Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Winner Is??????

All your names

Folded in half and randomly placed in the bucket

This is my friend Bruce Kahn. He stopped by the studio at just the right time!
 Drum Roll PLease!!!

 And the Winner is??????


Thank you everyone for making this fun! If you didn't win the DVD I hope you consider buying Lyric Kinard's great new DVD on making and using Thermofax Screens. Click here to make that purchase.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thermofax 101 by Lyric Kinard

Lyric Kinard - an established surface design artist, teacher and lecturer has just released a great new DVD about making and using screens that are produced with a Thermofax machine.

In this DVD Lyric does a great job explaining what a thermofax machine actually is, how it burns images into a screen and how to use those screens to create exciting art pieces on cloth and paper.

For those of you that are hearing the term thermofax for the first time or if you have heard the term before but have wondered what the heck it actually is, you should know that using thermofax screens is exactly like using silk screens except that the machine creates the actual screens.

A sheet of mesh that has been coated on one side with a heat and carbon sensitive emulsion is layered with a piece of paper that has your image on it. The image is created with anything that has carbon in it like a pencil, a carbon based marker or a print made from a toner based copy machine, otherwise known as a laser printer. 

The emulsion sheet along with the paper that has the image on it are feed through the machine, one on top of the other.  Once inside the machine, a special bulb melts the emulsion where the lines of the image are. It literally takes only a matter of seconds! 

Lyric herself is fun, easy to listen to and quite frankly - too adorable for words! In a friendly, easy to follow step-by-step pace she takes you on a journey that is fun, playful and one in which you are destined to create lovely works of art cloth.

Learn about squeegees and textile paint, base extender and foil, work surfaces and cloth. Along the way you'll encounter Cascade Dishwashing Detergent and Golden Modeling Paste as you learn about design principles and the surprise of spontaneity. 

And if you can't afford or simply don't want to invest in a machine of your own, Lyric includes a list of people who provide ready made screens and custom services to burn your own images. It just couldn't be easier! 

Here is a little clip of Lyric:

To purchase the DVD click here.

If you would like to win a copy of this DVD, just leave me a comment of why you'd like to have it. I'll be announcing the lucky winner on friday May 1st right here on my blog. 

For more information click on the links below to see what some other bloggers are saying about Lyric Kinard's new Thermofax 101 DVD!

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  
April 28  Sue Bleiweiss
May 1  Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson
May 2  Judy Coates Perez
May 4  Linda Stokes
May 6  Jane Davila
May 6 Melanie Testa
May 8  Carol Sloan
May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp
May 12  Desiree Habicht
May 13  Jamie Fingal
May 14  Deborah Boschert
May 15  Sarah Ann Smith

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Visiting my parents in beautiful Boulder, CO. The day couldn't be more glorious!

They live right at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

I brought a little knitting along with me.  But I also brought all these beautiful hand dyed pearl cotton embroidery threads from Weeks Dye Works. I am happy to have the time for this tedious job of winding the thread onto workable bobbins. Plus it gives me the bonus of learning their names and color nuances.

Each one is more beautiful the next. Weeks Dye Works is a small company here in the states. They also hand over dye wool fat quarters and linen that is just exquisite.

Hard to take a photo in the late afternoon sun. I'll show more tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sadness and Tapestry Weaving

A family illness has kept me close to home and heart and away from the world of the internet. It hasn't kept me out of the studio and doesn't mean that my brain and hands aren't still creating, it is just that my introverted tendencies take over and I pull inward.

My age hails from an era when it was unthinkable to put yourself out into the world unless you were perfectly put together and composed - and that you shared only the persona you had very deliberately chosen as the one you wanted the world to identify you as. Times have indeed changed. Perhaps not in the world of politics but certainly in the creative worlds that matter to me most.

The truth is that I greatly admire those that can share it all - be personable and vulnerable to the world without feeling compromised and exposed. This is a time of great sadness for me - a time of loss and uncertainty. The anchors in my life have given way - the solid rock foundation I once took for granted is unsteady and crumbling. I have no doubt I will survive, but I know not yet what the new definition of survival is for me.

I have worked hard over the last handful of years to be here for all of you - to share my creative life and hopefully help you along in yours. I don't want to hide away until the new me emerges. I am who I am right now. My exciting and rich creative life intersecting with my personal journeys and struggles that bring both the joy and sadnesses. This is what I  have to offer.

So here I am. Forgive me if my appearances are unpredictable and perhaps quite shabby at times. Forgive me my indulgence of sadness and tears - know that it is not depression but rather the challenges of loss and love that we must all face. Thank you for continuing to return to my blog, my workshops, my newsletters and lectures. Thank you for sharing with me your own creative and personal journeys as well, for we are the definition of the new family of the modern age of the internet.

On a lighter side:

Last week, at the encouragement of my Mother I went off with her and some friends of hers to view an exhibit of tapestry weavings at the Von Auersperg Art Gallery located at Deerfield Academy in historic Deerfield, Massachusetts. The show was curated by Micala Sidore of the Hawley Street Tapestry Studio in Northampton, Massachusetts and is titled "The Art is the Cloth: A Series of Reflections."

Here is just a taste of what I saw:

"La Dona" by Christine Laffer

Pieces were hung salon style so it was very hard to see up close or get a decent picture.

"It's raining, said the lady with the alligator purse." by Sarah Sweet

"Pease Bypass" by Suzanne Pretty

"Wild Turkey" by Sharon Crary

"Crescendo with Mixed Threads" by Silvia Heyden

Top middle piece is "Paper Towel" by Shelly Socolofsky

"Grace" by Kathy Spoering

Me and my Mom!

"Nessa, Nessa - Winter Moon" by Susan Martin Maffei

Monday, March 9, 2015

New Jacket

I finished this custom jacket a couple of weeks ago. The fabric is rayon. It was dyed and over dyed a couple of times using Procion MX Fiber Reactive Dyes. Then I added all the tree imagery using textile paints.

I used Jacquard Dye-na-flow (which is the consistency of dyes) from small spray bottles as well as Jacquard Textile paint and Profab textile paint from Pro Chemical and Dye Co.

The imagery was created by using my own stencils, masks and a hand carved stamp. They are shown below.

I love how this came out so much that I do believe I am going to have to make one for myself as well. It may be just the jacket I should be wearing when I give the Key Note speech at the Michigan League of Handweavers Fiber Conference in June. What do you think?

Back- detail
Back detail of stamped image

Don't forget to click on the images for a larger view.

These are the stencils I used. You can purchase them on my Etsy shop by clicking on the link below each stencil image.

A PDF download of the stamp pattern will be available on my Etsy shop soon. If this is something you are interested in purchasing now just leave me a comment below.

This is a list (including links) of all the tools and supplies I used to create the imagery on the jacket.

Stencil material - Grafix Clear .005 Dura-Lar Film, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, 25 Sheets
Spray adhesive for positioning stencils - Sulky KK2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive
Carving block for stamp - Speedball Speedy Cut Printing Blocks 6 3/4 in. x 11 in.
Lino cutter for carving the stamp - Speedball Linoleum Cutter Assortment 1
Dye-like textile paint for spray bottle - Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Specialty Paint Set, 2-1/4 Ounce Jar, 
Spray bottle for Dye-Na-Flow - Holbein Watercolor Atomizer Bottle - Atomizer Bottle
Fuller bodied textile paint for stamping and stenciling - Jacquard Textile Color 12 Assorted Pigments 
Stencil brush - Plaid 34106 10-Piece Spouncer Set
These are the dyes I used - Jacquard Procion MX Fiber Reactive Cold Water Dye - Starter Set, 2/3 oz

For detail information about the techniques I used see my book:

Fabric Surface Design: Painting, Stamping, Rubbing, Stenciling, Silk Screening, Resists, Image Transfer, Marbling, Crayons & Colored Pencils, Batik, Nature Prints, Monotype Printing

Sunday, March 8, 2015


An early morning snow fall and a blooming amaryllis help to lift my heavy heart.

My wonderful Father is quite suddenly very sick.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Scheduling Time

Yesterday started my attempt to work within a weekly schedule. It isn' my natural way to work. And it isn' that I need a schedule to get things done. I work really hard everyday and every minute of every day! 

It's just that there are a couple of things that always get put aside because there is always a long list of things for me to accomplish for the business of CherScapes. I have had to come to the realization that that long list will always be there. Tasks get added to the list just as quickly as I can cross things off. And sometimes even quicker!

I won't ever be able to finish everything on the list. Duh! That's a tricky one for me as I love to get things finished.

At any rate, the 2 things that significantly add to the quality of my life that seem to always get pushed to the bottom of the "To Do" list is working on my own artwork (as opppsed to the artwork I post on Etsy) and (drum roll please) living in/with a clean house.

So, I work at my part time job Monday - Wednesday from 4-9:30, or earlier if they need the extra help. It is a great schedule for an artist, as it frees up all my daytime.

Here is the new schedule:
Tuesday - Friday - the business of CherScapes which includes product design and making new product. The first hour is emails, then posting on Etsy.
Saturday morning is reserved for photographing new Etsy items. I have to take enough to get me through the following week. 
Saturday afternoon and Sunday is to work on my own personal artwork.
Monday I clean house and do laundry. 

I did fairly well yesterday - all things considered. I hadn't taken any photos on Saturday, so I did it yesterday morning and started in on my own work at 2:00. I took a break to make dinner and eat but was back in the studio until 9:45.

The difficulty today is to stay out of the studio to continue working on that piece. But I am committed for the long haul. A clean and orderly house make me so happy and keeps my anxiety levels down. It also makes a big difference to my son who is highly allergic to dust mites. 

So without further adieu, I leave you now to go get my mop and bucket!

Here is a picture of the front of my house. Somewhere in all that snow is my front door!

And what about you? Do you work better with a schedule or not?

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Here is a quick snippet of my work table today. I spent the last week or so fighting a bad cold and getting ready for a batik gig at Northeastern University in Boston. Fortunately the gig was rescheduled. Thank you kind people!

Now I am working in my art journal - using up some stencil designs/pieces made for the batik samples. It is not finished but I am excited. I started out using a reject page (wish I had taken a picture of that first). 

I'll post again as I get closer to the finish line. I think I need to cut more leaves. A funny concept, since I am supposed to be using up scraps. Not making new ones !

I'll be digitally printing this on silk when I am done - can't wait!

In the meantime I'm linking up with Nina Marie's blog for Off the Wall Friday. Head on over there to get a peak at what some other fiber artists are up to.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Stenciling with Shiva Paintstiks - Part 2

Several days ago I posted about stenciling with Shiva Paintstiks on a jacket I was embellishing for a client. I had decided to use the opportunity to make my first free tutorial.

Because of our antiquated wifi connection it became clear that I would have to upload the video during the night time when no one else was on the internet. So it has taken me several days to remember to do that before heading off to bed. At any rate here it is - a beginner video for sure. But in the spirit of easy going and more personal blog posts I am going to share it with you in the raw. I apologize for the view point of the camera in the first half - you'll see what I mean when you try to look through my right shoulder and arm to see what I am doing! LOL. Also it is verrrrrry long.

To see the original post just scroll below.

The stencils I used in the video are available for purchase through my Etsy shop here.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Stenciling with Shiva PaintStiks

Today I pulled out a job I am doing for a client of mine. She has a couple of white jackets she bought from Dharma Trading and has asked me to dye and embellish them. I finished dyeing them the other day and am now ready for the embellishments.

I decided to use Shiva PaintStiks with one of my stencil designs. I have chosen to use the paint sticks because I am planning to put a  lot of imagery on the jacket. If I used textile paint it would surely leave an undesirable hand to the fabric - simply because I would be using so much paint. A smaller application of paint would work just fine. But that isn't what I will be doing.

I also decided that this would be a great opportunity to make my first free, video tutorial. Clearly I have much to learn about making and editing videos. LOL But in the spirit of being more relaxed about this blog, I am going to share the video here even thought there are many areas in need of improvement!

My apologies about my arm and back often being in the way of your view! But here goes... Oops

Looks like my internet is too slow to upload the video during the day when other people need to be online. I'll upload the video tonight just before we all go to bed. In the meantime here are some photos of the finished jacket.

This is the right front side - Center front opening is along the top edge


Full front view


Doesn't it look regal? The fabric is a loosely woven rayon but because of the dye and paint sticks it looks like machine embroidery on velvet.

Click on the images for a larger view.