Sunday, February 24, 2008

Moon Glow Inks and Mists : GORGEOUS!

Late last week, I received a much anticipated and gorgeous package from Lindy's Stamp Gang. It contained an assortment of Moon Shadow Inks, Moon Shadow Mists , Glitz Spritz, and Star Burst Stains. For the most part, these are walnut inks with mica (?) for sparkle.

I was most interested to try these out on the crumpled tissue paper fabrics I learned to make in the Mixed Media Class at Joggles. I thought these would be perfect for journal covers!

The inks are shipped as a powder. I get to add my own local water (wise not to ship water--especially when it may freeze in our winter weather). Lindy was kind enough to also send several sample cards--possibilities!

My husband knew I was making this rather extravagant purchase (consider it my contribution to stimulating the economy!), but he held his tongue and didn't say anything. When I showed him the first samples, he thought it was a wise purchase. Nice to have such a supportive Sweetie!

Take a look at this :

I think the blue side is Long John Silver Moon Shadow Mist with Gossamer Gold ink painted over the top. On the right side, I don't remember what I initially sprayed on (Saxifrage Olive?). It seemed too uniform, so then I painted on Bucaneer Bronze. From this picture, it still looks pretty uniform. It's difficult to photograph these to show the sparkle ...

Here are the same pieces turned into journal covers. This gives a better feel for the textures :

Suffice it to say, I am very happy with my purchase from Lindy's. I wish I could get the whole darn collection. Oh the things I could make!

Sweet Leaf Notebook is 100!

This is my 100th post on Sweet Leaf Notebook, after 18 months (or so).

Here's the customary link back to my inaugural post. It's of my first art quilt, a bear named Sebastian.

Here's the give-away :
For anyone leaving a comment this week (through 7 pm, March 2, 2008), I will enter your name into a drawing. You could win a groovy cell-phone baglet/purse-ette made from a real silk tie :

Or this small covered notebook :

Let me know your preferences (flowers or paisley purse-ette, or the Notebook) in your comment. Thanks for reading my blog!

It has been a lot of fun to see the dots light up around the world on ClustrMaps in terms of where in the world people are stumbling upon my little corner of the web. I know my sister is in Japan ; WCH in Taiwan ; JLC in Rhode Island ; My mom in Northern WI ; Cindy in Alaska ; Delphine in France ; Teresa in Appleton ; Diane in Minnesota ... but there are a lot more of you out there who I may not know, and may never have met.

Feel free to leave a comment and enter the contest. I'm willing to ship these items anywhere in the world!

Mixed Media Class - Brown Paper Bag Surface

This is my brown paper bag surface.
An ordinary brown paper shopping bag cut to a single piece of paper, crumpled, and painted with brown acrylic paint. I discovered that the watered-down paint did not hold enough color to be effective. So this batch is straight from the bottle.

After it dried, I crumbled it again, and flattened it out, then rubbed it with a regular ink pad in Coffee Bean and Copper. The ink pad hit the high spots and highlighted them nicely.

Then I fused this paper bag surface to a piece of black cotton. I used Stitch Witchery this time, because it's is more readily available here in town. I'm out of Misty Fuse ... The Stitch Witchery seemed to work out very well for this application. It's a little bit more course than the Misty Fuse, but acceptable for this project as the paper bag is not some delicate organza!

My husband wanted a padded case in which to keep his new laptop computer. So I layered the paper bag fabric with Warm 'n Natural batting and a green flannel for the lining. I bound all the edges so they'd be finished, and sewed up the sides to make the following laptop case. No straps or handles. He'll keep this in his backpack.

My husband loves it! "Very Manly-looking" he says. And the coolest part will be people's faces when he tells them it's made from a recycled paper bag! Doesn't it look like old, warn leather?

Depending on how it wears, we may decide to put some kind of sealant on it to protect the paper cover. It was a little too much work to have it just shred on the first trip!

It's amazing what can be done with these techniques!

Dyed Cheesecloth

I dyed some cheesecloth today. Most of these used 2 color combinations. The one at the very top was the "sop cloth" and I think it might be the best one!

I used Dye-Na Flow paints with a technique I learned in the Mixed Media class at Joggles with Sue Bleweiss. It's quick and easy with minimum mess. The best thing about the Dye-na Flow paints is that you don't have to rinse them out. The excess can stay on the cheescloth without causing harm.

I might have to get the other Dye-na Flow colors to increase my pallet options!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

To June W.

I was the lucky winner of this quilt made by June Wiechman. She donated it to The Healthy Heart Day event at my hospital on Valentine's Day.

"Thank you for the time and materials and effort you put into this quilt, June. I'm a quilter, too--and I know it doesn't happen overnight!"

It's an old-timey quilt, fabric tied with yarns--just like my Gramma Matucheski used to make. A nice prize to win for attending a Heart Health Event.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mixed Media Class at Joggles : Concertina Book

Another project for the Joggles Mixed Media class. This Concertina Book features the rich textures of a green Mullberry Bark. The bark is free-motion stitched to a plum coloured wool felt. It is spritzed with irridescent green Radiant Rain to give it a little sparkle and understanted pizzazz. I took 2 strands of a yarn I've had for years with a 3rd strand of a black chenille yarn and machine stitched the cord. A purple amythest disc works for the closure.

The paper is from a water color tablet.

I think I might make a few more of these!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mixed Media Gift Box : Joggles Class Lesson 2

I decided to do the simpler gift box instead of the 3-drawer box. The instructions for this project can be found under Free Projects on the Fibre & Stitch website.

Here is my mixed media fabric for this project :

It consists of painted cheesecloth on a felt base, topped with years, dyed sheep curls (wool fiber), ribbons, etc. Tinzl covered with dark green tulle. I realized I had not gone to the edges with the fillings, so the border regions looked a little empty--and I could see the cloudy Misty Fuse. So I decided to dress it up a bit with some bronze foil.

Highlights - I like the green cheesecloth on the dark plum wool felt with the green sheeps curl. The green and black fabric bits made me think of feathers ...

A fun project!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Inks on Vilene with Foil Experiments

Winsor & Newton Inks on Vilene with foil

Pigmented inks on Vilene with foil

At Hobby Lobby last week, I bought a set of Winsor & Newton drawing inks with the 40%-off coupon. Quite a bargain! I also cruised down the clearance aisle and got several bottles of pigmented acrylic Speedball inks for about 75% off the original price.

I took a strip of Vilene and painted on the inks. I think the inks might "go farther" formulated as a color wash and sprayed on--that's for another experiment ...

The pigmented inks are thicker and opaque. They go on more like paint. The Winsor & Newton inks are transluscent and feel thinner.

I wanted to try the Vilene that Carol and Lynda blog about. [Thanks, you two, for the encouragement and support in these explorations! Your work is an inspiration!] I finally found some Vilene in the US at Joggles. How to describe it? It's kind of like a thinner PelTex without the fusible. The Vilene is pourous and nonwoven, as the inks can soak through to the back side (and to your work surface). It's a stabilizer, I guess, with more of a fabric feel than plastic.

I also wanted to try my collection of inks with various foils. Since my Vilene was not the fusible kind, I added a layer of Misty Fuse over the inks. I wanted to get an idea of what ink colors with foil would be worth doing on a larger scale.

Nice combinations that may be worth pursuing on a larger scale :
From the Winsor & Newton Inks Sample :

Brilliant Green with patchy Bronze
Ultramarine with Blue or Purple Foil
Sunshine Yellow with yellow and green and red foils
Brilliant Green with almost any color foil
Black with any color Foil
Purple with gold foil or bronze foil

From the Pigmented Inks Sample :

Calli Brown with Bronze
Deep Purple with Bronze
Teal Green and Gold or Yellow
Deep Purple with Warm Foils (red orange
Teal Green
Black with any color foil

Some surprises :
The used foil with patchier coverage gave me more of the look I was after. Just a hint of gilding instead of an all-over solid metal look.

The outline of a lizard appeared after I foiled it in another test piece. I wasn't thinking I'd have 2 lizards for the price of 1!

Peat Brown was kind of a dud with the gold and bronze foils, but did well with the colored foils.

Pattern Tissue Fabric Finishes / Sealants

After making the Pattern Tissue Paper Journal for The Mixed Media Class at Joggles, I was interested in testing out various finishes, or sealants, to protect the surface. I was interested not only in the final appearance, but also the FEEL of the finished surface. Here are the results of my experiments.

Remember, these reflect my own personal preferences with the sealants I had available and the surface I was sealing. Others may arrive at different conclusions. Don't take my word for it--try these experiments yourself.

The sample on the left is the plain vanilla pattern tissue fabric covered with 2 coats each of 4 different finishes. From the top down :
L- 1) Gel Medium - Seems the most "natural" in that it seems most like the tissue paper fabric. Doesn't seem like it has a finish at all.
L-2) Decoupage - a little glossier - I think this is my favorite finish for the plain tissue paper fabric.
L-3) Clear Varnish - Stinky to apply. Glossy finish.
L-4) PVA Glue (Norbond book repair adhesive, flexible glue) - Good gloss, remains flexible. Can also be sewn through.

The sample on the right is the pattern tissue fabric backed with a wool base and covered with a gold sparkly tulle. The same 2 coats of finishes/sealants from the top down :
R-1) Gel Medium - Elimanated the sparkle from the tulle as it seemed to fill in the holes and "erase" the scratchy netting. Dull finish. Not my favorite finish.
R-2) Decoupage - a little glossier. a 3rd coat may cover the tulle texture. Goes on purple, but dries clear.
R-3) Clear Varnish - too shiny and too stinky to apply.
R-4) PVA Glue - more of a matte finish. A nice middle ground between shiny and matte finish. Fabric remains flexible. This is my favorite sealant when covering tulle.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Joggles Mixed Media Class - Torn Paper Surface

Lesson 1 is complete! Here is my surface.

Last Sunday, I had a start on the surface :

base fabric of non-woven aisle runner fabric (as seen at weddings--makes a great pattern fabric as it's studier than just tissue paper)
+ Gel Medium
+ Torn Newspaper
+ Gel Medium
+ Cheesecloth
+ Dye-na Flow Paints

It had to sit for the week while I brooded on what else to add to it ... Today I added :
Misty Fuse
+ yarns + confetti (ribbons, candy bar wrapper (blue))
+ silk flowers daubed with ink
+ dark green tulle
Free motion stitched to hold everything secure
+ a little Iridescent Green Radiant Rain for a little more sparkle
+ a few iron-on crystals for the flowers

I lined the back side of the pages with an ivory flannel. It has a nice soft feel to it that matches the paper inside. The yarns in the binding are some of the same yarns drizzled over the surface.

I don't think I like the nylon feel of the tulle over the top. I might try a version that uses something silkier, but still sheer ...

Color & Texture in Layers

Students in the Mixed Media Class a Joggles are coming up with some beautiful surfaces. I have a start on a few, but I'm still not quite happy with them yet. They need something more ...

I had asked Sue B, the instructor, specifically what paints she used on a particular journal she'd made. I'm trying to identify the looks and effects that appeal to me, and purchase paints and supplies accordingly. Sue's answer was basically anything goes. Whatever you have around that will deliver the effect you are going for is what you use. I guess that means I'll just have to get a variety and experiment to find what I like ...

So the world is open wide ....

I found this chart at Artist's Cellar on layering Stewart Gill Paints. Feels like some secrets are revealed here. Now I just need to figure out what paints to purchase ...

Often at the start of a new project, a sort of "color paralysis" hits me when facing a blank slate. What color combinations to use so I don't wind up with mud?

Funny--I don't get that feeling with paper and words. I remember my old college room-mate had a treat for me. One day she took me (all but blind-folded) to the paper aisle of an office supply store. There I felt very comfortable--what potential in all that blank paper, and what I could write on it! Color is a different animal entirely ...

Color Help - Color Lovers provides thousands (maybe millions?) of coordinating color pallets that members have put together. That should give me a start. But then the flat colors on the pallet don't quite excite me the way a finished piece does. Color is just one element of a finished piece. The Color Lovers pallets are missing texture and depth, "a little bit of this, and a whole lot of that." Actually, there is a section for pattern ... I'll need to explore that more. The pallets can be a tool, not the finished product.

I just need to get off my duff and work on some of these surfaces!

Foiling on Fabric Experiments

At Conversations in Cloth this past week, we got the chance to practice Foiling on Fabric.

Katy showed us how to use 007 Bonding Powder to create a starry sky.

Katy also explained how to use stamps (foam, rubber, etc.) to place adhesive glue to fabric. The glue must be completely dry before trying to foil it. Several ladies stamped and foiled satin ribbons for nice effects.

Misty Fuse or other fusible webbing can also be used to apply foil. Each product seems to offer a different effect. In this photo, the Misty Fuse is "lacey" while the Steam-a-Seam is a more solid foil transfer. [Not the best picture, but I think you still get the idea.]

More tutorials on Foiling at Fibre in-Form.