A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Craftsy dye-class with 50% discount

Further to the give-away of Jane Dunnewold´s online dyeclass at Craftsy, Craftsy presents to you, our blogreaders who didn´t win (and everyone else), a 50% discount!!!

You will receive this discount by using this 50% discount on Craftsy dye class -link

Go see this great video-lessons, and have fun with all the endless possibilities!!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

And the winner is...

My good friend ´Random number generator´ picked the next winner, being.... number 28:

It´s Dea:

Congratulations to you Dea!

Merry Christmas to all of you, and join filling the dye pots in 2013, it is so much fun!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Give Away - Bonus!

Our month full of reviews and Give Away´s is not over yet... we have something special for you!
A Give Away of Craftsy´s online class, The Art of Cloth Dyeing, by well-known fiber artist Jane.

Jane Dunnewold is the author of Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design on Fabric and runs Art Cloth Studios in San Antonio, Texas. She strongly believes in the endless possibilities of color.
In this online class, you'll learn how to use fiber-reactive dyes, explore beginning and advanced resist methods, and salvage mistakes. Jane explains how dye bonds to different fabrics and how to create multicolored effects and patterns without muddying your colors.

Although this online class is rated "Great for beginners" (it is actually), I learned a lot too even though I consider myself rather experienced. I especially liked the parts on over-dyeing and the chemistry of dyeing. This information opens up new sources with which to experiment. I did pick up some new techniques and tips as well as Jane's explanations on how to create multicolored effects and patterns without muddying your colors. I loved her "no nonsense" approach and easy-to-find materials to use as a resist or clamp.

This is what they tell you that you will learn (and I confirm this fully)

What You'll Learn in The Art of Cloth Dyeing

  • Selecting the right fabric for your projects
  • How to choose and use dyes and chemicals safely and effectively
  • The secret to fast and easy washout
  • Creating patterns with simple resist techniques, using tools from PVC pipe to bubble wrap
  • The magic of overdyeing
  • How to achieve seductively rich colors that don't fade or run
  • Revamping thrift store finds with a coat of fresh color
I loved the advantages of an online class: learning at my own pace with an option for marking "to remember" video fragments, an option of asking questions AND reading the questions and answers the other students posted. Jane answers personally. How cool is that.
Jane´s way of teaching is very clear, to the point and easily understandable. Even if English is not your primary language, like me, these online classes are really great. You can enter your class at any time, watch classes on your own schedule: wherever, whenever you want even on the iPad like I did. Your access never expires! You can watch the twelve video lessons over and over again even rewinding if you missed something. The impact is much bigger than reading a book, as everything is shown with you sitting "front row".

Craftsy is offering one free class of The Art of Cloth Dyeing as a Give Away to our readers. So if you want a chance to win, leave a comment on this blogpost.

The winner will be announced on Christmas eve, 21.00 hrs in The Netherlands. And there will be a surprise for the rest of you as well, so don´t forget to check this blog later this month! In the mean time, sign up at Craftsy.com so they can keep you be updated with big sales and new classes!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Because of my bookreport I have made a series of numbers. My grandson has drawn a number.
If Dian contact me, an early christmas present will reach you soon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

And the Winner of "Art + Quilt" is...

Using a random number generator...the winner is Dea, who said...

"If your review and the work you show weren't enough to convince me this book is a must-have, that quote would surely have done the trick."


(I'm excited to say that we have an overseas winner! Dea is from the Netherlands.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And the Sock Horse goes to...


Susan said...
I love sock critters!  Horsey is very cute and I love the idea of using tights not just socks for critters.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 4 Winner!

There were 40 unique names to draw from for the day 4 book review drawing, and the winner is (drum-roll, please!)  ANI!  I will be e-mailing you to send me your mailing address, and will forward it on to CT Publishers so they can send you Rayna's book!  Thanks to all for participating, and Ani, I hope you love the book as much as I do!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

And the winner is...

Lisa with number 9 from Random.org

Lisa said...
Finding Your Visual Voice looks like a fabulous book. Something I am working on myself. Thanks for the great giveaways! Love this blog.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 2: And the Winners Are...

Just in case anyone thought I was joking about drawing names from a hat...

I traded some hand-dyed fabric with a friend who knits for this hat.

Sue's book and sketchbook go to:

Robin Walston said...

Thanks for the review. I think about doing an art journal but so far have lacked the discipline. My favorite medium is fabric

Melanie's book goes to:
 Colleen Kole said...
My medium is textiles and I love to dye my own and make all kinds of marks. My favorite book I purchased this year is a used copy of Julie Caprara's book "Exploring Colour".

And the sketchbook with my handmade cover goes to:
Katherine said...
would love to win any other these

I want to thank everyone who commented -- all 53 (!) of you.  I'm glad I used the hat because there were so many kind and encouraging comments I would have loved to have sent stuff to all of you.
I will let Sue and Melanie know who won and they should be contacting you shortly.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

And the winner is... (day 1)

Today is winner´s day, I had 66 comments on my two books...
So I needed some help and asked Random.org to generate two winning numbers for me:

For the book Textile Adventures from Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, the winner is...

Number 12, Elaine M, and fortunately she loves this book:

And for those of you, who didn´t win, good news: Mirjam loved reading your comments and promissed to join our blog for a co-production in April 2013! Be sure to check in in time (or just stay, we will have a lot of fun each month!)

For the book Textile is alive, I also asked my new best friend Random to generate a number:

Number 4, Ineke, who loves books, I am pretty sure this book will keep you busy for the whole year!

Ineke and ElaineM, please send me your adress by email: verfvirus@gmail.com and we will send the books to you asap.

Thanks all for sharing your favourite books with us, tomorrow another winner!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 8 Bookreview and Giveaway

As a new member of this group, i would like to start with a very special little book which i keep telling about to my students, to my friends and to anybody who is interested how forms work. I just could find an another example of it, so if somebody would like to read it - this is my giveaway.

Molly Bang: Picture This - How Pictures Work

I work as an art teacher and in the school I often see that some pictures do work while others don't, independently of being abstract or figurative. Naturally you ask yourself why? 
There are many complex answers in art-psychology but there is also this wonderful, small book from Molly Bang: Picture This – How Pictures Work. She illustrates the story of Little Red Riding Hood with simple forms and colors. She tries out different solutions and looks for the most expressive ones. Her logic and argumentation is so clear, that you start asking yourself, how come i haven't realised it myself? 
It is a short book, barely 100 pages, easy to read and follow.

I suggest it to everybody who is interested in pictures and compositions.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shibori for textile artists

I wrote about " Shibori for Textile Artists"  Janice Gunner
Published in 2007 by Kodansha America.Inc.
My give way is the fabric( 8 pieces 45cm 55cm) in the background of the book ( not self dyed)

Shibori is the Japanese term for the dye-resist technique of binding. clamping or gathering cloth so that dye cannot reach certain parts.

The book begins with the historical and cultural background, then goes on to explain clearly, with step-by-step instructions.  Covering many different techniques, tied-resist, stitched-resist, wrapped-resist, clamp-resist, folded and pleated-resist.
Stunning examples of finished pieces appear throughout the book, also one of my favourite artist Jan Myers-Newbyry

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book Review (and Giveaway) of Art + Quilt--Quilter Beth

Lyric Kinard's "Art + Quilt" is a valuable resource for both the experienced AND novice quilt artist. It combines pictures and narrative to guide the reader through explanations and exercises of many different art concepts including things such as perspective, motion, isolation, focal point, and more. I really like that the book is a hardback, spiral bound version. It lays nice and flat when working through the exercises in the book.

I used the book as a guide when I was transitioning from making traditional quilts to art quilts. I worked through the exercises in the book creating a small quilt each week focusing on the subject I had studied that particular week. I documented my progress on my blog by discussing the week's art concept, my troubles and triumphs of working through the concept, and showing a photograph of my quilt utilizing the concept. I found the process to be VERY helpful.

Here are some examples of the small quilts I made each week as I worked through the design concepts in the book.

 Actual Texture Exercise
 Color as Emotion Exercise--Excitement
Color as Emotion Exercise--Sadness
 Closed Form Exercise
Open Form Exercise
Line Weight Exercise
 Scale Exercise
Unity Through Repetition Exercise

 Lyric was kind enough to send me a quote I could include with my review...
 "Too many times I've been approached by women who have seen my art am told, "I wish I were creative, I can't draw a straight line." I wonder who it is that taught them they couldn't be an artist? If a child is having difficulty reading do we send them away and discourage them from trying? Absolutely not! We expect them to do the work and we patiently help them to master what can be a complex and difficult skill. I wrote this book because I believe that art CAN be taught! It takes work and effort and practice but any one who has the desire truly CAN learn to see and think like an artist. This book helps the reader begin the process of learning to see and understand the basic elements and principle of good design. Where your own artistic journey leads you is up to you but I will tell you this - it is a path full of joy and wonder!" -Lyric, Artist, Author, Educator, www.LyricKinard.com

If you'd like more information about Lyric, you can check out her blog here. She also teaches. You might want to check out her two upcoming retreats - A Week of Surface Design at Quilting Adventures in New Braunfels, TX March 10-15, 2013 (http://www.quilting-adventures.com/spring-quilting-seminars/session2/) and Becoming an Artist in Italy at the Abruzzo School of Creative Art, Italy June 26 - July 2, 2013 (http://www.abruzzoschoolofcreativeart2013.com/lyric-kinard.php)

I have a copy of Lyric's book for my giveaway. Leave a comment on this post before December 13, 2012; I'll pick a lucky winner through a random draw. Be sure your email address is available to me so I can notify you if you are the winner.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dec 5 Book Review and Give-Away

 This year I have been making sock animals for Christmas Presents.  If you can't tell, this is a picture of a lion, giraffe, rabbit, and dog sock animal.  I have made about 25 of them now--cats, dogs, horses, zebras, giraffes, lions, tigers, and frogs. They have been really fun to make, didn't take much time or money to create, and kids seem to love them.  I do have to admit they are really cute and quite cuddly.

When I decided to make them I did the obligatory internet search for free patterns.  I found three distinct ways of combining socks to make different types of animals.  This is my favorite kitty pattern.  And here is the dog. Well, I actually used this dog pattern but it is the same as the other pattern and the first one has better directions.  And here is the bunny. Of course I made some adjustments and customizations. Don't we all? I also bought a couple of books.  After taking many "inside peeks" on Amazon, I chose two books by  Brenna Maloney, Sock Appeal and Sockology.  I have chosen to write my book review of her two books.

I like her books.  I could have made the animals just from the free patterns but Brenna's book gave some finishing techniques or embellishments that gave the animals personality.  The books were an inexpensive investment--I always look at the price of books, don't you?  I absolutely think the inspiration they gave me was worth more than I spent on them.  And they will have more than paid for themselves by the time I finish making Christmas presents for the grandchildren. 

I especially like Brenna's sense of humor.  She laughs at herself and with you. In the middle of one of her directions she asks you not to get mad at her about how hard this next step is. Then after you do the step, she says oh, the was not so hard and perhaps it is the next part that was hard. And neither step is hard but the point I am making is that she talks to you and not just tells you what to do.  It is not easy to make a book of patterns and sewing directions feel personal but Brenna did.

Most of the patterns in these two books are pretty simple. She does have some patterns that have you cut up socks into strange pieces to make sock animal body parts.  I didn't try any of those.  I believe that sock animals should look like they are made from socks. Or tights.  Like this horse.

He is my give away for my book review.  He is about 30 inches tall from the top of his head to the tip of his hind hoofs.
He is a cuddly horse.

How could you say no to that face?
If you would like this cuddly toy just leave a comment on my blog post.  I'll pick a winner on Dec 12 and send him off to whatever address you give me. Should get there in time for Christmas.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Breaking news re: Day 4 book review!

Happy Dance!  To all who were disappointed they couldn't participate in the drawing for Rayna Gillman's book, your wishes have come true!  The publisher is willing to send the book to me if the winner is outside the U.S., and I will forward it on.  So keep those comments coming!  All who have already commented, I have added your name to the list of participants, so you do not need to comment again.  For those who haven't yet, please comment in the section of the original post.
Thanks much!
Judy Sall  

Day 4 Book Review and Giveaway

Review of “Create your own hand-printed cloth” by Rayna Gillman

I love to dye fabric and clothing!  I began my tie-dye business in 1998, and spent several years focused on just dyeing clothing.  But in 2007, I took a class in Surface Design techniques, and my direction shifted to include fabric, primarily for art and landscape quilts.  I was intrigued by the various aspects of Surface Design, and when Rayna Gillman’s book “Create your own hand-printed cloth” came out in 2008, I ordered a copy from her and it has become one of my primary reference books.  Rayna was not the first author to write a book of this type, and she won’t be the last, I’m sure.  But she has created a thorough, interesting and inspiring book that I never tire of browsing for ideas and information.  Rayna covers such topics as stamping and stenciling with found objects, soy wax batik and screen printing with thickened dyes, among others.  Thanks to her recipes, I have finally learned how to mix sodium alginate so that it is not full of lumps, and my thickened dyes come out with much better color intensity than I was getting before. 
Rayna has produced a collection of instructions that covers the basics of each technique in an easy to follow, step-by-step description, combined with photos that work with the text to help the reader to see the process clearly.  I highly recommend “Create your own hand-printed cloth” for anyone who is new to Surface Design, but also for those for more experienced in the techniques to use as a  frequent resource.   Rayna’s book can be found at amazon.com and C&T Publishers.

Leave a comment here and you will be eligible to win a copy of Rayna’s book compliments of C & T Publishing!  I will put all participating names in a basket and draw the winner on December 11th.  Then I will post the winner’s name  here so you can contact me with your mailing info.  
Be sure to come back tomorrow for Judith's Book Review and Giveaway!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finding your own visual language

Finding your own visual language.

Written my Claire Benn, Leslie Morgan and Jane Dunnewold

This is my favorite book for really jump starting my creative process as well as an artistic "AAA" for when that process has a puncture on the road to completion. After I talk about the segments of the book I will explain why I find this book such a rich resource of inspiration.
The main premise of the book is that if offers a multitude of directions like road signs along a journey to bring an artist during any stage of development from point A to point B. For me it has been like taking private lessons from a master, learning to see, understand and correct or redirect the path along the creative process. These include how to get started, move forward, evaluate your work during the process especially when you feel stuck and finally going deeper down the path.
I may know what I like judging from the scrap books of ideas, colors and textures I've made. However, I need the guidance of one who has been there to give me the suggestions that help me focus and examine what I am trying to accomplish as an individual. This is where the visual exercises help me see things in a new way, develop ideas on how to create mark and actually put my finger more closely on what it is I am trying to say.
In the first section of the book I worked with shapes, cutting stamps, line drawing, mark making, texture, using mark to express feelings, line studies, rubbings, monoprinting, examining color and pattern and abstraction of images. After doing the work, I am given questions to ask about my work so far and guides for drawing some conclusions.

The second part of the book is an explanation of art and design principles: contrast and relationship, focal points, and balance. Again I am given a series of questions and guided evaluations, ways to seek solutions and make decisions.
To carry you through the process, the authors offer two case studies which are very illuminating. You can see the process in action, like watching someone’s mind work. The last portion of the process is a writing exercise. This is not my forte but using the guidance of the book, I was able to follow through.
Now I come to the point of telling you why I like this book most of all the books I have purchased about surface design. Many books are about technique, or about how the author does her/his work. This book is like having an instructor right in the room with you, guiding YOU down the path of understanding. It’s not about how this person makes their art or that person makes their art; it’s about how I can make art in my own voice. I love the questions and guides provided which show me how to examine what I've done and ask myself if I've achieved what I set out to do, if I've said what I wanted to say.
This book is my “go to” place whenever I feel stuck or in a dry place. The exercises always “get my creative juices flowing” again. I've heard it said that we learn by doing and these exercises are a sure fire way to get me “doing” and launch a creative burst.

On a personal note, I have created a book of marks that I use to whet my appetite for "work"or to simply create a page or two when I need a creative outlet. I have included a few pages. 

 Drops of India ink blown with a plastic straw
 Tiny spray with India ink and a toothbrush
 A roller pen
 black acrylic paint applied with a wad of burlap
 Black acrylic paint smeared with a 4" squeegee
 Stamps from the exercises in the book with acrylic paint
 A closed cell foam disc used as packing material rolled in acrylic paint and rolled onto the pages
The gold dots were already on the pages and I made a clam image I use frequently with white china marker.


I have a free six month "Star Membership" to The Quilt Show for my giveaway.The show used to be pretty traditional but in the last few years have some great art quilters. There is a great 70 minute Threadplay tutorial with Libby Lehman. There are also scads of things available only to Star Members. These would be available to you also. You can't beat free!! I usually learn at least one new thing each time I watch a show. There is a new show every other week. I will give the free 6 month subscription to one person who leaves a comment.

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