Showing posts with label #art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #art. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Indigo Dye

Included in my travels in Thailand was a trip to a cottage industry where they dyed fabric with natural indigo. They actually grew the indigo and processed it into the dye. The dye was mixed with water and possibly some setting agent -- I don't recall that any was mentioned.  

The next process was printing with hot wax using carved wooden block prints. The wax is melted and kept hot in vats over a wood fire. We chose a block print from the pile on the table, dipped it in the hot wax, and stamped the white fabric.

After the wax was stamped onto the white cloth it was dipped into a vat of indigo dye several times. It was then rinsed and hung to dry. Here is a photo of some recently printed fabric hanging out to dry.

Below is a photo of my fabric after drying but still with the dark stamped wax design adhered to the cloth. When I returned home, I placed the cloth in between a couple brown paper bags and ironed it with a hot iron until the wax melted into the paper. The second photo shows the printing after removing all the wax. 

 I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Maybe I will frame it and hang it as a reminder of my trip to Thailand. And, of course, I bought one of their printed tops. It will be perfect for wearing next summer.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Books Adventure Travel Books

Home hobbies is this week's Spoonflower challenge. Arts, crafts, sewing -- these have been hobbies but also necessities. With three daughters to clothe I spent many years sewing and I loved it. But they moved on and so did I. At one point I worked in the DIY industry -- so lots of arts and crafts. Now, in retirement, I'm able to pursue surface design.  Arts, crafts, sewing -- they are what I work at. Hobbies are what I do in my leisure time and for me, it's books and travel. 

My "home hobby" Spoonflower challenge depicts books and travel. When I was still in my teens, I read

Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Spoonflower Design Challenge this week is:

"Teamwork" can be interpreted any way you like – from beavers building a dam to honeybees buzzing around their hive to make honey . . ." 

or ants?

A previous challenge was Garden Party -- so I was already thinking about ants coming to the party.  And who hasn't seen them working as a team carrying cookie crumbs back to their nest? And from there my mind wandered to the tale of The Ant and the Grasshopper.

Friday, April 08, 2022


Egypt! I went for the pyramids and the camel. And as you can see, on the first day we went to view the pyramids and took a very short camel ride.  Not the greatest photo but -- hey, I'll take it!

The real surprise was the art in the temples and burial chambers -- the bright colors, the intricate detail.  Art was on the columns, the ceilings, sarcophagi, everywhere! I was surrounded by pictographs telling stories of ancient Egypt. 

This first photo is from a sarcophagus that is displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Just one of many such pieces. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Having Fun with Procreate

My daughters gave me an iPad Pro for Christmas. So I decided I was ready to download Procreate and explore the possibilities. It was a little intimidating at first but at least I had already learned to work with layers in Photoshop. I'm really excited about what I've been able to do with just a few of the tools available. I have been learning to do repeats for

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Mosaic Series

Mosaic I - Flowers and mosaics

Mexico is the inspiration for the Mosaic Series. I was awed by the beautiful bright mosaics and the gorgeous flowers and plants everywhere. Looking through photos from that trip, sparked the idea to play with an arrangement of plants and mosaics -- bringing the joy of the trip into my artwork. So far I have five different but similar mosaic and plant digital paintings. They make me smile. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Here is the first.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2021

And Then . . ,

 geared up and ready to start a brand new year! I planned to write more blog posts. I signed up for #MAE and #100dayproject, reviewed designs on #SpoonFlower thinking about revising and developing them into collections and explored ideas for new #Zazzle designs.  And, to make this even better, my daughters gave me a new iPadPro for Christmas. I downloaded ProCreate and I was ready to make this a creative year.

Friday, January 22, 2021

New Year New Post

 I remarked to the Molly Maid ladies just before the holidays that I really needed to make a resolution in the new year to clean my studio. I started having them come clean last February after a mishap with my knee but told them to leave my studio room as it was except for the floors. I kept thinking I would clean it. Somehow the COVID thing had the opposite effect on me. I just could not get motivated to do much of anything. Well, I can't really blame it all on COVID -- I've also had a bad knee for the whole year.

Anyway, Molly Maids were due in the middle of January to clean and I suddenly felt the need to follow through on my promise. I started dragging stuff out of the closet, then the shelves. Then I had to do something.  So a little bit one day and a little bit the next. Viola! I did it! Well, except for 4 file drawers full of paper and a trunk full of linens. I will get to them eventually.

Feels good to have a clean mostly uncluttered space with my art quilts hanging on the wall. Still have stuff I need to get rid of -- Facebook Market hasn't been much help this go-round.

No before pictures -- it was that bad.

Photo of StudioPhoto of StudioPhoto of studio

Friday, September 18, 2020

Winged Skeleton

The Winged Skeleton jumped out at me (pun intended). The American tourist that I am, I immediately thought of Halloween!

The skeleton is a Monument to Cardinal Cinzio Aldobrandini and is located in San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains), a church and minor basilica located in Rome.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

My 100 Day Project - Part II


For me, it seems that the more I create the more creative ideas I have. That is what happened as I created the Pillow Collection using the floral designs from my #100dayproject.

Stylized Pink Confederate Rose

After cleaning up the sketches and enhancing the colors in Photoshop, I decided they needed to be tweaked to reflect my style. And, what is my style? Having done needlework since the early age of about 5, I tend to see designs stitched. So, I accented the designs with a marker and inked stitches.

Friday, August 21, 2020

My 100 Day Project - Part I

How many of you participate in daily art projects? Do you consider them practice? Meditative? Brainstorming new ideas? In a way, these daily practices seem to stem from social media -- the need to share?   

#100dayproject flower sketches

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Wonderful Wacky Holidays

I discovered the Wiggle Your Toes holiday when I was doing research for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Backyard Adventures which was published in 2008. (Unfortunately, the book is no longer published. However, I do have a few copies available in my eBay shop.) While my Wacky Holiday chapter did not make it into the book, there is an appendix of A Year of Holidays to Celebrate. Of all the wild and wacky holidays I found, this has got to be my favorite. This might be the crazy year to seriously celebrate --

Wiggle Your Toes!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Lovely Gardenia

White gardenia photo
The Lovely Gardenia Collection in my Zazzle shop is based on this photo. Last spring I added new bushes to my side yard which included two gardenias. What a wonderful surprise to have blooms the first season.
For the collection, I used Photoshop to make the photo somewhat transparent and gave it a more painterly look. I printed the photo and added pen/ink markings to accent the edges of the petals.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Funky Pink Pastels

Zazzle suggests telling a story about each design collection. Most of my designs have stories that would be more than a couple sentences long. So I'm reposting here the story behind my Funky Pink Pastels Collection.

Looking for Inspiration

It's a new year! I've spent some time the last few days looking for inspiration -- trying to figure out just what it is that I want to do. Before I retired I had ideas for all kinds of wonderful projects. Well, it's been nearly three years and I haven't really completed one project -- except maybe some household things that needed attention.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Travel | Italy

Photos from Travel | Italy Collection

My Zazzle Travel | Italy Collection was one of my planned goals for this year. Little did I realize I would be reliving my wonderful Italian adventures
as Italy is under siege from Covid-19. Nor did I expect to be confined to home indefinitely as Covid-19 ravages the US.

Sorting through photos from six different trips has been a poignant journey. Such happy times that now sadden me. Will I ever be able to return? I worry about the interesting, friendly, happy people I met while I was there. I have no family connections, no history, but Italy spoke to me.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Cactus Moon Collection

products from the Cactus Moon Collection
Cactus Moon Collection

Cactus Moon Collection

Introducing my new Zazzle design -- Cactus Moon.  

Last fall I enjoyed a wonderful camping trip to the Southwest -- Arizona and New Mexico. The trip included Santa Fe and Alburquerque. Then on to Window Rock, and Hubbell's Trading Post (a must-see if you have any interest in Navajo weaving). We hiked Canyon de Chelly to see the White House ruins and enjoyed the Grand Canyon overlooks and Grand Canyon village.  It snowed on us on the way to Flagstaff where we stopped for pizza and mapped- out our route for the next couple days on the road. Sedona, what a fun place!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Evening Stroll

photo of evening stroll on the appian way
Dusk, a beautiful time for a stroll. And the perfect place for a stroll is along the Via Appia Antica, Rome Italy. As day flowed into dusk, the ancient walls and ruins, the umbrella pines, and the cobblestones conjured up images of days gone by.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Leaves of Autumn

a carpet of golden maple leaves

It's almost mid-December and here in Florida, the leaves are just beginning to fall. The golden Maple fall as soon as there's a cool rain and little wind. However, the leaves from the Live Oak tree fall as new ones take their place, a process that will continue into late February. 

Just back from Mexico,

Thursday, November 14, 2019


Photo of orange cosmos flowers

Several years ago, I wanted some color in my slow-growing and mostly green bed of lilies and iris. I decided on pretty, bright orange cosmos. The ones I remembered grew easily and were about twenty-four inches tall. I bought a couple seed packets and spread them generously around the bulbs in my flower garden. And they grew, and they grew some more and more! I had plants six feet tall. What a glorious sight when they all began to bloom. Thus, the basis for the branding of my design sites. They just seem to work well for banners, site headers favicons, and sales materials. I've also used these photos for my Zazzle Cosmos Charm | Bath and Beauty and Kitchen Collections. The orange makes me smile! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

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