Sunday, June 27, 2010

a bjp collage and how to work intuitively

annie_anne52 left this comment on my April Bead Journal photo (the blue one - see post below) in the Cloth Paper Studio Yahoo group, so I thought I would give my response on the blog, just in case others are interested:

"This is absolutely beautiful!!!! Just a couple of questions? What is the finished size? How do you get started on a piece like this? I LOVE IT!!!!

Thanks, Annie!

The finished size is 6" X 6" and it's constructed on peltex. Peltex is a heavyweight interfacing, originally used for the brims of hats. It can be purchased as fusible one side, two sides or not fusible at all.

This series of pieces (the blue one for April is my latest) starts with the serendipity landscape or seascape. It's an acrylic paint monoprint. Very simple to do and just involves tube acrylic paint, an old credit card, freezer paper (or a sheet of glass) and some recycled fabric.

-When the print is dry, I baste or fuse the monoprint onto peltex (or fast-2-fuse which is lighter) choose an area that looks roughly like a landscape and enhance it with free motion machine stitching. I basically torture the thread to get it to do what I want (tighten the top tension, loosen the bottom - or pull sideways to distort the stitch). I also add hand stitch and may even go back into the piece and machine stitch over the hand stitch. If the work is going well, I enter a "flow" state where time is lost and all that's important is the work. Warning! Sandwich the print between two sheets of parchment paper before you use the iron AND work in a well ventilated area. I'm not sure how toxic heated acrylic paint is, but it does give off a distinctive order, so please be careful! You do this at your own risk!

-I cut out the shape and baste it to the 6" X 6" square of peltex.

-Then I bead, bead, bead.......

I gather up my beads and then peyote stitch the bezel around the focal shape. After that, everything else is intuitive! It's an explorer/gatherer type of thing. You bead for a while.....get an idea for something odd to attach and then bead around the shape......jump to another for something interesting........bead some to the bead store &/or thrift store.......repeat until you're finished.........

The most important part of the process is to have fun!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

April 2010 BJP AMD

April is all about blue. I love everything about it! The sky, the sea, eyes, jeans, indigo fabric, jazz and flowers. It was the colour that I was most often dressed in as a child (blue eyes, donchaknow?)and that I pulled out of the crayon box first. It still remains my favourite! Despite all of this, would you believe that I had a hard time working on this piece? Is it because I'm tiring of the series, or do I simply have the blues?

Like my earlier pieces, this one is based on an acrylic paint monoprint that I turned into a serendipity land & seascape. It was then hand and free motion machine embroidered. I peyote stitched the bezel and filled in the rest of my 6" square with a large variety of of beads, found objects and stitches. It was painful at times, but I'm more than satisfied with the results.

I particularly like the leaves and the beaded waves in the section shown below. The flat blue discs have been recycled from a thrift store necklace.

I was lucky enough to find a mismatched pair of dice in the infamous family button jar?

Wasn't it fortunate that I was able to find this rusty/squished beer bottle cap in just the right colour? Honest, I didn't rust it myself! The glass marble is also from the button jar, as are all of the BUTTONS! Imagine that!

My friend Deborah, kindly sacrificed forever polishing her silver spoon for this piece. I chose this one over Charles & Di. I wonder why? (BTW the thistle has absolutely no significance, it was just the right colour.) I also added my very first Russian Leaf (taught to me by Marilyn Parker at the Toronto Bead Society technique night). Perhaps that's why I've been blue. I've been wanting to make these for years but just couldn't get it! I tried and tried and tried again until I finally figured it out. Now, of course, I've forgotten how to do it, so the next one will be difficult as well. I found that I couldn't bead the leaf in front of the TV, because I kept forgetting which step I was on. I blame American Idol and Dancing With The Stars......Okay, so I'm a reality show junkie.....I admit it, but I am selective and I do have standards. LOL!

I rusted this brand new washer all by myself by soaking it in balsamic vinegar for a day and then exposing it to the elements for a couple of weeks. When I was happy with the colour, I coated it with a couple of coats of Krylon spray fixative in a matt finish. I don't know if the vinegar actually did anything, but I do like the results.

The reveal!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

be.....weave it or not......4

Detail of what happens when you use a heat gun on your polyester organza.....MAGIC! I always liked the piece, but it was still too neat and tidy. I love the distressed effect, so had this in mind from the beginning. What do you think?

Warning!!!!! Remember to take the proper precautions when using a heat gun to melt organza. Good ventilation and the proper ventilator (NOT a dust mask) should protect you from the evil chemicals. Mine was purchased from a safety company called Ackland-Granger. Call up a similar company in your area and ask them what they suggest.

The final piece!

Well, it's not actually the final step, but it needs to rest for a while. I haven't found the right focal element yet, so it can just sit and wait until I do.

be......weave it or not.......OUT!

be.....weave it or not......3

Here you go.......a series of whipped straight stitches along the length and then a very loooong straight stitch woven across each row. Now on to the fun part..........

Friday, June 4, 2010

be....weave it or not......2

Which way did it go? Which way did it go??? Another layer of sheers, woven right on top of the other piece (but not woven within it). Now I need to anchor the strips. By hand or machine, that is the question.....woe is me, so many decisions. Of course, many of you will be able to figure the step right after that......right??? Just you wait and see.......ahhh the trials of an intuitive artist.....welcome to my world!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Be....weave it or not!

I'm playing around with yet another weaving thanks to my decidedly competitive nature (thanks K!!) and an excess amount of fabric. This time I used a square of upholstry fabric and some of my acrylic painted cotton. The commercial fabric was shredding like crazy, so I tacked it down (embellished would be a kinder term) with a mix of hand and free motion machine stitching. Of course, the piece is a little too matchy, matchy and blendy for my taste, so another layer of mystery fibre will be attached this weekend. Guess what I'll do to it after that? Keep tuned!