About Me

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Michigan/Arizona, United States
I am a textile artist who loves to design fabric by painting, printing, stamping, and manipulating cloth.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Painted Totes

    Last week, I spent my time painting canvas and fashioning the results into totes.  I'm not super happy with the results, but I had fun doing it.  On Sunday, I was up in Carefree, AZ for my younger daughter's birthday, and I took my totes and camera out into the scrub for some pictures:

     I'll probably try to sell these here at the Shopper's Market.  Right now I'm gelatin printing and experimenting with some new techniques.  Also going to try to get back into the habit of blogging more often!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Hidden Mess!!!

     So far, when sharing  my AZ studio space, I've only show photos of my wonderful large room where I spend most of time each my day.  However, I also have a small "wet room"  (actually my laundry) in which there is a "slop" sink and workbench.  This is where I do most of my fabric design--painting, printing, stenciling, etc., and where I can make a BIG MESS and then shut the door.

Painting cactus on canvas to be made into totes.

Another view of the workbench

Slop sink---the real mess which seldom gets cleaned---but is my favorite part of this small room.

     The surface of my washer and dryer is a perfect place to lay out my fabric pieces in so I can work on several things at a time. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Stuff

     Here's a pile of leftovers from previous reorganizating.

     So I made my first (this season) trip to IKEA, and after a few hours of sweating, swearing, cranking  screws and hammering pegs:  BEHOLD the new book unit.  It sits just inside my studio's sliding glass door where I come in from outside, has a handy place for my purse, keys, and sunglasses (I need to find some cool little holders), fits my baskets, holds books, and still has empty spaces waiting to be filled.  Love it.

     For a little additional spiffing, I quickly put together this backrest using a thrift store tablecloth I had picked up last year and a cheap body pillow.  I cut up the cloth and sewed it back together in less than a half hour (just don't look too closely)!  Now it needs a few additional throws. . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Back Again--in Arizona

    Finally settled--almost. . . .  It always takes me a while to get everything (and I mean a lot of stuff that somehow gets stuffed in my car and follows me to AZ) unpacked and stashed away.  I headed west on November 4, arrived on the 6th, and yesterday was the first day I really started doing ART!!!


     I brought sooooo much more stuff with me this year and really had no place to put everything. . . .  (had to make several emergency trips to JoAnn and Michaels for more storage and do a lot of restructuring) but at last, I'm almost functional (at least my worktop is).

Ahhhhh.  Note small stuff box made especially to fit my NeoColor II crayons, Pastels, Grafitint pencils, and various sets of artist ink pens.  Love it!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another Page

     I've been really busy the last few days helping a friend with costumes for her middle-school play, but I did finish another sketched and painted page in my journal:

This is the background printed last week with my Gelli Pad.

And the final result:  I'm not as happy with this one--I think the flowers are too large and too much of the background is covered up. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Journal Page and some more Mipad Covers

    I hadn't journaled for over a month and decided to add a few pages between other projects.  I got out my Gelli Pad (a commercial gelatin plate which is reusable) and prepared it for printing--acrylic paints, texture items, hand-made stamps, brayer. etc.  I also prepped pieces of white fabric, deli-paper, dryer sheets, and my journal.  Because I didn't want my journal pages to be too intense, I did a first pull using the other substrates and used my journal for the second pull--it worked pretty well  (I have lots of plans for the first pull pieces!).

     Here are the first set of journal pages in which you can you can identify the different texture used.  In the evening, I sketched over this background using a Pitt pen, and yesterday I painted my sketch using watered-down acrylics and some dimentional paints.  Really fun!!!

     It seems like I covered up most of the background, but in real life you can see through the painted flowers and find the textures. (Now to magnify the page is a two-step process:  first click on the page--it comes up on a black background; then click on the small print in the lower left-hand corner.  It should appear as before--clearly enlarged.)  I may print this pattern on fabric and use it for something.  Also yesterday, I finished up my prepared Mipad Covers:

     This cover was constructed from a piece of glue-resist fabric (fun to play with),

and another piece of glue-resist--this time open,

and finally, another cover using collaged fabric.  Done!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finished Covers

     Yesterday I took some completed Mipad Covers into the shop and actually remembered to take pictures of them first:

made from the collaged fabric

painted and stamped using a raised wallpaper pattern

and another leafy pattern.

     I have more fabric waiting to be made onto covers, but I'll probably hold off for a while and catch up on other stuff.  Actually, I am taking a trip to Africa in November (before heading  to AZ for the winter), and I really need to spend some time getting organized for both.  I'll keep you "posted."

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Fabric

     Yesterday I worked hard finishing up the printed fabric into pieces ready to be made into covers. 

     Another one with leaves:  I  had carved a new stamp last week and used it over the entire surface.  The backing isn't very impressive--simply leftover paint drops from the "mother" fabric.

     OK.  Another green with leaves.  Hmmmmm.  This one started out with me drawing on the white surface using Elmer's blue school glue (which is water-soluble).  After letting the glue dry thoroughly, I added paint and let it dry again.  Next, I ironed the whole thing to heat set it and then washed it in the machine to remove the glue.  I like the results.  The backing is simply a wash of the same colors. 

     This one is different--collaged scraps of commercial fabric.  These are really fun and easy to create.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Busy, Busy

    For the last several weeks, I have been painting and stamping fabric in preparation for developing a new product--something I am calling Mipad Covers. 

     The leafy green fabric on the left has been "sandwiched" and quilted, while the lighter fabric on the right  has been quilted separately onto a felt backing.  After cutting each into the correct size, they will be fused together to become a well-padded piece ready to be finished.

  And the completed cover.

     This shows the attached velcro strips which holds the flap in place (the scratchy part of the velcro is on the outside and shouldn't ever come in contact with the electronic pad).  I have about five more fabric sets to finish before taking them into the shop.  I'll be back.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More Wine Caddies

,    After rescuing another piece of sheer floral fabric from the bin, I once again spent a lot of time free-motioning--this time with black thread.  Sounds like I'm complaining (?), but I really love the whole process.

     This shows the piece after stitching, cutting, and preparing the edges to become a wine caddie. 

     I added some dots and dashes of black dimentional paint to the flower centers and leaves for more texture (if you click on the photo, you can probably see these better). An old wine bottle helps to enhance the final result--I always display the caddies this way at the shop.

     More completed caddies.  I have one more in the works and then I'll be starting a new set of projects.  No rest for the wicked, as my mother used to say. . . .

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Playing with Old Fabric

     I was digging through a box labeled "sheer scraps" when I happened across a piece that caught my eye.

     I have no idea when or where I acquired this, but I love the flower shapes and the graceful stems flowing across the black background.

     After layering the sheer onto black "suede," batting, and backing, I free-motioned with gold metallic thread across the whole piece.  Unfortunately, the white flowers grayed a bit against the black, so I opened my new package of Lumiere minis and picked a bottle of Pearl White. (Actually, I put down a layer of plain old white craft paint on each flower before adding the Lumiere--this stopped the more expensive stuff from simply sinking into the fabric.)  After everything dried, the texture of the flowers felt like satin!  Yummy.

     And  the completed fabric became a wine caddie for the shop.  I usually try to make quite a few new and different designs of these to be ready for Christmas (more in the planning stages!). 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Journal

     I first sketch/painted a piece of left-over gelatin print (again) using a black Sharpie and various fabric pens.  This time I selected analogous colors that would blend in with the background and not make it muddy (you can best see the original print colors in the large oak leaves).

     I really enjoy this process, especially using leaves.  Notice the sample color dots up in the upper left-hand corner--this really helped me see how the colors would work on the previously-dyed fabric.  After completing the design, I made a quilt sandwich and free-motion stitched with black thread across the whole piece.  Then I constructed the journal as usual:

The front

and the back (notice I included the color dots).  The colors of the whole piece are more intense on the actual fabric.  When I took the photo, there was a shadow on the right half and I had to lighten it with Photoshop, making the final result a bit faded.  Darn.  Oh well, I still had fun creating the design.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And Another!!

     Are you getting bored with boxes?  I'm not--at least not yet (I did make a new journal yesterday which I'll show soon), but the boxes are still way too much fun. 

     First I constructed a piece fabric (Alisa Burke's Sew Wild again!) using torn scraps from my stash--which I don't use much anymore because I paint or dye most of what I need.  The background is old plaid shirting (yikes!) placed atop a piece of craft felt with a bunch of other bits scattered (strategically, of coarse) across the top.  After pinning everything down, I took it to my wonderful Bernina and began sewing.  That was the really exciting part--I simply started free-motion stitching (both zigzag and straight) until every edge was sewn down and every center lightly "quilted."   Love it.

     This time, for my  "collapsible" version, I used 5 individual pieces of fusible interfacing for the sides and bottom.  The photo above shows the box upside down with straps (sewn onto one side and velcroed onto the other) crisscrossing the opening.  The bottom, pictured in the foreground, will simply slip inside and sit on the straps quite securely.  By the way, the inner sides and bottom of the box are covered with a fabric posted earlier.

I also constructed a simple divider using two additional squares.

     And here's the final box.  The whole think can be taken apart and stored (or shipped) flat.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Box

     Ok, I'm hooked.  My mind is boggling with new ideas involving The Box (including a collapsible version that can be shipped or packed away when not in use).  But first I decided to figure out a way to use some of my "finished" wool pieces.

     You might recognize the little squares from a larger example on my previous post.  After cutting the 9 patch out in one piece, I unstitched the remaining pieces and restitched them down on new backgrounds. The blue square will become a pocket.

     Using the same process as before, I ironed the pieces to my fusible interfacing--much trickier because of the wool, cut-out squares, and buttons, and I ended up sewing the 9 patch in place.

     The completed box works perfectly as a holder for "works in progress" (of which I have many!).

     And another view showing the pocket holding my crochet hooks (I'm planning to learn so I can make some of those cunning little flowers in the near future).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My "Sweater" Stash

     Since I've already confessed about my boxes of wool sweater pieces, I decided to haul one out and expose a bit of one of my obsessions:

     This is my "green/turquoise" crate which contains 10 ziplock bags of individual sweaters, many of which were prepped and processed at my daughter's kitchen table during the summer of 2010 (I also used many gallons of her hot water and pulled bags of wool lint from her dryer screen). 

    Having a very small portion of left-brain function,  I cut a swatch from each sweater which I glued and numbered onto a piece of card stock by color.  Unfortunately I have since added to my expanding collection and haven't kept up with the system.  Very typical. . . .

     And the contents of one bag--leftovers, actually, since I've already used quite a lot of this color in several projects.  Hmmmmm, I may have to start hitting the thrift shops again before heading for AZ ( I don't have hot water in my laundry room out there).

And a couple of ways I have used my stash:

     I really love working with felted wool.  It's easy to cut (no fraying). It sews like butter.  The colors blend together in fun ways.  I'm addicted.  I'm also into collecting buttons. . . .