Thursday, 23 July 2009

Black & White + One

This month the "theme" for a small group exchange was set by Doreen and she decided on ATCs that were "black & white + one". A good choice! These were the results - clockwise from top left - Annie Laing, Carole Brungar, Ann Buskens, me and Doreen Grey. A lovely mixture of fabric, paper and nixed media.

PS I am travelling with work a fair bit lately and I have also damaged a finger on my right hand so I am a bit limited productivity-wise! Trying to finish the little quiltie from the previous post but it is a slow process without normal dexterity! Bear with me..I'll be back!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Wednesday Night & I'm Back in Town!

(A peek at this month's AOTM quilt that I am working on)

I forgot to mention that I was going away for a few days with work, so sorry about that. I got back tonight and found that I had three new books (my first ever Amazon order) waiting on my doorstep as well as some wonderful ATCs from a trade with Margaret Roche. While I was away I used my evenings mostly to just read my book "The Trout Opera" by Matthew Condon (which I am struggling with, but determined to finish even if I skip over some of the more turgid passages!) but I did get a bit of the hand stitching done on the little art quilt I am making for Mandy as my "Art of the Month" commitment for July.

These are my ATCs that Margaret chose -
Napkin Collage on Stamped & Painted Canvas

Painted Vliesofix on Fabric with Painted Felt Flowers

Beeswaxed Stamped Tissue Collage

And these are the ones I chose! And look at the attention to detail in Margaret's packaging - so special - a beautiful card, envelope and some yummy ATC sized papers.

And these are my new books - don't they look gorgeous!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Postcard & ATCs

My July Postcard for Pippa

It must be the season (cold wintry weather) but I am in a bit of a "fallow" state creativity wise. I have a head full of ideas but don't seem to be able to settle down and actually do much with them. I am finding easiest to work on things that have to be done such as monthly exchanges etc. Nothing like a commitment or a deadline to motivate me!!Yesterday I finished my Calendar Girl Postcard for July. This month it was my turn to make one for Pippa and it is actually the month that Pippa chose the Calendar Page so a little bit of added pressure!! (Not really, but you sort of know that if someone picked a picture they really liked it so you want it to inspire something they are going to like as well!!)

As soon as I saw the picture (which is the glorious photo of the glacier above) I knew I wanted to do something that was textural and that would focus on the bottom two thirds of the picture - ie not the sky. So I started with a piece of fabric paper "a la Beryl Taylor" that I had previously made with a calico (apparently called muslin the US) base, torn pieces of scrapbook paper and a crumpled (then flattened) Monet napkin as the top layer. I had dry brushed it with gesso to emphasize the wrinkles.

This was what the base layer of fabric paper looked like before I added multiple layers!

I decided it needed a lot more texture so I added some more layers of torn and crumpled napkins using the inside layers to get a subdued colour. Once they were dried I continued with the dry brushing of gesso and then added Quink Ink layers in blue and black to get some depth. More gesso, some sprays of Glitz Spritz to get the brighter blue at the top and then I ironed on a Pelmet Vilene backing. At this point I discovered the Quink Ink is reactivated by heat(!!) and that it even spread further so after machine stitching around the edges I went back and added some more gesso (surprise, surprise) to emphasize the mountains. Then for a bit of sparkle I added just a little turquoise Suze Weinberg Ultra Effects and some Judikins silver roxs. Not sure why I ever bought either product (including several other colours of the roxs) as I can never think of anything to do with them. At least now they have had a little use!

Yesterday I also finished my ATCs for a small group swap - this month it was Doreen's turn to pick the theme and she chose "Black & White + One" and we all had to chose different accent colours. I went for bright orange! I used a lace patterned napkin and adhered it to cardstock and then cut out the lace shape and stitched it to the orange fabric layer, adding a black ribbon and white button (I was determined not to use a flower this month!!). and some adhesive pearls. I knew it needed something else and I tried a lot of different things but in the end I covered each button with Dimensional Magic and a punched out alphabet letter to match the recipient's name. There was one spare which has a "6" and black "gems" instead and that has now been traded (edited 15 July). I have received two of the ATCs for this month already but I will save them until I have received them all and share them then.

A close-up - needless to say the button was too dimensional for the scanner to cope with!!

Spare ATC - (Now traded)

Now for something completely different - have you discovered "Spezify" yet???? It is wonderful and such a great way to spend even more hours on the net!! It is a search engine that gives you multiple results at once. Try "mixed media" or "fabric collage" or even your own name - it is fascinating what comes up and it so visual. I'm seriously addicted - maybe that is why I haven't been doing much ...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Stitching the Textured Surface!!!

Look what came in the mail today!! I just love a wonderful mixed media book and this one is superb - stunning photography of the samples and such a good balance between close-ups and longer distance shots. It is has just recently been released and is written by the extremely talented duo Lynda Monk and Carol McFee - see here for more information about them and their online classes (in the unlikely event that anyone reading my blog isn't already aware of them!!)

Now I am off to have a good detailed read!!

PS If you were thinking you wouldn't need this book because it has stitching in the title - you are wrong as the stitching bit is more about how you can make sewn things with the textured surfaces that are the mainstay of this book. It really is a fabulous technique based book.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Drifting Through Sunday...

(Mel's Birthday Card - I love using collage "scraps"!)

(Inchies by Kerrie Bowles)

I am having a lovely weekend - no major commitments so I can drift through the days doing the basics when they suit me (you know the washing and cooking etc), doing art in my pyjamas and doing lots of blog-surfing which is something I haven't done for sooo long. I've had a head cold this week so this sort of weekend is just what I needed.

(Inchies by Kathryn Robertson)

(Inchies by Anne O'Connor)

(Inchies by Pauline Brewis)

On Wednesday night my friend Annie and I sorted all the Green Fabric Inchies from the exchange we ran on the Aus_NZartquilters yahoo group. We had 20 participants so you can imagine what the table looked like with 1080 plus inchies on it...GORGEOUS! The inchies were mailed back to everyone on Thursday and it will be a few days I guess before everyone gets their envelopes but I can't resist posting some scans of the sets I ended up with.

(Inchies by Jane Symes)

(Inchies by Helen Dyer in NZ)

(Inchies by Annie Laing)

Some lovely people sent Annie and I extras, plus we each made an extra set to swap with each other, so I have a lovely assortment for my next wall display (which I will post as soon as I get around to attaching all the inchies to the backing material which takes ages as I play around with the inchies to get the arrangement that appeals most to me).

(Inchies by Cait Gordon)

(& assorted extras from some wonderful fabric artists)

I had a pretty quiet week creative-wise as a result of the head cold - all I wanted to do when I got home from work was eat and sleep! But I did get a little collage card made for a family member's birthday (pictured at the top of this post) and then this weekend I have been playing around with some more backgrounds - gesso resist, scraped paint (which is a sort-of credit card technique on paper that has been used underneath other techniques!), Adirondak inks on gloss paper and Claudine Hellmuth's peeled paper technique.

I am also working on a little altered book for a round robin I am about to participate in. It has been a couple of years since I did an Altered Book so I am having some fun with this. My "theme" is quotes as I want a little book full of quotes. It also means everybody can have a lot of freedom with the techniques they use which should keep it interesting.

And now I am off to do some more pages in it and maybe work on some Black & White Plus 1 colour ATCs that are due this month.