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Summer Collages

Here are some of the collages I made this summer while the students were working on their projects… I offer many art classes for adults and during the summer for 8-12 and 12-16 at Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation classes at the Olympia Center.

© Midnight Cat – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Midnight Dreams – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Moon Meditation – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Spring Green – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Starlight Meditation – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Fall Twilight – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Two Cranes – Nine Lives Studio – 8/2016

Managed to get the exterior of the house painted before the rain last weekend and just finished up the odd bits today… did lots of canning: bread & butter pickles, zucchini relish, jalapeno hot sauce, salsa verde, tomato soup base…
Now to get ready for Gallery Boom soft opening this coming Saturday. Need to enter my inventory so bar codes will be prepared.
Keep arting
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Shibori Fun…

Still didn’t get around to correcting/posting the mixed media collages but the exterior of the house is 98% painted in one week…
I beat the two days of rain over this weekend!!!
Saturday I facilitated a Shibori class with ten very enthusiastic participants at the Olympia Center through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation. Shibori is the Japanese style of dying fabric with Indigo dye. I prepared samples Friday night after I canned two batched [19 jars] of Bread & Butter pickles… was up to 3am finishing the samples and getting the materials ready … so today I rested and made lots of Shibori pieces.
general items to use when pinching/binding the fabric.

cotton, silk or hemp fabric – washed first to remove sizing. Then fold and use string and elastics to make a design – very controlled random of course

whoops – fuzzy image – plastic clothes pins and wooden blocks

silk scarf wrapped on a pvc [plastic] pipe and tied with string… then compressed/slide down to bunch the fabric. I need a bigger diameter pipe. you’ll see why later.

soak in clean water to wet fabric before dying…

remove excess water

Indigo dye – mixed at least one hour before dying – notice bloom on top of dye.

remove bloom before adding fabric – add bloom back after finished dying…

pieces floating in the dye vat

remove pieces about twenty minutes in the dye vat – remove bindings and expose the material to the air. Air is the catalyst that makes the green liquid turn to Indigo.

as I was undoing the bindings on other pieces you can see the green turning to blue here…

after unfolding the cloth, the air is still reacting with the dye. that green will turn indigo.

silk scarves removed from dye

square silk scarf – notice the white area… that’s why I need bigger diameter pipe because about half didn’t dye.

same for the long scarf… I could re-wrap and dye the white side.

this is a large square cotton “towel” – next you rinse in plain water then wash with soap to stop the process…

That’s what I did to day as I recover from dangling off the ladder painting my house last week….

Tomorrow I make salsa and can it… and finish the 2% house painting if its sunny!
back to writing my story
e

Here’s another batch of paintings I did during the Watercolor Techniques and Textures class I taught. The students [12-16] were incredibly focused! Most of these use wax paper or plastic wrap over wet washes. After the paint is dry, you lift off the wax paper or plastic wrap and play with the resulting images. Can you tell my favorite color is Payne’s Grey?


Winter Woods

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
wax paper over the top – plastic wrap over the bottom wash


Winter Woods # 2

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Wax paper over the wash and then pen and ink to make the trees appear.


Winter Woods #3

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Wax paper over wet wash for the forest – plastic wrap for the field snow…


Crow in Winter Oak

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
cut a stencil of the tree, outlined it and then painted watercolors. Salt on the sky’s wet wash. The crow was a blob of color – whoops into a crow!


Mountain Evening

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
This one has a very Sumi-e feel!!! Wax paper over a wash of various dropped in colors. Tree details added when dry…

OK back to writing
Keep arting – make your heart sing!
e

Here’s a few flower themed pieces before I head to bed…

Poppies and Daisies

© 5/2016 ellen Miffitt
This was from one of my adult classes in May… forgot which one

Tangerine Rose

© 4/2016 Ellen Miffitt
this was from a watercolor pencil class that I taught.

Floral Design

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Made this in the Zen Ink class with the 12-16 age students. white gel pen on black paper.

I have lots of collages and other work I’ll post soon…

time for zzzzzzz but I have to back up my writing first!
e

Watercolor and words

I have been writing up a storm… I participated in April and July Camp NaNoWriMo… wrote three stories and have corrected my Nov 2015 NaNoWriMo…

Then it was summer classes at Olympia Parks, Arts and Rec – 10 of the 12 ran.

Finally posting some new art – Win 10 automatically updated and killed my scanner software. Found  the disk last night and stayed up to 2pm after writing to 12:30 to scan some art. Slowly correcting images from light leaks. My camera died a long time ago so its the iPAD or the scanner…

Here’s some recent art:

Evergreen Mandala

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt


Sacred Tree

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt


Tree Meditation

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt

These were created in my age 12-16 Watercolor Techniques and Textures class this summer. I had the best kids ever in the older students offerings – very focused and inspiring. I cut a stencil for the various trees. Spattered WC over two of them and the third I traced and painted using WC and watercolor pencils. When dry I used these beautiful stencils to ink the design on top.

Will post more later back to writing
e

A week ago Wed was the The Evergreen State College Spring Fair…

the paper bead earrings and other jewelry was just flat on the table so not displayed attractively…


Then Saturday was the POSSCA Annual Artists’ Garage Sale… forgot to take a photo of my set up. I was really not feeling well and crashed Sunday & Monday. Still coughing but feeling much better.

Tuesday & Wednesday I worked on more blank journals – 24 just need to be threaded with the ribbon. The ones in the plastic bag are the less expensive ones need images and tying… they have regular copy paper instead of the #65 weight paper.

I almost threw out some demo paintings from acrylic class that I taught… then it was chop time to make small sections for the blank books!

More paper bead earrings that I made today…

Now how to display them better… woke up yesterday morning with a aha! Finally found my mini cork board this afternoon and then…

I needed an easel or something…. Someone gave me two travel paint box easels! The drawer is perfect for storing the jewelry.

full drawer

practice display…

Saturday turned out to be Wooden Boat Day celebration so the attendance at the NOVA school Innovations sale was very low. Think my table display looked good. I did work more on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel when it was slow…

little fuzzy image –

there was plenty of room so I set my shelf unit in back of the table.

Below the paint box and mini bulletin board display for the jewelry…

I set the drawer out to display the extra pieces…

lastly the blank journals. the one on the right sold. It was a very delicate looking Zen Doodle design.

I made my table fee yesterday and a small amount more. I do have to say that many shows now are requesting this:      Reporting of sales: At the end of the day, we will pass out a reporting form. The primary purpose of this is to indicate the success of the event overall, as well as the different categories of products. While not required, we request vendors consider making a tax-deductible donation of 10-percent of sales (once covering the cost of the booth) to NOVA School to support the School’s programs and financial aid. NOVA School offers an unmatched comprehensive combination of creativity-building programs, such as visual arts, music, textiles, cooking, robotics, engineering, and more…and over one-third of our students only attend with the assistance of financial aid.

I did not participate in this – the main reason that I did not donate 10% – I grossed so little above the $40 table fee, I did not charge tax for my sales unless it went through the Square so I will have to pay tax at the end of the year and my prices are rock bottom so things will sell/be affordable.

I think its nervy to [after paying a table fee] be guilt-ed into paying 10% of your gross… this also happened at one holiday show I did… I mean really, most art/crafters are not making hundreds of dollars at these events.  Unless you bring lunch, you buy food and of course there is the gas to travel. It normally takes an hour or so to set up and break down. This means a normal 10 to 4pm event = 8 to 10 hours… if you figure that for an hourly wage, I make less than minimum for almost any event I’ve done.

This isn’t sour grapes, just a reality of selling handcrafted items… it is fun to talk to customers and other vendors.

e

 

Almost ready to wrap the pin wire for these paper bead earrings… three weeks until Spring Arts Walk where I will display my work at The Estate Store and I have a million loose ends
Least I’m not bored when going from one project to another.

Friends have given me beads/old jewelry over the last few years – time to organize them… although the scavenger hunt of locating different stashes of beads is fun it’s also time consuming. There is the word time again It does speed past.

Started a mini macrame key ring fob and finished a mini macrame bracelet.

dang, I need brighter light and stronger glasses! This micro dark cord is hard to see

Bought these simple tags for displaying the jewelry – large ones for necklaces and small for earrings. will print a label with info for the back…

I know I could have made them but I figured for the sake of time which tends to slip away that it would be easier to purchase.

Keep arting!
e

Lesson about wearing glasses and I need to stop being so stressed so I can think clearly


the above picture shows my first batch of aromatherapy clay pendants. This is low fire clay. When i went to fire them last time I did not look at the package with my glasses on and saw only “cone 6”. Looking up the temperature chart on Internet… cone 6 is 2,232…
The cone/firing temp for “06” low fire is – 18,030… I have been stressed lately and very fuzzy thinking – it should have been a real low fire vs high fire non mistake. You can’t tell from the picture but the clay over-fired and vitrified. The pieces will make good wind chimes.

Second try – tray of shapes dried quickly during this unusual PNW warm weather:

after drying to leather hard stage, I then clean the edges a bit…

and load the kiln:

this kiln is from around 1970 and still has the original coils…

I’ve made a lot more paper beads. It is tricky to cut the paper and roll so that come out the same size.   Maybe I need my eyes checked and finally bow down to prescription glasses.

bought my tools for making “Broken Plate” jewelry:

I saw a how-to where the person used chamois cloth and inserted a piece of  wire hanger for a hanger and then cut/glued to the back of the chard. I’m going to try that…

Here’s the plates that I will practice with – bought them today at the Estate Store:

off to check the kiln temp… no more over firing.

e

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing adventures – second time etching this batch. Basically I think the rubber stamp lines are too fine for a strong deep etching. I left these in at least 4 hours in a fresh batch for ferric chloride. One of the stars has a hole for the jump ring that was too close to the edge… remind me to drill the holes after etching! It destroyed the fine piece that made the hole edge. I’ll just saw/round off all the corners.

today I stopped in to pick up the handouts for AARP tax prep at the Olympia Senior Center and also visited the Senior Boutique. SCORE! I was bemoaning the fact that I had given away many of my rubber stamps awhile ago. Remember Murphy’s Law about discarding stuff and needing it soon after… Look what I found!   Also – Ask the Universe and be thankful….


and

Most were .25, .50 or $1.00… The designs have much wider lines so they will translate better as far as applying the StazOn permanent ink…
Can’t wait to try these out on more of my copper shapes and I will remember not to drill the holes until after etching.

Off to teach the last Mixed Media class…

my low fire white clay arrived the other day… rolled it out and as soon as its bone dry, I’ll bisque fire. I’m making clay diffusers pendants for essential oil. Pinterest is great for how-to as well as you tube. The consensus was that low fire clay was better than self-dry because firing the clay makes it porous.

since I’m rolling on Plexiglas, the clay really sticks. It would roll & lift better on a plaster of Paris surface… I also found I can’t remove the canape cutters because of the sticking factor. I just slide them to the side and cut the next one.

I brush off the excess clay stuck to the cutter edges then I let the clay dry a little before pushing them out of the metal shapes. I can smooth the backs/sides later if they’re uneven. I may glaze the backside so the oil doesn’t soak through.

Then I tried making the texture first… I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of a lot of the rubber stamps my daughter had at one time

Letting the textured clay shapes sit a bit before pulling them apart by sliding the canape cutter across the Plexiglas to the edge.

Before they dry too much I used a straw to poke the holes in the clay. You have to gently rotate the straw to lift the plug of clay out. They are aproimately .25 inch thick. I did press a few of the rubber stamps I have into the clay.

I have them drying on the porch…. hoping no cats hop up to investigate these odd things.

I have to rework the etching pieces from Friday. Think the solution is spent as they didn’t etch at all after 2.5 hours! After that its finally back to the paper beads.