Monday, April 29, 2013

on the design wall

Today I'm giving you a peek at my design wall.
In this first section, are a lot of little needlefelted items I am working on and a collage that just needs sewing down.
This second section is above my thread painting machine. The pansy is a watercolour I did last week, then the top landscape is a raw edge applique that I am adding poppies to.  Below it is another leaf collage that is finished, but not yet mounted.  Below the pansy is a needlefelted landscape that I am free machining over to use in ipod cases.  The iris is a large raw edge applique that I am thread sketching on and below it are two little free machine practice pieces that will probably become journal quilts.  On the right is the collage I showed yesterday.
In this third section are a lot of bit and bobs.  The long skinny bit next to the collage from yesterday is mt current stitch sampler and the gold and green piece is a painted newspaper collage that has been foiled.  It is finished, but I need to put a new backing on it.  The two white things behind it are paper casts that I am still deciding what to do with.  The tags at the top are fabric manipulation samples and the rest are just bits that I put up to remind me of stuff, lol.
As you can see, it is a large design wall, about twelve feet long, but I still wish for more,  especially when
I am working on large pieces.  It tends to change a lot, depending on what I'm working on.

Also, I have started my first page for the fabric book I am making.
I found that the pages are just the right size for two ATCs, and since I still have a lot of ATC bits and pieces, I think I will try and use them.  The background is a piece of handpainted fabric and the two
atcs are covered in painted chiffon.  The leaf on the left is heat distressed lutradur and the one on the right is tyvek.  I an blanket stitching them down and when I have finished two, then I will sandwich them onto the felt and bind them in as one page.  One down, 25 to go!

happy creating!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

a scrap collage

As I have mentioned, I get a lot of my stuff from a recycle depot, Resource rescue, One of the things that always catches my eye is the sample books for fabrics.  The little swatches in a myriad of colours ar very hard to resist...... as you can see, I have a lot of them!  This is the third time I have put this collage together.  The first time,  I got sidetracked and the cat walked all over it and messed it up.  The second time I had a lot of trouble keeping the bits where I wanted them.  This time I was prepared.
I used this spray on fusible web to stick them down.  I found that the spray was a little bit tacky, even before the fusing with the iron, so I got all my coloured pieces down easily.  There was chiffon, organza, silk, satin, velvet and lots of textures.
This is how it looked when they were all down.  I covered it with some fine black bridal tulle to make my free motion stitching easier, later.
Originally, the idea was just an abstract one,perhaps representing the sun, but the more I looked at it, the more I saw a flower.  A pink flower with a big yellow centre, so I decided to do some free motion to make it into a flower.
Here it is under the machine I use for thread painting (as you can see, there is no presser foot - I have adapted this machine to use no foot as I find it much easier to thread paint  and sketch this way.  However I do not recommend this to any one, it is just the way I work).
And here is a close up of the pebble stitch I am doing in the yellow centre with my favourite gold thread again (well, it was on the machine, so...)  Obviously I will have to change my colour when I move to the petals and the background, but that is for another day.

My main problem as an artist is that I have too many ideas.  (And some say too many UFOs)  I find that if I concentrate on finishing everything, then I get nothing done, because it all becomes a chore, which dampens down the creativity quite a bit.  I have to keep the ideas flowing and sometimes it takes me a while to get back to a piece.  80 or 90% of the time, I do get back to the piece, after a time and mostly it is when I get a new idea or a 'what if' that adds to the piece.  That is true of this collage, which was sitting in my 'current' pile for quite a while until I thought of the 606 spray  I am sure Van Gogh didn't finish everything he started, in fact historians know that he and other artists repainted their canvasses as the muse took them.  Anyhow, that's my stuff for today.
Here are a few of the leaves I will be putting into my fabric book from yesterday.  I will have at least a few pages for you sometime next week.

Happy creating!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fabric book

I have been going to make a fabric book for a while, and yesterday I finally started, with the intention of putting all my leaf samples in it.
I started with a book cover.  I get these from the recycle depot, who collects from a book binding establishment.
I covered it with this handmade paper (it is very thick and simply made using large bubble wrap).
You can see here I put an accordion fold with the flaps glued together into the spine to hold my pages.
I wil construct the pages separately and add them one at a time, sandwiching the two sides over some felt.
The felt will sit on top of each flap of the accordion like this.
And the book will be finished, but as yet I haven't done any pages. Let's see if I can finish it in the next few weeks.

Create every day!

Friday, April 26, 2013

ipod cases

I have been working on some ipod cases for my gallery, which is open once a month at the moment.  This last month, I had some other artist's work in the community, which was really great.  DH and I are always trying to think up small things to draw more sales and so this month I am working on ipod or iphone cases.
This one is nearly finished.  I am thinking of adding a few beads and of course the clasp.  It is made from chiffon needlefelted onto felt.
This one is trimmed ready for embellishing and stitching and is made from slub yarn needle felted onto felt.  Obviously, felt is so easy to make these from.
Another one ready for stitching this one is made from felt scraps needlefelted onto a felt backing, then some free motion scribbling with my favourite gold thread (one day it is going to run out and what will I do then?).
I have found that the basic pattern for these cases is to use a half of an A4 (or letter) sized piece of felt or fabric (cut along the length) is perfect for this.
Here are three more with needle felted scraps on the flaps ready for stitching.  All I did was cut an A4 piece of felt in half.  Once I am happy with the design and stitching etc, I just fold it to the right size and trim about 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the (long) sides and blanket stitch the sides together.  It's a quick piece of work, depending on how much hand stitching and embellishing you do.

After reading a friend's blog about treasure bags, I am now  thinking about fabric cases using the decorative stitches as she did, since hers are so gorgeous and I have soooo much yummy thread.

Anyway, need to get back to my tangled textiles piece, which is due in a few short days.  Tomorrow, I am teaching a beading class and in a few weeks, a painted chiffon scarf workshop, so busy, busy.

Keep creating

Thursday, April 25, 2013

water soluble stuff

As usual, I have been busy, but not blogging.  Mostly, I have been running classes at the community house and trying to look after my DH who is in a lot of pain and finding it hard to be idle.
I did, however find some time to make a few little motifs using soluble interfacing and free motion.
The butterfly is a bit tatty because I only went over it once, and I wasn't wearing my eye glasses!,  I used a metallic thread in the top and bottom, so that they would look the same on both sides, but overall I am happy with the effect.  The gold thread is from a large cone which I picked up at the recycle depot, but it sews really well and I love it.  A little bit of bling goes a long way!
I have also been working on my journal quilts.  I have been making journal quilts from random drawings and sketches.  Obviously, the drawing is quick - it takes a little longer to interpret them in thread, but it also gives me something to work on when the muse is not cooperating.
Some I like, some I don't, but it's just some playing, really.
I had my old flag book (or here) with some of my old journal quilts at the gallery on the weekend, and decided to make a new book to hold all of them.
It is quite a bit larger than my old book and I have made the accordions quite wide, so I have room to write what each quilt is about.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

From a journal junkie

Still not keeping up to date with blogging.  I have been so busy with classes at the community house.  It's hard to keep to my routine...  so perhaps it's time to change it.
I have been trying to finish some large pieces and doing a lot of reading and journalling.  I recently had a fall and injured my hand, so that set a lot of work aside, so reading became something to keep myself focussed. Whilst I was reading I came across a lot of journaling inspiration, so when my hand got mobile, that's what I started with.  I did quite a few pages, none of which are finished, but are passable.
This is a sketch page for a large collage which is in my list of things to do.
This was inspired by a magazine picture.

A few experimental backgrounds.
These backgrounds were all inspired by "journal Junkies", which is one of the books I read.
These two were inspire by "art journal freedom", which I also read
And this one was inspired by a quote.
So that's all the journalling I've been doing.
Hopefully I'll post about a few other things I've been doing in a day or two