Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I can’t believe that January is almost over. I’m a little late with this, but here is my try for the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge from last week which featured the cretan stitch. Once again this is an ATC.

If you don’t know what the cretan stitch looks like (which I didn’t) it is the green stitching running down through the center. I added the detached chain flowers along with french knots and cross stitches as well as the blanket stitch edging.

As I mentioned in earlier posts the FiberArtFriends group (see link in sidebar) is trying a different technique each month. For January it was combining paper and fabric. I never really got around to actually doing this at this time, so I am going to cheat a little and count this sample I did a couple of years ago. I made it using a piece of brown paper towel. I painted the paper with moroccan red acrylic paint, let it dry and then crumpled it up, smoothed it out and fused it to a piece of felt. I then used rub‘n buff to add the gold highlights. The motif was stitched separately on another piece of felt and then stitched onto the paper. I used gold rayon embroidery thread in the center and copper metallic thread to attach it.

It measures 3 1/2 inches by 5 ¾ inches. Not quite postcard size. :)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More Paper Castings...

I experimented some more with the paper castings. This time I was able to actually wind up with some. They are not quite what I wanted, but at least I have a better sense of how to go about making them. I discovered that in my previous experiments I was evidently using the wrong product, but thanks to Doreen I was able to determine exactly what I should have used in the first place.

Anyway, these are what I came up with:

The two top castings are the ones from before made with TP and/or paper towels. The four on the bottom row are my latest effort. I brushed the top two with acrylic paint just to see if the design would collapse or not. They held up quite well, however, if I had made the paint thinner the designs would have flattened out.

I tinted the four on the bottom with Adirondack Color Wash while they were still on the stamps but the color did not seep through to the front like I expected it to except for the last (darker) one. I did a color wash after they were dry. I am leaving as is for the time being.

I also fused a piece of white tissue paper to a piece of pellon. I painted it using an acrylic, a neopaque and the Adirondack color wash. When it dried I added the splotches of gold.

I also used some watered down acrylic to paint a dryer sheet. I just tossed it on the tissue piece to take the photo below.

TAST-week 3

I am trying to participate each week in the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. I know I am not putting as much effort in this as some of the other participants, but I at least want to try to give it a shot each week.

The stitch for week #3 is the detached chain stitch (or lazy daisy). Here is my effort, again in ATC form.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Working with Paper.....

Over the weekend I did some experimenting with paper and paper castings for the FAF monthly challenge. Let’s just say that it didn’t go well.

First I tried making paper using purchased cotton linters. Of course, I didn’t follow directions and went my own (failed) way. I tinted five containers of water with Dye-na-flo and then added a handful of the cotton linters to each. I let it soak for 24 hours thinking I would get a nice pulp to work with. Wrong! I just had a big lump of cottage cheese. So I went to the kitchen and got out the blender (which hasn’t been used in years) and dumped one of the containers in, added a little more water and pushed the button. All it did was throw the small amount of pulp up onto the sides. I did not wish to make a large amount of each color and I did not want to keep stopping and pushing the pulp down from the sides to the bottom of the blender, so I just said forget it and dumped it all in the garbage. So lesson learned, start with undyed linters, use an adequate amount and mix in blender like I should have in the first place (which I did not do at this time).

Next experiment I decided would be to try working with the dissolvable water-soluble stabilizer per Maggie Grey in the latest issue of CPS pg 42 to make castings. Okay, before I ever started this I was thinking “water-soluble paper dissolves when you add water”, but I went ahead. Just as I suspected when I started adding little amounts of water to the paper it dissolved, completely. No paper casts. The castings are something that I am very much intrigued with and would like to be able to make some. Any of you ladies who have done this and been successful care to share the secret?

Since I had the rubber stamps out, I considered one more thing to try. I remember reading somewhere about using toilet paper to make castings. So I gathered up the TP and even some cheapo paper toweling and plunged ahead. I laid the paper over the stamps and used a stencil brush with water to push the paper into the stamps. I left them to dry (about an hour or so).

I did end up with embossed papers, but they are not anything like what I wanted. They still look like TP and paper toweling. I haven’t tried to paint them as I am sure they will just flatten with each stroke of the brush.

Talk about a bummer. I may get the blender back out and give it a try again. Hopefully I will get better results. But now I am off to try another technique or two.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

TAST-blanket stitch

Here is my attempt for the Take a Stitch Tuesday “buttonhole or blanket” stitch.

Once again I did it on felt. You can’t tell from the picture (sorry for the poor quality) but I used two different shades of orange for the stitching.

It has been raining here and I thought it would be a good time to get started on some experimenting with paper for the FiberArtFriends January challenge. However, as you well may know things don’t always go as planned. I barely got started when I had to stop for other (more important) things. So I don’t have anything to show just yet, but hope to get cracking on it again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Journal for FAF

6 x 9 inches

I finally finished my journal for keeping notes in this year as I work on the monthly techniques I will be doing along with the “FiberArtFriends” group.

The colors here are fairly true to life.

I am pleased with the way it turned out. I did, however, discover something while making this. You can not felt lutradur. A few months ago I tried coloring the lutradur with some inks. It didn’t turn out as well I as had hoped so I laid it aside. When I started this journal cover I thought perhaps I would use the lutradur on it. I laid it over a piece of felt and then I laid various wool fibers over that and started needle felting by hand. I discovered that the lutradur wouldn’t attach to the felt piece (duh), but the wool fibers held it in place long enough until I could get it stitched. The lutradur did, however, help keep the purple wool fibers from disappearing into the felt. Next I laid a piece of tulle over the fibers and couched some yarn around the edge and then free motion stitched all over.

The “button” closure is actually an old earring that I had gotten in a big bag of junk jewelry I picked up at the flea market some time back for one dollar.

The “medallion” on the front is a sample I made a few years ago. It just so happened that the colors were a match to the cover.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Birthday Postcard...

Now that I know that she has received it I can show you the birthday postcard I made for Francoise. I hope you have a good day, Francoise.

I have been working on a small journal to keep notes in this year for the techniques I will be doing each month with the FiberArtFriends group (see side bar) I belong to. It is not quite finished. I will post pics when it is complete.

Take a Stitch Tuesday result...

Like a lot of other people, I joined the “Take a Stitch Tuesday” challenge that Sharon Boggin is hosting for 2007. My hand embroidery skills are practically nil so I thought this would be a good way to pick up some pointers and improve in this area.

The herringbone stitch was the first stitch given last Tuesday. I am probably one of the last ones to show my little sample for this stitch. I had no idea how I would showcase my attempts until last night. Some people are making a sampler; others are using the stitches in their crazy patchwork. I decided I would keep it small and do ATC’s.

Here is my poor attempt at this:

The background is felt. I used all six strands of embroidery floss (DMC), but I think I should have used only three.

We’ll see what the next stitch brings, hopefully something a little better. LOL!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

WIP Wednesday

For the members over at Quilt Studio it is WIP Wednesday. This is my first time for this and as you can see it is quite late in the day, but it is also just about my usual posting time. :) However, I was working late last night and early this morning on something that I can’t show right now.

Many years ago I tried knitting but couldn’t get the hang of it for some reason or another, so I switched to crochet. Recently I decided to try to learn to knit again. Now I am not talking about knitting sweaters or socks and any thing that is complicated. I figured I would start out with something really easy. I decided a scarf would be a nice project to start with. The yarn I chose isn’t exactly the softest, but I already had it and am keeping with the “make do with what you have” motto.

It is about half the way done.

When finished it should be about 72 inches long. I probably will add some fringe.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tidying Up and My Resolution

I managed to finish putting away all of the Christmas lights and decorations today. I attempted to do a little tidying up in the studio and even did a little rearranging of some supplies.

Now I know I have a lot of stuff, but it really is getting out of hand. I don’t think I can squeeze much more in there; and I came across a number of things I had forgotten I have.

I usually don’t make New Year resolutions because we all know how hard it is to keep them. Last year I told myself I was going to cut way back on the amount of books, art supplies, etc. that I buy. Now mind you, I bought quite a bit of stuff last year, but truth be told it still was way, way less than previously, so I actually did pretty well with keeping that one.

For this year, I am going to try and buy only the absolute necessities (well maybe a little splurge now and then), and I am going to try to follow the saying “make do with what you have”.

Now if only my muse will just realize that the holidays are over and that I need her to return and point me in the right direction because I have a few things I need to get started on.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year

As usual I am a little late with this, as the first day of the year is nearly three quarters over.

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday this past week. I want to thank each and every one of you for your visits to my blog this past year and all of the kind comments you left.

I feel I have made so many friends this past year, even though we have never met. The internet has made possible so many things for each of us and I hope that the New Year continues to bring many more.

I am still a little behind with getting prepared for upcoming events as I have only just put away the inside holiday decorations (still have outside lights, etc. to take down and put away). I need to tidy up my art room so I can start on new projects and hope to get more organized within the next few days.

I am looking forward to participating with the FiberArtFriends group and plan on taking some online classes this year.