I am checking to see if I can write a blog post in word and then post it to my blog

Today I got the scarves I snow-dyed last Thursday and the scarves and fabrics I  LWI dyed last Saturday.  Here is a pic of most of the 50 scarves hanging to dry in my studio.

most of the 50 scarves I dyed last week - hanging to dry

This is just the pic for now – posted for an online friend to see while we are chatting!  Rest of post will come soon – I promise.


Although there was snow on the ground yesterday am, I had to go to Regina for my weekly Creative Entrepreneurship class at the SK Arts Board.  I checked the weather forecast and it seemed like Mother Nature would cooperate and keep it cool enough to keep the snow we had plus add a bit more.  The drive home last night ok except for about the last hour when the road had some accumulation and required slower speeds for safety.

The view from my front door this am

I could hardly wait to get to the studio to get started prepping for snow dyeing. EXCEPT today was the day I had arranged for Elaine Robitaille of  http://www.tooaquarius.com/ to come to the studio.  She’s helping me get my website up and running FINALLY.  We had our chat and some lunch, then Elaine came outside to help me gather snow for my snow dyeing.  There was enough on the picnic table to fill my bin. 

Gathering the snow

After Elaine went home, I came back, put the scarves in the soda ash to soak while I set up the bins and mixed the dye concentrates.  I found some more new dyes I hadn’t tried yet, so it will be interesting to see how they turn out.  I put at least 2 different type of scarves per bin, some had 3 so I have between 2-3 dozen scarves in the snow dyeing process.  I also dyed a rayon top and a cotton T-shirt to see how the process works with clothing.

Bins of snow dyed items

Hopefully I can rinse these tomorrow and dye some fabric with the rest of the dye concentrates.  I don’t expect there to be enough snow to do any more snow dyeing.  As usual, I took the gloves off several times and have multi-colored hands.  I may as well get all the dyeing done so the dye can wear off over the weekend.


Scarves chosen by Jacinda for sale at Empire Clothing

These are the scarves that have headed over to Empire Clothing in Swift Current after Jacinda picked them out on Monday evening. She has a selection of my scarves including the jewel toned silk velvet, hand woven rayon ones with fringe, and the  silk habotai brights and painted scarves – all but 2 of the painted scarves that were there have sold, including the one I borrowed for my jurying interviews in March.  Looks like I will need to get to work painting some more scarves in May!  Jacinda has a shop full of interesting accessories and is the only retail location carrying my scarves in Swift Current.

Otherwise it’s been a fairly busy day preparing to leave for Quilt Canada in Calgary next week.  I finally found my Delegate package so I can gather and pack my supplies for the 2 2 day workshops I will be taking with Sandra Meech.  I am looking forward to 4 days just working on my own work!!

Today I took my snow-dyed scarves to Traditions Handcraft Gallery  in Regina  http://www.traditionshandcraftgallery.ca/  Since these are a limited edition due to the weather (snow gone!) she took most of them (13).  The remaining few will be put up on my ArtFire shop in May.  I have not had time to photograph the snow dyed scarves individually, but I did take  photos of them by size.

8"x54" snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

8″x54″ snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

14"x72" snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

11"x60" handwoven cotton snow-dyed scarves

11"x60" snowed dyed handwoven cotton scarves

14"x72" snow dyed handwoven cotton scarves

I I also managed to get to Milky Way Ice cream shop in Regina http://bit.ly/8Xa4D6.  I heard about it the other day on CBC.  It seems to be one of the signs of spring in Regina when it opens.  Their claim to fame is that they telephone folks and tell them what the flavour of the day for the soft ice cream is – oh yes – they have the regular flavours of soft ice cream – choc, vanilla , choc/vanilla twist, strawberry/vanilla twist – but also have a flavour of the day – today’s was creme de menthe so I passed on it.  It really is the best soft icecream I’ve had – and I’ve had some good stuff.  I think it may become a regular part of my Regina visits on Wednesdays – it’s only a few blocks from Broad Street.  It’s a family owned business and only takes cash.

Today I had another group of 7 ladies come to do a silk scarf dyeing activity in the studio. I planned these workshops at the request of a local recreation activity co-ordinator. They are more of an activity for the folks that come than a how-to- workshop.  It sure is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

Studio tables set up for silk scarf dyeing activity

I bought a kit of Color Hue Dyes last fall and had a great time using it to  dye silk scarves.  I tracked down a wholesaler, picked up my first order a week or so ago in Sweetgrass, MT,  and brought it back through Canada Customs commerically.  That was a learning experience in itself.  I now have all the colours available from this wholesaler so I can offer workshops like this in my studio or on site somewhere else.

We spend some time picking out colours from the scarves I’ve already made plus the colour samples and practicing how to apply the dye on paper towels.  This lets them get used to how the dye works and how they might want to apply it for the desired effect.  

 Since the first batch of scarves was made by me just having fun with the dyes, I didn’t write down amounts when mixing colors.  I remind them that they want something unique for themselves.  For these groups, I mix the colours for each person but other groups may want to do it themselves.

For privacy reasons, I am not showing students faces on the blog. All photos are clickable to see larger versions.

participants dyeing their scarves

some of the students' scarves drying before leaving

Our activity concluded with coffee and snacks brought by the rec coordinator.   Everyone seems quite pleased with the scarf they’ve created.  Some have taken the option of making a scarf for an additional fee to cover the scarf and dye costs.  Several of the participants have expressed interest in coming back to make another one.

Feedback from the recreation coordinator about last week’s participants is that they have been wearing the scarves they made to other activities.

I popped into the studio for a second on Sunday to pick up my iPod for a drive to Lethbridge to see J.P. Cormier in concert at the Lethbridge Folk Club on Sunday night.  The snow was melted in all the bins and  I’d forgotten my camera in the car so I didn’t take any pics then. 
Monday was a busy day with no studio time due to lack of sleep  from driving home from Lethbridge after the concert  plus winning tickets to the Women’s World Curling Championship afternoon draw. Watching curling at this level is very interesting since several of the games were quite close and went down to the final end or rock to determine the winner.  One draw went into overtime and the final end was played right down in front of me so you could see the rocks (curling stones) move.  I was glad I got the chance to see it.  I also won tickets to Tues afternoon draw as well so that also cut into studio time.

4 draws (games) being played at once

 I spent this morning working on the exercises to develop my mission statements and vision statement for my business class homework.  The exercises have required a lot of introspection and thinking.  I’m finding I can only do one exercise at a time (they can take awhile).  Then I have to go do something else and come back to do another one later on.  I think I am going to have to plan to do some every day in order to keep on top of them.  Just like being back in school!   

 After Tuesday afternoon’s draws (courtesy of another complimentary ticket I won) were finished,  I stopped into the “Briar Patch” to check things out.  It is  party central at these events.  This one was sponsored by Alexander Keith’s brewery based in Nova Scotia  so I definitely wanted to go and have a cold “keets” to celebrate.  They were interviewing the Scottish skip today which you you see and hear on two very large screens.  I won a $5 gift certificate to Pharmasave (who’s complimentary ticket I was using that day) for having an interesting job – mixed media fibre artist.  The fellow who interviewed me wondered if it meant I used bran in my art (DUH) so I explained that it meant I did all kinds of things to fabric  and got a plug in for the store in town that carries my scarves.  (ta da!)
 I left the Briar Patch after 1 beer and a very yummy meal of perogies and sausage made by a local caterer.  It smelled so good 2 other folks at my table went and got some as well.  My cross canada cultural meal – a western meal of perogies and Nova Scotia beer .
 I stopped by the studio on the way home from the Worlds.  It was quite exciting to see the bright colours in the bins even though I know they won’t be the final results.  I mixed the dyes for the dark colours of MX dyes using dye concentrate amounts recommended by Ann Johnson in “Color by Accident”.

snow dyed fabric bins on Tuesday afternoon

snow dye fabric bin with snow melted

 The black specks on the fabric came from the melted snow and came off easily. 

The fabrics will be remaining in the bins until at least Thursday due to my business course commitments for homework and travelling to Regina on Wednesday.  I also have a scarf dyeing activity for a number of folks on Thursday, so they will have to be stacked out of the way for that. 

Press Release


PRESS RELEASE: March 23, 2010
 Perrin passes Craft Council Jury

Swift Current fibre artist LouisePerrin makes hand dyed or painted scarves, sarongs, veils, socks, tote bags, purses and wall hangings. She also specializes in quilted fibre art. She’s been sewing for over 45 years and quilting for 30. She teaches fibre art at the Art Gallery of Swift Current and currently will have pieces on display at the IQA International Quilt Festival in Chicago and the Fibre Arts Network Exhibit “GeoPhysical” in Calgary in April.
“Louise really impressed the jury with the technical excellence of her work,” said Chris Jones, member services co-ordinator for the Saskatchewan Craft Council. “Her use of colour indicates the mastery that she has achieved.”
“In order to pass this jury process, you need to have at least 10 pieces of your work examined by two long-term professional craft artists,” said Jones. “They jury members look at both the technical skill and aesthetic merit of the piece.”
Jones said that passing the jury process qualifies Perrin to participate in SCC’s fine craft markets in Regina, Saskatoon, Battleford and Lloydminster, and to sell in the Traditions Handcraft Gallery in Regina.
“Being a juried marketing member of the SCC also effectively serves as a professional accreditation for craft artists,” said Jones. “We’ve been operating a jury process longer than any other craft council in Canada, and our standards are universally judged to be the most comprehensive and rigorous in the country. Quite simply, you have to be really, really good at your craft to pass this process.”

For more information contact:

Chris Jones, SCC….306-653-3616 ext. 24

Louise Perrin …..306-741-6404

Email: scc.memberservices@sasktel.net Website: www.saskcraftcouncil.org 


Louise Perrin received the coveted “marketing member” status this week after successfully completing the rigorous jury process of the Saskatchewan Craft Council (SCC).


I can’t believe it’s Spring already.  I kind of feel like I am emerging from a self  imposed hibernation due to a number of major deadlines since late January.  I have met them all and now have new ones to concentrate on.  I will be posting about them (in retrospect mostly) to bring all my blog readers up to date.  I will be doing more regular posts since they have now become “deadlines” to meet as well.

So – it’s the first day of Spring and what am I doing – SNOW DYEING!  Finally!!!  I’ve been wanting to do snow dyeing since I first heard about it.  I was in the middle of all those deadlines and made myself wait until they’d been met.  The warm weather we’ve had lately had me concerned I wasn’t going to get to do it this year – but there were still some “drift” remaining on the north side of my studio building so I was in luck.  Looking at my schedule I decided I HAD to do it today or I might not get to do it at all.   

Yesterday evening I tore 24 1 yard pieces  of Kona PFD off the 125 yd bolt and pre-soaked them in soda ash for 30 min.  I left them in a damp pile to dye today. I went to the dollar store to get some baskets with slotted sides to let the snow melt out and not dilute the dyes. I found some that fit my dyeing dish pans very well.   

basket/bin combination for snow dyeing

 The next step was to put the soda ash soaked fabric into the bins so it would have lots of folds for the dye to work with.   

20 yards of fabric in bins ready for snow dyeing

 I mixed up my dye concentrates using Ann Johnson’s proportions in “Color by Accident”.  It was recommended by a number of folks to use colours made of several colours for best results with the snow dyeing  because the colour breaks into its component colours during the process.  I decided I would use some of the new MX dyes I bought from G&S dyes in Toronto  http://gsdyes.com/ .  I have 10 containers to mix my dye concentrates in so I used 10 of them.  Basically 2 reds, 2 greens, 2 purples, 2 yellows and navy and black.  Once those were done, it was time to get the snow.   

Time to go out and get the snow – I decided it would make more sense to bring the snow into the studio and put it in bins than to take 20 bins out and and lug them back inside.  My tall garbage container worked well – enough snow for about 1o bins.   


snow - was more the snow cone icy type than the granulated sugar type of snow we usually get

Once the snow was inside  it was time to work quickly and get it onto the fabric in the bins.  I discovered it took about half of the green bucket to give the proper depth of snow (2″ – 4″) or about 6 – 500 ml containers worth.   

bins of fabric packed with snow - ready to dye

 Some people recommend freezing the fabric before snow dyeing.  I didn’t have the means to do this so I let the snow sit on top of the fabric while I mixed the dye bottles from the concentrates – so they spent about half an hour getting cold while I did that and started dyeing the bins.  Then comes the fun part. Putting the dye on the snow.  I tried a variety of colour combinations – thinking of the colours used to make up the compound colours as well as a few “what if” type of combinations.    

fuschia and golden yellow dyes applied to snow - looks almost good enough to eat!

same bin 4 hrs later - dye is soaking through snow

Here are a couple of overall pictues of the bins.

20 bins snow dyeing

4 hours later the dye is soaking down thru the snow

  If you’ve been counting, you are wondering about the other 4 yards right?  Well since I only had 20 baskets, I decided I would dye the last 4 as layers (or parfaits if you use Color by Accident).  I looked at the remaining dye concentrates to decide what colours I would use.  I finally decided on burgundy (bottom), mixed purple and violet in one bottle for next layer), jade and dark green for next layer, and golden yellow for the the top layer – knowing that some of the combinations would give me a brown of some sort.  

I put the fabric in, covered it with a layer of snow then squirted dye over the snow layer, then next layer of fabric, snow, dye, and so on.   

burgundy and purple layers done, green layer covered with snow waiting for dye

green dye added to snow

last layer of fabric already wicking dye from layer below waiting for snow

all dyes added









a good look at the layers - you can see dyeing moving and wicking through the fabric   




 I will stop at the studio tomorrow on my way out of town to take some photos of how the snow dyeing is progressing – stay tuned!

Today was “Meet the Artist” event at the  local Pharmasave (which is the largest Pharmasave in Canada – new info to me).  Rebecca Chilton, one of the owners,  had decided to offer a selection of art created by local artists for sale in their gift section leading up to and during the World Curling Championships.This is a very much appreciated gesture as there are no commercial galleries or shops in town offerning art for sale on a regular basis.  I am hoping sales were good enough so they may continue doing this on a regular basis.  Due to all the deadlines I’ve been working on lately, this was also the first chance I had to see my work on display there.

 They placed ads in the local newspaper advertising the event from 7-9 pm .  An interesting assortment of friends and other folks came out to see the art and support us.

my photo items on display

some of my photo images on display

We were asked to donate an item to use for a draw.  I donated a framed picture of Prairie Lilies (the provincial flower).

framed 5x7 - Prairie Lilies

items donated by the artists for the draws








All in all it was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.  Who wouldn’t like the chance to tell people about your work, chat with other artists and have a few nibblies.

I didn’t put my name in the draws for the artist items, but I did put it in for the draw for curling tickets to next week’s Women’s World Curling Championships.  Keep your fingers crossed. (Additional note – I got a call on Friday morning telling me my name was drawn for a curling ticket and I’ve chosen to go on Tuesday afternoon -woo hoo).