Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scenic Sunday

Today I dabbled in some dimensional appliqué.   The first section is about using raw edge fabric pieces. 


I fused two fabrics together and cut out some simple shapes.  Because the fabrics have been fused, it’s not necessary to stitch down the edges.   I just stitched a center for the flowers and that secured all three layers to the background.

P1290003 I was surprised at how much I like how this turned out.  Quick and easy, but the additional layers really make the piece interesting.  This technique may need to go in my bag of “go-to” tricks!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January and Chinese New Year

This month when the Chinese New Year arrived, we entered the Year of the Dragon.  So the theme for Stitchin’ Fingers’ postcard swap was – what else? – dragons!

P1180003I made this one for Heike in Germany.   I spray painted the background muslin with blue, using cloud shaped templates as a resist.  Then I cut applique pieces from fabric – including a metalic fabric for her chest and tail – and did free-motion thread sketching to add details.  The final touch was beads for her eyes, and some metal foil claws.


And this is the card I received from Heike.  She also did thread sketching and included a scrap of newspaper from a trip she made to China.  How cool is that? 

This was Heike’s first postcard exchange.  I think she should keep up the good work, don’t you?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday WOW – January 25

Almost the end of January.  I’m finally starting to get back into the normal groove and working on a few small projects.


This one involves paper piecing which always such a mess!  I’ll be picking up tiny bits of paper for a week!!


I really like how this is looking, though.  I guess it’s worth all the mess, especially if the final product turns out the way I expect.  Besides, isn’t that why we have vacuum cleaners?

Monday, January 23, 2012

About Silent Sunday

OK, so the Sunday experiment didn’t happen this week.  In fact, I didn’t get into the basement all weekend.  Bummer!

Saturday was a good thing, though.  I went to doll club and we made these:


We took inspiration from the book “Stupid Sock Creatures” and had all kinds of fun.  I always have a good time – almost too much – and come home exhausted!

I scored some new stuff for my stash, too!


I love those peacock lace motifs!  Not sure what I’ll do with them, but for now I just like looking at them!

The weekend took a side trip when we made a run to the local emergency room Saturday evening.  No big deal (we seem to spend a lot of time there . . . all the ER nurses know us by first name!!), but we didn’t get home until 2am.  It’s been an awful long time since I stayed out late on a Saturday night.  It’s a lot harder now!

So, of course, I slept late on Sunday.  And gave the pugs some extra lap time as well.  It was a nice day, so we decided to take the camera for a ride.  We have the most well-traveled camera around.  It doesn’t take any pictures, but it goes for lots of rides!  Before I knew it, Sunday was almost over!

So there’s my excuse for why my homework Sunday Stuff didn’t get done.  I hope to be back in the groove next week and back on schedule.  At least I will really try!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday WOW – January 18

Today it’s not so much what’s on the worktable as where is the worktable!  I am amazed at how busy I’ve been with so little to show for it!  LOL!  Except for a lot of half-done projects, that is.


This doesn’t look so bad, I know.  What you can’t see is that I shoved everything over to the ends to work on a postcard this afternoon.  Good thing it’s a sturdy table or the ends would break off!

The postcard got done, though, and it heads off to Germany tomorrow.  The theme is dragons, in case you wondered.


This is the cutting table . . . and there’s no room for cutting!  See the octopus?  Looks a lot like it did the last time I showed it, doesn’t it?  Oh boy, I have got to get more organized (she said distractedly).  LOL!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stylish Sunday

Here we are with another fun Sunday experiment.  Today, I played with Tyvek.  Tyvek is a plastic fabric that is pretty durable and is used for everything from protective clothing to insulation.  You’ve seen it in those big envelopes the US Post Office sells (probably Post Offices around the world, too).  Any time I receive items in a Tyvek envelope, I put it away for later.


I like to paint it with Lumiere paints.  They have a shine to them that is emphasized when you apply heat.  Also, you do want to use a paint that is non-toxic when heated.  Because heat is what makes Tyvek so much fun. 


I cut that painted piece into strips and rolled them on a wooden skewer.  After wrapping and tying with a silver metallic thread, I hit it with a heat gun.


And got these!  See how the gold in the paint pooled together and got all shiny?  The layers all melt together and the edges curl and twist, so each bead is unique.


To try a different approach, I layered a piece of Tyvek with a piece of fabric and stitched this shape.  By filling the shapes with stitches, I hope to get some interested texture.


I applied heat to the Tyvek side.  You can see where the Tyvek curled up at the edges and melted between the stitches.


Here is how it looked from the right side.  One thing I’ve noticed is that Tyvek tends to curl toward your heat source.  Something to remember if you’re looking for a specific result.


I cut some leaf shapes and slashed toward the center before stitching them down to the background (forgot to take a picture of that.  Sorry!) before applying the heat gun again.


When I put all the elements together, this is the end result.  It’s very organic and truly unique!  It’s always interesting to see how the Tyvek reacts.  I’ve used an iron (just hover, don’t actually touch the material) and sometimes you get bubble like structures.  Sometimes you can control the reaction with stitching or slashing, but mostly each attempt is a surprise.

Today was a good day . . . I got to make a mess with paints, and then play with fire!  Er, well, I guess a heat gun doesn’t count, does it?  But I did get some free motion stitching in, too, so lots of fun was had by all!  Um, just me, that is!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Year in Review

I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers have posted photo montages of their accomplishments in 2011.  Of course, most of those “review” posts were done on January 1 or very close to it.  But, I’ve been running to catch up all my life, so I figure mid-January is “on time” for me!  LOL!

2011 quilts

Apparently, 2011 was the Year of the Quilts for me.  A year ago I don’t think I would have considered myself a quilter, but looking at these photos it looks like that is what I am!

2011 projects

It’s funny that I mostly consider myself a dollmaker, but there have been only two dolls this past year.  I spent a lot of time dabbling in art journaling, and of course a lot of swaps.  This collection doesn’t include postcards since I have already done reviews of them here and here.

2011 embellishing

The most productive part of my year, however, has been the Sunday experiments.  This is a pretty impressive collection of small art.  It’s been a lot of fun and very educational.  And the best part is that I will continue them through 2012!

It’s good to take a quiet moment for reflection.  It not only helps determine how you want to go forward, but it can surprise you with just how much you can accomplish!

Oh boy!  I can’t wait to see what I get into next!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday WOW – January 11

I did have some errands this morning, but found a little time to sew this afternoon.  Aaaah!  It certainly feels good to be in front of the sewing machine!


This is what I was working on.  Not a lot got done, but it’s a good, solid beginning!


A little closer look.  There are eight of these to piece, and then they get made into blocks.  The green is so refreshing, especially on a day like today . . . windy and COLD!  I think winter has finally arrived in Kansas!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shimmery Sunday

It’s Sunday and I’m baaaack!  If you’ve just joined us – or you’d like a reminder (always nice to refresh the old memory), on Sundays I take some time to work with a technique from this book:


We’ve covered a lot of ground already, but there’s lots more fun things to do.  Today, I tried metal foiling.


The first thing I wanted to test was different types of glue.  This picture shows some of my trial runs – 3 different glues and a double-sided tape.  With some practice I think all of the glues would work, but I liked Grrrip best and used it for my “real” work.  It’s fluid enough to be easy to work with, yet dries to a tacky state very quickly.  I’m NO good at waiting for something to dry!


I used gold foil to accent one of the rust dyed pieces from earlier.  The artificial light changes colors a bit, but you can really see the sparkle of the foil.  The red orange piece on the left has a strip of the tape foiled with copper.


Then I pulled this piece out from my past experiments.  Using the glue I drew the outline of a pear in the lower left corner and foiled it with copper.  Then I tacked down a piece of the free motion thread lace, also from a previous experiment.  You can’t really see much foil in this shot . . . which is what I intended.  Yes, I really did do that on purpose!


OK – here’s a closeup.  You can actually see the sparkle here, although it’s kind of hard to figure out what the shape is.  Pretty subtle, huh?  Believe me it’s sooo pretty in real life!

So, a pretty satisfactory afternoon’s work.  Next week I’ll be working with one of my favorite materials, but one I haven’t played with in quite a while.  Can’t wait!!!  Be sure to come back next week, won’t you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday WOW – January 4

Ah, a new year and a new WOW – What’s On the Worktable.  Unfortunately, I had appointments in the city today so there wasn’t any worktable time.  I did a little planning, though (OMG! That’s a 4-letter word if I ever saw one!), and took some pictures yesterday.

Actually, what I’m working on at the moment is to move this:


into these:


and other organizational, sorting, labeling, etc. locations.

Don’t fret, though.  There has been some creativity going on.


I finished the cross-stitch dragon and it is mounted and glue should be dry by now.  It’s going on a box top.  I will get some better pictures to show when everything is done.

I’m looking forward to spending some serious time at the worktable real soon now.  I just need to make out my priorities.  Let’s see . . . 1) Create 2) Sort 3) Create 4) Bills 5) Create . . . .

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Catching Up

Oh my, it’s the new year already!  I probably should be thinking about goals for 2012, but I can’t seem to get at it yet.  I think there are some pieces of 2011 still laying around and I need to clean them up.

So today I am catching you up on my postcard exchanges.  There’s a good six months’ worth that I’ve not shared for some reason.  Good grief! 


For July, I did this card representing the Princess and the Pea.  I thought the theme was Fairy tales, when, in fact it was Nursery Rhymes!  We decided that was close enough.


I received this cute black sheep from Linda.  She made his wool by stitching tightly packed bullion stitches.  It’s amazing!


The August theme was “Snippets” and I created this bouquet from tiny bits of fabric and embroidery.


I received this card from Patricia.  The Kanzashi flower can be removed, but I really like it where it is.


I took a break in September, but then did this piece for the October “autumn” theme.  If you’ve followed my Sunday posts, you might recognize the fiber etching technique I used here.



Lorraine sent me these two cards a bit late for October.  The top one for “autumn” and the Santa card as a thank you for my patience.   You can just see some of the puffy paint she used.  Pretty cool!

PB230005November’s theme was “Hands: A Crafter’s Favorite Tool”.  I traced around my hand and scanned it into the computer so I could make different sizes.

PC130001  It looks like Shelley did the same thing – or close to it – for this card that she sent me.


December’s theme – of course – was the holidays.  I had some fabric with these homespun angels which I cut out and stitched to the card along with a few hand stitched snowflakes.  (Sorry about the fuzzy picture.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?)


And I received an angel in return!  Mary Lou embroidered this funny little angel with her snowman friend.  Very cute.

And that brings us up to date and to the end of 2011’s postcards.  I enjoy these swaps quite a bit.  There is always interesting discussion when we choose a theme and I have lots of fun choosing how to interpret it as well as seeing how my partner will interpret too. 

I’ve already signed on for a birthday exchange in 2012 and the January theme.  I really will try harder to post about the postcards more often.  The key word here is try!  LOL!

With the holidays behind us, and my family issues settled – mostly – I can return to my routine and get into the workroom.  Next Sunday I will resume posts about working through the Fabric Embellishing book, so come back and see what happens!