Thursday, January 12, 2012

Me and Thou and A Can of Spray Paint

I don’t know why, but for some reason gorgeous Central Texas weather makes me want to haul out the spray paint. I’m almost out of canvas anyway, and since Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, I decided to go with that theme.

Sorry about the pics; the harsh light outside really bleached them out, and I had too much paint on my hands to mess with the camera much :-)


A cold front is headed our way and it's supposed to be in the 20s in the morning, so it's back to indoor activities! At least I got a little Vitamin D :-)

Oh, and thanks so much for the comments on my poppy-seed heads piece! I'm definitely going to work on darkening those up a little, and maybe adding some shadows.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Opinions Please?

This is a piece that has just sort of come together a little at a time. I think I'm almost finished with it, except now I'm reevaluating whether I like the poppy-seed heads. I like the stitching for the stems, so I'm considering taking the heads off (these are made of wool) and just stitching the outlines of poppy-seed heads in their place. What do you think?

I guess I sort of think the current heads are a little cartoon-like. I would love to have your feedback!

Hey Again, Valentine!

I know it seems like Valentine’s Day is a long way off, but it’s not!
Remember the stencil-painted & stamped fabric from the other day? It’s now a composition notebook cover:

And a couple of business card holders:

Here’s another comp notebook cover for Valentine’s Day:

This one has a strip-pieced heart that I made into a free-standing applique, then stitched to the cover.

I’m trying to become more efficient in how I make these items for my Etsy shop. Right now it’s taking a very long time to create anything, and I think my wage rate works out to about $2/hr.

The good news is, I’m having fun! But now it’s time to get back to work.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hey, Valentine!

Ok, it may seem a little early to be thinking about Valentine’s Day, but I’m working on a few “sweet” things for the Etsy shop. I thought I would share a tutorial with you on a quick and easy way to make your own sweet fabric.

This is a somewhat messy project, so wear gloves if you don’t like paint on your hands. You may get a few smears and spots and drips on your fabric, but that’s the look I was going for. If you want a cleaner effect, try applying the paint with a stencil brush, or use screenprinting techniques.

You’ll need the following supplies:

1. a stencil (mine is a cheap, store-bought stencil)

    2. tacky spray (make sure it’s temporary adhesive, NOT permanent)
    3. white paint (I like the heavy-body paint in a tube, since it’s less likely to run under the edges of the stencil)

      4. a squeegee or a plastic card (you know, a credit card or that ugly old driver’s license you sanded the numbers off of, or that newfangled, plastic room key you “forgot” to give back when you checked out of the hotel)
      5. rubber or foam stamps
      6. a foam brush or sponge

        To get started, make sure your fabric is smooth; iron if necessary.
        Spray the back of the stencil with adhesive and smooth it onto the fabric.

        Run a bead of paint along the edge of your card, then scrape it across the stencil.

        Reposition the stencil and repeat the previous step until you’re happy with the number of stencil prints on the fabric.

        Apply paint to the stamps with a foam brush or sponge, and stamp the fabric randomly or with a pattern of your choice.

        Keep going until you’re happy with your fabric.

        Embellish your fabric even more with fabric pens, foil, fibers, and thread.

        Oh, and don’t forget to use the leftover paint in your art journal.

        or on your “serendipity fabric.”

        Have fun! I’m off to use my “new” fabric in a project.

        Addendum: It occurred to me in the middle of the night that people might wonder whether the heavy-bodied acrylic changes the hand of the fabric. The answer is, absolutely. But I don't really find this to be a problem. Unless I'm making a garment or bed-quilt, it doesn't really matter to me what the hand of the fabric is. I've never had a problem getting a machine needle through painted fabric--and I've stitched paint on canvas. Of course, if you're hand-quilting painted fabric, you'll definitely want to use fabric paints, which will likely be thinner. Just make sure you're stencil is adhered well to the fabric, or go for the "blurry-edged" look!

        Wednesday, January 4, 2012

        New Mexico

        Due to a series of miscommunications and interesting events, we were able to finally take a vacation over Christmas. Last time we took a vacation to Arkansas, there were deadly floods in that state. This time, we went to New Mexico, which just happened to get hit with a freak blizzard. I’m not even going to try to analyze that.

        Anyway, here are some pics from our lovely vacation:

        Roswell, and our 14-yr. old dog Maxine. She loved the snow several years ago in Colorado, and she loved it even more this time. She was like a puppy again!

        The grandson making his first snow angel (coming from Central Texas, we don't see much snow):

        Santa Fe Plaza on Christmas Eve:

        Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis Assisi:

        The grandson caught making a snowball:

        Embroidered boots spied while window-shopping (I know y’all will appreciate these!):

         My son & grandson ready for snowboarding:

        And finally, a walk through the neighborhood near our motel:

        I feel refreshed & recharged, and ready for great things in 2012!

        I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and that 2012 will be a wonderful year for you.