Friday, January 8, 2010

Just Playing Around

Today was dyeing day. I am hand dyeing and making fabric packs for my upcoming Flower classes at Road To California, a big show, and Quilting in the Desert, a retreat in Phoenix. All are in the month of January, of course. This is my first time to teach at Road and it is quite an honor. This is my second time at The Desert which is also a great venue. The Snow Birds from all over the country and Canada come to get warm and have fun being creative in the Phoenix sun. I know it's a busy life, but I love it.

So I get out the big rubber gloves and the face mask, that has been known to scare the UPS driver. I prepare the fabric and watch color happen. What a life! But there is a new technique which is really very cool and I want to try. It's called Shibori.

I have no idea how it is done, but want to do it and I am not one to wait to take a class. So I spent a week trying to find out how to do pleated Shibori . But finding out information on this ancient technique has been quite tricky. I have gone to the web, then tried youtube. I talked to a creative textile artist friend of mine who was most helpful. I think this is an ancient secret that no one shares lightly. I hope I am worthy.

So I decide to just jump in and wing it, like I do most stuff in my life. Sandy (my textile artist friend) gave me some good ideas. So I decide to be a big girl and just do it! It's only fabric, we can get more.

Creativity is experimenting. Making something from nothing or, like I do most of the time, fixing your mistakes. It's not about knowing everything about a certain technique. It is about doing it!

Well, I just unwrapped my experimental pieces, just like a mad scientist or, in my case, the nutty professor. What a wonderful surprise. It worked. They are so beautiful and shiny with these little folds that shimmer. What was I afraid of?
The only problem is that nothing is quite big enough for a scarf. I love it anyway.

Then I tried my hand at dyeing silk ribbon to make knitted silk scarves. Don't tell my friend Peggy but she is getting this peach colorway. So much fun and turned out great.

Last night as we again watched Breakfast at Tiffany, one of my favorites (Joe almost made it to the end of the movie this time), I wrapped the silk ribbon back onto its spool. I call it therapy.
Here is the pink ribbon scarf I have started and hope to have done for Road. Now I just need something to wear with it. Or do I ????? What would "Holly Golightly" wear with it? Something black, of course and with some great shades. By the way, Joe informed me today that "That movie is so sad " and that Micky Rooney was so stereotypical and that he wouldn't be able to get away with that today. My man is deep, when he's not SNORING!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Miss Mindy!

OK, this is going to be so much fun, I think. I have been working on a surprise pattern and it's not a flower, can you believe that? You get 3 guesses. It can fit in a bread box, has big eyes and loves shoes that go with her outfits. No, its not me or Barbie. But you know, I have a thing for the big "B".

It all started when I was a little girl and my mother made my sister and I dolls for Christmas. She would stay up late every night sewing and we were not allowed in her sewing room, which, back then, was a folding table in my parent's bedroom. Can you relate? We knew something big was up and were so happy and surprised when we received this beautiful hand made (with love) doll. I still have mine, although she does look like she was overloved, which is what my family does best; over love you -- to death. Such a problem.

So I made a pattern from that original doll and tweaked her a little bit to make her modern. She is so cute and really fun to make. She also comes with quite an attitude. I have made 3 of them so far.
One doll was made for someone very special. She is a little girl I met about a year ago, when she was 5. Cute as a button, bounces when she walks and is very funny. She and her family have been going through some very hard times. I wanted her to have a doll that looked like her and she could love while she is going through what she is facing. I gave her the doll at Christmas. Her family looked a little suspicious of me but I knew she and I were friends and she knew it, too. She gave me a big hug and I pray for her and her family every day. So this doll has started out as something special, to make and to give away, which quilters have been notorious for doing. So have fun in the new year with my new doll. Her name can be anything you want her to be but I call her Miss Mindy because that is what my mom called me, especially when I was in trouble.
This is just a preview and soon I will have her on my web site as a block of the month, only it will be an outfit and quilt or craft project for each month. Sounds like fun and if your heart is breaking for someone special, you may want to give her away, which is always a "good thing".
Remember, "When you have been given much, much is expected."

Meet Miss Mindy - she may have a sister or 2 in the future.