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, February 27, 2011

Busy not Blogging!!

     It seems like I have too many things going on (all my own doing, of course), so I try to finish something before putting it on the "waves."  I really need to start showing process not just product.  I'll try.

     Some things I have been working on this week:  gelatin printing; drawing class at Desert Museum; on-line sketchbook class with Jane La Fazio; trying a new technique (appliquing sheer fabric); and organizing an idea about setting up an Etsy shop.  Un huh, my daughters agree--adult-onset ADD.  Anyway, here are a couple of the results:  I'm calling them my Easter Egg gelatin prints.  I don't know what I'll be doing with any of them yet, but I'll leave them up on my design wall until inspiration hits.

     These prints were all made using an inexpensive bouquet of flowers purchased at the grocery store.  I actually wanted a few purple aster-like flowers to sketch for a water-color print and not wanting to waste the rest of the flowers, I decided to tackle another round of gelatin printing.  Next time, I am going to show a step-by-step rundown of the process. I also printed the leaves available in the bouquet, but I'm not happy with the results--not enough texture.  This time of year there aren't many usable leaves available in AZ (or in MI, for that matter!!).

     This (journal cover) is my first real attempt  at appliquing sheer fabric using a pattern (my own drawing) sketched onto tracing paper.  I made several major mistakes!!  First of all, there should be more contrast between the sheer fabric design and the background (I ended up adding some Lumiere paint to enhance the final result);  my individual elements (leaves) need to be larger for more impact, AND, most importantly, I have to be more careful when stitching around the pattern twice--removing the tracing paper took FOREVER.  By the way, this technique is beautifully explained by Deborah Boschert in the new Emag, In Stitches from Quilting Arts Magazine.  I will definitely be using this wonderful application again, hopefully learning from my previous attempt.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Something New

          A few weeks ago, I stopped in an antique mall to browse and ended up walking out with an armful of cool vintage stuff.  My pile included several women's magazines from the early 1900's, old sheet music,  hand-crocheted doilies and lace, old dress patterns from the 40's and 50's, and lots of neat buttons.

       I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my treasures, but after purchasing a new (for me) magazine called SEW Somerset,  "the art of creative sewing with mixed media," I was intriqued and inspired.  Pulling out some fabrics, I  began to play, and ended up using a little bit of each of the items displayed above.   Super FUN!!!!

     This is one of my standard portapads:  an 8x16 inch "mini-quilt," tri-folded around an 8x5 pad of paper and fastened with a magnetic snap.  I printed  my "Old Keys" sketch on a teabag and backed it with Misty Fuse.   After tearing bits and pieces of ephemera from the magazines, sheet music, and dress patterns, I used gel medium to adhere them to the fabric.  I free-motion stitched the whole piece piece together with a pseudo-Greek Key design and added some ribbon and rickrack trim.  Finally two small keys found their places on the front. 

This shows the front and back laid flat and open

        and this is the inside with the right side folded over the pad.

    I also made a journal cover using the same basic materials and process.  (Be sure you click on the photos because they will enlarge to show the details).  Love the creative zing I get when experimenting with new "stuff."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Up and Running at last!!!

     I can't believe that I've been out of touch so long.  Two friends were here from Michigan, and we  went birding to Tucson and parts SE for @ ten days (saw great birds and two "lifers" for me).  During that time my computer died a quiet death, and my wonderful son-in-law, Steve, found me a new one, set it up, and spent a lot of time fine-tuning it to fit my "special needs" (I'm technologically challenged).  Anyway, I'm back, but haven't really started to focus on any new projects or finish any old ones; this seems to happen every time I take a sustained break.

      I am still working with the on-line sketch class (see scone below) and have just started a drawing class at the Desert Museum in Tucson--LOVE IT!!  I'll probably post some of my drawings when I get a bit more accomplished--maybe. . . .

    This assignment was completed early one very crispy morning in the charming little town of Bisbee, AZ.  The scone was delicious, but I had to draw it before eating!!!