Sunday, April 23, 2017

Red Velvet Rag Rug


The Glimakra Swedish Ski Shuttle works beautifully for this application.  I bought a 2nd one from Saori Sata Cruz on Etsy.  It's a very similar design to the Glimakra, but with beautifully finished woods (maple, walnut and cherry).  

My loom doesn't give me a wide enough shed to use a regular rag shuttle.  So the ski shuttles are just the thing!  I can wind on a good chunk of yarn or rag to keep me weaving for a while.




 Here's the front of the rug, on the floor.  I haven't done the wet finishing yet, nor have I sewn the hem stitching to the back side yet.  I was just so excited to see it come off the loom -- cloth that I made myself!

The "water staining" you see (for lack of a better word) is actually where we stepped on it to test it out.  It's where the velvet pile is laying down.  So it's not actually water stained at all.   Now when you look at it, you'll see a definite footprint shape--am I right?

I'm also amazed at how easy it was to keep the selvages for this project.  I had purchased a temple, but didn't feel I needed it on this rug. 


Even the back side is pretty.  
In this picture, the top is where I started weaving.  You can see as it progressed how I was not so rigid about how the weft strips were twisting.  It gives a pleasing effect on the bottom 3/4 or the rug.  Note to self : that this should be allowed and encouraged!


Detail shot of the back side of the Red Velvet Rug.
It makes a nice soothing texture in and of itself!

It was only last week that I started ripping the velvet from the old red theatre curtain.  This piece had been washed, so dust was no longer a problem.   I'm hoping the washing also took out any particulates from the fire-proofing, too.    I did this work outside, since there are many pills and strings produced in this deconstruction process.

It rips beautifully!  So I suspect rag rugs are an appropriate way to recycle this old velvet.

The piece I was ripping strips from was about 1/2 the length of a single panel from the velvet curtain.  So my strips are about78 inches long.   I ripped them into1/3 inch to 3/4 inch strips.

The next step was to sew them end-to-end, which will make it easier at the loom when I am weaving them into the fabric.  Once I had 5 or 6 strips sewn together, I wound them into balls (like yarn) to keep them from tangling.

This appears to be the most I can wind onto my ski shuttles to do the actual weaving.  I am using a plain common weave for this velvet rug.

I am using up the last of the warp currently on my loom.  We set it up for rug-making last fall, and so far, I've been experimenting with weave structures, and using up some really soft alpaca yarn to make a twill cloth.   I thought it was about time to actually use this warp as planned and weave a rug. 



The velvet strips are packing in beautifully!  And it goes fast!  In no time, I had about a foot of cloth ready to go.  I can see how this could be addicting!  I could make a single rug in one evening.  Not bad for productivity!



Here's a pic with a penny as a gauge to show how wide I was ripping the strips to get this effect.  

Circles : Week 17 Let's Do 52

Circles : Antique Buttons on a Wooden Stump
Old Buttons on Old Wood
Plus the growth rings from the tree adds yet another layer of circles.

Concrete Culverts from a Construction Site


I was also thinking about rain drops falling, and the circles the ripples make from the drops.  
Circles in Motion.  

Not a great image (It's tricky to shoot in the rain), but something to work on for the future.  
Or even video.



I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Liberate Your Art 2017 Post Card Swap and Blog Hop

Sirena Blue Drummer

For the past 5 years (or so), I've participated in Kat Sloma's Liberate Your Art Post Card Swap.  The project encourages Creatives to PRINT and reproduce our artwork (bringing it into the world) and to share it with other Creatives.  Every year, I am amazed at where my post cards wind up -- as if they are my own children with lives of their own.  They see things and go places I've never been, yet they are a part of me making their own way in the world ...

The card above is the one I sent out this year.  It's a photo from the Ren Faire, of a performer in Sirena, worked up in PhotoShop and Topaz Impression.  One of my favorite images from last year.  It was really neat to see it professionally printed.  I had a WOW moment there when the cards came back.  Unfortunately (or not), I had ordered the wrong size to participate in the LYA Exchange, so I'm saving these for side swaps.  I wound up printing the right size cards on my own home printer--not quite the same effect.

This year, I decided to send out 5 copies of the same card, as I thought that would make them easier to track out in the world.  Kat asks that we photograph each postcard in it's new environment, to give an idea of where it landed.  So far I've heard from the following people who let me know where my cards went :

1) Jacksonville, FL
2) Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (She got the 1 Dancer Card)
3) New Jersey
4)  Cape Charles, VA
5) ???

Here are the cards I received in the official swap :

A beautiful watercolor - summer view of the San Francisco Peaks from Flagstaff, AZ.
From Christine G. Brooks.

 From Beth Laverty.  She says she takes her camera everywhere.  This was the view on her windshield one day, before she put on the wipers.  Kind of like the veil is parting, and you can see into another dimension for a moment. 
Wow!



From Fran Podlesney in Little River, SC.
Gelli print on book paper with stamping.

 From Dorothy Louis in Corvallis, OR.
"The aim of life is living creatures.  
The aim of art is living creations." --Steve Albers



This is the card that Kat Sloma, The LYA Organizer sent out this year.


Every year, I've had the good fortune to do some additional post card exchanges in side swap.  Some of these people I met the first year of the exchange (like Snap Lane in Houston).  Others I met through the FaceBook Group, or the blog hop.  Some have stayed on the side swap list every year since.  Some are new this year ...   It's easy to set up a side swap, especially if you like that artist's work.


These are the cards I sent out for Side Swaps this year.

Here are the Side Swaps (so far) :

 Watercolor from Sheila del Gado.

 Lasso the moon from Kate Lehman.

Spring Fling from Snap Lane in Houston, TX.


Side Swap Postcard from PJ Lawrence in Tennessee,
as she created it in acrylics on an altered photography book.  


 Dream from Lisa Comperry in LaPorte, TX.

Here I am experimenting with shadowplay and photographing it where it landed.
Adds a whole new layer to Lisa's Dream image. 

 Little Dipper Bird from Sherry Harmes in Larsen Bay, Alaska.


Want to see more?  Kat created a video showcasing the artwork in this year's exchange :



There's also a FaceBook Event Group for Liberate Your Art.
Or use the social media tag  #lya2017

Check out my LYA blog posts from years past.
Thanks for stopping by my corner of the web!

Have a wonderfully creative year!


The Blog Hop is happening April 14-16, 2017.

See where your art landed ...  It's kind of like tossing your cards up in the air, and seeing where they landed around the world.  Join us ...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Winding Warp


I wanted to get a photo of the warp as it is shaping up -- also to keep some notes for myself.
It looks so pretty and orderly all lined up here.  Sigh!

I signed up for the Floor Loom Weaving Class at Craftsy.  $20 for many hours of instruction with Janet Dawson.   This has been wonderful, as I can go at my own pace, and look back at lessons as I need to --  I'm not doing the official class projects, but instead working up a Shetland Wool Color Gamp.  My loom is not wide enough to do it properly, so I'll be doing it in DoubleWeave Double Width (not part of the class btw).  That's why you see the colors matched up in the warp.  One color (ie black) will be the warp for the top cloth, and the other (ie blue) will be the warp for the bottom cloth -- if that makes sense.  They will sort out and separate on the loom.  Once I get this all strung up and properly warped on the loom, it will make more sense.


This is the pattern I followed.  The video recommends running a guide string so you can easily follow the path you chose among all the pegs.  My board is laid out a little different from what Janet uses in the videos, and I wound up with a 2nd cross at the corner.    I guess I could have made A the unnamed peg in the corner.  No harm done, though.  I was able to push off/pull out the 2nd cross when I pulled the warp off.

The photo show how the cross is tied and secured, so I don't loose it between now and when I actually start warping the loom--which might be a few more weeks.

 To keep the color pairs in order, my husband whipped up this little spool rack.  I have since numbered them, and marked which ones will be set for the top cloth and lower cloth, and which heddles I need to use when I get to the warping step. 

Here's the 2nd half of the warp.  I had to back up a bit and pull the purples, greens and burgundies that were on the first part into this set.  I thought it was a better idea to divide them evenly rather than keep a lopsided warp--which would make it harder to find the center when I got to the warping step at the loom.

Backing up a bit was a good idea anyway, because ...

Lessons Learned :
1) Don't use too much tension while warping.  This wool is strong, but it will break under enough tension.    I had the burgundy and avocado colors with the first batch, only because I was hoping to fit the whole darn warp on the board at once -- just to see the rainbow colors all lined up, and orderly.  But the board wasn't quite big enough to fit all the ends on it at once.  By the time I got to the burgundy and avocado, the tension towards the end was so tight that the anchor peg at the bottom was actually bending inward to relieve some of the tension.  So it was a good thing I had to re-do that color set.
2) A Double Cross doesn't cause any problems.  It's kind of fun to do, and you can push it off the end once you pull the secured warp off the board.
3)  I need to find a more solid place to hang the warping board while I'm working on it.  Right now, it stands on an old treadle sewing machine, but it's not secured, and it can move on me at all the wrong times.
4) I need to go back and secure all the pegs with some wood glue. You don't want any pegs falling out while you're warping!


Here is the amended path I took for the 2nd half of the warp, to avoid the 2nd cross in the corner between pegs A+B.  Much more open.



 Close-up of the chained color gamp warps.


Sunday, April 09, 2017

Morning : Week 15 Let's Do 52


I made this Sunrise Quilt for this young man, whose name means Sunrise.  
Mornin' Sunshine!


I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Walnut Buttons



I'm making another batch of Sweet Leaf stick buttons -- walnut this time.  A wind storm a few weeks ago knocked off some branches in the park next to our house.  Looks like this branch had been dead and dry for a while.  The wind just knocked them off the tree -- nature's pruning.

I thought they had potential, but the WOW factor really hit me today after sanding them, I put them in a jar of olive oil where they will soak for the next 4 days.  The oil brings out a natural beauty.  There is some nice patterning and variation with this batch.

In contrast, here they are before they hit the oil.

Still some work to do with them -- waxing and polishing, and drilling the button holes.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Sunrise Quilt for France



There's a new baby among our Family in France, and so I made a little quilt for him.  This was a fun one to make, and it went quick with 40 2-1/2 inch strips from an Island Batiks set purchased years ago.  The pattern makes it look woven.

Sunrise Quilt for France - Whole View

 I started this one at Quilt Camp back in November 2016. 
The pattern is Timeless Treasures Tonga Treats Interweave.  I think I got it from Craftsy.




















 Here's a shot of the front and the back together.




I took lots of pictures of this one, since it's going to be given away.  I won't be able to stare at it wonderingly and discover new things through the years.



The batting is my favorite Hobbs 80/20 Cotton / Poly batting.  It gives such an old-timey crinkle after it's washed.

Sunrise Quilt - backside - Matrix Pattern

The quilting pattern is Leah Day's Matrix.  This stitched layer gives a whole new dimension and movement to the pieced-block and color layer beneath.



These are the threads I used for quilting the top and the back, respectively.  Purples, greens and reds on the front.  A sunrise-y orange and yellow combination on the back.

More pictures ...






And here is the little man himself (again).  It will be a while before we get to meet him in person. I hope he (and his parents) are as fascinated with it as I am!