Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Little Eco-Printing

I've been a bit preoccupied with natural dyeing this summer and going into fall. I love using local plants and extracting the dye from them and getting them to print onto textiles. I've been printing on linen, cotton, silk and wool.

I've also been using repurposed silk and linen garments to print on.

And some new socks. Aren't these fun?

Sumac, goldenrod, biddens, Queen Anne's Lace, leaves from various trees have been used. Like I said, I'm trying to use local plants to see what I can create. In the midwest, we have many plants that give color. I'm sure this winter I will be going further afield and using madder and indigo.

Above is sumac and wild sunflowers. I love how sometimes the sumac has lavender color tones to it.
Below is a sweet gum leaf. One side is more black but the other side printed a bright yellow.

I must tell you that these are some of the best prints of over two months of work. Yes, months! It is not expensive dyeing except it is labor intensive. Gathering, gathering, gathering. But I am enjoying it.

One thing that has thrown me off recently is new cria babies. Most years, I will breed 6 of my girls and 2, maybe 3 will breedings will take. But last year, all 5 of the girls I bred took! Yikes-a-hooties Batman!! I have been on baby watch. Here are the first 2 girls.

My son is a film student and is taking a photography class. He is melding his love of the packies with a new passion for photography. Here is one of his photos:

I am so looking forward to seeing more of his work! This weekend is the Weavers' Guild of St Louis' Annual  Sale and alot of my work will be offered this year. Check out their web site if you are interested in attending. Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tequilla Sunrise

Tequilla Sunrise is the name of this tunic I made for the fashion show at Midwest. It is wet felted wool on silk in the nuno felt technique. I used up cycled silk for the trimming and vintage bakelite buttons. The china silk and silk gauze were dyed by me.

I am pleased with how this one turned out, too. The name came after the dyeing. Remember in the 80's, ok! dating some of us! when a tequilla sunrise was a fashionable drink? Doesn't the color remind you of one? It does me! lol

The back of the tunic. I used an
inverted pleat for some shaping.

A close up of the detail and the bakelite buttons.
The loose fitting wrap around tunic is fun to wear and very 'flow-ee'.

I'm thinking I might be keeping this one for myself. I need a new frock.

And lastly, the matching fascinator sitting on the front of the tunic. Yep, a hat to match.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair

So far it has been a crazy, busy summer. Things are normal
around here!
Its been hot (heat index over 100) for days now and much of our time is spent with the animals outside. Although it is hard of me physically, coping with the heat, it is a bonding time for us with the packies. They are so appreciative of a water shower!

I have had some bluebird issues. I have a few 'up-ity' sparrows that keep taking over the bluebird house and running the bluebirds off. I finally have a pair in the house by the barn but they are elusive and I have not been able to capture a picture. The house by the kitchen window remains empty. sigh.....

I have a drop off cat that has claimed me as hers. no, really! She follows me around, comes in the workshop and hangs out, in the house, out in the pasture, back in the house. She jumps at the front door. Jumps straight up about 3 feet high so she can look in the door's window to see me. Yeah, I have a cat now.

This is my latest nuno felted dress that I worked on this spring to enter in the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair's fashion show. It is made with over 8 yards of silk gauze and china silk that I dyed. The corsage is felted into the dress using up cycled fabrics. It has an empire waist and I put a zipper in the back.

Here is a close up of ruffles and corsage.

It did not win at the fashion show. sigh....needle felted wool on silk garments won.

It is not that I don't think the winners are not good felters. Their color and design elements were exceptional. I feel they are inexperienced felters. Its just that wool needle felted onto silk is not stable. It will pull apart easily. Needle felting is one stage in the process. I own a rolling machine and a needle felting machine that I use regularly. But not exclusively. My dress is still awesome and will be able to be seen at the Weavers Guild of St Louis' Annual Sale. Yep, I'm putting it in the sale. and now she steps down from the soapbox......

I have been working on several projects and will be sharing with you again. After surgery, while recuperating, there is a lot of down time to think of all the things you want to do again. And I am now starting to do them!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, May 3, 2013

If It Weren't For Bad Luck...

I feel I wouldn't have any luck at all! That old Buck Owens song has been playing in my head lately. I have been feeling a bit out of sorts for awhile. Then on April 20, I went in the hospital for emergency surgery. It was my appendix, I guess that is how it is spelled. lol  I was having trouble walking. Lots of pain. I had been  rowing down that river of denial all week. Ya know, who has time for this sick crap? Not me!

And I still don't. But life sometimes catches up with you. And not only taps you on the shoulder but knocks you down with a 2 x 4. During my healing time the past couple of weeks I have been doing some knitting.

This knitted vest is called 'Harumidori'. I bought the pattern on Ravelry. I could say it was a quick knit for me but that would be far from the truth. It took me every day, all day for a whole week. Yes, I was working with a handicap. Pain killers. They mainly killed my ability to count.

See that cute, cute hood? It took an entire day picking up the stitches for it and the button band. I'm not kidding! I couldn't count to 26. The pick ups were in sections (thank goodness or I may still be working on it) and one time I'd pick up 23 and have to frog it and the next time I'd pick up 28 in the same space. I guess it turned out to be good therapy for me. Or possibly just busy work to keep my hands busy.

I put horn buttons down the front. And it has useful front pockets for busy little hands. I am imagining my grandson putting toads in them. I'm sure I'll hear about it if he does. Well, back to the couch for me.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Little Feat

That was a great band I enjoyed in my youth. Maybe you remember them? If not, look them up on youtube sometime. I've been working on a little feet myself. I've been doing some sock knitting in various sizes. They are nice, portable projects.

and little feet like to wear them.

even if grandma doesn't like to waste yarn and makes them so they don't match exactly!

The other 'Little Feat' I have accomplished are these DinoShoes. Two different sized pairs, they allow the wearer to have his own Triceratops on his feet. They were very detail oriented. But adorable.

This picture is of them all wadded together. I haven't decided if I'm going into production of these yet. Or how many hundreds of dollars I would charge per pair. I'm sure I'll be making more this fall as little feet continue to grow.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, February 8, 2013


I'd like to introduce "Maya". She is Aztec's daughter and
quite a beauty! She was born on Jan 2 (yes, an unplanned birth. I thought I bred Aztec for a Dec 1 baby but obviously she was bred during one of the boy break
outs last winter. sheesh....) She spent her first night in the house because of the cold, cold weather. Aztec was so mad at me for taking her that she kept looking in the kitchen windows at me with her ears back and a scowl on her face. Remeber the old Kujo, the evil dog horror movie? I was having  flashbacks to it during the night. You
see, during the drought last fall, we put up red neck fencing around the back yard to the house to give the packies more grazing room. With the house itself being one wall, the packie girls can literally look into the kitchen windows. It was all fun and cool until the night I brought Maya into the house. One second Aztec would be looking at me through the window with an ugly look on the face, then I'd call to my hubby that she was there again and when I'd look back she would be gone. It started creeping me out! When I took her back out to the barn in the morning, Aztec's lip curled up when she saw me. The two of them have been together ever since. Happy and healthy. Thank goodness! Still not sure who her daddy is for sure, but I have an idea that it is Blizzard. I'll keep you posted.

I'm asking that anyone who reads my blog and like it to please 'follow' me. I have people comment on it and tell me when they see me how they enjoyed it but I have only 1 follower. (and thank you Cathy!) It would lift my spirits. Thanks. 

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Monday, January 28, 2013

Its been awhile..............

Yes, its been awhile. Depression has an ugly head and comes around for different reasons. and when she comes she usually stays for awhile. I had a very nice and quiet Christmas with my family and it has helped to lift the spirits. Nothing helps brighten me up like babies do. Grandbabies and alpaca babies and I had both coming around to help cheer me. I'll start posting again and post some cria pictures. I don't feel clever or witty yet so please bear with me and my 'maybe not yet clever or witty posts'. They will improve and then one day I'll write something totally awe inspiring.

I have been doing a little knitting. and felting. I have turned in some class proposals to teach at some fiber events in the midwest so if I get accepted, I'll post about it.

Lots going on with the farm. Mostly day to day stuff. Some new stuff and some old stuff. Oh! we now have a llama. I'll write more about her. She is awesome!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy