Monday, March 26, 2012

I have put my paint brush down and I've cranked up the ol' sewing machine again

Since I have started making these fabric bowls (see previous post) I have reawakened my love of fabric.  And combine that with the next gallery show at Olde Towne Art and I decided to finish one of my quilts that I started years ago.  The new show, which will start April 6th, will be called New Works.  I am almost finished my quilt for that show plus I will be displaying/selling my fabric bowls.  I am almost finished a third bowl which will be my biggest one.  In an upcoming post I will be sure to give you all dimensions so you can get a feel for my big one.

Here is a sneak peek at my quilt.  The working title for now is A New Twist On An Old Pattern.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fabric Bowls!

A few weeks ago my mom and I went to a quilt convention and although I'm not into quilting at the moment I am always inspired by fabric.  One can never have too much fabric!  There were so many booths that had products and tips on how to alter fabric.  I consider myself a mixed media artist so altering fabric is right up my alley.

As my mom and I were wandering the aisles we came upon these fabulous fabric bowls.  I fell in love!  They had one on display that wasn't finished so one could see the process by which it was made.  My mom and I picked it apart and I knew I could make one.

The pattern is by The Sweet Tea Girls and I bought it but altered it quite a bit because the instructions they gave just didn't work for my sewing machine.  For example they suggested to use clothesline (100% cotton)... I broke a needle.  So I ended up using piping cord.  Also I was to cut the strips 2 1/2", I ended up using 2" strips instead.

The first step was to pick out your fabric...

The second step, after cutting your strips, was to encase the cording with your fabric.
Ande now the fun really begins!  You start your coil and zigzag each coil together.  This was the most fun for me because that's when you see your bowl take shape and you can make it any size or shape you like. 

The thing I liked best about these bowls were the beads that were sewn into the sides.  For that you just leave a hole and go back later and hand stitch your beads (or anything else you want) into your bowl. 

I ended up marking my holes with small safety pins so I could judge where I wanted the next hole to go while doing my zig zag stitch.  You can see one of my safety pins in the bottom left hand side:

When I finished my first one I couldn't wait to start another one.  So here is almost completed bowl #2:

And hopefully before my boys get home from school today I'll have strips cut for bowl #3.  But I'm not giving any hints as to the color yet you'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Making Acrylic Paint 3-D...

and I'm not talking about using gel medium to make it "stand up". 

So here was my idea, gently mix different colors of acrylic paint on parchment paper then let dry for a few days.  For my first endeavor I decided to mix purple, lavender, pearl white and a gold tone color.
I decided that eventually they would become flowers so next I had to paint a canvas for them.  I didn't want to do the traditional green glass and blue sky so I pulled from these colors and made the sky beige and the grass purple (and tilted it sideways for fun).

I forgot to take pictures of the next step so bare with me. 
After a few days of letting my paint covered parchment paper dry completely I pealed the paint off.  In some spaces where the paint was a thinner layer it broke off but that was ok because I was going to rip it apart anyway.

Next came the fun part.  I balled up these pieces of dried acrylic paint and then glued them onto the canvas.  After I was pleased with the placement of these I noticed that I still had a big piece of dried acrylic paint leftover.  I decided to glue this towards the bottom and make it look like a vase.  Finally I painted the leaves and stems.  I had to spray a clear coat onto the flowers because when the paint started to get stiff it flaked very easy.
 When I took it to my studio space at Olde Towne Art my colleagues loved it!  Within 2 weeks it was sold (glad I took pictures!)  For our March show I decided to make another one but larger.  Same concept, more flowers and more 3-D.  This time I started by painting the canvas then picking the colors for the flowers.  The black vases may look like toilet paper rolls but they are actually bigger.
Don't these swirls look fun?

After I pealed them up from the parchment paper I made them into flowers, glued them down then painted the stems.

At first I was going to have the blue flowers in one vase, orange in the second and pink in the third but after I had it set up that way there seemed to be sort of a disconnect so I added colors from the other two to make it look a little bit more cohesive.  Here is a side view so you can see the three-dimensional effect:

And a close up shot:
It was well received last night at the opening of our new show but now I need more ideas of things I could turn these into because I'm sick of flowers now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nail Art

Not finger nail art but "hammer and nails" kind of art.

A few years ago while visiting my mother-in-law in Illinois, and visiting an antique mall that I go to every time we drive out there, I came across this:
Nails hammered into wood then painted.  What a contrast, the harsh ruggedness of a nail but then dainty little flowers painted on the top of each nail head.  Here is a side view:
 I loved it but I had already spent too much so I passed it up.  I logged the idea into my head though... painting on nails, how unique.  When we traveled back to Illinois this past Thanksgiving I made my way to this same antique mall.  I had completely forgotten about this treasure and I also forgot about recreating it when I got home.  But guess what?!  It was still there... waiting for me.  When my mother-in-law asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said "THIS!"

A few weeks ago I began recreating this idea.  My first thought was to do an undersea theme and paint each of the nail heads fish:
I use roofing nails as they have the biggest surface space plus I found that they come in 3 different lengths, awesome, that way I could stagger them and make more of an impact.  So I bought all three sizes, took them home and started hammering away!  (After hammering I primed the nails so the paint wouldn't chip off.)

I think I have made 8 total but my favorite one (and the smallest) is my abstract black and white one:
I have also done an owl, ladybugs on leaves, and a few flowers.  I hung them yesterday in my studio space at Olde Towne Art

I have so much more to talk about but I'm trying to stay to one thought per entry.  As a teaser my mom and I went to a quilt convention last weekend where I got a lot of new ideas! I love quilts but some booths were geared more towards us mixed media artists... what else could we do with fabric? Stay tuned because I have dug into my fabric stash and I'm creating something awesome!