Saturday, February 23, 2013
It has been a rip-roaring ribbon round-up around the house this week. I have been washing, dying, and tearing both muslin and calico into strips. Then I dug out the stamps and they all got new identities as torn cotton ribbons.
Oh. how I love ribbon week!
After ripping the cloth into strips (2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch), I gave some a bath in Rit taupe dye.
For this process, I put a large aluminum bowl in the kitchen sink, pour in boiling water, some salt (sets the dye), and some of the dye. You have to experiment with this step: too little and the color won't be even, too much and the color will be too dark. The cloth has to be prewashed and wet before putting it in the dye bath. I keep the pieces in until I see the color I want. (Make sure to stir!) Rinse with cold water. Stick in an OLD pillow case to dry in the dryer. There is always dye left in the water. I add some more hot water and throw in colored calico to soak up the rest of the dye to give it a distressed or vintage look.
The cloth strips in the photo were the last in the dye bath. You can see the uneven dye on the piece on the right. The pink and turquoise are just slightly tanned.
The first ribbon I stamped was left over from the bleaching of the bottle brush trees. (You can read that post here.) I covered my screens outside with tea-stained muslin to catch the overspray when dyeing the trees. I used the piece with the pink dye and tore it into 2-inch and 3-inch strips.
I used my Cat's Life Press Queen Bee stamp and created from several sets of cling letter stamps the phrase "Queen For Every Day".
(I would guess this phrase only has meaning for folks of my age who faithfully watched "Queen For A Day" when they were young. I wanted my granny to be on the show and get a new Hoover! I just wanted the crown.)
Here they are in their pink, tea-stained goodiness.
These ribbons are great for gifts or basket fillers.
The over-dyed pink ribbons were stamped with a crown.
I cut these into mostly 2-yard lengths and sometimes 3-yard lengths.
I found this "Know Your Fortune" stamp in a bin at the thrift store. It no longer has the company name or its design name printed on it. In fact it was so dirty and dinged up, I did not think it would produce a clear image, but it was cleaned and loved on and came back to life!
I used a 3-inch wide yellow calico for this image.
My favorite fortune listed?
"Guests coming. Means trouble."
It certainly would mean trouble here. There are projects everywhere!
And I have not vacuumed all the threads these ribbons leave behind.
I had made a promise to myself a couple of decades ago to put the owls away forever and never go back to Owl Land. BUT there was the cutest owl stamp and, of course, it was on sale at a great price so I bought it.
Once again using all my different cling stamp fonts I made a design typography. "Wise owl 4 wise owls". I alternated the owl stamp with the letter stamp down the length of the ribbons. I used the taupe-dyed muslin and the turquoise and purple calico.
The owls safely nesting in a basket.
I have sold all of this ribbon so I needed more. I dyed plain muslin blue then stamped it with the Emily Dickinson poem "Hope is a thing with feathers ..." alternating with a bird stamp and a nest stamp.
Bees are very popular, too. This blue ribbon received a bee in a laurel wreath alternating with a frame stamp.
Sometimes I have requests to add an initial in the frame.
All the ribbons are dressed with their labels and tags and so, so pretty!
Off to the booth to join other spring items.
Well, I have a sinkful of cloth "dying" to be ribbons! I have bunnies on my brain. There might be rabbit ribbon coming soon.
WAIT!!! I forgot something very important. When you are dying and rinsing, make sure you wear gloves. Rit dye works on skin, too!