22 March 2011

new stuff

I have finally worked out how to proceed with this quilt. I was planning on making a painted sky and when I got all my materials together realized I didn't have the big sea sponge I needed. Plan B: I had some soda soak in a bucket under my kitchen cabinet (you never know when you may need some) and a bit of deep navy MX dye in a bottle.
I did what I refer to as a tray dye of this fabric.

I was very happy with the way these came out. THEN I realized I needed more to be able to make the sky without piecing. I'm now awaiting the second batch of sky...
Here are 2 stamps I made for another quilt. One is fine small grass and the stamp size is 3"X1.5"
This one was made on styrofoam insulation board with self-stickcraft foam. It's larger blades of grass but still quite small. The stamp is 1.5"X2".

The 8" of snow we got over night is almost gone - YEAH!!!  GO SPRING......

18 March 2011

Obsessed by a book

As Judith pointed out in her comments about my book obsession, this is so not me. I don't usually like paper and I really don't care for collage. So what happened. I was bewitched by Linda Kemshall's "Friday Night Fix".
I'm sure this isn't the greatest altered book in existence but I sure got sucked into it and had a ball.

Here is my book with only 2 pages left to alter:

This is the cover. It, as are all parts of the book, painted with gesso. In addition is watercolor paint and a stamp I hand carver of a feather in gold paint. We'll see  this stamp again.

Inside front cover. Not terribly creative but it's black although not from a crow.

All of the pages are groups of 3, either hand stitched or machine zigzagged then gessoed. All pages were also colored with watercolors and many also had oil pastels either under the watercolors as a resist or on top of the watercolors as a design element. This page is a photocopy of my favorite crow picture. I adhered it with gel medium and cut a window on the facing page.

This is the next page with the window now framing the photo copy and with the turquoise and copper page showing through the piece of paper I cut the opposite image from. I used gel medium to attach and when dried an, over wash of color to coordinate.

Over the prepared page I gelled strips of fabric with crows and ravens embroidered on them. What can I say? I just adore crows and ravens.

This is another photocopy of a crow I saved from a car ad over 20 years ago.

This page was a "save". I had done a crow's head and I ended up not being happy with it so I carefully cut it off of the page with a razor - not so easy to do after using gel medium to adhere it down. I over painted both pages with black watercolors. On one page I had previously used grey pastel to make O's and on the opposite page X's. Then, after the save, I used gold paint with O's, X's crosses, solid circles and the journey symbol. It was a great "save".

These two pages are among my favs.
I had made a tree stamp from a sponge at Charlene's house: one of the FIVE. On the facing page I cut 3 windows and stitched around them with a deep metallic bead. In the right center is a strip of painted tyvek.

On the next page spread, I took those stitches with green beads. I love this treatment and repeated the tree stamp. What fun that was.

I know Linda and Laura love to draw and I spent one night doing three sketches of crows. This sketch I painted in with watercolors and added clouds with pieces of dryer sheet cut like mosaics. This page was tissue paper gelled down and partially over painted with green.

These pages were really fun. I took my hand carved stamp and covered it with wet tissue paper. I used a stiff-ish paint brush to force the tissue into the crannies of the stamp giving it a 3-D look. I over coated it with gel medium and when dry, black watercolors. Then before removing from the stamp when dry, I scuffed a copper paint stick over it to making the image really stand out. On the opposite page is the same stamp with gold paint. Directions for making hand carved stamps from photographs are in a tutorial on my blog.

These are two more of my hand carved stamps on a page with watercolor paint and melted crayons. Interesting effect.

This is another page I really enjoyed making. On the left is a sketch I did of a crow and I cut tiny bits of black tulle into triangles and adhered them over the sketch to "color" it. The branch is in bronze tulle. The opposite page is another piece of painted tyvek with gold, green and blue oil pastels.

This is a copy of a page I did for the "Sketchbook Project" now touring the US. The center 2 pages were painted with black watercolors, cut into wing shapes and stitched with "feathers". On the background pages are stamped CAW.

This spread has an old map of Rome with crows (another hand carved stamp) flying over the city. I went to art school for one semester in Rome in '66.

This page was prepped with acrylic paints. I think I bit too vivid. This is another sketch cut and gelled down and over painted when dry with watercolors.

The left page has strips of painted tissue, lamee' threads gelled down and covered with painted tyvek. The right page was a piece of copy paper with dimensional paints covered with tissues then watercolor painted. A top coat of gel medium was added and more lamee' threads to glitz it up.

This is a length of 4" wide silver metallic stripped ribbon stamped with my stamps and acrylic paint.
These are the images inside the back cover of the book. Again, the stamps are in black acrylic with some gold paint and a gold sun.

And finally the back cover.
I have two more books with pages stitched, gesso applied and watercolor tinted ready to go. I may need an intervention....

09 March 2011


This month I decided I wasn't even a little interested in doing Inks on our challenge blog, "And then we set it on fire" I promise this is the only month I will give myself a pass.
An explanation of what I've been up to is that I have been totally distracted by Linda Kemshall's "Friday Night Fix". In addition to all the other great shows on DMTV, Linda has added a feature on learning how to do little 5 minute creative bits whenever you can squeeze them in. I have become obsessed with my projects because they can involve any media I want to utilize.
We have been making an altered book. First, let me tell you I have no, and I mean zero, interest in PAPER. I know many people who love paper like one of FIVE, Marcella Christenson, but that is not me. Well, this project/distraction/obsession is much more akin to the Sketchbook Project I was involved in earlier this year which is currently touring the country. Every week, Linda gives "the next step" so I have been blindly following her down this road to altered book mania. We are now at the point where we are actually doing art work on a page. She talked about "framing" and creating "niche's" on a page or pages. This is the first page I've finished.
The crow on the left is a photocopy which I carefully cut from printer paper and adhered to a "prepared" page with gel medium.That page was prepared with gessoed pages that had been stitched together with zigzag stitching on a machine and colored with pastels, paint sticks and watercolor paint. On the next page (now opened and acting as a frame), I cut an opening to act as a frame. I then stitched the "window" with black embroidery thread. On the right page I used gel medium to attach a square from the paper I cut the crow from. THAT page was also stitched, gessoed and I used copper paint stick and turquoise watercolor paint which shows through the paper opening, creating a mirror image. I applied gel medium over the paper and some of the turquoise paint became re-wetted and bled (on purpose) onto the white copier paper - kind of unifying it and marrying it to the book page.
To make a long story short, I have four books going at the same time so I can do more than a one minute process at a time. Some of the gessoed pages have pastels or paint stick along (and acting as a resist) with the watercolor paints. On some, I just have watercolors and other I covered with tissue paper, scrim or used dryer sheets before painting on the watercolor paint to give them a base coloring.
I'm sure I will recover from this process and go back to actual fabric. I have been planning and doing some color work with my new quilt, "Where have all the flowers gone?" I'll show you the quilt soon. This book can't last forever....or can it?