Saturday, March 31, 2012

"sweets" for candy

I'm terribly late, but this is the last of the original Receiver's Choice blocks I designed and made for an exchange with the Sparkly Chickens Yahoo Group. This one is for Candy T., who decided to choose a theme as sweet as her nature and her first name ("Sweets"). Her favourite colours are pink & orange, so is it any wonder I included them in the piece?

Fused applique, bead embroidery, a few daubs/splashes of acrylic paint, hand embroidery and angelina fibres. The fabrics are a combination of batiks, hand dyes and a small pack of fossil ferns that had been gathering dust for years. The sky was made by dabbing on white perle acrylic paint and then letting it dry. The white sky looked a little too stark, so I added a layer of misty fuse, some pink angelina, covered it all with parchment paper and added heat with the iron to fuse it all together. Fast, easy and very effective!

Ice cream sunday mountain, sherbert hills, lollipop trees, a candyfloss sky and a cherry on top.... How perfect for my sweet little friend!

This block makes me smile!!! How about you?

The project is going on hold for a while! I'm still missing a couple of blocks in my own theme (botanical), so I think I'll wait for them to arrive before working on my own block. Stay tuned!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

rock on!

My contribution to the Embellished Rock Swap over at the wildly creative Cloth Paper Studio, Yahoo Group. The swap requirements were simple. Take a 7" square of fabric, use some type of dimensional embellishment and design the piece in such a way that it could eventually be wrapped a rock. I went a little overboard, so the recipient might need to find a small boulder to wrap it around!!!! LOL!

I ruched some yo-yo's (suffolk puffs to our friends across the pond) and added both traditional and slightly distorted embroidery stitches. Included in the mix are feather, french knots, straight, whipped running stitch, detached chain, cretan and whipped wheels (at least that's what I think they're called). A few beads were couched and stitched on, some freeform pin tucks, free motion machine embroidery, a few splashes of paint and I call the piece done. Well not quite finished, because that won't happen until someone finds just the right rock!!!

As usual, this was all done totally intuitively. I started with the silk dupioni background fabric, added the large ruched yo-yo and then just played around with fabric, floss, thread and beads until I was satisfied.

The full piece! I'm hoping the pin tucks will make it easier to wrap around a rock.

Doesn't this tempt you to make one for yourself? The piece isn't actually due until April 30th, but for a change, I've finished something early. It feels good, but doesn't help me with the other piece I need completed by the beginning of April. The muse goes, where the muse wants to go!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

bjp 0112 - at last

I'm back and so the journey begins! After several false starts, I'm happy to say that I'm now committed to a simple shape for my 2012 bead journal project. It's smaller than 2010, but far more practical. My problem is that I want to do it all, so need to leave some time to swap and play with other techniques.

I started the shape and then decided on the colour. Blue always reminds me of winter, so what better colour to use for this first piece.

Add a dash of purple, white and metallic for contrast, then slip in a few buttons from the family jar.

One is for the month of January!!! And the result is.........

A house, of course!!

The number "1" and the tiny screws are from a circa, who know when, touch tone phone (I knew that I was keeping it for some reason). The tiny key was found in the bottom of my mother's old jewelry box. It's stitched, not glued, just in case I ever find what it belongs to! The dark metallic button is part of a collection I started in the 80's (that button store is long gone!). I thought that it was about time I started using them!!


The base is 4" tall x 2" wide and made on a base of acrylic painted peltex. As usual, I've used an eclectic collection of beads, included three vintage flower sequins and then beaded them with a combination of peyote, back, stacked and bocce/boucle stiches.

My focus this year will be on the home......recycling, repurposing, making do and begging, borrowing and stealing numbers from my friends and relatives. The series of twelve will be tied together with a common thread of a unique number, combined with a vintage button. After that, who knows what I might get up to..........I don't guarantee that they'll all be bead encrusted..... and the size will restrict me somewhat......but that will just make it more challenging!

This year promises to be a mixed media exploration of the houses of the rich, eccentric and technique obsessed! Now, don't you want to pick up your beads and play?

Now on to does anyone have a cell phone or hand held calculator that they're not using? Giggle!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

melange of swaps

An early selection of swaps and gifted items from some of my internet friends, previously unknown swap partners and a couple of local fibre artist buddies. Included are Candy T., Teri W., Rachel M., Susan L., Kaite M., Donna F., Aynsley M., Janet R., Nellie D., Marcia G., & ibby245. Don't start counting, because the names won't add up to the number of swap items, as some of my friends are represented multiple times.

This piece represents a very small selection of my treasured swaps and a wonderful collection of techniques. I butted the edges together and zipped them together with an overcast stitch, using size 15 japanese seed beads. Yes, I am crazy!! It's great TV work though!

Fibre and mixed media postcards (4" X 6"), twinchies (2" X 2") and 4" X 4"'s.

I've made boxes out of twinchies (2" square) and plus sized inchies (1 1/2" square) and have also beaded together three house fronts, for a standing display. Other than that, I haven't done much else except fondle my swap collection every so often and then protect them from dust.

Bookmaking has been pulling at my brain for the last little while, so I'd like to make some type of book, with pockets, to display the ATC's (artist trading cards - 2 1/2" X 3 1/2") and some of the arches (sorry, I can't remember the measurements). I'm not sure when this is going to happen, but I assure you that it will!

Come on, show me your swaps!!! Especially if you've come up with a unique display idea that I could steal!!! LOL!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

hot & cold - made by moi


Two more original blocks to show for my Receiver's Choice swap over at the Sparkly Chickens Yahoo Group. They're very, very late, but certainly not forgotten! The first is for Liz who's chosen theme was "Fiesta". What the heck did I know about fiestas? I got the colourful part, but some of the well known images had already been used by other participants. I toyed with the idea of the image of a crisp white cotton skirt, complete with colourful embroidery and rickrack. Then I thought of those crepe paper flowers we used to make in high school. Rejected both ideas when I couldn't get my head around them laying flat on a 9 1/2" unfinished block (in my head, the skirt required movement and the flowers needed to be 3-D). I agonized and procrastinated until that brilliant light bulb moment when I realized that the sun was an integral part of the whole fiesta experience. How could I resist? After that the block worked up quite quickly. Fused applique, combined with free motion machine stitching and hand embroidery.

Working with Cheryl's "Winter" theme was a much cooler experience (if you pardon the pun). No angst, just pure pleasure!! I live in Canada and although this winter has been unusually gentle, it's quite easy to remember the effects of the cold. Naked trees are a favourite image of mine (to stitch, draw or photograph), so if one is good, then seven of them are even better! The technique I used for the trees involved free motion embroidery, using two colours of rayon thread (royal blue and purple) in the same needle. Yes, you CAN do this! The bonus is that you get a lovely blended stitch look, with only half the time and effort. To add to the icy image, I added fused spiky triangles of purple to the top and bottom of the block. A little more free motion stitching, some hand embroidery and the block was fini!

Only one block left to go!!! I've been mulling over Candy's "Sweets" concept and I think that I'm ready to take the first stitch!! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -