Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, July 25, 2008

T Lake Beartooth Mountain Day Hike

Joe and I have committed to getting into the mountains once a week while the Beartooth Highway is fully open. We have been delayed quite a bit this year by the weather. Such a late spring and so much snow still remaining! This was our first drive to the top for 2008.

Spectacular - as always. Pictures just don't do it justice since the view is panoramic. If you look carefully - in the center of the picture above, you can see a road. That is the bumpy gravel road leading to the Glacier Lake trailhead - where we went on our last hike. It is possible to catch a good view of Glacier lake from the top of the pass.

Today, our trail began at Beartooth Lake, which is right next to the highway. The regular trail was sure to be submerged in a raging river / swamp so we opted to bushwhack through the forest and meadow on the opposite side of the lake. This area was also swampy, and swarming with mosquitoes. But the wildflowers were incredible!

I've been trying to identify this flower using my flower book, which is challenging. Apparently wildflowers hybridize and have different features in different locations. I am guessing this might be a Bog Rein Orchid. Joe on the trail with Beartooth Lake behind him.

Lupine were everywhere.

We sat on a rock with this incredible view to eat our lunch. That's Claw Lake below with Horseshoe Lake to the left. The mountain in the background is Lonesome Peak.

Snow is still melting everywhere and so there is a lot of water flowing everywhere. Lonesome Lake feeds into T Lake, which discharges into Horseshoe which discharges to Claw. All of these lakes are named for their shape. Yes, T Lake is shaped like a T, etc.We headed back down the trail at about 4, and all was well until the final mile of bushwhacking along the swampy edge of Beartooth Lake. The mosquitoes were out in force - swarming around us, and the going was slow on account of the terrain.

A final shot of Beartooth Lake as we returned to our car.

I don't think I have ever been happier to get to the end of a hike. Hot, sweaty, tired, and itchy. My feet were killing me, I had a headache, and indigestion. But the scenery and solitude was worth it all for sure - we probably went 7 miles and never saw another human being.

Post Card

Next week, we will be hanging new work on all the walls in Elements Gallery. The show will feature work from myself as well as my two daughters. We are pretty excited about this opportunity. Michelle is a photographer. Elizabeth paints, and I work with fabric.

I spent many hours messing around designing a postcard that looked suitable. I hope this prints out OK. I am still really on the learning curve when it comes to graphic design and layout and learning to use Photoshop 7. Yikes!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Glacier Lake Dayhike - Beartooth Mts

We had a chance to get into the mountains on Wednesday, so we headed for one of the few trails we knew was open.

The Glacier Lake trailhead is at the end of a 9 mile gravel road that passes through a deep river valley. The scenery is spectacular here. Especially enhanced by the beautiful display of wildflowers.We have been hiking to Glacier Lake for 8 years. This is the latest we have ever gone, and the first time we had ever encountered snow on the trail.

There was even some ice still floating on the surface of the lake.

This is also the first time we've failed to catch a fish. Not even a nibble. The folks we met on the trail reported the same.

This is the view back down the valley at the trailhead.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Black Lines

I've drizzled some black lines onto this piece. Next - I'll layer it and machine stitch with contrasting thread.

And for Judy, yes, the resist is Elmers brand blue glue.
On my bottle, it says, "Washable School Glue No Run Gel".

For washout - just follow the directions on the bottle - presoak for 10 minutes in cold water prior to regular washing. This works perfectly with my dye process because I am soaking in cold water to remove the thickened dye.

I am washing out two other pieces right now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

White Lines

I've been compelled to take up the Elmers glue gel again. This time, my subject has gone a bit more abstract. Previously, I painted with fabric paints, but this time I used thickened MX dye. I love the way the colors have blended (as well as the way they have not blended in other areas). Two other pieces are soaking in a tub so I can remove the alginate and glue gel that is still stuck after two washings.

I can hardly wait to start stitching on this with pearl cotton - and it screams for buttons, too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Photo to Printing Screen via Thermofax Machine

Screen Printing Demo ContinuesIn my last post, I went through the steps involved in converting a high contrast photo to a screen ready image. To make a good screen print - you need a nice clear black and white image.
I started with a photo of a blackbird at my bird feeder.

I worked with the photo in my photo editing program until it was a good clear black and white image. I printed it out (both my Epson Inkjet and HP Inkjet work well for this) in the size I wanted, and then filled in some areas with a regular #2 pencil. I wanted the birds claws to appear on the screen print, but they are hidden in my photo. I also filled in around the edges of the bird to give a good crisp outline and also outlined the beak and eye with pencil. Then, I cut it out with scissors to remove all background noise that I don't want to appear in my screen.

The Thermofax process melts the screen where ever there is carbon on the paper. Both my inkjet ink and the pencil contain enough carbon to activate the process.

I purchase my RISO screen in a roll from Welsh Products.
I cut it to size, lay it over my finished black and white image and feed it through the Thermofax Machine.

Here you can see the screen after the edges have been bound with water resistant duct tape.
I use Duck brand silver duct tape because it holds up better than other brands. The colors don't resist water as well.I had previously used Setacolor fabric paints, stiffened with shaving cream for printing, but I recently purchased some Speedball Fabric Screen printing paint. This is wonderful stuff. The perfect consistency! (I found it at a college bookstore).

My tools are very simple. I use a plastic putty knife as a squeegee- I get clear crisp prints because of the firmness of this tool. The work surface must also be firm and smooth.

Don't you love my Cowbird (a type of crow)?