Tag Archives: silk scarves

Art in the Tent – silk scarf dyeing session

On Saturday I participated as part of the Art in the Tent activities at the Glascock Building.   This included some interactive art activities by Art in the Park Artists and some demos by local Maple Creek Artists.  This was part of the Taste of Maple Creek Festivities.  I offered sessions of my popular Silk Scarf Dyeing activities.  Due to the heat and humidity, I was set up inside the Glascock building with all the art on display. (I don’t do heat and humidity well).

Tables set up and ready to dye scarves

Tables set up and ready to dye scarves

I set up well before my sessions were scheduled.  I didn’t have any takers for the noon session – the food was ready to sell down at the other end of Jasper Street. I had to run home and get a bag of pipettes I had mistakenly taken out of the dyeing tote.

At 2 pm I had 6 people wanting to dye.  A mom and her 3 children plus another young fellow and his mom and an woman who was going to be dyeing a square to use as a head scarf.

sisters dyeing their scarves

sisters dyeing their scarves

Here are some of the finished scarves dyed by participants in the 2 pm session.  Children’s faces shown in photos are used with their mother’s permission.

Josie with her scarf.  her combo of purples and blues was lovely

Josie with her scarf. her combo of purples and blues was lovely


Josie's brother, Logan, with his scarf

Josie’s brother, Logan, with his scarf

Logan did something no one else has done in my workshops to my knowledge.  He dyed his whole scarf in one go without opening it and re-scrunching it.  He got good results with his technique. He used the Rider green with some other colours.

Liam with his scarf

Liam with his scarf

Liam dyed a scarf with his mom’s help.  They were camping out at Cypress Hills Park and decided to come in for the Taste of Maple Creek festivities.  He did his with some Rider colours – there was a game that started at the same time as our scarf dyeing session.

Joyce's scarf

Joyce’s scarf

Joyce used pumpkin with a pumpkin/brown combo for her 30 inch square scarf.  It came out lovely.  She enjoyed it so much, she came back for the 4 pm session to dye another 30 inch square in shades of blue.

It was a nice relaxing way to spend the afternoon and the 3 fans I had going helped keep me from getting too hot until it was over.  Lots of folks dropped by to see what we were doing.


It’s Apple Blossom Time!

One of the things I DO miss about living in the Annapolis Valley, NS is Apple Blossom time. I used to have a an apple tree outside my studio in Swift Current and 2 years ago I used some of the blossoms to sun print some silk scarves.  Those scarves have all been sold.  Last year I missed the blossom window (it’s short here due to wind/rain) so I didn’t get to make any.

Flowering crab loaded with flowers

Flowering crab loaded with flowers

This year all the Flowering Crab trees in Maple Creek seem to be loaded with blossoms.  Their scent has been quite strong all through town.  My neighbors across the street had one just loaded with blossoms. I went over and asked permission to pick some blossoms to use.  They were surprised/amused but told me to help myself.

Still a few unopened buds on the tree

Still a few unopened buds on the tree

Last Thursday morning I decided I had to go pick the blossoms before the predicted wind and rain arrived to strip the blossoms off the tree.  I gathered up my blossom picking equipment and headed over to pick some.

my Ziploc bag and hands would collect the blossoms

my Ziploc bag and hands would collect the blossoms

There were some blossoms already scattered on the ground so I was glad I opted to pick them. If you actually try to pick the petals off the blossoms, they tend to tear.  So my method is to put the branch in the bag and bump the loose ones off.  Some times the whole blossom comes along. I managed to get about 1/2 of a gallon Ziploc bag full of petals.

My blossom harvest

My blossom harvest

When I went home I called the local florist for her recommendation on how best to keep the petals until later that day or the next. We discussed several options and I decided to divide them into 2 ziplocs to give them more space plus add a wet paper towel to each bag to keep them fresher.  One went in the fridge and one stayed on the counter.  The next morning they were still very fresh.  I put the 2nd bag in the fridge as I wasn’t sure I would get to sunprinting on Friday.

Saturday I had a scarf dyeing workshop booked, so it was Sunday am before I got back to the petals.  They were still in excellent condition in the the Ziploc bags with the damp paper towel.

Sunday morning was great weather for sun printing outside.  Very little wind (often an issue here) and temp predicted to be in low 70′s later on.  I don’t often fabric paint or sun print out side due to the wind issues here so this would be a nice treat.  I set up in the shade at the side of the garage.

set up to start painting scarves

set up to start painting scarves

I got my butcher papers prepared for 30 scarves in 3 sizes hoping I could do that many in one day. I had my paints mixed and set up on my trusty bus cart and ready to go.  I generally mix a palette or colours to work with for the session.

fabric painted silk scarf with apple blossom petals ready to sun print

fabric painted silk scarf with apple blossom petals ready to sun print

As each scarf was painted and sun printed it was moved on the butcher paper backing to the grass in dappled shade on the other side of the yard.

View from work table of scarves drying

View from work table of scarves drying

As you can see I went with a light bright palette for spring.  It seemed to suit the blossoms.

Finished painted and sun printed scarves on line

Finished painted and sun printed scarves on the line

Next in the process is ironing, signing and labelling the scarves.  I hope to finish that this week so they will be all ready to go to Bazaart on June 15/13 outside the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Watch for more photos as I get them done.  You may be able to scoop one up before they get to Regina.

I’m hoping to try sun printing a few scarves this week with lilac and caragana blossoms.  I have those in my yard.



Scarf Dyeing at a Birthday Party

Saturday I had a booking for my ColorHue silk scarf dyeing activity at Jillian’s 9th birthday party at a local home. Jillian, her sister Tiffany and their mom had participated in my scarf dyeing workshops at Cypress Hills Park last summer.  I would be doing this scarf dyeing workshop with 12 8-9 year olds. A nice size group and a good age to work with.  They were an enthusiastic and well behaved group.

We had a little discussion about colour choices and did a few exercises to become familiar with our tools and how the process works. Then the colour choices began and the girls started creating their scarves.

Busy hands creating their scarves

Busy hands creating their scarves

he finished scarves drying while girls have more birthday party fun

The finished scarves drying while girls have more birthday party fun

I was invited to have some of the birthday cake made by Jillian’s mom Ava. It was an amazing looking cake with strands of hair on the dog and blades of grass.

Amazing birthday cake

Amazing birthday cake

I enjoyed being invited to share in the birthday festivities and see what happens at birthday parties now. Some things never change but I noticed some differences from when I used to give parties for my children. These lucky party goers also got to make 3 crafty things at this party!

I offer my ColorHue silk scarf dyeing activity for groups as small as 4 at my studio. I can do it at your location as well.   I have also done it with family groups creating gifts for Christmas, friends, senior’s groups, educators, school classes and in drop-in public settings with people from 2-92 years old. Contact me if you are interested in booking your own scarf dyeing party either here at my studio or another location.








Bazaart 40 Countdown

Yikes! Where has the time gone.  When I send in my application it always seems like a long time to go before Bazaart will happen. We usually find out in late March or early April if we’ve been juried in this year.  It still seems like a long time until mid-June.  Somehow that time gets shorter every year until BOOM – it’s only a month away!  This year is a special one – it’s Bazaart’s 40th Anniversary on Saturday, June 15, 2013 outside the MacKenzie Art Gallery on Albert Street in Regina, SK


Bazaart40 button.

What is Bazaart?  It’s the largest outdoor arts and crafts show and sale in Saskatchewan. It’s juried,  which means that every year a committee chooses the vendors who sell there. You have to be juried into Bazaart EVERY year, even if you’ve previously been juried in. Bazaart is about quality workmanship and unique and interesting items from artists and artisans.  There’s music and food creating a wonderful creative atmosphere for shopping. It’s a lot of work for vendors to get there and set up for a one day show but it’s worth it! It`s always great to see fellow artists and artisans and welcome new ones.

This is my 3rd Bazaart.  I have return customers who look for me there in Booth #119 - the same booth I`ve had every year .  Since Bazaart is my 1st Sale of the year, I often premiere new types of snow dyed items there.  Last year it was chiffon scarves.  This year – well, I’ll keep that under my hat for now.

Bazaart is a fund raiser for the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina SK. You can check out all the details here http://www.mackenzieartgallery-bazaart.ca/  including a map of the booths and information about participating vendors.

You can follow me here or on my  Skyswept Designs Facebook Page  http://www.facebook.com/SkysweptDesigns  to see what I`m up to getting ready for this year`s Bazaart.

Hope I see you there! Stop and say hi.





Cypress Hills 2013 Summer Sampler

Cypress Hills 2013 Summer Sampler

I am pleased to be one of the artists featured Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Cypress Hill Park Summer Sampler at the Royal Canadian Legion in Maple Creek, SK.  You can come and take a short workshop (1 hr or less) from a variety of the artists who will be doing an Artist Residency at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park this summer. My Artist Residency will be from July 19-August 5, 2013.  I am really looking forward to the longer session this year.

I will be offering my silk scarf dyeing workshop at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.  Cost is $10 per scarf and includes everything needed to make an 8inx54in silk scarf. There is a limited of 12 persons per session so you should call Connie Phillips at (306)662-3629 to reserve your space.


First Workshop for 2012 – Silk Scarf Dyeing

 Tonight was the first workshop for 2012.  It was a private booking for Dyeing Scarves with Color Hue Dyes activity.  We ended up with 4 girls, a mom & her friend + another mom (my friend) who helped out.  These are usually fairly relaxed events that take from 1-2 hrs depending on how many ppl there are plus how involved in colour mixing the participants want to be + how many scarves they make. Sometimes it’s a birthday party activity (love getting to share in the birthday treats!)  I’ve done this activity with all ages (2-92 yrs), all kinds of groups (seniors, youth, school and special needs groups) and even families wanting to make gifts for themselves and others. I’ve even done it on a drop-in basis as guest artist at Cypress Hills Park last August http://skysweptdesigns.com/2011/08/silk-scarf-dyeing-at-cypress-hills-park/ .    

New method of twisting scarf

  Angie ( a mom) used a new (to me) technique for twisting her scarf.  She did both of her scarves in the same fashion.     

2nd scarf done with new twisting

results from using new twisting technique

  The colour choices for her second scarf were quite interesting as well.  I may have to try this combination myself (another bonus of having different people in the studio is finding new colour combinations I may not have thought of on my own.  

another new technique - dyeing the hem itself

  Chloe  took the time to painstakingly dye the hem by itself which was a very nice and different effect I had not seen or done before.  Another technique to try!  

Kaitlin's Scarf - such rich colour

  Kaitlin  used just one colour and kept adding dye until she achieved the rich colour she wanted.   


adding dye drop by drop

Jessica took the time to add her dye drop by drop to achieve the look she wanted.   

Jessica's scarf completed

I love the subtle colour changes and pools of colour in Jessica’s scarf.   

Corey used a variety of colours

 Corey used a variety of colours in her scarf to good effect, escaping the dreaded brown results from mixing opposites on the colour wheel.  She had made a scarf previously when Girls on the Move visited my studio in May 2011 and had requested her mom to book this activity to celebrate her birthday.  

Marvann's scarf using another new twisting technique

Marvann gave me a challenge – to mix her the 2012 Pantone colour of the year Tangerine Tango.  I had a bit of challenge mixing it but came up with a colour she liked.  Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of her finished scarf using her new (to me) method of twisting the scarf before dyeing it.  

Each participant ended up making 2 scarves so it was a fairly busy couple of hours before we got the the cake Marvann had made (very tasty!).  All in all it was a great way to start 2012 workshops.  

If you’re interested in having your own scarf dyeing or other fun crafty activity for yourself and at least 4 friends, contact me by phone or email (info on contact page) to set up an activity for you.  I can handle up to 10 (sometimes) people per 1-2 hr activity in my studio.  More might require an alternate venue.  I’m happy to discuss options with you.    



BAZAART – 7 Days and Counting

Here is one of the apple blossom sunprinted scarves drying.

Today was spent hand painting scarves – using the apple blossom petals to sunprint.  How many people get to say that part of their days’s work/art making involves picking apple blossom petals!  They are already falling off the tree so just tapping a loaded branch sends them cascading into the basket, on my hair and clothing.  I wondered what the passersby were thinking as they saw me reaching into the tree for the blossoms.  I wanted to use the apple blossom petals first as they look to be on their way out.

sunprinted blossoms on painted branches

As I worked through a number of scarves using the apple blossom petals, I tried to use them in a variety of ways.  I will be interested to see how the final results turn out when the silk scarves are ironed.

more small scarved drying

 One of the people working in an office in my studio building is also a quilter and interested in learning how to do fabric painting when she retires in July.  She checked in early this am to see what I was working on – and quite intriqued with the whole process of sunprinting.  She offered to bring me some tall grasses from her yard at lunch time if she had a chance.  She dropped them off after lunch.  I was ready for a change of palette by then, so I mixed up some colours that would showcase the grasses and leaves.

sunprinting with grasses and leaves


more leaves sunprinting

 It will be interesting to see how these leave sunprint.  They are very fern-like but not that easy to keep flat on the fabric. 

scarves drying in my "retail" area

 By the time I left at 3:30 to drop off my art at the courier company and go to the Art Gallery of Swift Current to do the walk and talk with the current exhibit’s artists, there were scarves drying every where in the studio, on the tables, under the tables, everywhere! 

scarves drying everywhere

I pretty much covered all open available flat surfaces!

End of the day shot of work tables

 This is what the TOP of the work tables looked like at the end of the day!

Due to a volunteer commitment this evening, I wasn’t going to be able to attend the usual Artist talk for this exhibit.  I was able to attend the “walk and talk” for the art club at 4 pm.  I’m so glad I did!  The exhibit is “Chance Operations 2″ with both artists in attendance.  http://www.artgalleryofswiftcurrent.org/exhibitions/current.html.    Rhonda Neufeld and Rodney Konopaki decided they wanted to work together in collaboration.  As part of their process they had to work through what that meant.  The exibit is a result of their explorations of working together.  I am still processing what they said.  I found it extremely interesting and thought provoking to think about working like that.  It makes me think more about my own work, the how, the why etc.  I am exceptionally glad I made the time to attend!

I’m off to the Lyric Theatre to volunteer at tonight’s Showcase event – Tastes of Asia – doing my usual stint selling liquor tickets.  It’s going to be a late evening for me. Hope I can still be productive in the studio tomorrow.  I have a quota of scarves to paint!



BAZAART – 8 Days and Counting Down

Today was off to a slowish start after having disrupted sleep last night – I was awake for several hours in the middle of the night due to not eating before/when I took the analgesics for my knees (I skipped supper).  When I got to the studio I ironed the remaining snow-dyed scarves that had dried overnight after being washed.  I decided to leave the hand-painted ones I’d washed to iron, etc when I process the scarves I’m painting today.

I set up my tables to accomodate painting scarves – cut about 30 pieces of waxed butcher paper (10 for each size of scarf) for them to rest on while drying.  I picked out the transparent Setacolor paints I plan to use.  I tend to do things like this in batches and pick a palette to work with each session.  I figure that doing 20-30 scarves each day should give me a good variety of colours and styles.

Ready to start painting scarves

 When I took my 2 day fabric painting workshop with Mickey Lawlor, she told us about having some petals drift on to her painted fabrics while drying in her yard. (This anecdote is also in her SkyDyes book).  Since I have an apple tree in bloom outside my studio window, I decided I would try sunprinting with some of the petals – they are almost done blooming. So I went out and “picked” some petals to use on the scarves.  Tapping the branches gave quite a cascade of petals into the bowl, on my hair and on me. 

Apple Blossom petals for sunprinting

After living in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia for close to 30 years, apple blossoms are definitely a part of my art-making but this is the first time I have sunprinted with them.

scarf with apple blossom petals in place "sunprinting"

My goal is to try to paint 10 scaves of each size today – this may be a bit tricky since I have less available floor space to lay them on to dry while I paint others, especially the larger ones.

small scarves drying on the floor

 By the time I go home tonight, the tables, floor and any leve surface will likely be covered with drying painted scarves.

Silk Scarf dyeing with 10-11 yr olds

One of the activities I offer at my studio is the chance to hand dye your own silk scarf. I started this with a group of seniors last year at the request of their recreation director. Since then I’ve had several groups of folks come and do some silk scarf dyeing. I will do it for as few as 4-5 and this party was for 11 (including a mom). It’s not specifically a workshop, but more of an activity. I show them my array of scarves and they pick colours from those.

Color Hue dyed silk scarves

We learn a bit about the colour wheel (what colors work together and what colours don’t) and depending on the group – some may even mix their own colours from the pre-mixed dyes I have ready for them. I instruct the folks how to use the medium – get them to practice with plain water as well as extra dye on paper towels before actually dyeing their scarf. When they feel comfortable with the tools, techniques, then we start dyeing scarves. It’s fun to watch as hesitation moves to comfort and experimentation.

Dyeing her own scarf

Depending on the group, what they want to do and how many scarves they want to dye, it usually lasts from 1-2 hrs. The girls and I had fun and they themselves some lovely scarves. I heard talk of them planning to wear them to school on the same day.

showing off their finished scarves

When everyone is all done, they put their wet scarf in a baggy to take home – with drying and care instructions.  Lots of happy faces here.  They were really pleased with their results.

all finished and ready to take home

 After they were done with their scarf dyeing activity, they did the usual birthday party activities.  I was even lucky enough to get to share in the birthday cake!  I should have take a picture of it.  Mom make a small cake iced looking like tie dye with assorted cupcakes around it in honour of the scarf dyeing.  Very creative.

Studio ready for Christmas (shopping)

 Today was the last of my “scheduled” craft sales.  I realized this was my 3rd sale in 4 weeknends!  Two of them were “open the door” events for me so I just had to set up my “retail” area and block off the rest from public view.  All that coming and going means the working part of the studio has basically become a storage area between sales.  

the tables set up in the gym outside my studio waiting for vendors to arrive and set up



Two crafty friends, Elaine and Cindy  planned the Swift Current Gift and Craft Show for today in the gym outside my studio.  They set the tables up last night after 11pm (IMAGINE!!) 

I was happy I didn’t have to actually pack up and go anywhere.  I spent several days this week finishing unpacking from Wintergreen show plus decorating the studio for Christmas.  I decorated the door yesterday and had some fun with it.  


Tag on parcel says - Let me help you WRAP UP your Holiday Shopping

I decided that my customer appreciation gift to shoppers this year is that I will pay the taxes on retail sales for the month of December.  For most purchases that is 10 %.   

sign below "parcel" on each side of the door

 I set up my iPod bookcase stereo outside the door so I could play music for the shoppers.  Notice the antler headband on one speaker – should I get another one for its mate? (grin).  

View into the studio this am


Come in and have a look around the studio. It’s been awhile since I’ve given you the opportunity! 



Scrunchy tree just inside the door to the left

Cindy decided the tree needed a topper so she took a pair of hand dyed socks and added them to the top to add some colour.  

Just past the scrunchy tree is the Hobo Bag display – some of these will be put in my ArtFire Studio in the next week.  

hobo bag display

The show advertising mentioned people would have door prizes so I opted in to create a “Blue Christmas” doorprize worth $50.  One of my small snow dyed silk charmeuse scarfs (8″x54″) + a pr of blue hand dyed bamboo socks + a blue scrunchy in a blue gift bag.  I’m sure the winner won’t be blue when she finds out she’s won.  (no answer when I called earlier). 


My "Blue Christmas" doorprize display on a piece of my hand-dyed Pimatex PFD


You can see my covered 6ft banquet table just to the right of the door prize display. I used some of the room dividers to block off studio working area from public view (needed today!). This created about a 10′ x 10″ retail area comparable to many booth sizes.  The table went back to the room divider blocking off the sink area from public view. You can see the banquet table and room divider on the pic below.  Once the studio is cleaned up the 2 tier rack will “live” where the banquest table currently is.  


the snow dyed collection on its racks on the right side of the studio


“The notecard rack is to the right of the scarves. It contains the various images (about 20) I market as notecards. The next displays are at a right angle to this photo.


L - hand dyed/hand painted fabric display (R) display of Photographs and magenets of my images (photos not juried by SCC)

You can see the mini lights along the top of the cabinets – I have them along the top of cabinets on both sides of the room. I love how festive they make the place feel when they are on (not so noticeable in the pics) The shelves on the right are bolted to the wall beside the door and the impetus for creating my “retail” area. You can get a glimpse out the door into the gym area on the right,

Shelves on wall beside door to studio

I put some of my smaller photographs in acrylic frames on one shelf and my finished totebags on the shelf below.
The rack holds my sarongs – all the various types.  Baskets hold buckets hats of various sizes.

Sign above the  hand dyed sarong collection
I have a black display rack on wheels with a variety of shelves, baskets and hooks that allows me a lot of variations in how I can use it. This is it’s latest incarnation.

The hand dyed sock side of the display rack

 I am fairly low on Ladies size 9-11 size socks . I had a bit of a run on them at Wintergreen a couple of weeks ago.  The other 2 sizes are fairly well stocked and some of them will be put into my ArtFire Shop as soon as I can get photos taken.  

packaged hand dyed scarf collection side of display rack

 You can see the infant buntings displayed on one end of the display rack to the right.  My friend’s dd Cabbage Patch Ariane modelling one of the cotton fleece buntings.  She’s been a real hit at several shows this year.  

baby bunting display at one end of display rack


You can see how much is packed into this small display area – only room for a few folks at a time but I’m happy with how it’s turned out today.  

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my studio today!