Thursday, July 30, 2015

Butterfly Fabric Postcard

I am working on catching up my swaps!! Here is the fabric postcard I created for my One for One July exchange on Trading Fabric Post Cards group.  I just discovered this website as well which explains a bit about the group and how it works.
I have really been enjoying making these postcards.  For this one, I started with some dyed silk which my friend Kate showed us how to do years ago when I lived out east!  It is a fun and easy process and I love the soft watercolour look that I achieved in this piece.  It was just the right size for my postcard so I cut a piece of batting and stitched them together using teal, light pink and dark pink thread in wavy lines across the length of it.  Dug through my stash of little scraps looking for something that worked with the colours and chose these ones.  They were donated to me by my sister after she finished making herself a lovely bag for carting her quilting supplies.  I used a butterfly die (SX) to cut the solid shape out of the lighter fabric and the outline out of the darker fabric.  I stitched the light coloured butterfly down first and then overlaid the dark wings and body which I also stitched into place using dark pink thread.  I did add a bit of watercolour to the body to give it a bit of definition before I stitched it down.  I added antenna using dark brown thread and the flight path was executed with light yellow thread in a couching stitch.  I added some yellow sequins and red Ebeads to the wings for a bit of texture and embellishment.  I fused some interfacing to the back to give it more body and added another layer of fusible webbing before laying my white back over my front and stitching the outer edge leaving a gap so I could turn it over.  Once it was turned inside out, I stitched closed the gap and pressed it neatly which activated the extra layer of fusible web securing my backing to the rest of the postcard.  I added a row of stitching all they way around the edge in dark pink and I was done!!   Added my details to the back and it is ready to be mailed off as soon as I get my partners information.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Victorian postcard with fabric paper

Another Victorian postcard for a different swap on the same group!!   I decided to use the image that I did not use for the last postcard for this one instead.  I watercoloured it, cut it into an oval (Nestibilities) then cut another one just a bit larger from green cardstock and layered them over each other.  While I was digging through my stash for some sort of trim to go across my postcard I ran across some brown fabric piping and decided it would very nicely frame my image so I applied double sided tape to the back of the layered image and applied my brown piping all the way around.  I love the way it turned out!!  Neat and clean yet with a bit of texture!!  I did find the dark brown trim in the same bucket which is what I went looking for in the first place.  I ironed this folded trim flat and applied a length of washi tape to the center of it then laid it on my 4" x 6" piece of fabric paper and stitched it into place.  For this set of postcards we need to raise our letters so I decided to use these monogram brads for my "E".  They were originally silver so I applied colour to them  using my Sharpie markers which was just what they needed for this project.  I installed the brads in the fabric paper layer and then adhered it with double sided tape to a plain cardstock backer to finish off my postcard.  It still needed a "bit of something" so I added stitching around the edge.  That was better!!  I used hot glue to adhere my large 3D element to the front of the postcard!!  Done!!!
It is off to my partner!!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Distressed Victorian postcard

I created this postcard for a swap on one of my groups. We were each sent this image of a woman and given free rein to create with it!!  The digital image was provided as well for those who wanted to print off a few copies for experimenting with before they started their project.  I downloaded the image and sized it for my postcard then printed it on copy paper.  I used packing tape to make a transfer which I applied to a music sheet that had been very lightly washed with watercolour.
Packing tape transfers are very easy - you need a laser printed image, clear packing tape and water.  Trim your image close to the printing, lay a piece of packing tape over the image and burnish well.  Next, soak the tape/image in water.  Once the paper is softened put the transfer on a hard surface and rub off the paper which leaves the toner adhered to the packing tape. FUN and easy!! You can check this link for a tutorial.
Back to the project, I used markers to add colour to the back of the image (sticky side of the tape), trimmed the top and bottom of the transfer then applied it to the music sheet making sure there were no marks on her face.  I burnished it well then ripped the paper on all four sides.  I layered it this piece onto a piece of coordinating hand decorated paper and then onto black cardstock.  Next, I created my background.  I started with a 4" x 6" piece of scrap cardstock to which I glued torn scraps of embossed silver foil left over from a long ago project. Once the glue was dry, I applied colour using sharpie markers in purple, blue and black.  I scribbled colour in a small area and rubbed lightly it to smooth out the marks.  This process removed a bit of colour but I like the look - a bit distressed.  I added the blue and purple first and then did the black a little more aggressively.  I like the way the black remained in the texture of the foil.  After I was done, I went back in and added more colour where I thought it needed a bit more.  Very happy with the resulting background!!  I adhered my layered image on the top portion using double sided tape and added a length of black lace below it gluing the ends to the back.  I added double sided tape below the lace where I was putting the flowers and then added the flowers using large glue dots.  I cut another piece of 4" x 6" cardstock and glued it to the back to nicely finish off my postcard.   Really happy with how this project turned out.  It will be off to my partner this week.


Monday, July 20, 2015

4x4 chunky book page - golden strength

 Started on this swap page a few days ago and finished it off this morning.  I am really happy with how it turned out.
I started by gluing silver foil (chocolate = arts supplies) to both sides of a 4" x 4" cardstock substrate leaving wrinkles and texture.  I scribbled some brown and maroon Sharpie marker over the surfaces and then added butterscotch alcohol inks and blended them. Really like the highlights in the gold!!!  After a bit of internet research I downloaded both of the images and printed them on transparency.  I love the strength quote -great affirmations.  The other is a universal image for strength.
I trimmed the images and found that when placed over the gold foil the reflections were a bit distracting in my quote so I added a strip of handmade washi tape across the back which really helped to highlight the word Strength.  I played with my elements until I was happy with their placement, added three short pieces of ribbon at the top right of my front and stitched down the right hand side which secured all the pieces in place.  I added double sided tape at the bottom edges of both transparencies and then added another thin strip of washi tape to each side.  To finish securing the back I added double sided tape below the printing so it would not show.  For the front I found these three foil wine bottle seals in my stash, trimmed them nicely and added them using large glue dots over my transparency which I had secured with double sided tape.  It is fun to play!!!  My swap will be on its way to my partner today!!
Gardening has taken more time in the last few weeks because it was so hot and no rain.  We finally have had two good rains!!  Catching up on swaps in the next few days before having a visit with grandchildren.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Mixed Media fabric wall hanging with a quote

I have finally finished my wall hanging.  It has taken longer than I expected but there were several times in the creative process that I had to wait for inspiration to come.  That is as it should be!!
I started by sewing blue, pink and patterned fabric scraps together to create a panel in a bit of a log cabin style layout.  Next, I played with a variety of elements to see how and what I would use to create my piece.  I eventually decided to add my quote to a non running fabric (Windex wipes) using a fine tip Sharpie.  I printed rhw quote onto paper and was able to see it well enough thriough the fabric to trace it.  I trimmed the edges of the fabric, stitched it to my panel and then used the overcast stitch with black embroidery thread to secure a larger fiber over the machine stitching.  Two squares seemed quite jarring - they were pretty much too light for the rest of the piece so I watercoloured them in blue, masked them off and added stippling in navy ink.  That toned them down considerably.  I started auditioning trims and eventually chose the two pieces of cotton eyelet lace and the pink fabric trim.  The pink was not quite the right colour so I added a red acrylic paint colour wash.  That was better.  I sewed on all the trim using white thread in my sewing machine.  To add yet more texture I added some white hand stitching over the pink trim adding pink and white glass seed beads as I went.  That worked out very well.  Knowing that I wanted to add some floral elements I auditioned some silk flowers and really liked these blue ones.  I added blue flower sequins to their centers, some silk leaves in behind and added a tiny yellow seed bead to the center as I stitched them into 3D embellishments.  Next I played with placement of my flowers until I was happy with the layout.  Two of the smaller ones were used to disguise the two squares that had been toned down as they still contrasted too much with the rest of the piece.  That worked out well.  Before sewing on my flowers I played around with how I would finish off the edges of my hanging.  I finally decided to lay the front face down on the back and stitched around the edge leaving a gap to turn the whole thing inside out.  I did remember to add two white bias tape loop hangers to the top before I stitched it up. Very happy with how that worked out!!  I stitched up the gap, pressed everything very well and added a row of machine stitching all the way around the edge which stabilized it very nicely.  As I was getting ready to add my flowers I decided that the quote needed to have some flowers on it.  I dug through my stamps and found this doubled ended flower stamp (SU).  I coloured the areas with markers, huffed on it and stamped them in place - one on the left and the other on the right.  To add texture, I added french knots to the flower centers.  Very happy with that!! Next, I thought maybe the back and the front needed to be attached more closely than only on the edges so I added hand stitching (not all the way through) to all the pieces generally adding thread in the same colour as the fabric was printed so that the only effect I created was texture on the fabric.  I added pink french knots to the little roses on the fabric on the left hand side.  I like the way that turned out!  Finally it was time to sew on my flowers!!  I stitched them on by hand using yellow embroidery thread.  The result did not please me as much as I had hoped it would.  It still needed a bit of something!!!  I auditioned a wide variety of options and finally settled on leafy green cardstock die cuts.  I watercoloured them with yet more green, dried them and moved them around my flower until I was happy with the layout.  I took a photo with my camera to use as reference before I stitched them around my flowers.  That was much better!!!
Here is a photo of the first one I made where I used much more of a collage technique.

Here is the back of my wall hanging.  It features hand painted fabric which I made myself.  I started with a piece of white cotton to which I applied several colour washes of acrylic paint in pink and blue. Once dry,  I added a layer of batting which I stitched into place using blue thread in a diagonal grid pattern.  I added white dots to each space using acrylic paint and a little round foamie dot.  I added four blue loops at every other intersection and pink french knots in between.  I had made it large enough so I could  just fold over the edge and stitch it in place had I decided to finish it off that way.
 I am happy with my wall hanging!!!!  I will be writing my credits on white cotton, stitching it to the back then packaging it up and it will be off to my swap partner on Monday!!


Thursday, July 09, 2015

Paper bead art charms!

 I am participating in a "3 for 3"personal swap with a member of one of my groups, Art Charms. The theme for this swap was Paper Beads.  I decided to expand on the paper bead idea and came up with three different charms.
For these on the left, I cut silver foil card using the Tattered Flowers (TH SX) die being sure to flip my paper so I could glue them back to back!!  I cut a middle layer out of regular cardstock and trimmed out a sliver so I could insert my double eye pin which I created using silver papers clips which you can see below.  Once the glue was dry I applied alcohol inks to first one side than the other and also did the edges.  I love the look!!!! I created danglies for them using head pins and E beads.
 For these charms, I used chipboard circles which I sliced in half, trimmed out a little section for the head pin and glued them back together!!  I coloured both sides and the edges using Sharpie markers and punched 3/4" circles from decorative paper then glued one to each side.  I love the dynamic look of this alcohol ink paper !!  Used the rest of it on one of  these cards.  I added a black initial on each side and finished them off with matte sealer.
I glued a small piece of decorative paper to a rectangle of regular white paper and rolled these beads on thick wire so that the decorative paper would be on the outside.  Does not require a very big piece to cover the outside of a bead and that is the only place it really shows.  I trimmed them to size, coloured the ends with a Sharpie, inserted my eye pin and created a loop on the other end.  I added little pieces of washi tape to decorate the outside and created coordinating danglies from head pins and E beads.
You can see here that I used pliers to straighten a paper clip, created loops on each end and then cut them in half.  They were plenty long enough to create my art charms.
These were very fun to make!!!!  I am stringing a metal penchant chain to the inside of a frame and will be showcasing my swapped art charms in it!!


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Birthday cards with hand decorated paper backgrounds

I needed some cards for my monthly card exchange so I decided to use hand decorated background papers for them and to keep it simple I also used the same sketch.
For the left hand card, I used a background I created using inks in blue, yellow and pink.  I watercoloured a laser printed floral digital image (Anji Antics) using similar colours.  I added navy ribbon to the trimmed background paper gluing the ends to the back and adhered it to a blue card front.  I added a layered laser printed greeting over the ribbon that features a pink back layer and a greeting sponged with orange-yellow.
For the middle card, I used a double embossed back ground that I created by painting a colour printed piece of yellow cardstock with dark red acrylic paint, embossing it and sanding the raised areas. After flattening the cardstock I ran it through a different embossing folder and sanded it again.  Gives a very textured background which I love.  I used a digital cup image from Anji Antics which I printed and watercoloured and used ribbon and a layered greeting like in the last card.
The right hand card features an acrylic paint/saran wrap background which is so easy to do and always creates great backgrounds.  I added a gardening image from Beccy's Place  which I printed and watercoloured.  I added ribbon and a greeting like on the other two cards.
So two of the cards are off to my exchange partners and the other has been added to my stash!!


Saturday, July 04, 2015

Art Charms - houses & hearts

Art charms for two special people!!  On my Art Charms group the moderator is putting together a gift for daughters of a former member and I decided to participate.  We were to create house or heart charms so I decided to make two of each.  
The base of the heart charms is wooden heart shapes. I painted them red, stamped them in black using the heart stamp I used for this card and then embossed them several times with clear embossing powder.  I drilled a hole and added a jump ring. Changed it up a bit for the house charms.  I cut two wood shapes from thin strips of scrap wood for each charm using my exacto knife and sanded them so they would fit together nicely.  I laid an eye pin on one of them and hit it gently with a hammer to indent the wood so they would glue up nicely.  I used multi purpose glue and clamped them with bull clips until they were dry.  I covered one in printed tissue paper (came wrapped around a bottle) using the same glue as before.  Once it was dry, I sponged the edges with brown and then black ink.  I added a silver heart using a glue dot.  Thinking it needed a bit of anchoring I cut down a flat head pin so I could use it like a nail to attach the heart.  I coloured the head with a black sharpie.  I wrote HOME on the front and "a house with heart" on the back.  For the other house charm, I used an alcohol ink background and trimmed two pieces to fit the back and the front.  I coloured the edges of the wood charm using a black Sharpie and then glued my little rectangles in place.  I added a dimensional silver heart charm on this one and also used a cut down head pin as a nail to finish it off.  Used the same technique for adding the words.  
These are headed to the moderator in the next couple of days.  It was really fun creating these.  I have heard from a few in the group that they display their charms on a chain in their craft space.  What a good idea!!  My last swap partner put lobster claws on her charms so they could easily be attached and removed.  I thought that was a really good idea.  I need to source them out here for my next swap.