Beach bag

Beach bag

Hard to believe in this mess, I couldn’t find a suitable beach bag (I guess there was no room in my luggage for such things when I was packing to move across the Atlantic). Solution? Make one.

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Luckily I had this fabric that screamed “take me to the beach” (the bright colors made it easy to spot when we were cooling off in the Mediterranean Sea). I literally whipped this together the night before heading to beach. It’s the same idea as the shopping bag I made but bigger with a pocket and a button to help keep the sand out and sunscreen and magazines in. Perfect!!

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Chlorox & thiox & dye – oh my!

Chlorox & thiox & dye – oh my!

Remember Carol Soderlund’s “dyeing to discharge” class that I went to a couple of weeks ago?  You must be “dyeing” to learn more!  We took color out, put color in, then took more out, then maybe put more in. We worked 9 -10 hours a day. As I learned how to add depth and interest to my humble cotton cloth my classmates were creating many beautiful pieces in cotton, rayon, silk & even silk/cotton blend. Gradually complex cloth began to come to life in our hands.

clamping & tying black fabric in preparation for a bleach solutions bath
Post bleach - most of the blacks have turned to rust colors. Mine is the one with the big washer.

following processing, washing & drying the fabric is reclamped or tied
these samples are now headed to a thiox solution bath

Further work included experimenting with thickened bleach solution and thickened thiox (not shown here I was way too engrossed in my work to remember to take photos) using theromfax screens, paint brushes, rollers & rubber stamps.

Lunch - char grilled spinach & meat pies - delish!  Even though I was famished it was difficult to stop & eat. Good thing Prochem brought lunch in for us -  

A gallery of results will be shown in my next post. So stay tuned!

How to: Make a Shopping Bag

How to: Make a Shopping Bag

Quick & easy to make, this is the perfect reusable shopping bag.  You can adjust the size according to your shopping needs!  I used 100% cotton material which means it can be thrown in the washing machine whenever necessary.  This bag will also fold up to fit in your pocket (love this about a bag as I often go to the grocery store on the way home from work and HATE carrying plastic bags for any distance).

Why am I wearing a half mask respirator on vacation?

Why am I wearing a half mask respirator on vacation?

While most people are headed to the beach, or out or even chasing butterflies in the backyard, this summer I’m spending 5 days in a classroom experimenting with dye and discharge agents! Yay!  The  instructor is well known fiber artist and author Carol Soderland.  It promises to be an interesting (and fun) week.

Mx dye concentrate

dyed cotton & silk
Our first attempts at dye discharge

And about that respirator…  while the dye process is fairly safe, the chemicals used for discharge are rather nasty. The respirator is a wise choice when you have your head hanging over a pail of bleach mixture. Carol spends a lot of time in class discussing hazards and proper safety precautions for this kind of work.  I appreciate her cautious approach.

The Stanley Cup in the New England Aquarium: Stitchwitch goes to CloudForce Boston

The Stanley Cup in the New England Aquarium: Stitchwitch goes to CloudForce Boston

Even the fish were celebrating

Last Thursday was a great day to be in Boston!

Some people actually spend their spare time making replicas of the Stanley Cup out of aluminum foil. Who knew?

Here are some photos that my husband took on his iPhone. The Bruins are actually arriving in the photo taken through the gate. (I am someplace else finishing a nice bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries.) Not only were people wearing all their Bruins gear, they also brought along their homemade Stanley Cup replicas.  Sorry, I just don’t get it.

Windsor Button

All our trips these days seem to require a sewing related component. Fortunately I have an understanding husband (after he deserted me at breakfast to go see the Bruins bus arrive how could he say no?)

Because it was conveniently on our way to Cloudforce of course we had to stop at Windsor Button. Both the Park Street and Downtown Crossing T-stops will bring you within a block of the store. Ah, this is the way notion shops used to look. If you need a special button or fastening and are in the neighborhood Windsor Button is worth a look.

Assorted button $5 a box
my selections of the day

Finally I arrive at CloudForce 2011

Marc Benioff was busy but the Salesforce.com mascot was available for a photo

Even after all the distractions I was there on time for registration at 11:30 am, ready & waiting for the 12:30 keynote speaker, Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com Chairman, CEO & cloud computing visionary.  His 2-hour presentation on Salesforce.com & social enterprise just flew by – I never even thought about sewing for one minute of it!