Jun 09 2014 · 0 comments · Bags, Blog, Hand Dyed Scarves, silk ·

Taste of Louisville Craft Show

I did my first outdoor show last weekend. A one-day event, I figured it would be perfect because it’s difficult for me to commit to two full days at this point. My booth has definitely evolved. At my first craft show I was tucked into a 6′ x 6′ corner; a card table and a chair with a scarf hanging contraption made with a paper parasol (which in theory was brilliant but lacked in execution). I got myself a 6′ table which opened up new display possibilities. Scarf hanger 2.0 was two lattice panels hinged together and stood at an angle with the scarves pulled through the openings. It worked okay, but really didn’t show the scarves to best advantage, as you can imagine, with them all scrunched into those little holes.

IMG_1785Version 3.0 was a gadget assembled by George which consisted of a pole with a wire hoop fixed to one end, the other end slipped into a hole in a weighted cardboard box covered with white paper. Yes, I know. Classy. As you can imagine I spent more time picking the thing up after it would tip over whenever someone did more than brush the scarves with their fingertips. At this point I was basically fitting everything I had on one table.  I used this same basic setup for the last show I did except I had a couple of dress forms out front. (I know, I know… I should have pictures of all of these but I don’t.)

IMG_6737 IMG_6740Fast forward to last weekend. We’ve come a long way. The scarves are hanging from shower curtain rings clipped to chains running from front to back. I went that route basically because a wind gust could pick up the scarves and send them flying off like so many kites if they were just draped over a line and I didn’t want a bunch of clothespins or clips sticking up. The only problem with this was, again, not being able to really see the pattern and size of each scarf. The tops looked really good and the brown kimono was an eye-catching piece out front. I went with black on the table and back curtain because it made the colors pop. There was a presentation board on the back wall with photos illustrating the marbling process so I didn’t have to explain that I didn’t just buy silk fabric and sew it into scarves, etc. I feel good about what we did here but we have lots of ideas for going forward.

I sold a few items, handed out a number of business cards, and overall got great feedback and reactions from people. I’ve come to the conclusion that these craft shows are never going to be money makers for me, but that’s actually okay because if I approach them more as a marketing tool than for on the spot sales I can get a lot of mileage out of a day or two of putting my stuff out in front of people. We’ve been kicking around ideas about just displaying samples and providing a catalog with all my items; custom orders; putting out only small items – hair accessories, bandanas, flower clips, little purses, neckties – to sell and only displaying the high end pieces like the kimonos with signage for the Etsy shop where those items are available.

I’m always jazzed and energized after one of these shows; I feel like I’m really headed in the right direction.

Mar 20 2014 · 0 comments · Blog, experiments in marbling, marbling, marbling tools, technique, process, silk ·

Exploring and Experimenting Followup

Phase Three:

Another dip with wine red loosely swirled to try to tone down the magenta from dip two. Meh.  Not crazy about this one.  Set it aside and maybe I’ll get a flash of inspiration about what to do with it.

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Closeup:

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I really like this one.  Third dip with light green and light blue.  Definitely gave it kind of a “fern” feel I think.

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Closeup:

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The jury is still out on this one.  It’s not what I was going for, but it’s growing on me.  Added the dark purple in an attempt to fuse it together.  Looking at it now, I probably shouldn’t have used that bright yellow.

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Closeup:

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Aaannnddd… my favorite.  Definitely going to do this technique again with other colors. I did a final dip with more dark indigo blue swirled and pushed into loose flower bloom shapes.  Really pretty!

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Closeup

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I did try some silver on top of the purple lacy one but it didn’t show up at all so I’m leaving that one alone.  I might embellish it with some handpainted filigree kind of linework.  Or not.  I’m not sure yet.

I’ll be using these DecoArt paints a lot more!  I like what’s happening.

Mar 12 2014 · 0 comments · Blog, experiments in marbling, marbling, marbling tools, technique, process, silk ·

Exploring and Experimenting

I’m playing around with some new paints, DecoArt So-Soft fabric paint that doesn’t require heat setting (one less step!) and doesn’t leave a residue on the fabric so the sheen and softness that makes silk… well, silky… isn’t compromised. They come in a rainbow of gorgeous colors and they’re working pretty well except that they stop floating after two or three colors are laid down on the size. I want to see what happens when I over marble two or even three times to get more depth and richer colors.

Phase One: Plain white 8 mm and 5 mm habotai.  Left:  Orange, scarlet and yellow pushed into veins and lines by topping with soft peach stones, then pulled into loose scallops.  Center: Two shades of red with black loose freehand swirl (red looks pink).  Right: Sienna and brown raked diagonally.

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Below: Three shades of purple/lilac combed into peacock pattern. (hard to see here but my peacock pattern always comes out kind of wobbly and distorted.  Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but even wobbly distorted peacock pattern still looks pretty.)

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Phase Two: The sienna and brown overmarbled with chocolate brown, more sienna, and purple raked diagonally in the opposite direction.  I feel like this is starting to take on kind of a botanical look. I’m thinking of adding a moss green and/or turquoise blue combed into leaf-fern shapes.

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Close-up:

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Red and black overmarbled magenta and scarlet along with more wine red.  Not sure about this one. Where do I go from here?  Would another layer be too much?

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close-up

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Orange and scarlet scallops overmarbled with blue, purple, and a darker melon color.  The orange became more cinnamon brown which is nice.  The melon is feeling a little obnoxious.  I want to fuse the whole thing together, but how?

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Close-up

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Purple peacock overmarbled with the same color combo combed into a peacock pattern again. Very pretty, like lilac lace.  Giving some thought to a finishing layer of subtle silver swirls.

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Close-up:

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I didn’t take a Phase One picture of this one but it started out dyed a pale aqua color, then marbled with 3 shades of blue freehand swirled.  Overmarbled with large stones of 2 deeper blues loosely swirled that look like large indigo flowers.  You can see the places where the pattern was broken at top center and lower left corner where the fabric creased as I lay it down but I’m not too upset about it.  It adds some interest and dimension and I think I’ll hit it with one more layer to camouflage those flaws a little bit.  I’m really liking this one.

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Close-up

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Phase Three to come…