Sunday, December 18, 2016

Trying to create rusted designs

 A workshop on the web lesson I completed was about rusting. I have explained this technique before, This time we used non rusting things to block the application of the rust.

In this sample I used a plastic stencil before I applied the rust. I was supposed to use rusting powder but I didn't have any. I used steel wool instead and it worked well enough for me. Later on I dyed the fabric too. I have added some braids and tiny gem stones to my finished textile art work.

For this fabric I tried to make squares using cardboard but it didn't really work out that way. I do like the way it turned out but if you want perfect shapes you need to make sure you apply the rusting powder or steel wool evenly. I added some hand stitching and a quote for a page that I will put in the journal that I will make next year. I am teaching my group how to make the fabric journal in February next year so I will post the instructions after that and hopefully some video if it works out. I also want to get back into to some painting and art journaling next year so keep watching this space.

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones. I will return in the new year. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tyvek is such a wonderful material.

Tyvek is a wonderful plastic like material that is used in various ways. The building industry uses it for insulation and it is also used to make those white coveralls that people use for protection. Textile artists like Kim Thittichai also talk a lot about wonderful ways to use it. I love the stuff because it is so unpredictable and I love experimenting with it.  I recently did a demo for my textile group on different ways you can use it.

My favorite way to use it is by creating bubbles with an iron. First I color it using Ranger's distress stains or a light coat of acrylic paint. Then I lightly iron it between two pieces of baking paper. I use the heat of the iron to make the bubbles but I don't press down on it. If you press on it you will get a flat piece of hard surface. You can also use a heat gun to shrink it but the heat gun makes it shrink a lot tighter than the iron does.

This was the piece I made for the demo with various techniques using tyvek.

1. The top circle was layered with organzas and painted tyvek then stitched. I used a heat gun to melt through the layers.
2. The bird was an old painting I scanned and printed out on a medium weight tyvek. I did it with an inkjet printer, not a laser printer that would melt the tyvek and ruin the printer. Later on I added some stitching.
3. Next to the bird I have a bubbled piece of tyvek that has some transfer foil stuck onto the ironed side. After you have ironed the tyvek to make bubbles, lay a piece of transfer foil on top and lightly iron again. The foil sticks to the tyvek like glue. When it is cool peel away the foil sheet and the color should be left behind. You can see in the close up below the foil on the back of the brown area. I also tried it on the front of the blue area. It worked both times. It is a shame you can't see how very shiny it is.
4. Below that is another layered and stitched circle. This one has straight lines for the stitching to see if it was different to the swirls in the first piece.
5. The flower circle was stitched and then I used a wood burning tool to melt away the petals of the flower.
6. The next two small brown circles were colored with the same brown distress stain. The top one was shrunken using a heat gun and the light brown one was ironed. You can see how concentrated the color becomes when it is heat gunned.
7. The next large circle was printed with a swirl pattern and then ironed. I thought it would distort more than it did.
8. Finally I used a die cut machine to cut out the small white flowers. They were about 1 inch (2.5cm) in size until I ironed them and they shrank. They did not shrink evenly but I quite like that look.

I have also used the tyvek on previous artworks that I have shared:

Both of these have tyvek as part of the textured backgrounds. I hope you find some inspiration and use tyvek in your art. You can even glue it onto canvas or in art journals. You may have to google to find out where you can buy it in your country. I got mine from the Australian online store, Thread Studio.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Angelina film

This year my textile group had another challenge that was called Reflections. We had to make an A4 sized piece inspired by the theme of reflection. An extra challenge was to use some Angelina fibers or film (also called fusible film) in the finished piece. I used the film to make the mirror in my piece called Young at Heart.

To make the mirror I used fusible web to glue the film to a scrapbooking paper doily. It gives that interesting lace pattern underneath. I also used the film with gel medium to cover two cardboard hearts and while it was hot I pressed a stamp into the surface. The stamp impression was left in the gel medium under the film.  It makes a great textured surface. The rest of the artwork is fabric and machine stitching. I made the old lady separately and cut her out before attaching her so she appears 3D. I used pan pastels for the shading because it was a little plain until then.

This page comes from another Workshop on the web lesson. It was a folk art inspired lesson by Anne Kelly. I don't have any antique textiles to use so I used an old quilt of my own that I have been cutting up to use in other things. I had to paint over the surface first because my folk art applique didn't stand out at all. I used Lumiere paint so you can see through it a bit in real life. It doesn't photograph very well but you can still see the flowers  underneath. I enjoyed the stitching but I probably won't do this one again.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Textured surfaces

It has been a while. Sorry about that but I have had vertigo for a couple of months and was not able to use the computer (it makes the dizziness worse). On the good days I was able to do some textile art so that will slowly appear here.

One of the recent Workshop on the Web classes was about creating textured surfaces with mixed media to use creatively. It was a representation of a forest floor and was a lot of fun. I can't share the actual technique but I can share the results. I did one large piece and then cut it into 3 so I could try different colors.

We used skeleton leaves and other things for the texture. I thought I had a lot of leaves so I started with a big piece but then I couldn't find all the leaves I had so I also added some die cut leaves that looked a bit flat and some cut out felt left over from my scrapbooking hobby. Then exactly one week later I found the missing leaves. Isn't that always the way it goes, lol. I will just have to do another one now! 

 I had trouble with the colors on this one but eventually it turned out ok.

Each colorway has potential to make some great projects. I did all of mine on a fabric base so that I could stitch into them easily because I knew that is what I wanted to do.  I think it would make an interesting canvas art piece too. Instructions are available in the September 2016 edition of the Workshop on the Web program. You can click on the link on the right.

I have cut up some of the red piece and made two journals using denim and my handmade papers. I added some stitching on the plainer leaves to make them fit in better with the skeleton leaves. The stitched borders I added are a stitch that was new to me called Palestrina stitch. I found the instructions in an early edition of Quilting Arts magazine.  I also made a mini photo album cover (lower right).

Monday, October 3, 2016

Modern Trapunto.

One of my Workshop on the Web lessons was about trapunto.  The tutor wanted to make it modern so she used an unusual fabric.It was silk velvet. I tried everywhere here to get some but was unable to find it here because the shops only had summer fabrics in stock. I decided to try it using Panne velvet which is polyester and has a slight crumpled appearance. I came up with a design and had a go.

The velvet is very shiny so it was extremely hard to photograph. The purple color is more varied and darker than here and has spots of pink and blue on it too. I stitched parts of the background with my sewing machine and parts by hand. I wanted to see if they both worked as well and they do.

This close up shows how raised it is. The panne velvet had a stretch in one direction so I think that is why it has raised so well. I had fun with this lesson and will probably do some more. Next time I will probably buy the silk velvet because it looks so luxurious and intriguing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Techniques from the 2nd Life challenge.

I was going through my photos from this year and found a few that I took when I was making my Second Life textile art piece that I forgot to share. You can see my original post and details about it here:

 This photo shows the background fabric paper I made. I put music paper and other pieces under tissue paper and then painted it with several colours of Silks Acrylic Glaze. It was very pretty but most of it ended up being covered.

This photo shows what I did with the cardboard roll. I split it open then used the Cuttlebug embossing machine to emboss the pattern on it. I used the Lumiere paints and then sprayed the brown mica over it. When it was dry I used the ink pad to highlight the texture.  I used it in several places on the finished project. It would also look and feel great stuck onto an art journal page, adding loads of texture. 

This photo shows the pieces of foam I removed from the crown I had. You can also see the printed ribbon and the flannel fabric. I used texture paste through stencils to add texture to all of these objects.

I painted the fabric and ribbon with the same Lumiere paints I used above. I didn't use the brown spray this time so they look a different color. I painted the foam pieces with acrylics in similar colors. I used gold paint to highlight the raised areas then used dimensional glaze over the top. The glaze makes them look like they are resin coated and not glazed.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Collage in an art journal.

I did one of the lessons from my 21 Secrets workbook a while ago but didn't finish it off. It was called Media Remix and was a lot of fun. We took magazine pages and painted them. I put them together to make a journal and added magazine images for the subjects. For some of the pages I used stencils to cut shapes from magazine pages and stuck them down. It was a fun journal to make and now I am adding details and doodles with pens so I can pick it up and draw/doodle a little when the mood strikes.

Today I am sharing a few of the completed pages. Enjoy.

The painted and stencilled page. I sprayed them with the glitter sprays so they are very shiny and hard to photograph.

This page has little scrapbook gems added. The words were cut out from magazines too.

 These images come from my stash of collage pictures that I have collected over the years. I think these were from the scrapbook industry.

These flowers are from an art magazine. I added outlines as well as a few sketched ones too. This is an easy project to do, especially if you pick pictures that really appeal to you.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pumice gel on fabric

One of the workshops I did from the Workshop on the Web series was about using texture paste on fabric. I didn't have any texture paste left (my old jar dried up) so I used the Golden Pumice gel instead. I tried it on a variety of surfaces and was quite impressed with how it stuck to everything I tried.

The first surface I tested was craft Vilene (interfacing). I spread the gel through a stencil and left it to dry. It was a little too coarse for spreading but I somehow managed to get it to work. It stuck really well and I have finished it off with some hand stitching.

The next surface is heavy Lutrador.  I added some soft gel medium to the coarse pumice gel to make it more spreadable. It worked great and when I use it again I would do the same, even on canvas. This will be another page in my fabric art journal.

My favorite surface I tried was teabags. I overlapped them to make a larger surface and then applied the gel through a stencil.  Later on I added a machine stitched outline and hand stitching accents. The gel stuck super well to the tea bags and none of it rubbed off when I stitched.

This surface is laminated tissue paper that was stamped and then had fiber paste applied on top (I had used up all the pumice gel). Again I added stitched details.

My final surface was to laminate the pumice gel between two pieces of tissue paper. I really like this technique because you still get the texture of the pumice but as it is trapped below tissue no little grains of sand fall off when you are stitching it. I think for this technique you could even use a little sand mixed into a soft gel medium to get the same effect. I painted the tissue with metallic paint then sprayed on various mica sprays (Moon Shadow mists) to highlight the raised areas. It was difficult to photograph but you get the idea anyway.

Thanks for looking and see you again soon. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Natural dyeing and basketry.

I have been quite busy lately creating new work from the things I have learned at my textile group. We did a workshop on dyeing fabric using items from around the home. In particular we used some fruits, vegetables, spices and plants. We dyed small pieces of fabric in each pot so we had a sample of the colors you could get. After I got home I realized it didn't appeal to me so I decided to use my samples in a couple of textiles for my journal because I didn't want to keep them for reference. 

I was inspired to do this pattern by my daughter. She used it to paint pretty triangles on her studio wall. I did it as a patchwork. Some of the fabrics here were dyed with turmeric, flowers and eucalyptus plants. I added gold thread for interest.

This pattern was inspired by a quilt pattern I saw. I am did not worry about matching up seams properly because it is small (letter size) and only for my journal.  I used a simple running stitch as an accent. The fabrics here were dyed with blueberries, cochineal beetles and plants.

My final piece from the dyed fabric samples was inspired by a japanese quilt I saw pictures of. I used the circle spiral design but then chose to add a quote. I accented it with a simple running stitch in a circular pattern.

Last month we learned basket making using paper. It is the same traditional techniques as cane basket making but we used paper rolls in place of the cane. There is a great video on Youtube that has the same technique we learned using newspaper.

This first one is what I did at the workshop. The paper used was an old catalogue from junk mail. I painted the rim after I got it messed up so you could paint over the whole thing if you wanted. I liked the colors so I left it plain.  

I was curious what papers would work for this technique so I decided to do another. I use white copy paper and some brown paper that was on a roll from the office supply store. The brown paper was thin like the catalogue and worked really well. The copy paper was a little thick and hard to work with. I also experimented with the shape to see how easy it was to bring the sides in and out. I like the way it turned out and think the brown paper almost looks like cane. I have varnished both baskets and now they are extremely solid. It surprised me how strong they are, even before I put the varnish on.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Monotype printing on fabric

I was playing with mono printing on fabric recently and decided to use the images to make journal pages like I do in my art journal. I used stitching in place of the doodles I would normally do but then still added quotes as I love to do. I used any fabric paint I could find in the colors I needed. Some were Lumieres, and others were Jaquard fabric paints.

This was my first mono print using a girl stencil I made some time ago. When it was dry I used a swirl stencil to add more pattern. The blue dots are Quality Street chocolate wrappers. When I ironed them under a non stick sheet they wrinkled up into an interesting stiff material that was easy to stitch. A good excuse to eat chocolate in my opinion. I outlined the images with machine stitching and hand stitched the quote.

This mono print was a little more complicated to do. I started with a previously printed piece of fabric and did the mono prints on top of that. The trees and top section were done first then I put more paint on the printing plate and used torn paper to mask the sections I didn't want to print. I printed each layer separately. It is hard to see with this photo but the quote was hand stitched in two colors for interest. I added a few wools and cottons as well.

When I do mono printing I usually get two prints. The first one is printed normally then after I removed the masks from the plate I spritz it with water and do another print on different fabric. This time I used plain white fabric and the colors are much brighter. I decorated with hand embroidery and stamped words this time.

The center of this wall hanging is the second print I got when I did the landscape above. I liked it so much I decided to make this art quilt. After the quilting, some of the patterns didn't stand out enough so I used paint to extend the central image and high light the quilting. I also used stencils on this one to do extra circles and some scrolls.

I made the branch using gold wire for the leaves. I covered it with fabric strips but it didn't look like a branch so I wrapped strips of brown painted Lutrador over the top of the fabric and used a heat gun to melt it and make it look like bark. The gold leaves became almost invisible against the wall so I used alcohol ink to make them darker.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Embellisher machine...ooh what fun!

 I recently bought an embellisher machine. I didn't think I needed one but after seeing what other people in our textile group were making I wanted one. I got a Babylock machine and it is great fun to use. I love that it is so easy to operate and experiment with.
What does it do? Instead of sewing it punches fabrics together like felting. It doesn't have any threads so there is no tangling and once you have finished you can add any decoration you like.

 This page for my fabric journal shows the first few experiments I did. The top left is a piece of felt with some wool roving added, then I started to experiment and see what else I could stick on there so I added knitting wools and ribbons. Later on I added hand embroidery. The one below it is the same but I used organza to make a blue sky. The top right purple piece was an experiment with a variety of fabrics to see what would stick down. Anything thin was easy to embellish. The dragonfly was done later with puff paint.

Next I wanted to try a project so I went through my magazines and found this one in an old Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It has some painted fusible web and cutout felt circles. I added a few gold charms that are actually part of a necklace I no longer need.

A couple of weeks ago I did an embellisher workshop at my textile group. We did the same sort of landscape that I had done with my experiments. I wasn't too impressed with my piece when I got home so I cut it in half. This side I added some more wool in the sky area and used machine embroidery to add a lot more detail. It is much more appealing to me now.

This side of the embellished piece was done differently. I embellished on some organza to make the sky bluer then added a few clouds. I put more color into the ground and blended the landscape more. When I was happy with that I added hand embroidery. I like this side the best. Sometimes when I do workshops I find I don't always like what I do. When that happens I sleep on it and usually make changes the next day. I don't see the point in hanging on to something if you don't like it. Either give it away or change it. There is no rule in art that says you can't erase/undo your art. You are the boss.

This final piece from the embellisher workshop is various types of fabric (mainly silks and chiffon) stuck to a piece of felt. It was great to try lots of different things to see what would work. I didn't like the thicker silks like Dupion. Later on I added machine embroidery, a few braids and cords then hand stitching. I have made it into a book cover to fit one of my art journals. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A fabric art journal

 Since I rediscovered my love of textiles recently I have been trying out a lot of new to me techniques. I don't have much free wall space in my house (does any artist?) so I make the projects letter size so I can put them together into a fabric book like an art journal for textiles. That way I can put them on a book shelf and they take up much less room. Later in the year I will show how I put it together but in the meantime here are some of the pages I have already completed.

 I was lucky enough to be given a large box of embroidery thread recently so I did a couple of tapestry canvas pages to use up some of the thread. This one has a few charms attached. They came from old earrings my daughter was going to throw away.

  This second canvas I did was an experiment of different tapestry stitches. I used an embroidery book to find them. I also added a bit of metallic thread this time.

 I recently came across zipper felt art on the Internet so decided I wanted to try it. There are lots of different ways of doing it. This was my first experiment and the dress zip was glued to the felt then I hand stitched it to make it more secure. I added embroidery and a tiny bit of quilting. This will be the cover of my journal when I make it.

This was my second experiment using a jeans zip for the flower and a thinner dress zip for the leaves. It was harder to bend the jeans zip and I probably won't use one again. The dress zip was about 4mm across the teeth, the jeans zip about 6mm. Again I glued and stitched it.

 My final piece of zipper felt art was a new name tag that I can wear to the textile group meetings. I had bought instructions from the inventor of this technique but it used a lot of hot glue so I chose to do it my way instead because I don't like using hot glue and getting it all over the place.

I cut the felt out in the shape I wanted then just hand stitched the zip to it. You can see  how I just stitched between each of the teeth. It didn't take long and has held together nicely. I did add an extra piece of felt on the back so I could stitch on the brooch backing.

My final share today is these whimsical birds I made. They come from one of the lessons for the latest issue of Workshop on the Web. I was happy I got to use these giant cotton reels I bought some time ago.