Monday, 6 April 2009

Calendar Girl Postcards - March and April

This is my March Calendar Girl postcard.

Despite thinking March's postcard was going to be a breeze (as I loved it and all the other earth from the air pictures that I looked at here) I struggled with it! I think it was partly because I made the mistake of looking at the rest of the group's efforts before I had properly settled on an idea...
The original calendar page inspiration

I really wanted to use a piece of heavier weight lutradur that I had previously painted in shades of green so I scored lines in it (to imitate the boundaries of the fields as seen from above) using a wood burning tool. I didn't worry about trying to replicate the actual picture - just the basic idea of fields of various sizes. I then over-painted some of the fields with browns and lighter greens. It needed "something" so I sprayed it rather liberally with Moon Shadow gold glitz (just love that stuff) so that it is quite sparkly when viewed at the right angle! I considered layering dyed gauze over it but it just didn't look right. Likewise all my other textural ideas -microbeads, utee, tiny fabric remnants etc.. none of them seemed "right".

Progress shot

So in the end I just added some black and grey shadowing with ink pens, backed the lutradur with Pelmet Vilene Plus, wrapped the postcard from the back with some hand dyed muslin (I think it is called something else in the US), frayed some edges and stitched around the edges. It is a little bit too much on the under-embellished side for my taste but nothing I contemplated adding worked, so I decided to try and adopt the "less is more" principle.

April's inspiration was this gorgeous calendar image (don't worry about the month - we are free-wheeling this year with images and ignoring minor details like months). I was reading one of my friend Annie's new textile inspiration books last Wednesday and saw a sun-printed fern that had been stitched in metallic thread and immediately thought I would do something similar for my April tree trunks postcard.

So on Saturday I did some sun-printing (yesterday's post shows all the other bits of sun-printing I did ) and for this postcard I used a piece of cream coloured cotton with a mixture of inks and dyes in green, rust and butterscotch shades. I cut tree trunks from the release paper that backs "Wonder Under" and pressed them into the wet fabric using pins to hold them in place at each end. I was really happy with the results as the plastic-ey paper worked well to resist the ink. It was hard deciding which portion of the fabric to use for the postcard but after "auditioning" various sections I took the plunge and cut out a 4 x 6 inch section.

Final April Postcard

When I came to stitch it though, it looked too plain so, in addition to the felt backing, I added a layer of Misty Fuse and some super fine gold-brown tulle over the top of the postcard before I machine stitched up and down each "trunk" in a metallic greeny gold thread. It still looked a bit under-done so I added some hand stitching on the trunks and some machine stitched coppery metallic lines between the trunks. I added a Pelmet Vilene Plus backing and edged the postcard with the same coppery thread before deciding to also add shadows and markings to the tree trunks using ink pens. I finished off with sprays of Medieval Gold Moon Shadow Mist to give sparkle and a more mottled look. It looks livelier than in the scan above (really)!

I quite enjoyed using both calendar pages as inspiration but without the requirement to replicate them in fabric. Both have ended up with a connection to the original but that is about as far as it goes and luckily that is all that is required!


Doreen G said...

I love them both Debbi and I think this months one is going to produce some interesting work.

Jenxo said...

i think they are great Debbi, your sunprinting is beautiful jenxo

Susan Williamson said...

Beautiful work Debbie. There's something very organic about your approach to art. I've always been curious about sun printing and now you've inspired me to try it myself.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.