Saturday, 15 January 2011

Surface Design & Why I Love It!

There is something about the words "surface design" that I just love - perhaps because it is JUST so open - so many possibilities!  A few months ago, as part of my gentle re-invigoration of the creative side of my life I joined an ATC exchange that was run by the Surface Design Yahoo Group.  The theme was leaves but was otherwise open to interpretation as long as it involved surface design in some shape or form.  So this was what I did.

Painted a piece of heavy weight lutradur with diluted acrylic paints in shades of green, yellow and blue to make the leaves.   I just adore lutradur (almost as much as paper fabric!)
 Painted, sprayed and then stamped a textured "kitchen cloth" fabric for the background layer of the ATCs.  I bought the packet of cloth for art purposes of course as soon as I saw the lovely woven type texture.  I can't find the packet though at the moment to tell you what it actually is called.

 Created a basic leaf shape template and then cut out leaf shapes from the painted lutradur.

 Used a wood burning tool to melt and shape the edges and to create scored lines imitating leaf veins.

Manually folded the leaves down the middle on the scored line and pinched them until they maintained some "lift"!

Cut the background "fabric" into ATC sized pieces and then machine- stitched the leaves down the centre vein across the ATC.  Decided they looked too plain so melted holes in the leaves (again with the tip of the wood burning tool as this was before I had bought my Versa-Tool) and sprayed the whole lot with some gold glimmer mist.  I guess the impression is that there were a lot of bugs having a feast but they really looked way too plain with the sort of background I had done.

Finished off by backing the cards and zig-zagging around the edges with black thread.  I actually did one more step after I took this last photo and that was to ink around the edges with black ink and the added contrast was an improvement.

I haven't gotten around to scanning all the ATCs I received back in return but Ellen (who is am amazing tatter over in Singapore) has pictures on her blog if you'd like to have a look - there was a lot of variety of colour, style and technique!!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Working Within the Box!

I am part of a small Australian group that has an "Art of the Month" one-on-one exchange and in October I made this for Jacky

I had bought the shadow box some time ago specifically with the intention of taking out the mass-produced item that it featured and replacing it with a collage of my own.  Needless to say I did not get around to doing it and in the interest of using up the items I have on hand (and there are an awful lot!), I decided to use it as the basis for my item for Jacky.  I stamped the text on the front white exterior with StazOn ink but decided it looked a bit stark so cut the black and white paper to fit on opposing corners.
Photographing it flat really shows that it is a shadow box!
The collage inside is based on some beautiful blue handmade paper.  I used the colour as the basis for the rest of the collage, using some painted vintage paper, stamping, decorative paper scraps, paper flowers (I know they are everywhere but I just love them and I want to start making some of those gorgeous spiral ones), a vintage image and some machine stitching to hold it altogether.  I stitch all of the collages that are based on the handmade paper as I find things don't stick to it terribly well and I don't like to use much glue on them.

And to share some Western Australian beauty this was the sight out of my front door one evening recently.  It was absolutely stunning in its vibrancy!

I loved the colours at the end and cloud patterns too!

Monday, 3 January 2011

A Christmas Themed ATC

Thank you so much to everyone who has welcomed me back to blogging!  I had forgotten what a thrill it was to "connect" and to read those lovely comments.  Next on my list is to catch up with some blog reading!

And to make sure that I don't fall off the cart with my new found blogging intentions, I thought I would share a Christmas themed ATC that I recently made for a one-on-one trade with my long term trading partner Anne  Lugherini over there in beautiful France.  The card is made with fabric paper (a la Beryl Taylor with a bit of adaptation) - using a stamped image on tissue paper, watercolour paints and lightweight fabric. 

Yesterday's polymer clay "tile" making session was a success so today I think I may just make some more - a very soothing activity!  But I also want to play with my "Creative Versa-Tool" ..(so thrilled that The Thread Studio ended up stocking these with the Australian voltage as I have been wanting one ever since buying - and loving - Rebekah Meier's book "Fabric Art Collage"). 

So many choices - it certainly isn't hard to practice abundance thinking.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

A Fresh Start...

It seems that the longer I took to get back to blogging, the harder it became!  So 2010 has been and gone and what a wonderful year it was, even if I didn't do much on the arty / crafty side of things. And really that is probably the main reason I wasn't motivated to blog - the purpose of this blog is mostly to share what I am doing in that department.

So to get me started again I thought I would share some of the little creative efforts I did make in 2010!

A Canvas Board Wall Hanging for Kasha

Surface Design Zodiac ATC Swap

Zodiac Swap - we actually made 12 each

An ATC made for a one-on-one trade
A Canvas Wall Hanging for Tegan
One of a set of five waxed ATCs made for an exchange
I only made a few Christmas Cards - two variations

The other Christmas Card variation

A Collage Card

Another Collage Card

Another Collage Card

A Sympathy Card

And one of the contributing reasons I am not doing as much arty stuff as before - too busy enjoying being near the beach after sixteen years in the goldfields on the edge of the desert!  And this is just our local beach - there are lots of other swimming type beaches close by.

Bye for I am going to play with clay to make some little tiles a la Laurie Mika.