Monday, June 19, 2017

Miniature Landscape

I am going away in a couple of weeks to a week long Art retreat and workshop called Fibres West. One of the things we were asked to bring is a 15 x 15 cm (6 in square) artwork to donate. The idea is that all the donated items will be made available for sale for $15 during the event. It is a great way to raise funds for the next event and also participants get to take home a piece of art that will be a reminder of their time at the retreat.


I decided to make a miniature version of one of my textile landscapes. I am pleased with the way it turned out and will enjoy seeing someone else take it home. The hardest part of being an artist who gives away or sells work occasionally is parting with the pieces that I really like. When that happens I remind myself that my house is already full of stuff and it is a good feeling to let artworks go to a new home where they will be loved.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Creating with paper

I have been trying to keep up with the Colour me Positive art journal challenge this year and so far its working out well. I haven't been good at posting them here but I have been busy. 

 Week 14 - This page uses that crayon technique we all learned as kids. I used a white wax crayon to do the drawing and blue for the writing then sprayed over them with some dye sprays. I used watercolors to fill in the flowers and leaves. It was a quick page. 


Week 15 - This page was using the peeled paint technique on the word life. First you paint your image with acrylic paint then when it is dry you spread on some Vaseline or Aloe Vera gel in a few areas. You paint over the top with more acrylics, trying not to smear the gel underneath. When it is mostly dry wipe off the excess paint to reveal the color underneath. The word balance was done with crackle paint, something I haven't used for years. I like the way it looks on the page so I will probably use it more often now.


Week 16 - I wanted to do a doodle page so I could just sit and draw with the one good arm. It was fun to do but not something I would do often.


Week 17 - This week I wanted to make a 3D page so I used foil tape to make the blue door and embossed card to make the red door. It was a lot of fun doing something completely different. I am using this journal as a way to experiment with different techniques and ideas.

Week 18 - I had fun making a collage using previously printed papers this week. I think this page would make a great textile piece so you may see a similar design in the future.


Week 19 - Another mixed media page. I used embossing and paper piecing to make the background and clock. I did get a little carried away with the spattering but it is hard to stop once you get going.


Week 20 - I wanted to use silhouettes this week so I created a background for them using the insides of business envelopes glued to the page. I used the window for the quote and then used ink to stamp the circles for a grungy look. I used stamps for the flowers but also added drawing with a Pitt pen to add extra stems and grass. It is quite a messy page compared to the majority of my work which tends to be fairly neat. I love trying different styles because it stops artist block creeping in.

Several of these journal pages would be great inspiration for textiles. I can imagine week 14, 18 and 20 as fabric images and maybe some of my earlier pages too. That is one of the reasons I keep journalling, I can work out ideas on paper and use them to plan future textile works.

Everything you do has the potential for further exploration. If you are suffering a little artist's block I suggest you go back through your own work and pick a piece that you can see another idea in. Go ahead and develop your new piece using the old one to inspire you. It may be the technique you used, the colors or how they sit next to each other, the image or the composition. It may even be a piece that you think needs improvement and you want to redo it. Go ahead and get creating.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Making a silk screen with vinyl

A shoulder injury has kept me away from the computer for a while but now I hope it is on the mend. Recently I read an article in an old Quilting Arts magazine about making silk screens using fusible vinyl. It looked interesting and I had some iron-on vinyl so I gave it a go. It was so much fun that now I have made many more screens and some of the prints I did were used in the previous post. Here is a video how to I made explaining how I do it. 


The video can also be seen larger on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/6_mKE5VHXdY 
There are more detailed instructions in the video.

Some of the designs I have made and used
 Step 1. Start with some iron-on vinyl or fusible vinyl. I have two brands here in Australia, Legacy and Thermoweb that I bought at Spotlight fabric store. You also need the screen fabric. You can use silk but any sheer polyester will do. You can't use nylon because it will melt when you iron it. The iron needs to be on the polyester setting to make the glue stick properly.

A large pattern screen, about 15 ins square from strips of vinyl
2. Draw your design on the paper side of the fusible. You do not reverse the design. Cut out your design and stick the vinyl to your fabric. I did several different types of designs but my favorites are the geometric patterns because I think I will use them more often.

I did some gold printing over some rough fabric painting.
This is the one that got dropped when the purple was still wet, oops!
 3. When you have the vinyl placed onto the fabric, iron it on. Don't start with your iron too hot or you could melt your vinyl. That is it. Now you are ready to use the silk screen. Sometimes I put duct tape around the edge of the screen to make it easier for me to handle but that is not necessary.


4. I tried a lot of different paints and screen inks. As long as it is thick and smooth anything will work. I even used tube acrylic paint when I printed onto paper and it worked well. An old credit card worked well for spreading the paint.

  Some card designs I printed as shown in the video.

A close up of the image where I used puff paint for the screen printing.

 This is the lily that was printed with So Soft paints by Decoart. You can see all the bubbles have gone when it dried.

 Printed using Lumiere paints. I will add machine stitching to this one and make it into a journal page later in the year.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017 fabric art journal

I have started making pages for my next fabric art journal. I am going to see what it is like to hand stitch the journal together so I am making the pages bigger than normal. They are about 32 x 31cm (12.5 x 12 inches) large. At the end of the year when I put it together I will make a video as an alternative to the machine stitched journals.


 This is the first page I made. I used a technique from Maggie Grey's Textile Translations book to make the leaf design. Then I did a textile collage using scraps of fabric and other things from my stash. I kept adding bits until I felt it looked good and stitched it down. The plums are from an old cross stitch that I stiffened then cut up. The shiny bit is fusible film (angelina).


 This page has a silk screen printed focal image. I made the silk screen and printed it on white fabric. When it was dry I used fabric paint to add color then finished it off with hand embroidery. I made another collage using odds and ends I had.


This final page is another silk screen printed image and this time I painted it with shiny Lumiere paints. I added machine stitching details on the owl and the background. No hand stitching this time.

I made the silk screens using fusible vinyl. I learned the technique from a Quilting Arts magazine. I will share it with you next post.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A bit more art journaling

Today I am sharing some more Colour me Positive art journal pages.


 Week 9 - I was very busy this week doing textile work so I chose to illustrate the quote very simply. Sometimes I really enjoy spending time on lettering and adding simple images. This one is all pen and watercolors.


 Week 10 - It is a little hard to tell in the photo but this page is furry. It is a velour paper that I had in my scrapbooking stash. I have probably had it for more than 10 years so I decided it needed to be used. It was fun seeing how the twinkling H2Os reacted to the surface but the sparkle doesn't show. I used stamps for the heart patterns but they were a bit pale on the furry background so I went over some of them with pen. I added the stitching when I was finished.


 Week 11 - This page was done using the first tutorial from the Lulu Art design team. Kate Palmer has full instructions here: https://blog.luluart.com.au/2017/02/21/recycled-packaging-art-journal-page/


 Week 12 - This is another page inspired by one of the tutorials at Lulu Art, this time the artist is Dani Choate. Instructions can be found here: https://blog.luluart.com.au/2017/03/21/sunny-days-mixed-media-art-tags/


Week 13 - I used a couple of my art journal idea cards to inspire this page. They were to use coffee to paint with and paint a house. The quote is the one provided by Lulu Art. I used the coffee to paint the doors and windows. I made it fairly thick and was surprised that when it dried it was shiny.

Thanks for looking, next time I have some more textile techniques to share.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Colour me positive

I have been doing a bit of art journaling for the Colour me Positive challenge at Lulu art. The link is in the sidebar if you want to get more details of the challenge. There is a weekly prize offered for one of the people who upload their creations to Facebook.  I have been enjoying doing more art journaling again.


Week 5 - The challenge this week was a funny quote about body image. I chose this quote because I recently lost a lot of weight and body image has been on my mind often. I used small stickers I had painted previously for embellishments over printed papers. It was a very quick page to do. 


 Week 6 - Acrylics for background and underpainting hands, then stamped texture (blue). I used coloured pencils to add the detail to the painted hands and feet.


 Week 7 - I made a patchwork of painted papers for his shell then stitched them together on my machine. The sky was painted then covered with plastic wrap and left to dry to create the texture. The path is painted tissue paper.


 Week 8 - I wanted to add a flap to my page this week so I could show one of my early portraits compared to a newer one. I got a little carried away with the white pen. The two faces were printed photos of previous work that I glued in.

 
This shows the opened page. I used acrylic paint, some rub ons and a lot of white pen.

Monday, February 27, 2017

How I make a fabric art journal

 Today I am sharing the instructions for my fabric art journals. I forgot to take photos as I went along because I was filming for the video so I have a few pictures I saved from the film, sorry about the quality. You will get more detail in the video but this is a quick recap.


I start with a bunch of finished pages. It needs to be an even number of pages.  Use any technique you want to make your pages and finish off the edges neatly. Some methods I used for edges were folding over excess fabric to the back, binding, leaving felt untouched or satin stitch. I like all my pages to be the same size and I make them letter size (A4 metric) because that is easy to handle under my sewing machine.


I place a strip of fabric between the first and second pages. It doesn't matter how wide you make it but I like it to be almost the length of the pages. I match the outer edge of the pages and pin them first then pin the fabric strip in place. Stitch all the way around your two pages to hold the strip in place and connect the first two pages together.


 I place the third page on top then pin the extra piece of fabric strip to it. I add the fourth page and matching up the outer edge again I pin it in place. I stitch all the way around the two new pages and catch in the fabric strip.


 This makes a 4 page signature that is connected by the fabric strip in the middle as you can see here. At this stage it is very sturdy.  Do that to all your pages so they all become grouped together. Next we will make the spine and attach it to all those 4 page signatures.


I stack my pages and measure the width I want the spine to be. I also measure the length of the pages for the length of the spine. I cut that piece out of stiff interfacing (stiffener or vilene etc). I cut a piece of fabric to attach the spine to and also allow some excess fabric that will be inserted into the cover to hold it on.  I fold over the ends for neatness.


I pin the interfacing part of the spine, close to one edge, to the fabric strip connecting the pages of the first signature. I make sure it is pinned straight before I stitch it in place.


 The stitched signature. After the first one is attached I then add the rest, one at a time, making sure I line up the top and bottom edges so the book is square.


 When all the 4 page signatures are attached to the spine the inner part of your book will be complete and all you have to do now is attach a cover to that excess fabric strip.


I pieced my cover together here but usually I do it with one piece of fabric. This shows the interfacing applied to the fabric cover, heavy stiffener front and back but light stiffener on the spine area. I did the cover interfacing the same size as the pages. The cover fabric I measured by wrapping the material around the closed book. Do not open the book flat and take a measurement because it will be too short for the book to close.


I stitched the inside cover, just a plain piece of fabric, right sides together to the cover then folded it out to hide the seams. Here I have folded out one side only so far.


The completed cover with both sides folded out. You can see the inside edge of the inside cover is folded under for neatness.

I pinned the excess fabric from the stack of connected pages between the front and inside covers then stitched it all together. I tried to get the inside cover edge as close as I could to the first page, Leaving just a small gap of the spine showing.

Next I pinned the back excess fabric strip into the pocket between the back cover and inside cover. I stitched that together and then book is finished. At the end of the third video I shared the binding method of attaching a cover. Here are a couple of closeups of that binding.




Fabric art journal videos

I have finally made my fabric art journal videos. In the next post I will put a summary of the technique so it will help refresh your memory after you have watched the videos if you wish to tackle this project. To see the videos a bit larger go to my YouTube channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCks2IH1v5APqojPnmnDA64Q


Video 1 covers the introduction, preparing pages and joining them together.


Video 2 shows how to attach the pages to the spine and getting ready for the cover.

 

Video 3 shows how to attach the cover. I also show an alternative cover with binding. 

I hope you enjoy my first videos. I learned a lot along the way and will probably do more video in the future, with less errors, ha ha. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fun fabric journal pages

These are the final pages for my 2016 art journals. I made so many pages this year that I ended up making two books.


 This page was an experiment using the Prisme paints, inspired by the Workshop on the web lesson I did last year. It is very shiny so it hasn't photographed well. I used a stencil design and painted it with Prisme. When it was fully dry (about 2 weeks) I glued it to felt and used it to make this page. I have also added a couple of left over pieces of the forest floor page I showed in the previous post.


This is another of the Workshop on the web lessons. It is done on canvas and is a mixed media experiment. It is currently my calendar picture for the year so will end up in next years fabric journal. 


This page is a paper collage as inspired by Workshop on the web. I used a lot of paper I had previously printed and stitched it after I glued it to the page.  I added the quote with a permanent marker.


When I used mica spray to change the color of the background the printed surface became sticky so I sprinkled on embossing powder and heat set it. You can see in this closeup how shiny it is.


This is the cover of my second book. It is another one of the workshop on the web lessons and was a very experimental journey, my favorite kind of art. 


My finished books that I will show you how to make next time.