Prepping for a Productive New Year

Posted December 31, 2012 by EJA
Categories: Art, Fiber Art, Mixed Media, New Year, Textiles, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I stabilized my cutting table today. It’s been quite wobbly for some years now and I tried to stabilize it about three years ago. Tried a power drill and hand held screwdrivers last time. The evidence was still hanging pitifully from the crossbars. Things got dire last week, when all of a sudden it became clear to me that I’d better do something or there could be a nasty accident. I considered living dangerously for a moment, tempting fate, but opted to remove my Ott lamp to a safer location.

I’m getting ready to do a lot of wool cutting and knew that the table had to be fixed before getting started so today I took another approach. Got out the cute little Dremel Tool. I love that thing. Am always trying to think of reasons to use it but don’t generally come up with much in the fiber art area. Although….I wonder what kind of distressing I could do with all of those sanding implements. Later.

ImageWhat a nice table this has been. Purchased shortly after I was married; put together by my husband; occupied for years by my long deceased cat, CoCo, although I do still find cat hairs in the vicinity; and a nice place to sit while beading or stand while painting fabric or cutting out individual or stacked items. Image

I ordered this great cutting surface at the same time as the table. Today I turned the cutting mat around, I think for the second time in approximately seventeen years. Now I will have a clean, flat area to work on again but will still be able to appreciate the far corner which has served me so well for so long.


The Dremel Tool worked great. It fit into the tight corners and I was able to get holes started for the screws which then went in nice and easy. Okay, I confess, I invited the husband down to give the final torque to the screws. His wrists hold up to these kinds of things better than mine.

ImageWhat a novel idea, to add hooks for cutting implements! Yup, I think fast on my feet. Who knows what other great ideas I’ll get in another seventeen years. Speaking of thinking fast, notice that elbow on the upper left side? I was short by one. (The table seems pretty solid without the last one, but I may, for symmetry sake, have to go out and get one more elbow.) I did drill the holes for the last elbow and while I was drilling, I got the smart idea to put my finger on the top surface of the table to check and see if the drill bit was coming all the way through. That’s right, I’ve got a band aid on that finger now. Glad it was a Dremel and not a full size power drill. (That’s obviously a big, DUH.)

So, I’m ready to cut, bead, paint, whatever, without having the table fall out from under me.   2013, look out. I’m ready!

Happy New Year to all! I look forward to seeing all of your beautiful creations.

Oh, and here are photos of the bookmarks I made using fabric samples from my aunt’s weaving, with painted, stamped and machine needle-felted, “repurposed” dryer sheets. (Otherwise known as the starving artist’s Lutradur.) It wasn’t my best experiment ever, but it’s always fun to play and I sent them off as gifts anyway. It’s at least a step up from a grocery receipt. (I was going on the assumption that some people still read actual printed-on-paper books.)ImageImageCheerio!


Purple Carrot Dye Follow-up

Posted December 19, 2012 by EJA
Categories: Fiber Art, Natural dyes, Sewing, Textiles

Tags: , , , ,

So, last time I was here, I promised photographs of the before carrot and after carrot. Not happening. However, I do have a photograph of the results of the purple carrot dye bath. Mind you, the material had been well mordanted, dried and then cooked in the purple dye for hours. Just for recall, here is the fabric in the dye bath. (for a more detailed refresher, refer to the last post)


Now, here is the material after being removed from the dye bath and left to dry. It has not been rinsed yet, I will wait a couple of weeks to do that. Just for fun, let’s assume that the dye will remain primarily in the fabric when it is rinsed. Image

What do you say? Just a tad disappointing, eh? Upper left wool lopi was previously died with yellow linden flowers. Lower left wool Lopi was still in it’s natural sheepy state prior to dyeing. Upper right silk fabric had a small bit of linden yellow prior to carrot dye and lower right silk went into the dye pot in a pristine shade of white.

So there you have it. A lovely lavender blue from the purple carrot.

While I’m here, I’d like to go on record for being a stickler for pressing while working. The way I see it, nothing can’t be put to right with a good pressing using the proper pressing tools.


Tea Time in Minnesota

Posted December 16, 2012 by EJA
Categories: Photography, Winter

Tea Time in Minnesota

View from my studio window during last Sunday’s snow storm.

Purple Carrot Dyeing

Posted December 16, 2012 by EJA
Categories: Art, Fiber Art, Textiles, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

ImageIsn’t this a gorgeous color?  I was slicing purple carrots one evening and noticed that my fingers were turning a dark blue. So I sliced one small carrot, put it in a jar of water and threw it into the refrigerator.  About a week later, I decided to dye some fabric with the carrot water before it started to get moldy. 

ImageThis is the water before I put it on the stove.

ImagePay attention here. This is the wet fabric after being removed from the dye pot. Upper left corner, a silk scarf that had originally been dyed with yellow (what was I thinking?) linden flowers; center, originally off-white lopi yarn; right, silk fabric that originally had just a tiny bit of yellow linden dye in it; bottom left, an already dry piece of silk that started out white.

Image This is the color that was left in the pot after the dye process. Beautiful magenta. Too bad, down the drain it went.

The next post will include the fabrics listed above, after they have completely dried, as well as pictures of the carrots, pre and post soaking.

Now its back to making bookmarks out of painted, rubber stamped and foiled recycled dryer sheets (poor woman’s lutradur) needle-felted onto samples of my aunts weaving. Not exactly my most successful experiment.


Renew / Refresh / Re-emerge

Posted December 12, 2012 by EJA
Categories: Art, Collage, Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textiles, Uncategorized

So, what’s it been, like two years since my last post? Maybe not quite that long ago but long enough. Seems I told everyone I was going to Etsy. Tried it for a while. Wasn’t quite ready. So I apologize for sending you off in that direction only to find that there is nothing on my Etsy page. Except……I’m sure once you got to Etsy, you found plenty of wonderful things to look at.

I have, in the past year or two, been doing all kinds of interesting things. Working with fiber artists and musicians. Drifting along in the ebb and flow of time. Enjoying the scenery along the way. Well, some scenery has been a little disturbing. Fact is, I became obsessed with the last election and have had a long time obsession with climate change issues.

In fact, I’ve been camped out on Facebook quite a bit for the past four or so months. Just called a moratorium on that. It’s time to get back to making art and living life to the fullest. Don’t be surprised, however, if you see some global warming related posts here from time to time.

I have gently and easily found my way into my new role as Creative Guide, strategically guiding creative individuals toward successful goal achievement. There will be more about this later.

I have most recently been working with Mary Mortenson of Shibori4U. She does beautiful shibori died wool which is then made into vests, jackets and an occasional coat. For my own creativity, I just dyed some wool and silk with a purple carrot. Something did not work out so well with that, as most of the gorgeous color went down the drain after hours on the stove. I will try again, as my guess is that it was because I did not mordant properly. This fall I was melting plastic and making plastic collages. Likely the sheets will be cut into stripsFalling Snow and incorporated into larger fiber collages.

And yes, I do have plans to get something up on Etsy. Any day now.

Happy holidays and Peace to all.

Elinor Has Gone to Etsy

Posted December 10, 2011 by EJA
Categories: Art Boutique, Artwear, Collage, Fiber Art, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Textiles, Uncategorized

I decided to check in and see if there has been any traffic to this blog. Wasn’t I surprised to find that  people are still checking in here. To which I felt a small pang of guilt at not having posted for many months. What can I say, I’ve been in transition, trying to determine the next step.

It does not look like there will be another bricks and mortar shop anytime soon but I am making my foray into on-line sales. I recently decided to give Etsy a try, in an effort to begin downsizing my tremendous stash of fiber art materials and other fun things. As I had expected, the process of photgraphing, editing and downloading everything is fairly time consuming. It is too early to tell whether it will bring the desired results – clearing out the workspace while recouping some of the cash I put into the collection – but I have already, in a 24 hour period, gotten several views and one “favorite”.

Ultimately, if this seems to work well, I will likely begin an on-line “cooperative”, which will offer for sale,the works of some of my favorite fiber artists. It will take a little time and doing to get there. In the meantime, please feel free to visit my Etsy site at:

New things will be added regularly.

Thank you for your interest.

Stay Tuned

Posted March 8, 2011 by EJA
Categories: Art, Collage, Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Uncategorized

Thank you to everyone who continues to check into this blog. Please do stay tuned, as I am hoping to pull something together in the months ahead. I have visions of a multi-use space that brings in both artists and art appreciators. There’s most likely a mixed-media/fiber focus. People come to create and to discuss their work with other artists and the community. Patrons come to buy finished artworks. The art is free-flowing and accessible. There is much activity, light and color.

Feel free to add your thoughts and dream fragments to mine. Perhaps we can dream something up together.