Sunday, July 19, 2009

Last of the Hydrangeas for 2009

As we prepare for the first wave of grandkids tomorrow, I went outside and walked the yard early this morning. The latest heatwave has been very hard on all the hydrangea bushes andd this bouquet contains all the flowers that have survived. Even my "Endless Summer" bush is looking very bad!

We've had a good showing of hydrangeas this year, but it's always sad to have to deadhead the bushes. They make the yards and patios of Hydrangea House very cheerful every year for weeks and weeks. This year I didn't cut many bouquets as I love looking out from all the windows to see the wonderful varied colours.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm Back and look what I've been up to!

I know, I know - I've been among the missing for way too long. I won't go into details, but I've been very busy with family, my dh's health and filling orders for my Stash Stretcher packets.

I opened up a store at that is called "Etsy Bitsy Spider" but you have to look it up by my user name which is Lulianne. Long story about that name - but former neighbor's kiddos called me that when they were little.

This past Saturday our local CQ group, Delta Crazy Stitchers, meet at my home and we had a Play Day of sorts out on our patio. We used fabric paints to paint on silk and cotton fabrics and discovered the wonderfulness of adding kosher salt to the wet painted fabric. We used my French fabric paints on a lot of things like silk ribbon, lace pieces and trim.

On Sunday, since I hadn't really cleaned up the patio much, I spent the afternoon doing some dye work with my Ozcraft dyes. I love working with these dyes and found that I'm running low on some colors. I'm not sure where to find these anymore, so if anyone knows, please leave me a comment. I heard some time ago that that the Canadian source stopped carrying the Ozcraft dyes.

Okay, so now I'm going to load some pictures of my dyed goodies with some comments added.

Dye Play Day - our own Mini-Omaha!

These are some medium sized motifs that I dyed using Ozcraft Dyes which are made in Australia and so SUPER easy to use. All of them except the heart and peacock were given a last wash of a thinned gold to mute the colors and make them look more vintage. I'm not in love with that largest motif ... I just couldn't get the color the way I wanted it.
Next these are some small motifs done with the Ozcraft dyes as well. All but the swan and the blue butterfly were given an antique "wash". What surprises me is how different the dragonflies all look. They were super fun to do. I looked on but could find very few hand dyed motifs for sale. I'm wondering if there would be a market for something like this....any thoughts?
Below are some lace pieces I did with the Ozcraft dyes. The top one turned out SO great! The center one is a piece of hand-crocheted pillow case edging that is vintage. I actually did the color work with the fabric paints on Saturday and I didn't like it much. On Sunday I gave it an Ozcraft antique wash treatment and it's better now. The bottom one is a delicate purchased trim I have had for years and I think the Ozcraft dyes & antique treatment made it even more awesome than it was when it was naked!

The 13mm ribbon below on the top left was painted with the French fabric paints and then sprinkled with the kosher salt while wet. I set it in the sun to dry and it is crazy wonderful! The 7 mm in the center top was treated the same, but with only one color. The top right skinny ribbon was dyed pink with the Ozcraft (I think) and then edged with a blue fabric dye felt tip pen. The trim on the bottom left was done with 2 colors of the fabric paint and the center ribbon was also. The hank of size 25 pearl cotton on the bottom right was colored by dropping various colors of fabric paint until the skein was totally wet with color. On Sunday I did an Ozcraft antique wash on it and it turned from just okay to totally awesome!

Below are some fabrics that we painted with the French Fabric Paints and also gave the kosher salt treatment. The fabric on the left is some PFD Elegance silk/cotton blend that came out last year under Judith Baker Montano's name. An internet friend of mine bought a whole bolt for dying and then sold me some yardage for me to dye or paint. The other two pieces of fabric are from a wedding dress that our group cannibalized recently for the wonderful motifs on it. I discovered by the burn test that it was quite possibly silk and I am happy to say it took the fabric paint quite wonderfully.

Last but not least, one of our members brought some discharge paste on Saturday and a few of us tried our hand at the new-to-us technique. The pieces below are all black Kona cotton. One of them showed some intriguing orange coming through, but mostly we saw a cream color coming through. I also tried the paste on some black velveteen, however it was a dismal failure. I found this discharge dying quite intriguing. I would like to get a jar of the paste and try some silk and other dark colors of Kona.

All in all it was a wonderful fun day we had on Saturday here. I can see how I could get totally wrapped up in this dyeing stuff. Perhaps in August, after my 2 daughters and their families have visited and gone, I will drag out all my stuff and do some more. I have an incredible amount of things and fabric to dye that I have collected over the years. In fact, there are a couple drawers full and a whole big blue storage tub!
I hope you belong to a group or have taken a class somewhere and had as much fun as we did on Saturday. I am blessed to have so many wonderful CQ friends in my life.