Thursday, October 13, 2011

Black Fire

In preparation for my art opening the theme is Fire.  I'm trying to see how many different ways I can dye fabric, and make art within the concept of Fire. And in some cases I'm trying to see how large a piece of fabric I can make and shibori dye.  This piece of 1/4 pound merino and black devore silk is Nuno Felted on the FeltLOOM, pole wrapped, then shibori dyed in orange, red and purple.  The black side is the silk, the colorful side is the wool. Either side could be considered the "right side"  It started out being 45" by 72".  After felting and fulling the final size is 35" x 64" not including the natural edges which vary in size from 2 to 3 inches. This soft and beautiful piece of fabric can be used as a wrap, a throw, or hung on the wall.   Find it on Etsy     

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Alpaca and Locks felted with Silk Chiffon

If you're wanting to dye Alpaca, nuno felted with silk, this is a wonderful fabric.  Soft, and very light weight.  Quarter pound alpaca batting and locks were felted with 8mm chiffon using the FeltLOOM.  This piece is not yet fulled making it great for dyeing that needs to be rinsed.  

Find it at Etsy

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fire, Alpaca and Silk Felted Yardage

For designers, collage artists, fiber artists.  Yardage!  Or is it yARTage?  Alpaca and silk, red, orange, purple, 40" x 32" excluding natural edges on three sides. Perfect for sewing project or embellished for wall art. Display it as is, or cut it up for your own art. Natural edges, vary from 1"to 4" and do not have any silk which makes it nice for felting.  $90     Find it on Etsy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And Then Purple

What to do with leftovers?  I felted merino wool and silk using the FeltLOOM, then shibori dyed it in three shades of purple. These were remnants of a larger piece which became a vest. Wanting no waste, I overlapped the long strips and felted them again on the FeltLOOM. Could be worn as is as a scarf or tie, or cut into pieces for your own project. Natural, irregular edges are great for felting. The widest is 5.5”, the narrowest is 2”    
Find it on Etsy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Green Shibori Felted Merino and Silk Tie

What to do with the leftovers?  It's the same questions with meals.  After I've made something beautiful with the wool I felted on the FeltLOOM I have all these beautiful pieces of fabric.  Truly  there is no not art.  The fabric in pieces is as beautiful as the full piece.  I can't throw it away.  My most recent discovery is to felt these long pieces together using the FeltLOOM.  So fast, yet wonderfully funky, in its own way.  Four inches at the widest part, 2" at the most narrow.  Or cut it up.  It's okay with me, and make your own art!  Order it on Etsy

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wear It or Use It

Art is Everywhere
Make Art Now

Using your imagination, this could be a funky scarf, made on the FeltLOOM from scraps of leftover shibori dyed felted alpaca and merino wool and silk , or it could be art supplies for making your own art.   The widest part is 6.5”  the narrowest is 1”. The natural edges are alpaca and merino, the body is silk. The art is up to you!
Find it on Etsy

Wildat Blue Alpaca Wrap

Wildcat Blue, Alpaca wrap, handfelted on the FeltLOOM, then sibori dyed.  Great for yardage, easy to make into a poncho.  $250
Find it on Etsy.  To learn more about the Shibori process you can view it at:


Saturday, October 1, 2011

My First How to Video

My latest and greatest iMovie is now available on YouTube. You can view it at:

Shibori Fire

How do I pole wrap 22" x 80" merino and silk with locks?
My first "How To Video" with music by Larry Vogt

You can view it at:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fire Sunset Waiting

Four pieces of alpaca, felted on the FeltLOOM, wrapped around a pvc pipe and shibori painted in shades of red, orange and purple, dry in the sun.

Friday, September 9, 2011

When the Weather Changes Everything Changes

Joe Pye, the weed, is falling down, he's so heavy, and the leaves are starting to turn, and it took over a week for the remnants of Irene's rain to finally stop.  Hence, the merino wool I dyed several days ago still hasn't dried.  It's always a debate; does the sun or low humidity dry fabric faster?  Since there was no sun, I put the poles inside hoping the dehumidifiers would soak up all the moisture.  They are still damp.  Hopefully the sun will come out soon to speed up the process.  Yesterday I used the FeltLOOM to felt 1/4 pound merino and silk gauze.  Today, in preparation for Julie's wearable art coat, I began my shibori process.  I wrapped the  felted merino and silk around four more poles, tied them with string, scrunched them tight, soaked each one in 1 part vinegar, 1 part water and a dash of synthrapol so they would better absorb the dye.  Another debate; how damp can they still be to not dilute the dye.  I always know when they were too damp by how much dripping there is.  Another fine line.  Sometimes the dripping blends the colors just right.  Julie wants the fire sunset color that I used before, only no fuchsia.   Fire Sunset is a combination of red, orange and purple.  Eliminating pink is tricky since purple contains fuchsia.  I added a little violet to the formula.  We shall see.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Copper Collection

 It’s a beautiful morning, even if it will reach the upper 90s today.  I painted two 44” x 104” pieces of devore, which have been pole wrapped.  Theresa is going to use these curtains in a protected area on her patio/deck.  There is a hint of purple in the garden so I chose a shade formul of purple, yellow green and yellow orange.  The silk for the serenity scarf is dry, waiting to wrapped in newsprint and steamed.  I also painted two ties in the copper, rust, olive formula.  DJ wants to give one to his friend Kevin.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to Work

After two months of disarray due to finishing off the basement I am beginning to get my dyeing station set up again; this time on the back porch; then, eventually in the little cabin.  The walk-in basement is too nice to risk spilling and splashing dye.  Which, no matter how careful I am, always seems to happen.  I know that the porch and cabin will be weather affected.  Like today when it is 100 degrees.   However, I kind of like that.  I have been spending way too much time indoors. 

During this break I have realized how important it is and easier it is to work to finish one step at a time.  When I think about the projects I need to finish, I am overwhelmed and stay too long in the hammock.  When I just think of what silk I have to wrap, or steam, it is manageable and I get to work.

1.        Thinking, visualizing, making notes
2.        Assess supplies and place order if necessary
3.        Iron silks in preparation of wrapping
4.        Make sure poles are clean
5.        Wrap fabric
6.        Mix dyes; make notes
7.        Paint dye onto fabric, and hang tags and let dry
9.        Wrap dried fabric in newsprint
10.       Steam set dyes
11.       Rinse in laundry tub
12.       Wash on delicate cycle
13.       Dry on delicate cycle
14.       Iron and sew
15.       Take photograph      

Today I painted pole-wrapped charmeuse, crepe, devore, and charmeuse with horse images in preparation for a five  piece serenity shawl for the Lexington Art League Reverse Raffle.  I used my rust, copper, olive formulas.
While waiting for those to dry, I’m going to wrap two 44” x 104” pieces of devore that will be curtains for Theresa.
After that I will need to put some thought into what I’m going to do with the wool that I have already felted.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

You Are Prolific!

Got scraps?  Have remnants?  Share them.  Sell them or give them away.  "You are prolific," my painting teacher, Marilyn Hamann, once said.  Sometimes we can hang on and save too much.  Too much stuff can hold us back.  Too much time spent moving it around.  Looking at it, thinking, someday I'm going to use this.....Today, I pack up and send this collection of  handfelted painted shibori alpaca and merino wool to my daughter, Danielle. Can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I didn't plan to rearrange everything.  It's just that when we decided to finish the basement everything got rearranged.  That's why I'm temporarily not creating.  I don't know where anything is because it has all been tucked away, safely, to avoid paint and drywall dust.  The good thing is that during this process I have realized that I don't want my studio back in the basement.  I want it out in the little cabin that we built to be used as a shed.  I've decided that having my dyeing studio in the basement keeps me in the house too much.  If I'm in the little cabin, then I have to go outside and see the stars, or feel the sun, even if it is hot, and even if the little cabin is hot, it will be worth it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The art is in the rinsing. . .

Well, actually, it's in every step you take on the journey of producing art.  Everything makes a difference!  I love dyeing hand felted wool these bright colors.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Art to Wear and Art for the Wall

Coming soon Art for the Floor.  Shibori dyed hand-felted wool rugs.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sewing and thinking about Mom

 Everytime I work on the sewing table I got from my mom I remember all the dresses she made for me and my sisters.  And while she always thought she wasn't an artist, she definitely had her style!
Fuchsia, hand-felted, shibori dyed, Kentucky alpaca, Texas merino and silk.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunset Alpaca and Merino Vest, Sold

Handfelted and shibori dyed. Now it's time to make another.  Also time to pretend it's spring and start walking the dogs three times a day.  I need that exercise!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Merino and Alpaca and Locks

I admit it.  I can't stop touching this piece or looking at it.  Now to take it to another level is the challenge.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hiking for Color

For me, it’s all about color. After using the Shibori technique of manipulating fabric by wrapping it around a pole or rope, I always place at least three colors, or shades of one color of dye on the cloth.  The fabric resists the dye and creates a pattern.  Many of my wearable art designs consist of several strips of hand dyed fabric which have been torn and serged before sewing them together. Through this process I frequently recover memories contained in the 5/8” seam allowance I learned when my mother taught me to sew. In her own way she also taught me that the art is in the ironing.  

Some of my newest designs are created by felting alpaca and merino wool to silk before Shibori dyeing the fabric. It is my intention that My Truly Wearable art has a performative quality.  When you wear it, not only are you only one hand away from the artist, you become the art.

Currently I live in a cabin in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, hike the mountain and try to figure out how to formulate the colors I see around me.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Shibori Prayer Book

First there was writing.  

"Tell your own story," 
Adrienne Rich said.  

So I wrote.  
Then there was publish.  
"To publish is to make public," the dicitonary said.  
I began to read my work fearlessly.  
"You should take a silk dyeing class," a friend suggested.
"Then you can cover your poems with silk and your art will be come performative."  
I signed up.  
Two weeks after enrolling, 
my son had a paralyzing accident.  
"You should quit school," I said to myself.  
Myself answered, "No.  We will both learn to adapt."  
I became obsessed.  Everything became an opporturnity to make art.  
As I waited in the intensive care waiting room, 
I covered muy journal with sequins.  
I learned Shibori silk dyeing.   
Shibori is manipulating fabric, placig dye upon it and surrendering.
I surrendered.  
When I visited the capel at the hospital, 
I wrote in my journal.  
It became a prayer book, 
covered with silk.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shibori Poetry Skirt with Taffeta Sash

Remember taffeta?  I titled this a poetry skirt because it has rhythm, texture and movement.  Just like a poem, one size fits all.  When worn, it becomes performative and you become the artist.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

That Red Dress

Equally fit for the First Lady.
Design by Soreyda Begley
Shibori Silk by Laverne

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Think Green, Think Local

Thinking green is about more than just the type of paint an artist uses.  It's as much about the work she creates locally and sustainably, and the artists with whom she collaborates.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


First I wrote about art to move through raising teenagers when I was up late, into the wee hours of the morning.  Next I wrote about making art to move through menopause.  Now I make art to move.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Think Green, Think Spring

Wear art.  Make art.  Become art.  Perfomative art. 
Buy art supplies.  That way you'll have them when you need them.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Handfelted Coffee Alpapca and Merino Wrap, 40" x 47"

This morning I wrap myself in Coffee, drink mate
and ponder
do I make art to make a living
is making art my living simply?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Red is for Warmth

When it's 12 degrees outside and you're cold, think red!
Handfelted Shibori Merino Bags

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keep Warm on a Snowy Day

Wrap yourself in a Shibori dyed, Hand Felted with locks, Silk, Kentucky Alpaca and Texas Merino Pelt

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Soreyda Laverne Shibori Gown

Art happens when collaboration occurs.
Design by Soreyda Begley
Shibori Painted Silk by Laverne Zabielski

Scarves and Shawls and Headwraps

There a many ways to wear your painted shibori wearable art; tied or wrapped or slung over your shoulder.