Friday, August 21, 2015

Making Displays with Cosmetic Enhancements?

Hello All,

A while back Jenn and I went to the most fantastic flea-market EVER.  It is in Connecticut and called the White Elephant.  It outside and HUGE.  so much cool stuff.  I found a cobblers form that they would use to put new soles on shoes and I now use it to display the sock sample for the kits!  Well on that day of frenzied shopping and imagination overload, I purchase three display forms.  The ones you would use in a store, plastic and hollow backed.  Yeah, those.  Well in my haste to score the buy, he only wanted ten buck for the three of them, I neglected to realize that they were boys or young prepubescent girls.  That my friends was a goof.  We sell yarn to WOMEN (and men) and a display of a gorgeous shawl on a young BOY, that was not going to work.  I could have thrown them out. Nope, that's not me.  So I decided to "fix" them.  I'm frugal, smart and crafty, I can do this, right?

Here is Bruce.  Now please, before you go snarky about not being PC, I think it took a huge amount of bravery and a fantastic support group for Bruce Jenner to do what he did.  I applaud him.  It does not mean I don't respect his choices if I call them Bruce and Caitlin.  

Meet Bruce.  Nice size and clean.  Stands about 2 and a half feet tall and 18 inches wide.  I need a WOMAN!

Looking back now I don't think I needed to do this step, she could have stayed hollow and lessened the risk of mould. 

Must. Have. Boobies.  BTW they all take after me, the right hand side boob is off, bigger, lopsided etc.  Yup, more info then you needed on me, I know.  I like to share.

First display I taped on the dry material, should have continued doing it this way and not applying the wetted crumpled newprint as I did later.  Again, gotta worry about mould.

Made my slurry of flour and water and applied the newsprint to the entire thing, front and back.  Set it in the sun to dry while I started on Katherine (they can't ALL be Caitlin).  It was HOT this weekend, really hot, like Tarzan couldn't stand the heat, H.O.T.  Stuff dried fast.  

Almost, put a butt on her.  Almost. 

Katherine being fitted for her boobies.  New technique and still didn't work too well.  

Even when she is standing up her boobs looked like she was lying down.  Had to fix that.... 

Caitlin on the Right and Katherine on the Left. Hmmmmmmm they don't look like women.... they look like teenage girls with silicone implants.  But you gotta agree they are better than Bruce.

Wow those knockers are BIG and is the left boob squished?  How did that happen?  Grr. 

Between Katherine and Shelia I realized it was the hips that were throwing me off.  So everyone headed back to the operating table to have beautiful, big, holdable hips added to their frames.

Much better.  Here is everyone Saturday afternoon, hanging on the garden gate to dry.  I should not have left them there over night.  It seems that squirrels have a taste for flour and water soaked news paper and took a bite out of Katherine's hip.  The cheek (ha ha get it?) of some animals.

My set up in the shade in the back patio/pit area.  Colin and Peter have been keeping their motorcycles back here and I was able to scam some shade.

Yes, that is my glass of wine with ICE in it.  I did say it was hot right? Next step once they were dry was to add the pretty paper on top.  Half and half water and white glue as the adhesive/glaze.  I used 5 different papers and cut them into the same size squares.  Wanted a quilt like look to them.  All three are in shades of black and white.  Hopefully it will allow the samples to show off their colors.

This is Caitlin done, front and back.  I added a pretty pink flower above her left breast later.  

Now to figure out how to hang them above the sales panels at the shows and I'm all set.  They could also be attached to shepherds crooks and planted in a pot of sand to help them stand.....

We shall see what happens to the ladies next....

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Technique Tuesday

Hello All,

I'm gonna try something new.  Something that will hopefully help me post to the blog more.  I have a lovely friend Cassie, who is helping us to increase our social media presence.  As those of you who have purchased our stuff know, our yarns ROCK!  Well it seams that the whole world does not know that (yet) and in order for the whole world to know we need to Tweet, FB, Instagram, Blog, Ravelry yadda yadda yadda more.  

Each Tuesday I will  I'm gonna post some pics about what I've learned that past week.  

This week I've tried to copy Malabrigo, not the colors exactly but the way the skeins look.
I'm using a technique that I found on You Tube.  Light Brown Hare was able to give me some insight into the unlimited ways to dye yarn and get different results.  
Check out her video:

This is the way Ziggy Stardust (skeins on the bottom) is born.

 Lovely mottling and lots and lots of color interaction.  This is actually a glazing technique with the added surprise of wrapping up the yarns as a resist.  Pretty huh?  The picture can't capture all of the blends.

OK we start with 3 skeins of 400 yards.  For this photo montage I've used my Saunderstown base.  Superwash Merino, Cashmere and nylon, super soft and take the dyes very well.  I've begun to heat the roaster with water and a half tablespoon of citric acid.  The base of Ziggy, like any good baby, is pink.  Not any pink but Pink Orchid. 1 Tablespoon of dye and let the UNWRAPPED skeins swim.  I didn't mix or play with the yarns, I wanted a very mottled base, some lighter and some darker areas.  

This is how they looked loosely wrapped up and ready for the next dyebath.  If I don't want much migration or seepage of the dye I would give the skeins a much tighter twisting.

First bath is Electric Violet.  I let them swim wrapped up and mabie half way thru will roll them around a bit.  Just before the dye has complete exhausted, I gently open the ends up a bit.  I do not open the skein all the way, just try to release any extra tension.

You can tell that the dye mixture will break blue, sucking up the pinky purples first.  The base of the mix is an electric blue and it lends a pale hue to the newly opened skeins. 

You can see after the first bath the pink base, where the purple struck and then the paler blues that happened after opening the skeins up to the un-exhausted dye.

Skeins are drained (and cooled a bit so I can handle them)  then re-skeined loosely, getting ready for the next bath.  Next layer of color is a bright yellow.   The exposed purples begin to turn brown, the blues turn a great green,  and the pinks go orange.  Any yarn that was very pale pink or white are not a bright yellow.  Opened toward the end of the dye, again to get those lighter hues and paler mixes going on.

Even now its a cool looking skein of yarn.  Time to drain, cool, re-skein and get ready for the next bath.

Oooo better picture you can start to see a lot of interaction in the layers of color.

Yum!  If I stopped right now I'd call it "Monet's Water Garden".

Off to our next bath which is PURPLE!  A deep rich royal purple and lots of it.  I wanted this layer dark. To add to the color drama.  So far the colors applied had been in the same tonal family.  I do not open this color as it exhausts, don't ask me why but I didn't and I'm happy about it.

Deep browns and greens, dark eggplant. the greens that were here from the last bath are now beginning to muddy and look earthy.

Last bath is Copper.  A heavy bright orange and chestnut mix.   Sounds a wee bit odd I know but I really wanted the colors to lean darker, dirtyer, earthyer.  My colors tend to be bright and clean and I wanted to work outside of my comfort zone.  

And it worked!  Viola!  Ziggy Stardust is born.

Deep rich multi-layered coloring for a killer variegated skein!  If I do say so myself.  ;)

This is a quick picture of the other skeins in their last bath.  African Safari is not as complex as Ziggy Stardust.  It is just a three color twist dye.  Black, Brown and Gold Ocher.  Opening before the dye exhausts on each color.  

Hope you enjoyed my newest technique, I sure do!  Keep an eye out in the shop, these babies will be going in as a Limited Edition and will not be around for long.  If you would like some of your own Ziggy Stardusts all you have to do is ask.  I LOVE custom orders.

Happy Dyeing,