"It seems very safe to me to be surrounded by green growing things and water."
Sunday, September 8, 2019
Friday, August 30, 2019
I taught a class last weekend and while I was gathering plant material I grabbed a couple of "experimental" ones. Meaning, either by some miracle I had never tried them, or, I did and couldn't remember whether they worked or not. I like to include an unknown as I think it gives students the "permission" to go out and take a chance on something. It is not the end of the world if it doesn't print; and then I remind them that just because it didn't work with the mordant we are using, or at the time of year the plant was picked doesn't mean that it wouldn't print under other circumstances.
We are living in a jungle of flea bane (Conyza canadensis), also known as Horseweed as supposedly it is irritating to horses. There doesn't seem to be a consensus as to whether it actually repels fleas, but our dogs never had any!
|Conyza canadensis, also known as flea bane or horseweed with antique tractor.|
I simply love it when I find something that is everywhere, in the way, and generally making a nuisance of itself, prints. In this case it is a member of the sunflower family, so it does make sense that it printed yellow or green.
|On paper. On the left the paper was soaked in alum water and the flea bane was soaked in iron water. On the right the paper was soaked in alum water and the plant material used as is.|
Since it is a member of the sunflower family and it "should" do this I have no reason to believe the paper would change much over time. Fabric can be a different ballgame so I will leave it hang on my studio closet doors until next spring to see what happens to it. Once the out of control grapevine has been put back in its place for the year that wall will get moderate morning sun through the windows until we really hit the depths of winter so that is a pretty good test on "wearability". I will wash it out then and see what it looks like.
|Side by side comparison|
Monday, August 26, 2019
"Pink makes me feel both young and old. There is no in between."
Anthony T. Hincks
|Big Leaf Maple on the forest floor|
|Classroom samples with a madder root blanket, the other pot is with an iron blanket|
|Pink madder and lime green walnut|
You can catch up with Drye Goods Studio on Facebook and Instagram and I am putting new things in my Etsy Shop almost every day!
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Monday, July 29, 2019
Friday, July 19, 2019
This is a bit of a rant, so I will counter that with some nice pictures, I promise. Recently Etsy announced that they will only let sellers rise in their search engine if they offer free shipping. They encourage sellers to "adjust" their pricing to cover the cost of the shipping. Meaning, the shipping is not free, but included in the price.
This raises some questions and issues.
1. A brief explanation of how Etsy works. In addition to taking a percentage of the sale of the item, they also take a percentage of the shipping charge as well. Due to the increase in postage in the last few years the amount I charge is usually about on the nose for what the post office charges me and doesn't include the price of packing materials (in my case not that big a deal since I use recycled whenever possible) or the time it takes to pack it up and take it to the post office. I could go on some tirad about what my time is worth-but that aside, look at it this way. If I had to hire somebody to help in the studio I would be paying them, so their wage would be going toward packing up your order. I decided that I was better off to make the shipping charge look reasonable than to actually account for the all expenses involved, so I am not charging what it really costs to get an item to a customer as it is.
|Taking pictures in the garden and fiddling around with the filters on the phone.|
2. Let's say for the sake of argument that I just go ahead and raise the price of each item the amount I am charging for postage now which is about $3.95. So, a customer orders one button or pendant. No biggie, they are paying the same they would have anyway. But, if a customer buys several items they would be paying that added cost on each item, way more than they would have since up to this point I do a flat fee. The boxes I had to buy for the ceramics to ensure they reach you in one piece hold several pieces and the added weight is minor, so it is a way to encourage people to stuff that pup full! Why not keep the price of everything clear? To have "free shipping" all the time also doesn't allow me to use it as a marketing tool, instead my only options are to do some sort of discount on the already over priced item. Again, why not just be clear that there is a value for the item and a value for the shipping?
|Here are some of the students of the eco printing on paper class I taught at Art Salvage.|
3. Speaking of pricing. I started up this version of my shop in February and after a fair amount of research came up with a pricing plan that covered the cost of expenses and labor and was competitive. So when you search "ceramic buttons" or whatever you type into your browser you will see similar pricing for similar work not only on Etsy, but out on the web in general. Adding to the price only makes me look like I am charging too much or think a whole lot more of myself than I should! My inclination as a shopper is to not click on the Google listing for the higher priced item, meaning, I may never see that the shipping is included. Then there is the whole matter of refunds. It may seem like semantics but there are actual laws regarding what you call things in advertising. When something is called free, it is supposed to be free. If a customer wanted to return something in the past then the normal procedure is to refund the price of the item, not the shipping, as it was shipped after all. But if you call it free shipping than technically speaking you weren't charging them for it to begin with so they get the entire purchase price back regardless of the fact that the money was spent at the post office and the item delivered.
|This studio helper gets paid in cat food and treats. That being said with non-opposable thumbs she isn't much help in the shipping department.|
I tend to be an over thinker, so I will close this by saying a few things and be done. When I put scarves or other higher priced items in the shop it is truly, honestly, free shipping. You hate the thing when you open it up, you can send it back (following my return policy) and you get the price (all of it) back. It is just cost prohibitive for me to do that on $6-15 buttons. Etsy's new policy applies to things over $35.00 so it shouldn't make that much difference items priced under that amount, in theory. I guess my problem is that it is just another way that people don't understand the actual value of an item or person. People working in the small studios are not the same as Amazon. We don't have those resources. If somebody paid me a hundred bucks a year for no other reason than to pay me a hundred bucks a year, then yes I would give them free shipping. Hey-now there's idea! I will let you know where to mail that check. It is one thing to have the rest of the world devalue your education and skill, but then to have an organization that is supposed to be supporting the arts devalue you, it is very disheartening. Etsy should quit worrying about trying to compete with Amazon and go on education campaign about how things are made, along with the time and skill it takes to make them, and why it is better for the economy and the environment to shop small.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
"Art is lunging forward without certainty about where you are going or how to get there, being open to and dependant on what luck, the paint, the typo, the dissonance, give you. Without art you're stuck with yourself as you are and life as you think life is."
Mark Vonnegut M.D.
|Coreopsis foliage with pre-applied rust mordant.|
|The orange is the coreopsis, again just the foliage, on silk with alum mordant.|
|Here is the plant, the flowers also print well.|
Thursday, June 6, 2019
"If we want fewer house sparrows and starlings, we do not need to kill them, we need to create an urban landscape in which a richer variety of species can thrive."
Lyanda Lynn Haupt, The Urban Bestiary
|Spotted knapweed makes a lovely yellow dye on protein fibers with an alum pre-mordant. Don't boil, just simmer. If I remember right I let the plant material soak in the water overnight first.|
Monday, May 27, 2019
"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."
|I will be at Art Fest this weekend in Coeur d'Alene Park, located in Browne's Addition, Spokane Washington.|
The scarf features Arrowleaf Balsamroot and knapweed.
Monday, May 20, 2019
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
"Artists are not exempt from that truism. Fix Breakfast, do the laundry, write a poem: That is the real life of an artist."
Ted Orland, The View From the Studio Door, referring to the Annie Dillard quote above.
|An experiment on 100% wool craft felt, something I had never thought to use before. I will take the next piece and tighten it up, or make it "feltier" if that makes any sense, with a denser surface the prints most likely will be more distinct.|
|Laundry both studio and familial.|
|Mixed up a concoction to relieve my dry skin.|
|First salad from this season's garden!|
|A reread of one of my favorite books.|
|And last but not least, my studio door!|
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
|Geranium, arrowleaf balsamroot, and knapweed.|
|Arrowleaf Balsamroot print.|
Friday, May 10, 2019
Ok, the next time you feel like you get nothing done, remember this post.
This morning I went to coffee with some artsy fartsy friends and got so inspired I made a pass by my local big box fabric store for a few items and then dashed home. Had a quick sandwich and then put my new purchase to soak in the basement bathtub. As I was headed back out to the studio I saw ants invading the hummingbird feeders. I had purchased ant traps for them last year but had forgotten all about it so I had to dig around to find them. While I had the feeders down I might as well clean and refill-right? So as I am washing out the feeders I begin to realize there is water coming up the kitchen drain which is not how it is supposed to work. I pulled everything out from under the sink and unscrewed the trap. Nada. This means that there is a truly evil, smelly clog in the pipe over the dryer in the laundry room (this is not my first rodeo with the kitchen drain needless to say). Then I had the horrifying thought that my husband had gone fishing yesterday and had cleaned fish in the sink. Which means there is probably day old fishy smelling water in the dishwasher. Opened it, yep, there sure is, and slammed it shut. Mr. Man was sleeping to recover from said fishing trip but I woke him up to ask if he wished to help unclog it (two person job-somebody has to hold a bucket while the other person snakes the pipe) or call a plumber. Naturally when someone awakens you from a sound sleep to ask if you would like to have sewage rain down on you the answer should always be to call a plumber.
At three in the afternoon on Friday there are no plumbers available. Anywhere. The ones that are willing to show up at five in the afternoon want several hundred dollars. Or to make an appointment for next Tuesday. Did I mention fish water in the dishwasher? Oh, yes I did, but I probably failed to mention 85 degrees on Sunday. So, no thank you, I will figure it out.
Without raising my voice I made it clear that while several hundred for a plumber may seem high, it is lower than spending the weekend plus Monday and Tuesday at a hotel. He dashes (ok, saunters) out to the barn to bring in a bucket and proper tools and we head to the basement. Clog removed, dishwasher running to get rid of stink, mission accomplished. Oh, and hummingbird feeders cleaned and rehung with ant traps. It was about four by then, but I decided it was wine-thirty and the day is done. I will fix our dinner, enjoy my yard, and be grateful that Mr. Man is doing well enough to help with the clogged pipes which would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. It can all change so quickly.
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Moscow, Idaho that its. This Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th, East City Park, Booth 34-pop by and say Hi!
|In addition to art booths, there is music, a May Pole, food, and parade featuring this guy!|
Monday, April 29, 2019
"In the land of "I know," there is always competitiveness, jealousy, pretence, pride and arrogance. It is an aggressive realm-the realm of the ego. I say refuse citizenship. In the land of "I don't know", the inhabitants move without conflict and are naturally quiet, happy and peaceful. The wise stay here."
|Bald sumac on silk dupioni with rust|
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
|The eucalyptus I bought the last time had buds on it, I love the little marks it made!|
|The coral color is spiral eucalyptus and the little green leaf is a perennial geranium, known in my world as "stinky geranium" as the gardening catalogs describe its scent as lemony. Sorry-smells like moth balls to me.|
|More stinky geranium. Nice prints though.|
Monday, April 1, 2019
"Kindness and a generous spirit go a long way. And a sense of humor. It's like medicine-very healing." Max Irons
|Black Hollyhocks-I can't wait for them to start blooming!|
|Don't remember planting these, but, yeah!|
|We are working on a friendship, sometimes we have disagreements, but we are always happy to see each other.|
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Well, I was hoping to take lovely pictures of tulips peeking through the snow, buds on the trees, etc. Trouble is, we have so many drifts left in the yard that even a couple of forty degree days hasn't made much impact. No tulips as far as the eye can see and I just don't have it in me to trudge through a foot or more of rock hard snow to take pictures of buds on trees. But, after looking around, there are some signs of spring, if you look hard enough.
|Fabric prep. You would think I would spend the winter doing this, but you know what they say-if it weren't for the last minute a lot of things wouldn't get done.|
|Our neighbor looking over the plant starts in the hot box. Next weekend it will be time to turn on the actual greenhouse. Actually, it is past time, but better late than never!|
|Not the most interesting picture you have ever seen, but the fact that we can get this door up at all and the snow drift that was keeping it shut is almost gone is one of the most wonderful things I have seen lately.|
So, now, hopefully, there will be more things to talk about on this blog! I turned my Etsy shop back on, lots of ceramic buttons, eco printed paper kits, some destash items, and a few scarves. To visit, hit the Etsy Mini link on the homepage of this blog.