8/30/2009

Sweet talking....

So, I did me some sweet talking to my sewing machine and with lots of TLC she agreed to continue working for me. I tried a new needle...after all the other fuss and she took right off, happy as can be! So I promised you some new pics and here they are. My pretty velvet tarot bags, almost completed!



8/28/2009

Bored

I came to the realization today that I am bored with EVERYTHING I am working on right now. Well...besides the silk velvet bags. They are not getting worked on right now because my machine is being hard to get along with...but that's another story.
I need some BRIGHT in my life. I love my color. i think thats why I went off on the wild tangent of dyeing a gazillion skeins of floss. I NEEDED the color. I actually put more floss into soak in soda ash. Like I dont already have over 100 skeins made...
So I'm stymied as to what to do. I love the projects I am working on but
1) they are all long term and pretty intensive
2) they aren't colorful at least not in the sense I mean
So I have found myself the last few days making excuses and filling my day with useless tasks. I am going nowhere but in circles. So forgive the lack of pictures and posts. I actually do have some done on my bags and will post some pics soon. (I'm thinking of taking my machine out back behind the shed and giving it a thorough thrashing) I am SO close to finishing them all if I can just sew a few decent seams for about two hours!
So today I stew...and hopefully something colorful will come of it ;)
8/25/2009

Cymberfloss


I am quite excited to announce the opening of my new shop Cymberfloss! I will be selling my hand dyed floss and also plan on introducing other hand dyed items. I am considering hand dyed silk velvet and also imagination packs but that is a future consideration. In the meantime...enjoy the beautiful selection of colors and if you want to take advantage of the opening sale please join my facebook page...the link is on the right hand side of the page about halfway down.

8/24/2009

Furrowing


I'm still crazy busy with the new shop but I thought I would give you a quick peek at the progress on Mushroom Love. It is not something that comes quickly! *grin*
8/22/2009

Two is better than one


Heath & Heather

Today I made a big decision. I have decided to open another etsy shop. My floss has overshadowed my art for too long now.Since I added floss to my shop I haven't sold a SINGLE art item.
I have been reading about it and it seems that people who have separated their items into two different shops have on the most part been very happy with the results. Since I have just finished dyeing a large lot of floss and want to list it on the shop, today I will be spending time coming up with a name, banner, etc and get another shop up and running so I can list all these gorgeous new colors. Now if I could just think of a new name...something that goes with cymberrain....

This floss also needs a name...
8/20/2009

I can see clearly now...


I have been a busy, busy girl the last few days. I didn't stop working yesterday until it was time to sleep. Today I hopped out of bed and set to work immediately. I am just now taking my first breather. I did a big dye bath yesterday. Lots of nice juicy colors. Today I did more. I dreamed colorways last night. This morning my fingers itched for the dyes. I didn't even have coffee before I started. I have everything from the first dye bath photographed and packaged, now I just have to wait for the ones from today to finish.


I have a few new favorites ^_^



I also started working on Mushroom Love. I am discovering that yes, I am crazy, crazier than I thought even. This one is going to be a wild ride!


For Jennifer Rose who asked about the size, here is a comparison shot of the base and the top piece together...


Also managed to do a bit of work on Stained Glass Leaf...these both are VERY slow cloths, but that's ok, I like it that way!


Hope your week is going well...
8/18/2009

Back in the saddle again!

Great News! Veronique from Au Fil du Jardin has loaned me a camera until we are able to buy a new one! What a wonderful and generous person to help someone she has never even met! I am so grateful Veronique!
So...I immediately snapped some photos of the Mushroom Love project so you can better understand the process I was talking about before.
drafting the pattern

first mushroom pattern piece


first section cut out


base fused and cut out


first piece enlarged and cut out

so now...time for some stitching!
8/17/2009

Food Poisoning

I gave myself food poisoning. I forget sometimes about how things are different here. Here when you buy mozzarella cheese it is fresh, it is nothing like back home. It comes in the balls, like fresh mozzarella back home in the deli, but it also comes in a brick. That is how I was deceived. I knew it was a lot softer than brick mozzarella back home but I assumed it was pretty much the same. It isn't. It is not fermented, something I know nothing about at all, except this: when you leave mozzarella in the fridge for over a week back home it's still fine unless you see mold, here...not so much. So I have been sick and spending lots of time in bed sleeping it off. It's also been terribly hot. Thankfully I only ate a little.
Last night I did manage to mix up a nice batch of colors all ready to do some dyeing. I have a dozen beautiful colors waiting for me now. This morning when I woke up it was nice and cool. The heat wave has dissipated. I hope to get some dyeing done today or tomorrow. I have been saying this for two weeks now. I have the floss tied and ready. I have a stack of cloth sorted out and ready. I have colorways planned. Now I have the dye mixed. I guess I can't put it off too much longer eh? *grin*
So here is hoping for a productive day, for me and for you!

Oh, I also plan on trying my hand at homemade bagels, I miss them so! Cross your fingers!
8/15/2009

A new technique


So yesterday I finally started working on Mushroom Love. This piece is really going to stretch me as I'm thinking of using a few techniques that I have never tried before.


The first new technique I am going to try is called furrowing. This is a page from the book 'The Art of Manipulating Fabric' A much read and loved gift from my hubby. If you love to play with fabric and have never seen this book out I urge you to check it out on Google Book. A good twitter friend Susan Hemann recommended it to me and I fell in love!
So knowing me, I of course have to make it as difficult and complicated as possible *grin* Wish I could show you photos but hopefully that can be remedied in the near future. I am planning on doing the mushroom on the right with furrowing. I first dyed a large piece of fabric to be used for the 'Small World' frame and for this mushroom.
Now to do a piece in this method since I am doing such an irregular piece I really had to ponder how I would go about this. I am going to do this mushroom in several parts, 1. to give it dimension and 2. because I think it would be impossible to do as a whole! First off I made a real size sketch of the mushroom alone. I cut a piece of fabric in that shape to use as the base. Afterwards I isolated one long section (from top to bottom) Cut two pieces of fabric in that shape and fused them together to give me a sturdy piece to sew onto. Then I had to blow up this piece. I did this by hand and a lot of computing in the head. The pattern piece I tripled in size. This piece is HUGE, over a yard long. I cut this from the dark blue dyed fabric. So now I have all the parts ready to start on this experiment. Cross your fingers, cause I'm not really sure how this will work with all the holes in the middle!
8/14/2009

Update

Hello Everyone! Hope you are all having a wonderful day. I woke up this morning feeling clearer of mind then I have for awhile. It seems that anemia can cause confusion and unclear thinking besides the terrible fatigue. I believe it. I feel like I lived in a fog for awhile there. Night before last I slept for over 12 hours, catching up I guess. So today I have ideas...and more ideas, my mind seems to be starting back up...full steam ahead!
I have been contacted by a fellow artist that lives here in France with an offer of an old camera to use until we can buy a new one. What a wonderful and generous offer! I am so happy that I can continue to post pics of my progress and let you all know whats going on. I am eagerly awaiting its arrival.

I have been working hard on my velvet bags and now have 7 in the works! So far I am constructing them in two sizes. One is the perfect size for a normal pack of tarot cards, The second is larger with room for lots of treasures. They are all made of my hand dyed silk velvet and the first two are lined in satin. I have a large silk sari sitting here waiting to go into the dye bath. I am going to split it into yard pieces and dye each a different color to use for lining the rest of the bags. Many people who store objects such as tarot cards like to use silk to wrap them in. It has long been believed that silk blocks bad energy and therefore provides a protective barrier. This is why I chose silk velvet to use to make these bags even though it is a more expensive cloth.

I am trying to convince myself that I have enough energy today to start my next dye batch. I'm not sure I am there yet though. If I can convince myself to go mix all my dyes, I could then start dyeing at any time in the next few days. The mixing is the drudgery of dyeing, the rest is all fun!

Just thought I would give you a quick update as to where I am. As soon as I have a camera I will be giving you some progress shots

May you all have a fun and creative weekend!
8/12/2009

Canon Powershot A85 RIP

I had a wonderful post planned for you all today. Really, I did! I have been the busiest of bees and stitching my little fingers off. I have been working on my velvet bags and they are all looking so nice. Unfortunately when I went to take pictures today...I got the black screen of death (which is somewhat similar to the blue screen of death :p)

So no new pictures today :(
No new postings on my shop :(

Seriously I don't know how much of a blog I can keep up without my cam. I post more pictures than words and I dont think descriptions are going to cut it.

Please keep your fingers crossed that DH can work a miracle when he gets home. We simply can't afford a new camera right now.
8/10/2009

Facebook FanPage

Just want to let you all know. I am rearranging things and trying to get my facebook page a little more organized and useful. I will be having special sales and giveaways hosted on my fanpage. If you are interested in this sort of thing then I urge you to scroll down the page here about halfway and you will see the link to my facebook fan page and the button you can click to become a fan. It's a nice way to quickly notify everyone of special events so I'm giving it a try.
Hope your monday is going well!
8/09/2009

Home Sweet Home


I'm back, hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I have mixed reviews myself.
We arrived Friday afternoon in good time to the Cissac-Medoc area which is where the festival is held each year. Just trying to get to the village where the festival is became a long waiting game though. The cars were backed up forever. It was crazy! After we finally got through we drove to the same field we have camped at for two years before and we found it all to ourselves, which was kinda nice.


It's a bit farther walk but we prefer the quiet over the insanity of the designated campground. The first night into the festival was a bit of a shock. The place was unusually crowded and they had completely removed the chairs and tables from the rest area and the cafe area. Not a chair in site on the entire grounds! This was almost a deal breaker for me. I have terrible problems with my joints and my back. My saving grace at these events is a place to go and sit in a proper chair for awhile to give my back a rest. I cannot sit on the ground or stand for long periods of time. By the time we left the first night I was in much pain but so was D, he has his own back problems to deal with. As we left I was shocked to see the amount of trash strewn about the grounds. Here I had talked up how clean it had been before and now it was as bad as any other festival I had been too. By the end of the festival we had both come to the conclusion that we wouldnt be back next year. The feel has changed and so have the people. Too many were brusque, pushy and dirty. Everyone cutting in line, throwing trash on the ground and so many people you couldnt move!

Too many people!

On the way out of town I was amazed to find tents way down the road far past anywhere I have seen tents before.

One guy even pitched his tent between two rows of vines


I can't believe no one else found our sweet little camping spot. I'm so glad that at least one good thing didn't get overran by people. We spent the entire day Saturday at our campspot, eating good food, listening to music, the guys playing football and I stitching in the tent.


A perfect day! So although the festival itself was pretty much a disappointment, the wonderful day spent at the camp spot enjoying the outdoors helped to make up for it. Next year we will be going to a different fest for sure!
This morning I woke up to rain and a leak next to my bed, the guys saying "Let's go!" Is it any wonder I look a bit grumpy?
8/06/2009

Reggea Sun Ska Festival

I leave tomorrow for the weekend to attend the Reggea Sun Ska Festival for the third year in a row. I am really looking forward to this. It's so much fun although a little much for me. I am hoping I have enough energy for this year. I started my iron supplements today. I don't know how long it will be before it starts taking affect. I love camping here though, you can just set your tent in any field nearby. The farmers dont care and no one bothers you. Everyone picks up after themselves, something you would never see at a festival in America! One neat thing that they do inside the fest to keep down on the plastic cup litter is to give you a free beer for every 20 or 30 cups that you bring back to the stand empty. So you dont even see litter one the festival grounds. There are always several enterprising young individuals running around picking up all the cups, and asking you if you want yours LOL!
Since I already have a house guest there has been lttle done here in the creating aspect so I thought I would share with you an interesting artist I found:

Greg “Craola” Simkins



Enjoy and I will see you back here next week. Have a wondrful weekend!
8/05/2009

Organizing my thoughts

Thanks for the responses to yesterdays question. I believe the more information I have the better I can help others. I have many questions, probably too many *hehe* I would like to encourage you all to join my facebook fan page if you are interested in specials and contests. I will be conducting some in the near future. I will also be doing a giveaway here in the near future.

This morning I spent organizing my thoughts and deciding which colors I want to attempt to make this week. I did that till my head started to spin and decided that was enough of that for the day! LOL


Last night I worked on Stained Glass Leaf. So far I am happy how it is coming along. I am playing with blending and color mixing. Trying to get depth and show the light playing across the surface. This is quite a large piece. I might have bitten off more than I can chew. *grin*
8/04/2009

What do you look for in a hand dyed floss?

I have been pondering this question today as I finished wrapping and tying my latest batch of floss to dye.


I myself prefer the soft mix of colors as in Harvest or Siren Song.


Something that gives an all over feel of the mixture. I wonder how many of you feel the same? This is something I haven't really found in floss before, and since I started making it I want every color variation my mind can think up. I love how it goes down.


Such as in this example. I dyed this thread and one other specifically for this project. This piece is using Rainy Day mixed with a dark chocolate brown to give it a darker tone. I love the play of colors in this section. Something that would be very difficult to achieve with solid color floss.

I know that many people love the popular variegated threads that go from one color to another, therefore creating a bit of a pattern. I like these also.


My favorite one so far that I have created is the Rainbow one. Such a fun floss to use! Here I can take one thread and satin stitch a rainbow. I love the convenience of not needing to switch out threads to achieve that look.

So what do you look for in a hand dyed floss? What's your top priority? What do you use your floss for? I'm very curious to learn other peoples outlooks on this. If it something I am going to devote time to, I would like to help fulfill peoples needs in doing so. I know my thread box has benefited from it! *grin*
8/03/2009

More progress

Last night I don't think even a minute passed between me closing my eyes and me being asleep! YAY! Best night yet. I am so happy that I am sleeping again. I wake up and I dont feel drugged. My mind is clear and I want to do things. You don't know how afraid I was that that feeling was gone for good.


So this morning I spent winding floss and tying it off, getting it ready to dye. I plan on another big dyeing session later this week. I will be reorganizing the Etsy shop. The big art things that are on there will soon be gone. I will be opening another shop in either Artspark or 1000 markets. Somewhere that is more condusive with that type of work. I will fill my etsy shop with floss, and little things I make. The velvet bags and such. So I have a lot of dyeing to do. More experimenting fun!


Last night I worked a little more on the border of Small World. It is coming along nicely I think.


And finally, I started Stained Glass Leaf. I am so glad to get this project underway. It's been a long time coming!

So, how is your week starting off?
8/02/2009

Full Steam Ahead!


So this morning I hit the ground running, I finally feel like I have my energy back! I set right to work on 'Small World' and was determined to finish the rest of the stitching this morning. I am happy to say I did! I have a few sore fingers for it, but thats ok...finally at long last it's done!


After I finished the stitching, I started working on the frame. I think it's going to be exactly what I wanted. I'm quite happy with it so far. I see this piece being completed before the end of the week. *crosses fingers*


I also took a photo of the new dye piece I made for the leaf study. Some of you might remember that the piecce I did have for it was creased so badly I couldn't iron it out. I am MUCH happier with this new piece. It has a lot more blue in it than the previous piece and I think it will look better with that. I plan on starting the stitching on this sometime this week!

I am so happy that I'm finally feeling better. I felt like I was wandering in the desert for awhile LOL!

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!
8/01/2009

Thinking...


So I haven't had a lot of energy to do anything the past few weeks, but that hasn't stopped me from thinking. I admit some days the thoughts were coming slow but I still managed to gather a pile of them. If I could see those thoughts into reality I would have a PILE of goodies to show you. Baby steps.
This is one thought that has taken some time to bring about. I had this back when I was getting ready to make the frame for 'Small World'. I thought my few tries looked flat and boring. Small World is about texture! Bumps and squiggles and ripples and piles of soft fluffy cloudness! A cloth so full of texture deserves something better than flatness ^_^ So one of the things I have managed to accomplish is dyeing the darker piece here, the lighter piece is the original one I used to frame it the first time.
All this is well and good but silly me...all ready to frame and then I realized ...THE PIECE ISN"T DONE! I still have several hours of work on sleeping moon and around about him. I remember now that I put him down because my fingers were aching so then completely forgot I needed to finish him. Last night I worked for a few hours on stitching. Enough to give myself a blister on my thumb. Time to dig out that thimble!
If I get enough done that you can see the difference, I will post a pic of my sleepy moon tomorrow ;) Wish my poor thumb luck! ^__^

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