Thursday, 17 April 2014

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - M

M is for Marbling!

Marbling the traditional way can be a tad intimidating. 
However, there are some very simple shortcuts for the less
patient (like me). Below are instructions for super easy 
marbling - using shaving cream. AND it smells nice and fresh!

Cotton marbled using the shaving cream method.

You will need:
1. a pan (I use tinfoil roasting pans, but any
container large enough to hold your fabric will do).
2. a can of shaving cream
3. Fabric pigments - Colour Vie pigments mixed with a small 
amount of Base and Resfix works a treat!
4. a plastic ruler or scraper
5. white cotton (or other) fabric cut to size to fit in the pan
6. Plastic or newspaper to protect your working area.

Another cotton fabric marbled with shaving cream.

And this is what you do:
1. Fill the pan with shaving cream almost to the top
2. Use a plastic ruler or other implement to smooth 
the top of the shaving cream until it is flat.
3. Place drops of fabric pigment on top of the shaving cream.
4. Use a comb, nail or chop stick to create a pattern.
5. Carefully place the fabric on top of the shaving cream.
6. Gently pat the fabric down so the whole fabric surface 
comes into contact with the shaving cream. 
7. Lift up the fabric and place it on a flat surface covered 
with plastic or newspaper.
8. Use the plastic ruler or drywall smoother to scrape off 
the excess shaving cream.
9. Let dry, heat set and rinse off any remaining shaving cream.
10. The shaving cream can be used many times over. Just
add more shaving cream and pigments as needed.

Placing blobs of pigment on top of the shaving cream

Combing the top of the shaving cream to create a pattern.
A bit like cake decorating.
Placing the fabric on top of the patterned shaving
cream and gently pushing the fabric down so that
the pigment transfers onto the fabric.
Using a plastic drywall smoother (or ruler) to scrape off
excess shaving cream.

Pigment has been combed up then down in rows
on this fabri
c. Yep, like cake decorating!

The shaving cream can be used over and over. Just smooth it down,
add more pigment as needed and comb new patterns.
This piece is the second print from the shaving cream pan used
for the print above this one - with a circular combing added.

What an inspiration!
A gorgeous Turkish marbled paper.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Exhibitions and Workshops galore

Awesome Textile Exhibitions in South Central Ontario!

If you happen to be in and around the Toronto area, there are a few
fibre exhibitions not to be missed. 

Connections Fibre Artists opened at the Wellington County Museum
between Fergus and Elora on Friday. Until June 7, 2014. 
The exhibition is called "Celebrate the Seven" - a tribute to the Group of Seven. 

My quilts inspired by the Group of Seven

The inspiration for the majority of my work comes from my 
experience with nature and its forces. During many summers 
of camping and canoeing around Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, 
Ontario, I have enjoyed the beauty of the Canadian landscape 
in all kinds of weather. In these works of art I have chosen 
to zoom in and look closely at the leaves and pine needles 
that are but a small part of the wonderful designs that nature 
offers up for our sensory enjoyment. 

"Forest Floor No. 1",  Quilt, 26" x 42".
Painted and manipulated using Colour Vie pigments.
I screen printed the pine needle.
I created a series of small works of art (6" x 6")
that I call "Hidden Treasures No's 1 to 5"
The fabric is painted and screen printed and
the leaf in the black rectangle is printed using
and actual leaf.
"Granite Saddle, Georgian Bay",
by Sharron Deacon Begg

"Ghost Canoe" by Jackie Venus

If you're in Peterborough, Ontario, be sure to take in
Dorothy Caldwell's exhibition "Silent Ice/Deep Patience"
at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Dorothy Caldwell at the Art Gallery of Peterborough
Screen print discharge, stitching

Dorothy Caldwell at the Art Gallery of Peterborough until June 1.

This spring we have had some fabulous workshops in 
the Colour Vie Studio. AND more coming up!

On April 26 - 27 I will be teaching a super fun introductory workshop:

For information about the workshop and how to register, please
visit and click on Workshops.

Guerilla Screen Printing

AND on May 10 I will be teaching:
“ADD AND SUBTRACT - Discharging Made Easy” 
Learn to use household bleach in combination with pigments 
to create exciting one-of-a-kind fabrics. 

For information about the workshop and how to register, please
visit and click on Workshops.

Discharged fabrics drying.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - L

You can print with just about anything! L is for Leaves!

Leaf printing is simple and effective.
When choosing your leaves, pick some that have good
veins, since this is what will be most apparent in your print.
If you're living in the northern hemisphere, leaves can be 
hard to get at this time of year. No Worries! House plants 
can be very good candidates. Just check their veins.
In the summer you can also preserve your leaves by freezing  
for printing later on a snowy day. Visit my website and click on DIY Projects/Tutorials
for instructions on how to preserve leaves by freezing.

Paint the back side (the side that shows the leaf veins) using a brush
or foam applicator. You only need a thin coat of pigment. Practice
a few times first until you get an even print without blobs


Place the leaf on your fabric painted side down. Cover with
a paper towel and press evenly without moving the leaf.
Carefully lift up the leaf  by the stem.

First I painted the bag and then printed the leaves
in metallic gold pigment with a dark blue outline.
Colour Vie pigments of course!
In this print I used Colour Vie metallic gold and silver. In the top right
hand  corner I placed the leaf on the fabric and brushed over the edge of
the leaf to create the outline.

Ferns can be a bit of a challenge, but well worth it!
Student work. Colour Vie pigments were used both for painting
the background and for the leaf printing.
A tooth pick was used to print the branches. 

Starting Feb. 15, I am offering a variety of fun and colourful 
workshops in my studio in Toronto. 

"Irresistible Resists" kicks off the spring line-up, closely 
followed by "Just Print!" on Feb. 22. On March 15 you can
learn just about all there is to know about "Photographic
Images on Fabric".

For information and pictures of all the workshops please visit and click on Workshops.

AND I've opened an online shop on Etsy: Please take a look at
There you will find, just in time for Valentine's Day,
elegant screen-printed men's silk neckties!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - K

These Boots are Made for Printing - K is for Keens!

So what do Boots have to do with with the letter K? Well, in 
my Swedish mother tongue boot is called kanga (just imagine 
two little dots above the first 'a' in kanga).  
In addition to that: My favourite boots, shoes, sandals are made 
by Keens. AND in addition to THAT: Keens have  awesome sole patterns!

Colour Vie pigments are water based, so any boots/tools are
easily cleaned with water.


I use Colour Vie pigments ( to print with.

If you are using other pigments, just make sure that they are water based, 
so that you can easily clean off your boots with water after printing.

I made a stamp pad from a piece of foam rubber.
A foam brush is also good for applying the pigment to the boots.

In all these pieces I decided to start printing with an opaque white,
and then to layer other colours on top.

First I printed white boot prints, then over-painted  with blue pigment.
The opaque white pigment will not absorb the blue colour as much as
 the white cotton, so will appear lighter. Lastly I overprinted
with a metallic copper pigment.

Opaque white pigment on green cotton.

First I printed opaque white on white cotton. Then I over-painted with
yellow, red and blue. After this was dry I printed with metallic copper

Opaque white print on white cotton, over-painted with red,
then over-printed with metallic gold pigment.

Opaque white pigment on yellow cotton, over-painted with
pink pigment.

Opaque white pigment on white cotton, over-printed with grey and black

Opaque white pigment on yellow cotton, over-printed with grey and
black pigments.
For a list of workshops in my studio in Toronto, please visit and click on workshops. For workshops
elsewhere please click on Calendar.

I wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Creative 2014!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - J

J is for J-cloth!

After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back to printing the alphabet - and J it is!
The ever so absorbent J-cloth is good for cleaning up many different 
messes - and creating colourful prints to boot!

Just add fabric and Pigment to the J-cloth and print, print,
print! I am partial to Colour Vie pigments

In this print I ripped the J-cloth into strips, placed them randomly
under the fabric, and used a brayer to roll a small amount of black
pigment over the whole fabric. The effect is a bit like a rubbing.

Strips of J-cloth under the fabric, then I used the brayer to roll on
first black then metallic gold pigments.

First I painted the fabric with Colour Vie pigments.
While the pigment was still wet I used a rolled up piece of J-cloth
to remove areas of wet pigment.

Finished print. Hmmm, could be used for a cloud effect as well....

On this fabric I dipped the strips of J-cloth in pigment and used the strips
to print the random stripy marks.

When the pigment was dry I over painted with turquoise pigment, scaped
and added some gold prints.

There is always the trusty old rag rolling technique. Totally immerse
the J-cloth in pigment and roll away!

J-cloth rolled fabrics.