Friday, July 27, 2007

New Projects-Dyed Fabric and Beaded Books!

After finding tons of inspiration and motivation at my Surfce Design group, I have begun to tiptoe into the realm of fabric dyeing. i have held myself back as i thought that there would be a huge amount of supplies and pots and buckets of dyes and mess and such, involved with the whole process. I have come to the realization that it is very possible to dye up small batches of fabric with very limited supplies, without a sea of buckets and pots, and very small quantities of dyes. Oh what fun!!!!
Below you will see my first experiments with sun dyeing using Setacolor Dyes made by Peboe. I used prewashed unbleached muslin and leaves and grasses from the yard to achieve, what I think are, wonderful results!!
This piece was done with yellow and blue dyes ,with rock salt thrown on top. After the piece was thoroughly dried in the sun, the salt was brushed off.
These two pieces were dyed and then laid out on a large piece of plastic covered cardboard. Then I arrainged the leaves and grasses on the wet fabric. I had to move the whole setup around the yard several times in order to follow the sun, at the same time finding spots where the doggies would not trample thru the whole project! Yes , it was a bit of a circus!!!!!

Buddy, the dog, wanted Y'all to know that I had a very able photographic assistant who I relied on heavily to get such excellent shots!! NOT!!!!!

Using these dyed fabrics, I created my Fall Journal page for the upcoming Swap on my Surface Design Group.

This piece began with a personal photograph of some fall leaves. (on the right hand side). I digitally altered the photograph on the computer to give it a watercolour look. Then I printed the image on fabric and added the blue/yellow/ salt fabric to the left. I hand quilted the leaves with metallic and rayon threads, added the beads and was done. I extended the leaves from the photograph onto the blue green side- it is hard to see this in the photograph but it gives a very nice effect when one sees the piece in person. The three leaves at the bottom are glass beads with a frosted finish.

For the back, I used the orange piece of dyed fabric. I decribed my process and added three small brass leaf shaped beads as a finishing touch. This is now ready to be mailed to my swap partner.

The next project is a Journal, Doodle , Treasure keeping Book. It is filled with pages of all sizes and colors and patterns. It is meant to be used for whatever the owner wants. The printed pages can be enhanced by doodles, have a photo glued to them or any little bit or snippet clipped to them. THere are pockets for treasures and blank white pages for old fashioned, serious writing. This is meant to be a fun and crazy, imagination stimulating piece of functioanl art. This whole idea has been totaly explored and advanced by the well known artist Traci Bautista. She has a wonderful book titled, Collage Unleashed, that I refer to over and over again! The binding technique that I used in this piece is also described in her book.

Front cover- paint scrapped over watercolour paper- protective finish added.

An example of some of the inside pages. The book contains three sections (signatures) of about 15 pages each.

More inside pages. The pages wiht diagonal folds in them create pockets for hiding treasures or notes or whatever.

Outside front and back covers with beaded binding and dangles visible. This was such a fun project and it went together very quickly. I love projects that have beading and other "hand work" involved, I find it very restful and calming, never mind portable!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tomatoes, Lillies, African Glass and some art.

I have been very busy lately, doing things other than art! We had a wonderful visit from my brother Peter, his wife Elise, and my nieces, 15 year old Mali and almost eleven Kate. They live in Tanzania and it is a very rare thing to get them all in the same place at the same time, never mind in the States!!! They have a wonderful and exciting life there but it sure is nice to have them at our house on visits! I wish that we could see them more often!!
My brother always brings us wonderful treasures form his travels. This time he graced me with some wonderful hand made glass beads. These beads are extra special as they are made at a Women's cooperative art group from recycled glass bottles. Women are finding themselves as the sole caretakers of multiple families due to the crisis brought on by AIDS. Many women are getting involved in creating wonderful art and thru Fair Trade practices, they are able to support themselves. Peter has promised to send me more of these wonderful beads.

I just love these beads because they are so hand hewn looking! Some of them even look like hearts. The colors are just wonderful as well and will fit beautifully into my favorite color pallette!

I am starting to harvest my tomato crop. We lost a huge Bradford Pear tree on our front lawn last fall, in a big wind storm. the space left behind is in full sun. So i plopped down some pots and planted some MATERS!!! This fall we are going to construct a raised bed on the site so we can have a real veggie garden . Right now Iam fighting with the squirrels for the tomatoes!! I covered the entire site with bird netting and hopefully I will be able to get to at least half of the crop before the darned squirrels!! There are few things that taste as good as a fresh warm tomato just picked from the garden!

I couldn't resist sharing this picture of my lilies. They just keep coming and the color combos don't get much better than this!!

Now for a little bit of art! I have really been struggling with this technique- in fact the whole thing almost ended up thrown in the back of my closet in the "I Give Up PILE!!" One thing that I have re-learned is that I do not like working with fusible web products.

The swap was for 4 post cards for my Surface Design Group and the Title was Perfect Petals. Supposedly I was supposed to be able to iron fresh petals and blossoms between two sheets of fusible web and generate a beautiful arraingment!! yikes- not QUITE!!! I eneded up using already dried hydrangeas from last years garden and I managed to get 4 cards done that i felt were good enought to send out. I probably generated 10-15 cards worth of trash. One can't expect everything to work as advertized nor to love every technique that one tries!!

After doing some bead work and stamping with a hydrangea stamp before adding the flowers things started to come together. When I tried it with the fresh flowers. the heat from the iron changed the colors- to be expected. WHat I did not expect was that the smell would be sooo nasty. It also didn't help that I was having a hot flash at the time-Ya THINK??????

Anyway here they are and I hope that the gals who I am swapping with are happy with them

I am working on more projecta to post on my Etsy store site so I will be posting more art here soon! thanks for stopping by and don't forget to leave me a note to tell me you were here!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Art Treasures in my Mailbox!!

One of the wonderful joys of belonging to internet art groups is the daily trip to the mailbox!! Lately I have been receiving wonderful little "just because" surprises or "thanks for the inspiration " gifts!
Recently, I posted some of my Daylily photos on my Surface Design group web site. I knew that many of my friends there love to garden and they and others are very inspired by our wonderful natural world. I was so very honored to read in the messages that several gals wanted to start an art swap based on and inspired by my photos!!!1 How cool is that???!!!! The girls decided to title the swap, Garden Glories and that the swap would entail constructing little 6x6 inch art quilts. The gal who came up with it all was Paula. She is a watercolour artist as well as a fiber artist and she made a quilt for me in thanks for providing the inspiration!!
Paula painted the lily on watercolour paper and then stitched it onto the fabric background.

Little dragonfly and butterfly charms dangle from the orange ribbons and give wonderful movement to the piece.

What a treasure and what a kindness from a wonderful art friend!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

From Beads to Beautiful Bracelets!!

I am so excited about these bracelets for several reasons. The first reason is that I have actually created a finished product from a component that I have just recently created! This does not happen around here very often!! the second reason for my excitement is that the feedback that i have gotten from family and a dear art friend has been so very positive!!!

The first piece taht I will show you has been created especially for an Art Friend who is about to celelbrate her 10 year Cancer Free Anniversary!!! We are all so excited for her and her family!

The goal was to achieve Pink without being too plain. I wanted to make it hip and Jazzy and unusual!! The pink tube beads with the turquoise ends are the beads that I made and spoke of in the previous post. The other beads have been in my stash for who knows how long, and are all glass.

The next piece is made for my friend Mo, in OK. She is undergoing Chemo for breast cancer right now. The chemo has slaamed hr quite hard but she is hanging in there. So many of my wonderfula rt friends from all over the world are sending her little art surprises to brighten her days. I am sure that she feels the love and the big enveloping warm hugs that we are sending her to support her on this perilous journey. I am so very grateful to have such wonderful friends who would do something like this for aa Art Sister that they don't even know!!!

Here is the bracelet for Mo!!

Mo loves hearts and the colors yellow and red along with pink, so I put them all together and came up with this very happy piece. I really hope that it makes her happy!! It is a double cord design with the cord going thru one of the large tube beads on the far left side. I created all of the cylindrical beads in this piece!

I have also put together several pieces to sell.

This piece I call English Garden , due to the color combo. The purple stone beads are Tourmaline and the whitish stones are Brazilian Opal.
This piece is also part of the English Garden collection. There is so much textrue in each of the beads , that is very hard to capture with the camera. The large beads were created from fabric paper that was made by layering tissue paper, painted paper towels and lace onto muslin. The white weblike patern is the lace. The green round beads are Adventurine, the clear green beads are Green Tourmalines and the clear purple is a Purple Tournmaline.
These beads were made by layering in gold foil to the blue paper with purple ribbons. These are combined with more Purple Tourmalines and then hand made glass beads from my stash.
These beads are some of my favorites! Maybe because the paper that I used for them is /was soooo ugly!! i love making a silk purse out of a sow's ear!!!! I have added large Turquoise nuggetts and some unusual glass beads to highlight the hand made beads!! i might just call the pieces made from this paper my "Ugly" Collection- maybe not!!

These beads were made using paint scrapped paper in coppers, reds and greens. I added in Malachite and Tiger Eye beads with some deep amber glass to highlight the colors. The beads with the gold swirlas are Austrian glass.
I have several Home Shows coming up in several months and I have a feeling that I can probably sell quite a few of these. Some might find their way to my Etsy store as well.
For now, I have to get back to getting ready for company!!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Big Chunky Beads!!!

I have been consumed by bead creation for the past couple of days. I should be readying the house for company and folding laundry, but I couln't stop making these beads!! It was worse than eating ones favorite potato chips, I couldn't make just one!!!! i kept coming up with new color combos and diferent papers to use and metallic threads to add!!!
Most of these were created using scraps of paint scrapped watercolour papers. Some were made with fabric paper.
These were made using fusion papers that I backed with stiff watercolour paper. I am planning to use all of these beads to create jewelry and as embellishments on the binding of books and journals.

As all of these beads are covered with multiple coats of UTEE (resin), it is hard to figure out that they are created from paper. They look and feel like Lampwork glass or pottery, with none of the weight! They are such fabulous fun to make and no one is like another!!!

Ain't ART GRAND!!!


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