Saturday 27 October 2007

Metallic Fabric Inchies Finally Finished!

I think I may have mentioned (!!) that I joined another fabric inchie exchange! This one had a tight time turn-around and I have to post them by Monday so I have been furiously working on them this week whenever I had a chance. They are now all finished and I must remember next time just how time-consuming "small and fiddly" can be!!

These ones are copper Lumiere painted to fusible webbing which is then stamped with black ink and a text image (total waste of time as it doesn't show in the end result!), ironed to felt and free motioned stitched with copper thread. It is finished with a swirl shape added using copper dimensional paint.

These inchies are silver Lumiere painted to fusible webbing which is then sprayed with green Moon Shadow Mist and then ironed to felt. It has then been decoratively stitched and edged with silver thread. It is finished with dots of glue which have then been covered with silver holographic foil.

These ones are Halo Pink Gold Lumiere painted to fusible webbing which is then ironed to felt. It has then been decoratively stitched and edged with copper thread. It is finished with "S" shapes of glue which have then been covered with copper foil.

These inchies are a white organza fabric with gold metallic spots which has been fused to felt and then dyed with diluted walnut ink. They are then free motioned stitched with gold thread and finished with the addition of a large gold sequin star and small gold bead stitched on with gold threads (ends left visible).

These ones are copper Lumiere painted to fusible webbing which is then stamped with black ink and a text image (again a total waste of time as it doesn't show in the end result), ironed to felt and free motioned stitched with copper thread. It is finished with a small piece of copper mesh which has been heated to obtain colour variations and then sewn to the inchie with free motion stitching in copper metallic thread.

These inchies are purple and gold Lumiere painted to fusible webbing which is then ironed to black fabric and then fused to black Felt. The square is then border stitched with gold thread and has a small piece of purple panne velvet and a small gold washed stitched to the top with more gold thread.

These ones are made from a wonderful metallic fabric (bought from Lesley Riley as part of a gorgeous fabric scrap bundle at the March Fremantle Art Retreat) that has been fused to black felt. A squiggle of glue has then been covered with a deep ink foil.

These inchies are made from a cream and gold Christmas table cloth that I bought at a Trash & Treasure market some months ago. I have fused the fabric to felt, sprayed it with gold webbing spray and then edged and decoratively stitched it with gold thread.

The final set are more of the purple and gold Lumiere painted fusible web which has then been ironed to black fabric and then felt. I used a thick gold to add freehand patterning on top, edged the pieces with gold thread and then stitched on a large gold bead. The bead makes the scan very blurry!

The picture at the top is what they look like as a finished set. So now I post them and wait to see what the six sets look like that I will receive back from the exchange. Such fun!!

PS I am away for a few days with work so it will be Wednesday evening before I post again. I am feeling bad about missing this week's Gothic Arch challenge (because I set myself the goal of weekly participation) but I think I will still make one on this week's theme when I get back as I am creating a book for myself of all the weekly challenges!)

Wednesday Stamper - Growing Old

"Growing Old" is the current challenge on the Wednesday Stamper site - I have been very stumped by this one! This ATC is coated in beeswax and there is a little bit of stamping - some numbers and symbols. I love the image of these two "aging" blokes. The background and words are from a 1918 directory that I found in an antique shop when I was in Adelaide for a stamping convention several years ago - it is a terrific source of old advertisements and details.

Think Monday - Think ATC - Friends

The current theme at Think Monday - Think ATC is "Friends". This very simple ATC uses a great little image from the Oxford Impressions Playful plate. It also makes use of some decorative edge scissors that rarely see the light of day.

Thursday 25 October 2007

Mid Week Art Made and Received

Can you tell I have a lot of trouble coming up with an appropriate title on the spur of the moment?? Anyway this picture is of my second page in Patti Gramza's fabulous little octagon deco. It involved a few experiments for me as I haven't previously painted and stamped on an image that I have printed on inkjet fabric. I really enjoyed working with a different shape and hope that I haven't gone overboard by using the flowers on both pages but I didn't like the ones that were in the actual printed image so needed to cover them up! Besides, it is spring here and I am really enjoying all the flowers that are around the place. Talking of flowers, I must take a picture of some of the beautiful jacaranda blossoms that are scattered through this town - especially in the older parts when people still planted biggish trees on suburban sized blocks (and then spent the rest of their lives trimming them! - does that ring any bells Mum??)

I also received the last of the Tissue Paper Studies from a great exchange on the Surface Design Yahoo group. This very pretty one is from Ingrid Tiffe who has an interesting website that is really worth visiting.

Last night at our weekly get-together at Annie's I worked on my metallic inchies,which are nearing completion. Annie showed me her latest work on the embellisher. Fabulous stuff and this girl is now making fibre ATCs!! Go Annie. What's more she has made a stunning paper fabric postcard (a la Beryl Taylor) so I am trying to convince her that she has enough time (hah!) to create a blog to share her gorgeous stuff. I'll keep working on it...

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Some Reading Material...

Well I had a very fast trip to Perth for training in a new system we are going to be using at work and of course while I had access to a range of shops I had to drop in on a couple of bookshops before heading back to the airport this afternoon! My plane back tonight was a bit delayed too so I was extra glad of having something interesting to read.

I gave in and bought Linda and Laura Kemshalls' "The Painted Quilt" - I have been resisting it for a couple of months but I am already very glad I gave in!

I also dropped in at Borders and as that is the only place I have ever seen Belle Amoire, I had to buy the latest issue as it has fabric rusting on the cover!! It is only the second time I have ever bought this Stampington publication (one does have to set limits) and it is a lovely occasional indulgence. (Edit - Lisa Crofts has reminded me that of course the wonderful shop Artistic Journey stocks all of the Stampington magazines - my problem is that when I am in Perth for work I don't have a vehicle so I am only thinking of shops in the city centre that I can reach on foot! Thanks for the reminder though Lisa as I would far rather support Jo and Jackie's shop than a big chain!)

I also bought the Australian quarterly Textile Fibre Forum which I find to be an odd sort of magazine - I guess it is covering such a wide range of styles that it doesn't come across as having a distinctive style itself. I have been buying it for a while now and it is a great resource on Australian suppliers and events, even if the actual magazine content does not always appeal to me personally. I think this issue has been out for a while but I must have missed seeing it until now.
And waiting for me when I got home from the airport were my three return ATCs and a lovely thank you from Linda, Godelieve and Ilse from their Belgium Wall of ATCs exchange. Now to go work on some inchies!

Monday 22 October 2007

Wednesday Stamper - Children

The theme this week for Wednesday Stamper is Children and of course I had to use one of my new Juxtaposed children stamps by Melanie Sage. Stamping on textured water colour paper is not the greatest idea but I loved the colours on this scrap and just had to use it for this ATC!

Yesterday I made really good progress with my metallic fabric inchies - they are fiddly but a lot of fun. I have all the bases done now and quite a few finished with the rest just needing embellishment. As soon as they are all finished I'll upload some pictures - they are pretty sparkly!

Today in the mail I received a replacement blank jigsaw so that is my next project - I feel so bad messing up the first time round so I will be taking a great deal of care numbering the pieces and linking the right names this time. Thanks to Elaine and Annie for getting me the jigsaw!

PS I'm doing a lunchtime post as I am flying to Perth tonight for a training course tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow evening.

Sunday 21 October 2007

A New Challenge Blog - Mixed Media Monday!

Diane over in Canberra has just set up a new Challenge blog and this one is Mixed Media so of course, I have to participate!

The first theme is Vintage Women and as I just recently finished these jigsaw pieces with vintage women images I am going to use them for the challenge.

I have used a tiny piece of lacy tissue paper (what is that stuff called?) on the dress of one lady and I have used decorator napkins with a floral theme for part of the background of the other one. And I just love vintage women images!

Think Monday Think ATC - Moon & Stars

The theme at Think Monday Think ATCs is "Moon & Stars" this week.

I had fun making the background on this one but most of the effects don't show up in the scan - one of the most frustrating parts of using iridescent colours is that the iridescence isn't visible in scans! Anyway the background is a dark but bright blue acrylic glaze with a spray of Moon Shadow Mist in gold, some blobs of a blue Starburst Stains and a text stamp. I've used a plastic "jewel" moon and some sequin stars as well as mini letter tiles from Collections.

Gothic Arch - Let's Party!

The theme for this week's Gothic Arch Challenge is "Let's Party". Today is the last day I could participate as the theme changes tonight. So I made a big effort yesterday afternoon to put my thinking hat on and to come up with an idea as I had been stumped by this one all week!

I decided to use some of my fabulous cowgirl stamps from Oxford Impressions and to create a page around the words "Even Cowgirls get the Blues". It was actually good fun to make and I even dug out my scallop edge scissors from the tin they have been living in for the last several years, along with all the other fancy edge scissors that I don't seem to use anymore.

So let's party!!

Saturday 20 October 2007

Friday Night's Deco Page

I had a lovely relaxed Friday night at home yesterday - I really love the feeling of Friday nights - the sense of a working week over and done with and all the potential of a weekend ahead! I made the most of it and worked on my pages for Patti Gramza's Octagon Deco. I have finished the first page and am close to finishing the back of it. (PS If you don't already read Patti's blog - have a look at it. She does beautiful stuff and has recently blogged about a wonderful way of displaying all the ATCs she has received).

As a background I have used a beautiful fine patterned and embroidered fabric that I bought last weekend - I bought it in two colourways as it is just so pretty. I have used the pink and green version on this page, but the deeper pink and brown version is lovely too. I stamped some background text and images on the watercolour paper first and then adhered the fabric with fusible webbing. It makes the surface nice and flat and you just get a hint of the stamping behind the fabric. I stitched around the edges and printed out a favourite vintage image on inkjet fabric and then adhered that with fusible webbing as well. The fabric comes with a soft white doodled pattern on it so I accentuated and added to the doodles with white gel pen. I decorated one of my new Collections chipboard key holes as one of the embellishments on the page. It is a really simple page but I wanted to do "pretty". (I seem to be going through a pretty stage at that moment - it all started with the baby postcards - all finally finished).

I have to finish my sets of metallic fabric inchies (63 one inch squares for a group exchange) in the next week or so I thought it might also be interesting to show my backgrounds as they progress. A few posts back I showed the first stage which was the fusible webbing (vliesofix) painted with Lumiere metallic paints. The scan below shows what the various pieces are looking like now.

The purple and gold one has been ironed onto black cotton and that will now be adhered to black felt and then cut up into the inch squares. I plan to add beads and sequins to these ones. The pink gold one (which looks like a rich copper in the scan) has been ironed to felt and then decoratively stitched on the machine with metallic copper thread. I haven't decided what else to do to this yet but it is at the cutting up stage. The pewter one has been stamped with text and then ironed to grey felt and stitched with silver metallic thread. It too is ready to cut up for the next stage.

The bronze one has been stamped with text and ironed to brown felt. Finally the spotty one is just a piece of chiffon type fabric that has metallic gold dots on it and I have fused it to yellow felt and then sprayed it with Moon Shadow Mists to create a darker background. I haven't decided what to do next with these two yet.

So now I am off to do the vacuuming and the laundry so I can do some more fun stuff this afternoon!

Thursday 18 October 2007

My Experiments...

So here are my experiments with sun printing. Please allow for the fact that I decided to do this on the spur of the moment yesterday so did minimal preparation! Given all of this I am very happy with the results - I can see that I will be doing this a lot more now that I can see how easy it is!!

The brighter coloured piece was made using a very wet piece of fabric (from a recycled shirt - polyester cotton) and Glass Paint (thickened transparent paint by Pebeo Vitrea 160) and the metal tops off champagne corks (can't imagine how I came by them...). I think this is my favourite because it is brighter. The fabric is a bit stiffer as a result of using Glass Paints (I don't paint glass so why do I have so many colours of glass paint???) but in some ways that makes the cloth all the more manageable for the sort of stuff I do (not wearables or washables!!).

The blue/green piece was Dyna Flow paints and plastic foam shapes on a new piece of very wet but unwashed fabric, presumably a polyester/cotton mix - the sun print is very white under the shapes as a result of their flat surface which virtually adhered to the wet fabric).

The other piece is on the same sort of fabric and is also coloured with Dyna Flow in pink and purple (not so diluted where I added squirts and freehand doodles straight from the bottle) and chipboard shapes create the sun prints.

All very interesting and the three pieces only took about 30 minutes from start to finish except for the drying which probably took a whole extra 10 minutes because it was so hot. I also did the whole exercise outside in the sun which forced me to work very fast. I'll be taking this experimentation further now that I can see how easy it is! All of the pieces will be used for small projects - maybe a notebook cover and postcards and ATCs.

The last two pictures are of my rubbing boards that I am making from leftover dimensional paint and cardboard. They are actually made with very bright shiny paint but the scanning has completely taken out the orange colour and some of the green! I picked paint colours that I figured I wouldn't ever use now that I am not doing little kid's clothes. I am going to use the boards with shiva sticks and fabric to create patterns and texture. The idea comes from a great new Zine "Fibre & Stitch" and has great appeal to me as I have lots of half used dimensional paint! Up until now I have been using it up on backgrounds etc but I also noticed recently that a sort of revival is happening with dimensional paint embellishment of scrapbook pages etc.

Talking of texture boards - I still use the board I made in 2000 from hot glue and cardboard for Julie van Oosten's rust technique. Does anyone else remember this wonderful technique - it is a great way of colouring and texturizing cardstock with Denim and Butterscotch Adirondack Dye Inks???

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Fibre Postcards & ATCs

(This is for a trade with Sharon and is another Shiva Oil Stick experiment on a black fabric. It has a deep copper organza fused on top and then it has been machine stitched with metallic and black threads and has some tiny sequins stitched on. The sequins are from Dale at The Thread Studio.)

Today I have had a day's recreation leave to do some personal paperwork that I have been putting off for ages. I have "rewarded" myself by doing it fast and efficiently so that I could also have time to do some creative playing! So far I have finished off some ATCs and had a go at doing some fabric sun prints. They were quite successful for a first attempt so I will take some photos later.

(This is for Andrea and is based on a Lutradur, scrim and lace experiment that I put through the embellisher machine and then painted with umpteen different colours trying to get the right effect! It has tiny holeless beads glued on freeform).

Here are the rest of the ATCs that I have finished today - they are mostly experiments in texture although the one below is using up a piece of the Shiva Stick experiment that I did as a background for a recent postcard exchange.

One of the Lutradur and Lace ATCs (below) is available for trade if anyone is interested???

This is the postcard that I have just received from Sharon - it arrived today and is just beautiful - so delicate and such interesting layers!

I had a great mail day as I also received the first of the "Oh Baby" fabric postcards today - this gorgeous one is from Sue Smith down in Albany. The photo is of her brand new beautiful nephew! It hasn't scanned very well because of all the yummy sparkly bits! Wish you would start a blog Sue!! Once again, I am still working on the finishing touches on my postcards for this exchange but they are nearly done.

Tuesday 16 October 2007

Wednesday Stamper - Inchies

I love inchies (one inch square pieces of art) and this week the Wednesday Stamper "theme " is inchies!! Perfect for me as I love them.

I have made this set tonight from a background that was sitting in one of my many scrap boxes. This one is from at least 5 years ago when I was making Post-It Notebook covers for a swap using multi-coloured inkpads and a brayer on a linen look paper. It had even been through the Xyron so it was pretty easy to cut it up, ink the edges, do some background stamping, punch out some collage images, add some prima flowers and finally doodle and dot with a white gel pen. The white gel pen always makes me think of icing on cupcakes...

Monday 15 October 2007

I've Been Tagged

A few days ago I was tagged by Cynthia (thanks!) - here are the rules if you are tagged:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

So 7 facts about me - I have a lot of trouble with these sorts of things - but here goes:

1. Before I stamped (and did paper arts), I painted and decorated T Shirts, especially kid's ones.

2. I was born on my parent's third wedding anniversary.

3. Until I moved to Kalgoorlie 14 years old, I had only ever lived in Perth (although I did live and work in Broome for a few months at the end of my third year at uni - magic memories!) - I still think of myself as a city girl even after 14 years here in the outback.

4. I think I will recycle a lot more stuff in my art and craft than I actually do - end result is that I have way too much recycling stuff STORED in my art/craft rooms!

5. I don't like doing very detailed construction type stuff when it comes to paper arts - I only ever made one shaker card and they are low level construction!

6. I still haven't recovered from the total thrill of having one of my pieces on the cover of Somerset Studio several years back.

7. My 16 year old (and last at home) son thinks it is weird the way every day I have a new little pet name for him. I think of it as affection (and fun). They can be as basic as "chook" but I do enjoy slightly more elaborate titles as well!

So I am tagging the following bloggers, including two newly discovered ones (Andrea and Sharon!):

And to make this a little art related, at the top of this post there is a scan of a "texture" postcard that I have finally finished for Barbara. It is based on Lutradur and is covered with lace and muslin scraps which have then been machine "embellished" and then painted, foiled, sanded back and generally "added to"!! I just kept thinking I can make this look better but I am now happy with it (at last).

Sunday 14 October 2007

My Weekend

Hmmm, I love weekends!
In amongst other normal life stuff (like making chocolate chip muffins for those in the family that still consume these evil things) I have just about finished all my "Oh, Baby" postcards, experimented with bleaching fabric (as a result of reading the wonderful Jacqueline's blog!), made good progress with some Lutradur ATCs and also some other fabric postcards. Didn't get very far with my metallic inchies but I have done some of the preparatory work (below is a photo of the painted and stamped vliesofix which will be ironed to felt tomorrow as a base for the inchies). Nearly everything I have been working on is unfinished but I like to have a variety of things to work on to suit my mood!

I have included some scans of the bleaching experiments - I tried it on two pieces of black homespun, one was brown black and didn't react at all and the second piece was blue/black and reacted very nicely - see below. The lines that look like folds are actually lines from where teh fabric was drying on the pool fence. Very organic I think! I also tried it on a piece of olive green line type fabric and that reacted very nicely too. In the scan at the top of the post you can see what it looked like originally as well as the bleached version (on which I have sprayed some Adirondack Color Washes to the accentuate the colour variations).

Annie and I went for a walk around the Spring Festival this morning. We had a lovely time although it was very hot (38 degrees so spring appears to be summer here already!). I had quite a glow by the time I got home. There wasn't a lot at the stalls that really attracted me although I was happy to buy some bunches of bright ribbons and some beautiful threads, plus a toffee apple for Zach. I think he will find it is the memory more than the taste that actually appeals!

Saturday 13 October 2007

A Tale of Woe & My Latest Fabric Postcard

Well I am not sure that I really am ready to share this tale but in the hope that it may be therapeutic...

If you read my blog regularly you will know that I joined an eight person Jigsaw Exchange that involved all eight of us starting out with the same design blank jigsaw. The pieces were to be numbered in a specific way and we were each allocated certain pieces to do for each other person so that the end result would be a complete puzzle for each of is incorporating all eight participants artwork. Sounds relatively straight forward, yes?

Well I thought so too but I have discovered that I misread the columns in the spreadsheet and did not do the right number pieces. This is about as tragic as a jigsaw puzzle can get! Apart from me, nobody has a puzzle that works and it is all because of me. When I found out yesterday I was stunned - at my stupidity, at what it means etc etc. So expect to hear more about jigsaw puzzles as I will be doing replacement pieces post haste as soon as I can locate another identical puzzle. Thankfully everyone is being very patient, tolerant and understanding..

And here are the beautiful (correctly numbered!!) pieces I received from the wonderful Marg Buhagiar (who I don't think has a blog). My theme was Vintage Dressmaking.

So to console myself today, in between Saturday type domestic stuff, I worked on my fabric postcards for another exchange - this one has the theme "Oh, Baby!" -the scan of the prototype is at the top of this post - and you might notice that I can now include some nice decorative stitches thanks to my week-old sewing machine! I need to sew my lace on strighter on the remaining postcards. I have also been painting vliesofix getting ready for the 63 (7 sets of 9) metallic inchies I have to finish by the end of the month. I'll post some pictures tomorrow when they are dry. Now I am off to make some postcards out of fabric paper a la Beryl Taylor.

Tissue Paper Studies Received in the Mail

Tissue Study by Jean Spillane

Weird week for me - I am so tired and can't really figure out why although I guess a bit more sleep would have helped. Anyway I meant to post these pictures of the two Tissue Paper Studies that I received this week days ago and have just realized I haven't blogged since Wednesday. I'll be posting again later today after I finish working on something.

Tissue Study by Cathie Recca

This exchange was a fascinating example of how much variety you can get when six people do a "tissue paper study" in a six inch square format. No other restrictions or rules. I have already blogged about my ones and the first two I received in earlier posts and I'll show you Ingrid's one once it arrives. The trades were organized through the Surface Design Yahoo Group - a great group who trade a lot so you have heaps of choices! There is no obligation to join trades though.

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Think Monday - Think ATC - Mask

I am not one of those people that like masks and I find a lot of them quite scary really (must indicate something deep and meaningful on a psychological level or something!!) but I didn't participate in last week's Think Monday Think ATC theme (which was pirates) so I didn't want to miss two in a row.

I made this ATC tonight while I was at Annie's having our Wednesday night creative get-together. I have used an Acey Deucy image that I really like but which I hardly ever use. It is stamped on a background collage paper that I made from a zillion (slight exaggeration) tiny pieces of papers in the cream and white colour theme. I liked it so much I photocopied it so I could get maximum use from all that effort! It makes a nice subtle background I think.

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Gothic Arch - Flowers

The Gothic Arch theme this week is flowers so I am celebrating spring! It is such a lovely time of year here - the worst of the cold weather has gone and the really hot weather is still a little way off (it doesn't usually wait for the official start to summer, however!).

My arch is a little light-hearted spring indulgence - a nice floral themed scrapbook paper as a background and also an additional flower, a vintage image, a few pieces of paper lace, some sanding of the edges, rub-on letters and lots of freehand doodles and dots. No stamping (I just realized!)

And while we are talking about Spring, this Sunday, Annie and I are going for a wander at our town's Spring Festival! I haven't been for a number of years so I am really looking forward to it.

Monday 8 October 2007

Circle Journal Pages

Tonight I finished my pages for Tricia Scott's Circle Journal - I posted my first page for this book back on the 15th of September but as I post to Jo and as she is on holidays at the moment I had some extra time to play with this beautiful book, so I did four pages instead of the required two.

The first scan is the back of the first page - this one has really changed along the way with various layers ripped off and new ones substituted when I decided I didn't like my first attempts! In case it isn't obvious I should point out that Tricia decided not to create a circle shaped book but to require the use of circles on our pages. This page has a lot of circles, spots and dots in the background, plus the buttons! The vintage nude is printed on fabric - one that I had left over from another project from some time ago. I have used fusible webbing to adhere her to the paper layer.

My next page was based on my favourite background of Adirondack Color Washes sprayed on with additional water and Moon Shadow Mist in gold. It is a relatively easy and quick but pretty background. I have used some circle stamps and more dots on the background as well as some stencilling. I used some of my various circle punches (of course, it is important to have a selection of sizes for exactly these moments!!) to punch circles from a circled themed scrapbook paper and vintage photo reproductions. I used my sewing machine to stitch around the outer circles in gold thread (with my lovely new and efficient sewing machine!). I also got to use my newest punch - the cute little ribbon buckle.

My last page was an experiment as I haven't printed on fabric since I bought my new printer a couple of months back. I love this vintage baby photo and I am also going to use it on a series of baby themed fabric postcards that I am due to start soon. I really need to spend some time learning how to maximise use of each fabric sheet but at the moment I begrudge that sort of time on the computer. I am using Printed Treasures sheets which are lovely but way too expensive here in Kalgoorlie. This page is my attempt at being a little less rigid than normal with torn fabric, uneven edges etc!! Tricia loves green, red and brown so I was trying to use these colours. So now this one can be posted and I can start on Patti Gramza's gorgeous little octagon deco.