I’m not talking about those marbles—Lord knows, I’ve lost the marbles between my ears many years ago. That’s why I march to the beat of my own drum. Right now, I’m talking about a different set of marbles—and a quite beautiful set at that.
Have a seat. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and I’m going to tell you about one of our very own Atypical60 neighbors–Vickie Jernigan. Vickie is the mastermind and owner/designer of the company allmymarbles,llc. She is also a blogger and shares great DIY projects and other cool things like making your own wrapping paper on her blog Surf2create.
Hi Everyone! Meet Vickie–friend of Atypical60 and an incredibly talented woman!
But I’ll tell you, she had me at the scarfs that she posted on her Instagram feed. I was fascinated, intrigued and mesmerized. And I asked her about the process. One thing led to another and she sent me a scarf to review.
The scarf–when it arrived I was very excited! Bonaparte was home and LOVED it as well. He said the scarf is very “chic”!!
The scarf, marbled, is a gorgeous blend of white, robin’s egg blue, lavender and a light violet. These colors are universally flattering and the beauty of the scarf is that it can be worn in a variety of ways.
The scarf was packaged so nicely with glittery tissue paper and these little tags!
I could not wait to get to what was nestled under this tissue!!!
The light weight of the silk fabric lends itself to be worn all year long. In fact, I wore the scarf on a day when I needed a bit of luck—and it brought me the good. I’ll tell you about that next week.
The length, 60 Inches by 11 Inches, makes it easy to wear it in a number of ways!
A variety of ways this versatile and beautifully marbled scarf can be worn. I can’t wait to wear it as a headband during the summer. Isn’t it beautiful?
Well, I was so curious about Vickie and how she started her company and how she went about learning this procedure of Turkish marbling that I needed to ask a few questions. I present to you, Vickie Jernigan!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Your life journey….I grew up in Montgomery, Ala., where I lived after the age of two. I had no idea what I was going to study in college as I approached my senior year of high school until my school piloted a computer programming course for seniors. I absolutely fell in love with programming. I was the only girl in the class! And, when I was in school, boys didn’t take typing. The boys would peck on the keyboard forever to finish their work. There was only one computer, which connected to a computer network at a local college. Because I wanted more time to learn the computer language and play on the computer, I encouraged the boys to let me type their code. They were delighted to give me the opportunity because they despised typing! I continued my studies in computer science through college. Prior to graduating high school, I met my future husband, Mike Jernigan. We married in 1979 and I joined him in Auburn, Ala., where he was attending Auburn University. I worked in technology at Auburn until my early retirement in 1994, when my husband and our daughter, then age 10, sold everything we owned and moved to Grand Cayman, BWI. A technology support job provided us a way to move to the Caribbean. Just three short weeks after we moved to Cayman, the island was hit with a devastating category five hurricane, Ivan. The effects of the hurricane made things difficult for the next year, so reluctantly, my family and I moved back to Auburn. We loved the warm weather, the friends we made there from all over the world, and the outdoor lifestyle. We hope to move further south again one day.
Were you always creative? Did you sew when you were younger?Yes, I had an aunt who was a seamstress by trade. She always had the most beautiful clothes. And, I admired her greatly. She is why I had such an interest in learning to sew. I learned to sew when I was in Home Economics during middle school. I very much enjoyed making my clothes at a very young age, always altering the pattern to do something just a little different. Instead of having someone else make my practice uniforms for school, I made them and saved hundreds of dollars throughout my majorette career. But, that was just the beginning of my sewing and interest in crafts. Through my young adult life I always had some type of craft project going, from cross-stitching to ceramics, and of course, I continued my sewing, especially while my daughter was growing up.
How did you get into making THIS Turkish type of marbling? Was it an easy process to learn?As you see, I have always been a person who loved to create, even though my long-term career has been in technology. After my daughter moved out for college, with her permission I took over her bedroom as my craft room because I had always had converted closets or small utility rooms as my space to create. Everyone kept telling me I needed to start a blog so they could see all my creations. So, I started a craft blog, which can still be found at surf2create.com, even though it is in a state of hiatus at the moment. I enjoyed creating my crafts in my new space–mosaics, jewelry making, sewing, etc.
I was always surfing the Internet looking for different ideas for crafting to write about on my blog. I don’t even recall where I saw marbling, on Facebook, Pinterest, or just searching the Internet. But, wherever it was, I was just mesmerized with the process, the paints floating on the water, and the beautiful patterns that could be created.
Here’s a nautical piece–a marbled wooden anchor!!
I watched several YouTube videos on the process and gave it a try. I didn’t receive the results I wanted so I found an online class where I could learn all the techniques and processes. Marbling is an amazing process. It is actually an ancient Turkish art form called Ebru. There is a lot of preparation before and after you actual throw paints on the bath. There are a lot of elements involved. And the atmosphere can cause havoc when working in a tank—in the bath mixture. I have marbled on paper, fabrics, and wood.
Marbled paper that Vickie has out for drying.
First is the bath. This is the water mixture I use as my canvas. The water has to be thick enough to allow the paints to float on top of the bath, but light enough so the paints spread when they hit the bath. This process is where the southern humidity changes the elements, which requires manipulating the bath to the proper consistency. Whether I’m marbling on paper, wood, or fabric designates which type of bath mixture I mix. Carrageenan, which is actually powdered down seaweed, I use mostly when marbling paper or wood. The other bath mixture I use for my larger tanks when marbling fabrics is made with methyl cellulose (MC).
Prep work–the paper tank.
Next, I must prepare what is to be marbled. I use aluminum sulfate, known as ‘alum’, mixed with water. It’s not the kind you purchase at the grocery store for making pickles because that spice has other fillers. I use a sponge to apply alum to paper or wood. But, with fabrics, you must soak them in the alum solution and hang them to dry.
Third, I mix my paints. There are different types of paints for this process, but I love acrylics. The process requires different acrylics that have the right consistency to float. Most of these paints require me to add water when mixing up the paints.
Look at all these paint jars!!!
And all these acrylic paints. And you thought acrylics were just for manicures!
Now is the fun part, dropping paints one after another on the bath, my canvas. The paints expand and float one on top of the other. I use tools called rakes, combs, and a stylus to make detailed patterns. The paper, fabric or wood is then carefully placed on top of the bath and lifted off, bringing with it the beautiful patterns.
The beautiful Phoebe-Mae, in the tank…she’s having her spa bath…
And here she is–ready to be worn!
Fabrics must be cured by ironing, storing in a dark area, and then given a final washing to secure the integrity of the design on the fabrics. This last process takes a week while the fabric cures.
Do you have a studio—do you make the scarves at home?
Yes, my studio is located in the lower level of my home. A pool table is where my tanks are set up. So sorry, no more pool playing at my house! And, I still use my craft room for preparing the products and handling my business affairs.
Another piece in the tank!
What do you absolutely love about this process?
That every single piece I design out of the tank is unique. No two pieces are the same. And, to see the paints float on the water. Again, it is mesmerizing!
Another pic of the paper tank!
What made you go into business for yourself!
Well, I don’t have enough closet space to store all the scarves I want to make! And, I want others to enjoy them. Marbling is not a well-known art form either. Having a business, selling my products and talking about marbling is a way to educate others on this amazing art form.
An assortment of finished scarves. They are gorgeous!
When you design—do you have the “mature woman” in mind—or do you just let your creativity flow?I do let my creativity flow and sometimes the paints have a mind of their own and send me in another direction. But, the greatest thing about my scarves is they are conducive to any style and any age, depending on the colors and pattern! I have had women of all different styles and ages show interest in my scarves – from preppy, vintage, or bohemian to chic and business. And the colors! Wow! You can have bold and bright to soft and pastel. Plus, tell me colors you need for any outfit, and I can custom make exactly what you need in any pattern to fit your unique style.
More scarves!! Click on the link to Vickie’s Etsy shop below!
Tell us a bit more about your Etsy shop!!!!!!!!I just opened my Etsy shop at the end of January. Currently I am offering scarves in 9×54 inches and 11×60 inches, but I will be offering larger sizes in the near future. I plan on developing other product lines as well, from wood bangles to other fabric products. All kinds of fabrics can be marbled. So I’m playing with white denim currently that will eventually become bright, fun pillows! And, just like when I started sewing, always changing a pattern to be just a little different, I will be developing products that will be just a little bit different from the norm. My newest design is the double dip. It is a scarf, which is marbled twice. This process gives the scarf a lot more depth and makes it look multi-dimensional. They are just gorgeous and I can’t wait to design more of the double dips in the tank!
What do you think of this bracelet? It has such a “mod” 1960’s vibe! I’m looking forward to seeing these bracelets on the Etsy shop!
I’ve been wearing this beautifully marbled silk scarf quite often! It’s great to have a unique and one-of-a-kind accessory that nobody else has!!
Aren’t these Q & A’s fun? I love sharing the talents of Atypical60’s neighborhood! Take a stroll to Vickie’s allmymarbles, llc Etsy shop and let your fingers do the shopping!
It’s nice to support each other in all that we do. Thanks for reading this and I hope you enjoyed learning about Vickie and her craft!
And thanks to Vickie for also sending me these great photographs!