Sunday, November 30, 2014

Art of Texture Day 9 - Walnut Ink on Brown Kraft Paper

Walnut Ink Texture - 4166

I've been wanting to take Kim Klassen's Art of Texture - Secrets Revealed class for quite some time.  This fall, she made it available through her Test Kitchen.  Yahoo!

So far it's been a lot of review on how to use and make brushes in PSE, how to add textures--a lot of things I've learned in Kim's Beyond Layers and Beyond Beyond classes (also currently available through The Test Kitchen).  I didn't feel like I had to take such careful notes on these sections because I'm pretty comfortable with these techniques by now.  Thanks, Kim, for teaching me well in those year-long weekly classes. ;-)

On Day 9, we're finally getting to some mess-making!

In this lesson, Kim suggested we use Walnut Ink on a crumpled piece of brown craft paper.  I'm flush with walnut ink since I made about a gallon of it a few years ago!

The great thing about this lesson is that Kim explains how to do it manually (with real paper and paint/inks) but also how to get a similar digital effect in PhotoShop.  Sorry--I can't tell you exactly how I did it.  If you want to know, you'll have to sign up for the class.

For instance, for the manual version, Kim suggested using drywall tape, but since I didn't have any, I pulled my digital image into PSE and used her Linen texture brush for a similar effect.  It's very subtle, but you can see it if you look closely.   Now, looking around the house, I might have been able to use a strip of shelf-liner as a physical stamp.

I took the picture above while the ink wasn't quite dry--It still showed translucent in some places on the paper.  Some parts even picked up as blue in the photo.  After it dried completely, it wasn't nearly as interesting--pretty uniformly brown now that it's dry.  The paper version is crying out for some additional highlights ...

Interesting thing about the Walnut Ink ...  Kim's link for more info on walnut ink was broken, so I Googled it to see what I could find.  I came up with some new recipes for DIY walnut ink that included rubbing alcohol or Vodka as a preservative.  I totally missed that in 2011 when I was making my batches of walnut ink--though I did use some clove.  Now I want to try both preservatives to see how well they work.  I certainly have enough ink to experiment!

I opened my first batch of walnut ink, and was surprised that it didn't smell bad.  Some of it smelled pretty compost-y when I first made it--due to fermenting the walnuts before making the ink.  The ink seems to have mellowed nicely over time--like a fine wine?  Still--I don't think I'm going to taste it!

The beauty of this is that I can make more physical pages for journal covers, and photograph them and use them perpetually in digital images as texture layers.

More experiments to come!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tying a Quilt

At the November Quilt Camp at Silver Birch Ranch in White Lake, WI, I had 1 project in mind : To finish the Red-Black-and-White String Quilt by tying it with an old high-loft (puffy) polyester batting.  I did it, too!  And it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. 

Quilt Sandwich for Enveloping :
Batting + Backing (right side up) + Quilt Top (Right side down)

Here I have the outer edges pinned and ready to sew. The back and batting are at least 4 inches bigger than the Quilt Top.  It helped that I had everything squared up before I got to Camp.
I put a few basting safety pins in the middle just to keep everything stable while I sewed the edges.

Before I could get to the tying, I first needed to layer the backing, batting, and quilt top with the Envelope Method.  I saw this method of Enveloping a Quilt at the very first Quilting class I attended back in 2004.  The person had a quilt they wanted to tie and a batting that was too thick and puffy to stitch by machine.   Now 10 years later, I find myself with a really fluffy fat batt -- a legacy from my family back when their idea of quilting was to take 2 sheets and a batt and tie them together with yarn.    I remember the womenfolk gathering at Rosita's house, laying out the old quilt rails (I wonder where they are now?) and setting to work ...

Last spring, I made a string quilt using a foundation fabric to stabilize the strings.  It turned out to be quite heavy -- usually these string quilts don't use a batting for that reason (kind of like crazy quilts in that respect).   But with the long polar vortex winter we had last year, and this batting taking up space at home, made me want to pull it all together ...

Here I am at the sewing machine stitching the edges.  I think I used a 1/2-inch seam for this.  I left an opening about 20  inches to turn it.  I also trimmed the batting and backing to be the same size at the quilt top BEFORE I turned it right-side-out. 

Here I'm stitching a faux binding about 2 inches from the edge.  It keeps the batting out to the edges of the quilt.  It's kind of like a French Seam.

It was a huge snow drift of a quilt on the table as I was working.  Here's my view of the room from my work space.  That's my mom ---  "lapaya" [Zulu for waaaayyy over there.  Sorry--I don't often get to use my language training -- what little I remember of it now!  That was always a fun thing to say.]

Here's a good description of the Quick Turn (Envelope) Method.   I knew I'd have enough space at Quilt Camp (and enough veteran quilters around to help and give direction when I needed it). 

Here's what I learned in the process of Tying a Quilt :

1) Lay the quilt out on large tables as you work.  I don't have anything like this at home, so I save these projects up for Quilt Camp.  It makes it so much easier -- and there's no dog hair at Quilt Camp!

2) Use a large darning needle.
I bought 2 packs of tapestry needles, but they were too dull to poke through the fabric.  Fortunately, a lady at Quilt Camp had the perfect Darning Needle, and she let me borrow it.

3) Pattern for setting the yarn :

Down at Point A
Up at Point B
Down at Point 
Up at Point D 

It's kind of a cross-stitch pattern in the form of an X with long tails.

4) Leave a good 3-4 inches to tie later.

5) A garden glove on the left hand helps draw the needle through on the bottom side.

6) Use the table to push the needle through to to the top side.  A thimble was of little use here.

7) A garden glove in the Left hand is also helpful to pull the needle through to the top.
If this fails, try a 2 x 1-1/2-in square of shelf liner to grip the needle to pull it through.

8) Some helpful tools :  1 garden glove, grippy square of shelf-liner, Kwik Clip to open and close safety pins for pin-basting, and yarn.  Actually, I didn't wind up using the Kwik Clip much.  I did use the safety pins to mark where I wanted to put the ties, but realized I didn't have to close them to do what I was doing. 

Small pair of scissors readily available is also helpful.  I started out with it on a lanyard, but soon left it "floating" on the quilt-top, moving with me as I worked from one area to the next.

9) If you have trouble with bearding (Batting poking through the needle hole), thy these :
  • Hold your finger to the thread hole and you pull the yarn through.
  • Pull the yarn to-and-fro to get the batting back inside the quilt.
  • Pull the quilt top away from the batting so the it goes back inside the quilt where it belongs.

10)  How to tie the knots :
To official knot for tying a quilt is the Square Knot with a double twist.  It is more likely NEVER to come undone. 

Right over Left with 2 twists
Left over Right with 2 twists
Trim yarn to 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch tails.

The actual tying goes fairly quickly.  It took longer to set the yarns.

 It's only a double-sized quilt, though it seems bigger!
Warm and cozy to sleep under, too!

At Quilt Camp, I was asking for suggestions on what to call this quilt. 
Someone thought it looked like a Zentangle Quilt with all the black and 
white doodles. Yeah--It kinda does look like a Zentangle. I also thought of 
card games ... Queen of Hearts, but she was so mean and nasty ... This 
quilt is for me and my husband, and I wanted it to be more about love, so I 
defaulted to calling it The Heart Strings Quilt, which is kind of a cop-out 
since the technique is Heart Strings. But that seemed to fit the sentiment 
I was after better than anything else.

Now I can cross that off my bucket list :
Mission accomplished!

Texture Tuesday : Pick More Daisies

Photo Processing Layer by Layer :
Layer 1) Background Image - cement cleaned up, smoothed out
Layer 2) Copy Background Image - Soft Light 38%
Layer 3) 2LO Junkyard 25 - Soft Light 37%
Layer 4) 2LO 1 - Soft Light 100%
Layer 5) Kim Klassen's Rest Texture - Soft Light 21%
Layer 6) Kim Klassen's Karla Texture - Soft Light 38%
Layer 7) Kim Klassen's Wonderful Magic Texture - Screen 100%
Layer 8) Kim Klassen's Chalk Magic Texture - Soft Light 18%
Layer 9) Text - CK Ali's Hand Font - Multiply 76%

Here's the original image I started with.
Taken in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where they were having a Latin Fest and where I purchased the very well-made sun hat.  My Old Friend, J, bought me some flowers to go with it. ;-)

Sharing with The Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Texture Tuesday : Your Move

Your Move

Photo Processing Recipe :
Layer 1) Background image
Layer 2) Copy Layer 1 - Screen 14%
Layer 3) Kim Klassen's Flourish Magic - Soft Light 16%
Layer 4) Coffee Shop Burn Action (applied last)
Layer 5) 2LO Junkyard 2 - Soft Light 67%
Layer 6) 2LO Ancient Times 1 - Soft Light 54%

And just because it's a song with a Chess theme, and I've always loved it, "It's Your Move" by Yes :

Sharing with Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Texture Tuesday : Purple Fountain Grass

The Recipe :
Layer 1) Background Image
Layer 2) Copy background image - Multiply Blend Mode 58%
Layer 3) Kim Klassen's Appreciate Texture - Multiply 28%
Layer 4) 2LO Winter Storms 5 Texture - Soft Light 73%
Layer 5) 2LO 1 - Soft Light 91%

As a frame of reference, here's the original photo I started with.

Sharing with Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Texture Tuesday : Bristol Ren Faire 2014

A scene from The Friends of the Faire Garden Alcove at the Bristol Ren Faire, Summer 2014, Wisconsin.  I used a Coffee Shop Action on it (can't remember which one, though), along with a 2 Little Owls Fairy Tale Texture and Kim Klassen's Paper Stained texture.It all combines to give it a nice Italian Renaissance Old World feel.

It just isn't summer if we don't get to go to the Ren Faire!

Sharing with Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.