When I bought all the Kunin felt a few weeks ago I also bought some heavy glittery felt. It's really stiff ... nearly like cardboard. I was curious whether it would melt like the lightweight stuff. It does ....
This is a page for a flat stanley-type doll round robin journal (whew, that was a mouthfull!). If you read my earlier post about melting felt you'll remember that I heavily free motion embroidered before I put the heat gun to it. This stuff is so thick that I didn't think I would need to do it. So I just hit it with the heat gun. It melted just as easily as the other felt. It's stiff but you wouldn't use it for clothes or anything anyhow. I had actually thought of using it as a base for ATCs. After I melted the holes I rubbed paint over them. Then I put these beaded patches on - the patches actually have a button on the back so I just slipped it through a hole. Don't try to understand the story ... only Kai, Sandy W., Darla, and Judi A. will get it, LOL.
A while back I posted to all my doll lists that I had a free name tag doll pin pattern availabe here on the blog. Vickie T., who belongs to Friends of Cloth Dolls, made five of them for the nursing home ladies. She accidentally turned the head upside down and decided she liked it that way. I do too.. see what she did with my pattern ....
Aren't these just too cute! They are just ducky! (I know, I know ... pardon the pun).
I found these great little 7"x7" pillows at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday. I succumbed to the impulse shopping display in the checkout aisle, LOL. As you can see, they are beaded and embroidered.
The fabric is a faux velvet of some sort and the back is some type of silky synthetic. Trim on the sides and beading on all the corners. They had them in some great colors - red, purple, blue, and these here. I might have to go back and get a couple more! You couldn't make these for $3.50 each! The doll is Hailey - she's a doll I made in a Patti Culea class back in 2003 or so - hand dyed, lots of fibers, etc. Of course she won't sit on the pillow for long - all my dolls are squished on a shelf. I am nearly out of room to display dolls. So the pillows will be used for shows and bazaars.
When I'm working on a project I tend to block myself into a tight little space. I'm bad at putting things away and I just pile them to the sides until I have no more room for myself to work, LOL. What I wanted to share today is my mirror square. About 10 years ago my husband taught me to etch glass and we used mirror squares to practice on. You used to be able to buy them in boxes of 10 or so from the hardware stores. I still have half a box left. The other day I grabbed one and wrapped all the edges in duct tape (they are beveled but still sharp). You can see it in the photo - with the grid of the shelf reflecting on it. Now I use it as my palette for painting and glueing - I just dump it all on the glass and mix it. When done I wash it off - and if I just let it dry (which is usually the case) then I can just peel it off later and wash off the residue. For the glue I just scrape it off with a razor blade. I suppose you could do the same with a fairly thick sheet of glass too. I pretty much do all my work on top of it now - no more searching for palettes or scraps to pour glue onto. Handy!
I'm still here .. just right now I'm working on something that I can't share pictures of. I went through some old photos to see if there was something I can share but nothing popped out at me. So ... be patient, little grasshoppers ... I'm sure to have something worth reading soon, LOL.
Linda asked me to post photos of a doll with the new lighting set up. So I did a kind of before and after thing. You can see the extra lighting gets rid of nearly all the shadows. I think it might be a bit clearer too. Odessa will be going to live with Linda in Florida. Lucky girl.
Click on the image to enlarge
Today I set up a little photo studio in our spare room. I have been thinking about doing this for a while and I have been collecting the bits and pieces needed to do it for the last couple of months.
I bought a bunch of cheap quilter's cottons to use as backdrops and put a hem in each of them. The curtain rod is hanging on two hooks that you buy to hold the center of really long curtain rods (for drapes). It holds the rod away from the wall about 4". (Cost about $15 for everything) The lights are the cheap clamp on kind and I put daylight bulbs in them (think I paid about $8 each and the lightbulbs were a couple of bucks) My husband built me the little stands to put them on out of 2x2 and 1x2 wood (cost me $5). I had the table, LOL, but I did buy a tripod - most expensive part - cost me $25. So - I have a little over $60 in this. I took a couple of test photos and I don't have the shadows I was getting when I took the pictures on my kitchen table - so I think this will work well. I do think I will need one color background though as I tried a photo with two different colors and it looked like one piece of cloth. I will also have to play around with the angle of lights. I might need an overhead light but I have extra flourescent shop lights and there is a drop ceiling in this room so it will be easy to test it out. But I'm off to a good start! Of course if my daughter ever decides to move back home I'm going to be in trouble!
I find that I never concentrate on one project at a time if I don't have an absolute deadline. I'm always getting sidetracked. It got pretty bad when I discovered I was taking all day to clean the house because I'd take something downstairs and putter in the studio before getting back to cleaning. So I wrote a little test .. you can see if you have CDD!
Do you get sidetracked often when working on projects or even mundane, ordinary things? Then you might have Creative Distraction Disorder (CDD). Take the following test to find out.
1. How long does it take you to clean your house?
A. 2 hours
B. 4 hours
C. All day
D. Who, me? Clean?
2. While you’re cleaning, oh, let’s say, the kitchen how much time do you spend in other rooms?
B. One hour
C. Most of the day
D. I never get back to the kitchen
3. How many new projects do you start while cleaning the kitchen?
D. Too many to count
4. How many projects do you start while working on the project that you started while cleaning the kitchen?
D. Huh? I’m confused.
5. How long would it take you to finish an art project, with an estimated completion time of 4 hours?
A. Two hours
B. Four hours
C. 8 hours
D. Who completes projects?
6. How long does it take you to find a project you started?
A. Right away
B. At least an hour
C. It’s under this, wait, let’s try that, oh, it looks like fun, hmmm
D. All day, I have to clean the area first to find it (Go back to question one)
7. How long does it take you to get supplies together?
A. Right away
B. Not too long
C. Depends on whether I’m gathering fabric
D. Forever, I keep playing with other supplies in with the supplies
Mostly A: You don’t have CDD. You’re probably not much fun either.
Mostly Bs: There’s hope for you yet.
Mostly Cs: You have a moderate case of CDD. Try harder to find things to do other than what you should be doing.
Mostly Ds: You have a severe case of CDD. Congratulations. You may live in squalor but you produce arts, lots and lots of it, in various stages of completion.
Some of everything: You have, umm, be right back … gotta go check on fabric in the dye bath.
I made a huge discovery today! It's a boon for all women and will totally astound you!
Have you ever gotten dressed in the morning and found your clothes didn’t fit? Bet you thought it was you! HA! It was Louella, the dress size fairy. I caught her in my bedroom this morning. She changes your clothing, sometimes shrinking them, sometimes enlarging them, but always leaving the labels alone. Then she hides in a corner and laughs, and laughs, and laughs. I am sorry to say that she got away from me while I was trying to zip up my pants with a pair of pliers. So keep an eye out for her!
I bought a box lot of bisque and porcelain doll parts on eBay for an upcoming project. Unfortunately when they got here a lot of them were smashed. Enough that it made the whole lot unuseable to me. Luckily I had bought insurance on the package so I took them to the post office to file my claim. The post office kept all the parts but they let me take one little broken doll head home. For some reason this little head really speaks to me. I took some photos of her and I made this collage. It is on a 5"x7" canvas panel and is done in acrylics and paper, with an artist-made glass heart and beaded trim.
I'm at it again! I bought a new heat gun today, oh my, oh my, oh my. I had *NO* clue that what I had before was a pale imitation of one. Now I know why my fabric melting experiments never worked out as well as I thought they would. But tonight's experiment was FANTASTIC .. I am *so* happy with it!
The latest Quilting Arts magazine had an article on Stitch and Felt. It was pretty simple and comes out looking stunning so I thought I'd give it a go. The base of the fabric is Kunin felt. I thought Kunin felt was some exotic felt until I went to their web site and realized it's the little squares that you buy in the craft store. I can even find that up here in Alaska! I think you can get it in bigger pieces too. The instructions said to stamp a design with fabric paint - so I stamped some flowers. Then you satin stitch around the edges so you have a border that won't melt away. After that you free motion embroider the piece - really heavily on the flowers and enough to tie it all together elsewhere. Notice the felt is a nice light blue. Until you hit it with the heat gun. Oh boy, that was a blast - the new heat gun withered that felt away - I couldn't believe it. BUT, BUT, BUT .. it stinks and you really need to wear a respirator because it puts off fumes. I need to buy one before I kill myself. Anyhow - isn't the lacy piece awesome? See how the color changed? I love this! I bought 10 pieces of felt today so I can see a lot of practicing. I promise to get a respirator first, okay?
I'm trying something new ...everyone always asks how I make my ATCs. So I thought I'd offer kits that will teach you some of the specialized fabric manipulation techniques that I use on ATCs - or bigger pieces. The kits will include all the items (3 fabrics, timtex, wonder under, gold metal foil, wool felt, fabric/thread/yarn snippets,watercolor paper backing) to make the ATC pictured here. The techniques include free motion embroidery, layering and melting, and sewing on metal. All you need are basic sewing supplies, a sewing machine, an iron, and a heat gun/embossing tool. For only $10.50 you get enough supplies to make two cards and the instructions that will walk you through each step. Shipping within the U.S. is included. **SOLD OUT** THANKS EVERYONE!!!
Ever have one of those days when you just don't like anything you've done? Creatively? Today was one of those days for me - actually it's been two days now that I've felt like this. So I guess I need to back off and not push so hard. I will just play with techniques and not try to *make* something. It's a good time to take out some of my older Quilting Arts magazines and try some of the things in there. Maybe the Muse is on vacation???
Here's #7 ... he's up on eBay .. he's based on a photo in a book of art from the Louvre. The photo is of a piece of a wall decoration from a tomb. All fabric, all the time ...
I have to make a hand drawn/hand painted postcard for a swap I'm in. I tried to do some watercolor landscapes today but they didn't come out very well. Then I tried to draw a rabbit - I couldn't copy the picture worth a darn. I was getting pretty frustrated. But there is one thing that I *can* draw fairly well - faces! So I gave up on the other stuff and fell back on old reliable. So ... here's my postcard.
I drew it in pencil on watercolor paper, then went over the lines with pigma pen. Erased all the pencil lines. Ummm - then I got the paper nice and wet and went at it with the watercolor pencils. When dry I used gel pens for details. Sprayed it with Krylon Workable Fixative when done. I don't know if that was the right thing to use but it should work.
Here is a Free Pattern for you! It's really easy and you can customize this with embellishments to be whatever type of character you want. Mine is made this way because I live in Alaska. Not only can you make a name tag with it but you can change the middle disc to make it a gift or a pin doll. Hope you enjoy it! Here's the photo - click on the words 'free pattern' above to download the pattern. Hopefully you won't lose yours like I did mine. I can't find it anywhere! !*$*#(@!!