Using the Screen Printed Rusted Paper

I showed you last week how we made screen printed rusted designs. I haven’t used any of the fabric yet but I did make some greeting cards from the paper. I like to have greeting cards on hand so if I need one, I can personalize it and have it ready in minutes.

All the Rusted Cards

I use standard blank off white greeting cards as the base. The rusted backgrounds are 4″ x 6″ so they fit nicely on the 5″ x 7″ cards. I then had some left over pieces that I had done some leaf printing on several years ago. The prints didn’t turn out all that well on some of them so these were the left over bits. And they seemed to  match nicely with the rust.

Rusted Card 1

Here’s an example of one that I added two pieces of leaf print paper. I use matte medium to glue everything down.

Rusted Card 1 with Details

And then I took a glitter gel pen and outlined some areas. I usually leave the card like this, and then when I need a card, I can add words to it if I want.

Birthday Card

This is an example of a card I made for hubby’s birthday. It is all leaf printed paper without any rust as I made it back in August.

And here is a little closer look at the rest of the cards I made. I really like having the square hole edges of the journal paper included. So that is how I used some of my rusty paper. The rest went back into my journal and I am sure other techniques will be added on top at some point.

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Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival 2015

Last year Cathy (Luvswool) and I attended the Midwest Fiber Fair and were disappointed there were no live sheep.  So, this year we decided to attend the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI.  Since we weren’t sure how big the Festival was and it was a two hour drive one way, we booked rooms for that Saturday night.

They had an extensive schedule of events and classes.  Since we were interested in the Stock and Whistle Dog Trials, that’s where we headed first.  We were under the impression they had started at 7 a.m. and we arrived around noon.  We waited for almost an hour on a cold bleacher with the wind blowing like mad while they had meeting and set up the field (obviously they didn’t start early.)  Fortunately, a gentleman with a headset and speaker was walking around answering questions and keeping up apprised of the activity.  The first up were the more experienced trainers and dogs.  It was hard to get good pictures because of the distance and the fence. The event itself lasted less than 10 minutes.  Still unsure of what we were seeing, we listened to others around us say the trial went well.




Cold and hungry we headed for the food stands.  After a quick lunch we perused an auction and saw a bit of the Make it with Wool competition and saw the Wonderful Wisconsin Quilts and Wall Hangings Exhibit.



There were two long buildings packed with over 130 vendors.  However, it was fairly crowded and dark so we didn’t take a lot of pictures.  Most everything was fiber, tools, and some finished goods.  We ran across this display and thought of Zed who has been thinking about fiber packs.  We thought this was an interesting way to market a variety of mixed fibers.

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We even found a a copy of Ruth’s book on a display shelf.


There were contests and displays of all sorts and dozens of classes.  We visited the class building but weren’t able to access it.  They also had a Walk and Knit Relay challenge, and a Kids Fiber Camp in addition to judging for youth activities and sheep.


We had to visit the Lambing Barn, but passed on the Carcass competition. Here are the lambs born that morning.20150912_132256

There was also a Hall of Breeds, a couple of breeds we hadn’t heard of.  But we did get to see many breeds we were familiar with. Although there was an Icelandic sheep there, a vendor told us she had just been to Iceland and our sheep look nothing like the real ones. Huh.

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The shearing demonstration was next. The gentleman doing the shearing gave us an explanation as to why the moccasin shoes he was wearing were important to the shearing process.  Having his feet close to the ground and animal,  he could easily feel the slightest movement of the sheep between his legs to make adjustments as he sheared.  He has been shearing for 38 years and does this all over the world. When asked how long it takes to shear one sheep, he answered in averages depending on the type of sheep, size and location.  Evidently, shearing in New Zealand is quick.  Sorry about the angle of the pictures we didn’t know when we sat down what view we’d have.

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Really the whole Festival was indeed about sheep.  There were even classes for sheepherders.  By the time we got around the whole fair, we had to make one more run through the vendor buildings.  We couldn’t go home empty handed.

Cathy bought a handmade broom, black silk tussah, camel/silk roving, white Navajo churro, linen embroidery threads, hand-dyed silk thread,  and an eco-dyeing book.


I bought grey and white Navajo churro, black corriedale and black silk tussah.


We were glad we had rooms for the night.  We had dinner in Whitewater and returned home in the morning satisfied we had seen plenty of sheep.



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More Art Therapy and Felted Knitting

It was the 3rd week of the wet felting group at the well-being centre on Wednesday just gone.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’re going to put small sample pieces together to make up a larger wall hanging, adding to it as we go along. For the first samples we decided on a red/orange/yellow colour scheme for the felt background, and everyone had a bag of similar embellishments with a strip of silk, strip of scrim, and some cotton gauze pieces, then one type of fibre in various colours for everyone to use how they liked. The slideshow has some of the finished pieces, though they are all still wet. Even though it was the 3rd week some of these pieces were made by people who hadn’t been to the other classes, so it was their first attempt.

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Shirley, who’s been every week brought back the piece she made last week. She really liked a batt I’d made with lots of tiny bits of odds, ends and scraps. She embellished the felt with sequins at home, this is it with some beads she’s adding trying to decide what to use:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did get around to felting the two knitted samples I made. The piece I made with the hand blended and handspun yarn doesn’t look too much different, but it is duller and fluffier:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt did keep some texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up and link to what it looked like before:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe pencil roving knitted piece was much nicer and easier to felt. It grew quite a bit and flattened out quite a lot:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was quite chunky before, this is after felting, looking over the surface:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt didn’t lose all its texture


It felted really neatly, but I’m not sure I’ll find a use for felted knitted pencil roving. The weird thing was, both pieces felt itchy afterwards too. I wet felted them both by hand, nit in a washer.

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Almonte Fibrefest

Last week end was the Almont Fibrefest. I thought I would share some pictures of some of the booths at the festival.  This is a post of mostly pictures and not much chat. I hope you enjoy it.

I thought I would show you want was there besides natural and hand dyed top and hand spun or hand dyed yarns. There were quilters, some are more traditional, some were applique and some were framed miniatures.

quiltsaplique quiltsmini quilts

There where bead sellers and some button sellers with the most amazing buttons.


button booth 2 button booth 1

The vintage show is part of Fibrefest too. There are Cloths, hats, linen’s and jewelry form many time periods. Aberrantly in the past there were no women with full figures.  I don’t know what Jane Russel was wearing.  ;) If you know who I am talking about you will be dating yourself.

vintage 2 vintage 1 vintage linens vinage jewlry

There was even a lady selling nothing but lavender in every form you can think off.


And a fiber sculpture

fiber art

I wouldn’t want you to think there was not fiber for spinning and felting or any finished things. Here are a couple if interesting booths.

fibre booth Anne spinning

My best find was this woman with fabulous thread in a amazing colours. There was another table of them plus a table a of large cones for long arm quilters. You may be thinking why is that so exiting? I discovered she lives only 5 min from me.


I didn’t buy any yet. I think I may have found a woman to give me a couple of free motion embroidery lessons. Then I can start an embroidery thread stash.

I was very good at the sale I only bought one thing and it only cost $3.00.

mu buttons

I really only wanted the black and white ones top right but it was in a $3 dollar bag. I needed the buttons to finish a hat that I will tell you about next time. That’s ok, you can never have enough buttons.








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Screen Printing with Rust

My local surface design group started meeting again this past week. We always take of a couple of months in the summer but we were all raring to go when we met last week. Bunny had found an article in the October/November 2013 Quilting Arts Magazine by Barbara Triscari called “Controlled Rusting”. The article explained how to create photo-realistic rusted images. Essentially it is using thickened print paste mixed with iron powder and printing with a silk screen.

Ingredients for Rusting

You can use a ready-made print paste mix or sodium alginate to thicken and then you add super fine iron powder to the mix.

Mixing in the Iron Powder

Here’s Louise mixing in the iron powder. You get something that almost looks like cement. It takes a bit of stirring as it clumps up quite a bit. You also need to make a spray bottle of water with vinegar and salt.

Screening through a Paper Lamination Screen

Then you can use any kind of silk screen, stencil or even stamp to apply the iron paste to your fabric. Here Carole is screening using a paper fabric lamination screen on to previously dyed cotton.

Printing with a Stamp

Here is an example of stamping the paste on to fabric.

Busy Working

And here is everyone hard at work. You can see my blue fish piece in the foreground.

After Screening, Ready to be Sprayed

Once the piece is screened, you apply the chemical water mixture. The center of this photo shows two pieces of felt (made from pre-felt) that were screened with the iron paste.

Spraying with Vinegar and Salt Water

And then you spray the iron paste with vinegar + salt water and let it sit until it rusts. It actually happens pretty quickly. We used a variety of fabric including felt, cotton, canvas and silk as well as paper. The paper worked especially well but I forgot to take any photos of my sketch book pages that I rusted. Sorry.

These are the felt pieces that I rusted.

This is a silk scarf that was previously dyed with gradations of blue. I used a screen that Louise had originally made from a photo of peeling paint.

Here is the blue cotton that I used my fossil and fish screens on. I found that you need to get quite a bit of paste through the screen or it doesn’t work very well.

This is a piece of dyed osnaberg fabric that was the red violet color to begin with. I had three ginkgo leaf resists that I put down on the fabric and then painted the iron paste over the surface of the fabric.

This is a piece of light weight cotton that was previously dyed yellow and then I screened all over with a “texture” screen. I didn’t get enough iron paste through the screen as it only came out in certain areas with heavier printing. You will see a spot of green at the bottom right of the full piece. This was from ironing my piece on my print table where I had previously done some dyeing. There was green dye still on the table and it soaked right into the cotton. Oops.

And these last two are printed on a heavy canvas. I used two different screens that I made with Pellon Matte Vinyl Fuse that are the same design but are positive and negatives of the design. You can see a few spots of blue dye on these as well from my print table. Guess I should pay a bit more attention to cleanliness :)

So we had a great time and I really like the “controlled rusting” process. You can have any type of design with rust this way and the process is really fairly simple. I am working on another online class about screen printing now. You can learn how to make some of these types of screens in the class. More information coming soon.

Don’t forget that today (September 16, 2015) is the last day to sign up for the next session of Wet Felting for Beginners online course. Register here.

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Trying to Get Organized

The first two years I was felting I used the shoe storage method to store my fiber.  But as a fiber enthusiast and one to try new things my inventory and tool collection kept growing.   So, it became quite unruly. The picture doesn’t show the overflow and piles in bins I couldn’t fit in.

2014-03-03 11.30.52I had piles of things everywhere.

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For the past year I’ve been trying to find a system to keep my fiber and tools organized. I tried a wire cube system next.  This was a real test of my patience.

2015-04-07 12.03.072015-04-08 13.42.07 2015-04-08 13.42.19I liked the openness of this system, but didn’t like it was so deep and I’d have to juggle the fibers to see all the colors I had.  I did put my batts in bins on the floor.

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So, I continued to look for another system.  I wanted an open bookcase, but because of the dimensions I was limited to, I couldn’t find something that worked.

Then we had a big discussion on the forum about fiber and bugs, so I decided to try plastic drawers.

20150907_162939Now I have drawers organized by color.  Here’s just a few.  I also have one for alpaca, one for merino and silk mixes.

20150907_162808 20150907_162852 20150907_162842 20150907_162835 20150907_162824But I wasn’t finished.  I organized my embellishments in two separate units.


This one is under my table.


I also used the furnace room door for coarser fibers and to hang my scarves and hand dyed yarns.


Here is my table with my tool drawer and a bin full of WOW fibers, some foam for needle felting and other useful tools all close at hand.




More fiber and bubble wrap marked.


Behind my table is my felting machine with more tools close at hand.

20150907_165005And my drum carder set off to the side next to another table.

20150907_164853The cube system is temporarily holding some folders until I figure out what to do with it.


Then there is the daybed covered with samples, bins of yarn, ribbon, scraps, etc.  This still needs a bit of work.  And my “paper” room which is now my dyeing room.  That will also have to wait.


This system works for me right now.  Its by no means perfect.  I’m fortunate to have two water sources close at hand and extra space.  I don’t think we intended it to be a studio but that’s what it is for me right now.

What works for you?

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I know you’ve been dying to know how my handspun yarn knitted, so here’s the little rectangle I made:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s the other side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here’s a close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI still can’t do the cast off so it doesn’t pull and seem tight compared to the rest of it. I plan to felt this piece when I get the chance, by hand, not in the washer. This is another piece I’ve made specifically for felting, I promised Nada I’d make a piece with the pencil roving to see how it felted:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother piece I made recently turned out really nice, the colours and shine are gorgeous:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis has a really nice texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you open the yarn out, it’s actually a kind of netting, I bought it with felting in mind before I could knit:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ll show the photos when the top pieces have been felted.


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