If you have been following the spore printing experiments over the last few weeks you might remember that I said I was experimenting with ways to fix the very fragile, easily smudged, powdery prints in order to preserve them and perhaps even make them scannable and frame worthy.
You might want to review the other posts here and here but here is a pictorial review.
If you leave the prints as is they rub off very easily like chalk pastels or are prone to moisture damage. I tried different things to preserve them put the mail contenders were:
a. cytology fixative spray ( the stuff used to preserve PAP smears in a medical office)
b. hair spray ( used to fix hair for dance) and
c. workable fixatif made by Krylon.
And the winner was workable fixatif by Krylon available at art supply shops and Michael's. The most important thing is to hold the spray can at least 12 inches
away from your paper or the force of the aerosol will displace the spores.
I liked this because it dried very fast and did not leave a sticky or glossy finish.
Next step will be to scan these and then convert them to images suitable for screen printing.
If you leave a comment below I will pick a name on friday and the winner will receive a crocheted vintage button mushroom similar to one of these.
I am actually planning of having giveaways everyday this week to celebrate the changing season and back to school for some. So please enter everyday for a chance to win.
I watched hundreds of tiny golden spiderlings hatch in May from an egg sac that was tucked under one of my porch window boxes. Now just over three months later some of these little ones survived wind, rain, almost tornadoes, birds and scavengers to reach full potential. Now as the nights become cool and crisp they are weaving huge webs, trapping and consuming a large number of insects so that they might mate, lay their dreams for next spring and die. This post is my small way of showing to these tireless dream weaver survivors that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Dream weaver Ive just closed my eyes again Climbed aboard the dream weaver train Driver take away my worries of today And leave tomorrow behind Ooh dream weaver I believe you can get me through the night Ooh dream weaver I believe we can reach the morning light
lyrics by Reo Speedwagon
I would like to have a requiem for a dream weaver and would love your contributions. You can leave it in the comments below and I will draw a name to win one of the orb spider hoop embroideries on the fourth day of September at midnight.
It has been a long while since the last update. I visit the installation every week but the progress appears slow or almost unchanged most visits and then something very special occurs like what happened about a week ago where one of the lace pieces that was attached to the tree fell directly on top of the lace covered stone in perfect placement. Hard to believe that the wind, rain or even that fierce storm we had last week could have caused this perfect arrangement. I also love how the piece on the neighboring tree that fell off long ago onto a piece of birch park has converged so beautifully with its carpet that they appear almost as one. If you are new to reading this blog I welcome you and invite you to look back at the earlier posts describing this ongoing project of mine.
Nature was making it's own soft white covers of fungi right next to my crocheted lace and the moss was very slowly starting to grow through the small openings in the pattern. Very close by I saw something that made me startle a little. I thought someone had laid out another piece of lace but on closer inspection I realized it was nature who was the artist in the form of a shed skin, perhaps a snakeskin.
I loved that so much!! I also noticed some amazing scratches in a fallen tree and fungi galore joining in the show.
Signs of autumn were evident in the colorful leaves on and off the branches and the first fallen acorns of the season.
I took this picture of a fungi with highly colored spores only to read about it later when researching spore printing that you can actually gather these spores, dissolve them in water and make a wonderful indigo colored ink from them. I will try to find it again this weekend and let you know if it is really true.
While we are on the topic of spore printing I think I have completed my preservation experiments and I will share the results with you next week. I am also hoping to covert some of the prints into suitable form for shooting a new screen for screen printing. I would love a spore printed skirt, tote bag and some pillows for the porch for fall. If it works out well I might even make some for the shop.
Have a wonderful weekend. We are expecting cooler weather and rain.
A special treat today my youngest daughter Deborah is the guest blogger. She and her father took a trip out to British Columbia a few weeks ago to visit her Oma, two uncles and aunts and her two darling young cousins. Here is a snapshot of her trip through her words and pictures.
Loving the greeny gold color and rolling hills, layers getting higher and higher.
Getting closer to our destination of the walk, a small very old fashioned playground in the middle of nowhere.
This old, chipped playground had a lot of character to me, and seemed like a great setting for a scene in a movie or something.
Mine and my mom's favorite number, works out well i loved this blue color and little glimmer in this rock.
On a little walk around the neighborhood in Kamloops this caught my eye, pretty adorable.
Here I feel like the sky closer is happier, and in the back the mountain itself gets darker along with the clouds creeping in.
My little cousin Roberto, deciding how he should go about getting up the rock climbing wall.
Some of you may not like to hear this, but this scenery reminded me very much of the town Forks, which Twilight is set in.
Can't really see all that well, but beyond the tree-line is the water, and then more mountains.
Hope to see some of this lovely purple color in some of my new fall wardrobe!
This picture makes me feel like the flower is climbing up, trying to touch the sky.
Seems like a whole new flower when you see it from a different angle, I love this picture.
Can you see the rabbit?
Precious little Georgia, wild, loving, and so friendly.
Just imagining climbing up this crazy slope, the view would make all the trouble worth it for sure.
Thanks so much Deborah for letting us see through your eyes. I loved each and every photograph she took. I wish every child on earth could have a camera of their own and share their vision of the world with us.
I bet by now you might think that is something I do quite often and you are probably right. As a prelude to back to school we were doing a little bedroom rearranging here in the home of resurrectionfern. When I was moving my things I decided I needed a better way to display my favorite earrings and pins than in the vintage tin tray on my dresser. I found a thrift store wooden frame, a beautiful rectangular piece of vintage hand crocheted lace, a needle and a thread and off to work I went. I stretched the lace over the frame and stitched it tight in the back. I guess I could have used staples or finishing nails but that would have damaged the frame and perhaps the lace as well. Here is the result.
Elsita and Maria make my favorite pins and almost all of my favorite earrings are designed by Ayala Bar.
No sooner had I made this than other wearers of earrings in my house started putting in their orders. Tamara decided she needed two or three for her room so we made some with some vintage doilies in embroidery hoops.
Last night I was also experimenting with making some lace stamps for printing on paper and hopefully later some fabric. I used some pieces I had started for some crochet covered stones and some wooden blocks from the toy chest. Here is a little preview.
The sun was setting when I took those photographs.
I can't wait to tweak this a little and then print some fabric borders for some fall sewing projects.
Now I can usually find beauty and nature calling out to me just about anywhere but yesterday was a first when I found myself in the center of a fairy ring in the middle of a soccer field.
I prefer to imagine the fairies or pixies dancing long after the soccer kids and parents have left the field to create these wonderful circles than some of the more gruesome folklore surrounding them. It was a wonderful end to the soccer season for Deborah. Her team was in the finals and only lost to the strongest team in her league. Quite a feat since prior to this end of season cup tournament Deborah's team was in second to last place.
I have been collecting more mushrooms and making spore prints. I am really becoming familiar with which mushrooms make the best prints and how long it takes. Now all I need to do is keep experimenting with fixatives to preserve them. When I am satisfied with my methods I would love to share them. For now here are some of the new prints I made this past week.
I love the crispness of that last one very much.
I have found with a good specimen you can make 3 or 4 prints before it runs out of spores or becomes too moist.
Are any of you experimenting with natural materials these days. I would love to hear about it or perhaps you could share some blog links if you can.
I just decided to take a new more positive approach to monday and think of it as the flipside of the weekend. This came to me yesterday as I was working on sewing in all the ends of the crochet covered stones sold on friday. No one even noticed or at least they were too busy clicking to comment that I had not posted any flipside pictures of my stones. Now I am confessing why that was , you see the ends were not sewn in or the stones signed and numbered. It was beautiful porch weather to work on the custom merfish and with a needle sew in all those ends.
There were moments when I felt someone was staring at me :)
Now I can show a few good back sides.
I am having a hard time parting with those last two. I think I almost love the flipsides more than the tops. I just had to give homage to the often ignored side in this little bit of ephemeral garden art.
The ladybirds were such a sweet addition. I love it even with out the stones.
My daughter and I packed up all the orders and they will be posted today.
The petals and flowers were released onto the stone bench and a snack of granola and fresh raspberries was prepared when I noticed a very special little friend on the bench. I hopped on quickly, grabbed the camera out of my pocket and of course I wasn't frightened in the least.
I think everyone knows by now that Maya makes the best buckets in the world. The one above is a gorgeous hand printed one that she so very kindly sent me as a birthday gift to hold my knitting materials. Well I haven't been knitting much at all lately so I have been using it to store my liberty fabrics and some embroidery threads. I love it so much.
When she put the pattern in her shop I was very keen on trying my own little version of her now famous bucket. I already posted about these but in case you missed it here they are revisited. I used one of them to place some of Rebekah's birthday gifts and it has since gone to live with her.
Working for the first time with burlap was great fun and got me in the mood for some experiments in manipulating the fabric. You see it all started when I noticed the bright golden yellow felt lining was shining through the loose weave of the burlap when the sun was bright. From the next few photographs you can see where this observation went.
I am going to use this manipulated burlap to make some small buckets to hold back to school or for me back indoors to organize my studio space for the fall. I will definitely take some pictures when they are all done.
Potential buckets in buckets with a little turtle family thrown in. What could be sweeter.
News flash!! If you visit one other blog today it has to be lou, lou and oscar. Lisa has just posted the most amazing picture of her plush you 2009 contribution and I am so smitten with that kitten.
I don't know why I didn't think of this before. As most of you have already gathered a great deal of my life at home is spent on my wrap around porch. Since living in this century home I can't actually imagine living in a home that didn't have a large porch. I was actually joking to my daughter the other day as we were sitting on the porch (of course) that my future dream home would be set in a beautiful location perhaps overlooking the ocean in Cape Breton or between a forest and a fresh water lake. The indoor space would be small, functional and bright but the porch would be huge and wrap completely around the house with areas that could be partially enclosed and solar heated in the cooler months , perhaps with warmed terra cotta tiles on the floor. Then I could probably spend 10 months of the year living on the porch.
Last night the setting sun was wonderful and I was working on some custom merfish from the etsy shop update while sipping a new to me belgian beer. I was so inspired by Karen and Kristen's flare friday photographs that I tried a few of my own. I love the colored relection of the crocheted surfaces. If you look very closely you will see them.
That last one says poetry and was hand stitched by cathy cullis.