Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Painting on Location at Valley of the Swans

The Creston Valley has also been known as Valley of the Swans. Fortunately a friend alerted me that there were Trumpeter Swans feeding in the farmer's fields on the 'Creston Flats'. This was the first time I was able to see them so close. The first day I went to see them, it was sunny and the water sparkled and the geese appeared so very white.

Watercolour by Eileen Gidman 7 1/2" X 10"
The next day, I went back and set up for painting on location. It wasn't as bright but I wanted to capture what was still in my mind from the day before.

Friday, March 23, 2018

'Painting Miss Daisy'

'Miss Daisy'.  I've tried to capture the personality of this very loyal dog. A few of the characteristics I've tried to portray is her love of adventure; her intelligence; and her keen awareness of her owner's whereabouts.  
'Miss Daisy' watercolour 10" X 11" by Eileen Gidman
A photo of Miss Daisy and owner receiving their painting.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Creating Cards for Spring

Making Textile Cards

My Favorite for Spring
Looking for some new cards for spring? I have a new selection at Creston Card and Stationery, in Creston, BC. You can always contact me if you want something specific. 
Do you want to make some textile cards yourself? Below you will see the start of the process. Click here  or Click here for two other posts about the process of painting with dyes. 

Here the painted dye is wet. I am painting on soda ash soaked cotton which reacts with the dyes so their bond becomes permanent with the fabric.

Sometimes I put the thickened black dye in a bottle with a nib and draw the image first. You can see the bottle in the upper right corner of the photo below.

Oh the excitement of applying the thickened dye to fabric. I find it easiest to work on few card tops at once. That way if I am mixing the red dye I can apply it to several sections while I have some mixed up. You have to work fairly quickly as the setting of the dye relies on moisture so you don't want the fabric drying out. After the dye is applied I then put the fabric in between two pieces of plastic to cure 24-48 hours at 70 degrees F or above.

A length of fabric that has been rinsed, washed twice with Synthrapol which is a detergent that helps keep excess dye from moving to other areas and staining it. I like to iron the pieces dry. Mostly because I can't wait to see how they've turned out!

Another piece of cotton was painted with dyes in a way that may suggest landscapes. I like to use up the little bits of mixed dye colours that I have left over when painting the specific images such as in the photo above this one. Let your imagination run wild.

A window cut out of card stock can be used to choose the composition.

Heavy interfacing is ironed on the back of the fabric where I will be cutting the card top. I use 4" X 6".

Here is a sample of a length of cloth with the interfacing on, now ready for cutting out the card tops. Did you note that two of the corners are lacking an interfacing backing? They didn't make the grade and were culled out. On one the black dye bled into the yellow of the butterfly. This happened as I was too impatient to let the black cure overnight before adding the yellow dye. I managed to get away with it on the larger butterflies as I stayed away from the black line as much as possible. Reminder to self, plan to sketch out images with black dye and cure overnight!!!

This one turned out much better and with additional free motion stitching it should be a card that someone will like as it reminds them of spring. I was quite please with the sky in this one. It was a very light mix of blue, having a lot of the thickener (sodium alginate) in it. I sponged it on. It reminds me of those breezy days in May and June.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Upcycling Shirts

Upcycling Shirts

At the Art Barn  recently, a course was offered about upcycling shirts called 'Fashion Sewing with Stitch + Eco Designs' by Darcy Wanuk . I took it and I am so glad I did. What great fun it was with Darcy giving us mind expanding ideas for sewing. Her eye for design was exciting to see in action as she worked with each one of us individually. I would highly recommend Darcy's courses. Please check out Darcy's site Darcy Wanuk .

Hand Dyed Fabric in Clothing

Since that day, I have upcycled two additional shirts but added my own hand dyed fabric as accents.
For those of you who hand dye fabric, paint on fabric or collect interesting fabrics, I thought you might be interested to see what I did. 

Upcycle Shirt 1

Back of the shirt with some hand painted pansy fabric.

Front details.

Sleeve detail.

Upcycle Shirt 2

Auditioning fabrics
Note the fabric with the lamp post, which I originally thought was going to be my main added fabric, actually didn't make it into the shirt. I felt quite disappointed at this, but in the end it just didn't fit in. 
By the way the lamppost scene is in Gibson's, BC. I did some sketching when I taught a 'Painting with Dyes Workshop' at Carola's Quilt Shop a few years ago. The Sunshine Coast of BC is a very scenic place. 

Hand painted fabrics that were rejected for this project.
Decisions had to be made somewhere. I wish Darcy had been there to help me!
Cutting the square fabric in half!!!
For the front and for the back I needed long pieces so I cut the mostly square fabric in half and after auditioning several colours, pieced it back together with the mauve shirt fabric I had from cutting the lower sleeve off.  I have only one very small piece of this fabric left.
Making a long piece of fabric.

Shortening the sleeve and adding some hand dyed fabric as a facing.
Back Inset.

Front details including tab and button to pocket.

I know it's fun to sew hand painted fabrics in quilts and such but I hope you like this idea and give it a try.