Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Quick Apology

Just a quick post tonight. I am sorry. I spent many hours today working on photos for the Rust-Tex Store (which should be up and running this week-end.) instead of preparing my moonrise photos as I promised yesterday. But here is a preview of some things that will be in the store.
1.25oz bottle of Synthrapol
Iridescent Paintstiks in gold, silver and copper to match the colors you get from rust dyeing
Misty Fuse, the lightest weight fusible web available
Steel Stars, guaranteed to rust
Tannin, to make stormy skies fabrics

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


DH and I got up at 4:45 am to see the eclipse of the moon. After Photoshopping the picture I took I was surprised to see I had captured something!!!
Not having the correct equipment or skill can severally limit your ability to create an image. I am glad I don't have either of those problems in the Rust-Tex studio.
Two months ago this picture appeared in the local newspaper. It was taken by Mark Hertzberg of The Racine Journal Times. I was so intrigued by this image I tried to create it with rust dyeing.
Here is the results of my first attempt.
I had planned to show you later attempts which are much more like the original photo but my camera battery died so those images will have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Godiva Galaxy

I am getting tired of making sunbursts using the round bottomed liquor bottles I have. I felt it was time to add a different shape to my rust dyeing vocabulary, so my DH and I spent a long time in a BIG liquor store looking at and discussing the finer points of the shape of bottles, especially their bottoms. I chose the Godiva Chocolate and he choose a square tequila bottle. With my bottle I was able to create a galaxy!!! With his we made margaritas!!!
I am just wondering if I can write this off as a business expense.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No Rust Dyeing Today

I spent most of today working on the new Rust-Tex online store. Hopefully it will be up and running by Sept 1. The rest of today was spent tidying up the yard before it rains again. Read tomorrow's post to find out how rust dyeing can justify your buying Godiva Chocolate Liquor.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Iron Dye Pots

Here is a picture of the three cast iron pots I use to dye Rust-Tex t-shirts. As you can see the dye in each pot is a slightly different shade. They must be magic pots as I mixed all three dye baths exactly the same and the t-shirts came out very close in color.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bad Timing

Today was a busy day for me. I am working hard to get the store at Rust-Tex.Com up and running by September 1. So between trying to figure out how to do the shipping, how to make the new shopping cart program work and basting the commission quilt, it was about 3pm when I was ready to start working in the Rust-Tex Dye Studio, which is outside on my deck. That is EXACTLY when it started to rain. The picture of the day celebrates less busy times and dryer days, with the message to enjoy them while you can.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stars and Stripes Forever!!!

Here is a photo of one of the Stars and Stripes T-Shirt I have been making.There are super easy. I use the industrial waste from the stars I had cut for the Image Transfer Kit and a bit of rebar a thoughtful friend brought me.
You can see this shirt is too big for my model, "Theresa". She is a size 4. The shirt is a 2x. In order for Theresa to live in my studio, she has to model ALL the wearables, what ever size they are. I guess we are in agreement on that point because she never argues with me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Maps Rayon Top

Here are photos of the Rayon top I said I would post.
Of course you want to see the finished product, so...
TA DA!!!
The next picture is of the initial set up. I used rubber bands to hold two rusty cake pans together. The rayon top was wrapped around them and held in place with more rubber bands. Copper wire was wrapped round and round and round. I used three time as much wire on this than I usually use.
You can see the texture of the cake pans near the top of the set up. You can not see the rubber bands because they are white and blend into the shirt. The rubber bands are very visible in the photo below. I took this photo after I removed the copper wire while it was still wrapped around the cake pans.
I was hoping to get a stronger liner pattern on the shirt. But I am not unhappy with the way it turned out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Weather Forecast

Here is the 5 day forecast from todays newspaper.

There are thunderstorms expected all week. So why is the local meteorologist smiling? Is he evil? No he just knows this is the perfect weather to make "Trees" fabrics, which is what I always sell out of before the rust dye season starts again.
The opportunity to create "Trees" fabric did not occur earlier this summer because we had a really dry June and July.
With rain in the forecast, I am happily making "Trees", "Maps", and even trying a "Stars and Stripes" t-shirt. I am making another attempt at a "Trees" t-shirt. Tomorrow I will post a picture of a fabulous "Maps" rayon top!

Monday, August 20, 2007

YUMMY Silk Ribbon

This is a picture of some double sided silk satin ribbon that I dyed with some old rusty stuff out on my deck.
This is why I LOVE rust dyeing!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Trees Shirt

This first picture is how the "Trees" t-shirt looked just before I rinsed it. I wanted to show you how the rust dust was arranged around the bottom of the shirt. Also how dark the patterning looked. Here is the finished shirt after it was rinsed, washed, and artfully arranged on Theresa, my model.
Here is a detail of the bust area.

The patterning came out the strongest inside the shirt.

I had expected "Trees" not "Maps". The color I had hoped for in the shoulder area and near the bottom never developed. Over all it just looks like a dirty shirt. I do learn from my mistakes and will try this again sometime but not tomorrow. We are moving our youngest daughter into her first college dorm room and leaving her in a different city to start a new chapter in her life.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A "Trees" T-Shirt In The Making

When I was at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL, someone asked if I had any t-shirts that had the kind of patterning that I call "Trees" on it. I had to tell her I didn't. But when I got home I figured out how I might get that kind of patterning on a t-shirt.
Here is what I did:

First, I unrolled steel wool pads and put them inside the t-shirt, in the bust area. After adding some salt and water, I gathered up that area and wrapped copper wire very tightly around it.

For the set up I put the shoulders down on the tray so the water would wick a certain way. I let the bottom of the t-shirt fall down into the tray. Not trusting that there would be enough iron liquor to dye the shoulders and the bottom of the t-shirt I sprinkled some rust dust on the bottom of the shrit. (not shown) It has been standing in this position for several days in the rain. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be cooperative enough so I can rinse it out. Can't wait to see what I got!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Rainy Day in Wisconsin

I knew it was going to rain today so why I did some Stormy Skies set ups yesterday is beyond me!!!
I guess I was tried of doing black dye baths for t-shirts. And felt like doing something more creative.
I set up this little linen piece that had just the perfect place for a landscape in the oval embroidery.

Here is the original set up.

I use that little rake to shape the fabric wrinkles. The rubber gloves I wear don't allow for such fine detail work.

Here is the same piece about and hour later.

An hour after that.

I was worried that the area inside the oval would never turn black. Then it got too dark to take any more pictures.

First thing in the morning, taken while it is still wet from the rain

In the morning things turned out just perfect.
After the rinse out (which I did in the basement because it WAS raining hard this morning) I ended up with this.Neat, Huh?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rayon Top

The first time I ever saw scenic jasper I was about 19 years old. I loved the way the colors flowed creating a landscape.
Front of rayon top
It is natural that when I need a name for this type of patterning I called it Jasper.

Back of rayon top

I later found out that iron oxide provides the coloring for jaspers.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hangin' in There

I am so busy having adventures in rust dyeing that I am not finding time to post about them. But I just had to share this with all you readers. This is a picture of a 100% polyester scarf dyed with rust (and tannin). I took this picture was after the scarf went through the washing machine. Originally it was a white scarf with a woven pattern that I saw at a garage sale. Based on the price I decided I wouldn't be out very much money if it didn't work. So I gave the lady her asking price of 50 cents. It worked and you can see it is gorgeous.
Because my rust dye season has to end in mid September this year, I am working at rust dyeing as much as I can!!! I am making t-shirts to sell at Christmas time sales. I am also experimenting with other clothing. Stay tuned for more pictures soon.