Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Monday, December 16, 2013

Back From My Un-Happy Place!

Over Thanksgiving I caught a virus that had me coughing and coughing and coughing and coughing... you know the kind - once you start you can't stop! I spent the first week pretending it wasn't a problem and the second week wondering where the bus was that hit me. I'm delighted to be crawling back out from under this "yuck" and restoring my energy. I know I'm whining and recognize that many people face some "yuck" in their lives on a daily basis but I am rarely sick and was surprised that it took me down.

I look for the silver lining in every situation and in this case the forced slow down helped me reconnect with things I typically plow over during my busy day. For that I am grateful... but now I can ease back into the studio and play with my toys! First up is to remember where I was going with these new stencils I had been experimenting with!

Thanks for listening to my whining!
 
Handpainted cotton with a Snowflake stencil designed by June Phaff Daley

Ice dyed antique crocheted table runner using the Sister stencil designed by Judy Wise
 

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Combination of Techniques!

I was going for a slightly different look and wondered what would happen if I stamped dye powder onto the fabric surface along with combining other techniques... shaking the dye powder and then covering it all up with ice... crazy huh?!

I'd love for you to give it a try and let me know how you make out!

Here are the tools you'll need to try it for yourself!
Don't forget your MASK - never use dye powder without it!

The fabric was soaked in soda ash and water for 30 minutes before wringing it out and laying on a flat surface. Press the sponge onto the fabric to dampen just enough to allow the dye powder to stick to the sponge... start stamping away!

Next use a mesh kitchen sink strainer to shake the powder
across the surface of the fabric.

Let the fabric set; once it's dry rinse out the excess dye in the sink and wash with a commercial detergent designed to pull out excess dye such as Synthropol.

There was a little more white fabric showing than I wanted so I tossed the fabric back into the soda ash and water solution for 30 minutes. Next I placed the fabric in a bucket covering the surface with ice and then sprinkled with dye powder. Once the ice melted I washed again to remove the excess dye. Here is a detailed shot of the completed piece.

It was fun to try something new!
Please share your experience and let me know if you have questions!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Creative Arts Coaching Session with Morna McEver Golletz!



I had the most fabulous coaching session with Morna McEver Golletz yesterday! We meet at the Marriott for a 90 minute meeting. Prior to our meeting Morna had me complete a questionnaire so she would understand what I wanted to achieve in my creative arts business. The questionnaire was thought provoking and forced me to articulate my hopes, dreams and desires for Carol R. Eaton Designs!

Morna had targeted suggestions that would help my business grow and I walked away with a 12-month plan in place. I feel I now have a road map to success and plan to be in a very different position next year at this time.

Morna offers a variety of services to people in the creative arts industry and I encourage you to explore her website and find a program that will help you achieve your goals!

Look out world!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Join the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer

Mark your calendar for January 15, 2014 and join me as I run the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer. OK, I won't actually be jogging around a race course. But I will be joining the fun as Fiberart For A Cause's virtual race kicks off with a goal of donating $5000 directly to the American Cancer Society.

Generous Prize Sponsors (The Printed Fabric Bee!) for drawings means there will be many winners at the 1K ($1000) mark, 2K ($2000) mark, etc., plus a Grand Prize drawing when we cross the Finish Line.


According to Race Director, Virginia Spiegel, "Fiberart For A Cause likes to have fun while raising money to fight cancer, so, of course, there are going to be more "race" details revealed as January 15 draws closer. 100% of donations are given directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause. Fiberart For A Cause has already donated more than $230,000 to the American Cancer Society thanks to the generosity of fiber artists and patrons."
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Inspiration in Nature!

I am constantly inspired by the natural world and when I'm lucky enough to be outside I try not to miss a thing! I've got 2 projects I'm currently working on but they are flowing nicely so my mind is free to drift to the next one... here are some photos that are helping me think about color combinations and textures!

What inspires YOU?!

Monroe, CT

Monroe, CT

Blue Dot Trail, CT

Surprise!

Silver Lake, NH

Photo taken by Donna Rand - Mystic, CT

 "Pot Holes," VT

"Pot Holes" - VT

Cabot, VT

Cabot, VT

Friday, November 29, 2013

Kate Themel's "Tattooed Boy"

Kate Themel recently completed her fiber art piece, "Tattooed Boy"! Kate's son was her inspiration; to read more about the sweet and tender backstory to the design please read Kate's blog ! I was honored to create the custom fabric for the background and to be part of such a wonderful project.

Kate wanted the text behind Tattooed Boy to represent the background noise or mindless messages kids receive in their lives. Go to Kate's blog to find the secret message quilted into the background!

Tattooed Boy - full size

Texture with Clips!

I tried my hand at using clips on the fabric to keep the folds in place before dipping in the dye bath. The results are intriguing and I'm already thinking about ways to tweak the process for different textured results!

Imperial Purple and Raspberry

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thermofax Screen + Decolorant = More Spirals!


I always do this... I get excited about a technique or product and it takes over my thoughts! This is happening with a challenge from The Printed Fabric Bee and my recently designed Thermofax screen. Terri Stegmiller produced the screen and I strongly encourage you to visit her site and explore the other totally awesome products and designs she creates!

I used a decolorant by Jacquard to remove the color with help from the Thermofax screen. The discharge paste is a little thinner than typical fabric screen paint and very easy to use. You place a dollop on the screen and using an old credit card I pulled the paste across the screen. You need to be careful not to drip the paste onto the fabric or the color will come off in unexpected places!
 

The discharge paste needs to be dried completely before you can heat set. It's a little like magic because once the paste dries it becomes invisible. Using a steam iron begin slowly pressing the fabric until the areas with the decolorant start to reappear. The longer you heat set the fabric the stronger the design will be. It was really fun seeing how crisp the colorless spirals looked but after placing it on the design wall for a longer look the fabric needed more action.



Taking Seta Color fabric paints I swirled the paint through the spirals. The fabric was damp to encourage the paint to meander and blend together. Once the fabric was dry I heat set with a dry iron to ensure the paint won't wash. I'm not sure what this fabric will become in it's next life... any ideas?!






Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blue Spirals: The Printed Fabric Bee!

It's getting close to the big reveal for the second custom fabric collection of The Printed Fabric Bee artists! Julie B. Booth asked for "blue spirals" with little direction leaving it wide open to interpretation for each artist. Her request for spirals was challenging for me and I do LOVE a challenge!

I started with cotton fabric and confetti dyed using orange and yellow. Julie asked for blue spirals so I wanted to get contrasting colors in the background.


Next I printed large blue spirals using a custom created thermofax screen by Terri Stegmiller.


I wanted to add more contrast so using the ice dyeing technique I added green to the background. The large spirals were a little overwhelming so I carved a stamp with a smaller spiral to add more movement and interest.


As I mentioned this was truly a challenge but it was fun to push myself to work with an element that I don't usually connect with. Below are the tools used to create this design that just wants to party!


The artists participating in The Printed Fabric Bee will be mailing their custom pieces to Julie no later than next week and she'll announce the big reveal on our Facebook page in early December.  Remember each collection reveal means YOU have a chance to win a fabric pack of the "Queen Bee's" fabrics!

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Flour Resist - Julie B. Booth's Technique!

Julie B. Booth has a blog packed full of surface design techniques utilizing things from your own kitchen! Julie's perfected her ideas and is getting ready to have a book published due out next fall... I know... it's hard to wait! Check out her blog for a head start on producing one of a kind fabrics! Her current blog is titled, "Carrots, Turnips and Pears... Oh My!". Come on... don't you just HAVE to take a look?!

I followed her flour resist directions. I've tried this is the past but there were gaps in the directions so it was difficult to achieve the results I wanted. With Julie's directions I was able to cruise right through the process and happy with the results.

I started with a piece of multi colored ice dyed fabric. Following Julie's directions I mixed up a paste of flour and water spreading a thin layer across the surface of the fabric. Next I dragged a comb through the flour and then added circles with a fork.

Once the flour dried I crinkled it to create interesting lines in addition to the comb and fork designs. I used a Seta Color fabric paint per Julie's directions and painted over the flour allowing the paint to seep down into the design in the flour.

Once the paint was set and the flour removed I had a true one of a kind fabric. The fabric seemed like a good fit with my coveted Ethiopian fabrics brought back by my friend Leila who traveled there. I made a large table runner which will remind me of Leila's journey each time I see it.

Here is one more little shot of the table runner. It's headed for a special project and I'm unable to show the complete view just yet... stay tuned!

Monday, November 4, 2013

WIN - WIN - WIN: a custom fabric collection from THE PRINTED FABRIC BEE!



To win this one-of-a-kind collection of 6" X 6" fabrics all you have to do is leave a comment on Lynn Krawczyk's blog OR on our Facebook page beneath the picture you see above! The comments from both places will be combined into one drawing (one chance per person) and the winner will be announced on Monday November 11. Just leave a comment, any kind of comment and you’ll be in the drawing!

Each month there is a new "Queen" with her own custom theme request. The "hive" will create unique fabrics inspired by the Queen and we'll have another giveaway! This month Julie Basseches Booth chose BLUE SPIRALS so be sure to keep checking back for progress updates and more chances to win a gorgeous custom fabric collection!  

There may be some follow up pieces to the official giveaway. Life gets busy and if a member is not be able to meet every deadline we will mail the additional piece as soon as possible.

Participating Artists:

Lynn Krawczyk:
Susan Purney Mark: http://susanpm.com/
 

 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Open Studio!

Our team is busy getting our "pop up" studio ready for the upcoming Bridgeport Art Trail event! Please stop by The Nest Factory, 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport - November 8th, 9th and 10th!

We will offer a variety of art work for sale!
fiber art
mixed media
jewelry
felted items
hand crafted fabric by the yard
and more!


Meet the Artists:
Deirdre Abbotts, Pam Poling, Kendall Storm, Karen Loprete
Mary Lachman,  Carol R Eaton and Mayann Weinburg
Karen Loprete, Pam Poling, Deirdre Abbotts and Mary Lachman are hard at work!

Deirdre and Mary clean every corner!

Mayann Weinburg makes the place sparkle!
Next we load up the studio with beautiful art and open our doors... see you there!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Too Much Fabric?!


Do you think it's ever possible to have too much fabric in your stash? I was looking for a specific fabric and started pulling pieces from my fabric cubbies and the supply seemed to be endless... it was a great feeling!


Do you agree that the skies the limit?!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Printed Fabric Bee & Orange Circles!



Orange Circles everyone.... bouncing, bopping and binging around the fabric! Lynn Krawczyk from Smudged Textile Studios was the first artist of The Printed Fabric Bee  to determine the theme and she chose – Orange Circles!

The piece was challenging to create but that's what makes a collaboration fun - to push and grow! I know Lynn is fond of the green/brown tones and I had this crazy Confetti Dyed piece I'd done earlier that seemed like a good place to start. Now for orange circles... mmmmm.... I started looking at everything in a circular way! I was searching for color and texture that could be incorporated into orange circles.

It's goofy to say but the best tool I found for the project was the stiff cardboard tube from the inside of a spool of ribbon! I dipped it into an orange decolorant and let loose across the surface of the fabric. I also used stamps made from heated foam that allowed me to add texture to the stamp surface.

I set the piece aside for a while to see if I was done. It still needed another layer to achieve a feeling of depth. I mixed up some orange silk screen ink and gathered up a couple of circular sponges for the final push... yes... it's done!

Lynn will reveal the full collection in November but for a sneak peek at what the other artists have created please visit our Facebook page!

Coming soon... you will have an opportunity to win the same beautiful customized fabric being created for the Queen. Each month the "Queen" will give away the same fabric she receives with each piece being 6" X 6".




Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm participating in the Bridgeport Art Trail - November 7 - 10


I'm excited to announce my participation in the 2013 Bridgeport Art Trail event! 7 local artists collaborated to rent a west side studio in The Nest Factory at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT.

November 8: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
November 9: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
November 10: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Meet the artists; tour the open studios, listen to poets and musicians, enjoy a gallery show, view short art films, watch a dance performance, and see a variety of demonstrations

Enjoy refreshments on Saturday and Sunday prepared by Carrot Top Kitchens of Redding CT. Admission: free.

My fellow collaborators:
Mary Lachman, Karen Loprete, Deirdre Abbotts, Kendell Storm, Pam Polling and Mayann Weinberg!





 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jacquard Color Magnet - A Great Tutorial!



Jacquard Color Magnet is a super-cool new product that creates a tone on tone quality to your hand dyed fabrics! Lynda Heines demonstrates how to use the product and the creative wheels are already turning! Lynn Krawczyk posted Lynda's tutorial as her guest blogger for October. Please click on Smudged Textiles Studio to see Lynda's directions and tips!
 
I can't wait to incorporate this into my work!
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Combining Techniques to Achieve the Suggestion of Winter!

I'm determined to create a line of fabrics that provide the "feel" of winter! Because I'm going for a specific effect the process has pushed me into trying new combinations of techniques. I love it - I believe in order to continue to grow as an artist you have to get outside the comfort zone and experience the unknown!

My wonderful buddies from the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective suggested I add a little bling to some of the fabrics in the series! I added some silver frost to the above piece and agree that it needed some sparkle!

This piece started with low immersion dyeing. I used white fabric paint
and splashed it here and there to suggest frost or snow.

The above fabric was first created using the ice dye technique. Next I covered the surface with a wash of blue and manipulated the fabric as it dried. It still needed "something" so I randomly added white fabric paint with a touch of silver across the surface.

I'm not to sure this piece will stay in the Winter Series. It's an ice dyed piece with a wash of blue added. Lastly I hit the fabric here and there with silver but I'm still not sure about it. Maybe I'll see if it grows on me!

What have you experimented with lately?!