Friday, May 27, 2011

Top Ten

One of my designs on Spoonflower made the Top Ten in the Folk Tales contest. I have been playing around with the logo for Elephant Booty Studios for a few years now. It started out as a sharpie drawing for a silkscreen class at Arrowmont. We had to create a repeat design to make a silkscreen to print with thickened procion dye. As I kept repeating the design on my fabric, we noticed it got a bit "wonky." At the time, the instructor and I thought it was a registration problem from the padding on the table being uneven on the sides. By the time I got all the way across the 3 yards of fabric I was printing it was off by a half inch.
Once I got home and started playing with the design in Photoshop, I realized that the asymetry of the design and what looked balanced to my brain was off by just enough to keep adding up in the repeat. I have been learning a lot of hints and tricks for Photoshop from my techie brothers and from fellow Spoonflower designers on the Flickr group. I have been editing and fine tuning the repeat for a while now and also trying out different colors and patterns for coordinating fabrics.  I am in love with the "set pattern" fill in Photoshop for making more complex designs based on a set of coordinating motifs. I am pretty happy with the set of coordinated fabrics I have now and I am waiting for my swatches to arrive as a final check before putting the set up for sale.

My last set of swatches includes my Ele Boo Blue Ganesh design
that made the top ten of the Folk Tales contest at Spoonflower.

I am really happy with how bright the colors printed on the swatch of my Ele Boo Blue Ganesh.

The above is a closeup of the enlarged version of my design.  I wanted to see how
bad the pixelization would be and it really is better than I had thought.  I am thinking I can
order more of this and make new curtains for my studio. The colors on this one are a slightly faded
version.  Again, I am still doing quite a bit of experimenting as I learn the ins and outs of Spoonflower.

I also experimented with making some of the designs more intense in color.  In this design,
I made use of the fill pattern tool in Photoshop.  I designed a set of motifs to coordinate and then
designed a set of shapes to experiments with layering.

I think this is looking really washed out because of my camera, but you can still see some of the pattern layering I am working on.

I also have been working with my Ele Boo design motifs in magenta, white and black.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Indigo update

My seedlings are making good progress. The first set of seedlings is almost ready to transplant. I hope we get a weekend with clear weather so I can get the planting bed ready for them.

My first set of seedlings need to be thinned out to get them ready for transplanting.

Senbon--not as many came up as the other variety.

Kojyoko--good success with germination for these.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Indigo Seedlings

My senbon variety of indigo---with the pink blooms and stems with a reddish cast--has germinated.

The kojyoko variety with the white blooms and green stems has also come up!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Indigo Cakes

My indigo compost was down to about two inches in depth and had turned a blackish greenish blue. It now had the feel and consistency of a good clay soil.

I scooped out a handful and kneaded it in my hands and then rolled it into balls. The balls were flattened and formed into squared off cakes. I thrilled as I watched the outside of the cakes start to turn blue as they dried on the tray in the sun.

I know it does not look like much and I am not sure I have created a usable dye yet. Again I am having to be patient and wait and see. I was lucky enough to finally get a copy of Dorothy Miller's book "Indigo--From Seed to Dye." Reading about her learning process has been very helpful. I am trying to decide which of the recipes for a vat to follow as she offers several in her book.