25 Jan

The Thing About Yellow

Not long after we got to Hawaii I bought this tie dye skirt — it was cute AND on super sale! But, I had nothing to wear with it. I envisioned a mostly white blouse with a big Hawaiian print in the browns and yellows of the skirt. But yellow is hard to match. It’s very sensitive to warm and cool and purity and tones.

The closest fabric I found was too beige, but I made a cute top anyway that I wear with other bottoms. Then I found a nice big print, and I had hoped the brown and white would force the blue to coordinate better, but it doesn’t.

Then I saw yellow fabric with flying birds on it and thought that would be pretty. But when it arrived, it was far too yellow.

So, inspired by the modern aesthetic, I turned to Amy Butler and bought “Martini” in yellow. The yellow was acceptable, but the pink looked out in left field.

Tia had a blog giveaway, which I surprisingly won, and one of the Kaffe Fasset fabrics from her had potential with a rich brown to match the skirt.

With piles of other fabrics and a variety of patterns, I started organizing what I’d make with what. Digging around in my stash for fabric I had set aside for a skirt a few years ago  — what did I find? A big floral in browns and yellows, with white! The perfect fabric was in my house the whole time!

Yellow Blouse

I’ve since tired of the first two blouses. The bird fabric did get used — as a skirt for my daughter. And I don’t remember what I did with the Kaffe Fasset fabric, though I made pajama pants with another fabric in the bundle.

And finally, two years later, I got around to finishing the yellow blouse! It’s based on a cowboy style blouse and I added the ruffles. I had JUST enough fabric, so I know it was meant to be.

07 Mar

Fabric Marbling

On Saturday I gave a workshop for the quilt guild on marbling fabric. I’m no expert, but I’ve done it a few times for myself and for other quilty friends, so i figured “why not?” The guild was hosting a retreat at a “camp,” so we had a cafeteria, a large lanai, and all day in which to work. Great conditions.

I pre-prepared 20 yards of fabric, about 15 colors of paint, and 9 gallons of “goo” on which to float the paint. That was a lot of stuff to carry with me, but a few 5-gallon buckets did he trick. Four trays to work in was just about right for the 14 students we had. There was just the right amount of waiting and watching each other (good for inspiration) without feeling like you were standing around bored. Though, with six pieces of fabric each to marble, we exhausted the goo in a few hours. Unless one has a very light hand and paints that float perfectly, there can be a lot that sinks to the bottom. As the goo is depleted with each “print,” you can dredge up more and more sunken paint. I made 6 more gallons of goo at our lunch break which kept everyone going until we had used up our fabric, but if I were to do another workshop I’d mix two rounds worth of goo beforehand or limit the class size or number of prints each person could make. Six opportunities each is good though because there were lots of chances to try different patterns and color combos.

Unfortunately, I did not remember to bring my camera to the workshop. It’s too bad too because we had a great time and color was flying everywhere! We had a great group of ladies who were willing to “go with the flow,” and just play. I took home the leftovers and did a little more marbling this morning. I realized that marbling could be just the right technique for the 12×12 theme I came up with: Kilauea. My results above are not as deep and rich in color as I wanted so I’m going to try some over dyeing with Procion dyes this week. We’ll see what happens.

26 Jun

Colors of Polynesia

Where I used to post about German fests and castles, now it’s all tropical dances and food! Here are some images from our day at the Polynesian Cultural Center here on Oahu. Hopefully made more relevant to my creative journey blog in their arrangement by color. Everything should be clickable for a little bit bigger view. There’s also more on Flickr.

Clockwise from upper left: Hawaiian hula in plantation era costumes, traditional hula skirt or “pa’u,” Tahitian dancers, Hawaiian dancers.

Clockwise from upper left: Tahitian dancers, Fijian or Samoan dancers (I can’t remember), Tongan drummer, skirt made from the inner bark of the wild hibiscus tree.

Clockwise from upper left: Hawaiian hula kahiko dancers with feather rattles, Tahitian dancers with I’i hand implements, Samoan fire knife dancer, Hawaiian kahili, or royal standards.

Clockwise from upper left: Taro, Maori woman from Aotearoa (New Zealand) performing the haka as a welcome, Maori man performing another part of the ceremonial greeting, Maori group singing.

Clockwise from upper left: Fijian house for sacrifices, Hawaiian checkers (konane), Fijian tattoo for a king, Fijian outrigger canoe.