Sunday, 22 July 2007

Artist's Muse - Chapter 4 (Challenge 4)

The July challenge for the Artist's Muse group was to take up to 12 different fabrics, cut them into 12" squares, cut these up and place them in a bag, and then place them randomly one by one onto a base fabric that has a fusible web on it. The idea was to let your piece develop as you worked, rather like doodling. I chose a piece of purple velvet for the background, and I 'pushed it up' a bit before I ironed the fusible web on it. There was a large pleat in it when it had cooled, so I pulled this out revealing the purple velvet you see above.
I liked these ridges so I lightly 'foiled' them in places. I decided I needed to cover the plain velvet area, so I needlepunched a piece of chiffon scarf into it. The picture shows the scarf before being punched!
This shows the scarf punched into the velvet and the 'cords' are the hem of the scarf! Thought I might use them, but subsequently changed my mind. I liked the look of the fusible web where I had pulled it and broken it while it was still warm. It reveals a nice contrast of colour.
I then cut up seven different gold nettings and some green organza, put them in a bag, shook them up, tipped them out and spread them over the surface. I then ironed them into the fusible web, using baking parchment to protect it. I then placed black netting/tulle over the piece and ironed again.
By this time I realised I had 'cheated' somewhat, as I had deviated from the original challenge inasmuch as I had not 'covered' my base fabric (it was too textural to hide) and I didn't cut up 12" squares of netting (I didn't need all that to get the effect I wanted). I feel however I have completed the challenge, because I let the piece 'grow' as I played, and doodled with it to so speak!
The picture above shows the piece machine stitched using some zigzag and some free machine stitching. The piece is about 14" x 12" and as I have some more of the same velvet, I reckon it may well make a nice bag, or a book cover (why am I on a book cover kick!?)

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Textile Challenges - July

I belong to a Yahoo Group called Textile Challenges, and this month we were challenged to 'decorate' some thin card tags/labels, that Carol, our Moderator, supplied. This is what I did with mine. First I cut them down to 2" wide! Then I crumpled brown wrapping paper several times, laid it out and ironed fusible web onto one side of it. I then laid out the tags and ironed them to the other side of the fusible web. I cut them out, recut a shape into the top and rounded the bottom edges, then painted the crumpled side with a light coating of gesso. When dry, I painted each tag with acrylic paints, straight from the tube, quite quickly before they dried. I also painted the back of the tags in a similiar manner. When dry I rubbed them over with a Markal/Shiva stick, then with a cloth rubbed my finger over the surface quite hard to rub the wax in as much as I could. I also did this with the backs. Finally, using a sponge brush I painted over the surface with a purple 'ink' made from Procion dye.

This just shows one of the tags, and a back. This was an experiment, and the magic bit for me was when I added the 'ink' last of all. It coloured all the cracks I had made (on purpose of course!) and I was well chuffed with the result.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Pauline's Birthday Book

Two Posts in one day - my goodness, I should get out more!!! However, it is my friend Paul.'s Birthday next week - we were at school together, but have stayed in touch over all those hundreds of years since! I have made this little book for her, influenced very much by Beryl Taylor and her gorgeous book Mixed Media Explorations. The cover is fabric and I have used puff paint (for the first time!) to create the heart shapes. The little book measures 3" x 4".
You can just see the picture of Paul on the first page. There are four pages (eight sides) with something on each side.
The pages are made from 140lb. watercolour paper, that I painted with watercolour washes to mimic the fabric used on the cover. This 3 heart piece is a watersoluble paper pressed into a rubber stamp, then painted when dry.
Paul loves fairies, so I had to include one. The turquoise coloured beads are made with felt, and I've done a bit of stamping too.

Rust Dyeing

This shows the four pieces I have coloured using Mags free tutorial on the Fiber & Stitch on line magazine home page. Mags says the recipe is half a cup of malt vinegar and half a cup of salt. The fabric I used was a peachey/flesh colour and the vinegar was at least five years old! The salt was only about six months old. I dampened the fabrics and wrapped them up individually around a VERY rusty chunky chain (top right) a chain ring (top left) some bits of hand made hinges and a hand made nail (bottom right) and some chain links and a wire from a Champagne cork (bottom left)

I laid them all in old enamel grill pan, poured the vinegar over, melted the salt as best I could with boiling water and poured and spooned (!) this on the fabrics. I then put it all in a thick see'through polythene bag to keep air out and put it in the greenhouse - and promptly forgot about it. Six days or so later I turned them over, some pieces on top of others, then about four days later (last night) I washed them out. I was amazed to see this thick glorious oily coloured stuff on the fabric, but unfortunately it all washed off. Just as well really, as I imagine if it didn't the fabric would have rotted away eventually. It may still do that, but in the meantime I am quite excited with what I achieved. Thanks Mags.!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Nut Cracker Sweetie

Look what I saw from my kitchen window about 4.30pm today. A doormouse, eating the birds' peanuts. Just look at those beautiful black beady eyes. Isn't he such a lovely colour too.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

the Artist's Muse Challenge 3

I was having trouble a week or so back thinking what I could achieve for this challenge. and whilst 'tidying' my various pieces of lace (fawning, drooling and stroking would be better words!) I had a 'what if......' moment, and cut a cotton lace trimmed doily into quarters and placed a quarter in each corner of a piece of Timtex.
A few hours later, and a lot of shifting and cutting of lace pieces, I had the makings of a book
cover, which I then machine stitched into place, cut a calico backing, and zigzagged all around the edge.
At this stage it was all shades of cream and white. I gave both sides a greenish colour wash, then whilst still damp, added various colours to the lacey side, letting the colours run. When it was dry I finished off with a watered down Galactica wash, which dried leaving very subtle glitter over it. It looks and reminds me of fantasy gardens, fairy gardens and make believe.
I will eventually make some appropriate pages and complete the book.
I used to read the book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett to my daughter when she was little, and we both loved it.