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Pleater – neat & neater

Sorry, just felt the need to rhyme. Anyhow, it’s amazing how much better the pleater works at 5 PM than 10 PM. Got the first scrap test done, and it is awesome. Heather might never get it back! (Thanks so much for the loan!) I do have it until the end of January – maybe I’ll have money and she’ll want to sell it then?

Enough for now – gotta go pleat something!

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Progress, I hope

Well, it’s now been two weeks since posting here. At least I have some dyed goods to show off. I also made some bead necklaces that my sister bought, but no pics of those.

The textiles include dyed broadcloth, cheesecloth (first picture) and muslin, painted sheers plus some green cheesecloth that is in the midst of an appliqué block under construction. The orange and blue (third picture) is for the commission – I hope they like it! The other items are for sale – I planned to deliver them to the appliqué classes at Ladyfingers on the 9th & 10th, but the weather and other problems interfered. I was also going to get alum in bulk to try marbling, since I found I have good fabric paints, but that shop (Echo Hill Country Store) was completely parked up on Saturday. The first experiments will end up with grocery store stuff.

Picked up more sheers to paint today – JoAnn has them half off this week! Just standard white and ivory fabric, not sparkly stuff like the blue. The detail (second picture) shows a couple starfish – they were printed with a Goyutaku rubber mold from Dick Blick – neat stuff, and not stinky like the not-so-recently dead creatures would be. When I got it, it had been handles so much that it was grey – they’re very tactile objects. Some dish soap and spray cleaner took care of the hand prints, and gave it surface tension again.

The green cheesecloth and detail is in the appliqué block – the reverse shows the all-over stitching I used to tack it down. If you try this at home, use a rubber eraser to manipulate the cheesecloth, and also do prepared edge appliqué on top, *not* needle-turn. I also made up a sample using machine stitching to hold down the cheesecloth, which will probably get used for foliage. Both work.

On the job front, had two offers I turned down – they both wanted someone for less money than I’d like (until I’m desperate) as well as starting tomorrow, which is tough when it’s two weeks before Christmas. Plus I have an interview for a ‘real’ job Wednesday afternoon, and I DON’T want to mess that up!

Here’s the cheesecloth in the appliqué under construction. The left picture shows the back side, and the right picture shows the front in detail.

Well, that’s it for tonight, but better than nothing! Let me know what you think – thanks!

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Oops – it’s been a little while, or happy domesticity

Well, there are a few things in the works.

On the job front – sent resumes out today on 5 jobs, and still waiting to hear about 2 with agencies. These I first heard about on the 18th, but either they are filled, or last week was a complete waste as far as the agencies go. I’m guessing & hoping the latter. Have another one to send to at my alma mater, Muhlenberg College. I’m not really a poster child for them, but maybe they’ll interview me anyway.

Sewing-wise – the local babylock dealer came up with an owner’s manual for my old machine and made me a copy. Huzzah! Sandy said she can pick it up for me – Thanks!

Blog-wise – Well, I’m here anyhow. Got a look at Melanie Testa’s blog and website today – click the link at right for a look. Neat stuff, and a nice lady.

Quilting-wise – Have our little group Thursday, so there’s a deadline. Will photograph when the machine quilting is done. Outside chance tonight, though it will be better if bound.

DippyDyes-wise (ooh! a rhyme!) – Did decent sales in the shops for November, including the two yards in the picture with Dudley below, but largely by going to Jane Townswick’s class and pushing it. She gave me her upcoming schedule, so she doesn’t seem to mind. She’s getting the work to date on the new designs out to Martingale, the publisher and they’ll let her know if they want a book proposal. Jane has been unable to hand stitch for 11 months – I’d go nuts! She’s teaching at Applique by the Bay the end of this week, and at the Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy in February. And I’m going! Click here for her teacher bio on the ESAA page. She’s interested in some hand-dyes for the background for her next quilt, so I’ll be making up samples. My best customer!

Happy domesticity: besides applying for jobs, I made pumpkin bread and muffins (cupcakes, really), did two loads of wash, got all the non-dyeing ironing caught up and probably other important stuff that has slipped my mind. Still have a couple missions, then off to machine quilt.

Guess that does it for tonight. Thanks for visiting.

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A busy week

On the job front – had a good interview that went nowhere. Got a call from the former employer – rather peculiar but as I said when asked “How are you doing?” “Calmer, which is good; unemployed, which isn’t.” Calm. Dyeing helps! Selling dyed goods also helped.

Have gotten lots done on the studio and am finally moving in! Now where am I going to keep all the stuff? The first two pictures show the two sides of the space after mopping the floor, the last picture shows the return of the fabric bins.

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Guess it wasn’t the right job

Well, turns out that the temp job I went to today was “filled from within” when I got there. Guess it was the wrong job or the wrong time. It did free me to apply to another 3 places, though.

Tomorrow will be household chores then more dyeing! Here’s a couple things I’ve been doing lately, draped over the supplies waiting to go to the studio. All cotton – the right hand one is Hoffmann black batik stitch resisted and discharged. Plus the Dudley Budley in the foreground. He’s 5 1/2 and getting grey! Dinner’s done – thanks for looking!

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My mentor

My mentor is Jane Townswick. She’s also my biggest customer. She teaches applique three times a month at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, Penna and is a great artist, inspiration, and if I dare say so, friend.

Go out and buy her book “Applique Takes Wing.” A quilt of mine is in there – page 40. Real casual how I mention that, huh? Otherwise, buy any of the previous books, like “Color Blend Applique.”

Enough for tonight!

(Originally posted Sunday night, deleted & reposted it to get rid of comment spam.)

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Actually got to dye something again

Well, it has been a topsy turvey week after leaving the ‘real’ job. This was a rather sudden departure (my choice), so the past week has been spent job-hunting and trying not to throw up thinking about the old one. Stress CAN be a great motivator, however (see yesterday’s post.)

The dye workshop had been set up on two 6 foot tables that had been borrowed from work, so mid week I cleaned them off and today we returned them to the job, and also picked up that dratted library book. So the only thing that remains is to wait for the final paycheck and I can close that page in the book.

Not having the tables is a real drag, but the substitute is at least in the wood shop. So in order to dye today I returned to the original space – on top of the stove. (No counters in the 9-year-old temporary kitchen, but that’s another story.) Anyhow, got about 3 yards of fabric dyed, did the rinse job in the upstairs almost studio. If the energy level permits, I’ll get more staining done tonight, so the second coat can go on tomorrow.

Also got the washer tub and lid picked up at the powder coater – it’s a beautiful finish, and will protect the aluminum from the dye solutions. I could even do solid-color immersion dyeing, rather than low-water stuff. Took a picture of all the disparate bits of washer for a future ‘before and after’ post.

Here’s a picture of the owner’s manual (found on eBay):

I consider myself lucky because this model has a pump – not all did! Why a wringer washer you ask? That’s a story for another post.

Oh, and my book came from Honolulu – OPULENCE: The Kimonos and Robes of Itchiku Kubota. Another eBay purchase, recommended by various dyers, including Paula Burch on her great site. (Have to add that to the links column.) Incredible images, inspirations, Itchiku.

That’s it for tonight!

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Trying to be serious about this

Well, I’ve accomplished a number of things today in the ‘yes, this really is a business’ department:
Filed for sales tax license on-line
Decided against fictitious name registration at this point because of fees
Looked at tax implications of for-profit vs. hobby income
Printed up business cards
Set up new e-mail account for DippyDye

Also got the left hand wall of cabinets stained while hubby finished making doors for the under-sink cabinet (see pics!) With a studio like this, I’d better go pro. If not, it’s going to be the greatest hobby room ever.

Got a call from the powder coating company. $70 to coat the tub and lid for the wringer washer. That’s a really reasonable amount, and I’ve seen his work, but it does argue against the trip to the PMA craft show.

NB – find a closer craft show – Boyertown Belsnickel is Thanksgiving weekend, and supposed to be very good.

In general, the problem I’ve had with craft shows is that I usually can make what I see, but don’t want to. Likewise I’m too cheap to buy what I see there. Now I must go with a different focus, like what would it be like to set up at this show? (PMA is a whole nother deal, with serious juried competition.)

That’s 10 minutes for tonight!

Sat 7:00 AM added the pictures above. Someday there will be textiles to see!

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Starting out fresh

OK, first blog, first post ever. This, unsurprisingly, is going to be a test to see how it looks, etc.

Significant stuff:
Leaving the old job.
Trying to get closure, or I left a dratted library book there.
Starting the new, temp agency job Monday the 14th.
Gotta thank Sandy for her support.
Gotta thank hubby for support and for the studio. This year HE’s the Saint (usually it’s me.)

Coming up:
Going to PMA Craft show this weekend – will it be worth $15?

First, finish working on the studio.
Second, work on textile art every day.

No idea if I’ll be able to keep this up, but it is the sort of thing that can be done while waiting on hold, instead of playing solitaire.