browns of spring

all the browns I found after some tidying in the studio

I thought I needed more brown fabrics, but in fact, what I needed was to organize and dig through the fabrics I actually own. I found this array of browns and tans, some with gold – I was particularly hoping for brown with gold so it was gratifying to find these pieces.

Then I finished getting the colors down for the spring river piece, and starting stitching on the fields. The outrageous thunderstorm last night prompted an outburst of blossoms and baby leaves all over the trees, so I need to get moving on this to catch the part of spring I am thinking about.

beginning of the spring river piece

always something

I am working to shift the blog from TypePad to WordPress – not, I hasten to add, because there is anything wrong with TypePad! They have hosted Dancing Crow Designs since 2007, when I first started this online experiment. I’m grateful for the support that exists for small blogs like mine.

But the only constant is change, and it feels like time for something new. Thus WordPress, blog exports, homepages and endless fussing until I like what I havesalt marsh and beach better than what I had.

So I post a photo of a work that is still in process, to prove that process is never-ending…

And I’m descending back into the pixel mines. Wish me luck!

ink spill, snowpocalypse and green

Feb 12, 13 and 14, and an ink spill

on the good side, a new ink pad, and also knowledge about how easy it is to make another, and I do have another five blanks ready to go, AND it works really well, so it is a huge win all around

on the less good side, a lot of ink in places it should not be, and I have to make a new work surface because this is now shedding green on various snowscapes that are in progress, serious snowscapes, all white, and more white… no green until March, when the thaw starts


Today was much warmer; all the way to just below freezing!

Thursdays are peaceful for me; I have lunch with Al, I have a Theater Tech meeting, and then I go home and do a good deal of nothing.

I was interested in trying a method to show how shiny and icy the ground is. I stitched a piece of plastic bag over an opaque transfer, and used marker to accentuate the shape and color of the tree. I think I can experiment with stitching on the plastic as well.




cold and blowy

As every knows who watches any weather on TV, or probably listens to it on the radio, we are in a Polar Vortex (that you know the Weather channel is pronouncing POLAR!! VOOOORTEX!!!!!!) and it is pretty cold around here. I mean, New England gets real winter every year, with snow and nasty driving; not the way Chicago or Minnesota or Michigan's Upper Penninsula get winter, but we're a pretty hardy bunch. But still, this feels epic.

I was trying to show, with twisty thread and experiments on saturaing the color in the transfer image, how cold and blowy it was. Also if it looks like a migraine aura, there is that involved as well.

To get the darker image, I used a transparent transfer on silk organza, and then used the same image on an opaque transfer on the dark page. I lined them up, and stitched the top and bottom to keep them from shifting too much, and then free stitched the blowing wind.

I am delighted with the way the gray thread blends into the sky, giving it motion without too much extra color, but still stands out as it crosses the dark branches. That is something I can pursue further.

comparisons are illuminating

At least, I hope they are illuminating. Because I wanted to clarify for myself how differently the light-fabric and dark-fabric transfers worked, I printed the same image on each kind of transfer sheet. And then I realized I had failed to reverse the printing on the light-fabric sheet, so it would be backwards. (* headdesk *) This is the side by side comparison, on light and dark fabric, of the two different transfer sheets:

Okay – from here on I am calling them opaque and transparent transfer sheets. On the left page, the left side is opaque, the right side transparent. You can see how the white fabric shows through the snowy parts of the image (it is mirrored around the center line) so it looks snowy. On the right page, the left side is transparent, and you can see how the image is nearly invisible against the dark purple page, while the opaque side still shows lights and darks, although they are muted a bit because the opaque sheets kind of melt into the fabric when you iron them.

My experience with this experiment seems to be that all transfers work better on light colored or white fabric. I imagine printing things onto tea or coffee stained fabric would yield interesting aged looks.

In other news, I rode two horses today, the first was the red mare, and we went out in the woods with a friend and had a great time. This is a picture of us afterwards, taken by Elaine who obviously loves us both:

Photo 2

And then I rode Brooks' beloved, ancient gray horse Nuada. We went out in the field, because it is lovely now, but the rain is supposed to come tonight and make the lovely snow vile and wet and then freeze solid so that walking becomes deeply hazardous and un-fun. So: canter cincles in snow = deep happiness.

moving in the snow

This piece is a mirror image of the view across the street and past Mac's barn to the big trees in the conservation area. I printed it onto the light-colored-fabric transfer sheet, and since I wanted it to show up, I ironed it onto white fabric and stitched it into the book.

It is still wicked cold out, moderated some from last night.

We helped Red Kate move into her apartment (here! in our town!!! Yay!!) at the top of 14 stairs. We know that number well. Arein and I went earlier and helped her dad get the trailer emptied and off the road. Then Al came and helped schlepp the things still in her van. We made the bed. We found her pajamas and toothbrush. Al and Aerin fed her supper. She is at her own place now.

Which is why I missed Timna's opening over ath the Jones Library in Amherst. I was delighted the opening was not on Thursday while everyone was freaking out over the snow, but I forgot we'd be helping at the new time. I will still go see it, and write in the visitors book (how is that pluraled and possessived, anyhow?) but I'm sorry to miss the cookies and the crowd.