Wednesday, March 14, 2018

More mixed media textiles

This is the second post using the same mixed media textile background I have previously created and shared. When I did my fabric background I used a piece of fabric that was about a metre (yard) square so I could experiment with a few ideas. I have shared the first three I did and now I have two more to share.

I used the same piece of fabric from before. I only used part of this long strip to make the grid design. I had already stamped and painted the background and then arranged and glued the pieces of fabric and media to it. I turned the fabric over and used a template to draw circles all over the back. I tried to put them as close as possible to get the most out of the fabric as I could. 

I then flipped them back over to see what I had. This is the surprise part of the process. Some little pieces of fabric may need extra glue to hold them in place. I arranged the circles on my background which is more of the painted fabric. I cut some of the circles in two so they could be placed along the edge. I didn't like the stamped side with the circles on top so I flipped the background over to the back. This side had the paint and was a little plainer so the whole design didn't look too busy.

I decided this piece was going to be entirely hand stitched. I made a pile of laces, felts and ribbons to add to the squares as I stitched. I started stitching each circle adding the extra pieces to make them interesting paying attention to the colours as well. I used only thread to enhance the shapes this time, no beads or embellishments. 

When the stitching of each circle was done I then stitched them to the background using a variety of stitches. I am quite pleased with the way you can really change the look of a piece just with a few variations. I think the circles are my favourite in this series but then I really like the others too.  It is always hard to pick a favourite.

This last piece was made from a few extra squares I had left over when I cut the fabric up for the grid. This time I added charms and zipper teeth to the tiles. I added more stitching on these because there was only 6 to do. I have stitched them to a background for a journal cover at the end of the year. I am not sharing the background technique yet. That is part of a class later in the year and I will share more then.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my ramblings and I hope you enjoy having a go at one of the techniques.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mixed media textile

This month I am teaching a mixed media textile to the textile group I belong to. This is an idea of what we are going to do.

 I started with a large piece of medium weight white cotton fabric. It doesn't have to be cotton, that is just what I had.

 Next I used fabric paints, stamps and stencils to add pattern all over the base fabric. I didn't worry about perfect prints from the stamps. I wanted some of it to be lighter in different areas.


 After placing the fabric on plastic sheeting, use watered down acrylic paints to paint all over the fabric. I added a lot of water to the paint.

It will stiffen the fabric as it dries. It also tones down the first layer of pattern. Allow to dry completely.

While the paint is drying I gathered the materials I was going to add to my project. I went through my stash and picked out anything that was in the colour range I wanted to use. It is a good idea to choose something to stand out as the focus of the piece. I used the black flowers for my main focus. You could use a printed fabric that you can cut some images from too. I have sheer fabrics, some printed fabric, rusted fabric, lace, felt, sari fabric, plastic bag, ribbon, used dry tea bags and painted tissue paper (an old dress pattern).  You can also use old doilies, antique fabrics and old linens. This is mixed media so anything goes.

 I used a fabric marking pencil to outline the finished size of my piece so I knew how big an area I had to cover.  I tore everything into smaller pieces and laid them out on my background. I left areas of the background visible. I tried to overlap all the pieces a little.

 I find it helpful to cut a hole in white cardboard the size of the finished piece so I can see my design more clearly. I walk away from the work for a few minutes (coffee break) so when I come back I can see the layout with fresh eyes. When I am happy with the design I use a toothpick to apply a tiny amount of fabric glue to the corners of everything to hold it all in place. You could pin or tack it instead.

Now it is time to stitch the piece together. This can be done by hand or machine or both. I start with machine stitching then add hand work later.  I didn't outline all the objects, nor did I only use straight stitch. Anything goes.

 The finished art piece with a few extra embellishments. I added some beads and metal rings.

I also did a second piece using the exact same materials but doing strips of fabric instead of squares. I also added random short, uneven pieces on top of the joins in places. This breaks up the striped effect a bit. The horizontal stripes are wire that I flattened at the ends.

I also did a third piece using those same materials. I had a long piece of the background material left so I added all the other fabrics to it and glued them down as before. I then turned the piece over and used a rotary cutter to cut it into squares. It is best to do this from the back so you don't choose where to cut and it is truly random.

 I took some time to arrange all the squares into a pattern that was pleasing to my eye. You can see in the finished piece below I still changed things around a bit as I started stitching.

I stitched each square separately. Some are machine stitched and some are hand stitched. I added a lot of beads and some metal pieces. I also used Lumiere paints on three of the squares, just painting right over the top of the fabrics and lace.

I have more ideas for this technique that I will share shortly when I have finished them.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Binding loose journal pages into a book.

Regular readers of my blog will know I love making books as over the years I have shared a few book making techniques. Today I am sharing a video I made recently of the technique I did for my Life Book project in 2012. It is handy when you want to join loose  pages into a book. It is the same hidden hinge method I used in 2012 but I do it a slightly quicker way than I used to so it is a more refined technique these days.

If you want to watch it larger than it appears here go to my You Tube channel where you can view the video larger. I used the technique to finish off my Colour Me Positive 52 week project for this year. I have really enjoyed this project and will continue doing more art journaling next year but I don't know how much I will be able to fit in between the textile projects I want to do.

Here are a few photos from the video to remind you of the steps:

 1. Join your pages together in pairs then glue each pair to the next one to make your book.
 2. Glue a fabric scrap to the spine for strength. Leave to dry overnight.

 3. Make your cover with cardboard and fabric or paper. Ensure the spine is flexible.

 4. Attach the cover and when the glue is dry stitch through all layers to secure the pages inside to the cover. You can use matching thread for stitching or make a feature using glittery thread. It just needs to be a strong thread or even wool. I used 3 strands of embroidery thread.
This is a close up view of the stitching. You could attach beads to the ends of your thread if you like. Thanks for reading my blog and if you have any questions you can contact me via the contact form near the top right of this page or use the comments below.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The final colour me positive pages for this year.

These are the final two pages for my journal.

 Week 51 was inspired by the old keys my husband gave me. I had to stitch them to the page to make sure they didn't fall off. I made a raised frame for the quote so the whole page had the same level of thickness for my book.

 Week 52 is really the title page for the book. I decided I needed one so this is at the  beginning of the book. I collaged down some printed deli papers to my page.

 I wanted to add lettering that I could doodle inside of so I used a stencil for the letters. Firstly I stenciled the words onto tracing paper so I could see if they would fit and where the best placement would be.
 I used this Deja Vue stencil for the letters. It is a little hard to see here but I used pencil for the outlines. I didn't want to use pen because the surface is a little rough and the pen would have got caught on the textured surface and skipped about.

After I removed the stencil I went over the outline with pen. I was a little easier to control without the stencil in the way. 

Next I used India ink to color in the negative space of the page, blending from one color to the next. You can still see the original background in the letters.  At this stage it is still a little messy.

The finished page. I added lines and doodles around the different colors with a black and a white pen. I felt that this brings the whole page together and it is fun to do. In the next post I will share the video of the journal binding.

Some of the last journal pages for this year.

These are the final pages for my year long journal.

 Week 42 is quite a simple page. I used acrylic paint for the background then added gesso stamped circles. I was in the mood for some doodles so I added the quote and then doodled the night away. It was fun to do.
 Week 43 was a fast page. I had previously glued paper napkins to the background so I used 2 stencils for apply paint. When it was dry I used a gold pen to add a quote.

 Week 44 is a collage over a blue painted background. I colored the rainbow with pencils to make it bolder.
 Week 45 is a collage from painted papers. I already had the flower petals cut out so that was the start of the idea for this one.

 Week 46 is yet another collage. I didn't know I had done so many collages this year. I painted all the leaves with one stroke of paint and outlined them.

 Week 47 was an attempt to be a little more free with my style but it is still a fairly neat and tidy design.
Week 48 was inspired by a picture I saw in a magazine. I just loved the black background that made the colors pop. It too has a lot of doodles. 

Week 49 is a workshop I bought from the Cloth Paper Scissors website. It was called Spirograph designs mixed media.

Week 50 is another collage but this one uses a grid format. I did each part of the grid separately and then stitched them all together on my page. I really love this one and can see I will do more things like this in the future.

I hope you enjoy these shared pages. My next blog post will be a brief demo of a doodle page and then I will share the video of how to put these pages together.

Friday, December 22, 2017

52 week Colour me positive challenge.

I am very sorry that I have not been very prompt about updating my blog this year. My husband has just retired and it has been a huge adjustment for both of us. I will be posting a lot more regularly next year but it is likely to be more textile based projects as that is my main focus now. Today I am sharing a few more art journal pages that I have done for the CMP challenge.
 Week 32 is mostly collage. The boat and waves are collage but the sun is painted on. I do like simple, clean design a lot. Not every mixed media piece of art has to look grungy or messy.

 Week 33 was a doodle page. I used spray inks to create the background then just doodled all over it. I do enjoy this type of mindless doodling.

Week 34 was inspired by a clock I saw when I was traveling. It is painted with watercolour and sketched with a black pen. 

 Week 35 is a tile collage. I cut squares of paper out and stuck them to the page. I added a few other items for decoration and drew on some stitched lines. 

Week 36 is my least favorite page this year. I tried to do a textile collage substituting  paper instead of fabric but I don't think it worked as well as it would have if I had used fabric. 

Week 37 is yet another collage, this time from torn papers. I used a previously painted background. 

 Week 38 was inspired by the photo of the cup of coffee. I challenged myself to use really bright colours.

 Week 39 is not really following the prompt. My husband and I went to a flower festival and I wanted to sketch some of the amazing blooms we saw. I colored them with Polychromos pencils.

 Week 40 was done on flocked paper. It is a type of fuzzy scrapbook paper from my stash. I sketched the shoes on a piece of blue painted paper and cut them out for this page.

Week 41 has paper napkins for the background collage. I then stenciled on paint and added cut out numbers and cheesecloth for texture. I have been enjoying the challenge this year, it has got me painting again. In the next post I will share more pages then I have made a video of how I put these separate pages together into a book that I will share soon.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Using journal pages as inspiration for textiles

You may remember a while back when I mentioned that some of my journal pages might make interesting textiles. For some recent challenges that is exactly what I have done.

 Several years ago I did this journal page during a Wild Art online class. I loved it so much I have since used it as inspiration for more work.

This was my latest journal page using that same technique of multi colored leaves collaged to a background. This lead me to the following textile page for a Music inspired challenge with my textile group.

I used a fusible web on the back of fabric to make the leaves then ironed them onto my background. The birds were done the same way. They were a sample I did earlier in the year for my silk screen class. I  then added the dark stitching for definition. None of the three designs are identical but they are similar in style.

The next page was one I did recently about what feeds my soul and it fit the Music challenge of my textile group so I did a page based on it.

This one was almost a direct copy of my original design. I love the way it turned out, again I used fabric fusing for the words and background. There is more machine embroidery on this one and some hand stitching for the music.

 The final challenge piece I did was for the theme "doors". I used a photo transfer of a door and used fabric for the architecture. The columns were painted on Evolon and cut out. I did the flowers using ribbon embroidery.