Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mug Mats

These are fun projects, mug mats 8.5x11.  They are commissions. The second one wanted a custom message so I created the design and make a silk screen to print. I even made a screen to print the piercing pattern onto the batting. 





Bless and be blessed.
~Bobbie



Friday, May 3, 2019

May Day

May, a month when hope blossoms.


This is my first Spring in my new home, the 6th month. It's a new build so the fact that it had a lilac bush on it was a sign I hadn't expected when I walked this property before saying yes.  In fact, today's Spring reveal of it being a white lilac was greater evidence that it's a smile from my Mom. Growing up, we had both lavender and white in our yard. The white was a start from my Mom's mom. My sister and I have had starts of the lavender from my Mom's last home but never a white one from our childhood home only a few miles away. So when I went out today to white blossoms, I was pleasantly surprised. I needed that invisible hug.

Going back a week to Easter day, I discovered a Mom-plant then, too. The day began with helping in church nursery, then I spent the day alone at home. Years ago, I had 30 people or more, mostly family, filling my home with teasing and tasting. I served my homemade noodles, Beef House rolls and much more. By the time we sat down to eat, we'd be full of all the finger foods laid out to keep people in my kitchen, interacting while we finished cooking. My heart sings just thinking about it. Then, once everyone left, I think, "Shoot, I didn't get to sit down and really visit with anyone because I was on my feet working and serving the entire time, making sure every sized person had everything they needed." 'Those were the days' I hope to repeat again in my future. I digress, kinda.

Easter. Weather perfect. I spent the day working. Did I already say alone? Since one of my storage units of six years had been moved to my new garage, I finally had access to my wet/dry vac. I was excited to FINALLY vacuum my 'new' car after a year and a half. Are you getting an idea why I can appreciate the small things in life I used to take for granted? Anyway, I moved and unloaded a few more boxes. My back hasn't calmed all the way down since but it's getting better.

Oh yes, Easter's Mom-flower discovery. During the first of the year mow (why does it take nearly three hours), I noticed a leaf shape from my childhood; a peonie. They've never been especially pretty to me but I enjoyed watching and playing with the ants as they helped open the buds. Mom loved peonies so I mowed around them in hopes they are peonies. If so, I'll transplant them after they bloom.


Violets. Who doesn't love them? I have one, only one, pale plant with many purple ones. Along with them, I used to pick them and dandelions. On May Day, I'd make paper cones, glue on a paper handle, fill them with wild flowers, maybe a bulb blossom of Mom's, hang them on the door handle of a neighbor, I especially remember an elderly couple and his spinster sister three, the Pughs. I'd then knock and run and ride to watch them discover the May Day boutique tradition my Mom taught me.

Today, all of my back yard is littered with petals from the neighbor's yard of blooming trees. It's like a belated May Day gift.

What's next? Other than the few surprise flowers, my yard is a black canvas for flowers and decorative grasses. I am a creative person and have always been good with plants and veggie gardens. But flower garden DESIGN is way beyond my capability. I also lack the funds to landscape. As an artist, my blank yard is a sin. It pains me. I desire unique flowers, ferns, plants and ground cover, textures, shades, differing heights and scale, alternating blossoms three seasons a year. And I dare not think of hardscape, tho I gather inspiring pictures.

Like Paul, I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I'm in. Sometimes, for a minute or two, a dare dream beyond. I do because God loves to bless, He being a giver of good gifts and a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. Thank you, Jesus.

May. May it be a blossom of hope for you.

Bless and be blessed.
~Bobbie

Rant

Since I haven't posted in a while, I thought I'd add my latest emotional belch. It has nothing to do with art. It's life. Oh the things you see and learn from working retail.

Rant:
Working in retail, you see the good and bad in people. Money shows people's heart. All day, everyday, there are some customers telling me how to do my job, I'm guessing who have never worked retail and CERTAINLY don't know my company's policies and rules I'm to follow. So I smile and wish them a good day. You can't let them steal your joy.

Then there's the 80 plus year old guy who is obviously in pain, hardly hears with two hearing aids, and is always upbeat and sweet. He is the type of people that I chose to affect my entire day. The mean ones come in and I let fade from my emotional bank.

Yesterday, a customer used the f word to me when I told her I didn't think something was on sale. But I checked. Corporate recently changed the item that used to never go on sale, making it possible. "Oh, that's a new change. Good thing we checked. Thank you," I said as I corrected the price. She left as 'pleasantly' as she approached the register.

Tonight, at closing time and passed, I recognized a woman and her 2 year old from my church come in to return items without a receipt and no way to look up the transaction. The item(s) were dated 2017 and had been discontinued so we couldn't refund her money without the receipt. She called one of the employees a 'lieing b____', took a picture of a manager and the 'lieing b' department head, threatened to post it on fb and report them to corporate. They were following corporate's instructions. When I told my fellow employees I knew her, she was from my church, the first remark was that it proves not all who attend church are Christians. Very true but in this case I don't know. Certainly in that moment she wasn't walking as Christ teaches and left everyone with a distaste in their mouth of her character and education level.

People, Christian or not, it's wrong to treat others with disrespect, to bully them so you can financially benefit, even moreso for things you don't NEED. If you can treat strangers like that, it shows how much worse you treat your family members. Yes, life has stress, but it doesn't ease it by taking it out on others. Are you on a time crunch, lunch hour, have a doctor appointment? Then don't go shopping and get upset that YOU are making yourself late. And read ALL the words on the 'sale' sign and coupon. The cashier didn't write it or mandate where to hang the sign. They're following the rules printed in black and white for all to read, so they can keep their job to pay their bills. Don't shoot the messenger.

I could go off on the materialism god and being shallow, selfish brutes making yourself your own victims but surely you have overcome these temptations. So in the meantime, get a grip. Only two things last FOREVER and one of them is people. Invest wisely.

Bless and be blessed,
Bobbie

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Progress

Oh look. A dye painted warp to go with denim. I enjoyed dyeing again. I've two more two paint, whenever I get a time gap to do so.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Familiar Joy Stirred

I dye painted a warp Friday morning. Within those moments, life began to dance again.
More to come.

Bless and be blessed.
~Bobbie

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

It's never simple, is it?!


It's never simple, is it?!

I was planning to measure and dye paint several weaving warps for Linda @ Tabby Tree in Cicero, IN. The hurdles began immediately with my warping mill buried in my storage unit. I was able to borrow a warping board and measure out the first warp in Linda's shop, leaving the guide yarn (cotton) on the board to bring home. Being gone 6-7 days a week, I found a month or so later that not only had I not made time to measure out two more warps, let alone paint them, my cat ate most of the guide yarn off the warping board. She's weird that way. So I used acrylic yarn, made new guide lines and finished the other two warps.

A few days later, I set up all the supplies to begin dye painting. I soaked the warps and hung to remove excess moisture (but not totally dry). Meanwhile I began to mix up dyes and create colors only to discover I didn't have all the needed base colors. I was sure my large stash was in storage in my sisters basement 45 minutes away so I asked her to rummage through to confirm. A couple months later and the threat to tell on her to our Mom, who passed in '05, she finally looked and found them.

Now you would think all the glitches were behind me, so I hoped. NO. I realized, after a failure from earlier this summer, that for the first time in all my 28 years of dyeing, that dye power has a self life. I had a jar of yellow powder that was only a year old and it was totally dead.  So with my large stash of dyes from storage of 5.5 years, I certainly didn't want to dye paint these warps and the dye wash out.

I decided to test each dye needed (I'll test the other's later) by screening a grid on pfd cotton, mix up a small amount of dye needed for the warps, place a sample per square, record it's name&# on the fabric beside it, and wash the fabric to see what ones where still alive. NOTHING LIKE MAKING THINGS COMPLICATED.

So this is where I am in this 'simple' project. The grid has been drawn, made into a silk screen (btw, don't forget that part of my business is making custom thermofax screens for you), printed, set the fabric paint, and now the fabric is soaking in soda ash water. I will hang it to dry and be ready to start the next stage of laborious dye testing on it.

Will I ever get to dye paint these three warps? I certainly hope so. But not as soon as I or Linda would hope. The road to success sometimes takes more persistence and time than what we could foresee. Not giving up, is victory within itself.
 
So check in later, as Paul Harvey would say, for "the rest of the story."

 Bless and be blessed!
~Bobbie

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Wearable Art, One and Two Steps More

Until a few days ago, I had NO use for a Cricut or Sizzix machine. Now the ideas for shirts are flooding through my mind.  I would use it in conjunction with my dyeing and textile art.  My main use would be to (1)cut vinyl iron-on and (2)fabric, using mostly (3)my own designs. Upon researching, I find a new version, Cricut Maker, that has two blades to precisely cut fabrics and chipboards with efficient results and comes with a sewing pattern library with hundreds. But does it have the same design abilities as the Explore Air 2? Is anyone experienced with both these machine and can compare them with my three criteria of interest?  How do they compare with Sizzix?

As you may have read here, I do screen printing on fabric and make custom screens for the public.  I love that process with all it's variety.  What one limit it has, a cutting machine like Cricut/Sizzix can overcome and go even further.  So neither process is exclusive.

I think it'd be a fabulous way to help supplement my income. The machine is extremely out of  financial reach. I'll pray and let's see if the Lord opens the door. He's knows best and has His special ways of working. I trust Him.

If the Lord provides, visit here to find wonderful products I will custom make for you.  I will post the projects I create for my personal use to give you ideas.  I'm excited already!

Image result for cricut
Photo from Cool Tools, Kevin Kelly site, article by Chris Anderson    

Bless and be blessed!
Bobbie


Dye, Print & Sew On Classes/PARTIES

One fun event people are doing these days are Canvas Painting Parties.  They ARE fun!  So are my dye parties, from ages 8-88.  The items to dye are endless.  I will be happy to customize a dye session for you. 

Here are a few party ideas that'll make you want to gather and dye, again and again.

Birthday Party
Baby Shower
Couples Date Night
Family Fun
Women's Time Out
Quilter's Dye
Christmas Gifts (silk scarves)
Bible Fellowship Fun
Just for the Fun of IT

Item's to dye, all sizes, if different fabrics:
silk, velvet, gauze scarves
tops & tees
sweatshirts & sweatpants
scrubs
hoodies
booties & socks
onsies
aprons
dresses & skirts
hats
leggings
pants & shorts
purses & bags
infant clothing
layette sets
sarongs & beachwear
quality fabric
     cotton including for quilting
     silk
     rayon 
the list is endless.

My brochure also has a few classes that I offer.  If you want to sew, I teach beginners and specialized advanced classes.  If you see anything on my blog that I've made and you want to do it, contact me!  Go ahead.  Do it.  You'll be very pleased with yourself that you've played in the creative process.  It's rewarding and refreshing.  Creating makes me happy and is proven to be emotionally and physically healthy.  'They' say, Art is cheaper than therapy. So contact me.

 
Bless and be blessed,
Bobbie