The outdoor dyeing season is over in Wisconsin. I dyed a buncha stuff before it was too late though. Here are some scarves and dishtowels I dyed. They are all for sale at the Madison Craft and Gift shop. They seem very nice there. It’s a little different than what I’m used to but worth a try.
I can’t get enough of it! We’re getting ready to have an Indigo Immersion Day this Saturday yet I still set up a vat to play with in my back yard.
Pretty freaking awesome!
Because everybody needs blue socks!
This was excessive, wasn’t it.
Getting all my toys ready to bring out to Still Point farm.
Here’s the indigo vat with the flower still on it. Check my events page if you’re local and want to sign up, it’s not too late!
Monster Monday: Week 5
This week’s supplies: Index cards, a pen and some markers, crayons or colored pencils or any other color making items you may have on hand.
A few weeks ago, I threw a Doodle Party! at the library. It was so much fun, kids don’t really have any fears about drawing, they just jump in without knowing what their drawing will look like when it’s finished.
We drew (surprise, surprise!) Monsters. I grabbed Carla Sonheim’s book “Drawing Lab For Mixed Media Artists” off the shelf and found about a bajillion awesome fun ideas. I had other plans for this week but, I don’t care, I’m using this one from the book because it is way fun and goofy.
We’ll be drawing a cubist monster.
Draw an eye on your index card.
Rotate the card around and draw another eye, this one should be about 4 times larger than the first eye.
Rotate the card again and draw a mouth.
Rotate one more time and draw a foot (or fin or wing or?).
Now, connect the different parts with lines.
Don’t think too hard about this part, it isn’t going to make sense. Inspired by my fearless Doodle Party! friends, I tried to surprise myself. If my line was headed for say, the mouth, I changed halfway through drawing the line and attached it to some other part.
Then, color it in. Use whatever you have on hand, I wanted to use highlighter pens – I know at one point we had more than one color – but I could only find one. I did use my single highlighter in my marker colored monster.
I only made three, I found that these took a little more time than the earlier exercises. I’m going to make more this week, it was so fun. I’m going to try it with collage.
I was so surprised by my results. They look nothing like I thought they would. For sure, none of them is perfect but, you know by now, that will never be the goal of Monster Monday.
Remember to relax and have fun. Please share your cubist monsters here or email them to me at Jennifer@JenniferFalkowski.com.
I know I am behind at posting everyone’s monsters, I will post the last couple of week’s monsters later this week. That give you extra time to send some in. Give yourself and art break and make some monsters!
This week’s supplies: Index cards, magazine to cut up, scissors, glue stick and a black pen.
Cut up some pictures from a magazine. Try to make them abstract and illogical. Are there colors or shapes that appeal to you? If so, use those. If not, that’s OK. I don’t always feel it. Cut up a buncha nothin’. That’s good too. Try to make them about 1” by 2” but if a different size works for you, that’s good too. Just keep your index card size in mind.
Using a glue stick, glue a piece down, rotate your paper and glue on another piece; the only rule is that they must overlap a bit.
Continue until you stop, maybe three to six pieces per index card. Repeat on about four index cards. Put them down and walk away. You don’t have to wait as long as you did for your paint blobs because these don’t have to dry. If you are inspired to draw right away, you don’t have to walk away, go for it.
Find the monster in the shapes you made and draw it in. Again, the goal here is to have fun and to look at a thing in more than one way. You can extend your monster beyond the shapes that the collaged pieces make or you can limit yourself to the collaged shapes.
Here are the other ones I made. You can tell that I didn’t try for perfection, just to have fun.
I got some messages from people last week who did the week one Monster Monday exercises but were too shy to share. You can email them to me and I’ll post them anonymously if you want but please, please, please share them somehow.
Thanks so much to everyone who sent in monster pictures. Here are the pictures that have shown up so far. It’s not too late to send yours in, there is no due date. 🙂
The first set are from Jenny, who said that she found them really challenging to do. She just doesn’t see monsters, she sees flowers and pretty things. I think they are fantastic and I love how she played with colors.
Laurie sent in these incredibly cute monsters. I love how happy and friendly they all seem, like Laurie herself:
These are by Heidi, who had a blast making them and I think it shows:
Finally, here are some early monsters that I made. I cut them out and turned them into postcards to mail to friends.
If you feel the need to do something useful with your monsters, Mail Art is always a fabulous option. Mail them to someone who might appreciate them!
Tomorrow is Monster Monday, Week 2! I’ll be sending out another fun monster game to play! I hope you’ll play along.
This week’s supplies: Index card, acrylic paint and a black pen. When I sat down to work on this, I realized that I don’t have any index cards, so I used these index card sized alphabetical cards that I found at a thrift shop. Any cheap, smallish paper will do.
Optional supplies: A small paint brush, water, a paper plate to use as a palate, a rag to clean up with.
Paint a blob (finger paint or with a paint brush) on an index card. Repeat at least 4 times on other cards, 8 is a lot, 10 is maybe excessive but don’t let that stop you if you are inspired.
Try not to have any preconceived ideas about what these shapes might end up as. Walk away. Let them dry for a couple of hours.
After they dry, it will be time to find your monsters. Turn the cards around and around, looking at them from different angles. Take your time if needed but don’t think it through too much. Allow your intuitive, non-logical mind help you find them, they don’t have to make sense.
Ok. I keep having ideas of projects I want to share. They seem like they would really be fun to do online. But, I know I also have this tendency to jump into things without much thought. So, pretending to be a grown up on the inside (my outer grownup shows more), I’ve been choosing to wait, give the idea a few days of thought to see if there are any holes. Inevitably, I find hole or two or three and think: Whew, I’ll just keep that to myself, looks like I dodged a bullet there…I suppose. Or maybe I didn’t trust myself and the idea lost its steam. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.
So, I’ve had another idea and this time, I’m jumping in. I’ve started it already on my Facebook page but I want to share it here too. You can play along in either or both places.
I’m calling it: Monster Monday.
Monster Monday is a fun way to introduce some creativity into your life. I’ll send out one monster related, creativity art type thing to do every Monday until I stop. At this moment, I have 13 ideas to share. The exercises are fun, non competitive, meant to be freeing and, did I mention, fun. More information is coming – you guessed it – next Monday. 🙂
Please, share this with your friends, your acquaintances and, maybe, that artsy looking woman you just passed on the street.
I ask that you share pictures of stuff you made on my Facebook page. It’s a public page, so you don’t have to be a Facebook member to access it. You can also email them to me and I’ll share them for you. Here and on Facebook so you won’t miss anything.
Why monsters? Because monsters don’t have to follow rules like real animals. They don’t have to have two arms and two legs. They can have as many or as few as you like. You make up the rules that help us recognize them as beings. At least one eye? A mouth or eyebrows? If you are inspired, feel free to change your own rules. If some conditions are met, maybe you can change others. If the mouth is saying MONSTER, maybe you can leave off the eyes. Play around and see. Monsters can have animal like attributes like wings or fins but they don’t have to. They may have leaves or wheels.
If you aren’t happy with what you’ve made, put it aside and start over…or don’t. But please don’t throw them away. Not yet, anyway. Tuck them away for a week or two. Then take them out and peek at them, can you see some attributes you can change to make them more monster-y? Maybe you just want to cut them up and remake them into other monsters. Or, maybe you just truly don’t like them. You don’t have to. At his point, if you want to, just give them the heave-ho. This is supposed to be fun and not stressy.
I’ll keep the supplies you need simple and cheap. It’s probably stuff you have around the house. I recommend you make your monsters on index cards because they rock. They are both easy to find and cheap.
Supply list (keeping in mind that I may come up with some more ideas that need different supplies later): Index cards, paper, a black pen, a color marker or two or three, acrylic paint, maybe a paint brush but you can paint with your fingers too, a glue stick, tape (washi, electrical and/or masking, as long as the tape you choose isn’t transparent), a magazine and/or pretty paper that you can cut up, which means scissors, and finally, some music to listen to.
I hope you decide to play along, next week: Same monster time, same monster channel.
I saw this when I was out and about today:
I thought I would share it in case you need a smile.
Check out this difference. The green stuff is the dry fabric that soaked in the black bean water for 24 hours.
The blue stuff is still wet. I just pulled it out of the dye bath after a 48 hour soak.
I wonder if it will stay blue or if it will dry green? I’ll probably never find out. I did one of those things I probably shouldn’t. But it’s inevitable, so I did it. I threw everything in the wash.
I know I shouldn’t, naturally dyed fabric deserves a gentler treatment than that. However, not only am I sure to throw them in the wash without really thinking at some point anyway, they are also napkins and dishtowels, they really should be able to handle the wash. I hope they stay blue, I don’t really care for the green. I suspect that green may actually come from the mordant.
They are in the dryer as I type away. When I pulled them out of the wash, they were pretty pale. Living and learning, that’s just how I do.
I took this picture last night, when the jars weren’t back lit by the window.
I think it’s kind of funny that they are covered with an indigo dyed dish towel. It’s indigo’s fault they there, because I can’t dye with indigo in this weather.
Anyway, I sucked it up and put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher before getting started this time…You’re welcome.
They all looked pretty much the same in the jars but there is a fair amount of variation between them.
That pink piece is a silk scarf that I dyed with avocado skins and pits but didn’t like, so I threw it in with the cotton. I still don’t like it. But I like everything else. Cotton napkins, dish towels and doilies. I didn’t rinse them, I just hung them up.
This doily was up near the top of a jar. Where it was exposed the the air, it is greener, the submerged part has much more blue. So, I took it and a couple of dishtowels and stuck ’em back in for another day.
I think they’ll stay submerged this time, that jar in there is full of water. I’ll post again tomorrow when the pieces that are hanging are dry and the 48 hours pieces are done. I’m curious to see of the extra time will matter.
I really want to try again using a different mordant. I’m only interested in non-toxic mordants and am open to suggestions..hint hint.
Spoiler: That stinky ass mordant that threw everything cock eyed.
I found an online source that recommended that fabric soak in mordant over night (instead of three days) so I pulled everything out today (please, follow my example and ignore all the dirty dishes on my counter). I won’t lie to you, pouring various stinky liquids form jar to jar and mixing them all up is fun as hell. I felt very evil scientist-y.
Backing up, check out these fermenting bean bubbles.
Next time (oh yes, this will happen again), I will try and time it better. I am sorry to horrify all you frugal bean eaters out there, but I threw the beans away. I don’t even have room in my frozen compost pile for them.
I think it looks pretty brown here.
Maybe a but purple. But, when I threw in the mordant soaked fabric,
GREEN! Muddy green, at that. It looks greener in real life than in the picture. I’m pretty disappointed/stoked to play with mordants in the future. That’s why I will have a next time and I’m not even done with my this time. Right now, they are lined up on my windowsill, wedged between the proof that I shouldn’t be allowed to have indoor plants.
More tomorrow; I’ll check them in 24 hours, hoping for a blue miracle.