I Weave You

Today I'm sharing my first little loom weavings as I've started to explore this craft. I bought myself a loom for Christmas at the West Coast Craft Fair from Meghan Shimek. She has a beginner's kit that includes, loom, yarn, and an instruction book for making a sampler weaving. The sampler is a good tutorial for learning basic techniques and how to merge different kinds of yarn within a weaving.

I had been wanting to take a beginning class for awhile so decided to just go the kit route. I was also given a little tutorial when I purchased my loom. It was very helpful along with hunting down some good blog posts and youtube tutorials on the subject.

This heart weaving is the first project I've planned out. I wanted to use only yarns I already owned. With a little help from a friend I decided to make it a fuzzy heart using wool roving.

This heart weaving is the first project I've planned out. I wanted to use only yarns I already owned. With a little help from a friend I decided to make it a fuzzy heart using wool roving.

My first weaving made with the  Meghan Shimek kit.

My first weaving made with the Meghan Shimek kit.

This was my second little weaving and I was exploring fibers I already owned.

This was my second little weaving and I was exploring fibers I already owned.

In the past when I've gone to the yarn store to get wool roving for needle felting projects I've always had to avert my eyes from all the wonderful looking yarns. If I bought them they would have just waited for a future project or a future where I suddenly enjoy knitting. Unlike knitting I do indeed weave it!

Voodoo Valentines

You remind me of the cat. What cat?
The cat with the power. What power?
Power of voodoo. Who do?
Cat do. Do what?
Voodoo!*

I'm always trying to figure out how to make cats a little more useful. I'm convinced they should be trained to give back massages since they're so good at massaging a full bladder when you have to pee. What they do know how to use well are their fists full of needles. Perfect for doing a little voodoo perhaps? At least to the mice?

You may have seen some of my early experiments making these cat toys ages ago on Instagram. I ended up selling my first indigo colored batch during these past holiday craft fairs. I've always thought that they'd make a great Valentines Day gift so I've made them in pinks and purples and they're finally available NOW! in my Kitty Confetti shop.

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These little mice voodoo dolls are filled with cotton and catnip. I used Lumi's Inkodyes to print my design with sunlight. The fabric is treated with the light sensitive dye and a film positive casts a shadow on the fabric preventing that area from being dyed. This is what gives the image it's ghostly quality because of the sun's movement. The exposure was about 10 minutes.

These dolls all are dyed with the plum colored Inkodye. You can see color results can vary but I like how the overall effect adds to this particular product.

These dolls all are dyed with the plum colored Inkodye. You can see color results can vary but I like how the overall effect adds to this particular product.

I'll likely write a future blog post about working with the Inkodyes. But for now, go get your Valentine some voodoo!

*I took a little humorous liberty with David Bowie's lyrics to 'Magic Dance'. I still love me some Labyrinth. 

Zentangle hearts

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Tis the season for hearts and more hearts. I drew on these hearts using zentangle techniques. I used left over hearts from this years Halloween costume crafting. Do they look familiar?

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An obvious mash-up was to use some hearts from last weeks marbling post.

Marbled hearts

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A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a tutorial in marbling from Lynsey Ayala hosted by The Ladybones Print Collective. Check out some of Lynsey's amazing marbling work.

I used a lot of pinks and purples in my prints as I figured the papers would be fun for making valentines.

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Do you see the few hearts in this print? 

Do you see the few hearts in this print? 

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This marbled paper is from Il Papiro a paper shop in Italy. It was brought back to me from friends who visited.

This marbled paper is from Il Papiro a paper shop in Italy. It was brought back to me from friends who visited.

Paper hearts are the simplest valentines to make even if you don't marble your own paper. In grade school we cut them out of red construction paper. Step it up a notch and cut them out of a fine art patterned paper often easily found at art supply stores. You may even find some marbled papers. I suggest getting something heavy weight or plan to adhere to a card stock. Cut into a heart shape and voila, you have an easy Valentine. If you want to get a little DIY you can brush some water colors over a thick piece of paper to cut your hearts from.

Left heart is purchased marbled paper. Right heart is cut from paper with watercolor strokes.

Left heart is purchased marbled paper. Right heart is cut from paper with watercolor strokes.

As for the marbling I do not have a tutorial but I'll let you know the basics. Marbling itself is a simpler concept than I expected. It's mostly about preparation.

Set up: Prepare a shallow vat of water with Carrageen called size. In the workshop I took this was also referred to as gelled water. The vat can be as simple as a large tubber ware container. Pre-treat paper or cloth with Alum to receive the marbling. Do the first two things the day before. On marbling day mix acrylic paints with water to have the consistency of milk.

Marbling: Drizzle your paint on the waters surface and the fun begins. Using various combs and sticks you can pull the paint to make your desired patterns. Lay a piece of treated paper on your pattern. Pull up and blot off or rinse the excess liquid. Whatever was on the surface of the vat will transfer to your paper.

Here's a link with more thorough specifics.

Below is a gallery of some of the process along with papers and fabric I printed. 

Lastly if you'd like to see my first super amateur Instagram videos relating to this I've got a couple here and here.