesn't work perfectly to lower...but I can push it down all the way with my that will have to do for now.
I'm gonna miss my Janome 5700 was a workhorse...and the machine that I taught Aidan to sew on...with the help of several things to bring the foot-petal up to meet her short legs at the time. Hard to believe that she can use the petal flat on the floor now...time sure does fly!
 So, a moment of silence please...for my little sewing pal...and all the other great sewing machines that we have had over the years that have been good partners in creativity.
Her last task was to piece the four CQ blocks together that I'm still plugging along on. Finishing up the connecting seams and adding more beads, etc to the CQ 4-block wallhanging. Sewing on beads takes some time...But, I'm almost done..and hope to finish the block portion today. The borders will require some lace dying I'm thinking...but not sure yet about them. When the stitching is finished on the center blocks, I'll get some closeup photos for y'all. Also will allow me to test out a new camera gifted to me by my SIL...and hope to get clear close ups with it later on today or tomorrow morning when the last beads go on. So, more on that later...hope y'all are having a great day so far!

Edited to add:
If you are looking for a sewing machine, you might be interested in this post from DoYouSew. about a "starter" machine.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Embroidered Laundry Label

Yesterday, I made more laundry soap. I had give away ALL of the earlier batch I made...and now, my sisters, Mom, nieces can all get into the fun of creating their own (very inexpensive) laundry detergent.
The batch I made for stored in a re-cycle container of baby powder formula (these are starting to stack up...and are so neat that I hate to throw them away).
So, I decided to use them to organize things...and for detergent etc. But, how to keep them from getting confusing? I decided to use a general idea from my friend Jenny of Elefantz...and create a wrap for the container. Each purpose will have it's on "label".
I searched the internet for "laundry embroidery design" and got tons of photos of prior projects and ideas...and liked this little vintage duck. So, I added him to some basic words...and will create my wrap from this basic design.
When finished...sometime next week probably...I'll show you the final result.