Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Felted piece hanging, sunrise and tiger lillies

I added a stick and some cheesecloth as a hanger and it is hanging in my cubicle

Sunrise on my drive to work yesterday, it looks like a bird to me

Tiger lillies are everywhere, my favorite flower of all time

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dyeing wool and silk

I got my Babylock embellisher in 2007, and gradually started accumulating roving in various colors from etsy and other online sources. I also, somehow, started collecting undyed wool roving, as well as silk cocoons, carrier rods, hankies, a little throwsters waste and even some wool curly locks.
I love to dye cotton fabric and yarns with procion dyes, but acid dyes always scared me, just the name, “acid” (of course that just means vinegar so it really isn’t scary). After a long break from my embellisher I am back at it and looking longingly at all the luscious hand dyed roving and silk hankies and other fibers out there, wondering if I too could dye wool and silk.
I also regularly read her Majesty Margo’s blog, and when she had this post about dyeing a bunch of different fibers in a turkey roaster, that was it for me.
I don’t have a turkey roaster so I used a large crock pot. For my birthday, my fabulous sister in law Anita (and equally fabulous brother Dave) got me a starter set of Greener shades dyes from the Woolery. They also gave me two bags of wool nepps and two skeins of pencil roving
So this is a picture of my first try.
I gathered wool roving, curly locks, pencil roving (right), cocoons and the wool nepps (left), which were gathered into nylon netting(top left). Yes, acid dyes work on nylon, yay!
The crock pot had a little water and vinegar in it. I soaked the fibers in warm water with a little synthrapol, laid them in the crock pot (two layers), sprinkled a little dye powder on each layer, and cooked it on low a few hours until the water was clear. Let it all cool, rinsed the fibers and laid them out to dry, all just like Margo said.
I was going for a mixture of blue and purple, and I am thrilled with what I got. The colors of these dyes are intense, which I love, and next time I will try and get a little more variation in the colors. I cannot wait to experiment with other color combinations and see what happens.
To top it all off, my amazing friend Gail mailed me some Jacquard acid dyes for my birthday. So I turned 50 and get to dye to my hearts content!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Felted landscape

I finally finished my felted landscape piece, it is approx 10x11 inches. I have some very cool lacy stretch fabric from my good friend Lisa Peters, who also created the fabulous raku cabachon I used as the sun. I used my embellisher to needlefelt various rovings, including some beautiful, silky shiny bamboo roving from Fiber Lady, you can see it better on the in process piece below, the yellow at the top, the coral/peach/green at the bottom left and more bright green middle right.

After needlefelting, I tried a little machine stitching, then added some roving to the back and tried wet felting for the first time ever.

Although my wet felt experiment wasn't great, I did get the effect I wanted on this piece. I added a little more machine stitching, then added some yarns, tyvek, cheesecloth and lots of french knots. I want to hang it from a twig or something similar, but I am really happy with how this piece turned out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hugo Themer - my dad

August 3, 1930 - April 28, 2009

My dad was the most wonderful, gentle, caring, smart man I ever knew. He loved God, he loved his family, he especially loved my mom (with him in picture), they were married 53 1/2 years when he died. He took care of all of us, and the world is not the same without him.
He touched everyone with his compassion and his smile, and the people who knew him loved him. As a Lutheran grade school teacher in Louisville, KY for 42 years, he taught thousands of kids to love learning and do their best.
In 1992, him and mom retired to Indiana. He was a woodworker and loved working in his garage, which was open to everyone. People would stop by to talk or borrow a tool or get dad's help on their project.
He was my biggest supporter in my art. He made frames for my fiber and mosaic art, bases for my mosaic jewelry and anything else I needed. No matter how crazy my ideas, he would figure how to make them work.
He was in the hospital for a week when they diagnosed cancer March 31st, we brought him home for two weeks, then he entered the hospice center for his last two weeks. He told everyone that God had given him a great life, and God would take care of us after he was gone.
Now he is at peace, which is good, but we are left here missing him so much.
This is dad's favorite verse:
Be Still and Know That I Am God. Psalm 46:10
I love you dad!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Ragged Cross

This cross has strips and hand dyed fabric and cheesecloth and measures 10 inches high and 3/4" thick.

The beautiful focal button is one I glazed and fired using a bisque button from Lisa Peters.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ragged Crosses- Rusty Fiber Art

These are 10 inches high and 3/4" thick

This cross and the green cross have fabulous raku buttons from my friend Lisa Peters at

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Stitched Trees on etsy

This was a fun piece to stitch. I stitched the tree desing on a small piece of painted fabric, then stitched it on top of a piece of hand dyed waffle muslin. Added some rusty cheesecloth, mesh, yarns and ribbon. It measures 9.5 inches plus the hanger.
This is another tree I stitched on a piece of rust dyed fabric, then added lots of stitching and a loop hanger. It has raw edges ans measures 8 inches square.

This is the last needle felted tree I have left, and I am finally listing it on etsy.
I added a pocket to the back and slipped it onto an acrylic, 5x7" standing frame.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rusty Trees

Copper wire stitched to the back of the top with a loop for hanging. 9x10 inches

This one is 8x11 plus a copper tube hanger

This one is 8.5x10.5 with a crochet loop hanger

Monday, February 16, 2009

Little Rusty Tree

Well I finally finished a rusty tree piece, it is 5x7". I decided after the last trees to stitch some on rusty fabric. This weekend I ironed a bunch of fabric and cut out the sizes and the felt for the batting and pinned them together with a printed tree on the back. I am not fond of the prep work so when I do it, I like to do a bunch at once and get it over with-LOL.
Then I started stitching trees, I stitch from the back following my printed tree, then go back and stitch from the front to fill in areas and make the branches thicker.
I have several trees in process, but had to finish one tonight, it is a gift for my doctor and his wife. I see them tomorrow and they take such good care of me, they are great people.
after the tree was done, I stitched in the background, added a little felt-y moss under the tree and a rusty moon (or sun, however you want to see it), added a back and mounted it on a little acrylic stand up frame.
I'm sure I'm not the first one to come up with this idea, but I think I will like using these little acrylic frames to display little fiber art pieces!
I am hoping to get more rusty trees finished this week and list some on etsy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


another piece with roving, it looks much better in person. I know I should be honing my photo taking skills, but I would rather spend time playing with fibers.

This piece is about 9x12, usually I crop the pictures but left this one as is. I like when the roving goes over the edge and may mount this onto another piece of fabric and add some roving.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Three more trees

These are on a base of felt, then organzas and roving. about 8 inches.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another little tree

This one is 8 inches square, it is based on a picture (a larch tree I think) that I took a few years ago. I still haven't decided what to add to these little trees, some beads and hand stitching maybe, or how to hang them. Also the colors are more blended in person, for some reason the pictures seems to really show the contrast.
I have a few more little trees in process.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I love trees, specifically bare trees, I just love the branches against the sky. So I drive around taking pictures of bare trees, whenever I can, all different types of trees, with a backdrop of a sunrise or sunset, or even against gray gloomy skies.

I have some fiber pieces I started last week adding roving and little bits of organza needlepunched onto painted fabric with my Babylock embellisher.
And last night I figured, finally, how to add my trees. I turned some of my tree photos into sketches using Dumpr sketch, a fabulous and free program. Then I printed them on paper, pinned the paper to the back of the roving pieces, and free motion stitched, following my tree "pattern". And I am so thrilled with how they are coming out!!

I will be adding something to this one, maybe yarns or hand stitching.
We are having major snow and ice here so I will be taking a vacation day again tomorrow, and I have more pieces to work on, woohoo!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Sunflower

This is my favorite so far, it still needs more stitching.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nature Photos

I love sunrises and sunsets, especially behind bare trees. There was an incredible sunset January 2nd.

My parents set a bird feeder on their front porch and I took these photos yesterday. I was inside and took them thru the window screen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I am going to shine in 2009! That is my motto for the year. I spent alot of time last year chasing after things that left me frustrated. So it is a new year and I have a plan.

Over Christmas break I did work on a rusted sunflower for my mom. Since I was away from my sewing machine, I hand stitched it and then couched some rusty cotton yarn on top of the lines. Mom doesn't like the beads and extras (that I love!) but since it is for her I stopped at that.
My beautiful, rusty pans and grates and other fabulous things were stolen from my back deck. I did rust alot of fabric last summer, but I am just sick about the loss, I loved my rusty pieces.