Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tone's been Marbling

Another talented fiber artist and friend, Tone, has been exploring marbling fabric.
I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some of her beautiful leftovers!
Her work is amazing, check out her blog. Thank you Tone!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thank You Nancy!

Nancy, thank you for YOU and your friendship! I am so blessed! Look at the beautiful piece she made for me! I can't believe it! She knows how much I love houses and landscapes...such a sweet gift. :)

Check out her blog to see more of her gorgeous work!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Giraffe for Baby Willis

I found a tutorial on pinterest today and decided to make a small baby shower gift. Only once did I have to rip the seam out because I sewed the ribbons to the inside on the first try. :) Ha.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Heart Stumps

My sister also had a few trees cut down during our visit, and these lovely hearts were brought to light. :)


Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Card Trees

I really enjoyed making these trees with my sister! She had researched the idea and wanted to make something unique to display her Christmas cards. Her tree is painted green and lightly distressed to accent the textured wood grain, and the one with a natural finish is for our mom. Pretty nice considering they are made out of salvaged cedar boards from her neighbor's trash! :)



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Button Flower Bouquet

My sister came over last night for a "sleepover", and after the girls went to bed we stayed up and made this little bouquet. Sweet memories. :) With a little wire, some patience, and a few well chosen buttons...a little bouquet was made!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Carol's Angel

My friend, Carol, brought a little angel to me and asked if I would paint a face on her. Isn't she beautiful? I believe she is made out of a ceiling tile and a wooden banister (with some wire and other scrap wood).
Once the face was finished, I felt like it needed a little something else...so I added a little lace collar to soften her up a bit.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Zentangle ATC

So I tried doing a free motion Zentangle ATC on the machine. Can't really say it was a success...but it was a fun experiment. I sandwiched together a light grey linen napkin and dark grey craft felt in a hoop that fits under my sewing machine foot. Black thread in the top of the machine and white in the bobbin (just to see the stitching on the back). I drew out some of the main shapes with one of those Frixion pens that disappear with heat.

The back became interesting looking as I went...and I remembered that it was possible to "melt away" the craft felt with heat. So I proceeded to finish my zentangle, trying to keep the back trimmed up as neatly as possible.

I pinned it out on some cardboard (so it wouldn't distort the overall shape), and proceeded to "melt" away what I could with the heat gun.
Oops, you can see I got a little carried away and burnt the fabric in a few spots.
To disguise my heat gun enthusiasm, I soaked it in a little tea to even out the brown spots...
...and voila !
So, some things I learned:
1. As you can see, the open patterns made a bolder design when melted.
2. Connected lines did better when melted too...because there was a place to "cling" as it shrank. (See how the dots and Xs look a bit messy?) (Plus they were very tedious to snip after freemotioning...no fun.)
3. The more detailed stitching on the front made the pattern to dense to melt away.
4. I like using the heat gun. :)\
5. It is hard to dig out stitches with the seam ripper on craft felt.
6. I do like the texture, and the "skeleton" feel of it.
7. Next time I might just omit the linen and stack 2 different colors of craft felt with the same color thread in top and bobbin. With a piece of fabric somewhere...but not the whole background...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Free Motion Butterflies

Remember back in August when I used some plastic cupcake toppers to print butterfly shapes onto fabric with thickened dyes? Well, I finally tried free motion stitching on a few of them!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Chipping Paint

Am I the only one who finds this beautiful?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Painted Clothespin Dolls

I painted these little girls a while back with my sister...and apparently they have been hiding in my studio! You can imagine the smile on my face when I was sorting through some things and discovered them. :) They are so happy to see daylight again...and little hands will no doubt take them on some grand, new adventures!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Small Hearts on Canvas

Here are a few little mixed media experiments on 2.5" x 3.5" canvases. Sometimes it's nice to just splash a little color around and not worry about it being a major thing! A wool heart on the left, doodling with sharpies in the middle and a free motion embroidery heart on the right.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Machine Stitched Green Heart

So this heart is the same size and shape of the red one, but it was done in lightning speed. Rather than a lot of hand stitching beforehand, I simply cut a few pieces of a Plymouth yarn called "Passion Nette", tugged a little to distort each one, and then tacked them down to fill in the heart. This yarn reminds me of a fisherman's net with several different types/textures of threads woven together. Remaining holes were then filled in with bits of lace or a few straight stitches. The second picture is after it had been given the free motion machine embroidery treatment. I am auditioning the placement of some threads to couch down or incorporate somehow...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Machine Stitched Red Heart

This heart began with a scattering of chunky threads and hefty embroidery stitches. The remaining area within the heart was then filled with straight, flat stitches. Then it was taken to the machine for some free motion embroidery, and those first textured stitches really pop off the surface now!

This was a fun, new way for me to achieve some interesting texture! While I do really like the result...it took an awfully long time to do all the hand stitching before I could take it to the machine...so I have an idea to try on the next one...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Portrait

Had my portrait drawn today...by a talented little artist! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dyed Fabrics - Part 2

One thing I noticed from my results of the first dyeing day at Nancy's was that my colors were all pretty vibrant. This time I wanted to end up with more muted/faded colors. I do believe I succeeded!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Free Motion Owl

As I continue to practice free motion machine embroidery, the inspiration for this little piece actually came from the artwork on a box of tissues! Come to find out, it was designed by Cori Dantini, and you can read more about it on her blog here.

I couldn't have done it without my disappearing ink pen for this one too! I drew a simple outline of the owl on my fabric, stitched over each line, fused down a few pieces of fabric (which removed my lines too), drew in some more detailed lines, and went back to the machine to finish stitching.

It's amazing what an impact those few little tidbits of fabric make! I've gotta do some more of this! So very fun! :)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Painted Fabrics

Nancy also mixed up some dyes with sodium alginate to have a thicker consistency so we could "paint" them on and experiment with another way to use the dyes.

For these I just dipped the tips of my gloved fingers in the paints and daubed them all over the fabrics.

The mixed up paints actually lasted longer than expected, and I was able to use them for several nights this week after the girls went to bed!

Here I tried washable gel glue and washable gluesticks as a resist with the thickened dyes.

This next one is not my favorite. With the thicker dyes (as paints) I tried using different stamps that were made from wine corks and found objects. The goal was to build up a really interesting piece that could be embellished and stitched later. However, I realized about half way through that I was doing stuff with paint that would have been nicer to do with fabrics/threads. So I quickly finished up with the hopes of salvaging it another time. If some day down the road I create something out of this that is worth looking at...I will make sure to post it's "before" picture for comparison. Did I mention it was not my favorite?

After going through the process of trying to create the piece I had planned and envisioned in my mind, however, I was able to switch gears and dye these...a much better starting point for embroidery in the future.

This was a white, linen shirt that had embroidery all over it. Apparently the embroidery thread was synthetic because it did not dye. I found that out from previous attempts to dye other chunks of it, and so I used the stitching as an easy barrier to paint between the lines. Perhaps a future tea bath to soften all the stark white would help it feel more finished? I'm open to suggestions...
For these little butterflies, I just painted the thickened dyes on little plastic cupcake toppers, and pressed each one straight down on the fabric. What a great start for some little free motion embroidery butterflies!
Lastly, I had been given this whitework embroidery piece (with brown border lines), and decided to turn it into a little aerial garden plan. This is simply step one...and by using the paints instead of just watery dye, I was able to get some variation within the background for each little plot. Imagine layering bits of fabrics and hand stitching and lots more texture on top of texture here...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Wedding Flowers

My husband surprised me with bouquet of flowers similar to the ones I carried down the aisle. :) I so don't deserve him!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dyed Fabrics

Another dyeing day at Nancy's! Yipee! I dyed some scrim (wonderful stuff) with lots of splotchy color so I can feel free to cut it up and play!

This next one is actually a gauze bandage, and when washed it bunches up in a more irregular weave. Super fun texture!

Here are some chenille squares that my friend, Jill, shared for us to experiment with. Again...TEXTURE!!!

Even the wipe up cloths turned out interesting!

This pink table runner was accordion folded and then dipped into different colors on each side to create these alternating lines.

 A couple attempts at shibori dyeing...eek! I think I need more practice!!!