Monday, January 26, 2009

#19 0f 52 Projects

#19. One of the rules for creating a project is that a piece can’t be thrown out once it’s started. I nearly broke that rule during the creation of this one. Components: Needle punched roving, layers of brown, yellow, and blue that absolutely refused to blend together the way I wanted them to. I took the "what if" approach and ironed on a piece of gold painted wonder-under. Okay, sort of blah, "what if" the wonder-under is heavily distressed with a heat gun? Much better! Some of the blue was unearthed and the piece came to life. The black strip on the left is needle punched and distressed black kunin , a scrap left over from #12 . I seem to be in love with the dozen black painted foam hearts that were adhered onto the distressed felt. The three lines of satin stitching and edge stitching made the piece wonky so I took an iron to the piece which not only toned down the gold wonder-under but made the piece more cohesive. Who knew that heat would blend the layers so well?

Learned: Wonder-under can save a disaster!

Quote: Life is for most of a continuous process of getting used to things we hadn't expected.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

#18 of 52 projects

#18 This one sort of reminds me of # 11, a bit craggy. Components: Armed with Elmer’s washable glue that I used for #16 & 17 shapes and dots were randomly applied to a piece of canvas fabric. The resist was allowed to dry. A wash of red fabric paint was applied and before it was dry a spritz of Quink Ink created some interesting marks. Once the fabric was dry it was rinsed in cold water to remove the glue resist and sadly some of the red color disappeared along with resist and needed to be touched up. Scraps of fabric were sewn on.

Learned: Elmer’s washable glue as a “simple” resist has some possibilities. Heat set the fabric paint "a lot" before washing out the glue resist.

Quote: There is something to be said about this immediate, spontaneous way of working, and that is this: in such moments, one is playing at the game of creation. Henry Miller

Friday, January 23, 2009

Southwest Arts Festival

The sky as we were leaving the arts festival at the Polo Grounds in Indio was amazing! Palm trees, to me at least, look their best as silhouettes.

I'm the proud owner of a Giclee print of the Wild Horses. It's a monotype print that was enhanced with oil pastels. The artist, Carolyn Counnas at: is to the left of her work. And, yes, we did buy some of the incredible Almond Toffee in the background just behind Carolyn.

The quality of the print is much better in person. I have a "thing" for horses, though, I've never had a yen to own one, but I'm deeply moved by them and this one shouted at me from across the aisle and the price was right! I can only imagine what the original, twice as large as the one in her booth, looks like; must be incredible.
What a day for an arts festival, not too hot, no wind, and the expected rain didn't happen. I feel energized and inspired. I always thought that Julia Cameron was right when she said that Artist's Dates are important. Seeing work up close and talking to the artists is definitely an excellent way to spend a day. (we had a new caregiver for mom and Stacy, which makes the hours spent away from home stress-free.)

Quote: A time of change has created a time for action. Get ready. Sally Huss (printed in the local paper the day after the inauguration.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

In the studio- glue resist

What does one do when something interesting happens on freezer paper? Make a mono-print. Thanks to Elis Cooke for the idea. While rummaging through a box of woodies looking for a heart shape that I never found, I placed a small frame on the work bench and viola! Instant painting. I had no idea how to preserve the tiny 3x4 inch print until I read the Jan 5th entry. Along time ago I did do something like this, by accident, but had forgotten how marvelous gel medium is.

Did I mention that I'm in love with Elmer's washable clear glue? The purple one probably needs more work, but until I figure out what I've left it alone. The one below is an attempt to recreate the gesso, quink ink, clear glue technique from yesterdays post. This time I painted some gesso onto canvas fabric and didn't texture it, sprayed on some Quink ink and allowed it to dry. The writing was done with clear glue and once dry color washes of fabric paint were applied. I lightly removed the glue leaving some of the brownish texture glue to give the piece more texture.

Quote: Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be. ~
Marsha Petrie

Note: The images maybe out of order. The framed piece is the freezer paper print lift, the purple one is the first glue print and the purple, yellow, and green is the last one mentioned. So, if there aren't 3 pieces displayed click on the subject line . . .

Friday, January 16, 2009

#16-17 of 52 projects and more

I couldn't find my blog, odd, so I googled it and discovered this: who knew that I was mentioned much less discovered by someone who thought my blog worthy or not of a mention. I'm touched - I think?
Speaking of discovering things, Elmer's washable clear glue is my new love!!! The above piece started out as a dreary gesso/quink ink one posted a few days ago.

#16 Components: badly composed gesso painted canvas fabric with Quink Ink over wash. Elmer’s washable clear glue was used as a resist allowed to nearly dry. (The grey and brown lines) Turquoise, red, and ochre fabric paint was layered on and allowed to dry. The piece was then soaked in cold water to soften the glue resist and with a little scrubbing most of it came off. If I had scrubbed of what looks like brown ink I don’t think the piece would have worked as well. Quink Ink, black, has a mind of its own meaning you never know what color it might become when applied over gesso.

Learned: After a few attempts of applying Quink Ink, aka calligraphy ink, I don’t think I’m going to be successful with this technique. From experience I’ve concluded that often the originator of a technique owns it and those of us trying to follow directions won’t even come close! It could be due to a lot of variables such as fabric, types of paint, water mixed with the ink, the way one holds ones mouth or even the moon! The fact that I was able to end up with a couple of interesting pieces after playing with gesso and ink (for what became the first layer) sort of makes me wonder if I’ve created a way of working with layers that only I can do.

#17 Components: another badly composed gesso painted canvas fabric. Elmer’s washable clear glue was once again used as a resist. I used violet and ochre fabric paint on this one. Only enough of the glue resist was removed with cold water to allow the black/brown lines to show; if I’d removed all of the resist the lines would have all gone grey. I’m doubtful that I can repeat this effect again.
A postcard piece that should have been in the mail! Components: Elmer's washable clear glue, Golden Fluid paint in yellow, purple(that turned brownish when it was painted over the still wet yellow, nice!), and turquoise. A red heart shaped button was painted purple and highlighted with Gold Treasure. I decided to not wash out the glue; it added some texture so I merely touched it up with white crayon.
Learned: buy lots of cheap buttons and paint them!!

Quote:All glory comes from daring to begin. Eugene F. Ware

Thursday, January 15, 2009

#15 of 52 projects

#15 Components: Heart cut out of dragon/flame fabric (the same print used for Puft Heart #2) and appliqu├ęd along with a scrap onto red felt. The fabric scrap landed on the floor in the exact shape I ended up using. Embellishment is foam heart painted black with highlights of Gold Treasure. This piece didn’t come to life until it was edge stitched with black thread.

Learned: Applique is not only fun but can create an elegant statement. Tip: paint any pre-cut foam shape with acrylic paint, this tones down the bright colors they often come in.

Quote: The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings. Dave Weinbaum

Monday, January 12, 2009

#14 of 52 projects

Catching up with the 52 projects. This should be week #18.

Yes, the edge stitching on the right side is even, the scan is wonky! The scanner bed needs some cleaning, well, actually, the protective sheet of plastic that is placed on the scanner bed needs to be replaced.

Components: base fabric is kunin felt. Really ugly tiny remnant of upholstery fabric purchased at WalMart for .38 before they decided to stop selling fabric. (DRAT!!) that I used to cut a heart shape out of. The fabric has yellow, red, and beige stripes and when needle punched from the back the heart became one with the felt, love that effect! The antique key is wrapped in a scrap of blue chiffon that was needle punched onto black felt. When heat blasted the scrap adhered itself around the key.

Learned: For needle punching, on the backside, it doesn't matter what a piece of fabric looks like as long as the colors are pleasing.

Quote: Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~
Maria Robinson

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Gesso on fabric has some possibilities, though, right now all I see is how awful these two experiments are. Reminder to self: the first time trying something isn't always a success.

In Maggie Grey's new book, "Textile Translations," you'll find the instructions on how she uses gesso on vilene/pellon with a variety of paints and ink. I used a thick canvas fabric, medium thickness gesso, and Quink ink. (I found the Quink ink at Staples in their art supply section.) The ink was sprayed on before the gesso dried and while not evident in this scan, the ink turned mostly blue.

What did I learn? More texture is needed, maybe a heavier gesso. Hearts need to be larger or worked into the design. Try using 3:1 ratio of Quink ink, not the other way around. Try Pellon instead of canvas fabric. Idea: maybe these pieces can be incorporated into a larger piece?

And so it goes . . .
Quote: One kind word can warm three winter months. ~
Japanese proverb

Lucky #13 of 52 projects

This one started out as a scrap piece of mono-printed cotton fabric that was done last spring. Being a hoarder of everything does have its advantages. I have a nice collection of old keys that I've been fortunate enough to get from ebay. Why do keys and hearts go together? The key to my heart? After searching for way too long through containers I only found 3 heart rubber stamps, one of them of them being the postage one I used on this 4.6 inch postcard. I could have sworn that I had more hearts.

The heart series, at least for the time being, helps me concentrate on experimenting rather than trying to come up with a motif or design element. I've wanted to explore more ways to use gesso and play more with the embellisher and sewing machine so until at least February the heart series will continue.

I've been collecting a few links for inspiration and I think you can see them here: hearts galore. (Note: If you're a member of my yahoo group you'll find them in the links section.) Leave me a comment if you know about other sites and I'll add them.

Quote: Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail. ~ proverb

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Puft Heart #2 and #12 of 52 projects

Often a piece of fabric screams at me to buy it even though I have no idea what I might do with it. Dragons and flames aren't my thing, but the richness of the colors definitely screamed at me. I cut out a heart shape and behold, instant design! Components for Puft Heart #2: Dimensional paint outlines, novelty yarn and a blue gem.

I'm about 6 weeks behind with the 52 projects; good thing it's at the beginning of the project, I just might be able to catch up. #12 may not appear to have much going on, but it took an entire day to create. Components: Blue shear polyester was first needle-punched onto black felt providing great texture for blue painted hearts in 3 colors of acrylic paint. Then the piece was blasted with a heat gun in the hopes the felt and polyester would melt, it did. Red felt backing, lots of red machine stitching and a twisted copper wire heart with a bead finished this 4x6 inch piece. (click photos to enlarge)

Quote: When joy plays hide-and-seek, keep looking. Another fab from Sally Huss

Friday, January 09, 2009

Day Trip and Heart Theme

A virus struck! While I had a "light" version of the monster that is making the rounds it certainly wasn't the plan I had for starting 2009 .The plan also didn't include the window that exploded in the front bathroom or battling with Social Security. She, being me, is searching for signs of peace, the chosen word for 2009. Creating hearts, a soothing shape to work with, is providing a fun challenge with a bit of diversion. Who doesn't need diversion from problem-solving the endless tedious daily things that require patience and time? I know that when I get hysterical about making phone calls or collecting information for Social Security that the peace I seek has escaped me once again. Reminder to self: problems that seem monumental today will only be a minor irritation tomorrow. Breathe!

The puft heart (a made-up name) began its life as a piece of needle punched fabric that was used for one of the 52 projects. A little free-form stitching, paint dyed cheesecloth, a metal embellishment from a thrift store, polyester stuffing and voila! Puft Heart.

A day-trip to the Palm Springs Museum two days ago was well worth the drive across the desert. Horses! While I don't have the urge to own one they move me beyond words. I've seen photos of driftwood horses but to see one in person - WOW! Sadly, it was difficult to take a really good photo of this beauty. I've often complained about the placement of art when it comes to photographing a piece; too much background clutter doesn't make for a pleasing shot, but then the viewer isn't supposed to photograph artwork other than to make a personal record of it . . .

Quote: From Sally Huss, who else? The best year is the one we are creating.