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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New School Shoes...




Remember when you were a kid and it was time to go out shopping for new school shoes? I stopped at The Dollar Tree today while I was out doing some errands. I have been on the hunt for inexpensive bins that I can use to store/organize supplies in the art room. The dollar store is always the first stop since, yes, every thing is $1.00 !  Perfect for a teachers budget... I found  some great bins for storing table hand sharpeners ( they are big enough that the kids can sharpen right into them and i can dump the shavings later) and some plastic totes that are the perfect size for placing colored paper and scraps at the tables for projects.
Right next store is a DSW shoe store... yeah, so I went in to browse...my daughter is at the shore with a friend so I was by myself, there were a lot of moms with kids trying on sneakers... made me think about back to school shoe shopping when I was a little kid... you went to the shoe store where the salesperson measured your feet for you! I loved looking at all the shoes! There was always a feeling of excitement about new shoes! 
Well, I saw these, tried them on, they are comfortable ( I have several other pairs of this brand, J-41 and they are comfortable to wear all day at school). I love, love the red and the MaryJane look! ( and I paid $40.00 less than the retail price)



These lovelies were waiting for me in the mailbox when I got home! I ordered them on-line the other day( never ordered yarn on-line but they were so pretty...) They are very soft and pretty... the yarn is much thinner than I expected but honestly I was going on what I read since I couldn't actually touch, feel or see them in person. Never the less, they will become something beautiful one day soon to come!  

I did a little prep work for school this morning... it's coming fast... need to get up to school and get my class lists so I can make up my seating charts ( oh joy... ) Enjoy the rest of your week, the weather has been glorious here! 
:)



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lazy Saturday...



... at least I think it's Saturday...  not being in school and having a set schedule I lose track of what day it is! That will all end soon as the new school year is approaching! One of my art rooms is pretty much ready and I have one more to go work on.  School starts for me Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. Our students come back on that Thursday...
I started a new new shawl... a cute little crocodile stitch in the squishiest, softest yarn. It's called, Woolike, by Loops and Threads, distributed by Michael's Arts and Crafts stores. It's a #1 super fine and I'm using an F hook (3.75 mm). The color in my photo is a little off, it's got more of a muted teal into the blue. It's a great color I couldn't resist it the other day. The crocodile scales are coming out tiny, I really like how it's working up, it's going to have a nice drape when it's done.

picture is the property of Creative Designs by Sheila Zachariae

The above picture is from Creative designs by Sheila Zachariae.  If you don't know her blog and you love to knit and crochet, head on over! She has some great patterns and I have bought several from her. Her patterns are clear and easy to read and she provides pictures of different steps.  I saw her new blog post last night and this pretty crocodile stitch scarf was front and center! I pulled out my new yarn and started right away!


I gathered some rose leaves and rose hips this afternoon from my garden so I can do some more eco-printing this afternoon! 


Two scarves drying after an iron mordant. One is a silk and wool blend and the other is all silk. More scarves from Dharma Trading. The quality and price of their product is great! They ship really fast also!

Off to do more laundry and feed teenagers before they die of starvation ( that's their words not mine... they're far from starving... )
                                                  Have a good weekend all!  :)
                                                           

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rose Leaves and Doodling...



Rose leaves... eco-printed on silk, some were from wild roses growing in the woods by my house and some from shrub roses I planted years ago along my driveway...  since one had a strong, glossy leaf and the other a soft, almost fuzzy leaf i was curious to see if they printed different but they didn't, both printed the same.  


I over printed two scarves from my last eco-printing that didn't print well. They had some color but no prints.  The scarves had been in an iron mordant previously so I didn't re-mordant.


After boiling the two scarves for about an hour in a double boiler I added a little bit of water from the iron mordant bath...  the outside color of the bundles went instantly from green to gray!  Chemical reactions... I failed Chemistry in high school so I can't tell you why it happened just that it did... so cool! I let them boil gently for another hour...


I covered the leaves with plastic wrap this time so that there was no double printing through the layers ( I checked my box of plastic wrap it said microwave safe so I figured I could boil it as well... I kept checking it as it boiled and it was perfectly fine...) I also made a core to wrap the scarves tightly so that the leaves got the best surface contact with the scarves. I rolled up some heavy cardboard and covered it really, really well with plastic wrap. I did poke a small hole in each end of the roll because as it was boiling it started to puff up from steam! 


I only let them cool for a few minutes when they were done because I couldn't wait to open them up! 


Since the two scarves are short I am going to sew the two of them together to make one larger scarf!  So happy with the results!!!  I ordered some more scarves from Dharma Trading.  I am very happy with the quality and they shipped my order very quickly. This time I ordered some bigger scarves ( I got small, inexpensive ones first to practice) and one that is a silk/wool blend. Wool is also supposed to be very good for eco-printing.  Now I am going on the hunt for fresh eucalyptus at the florist...  


I spent some time roaming around my local Michael's yesterday afternoon. I had dropped my daughter and a friend at the mall to shop so I took this opportunity to walk around and browse without a teenager whining, "I'm bored"  "Are you done yet?"  behind me!  I found this desk organizer on the cheap and decided that I was going to re-design it with the same "cover it with white contact paper" technique I used on my notebooks from my last post. ( inspiration from Alisa Burke )




I bought two since I have two desks ( two schools) I picked two that had lighter colored backgrounds because the patterns show through the contact paper slightly, the lighter the background the better. 


Once you start doodling though it doesn't show anymore...



...the opposite side...  



I also picked up these mammoth clothes pins, six of them, three for each school. I also got some heavy duty magnets. I'm going to doodle the clothes pins and attach the magnets. I'm going to use them by my desk to hold memo's, duty schedules, etc...  so fun! 



Two notebooks done...  I was able to doodle one of the desk organizers while watching "Shark Week" last night.  I will probably work on the other tonight...  

:)  :)  :)  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Eco-Printing Beauty!!!



Success!!!
I finally have some successful eco-prints and I am over the moon with how they came out!  :)


1.  Rose leaves on silk with iron mordant. Boiled for 1 1/2 hrs - some iron in the water also...



                   2.  This one is...


                            ...yellow and red onion skins on silk with an iron mordant...



3.  Geranium leaves, geranium flowers and marigold flowers - silk with iron mordant...


             The geranium leaves/flowers turned purple from the iron, the marigolds turned green...


           4.  This last one is rose leaves and Goldenrod flowers...


             Anything yellow turns green with the iron mordant/water bath... rose leaves were
   variations of purple, gray and green in the pieces....



:) :)  So happy  :) :) 

These two scarves had red maple leaves on them and did the leaves did not print, but they did leave a few markings from the stems and leaf veins. The leaves died a faint pink color on the silk...  


I'm re-printing these this afternoon with some three different types of rose leaves. Should be interesting...
*** UPDATE:  I eco-printed these two scarves again this afternoon with just rose leaves and I used plastic wrap to separate the layers so I got one solid print of each leaf cluster, not many of the same thing. Freaking awesome results!!! It is the exact result I have been working for! I will post the pictures in the next couple of days! They are hands down my absolute favorites!!! :) :) :)  ***


These are my tools, an old stainless steel pot with a strainer insert... I never cooked with it so it became the dying pot! Once you start dying in/with a utensil don't use it for food anymore.


disposable metal buffet trays are where I dye and mordant the fabrics... this is leftover iron mordant, I've re-used it a couple of times.  I'm going to wet the two scarves I am re-printing in it later.
If any of this process interests you, these are some sites I have used to research how to go about eco-printing:

They have all been invaluable in some way or another while I have been researching this process.


Sunday I picked up several cheap composition books at the market. I covered the front of them in white contact paper and spent the afternoon doodling all over them with a black Sharpie...
inspiration from, Alisa Burke, seriously, this woman is amazing! The contact paper idea came from something she did with her dishwasher, check out her July post called doodled dishwasher.  
I'll use these for school lesson notes, school/home project idea notes, etc...


I'm putting the edging on a shawl I started last week... it's from a graph I found on-line in Russian or something like that ( can't read it...)  after working on it for a little while I starting thinking there was something very familiar about the pattern... it came to me after I screwed up a couple of rows and had to rip them out, it felt like deja-vu...  then it hit me! It's the same pattern as the South Bay Shawlette! The only difference is the main stitch is a Treble crochet instead of a double crochet! I knew that screw up seemed familiar! Funny how I didn't realize it until I messed up the pattern! I make the same silly mistake every time I make a South Bay! I go on auto-pilot and mess up the repeats all the time with that one! I never realize it until the next row when things are out of wack!  

Well, that's all I've got for today! I'm going to go gather my rose leaves in the garden so I can re-print those two scarves! 
Have a good week all!  :)