May Musings…

May 2, 2012

Been playing with the 3D lumiere paint again, this time seeing how the glue side of things work. This little number is a collection of hand painted tubes about 7mm in diameter. The 3D lumiere paint has stuck them down quite well and the paint itself is very solid too. Took a few days to dry so handy to have a piece of cardboard under for shifting it around the studio.

My friend, Jill Burgess,  has been getting creative with the tumble dyes. The lace on the dress was sprayed Charcoal and used to imprint onto the matching top. The top started out as white fabric and now has a lovely lace pattern all over it. The outfit was under construction when I took this but I understand it debutes this weekend. Looks fantastic Jill!

Sneek peak at one of my pieces for the upcoming exhibition at the Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Redcliffe, Queensland. The exhibition is by the Reddy Arts Textile Group and is on from July 12 to August 25. We’ll be having an Open Day at the Gallery on July 17 – talks and demos etc at the Gallery. Its going to be fun.

Prior to that exhibition, I have another set of work in an exhibition called “The Dress” opening in Adelaide on June 8 and going through to July 1 and the above is a sneak peak of that one. It’s on at Gallery M, Marion, South Australia. Lots to see here as its two groups of artists with a strong textile focus.


Lumiere 3D Paint and Glue

April 16, 2012

Jacquard’s new Lumiere 3D Paint and Adhesive is a fantastic addition to Jacquard’s metallic paint range. 3D lumiere is thick and creamy in texture making it easy to use to get texture into your work, plus it can be used as a glue to embed sequins, beads and other found objects into your owrk. I had a play with some manilla tags to see what I could do.

Using my favourite tumble dyes for background color, I then stamped into some blue and green 3D lumiere Paint and Adhesive and then stamped onto the card. The result is a great crusty texture that just sparkles in the sun.

Playing with the reds and gold lumiere 3D paint meant I started getting some interesting raised areas – a sprayed over the metallic paint with the tumble dyes to let the colour surround and settle into the lower areas of the raised stamping.  I also used a bamboo skewer on another set of cards to manipulate the thick paint.

Best part of the product – very easy to get the paint out of the tube, great applicator and good design of lid to seal the bottle when finished. Least favourite – air bubbles can occur so if you’re after a straight thick line it can be a challenge to achieve it.

What more can you do – play with stencils. The thick paint make using it with stancils a breeze Here I a lovely Thai silk and my current favourite stencil

Then I applied the paint using an old credit card to push the paint through the stencil.

It gave me a raised design onto the silk with according to the bottle will take about 72 hours to dry completely if I suddenly wanted to launder the silk. What was the easiets part of this: moving the paint through the stencil, I didn’t have to work fast- I could do it in my own pace, a little at a time. Worst part: deciding to leave the journal underneath during the stencilling – what was I thinking!! I’ve now make it up into the journal cover but I think its better just to use a light pencil mark or other means to mark where you want to put the stencil.

My favourite section of the design on what is now my “free to be me” journal. I’m using the Fabriano Square journals as I just love the different size to the usual A5 portrait or landscape journal. Overall, I think there is a lot of creative scope for this product.

Work In Progress…

March 6, 2012
WIP March

"Blue Pole" in progess

Been painting again and playing around with impasto medium. It adds a bit of body to the paint and texture. This is painted on calico. Might stitch it, might not…see what happens!

Dyeing Silk Cocoons

February 25, 2012

Check out my latest article in Embellish magazine – chatting about dyeing auxillaries this time. Thinking about this and the images I used took me back to when I was dyeing silk cocoons. Not the easiest thing to do using the traditional steamed fixing with a steamer pot – they all go soft and flatten. So what’s the answer – using a microwave to steam the little things!!

Now that microwaves are a lot cheaper its possible to get either a second hand one or cheap one for dyeing. I had bought one for $60 but then it ended up in the kitchen when my daughter tried to defrost toast for 20mins in my old microwave. I didn’t notice the smoke until the 12th minute… But the cheapie microwave only lasted about 12 months and a day and then died..right when Brisbane flooded and it wasn’t possible to get out to get a newbie. So the old faithful came back into the kitchen, smelt a bit of smoke but has still kept on going strong.

Next cheapie purchase – the microwave was now $45. Also microwave containers with that plastic grill thing at the bottom to hold the coccons above the excess dye liquid. You need to used separate containers for dyeing and cooking otherwise you could end up very sick. Next stage – experiment.. pour small amounts of acid dye over the cocoons and then steam for 10 seconds in microwave, allow to cool and then rinse to check its set. Tips – only pour small amounts of dye onto the cocoons as the dye streads and you really don’t need a lot of dye. You also want to steam the cocoons not boil them!

Why acid dyes? They give the best colour on silk. My favourite acid dye? Jacquard Acid dyes – excellent colour and easy to use. The acid involved is vinegar. Take 1 cup of hot water, 1 drop of detergent, 2 teaspoons of dye powder and a dollop of vinegar (12.5mls for the pedantic!) and mix to dissolve dye. This solution is now active. Pour carefully over cocoons in microwave bowl. Steam for the length of time you have determined for your machine (I did 10 seconds for mine). If you are concerned about burning then if the microwave is powerful, drop the power level to at least 70% to start with. Allow to cool, then rinse in water. Best of all you end up with brillant colour and the cocoons keeping their shape.

Lastly – SAFETY FIRST with all this. (Okay – the first thing is last, I know…) Use separate containers for all the dye stuff, wear protective colthes including gloves, dust mask when mixing up the powder and never use any kitchen utensils for dyeing – buy a separate set of microwave dishes as well as the microwave!! Also easy does it – don’t saturate the cocoons with heaps of excess dye. Above all, look after yourself and enjoy the dyeing process.

Like dyeing? Why not check out this month’s Embellish magazine – lots of interesting textile stuff!

Playing with paper

February 20, 2012

Been playing with tumble dyes again but this time on paper and using my new Colorbox molding mats as stamps. The tumble dyes make it easy to quickly colour the paper. Add a stamp down the side and you have a great start to a journal page or a piece for collage.

Playing with a Rainbow...

Add a touch of lumiere paint to the mixture with a palette knife and you get great backgrounds. Here’s a journal page I did.

Art Journal Page

Lumiere really is the best metallic paint. I’ve tried others but nothing comes close to the covering power nor the colour of Jacquard’s Lumiere paint. So next step – I took this and applied it to fabric…

Applying what I did on paper to cloth.

Using tumble dyes and Lumiere paint means that I can heat set the paint and its completely washable. It also retains its drape too, meaning that I can use the cloth for a range of projects. Here’s a couple more of the papers I coloured up…

Its lots of fun creating these and quick – especially when you’re trying to fit it in with the school run!

Doodling Along with Shiva Stiks…

February 13, 2012

Cedar Cayon has brought out a new set of rubbing plates (called Doodles) so I decided to combine my favourite paints of the moment, tumble dyes, and do a bit of rubbing. The great thing about the tumble dyes is that you can colour your cloth any way you want. When dry I just taped one of the new Doodle plates to my drop sheet and popped the coloured cloth over to have some fun with rubbing them with shiva stiks.

A little blue number

Okay testing to see if the words disappear again…. and they didn’t so I’ll rewrite them!! Blog having one of those days! 🙂 Above was my favourite from all the designs I did. I used copper, red and white on the rubbing, all irridescent Shiva rubbing stiks.

A little green number..

I finished with the purple number so I have all six designs onto cloth now. Just got to do the making up into a wall hanging now. Had fun with the humidity. Shiva paint stiks remain wet for a long time in humid weather so I’m waiting 7 days before I heat set with the iron. Also it was the first time I didn’t have to cut off the protection skin, it just rubbed off because of the high humidity. So the Shiva paint stiks were very soft.

A little bit purple..

Lastly I was creating my own stamps from the rubbing plates using the heat’n’mold stamps. I used a brayer to roll it into the surface. Its a bit hard to see because the flash kept washing out the contrast.

Using the Doodle Rubbing plates to create a stamp

Playing with Mica Fragments

February 8, 2012

Got some Mica Fragments the other day so decided to have a play with them. They quite large flakes considering we usually see mica in powder form as in Pearl Ex Powders by Jacquard. I decided to combine a few things to see what happended as you need something for the mica to stick to. So I got out some Filigree Fluid which is like a puff paste but only puffs up in a subtle way compared to Permaset’s Puff paste which gives you lots of puff for little paste.

What I used to create the textured surface

Instead of using the needle point applicator of the Filigree fluid I took the lid off and applied it to the cloth using the tooth brush so I could get some texture. The cloth I had pre-coloured using Tumble dyes which are lots of fun.

Filigree fluid over the cloth

Next I sprinkled some embossing powder in blue and white and also the mica fragments. I tried crushing the fragments but they are really very flexible so they didn’t crush down easily. This I see as an advantage when using on textiles as they will flex with the movement of the cloth.

Cloth after heating and textured surface created.


Its a bit hard to tell from the photo but the result is a very crusty surface thast is very flexible. I used Opal embossing powders which are renown for their good flexibility but what amazed me was how the large mica flakes stayed attached.

Close up of crusty surface


The other way to use the mica flakes is simply to embed them in paint. Again its amazing how they stick and stay put even when you flex the cloth. All I did was to paint the fabric, sprinkle the fragments where I wanted them, then placed a piece of baking paper over and rolled it with a brayer to ensure the mica fragments were embeded.  They have stayed stuck fast!

I think Mica Fragments add that extra dimension to surfaces, especially when trying to make a very textured result.

More Tumble Dye action…

December 1, 2011

Try spraying a T-shirt too – a great fun project for kids of all ages. After spraying, air dry the piece the heat set in the dryer for twenty minutes to make the colour permanent and washable.


T-shirt spraying with tumble dyes

 Overprinting with the Tumble Dyes


Printing over with Walnut Tumble Dye

SEI Tumble syes are so easy to use. No messy chemicals or lengthy preparation. Just shake the bottle and off you go. Its great with stencils or other found object or use simply to colour cloth. We found we had good results with a variety of fabrics.


Fun with Tumble Dyes

November 29, 2011

Tumble Dyes are water based and heat set

Tumble dyes are water based, heat set, permanent and washable. You can use it on fabric, ribbon, lace, silks, dried flowers, baskets, wood , paper and more. You can apply them by spraying or painting them on the fabric. Combine them with stencils to have lots of fun.

To use the sprays simply place your cloth on a level surface. Place the stencil on top. Shake the bottle of Tumble Dye well – this is important to ensure its all mixed up.  Spray the colour onto the cloth.

Spraying onto cloth


Colour over the whole stencil


Spray a series of images along the cloth


 Tumble dyes are great for tie dye and of course scrunch dyeing in a tub. Simply place wet fabric in a tub. Scrunch up, spray with a colour, move and scrunch again then spray with the next colour. use at least 3 colours to create an interesting fabric.

Scrunch dyeing in a tub

 Tumble dyes are a great way to create your own unique cloth to transform into fantastic textile art. We tried Tumble dyes on a variety of fabrics and ended up with lots to use.  The best part was that even with 3 of us using the sprays and basically going for it, trying out whatever we pleased, there was still lots of colour left in the bottle. In most cases we still had half a bottle of dye left. This was impressive as we’ve all experienced the sprays which run out after colouring 1 – 2 pieces of cloth. Overall we had a fantastic day playing with Tumble Dyes!

Some of our tumble dyed cloth


If you would like to purchase some check out my online store at Essential Textile Art


Evolon Soft Xperiments

September 1, 2011

Evolon soft is a spunbound product wih a wonderful stonewash finish. Lovely and soft, it has a great feel and drape. A fun way to embellish it is to use heat transfer. Simply get yourself a photocopy (must be a carbon print, can also be a laser print but doesn’t work with inkjet).

Evolon Soft with a B&W Photocopy

Place the photocopy face down onto the fabric and then use a hot dry iron to transfer the image. You will need to press firmly for 30 – 60 seconds to get the transfer to occur. Check your progress by carefully lifting one corner. The end result is a great image transfer to Evolon Soft:

Image transferred to Evolon Soft

You can then paint and embellish the fabric as you desire! You may wan to try foiling as well. As the surface of Evolon soft is very grippy you don’t need an adhesive. Simply place the foil coloured side up on the fabric and once agin use you hot, dry iron to apply the foil.

Foiling onto Evolon Soft

Its great to play with so have fun with this new material. I stock all the supples at my shop so if you’re looking for some check out Essential Textile Art .