Mother’s Day

Hope you had a happy Mother’s Day. I helped a couple of kids at a picnic we had with family and friends, how to dye silk scarves for their mothers. They really enjoyed it. We were right by Anderson Lake and the wind blew the scarves dry within minutes. Then off to another friend’s home who is planning her daughter’s wedding in late June. She learned how the dyes work and did a scarf and thought it would be a great bridal shower activity to do as well as at the wedding. Her idea is to have the wedding guests sign in on pieces of silk broadcloth, heat set the ink and then her daughter will turn it into a quilt that she has hand dyed with the Color Hue dyes. Great idea!

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St. Simons Island Workshop

On St. Simons Island the Fiber Arts Guild students had a great time learning to use the Color Hue dyes on silk. Here are some pictures of some of the techniques they did.

St. Simons Island students at work with the dyes

Abstract technique with pipette and dyes on wet silk

Spray dyeing through a delicate stencil from Embellishment Village

Dynamic Floral Image

Happy Student with her scarf

My favorite tree on St. Simons Island near the pier and water

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Jeanne Strangeland’s Scarf

Post from Jeanne Strangeland on the scarf she made with Color Hue Dyes and black wax resist. “Hi Marlene, As promised I’m sending you a picture of my fourth scarf I’ve made. … black wax resist, painted, dyed and dipped. Took a while to soften the original picture and get the right brown for the rest of the scarf. I’m happy with this one and look forward to the next. I already know I will need a lot more dye. I bought meters upon meters of different kinds of silk to play with. This scarf is made as a jumbo extra long silk chiffon that I hand hemmed prior to dying. Thank goodness I had the mind to buy the silk thread when I was in Calgary.

I think you created a monster in me…. 🙂 I look forward to the next one I make. I’m in the process of heming another chiffon with the rolled hem rather than a flat one. Will be fun taking that one through this process. I realize that I have a lot of patience to learn as I play with the wax resist too. I will try this process on the scarves I bought from you too but for now I wanted to make a few for me to wear with my spring clothes.Thanks for the tips.” J.S.

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I titled that last communication as Interweave Specials but forgot to tell you about them. I got an email from Interweave as I have been a subscriber to Quiltings Arts Magazine for quite awhile now. They offered me a spring special that was half off the normal subscription price. I signed up for Quilting Arts as well as Cloth,Paper,Scissors magazines. So check your email and see if you have the same offer.

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Interweave special

I am back from California and got a chance to go to Dharma Trading while there. So much fun seeing all the yarns in the front and fondling as well as purchasing some silk. They have a super lightweight silk chiffon that is 3mm, perfect for nuno felting. I got some black. I hope to get back there in August and do a workshop for staff and public. Will keep you posted.

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quilt show

I am off to the Suncoast Quilter’s Quilt Show in Largo. New location this year. The show is called “Today’s Pleasures… Tomorrow’s Treasures XIV and will be on Fri and Sat March 2 & 3, 2012, Friday 9 am – 5 pm & Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. New location is: Christ the King Lutheran Church, 11220 Oakhurst Road, Largo, FL 33774
I will be in the Vendor’s Mall demonstrating collage and hand dyed silk scarf techniques. Come make one.

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Answer to basic dye questions

I got some questions from June who saw my Youtube video on baggie dyeing with the Color Hue dyes. She has some good questions ” ” Saw you on YouTube.
1. I’d like to buy your kits but can’t find how you re-order the dyes after the initial dyes in kits are used up.
2. How much are replacements?
3. Also – are these chemical / toxic ?
4. If not used in baggie – do you have to use gloves?
5. I’d like these for baby clothes / blankets. Is cotton good or just silk?

Here are my answers:
Dear June,
Thank you for your question.
1. When someone runs out of any one of the colors in their 10 color dye kit, I recommend they buy the color in a 2 ounce size. It isn’t on my shopping cart on my website but I have them available. It will be going onto the shopping cart shortly. The 2 ounce goes for $16. Sometimes I run a special for $12. There are also 8 ounce sizes but rarely does this get ordered unless someone is teaching or doing production yardage work. The 10 color half ounce bottles are enough to dye about 30-50 8 x 54 inch China Silk scarves.

3. The dyes are not toxic and safe to use in public schools which have stringent guidelines for art products. Out of the hundreds I have taught to use the dyes, only one had an allergic reaction (she got a headache) when around the dyes and she had lots of other allergies.

4. I always wear gloves when I mix the dye concentrates with water.The baggie dyeing makes it easy and fast to get color onto the silk. I use a pipet to transfer and mix the dyes so as to not waste one drop as it is very concentrated. So I recommend gloves when mixing the dyes. Once you see how fast the dyes bond to the silk you will see that in doing spray techniques or tabletop techniques it is best to keep your hands away from the spray and not touch the silk directly with your hands until you see it has bonded with the silk. I often take a sandwich baggie used for the baggie dyeing and put it on for a quick and easy glove and to shield areas where I don’t want the spray dye to go. You can see other techniques beyond the baggie on my Simple Silk Dyeing DVD. I plan to do another DVD on Advanced Silk Dyeing for Beginners with the new methods I have discovered that work well with the dyes. Until then, I recommend you go to my website and sign up for the free art newsletter as I put out helpful hints in that newsletter.
Clean up is easy by washing your hands with soap and water a few times to remove any color. Concentrate takes a few more washings to remove it.

5. The dyes only bond with Silk, Linen, Rayon and Wool. It is best on silk. Wool is a greedy fabric and soaks up a lot of the color and I recommend it be warm and wet when dyed to help it bond better. I have found Rayon doesn’t dye black, the black dye when used turns blue. Strange but true. It also takes more dye to get a darker color compared to silk. The Silk/Rayon Satin Devore is unusual in that the silk dyes the darker color and the satin dyes a pastel color. It is also a challenge to get a true red color. It tends to be pinkish or orange red. My grandson who loves to mix the dyes used Pumpkin, then Rose and then a touch of Brown sprayed one on top of the other on a zebra stripe scarf he was creating and he got the best red I have seen with the Color Hue dyes.

It is not permanent on cotton, (unless it is your favorite white blouse or pants). My granddaughter and I were dyeing a scarf for July 4th (red and blue) and I splashed the blue mixed with water on her white shorts. We rushed to the sink to rinse it out, wash it out with soap and bleach it out 3 times. Didn’t leave the cotton so we splashed the other leg of her white shorts. She said they were getting too small for her so it was okay. Thank goodness. You would have to test it out on what you want to dye and see how long it lasts.

Some acrylic paints (I recommend the more expensive but highly pigmented Golden paints) can be mixed with fabric medium so the hand of the fabric stays softer after drying. You know how acrylic paints bond to clothing once dry. So that is a possibility. Don’t know how they are with the skin touching them though as far as toxicity but you could call the help line at Golden or go to their website. They are very helpful.

Hope this answers your questions.

Best Wishes in Art, Marlene

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Thread Lace Bowls stacked

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Naomi and Susan’s scarves

I just have to share some pictures people have sent me of the work they are doing with the Color Hue dyes. Naomi is 91 years old and she loves how easily she can work in her small apartment with the dyes. She made $400 selling her scarves at a holiday show in December. And she painted a tie for her son. She is still taking orders! What a gal! And Susan Averill had a dyeing party and sent me her picture. Enjoy!!!!

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