Friday, October 21, 2016

Dorset buttons

I have started a new book using some of my eco printed fabric.  While working on the design I thought I would make some Dorset buttons.  Made these once in EGA but must have used them on a project.  Think these may be part of a book!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rust Book 1

One of the classes I am teaching at AFICC in Cinncinatti in 2017 is a book made from vintage pillowcases.  My MIL had quite a supply of these packed away.  They are made from heavy cotton and embellished with crochet designs.  To give the pages some interest, I decided to try rust!  Here are my pages after rusting and before embellishing.
Covers.  My mother graces the back cover.
Pages, not in order.
The Mandela is made with hand cut leaves, the tree is embossing paste through a stencil on silk.  Sheer die cut leaves.

Die cut teacups, teapot made from eyelet and ribbon.  Picture is a flea market pin and brass filagree.
Basket is needlepunch done years ago as were the cloth beads.
Frayed fabric flowers. Button centers with decals to add design.
Silk ribbon wreath originally a class sample.  Crocheted medallions from Grandmothers table topper.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A few More Recycle Dolls

This is another using lace doilies. I also constructed her teapot and cup from cipboard covered with fabric.  I named her "He/s Late Again!  Tea Anyone?"

This is "Spot on Dot".  I need to add a large dot to her base.  She is a cloth over head and all the dotted fabrics are from my scrap pile! Purse is more scraps, flowers are buttons.  Just had enough trim to do her ruffles!  it is laser cut velvet and I am pretty sure I got it on the now closed Fabric Outlet of PA.  Her hair is acryllic yarn I wrapped on knitting needles, dampened and then baked.  Shoes were from a piece of ribbon!

Surprise! A new post!

I have been keeping busy doing things for my hubbie.  He had a knee replacement in January and a second on in September.  So I got to be Chauffeur for a bit taking him to and from Dr Appts and PT.  But, I have been working on making dolls!

Since there is no Hoffman Challenge this year for the Doll Category, I figured I may as well get my toes wet and enter the Gypsy Challenge display at the Houston International Quilt Show.  The theme this year was "Once Upon a Time-Past Present and Future.  Gypsy Pamela sends you a packet of fabrics and trims you must use on your doll.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take a pic of my goodies, but they were a lovely pink floral brocade, a deep burgundy organza, a satin finish  bright teal/turquoise satin, a narrow brown and gold trim and a wide Brown?Gold beaded trim.

 Here is the first version of ZombiElla.  You can see the trim on her cuffs and down the center of her corset, the sleeves and ruffle trim on her bodice is the organza, the bodice is the brocade.  Her underslip is the teal satin.  Her overskirt is a dyed embroidered curtain panel border.  I finished her in April and lived with her awhile and decided I wasn't happy.  So in July, I redid her head, changed her hair color, added crystals to her bodice, nipped her waist a bit, added sequins to the fuchia overskirt and underskirt hem and since that wasn't quite enough bling, I also overpainted the embroidery with metallic and glitter paints.  The hair color is perfect but wasn't too happy with the quality - too fuzzy, not enough curls.  So she got new hair and of course a clock  necklace too.  I also added a clock to her base. And of course since she got a new hairstyle, she needed a crown - cut from a soda can!  Here she is in all her glory.

 She is 20" tall and it was quite a challenge to get her balanced and sturdy enough to travel.  Her Armature consists of double hard 16g aluminum wire, a 1/4" wooden down and a #7 Knitting needle!  Then I filled the hole on the bottom of the base with EpoxyScultp to make sure nothing would shift.  Hopefully nothing did!  Haven't heard from the receiving end, but I guess that's a good thing!

I also received an invite to submit a doll for the "In Celebration of the Doll" Display.    Since it was Spring when I did this one, I used lots of flowers and again some recycled fabrics.  This is the same pattern but her head is all cloth.  The pearls are from a garland (flea Market find), the Venetian lace was hand painted.  Her overskirt is from an embroidered curtain panel I dyed.  Lots of silk ribbon roses and posies in the layers of her dress, on her bodice and in her hair.  she has bees on her base, her hand and of course in her hair!   Covered the base with a scrap of faux "grass and also added some flowers.

And the best part - I'm going to the show in Houston!  Leaving Nov 1, back Nov 6 just in time to vote!

Also was fortunate to have my Brides series juried into the Petaluma show in California.  Was double fortunate to go see the fabulous exhibit!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fabric Beads Tutorial

I am currently involved in a fabric bead swap on FaceBook with  the Rag Bag Gals group.  I have started making my beads - some using ribbon trims, felt and beads.  Following is a brief tutorial on how I make the basic bead.  After I reach this step, I start embellishing with beads.

First, I pick out my trim.  The piece I am using is actually three pieces of metallic ribbon sewed together and it is a scrap.  Don't remember what I initially used it for, but I did save the excess.  I then cut felt measuring against the ribbon to determine the length of the bead.  I then wrap this around a metal Knitting needle (I like size 8, 9 or 10) to determine the width.  I cut felt to this length and width for a basic barrel type bead.  For a contoured bead, I elongated the felt and cut it in a modified triangle.

Next, I wrap the felt around the needle and pin in place then sew it.  You could also use glue but I find the glue at times becomes hard to sew through when adding additional embellishments.

At this point I measure and fit the ribbon around the felt.  I like the gather the edges so all the felt is hidden and found the ribbon was too narrow for the barrel bead, so I added some additional ribbon to the edges.  I usually like to fold in the raw edge, but on the barrel, I didn't leave enough so I left the raw edge.  Make sure you have enough ribbon to overlap so there is no felt showing.  If there is, add a piece of ribbon over the raw edges.  

Here are the beads sewed and the edges gathered.  Pull the gathers tight to the needle.  Now they are ready for embellishing.  I recommend you keep them on the needle when you do this so you don't sew the center channel closed.  The bead on the right is not as round as I would have liked.  Next one I will make the piece of felt longer so there are more wraps.
Here is a view of the beads from the top so you can see the opening.

Hope you found this little tutorial Helpful.  I used ribbon for my bead covering but you can use the same technique with fabric too.
Here are some of my finished beads.  The bead in the center was not done with this technique.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Working on new Book

I have been in a fabric page swap on FaceBook/Rag Bag Gals group.  The subject of the pages was Ancient Ancestors.  The swap was completed and now I am putting the pages together in a book.  I decided I wanted to do a piano hinge type of binding but the found a bunch of 3" pieces of 3/8" dowels on my work table left over from all those dolls I did.
Here are the completed "beads".  I taped a piece of 24g wire to the dowel making small loops at the top and bottom then covered it around with sticky back cotton fabric tape I purchased years ago but never used.  I painted them, wrapped them in gold cord, then glued on some printed tissue paper.  The fabric bits to the right of the wire spool are selvage edges I cut off cotton fabrics.  I am going to use this to tie the book pages together. the beads are 3" each, the book edge is 7" so I joined two together at the center with jump rings.  You could also use one long dowel.

Next was to prepare the pages.  The pages are 7"  on the binding edge so I sewed the selvage tape 1/2" from the top and bottom, the at the 2" and 4" Marks. I marked the pages with pins as shown to make sure they were all straight.   I cut the selfage strings about 10" long.  They are whipped stitched around the tie centers to the pins marks on the binding edge of each page so there are two strings hanging at each pin.

Here is a page with the strings sewed on.  You could also use ribbons twine, cords- something strong and stable.   One string is to tie the page to the page in front, the other to tie the page to the page in bakc. After I sewed the ties to all the pages, I tied the strings around the beads.

To start tying the pages together, Place two side by side - I put them between my knees. Take a sting from each page and crisscross it-overlap them.  Lay one of the beads over the criss cross and tie using a square knot.  Don't make it too tight, you want some wiggle room.  Grab another page and tie it the same way.  Continue until all the pages are tied together.

Here are two pages together. and all of the pages

Next is to create your covers.  I cut chipboard 7 3/4" x 5 1/2"-a little larger than the pages.  I wrapped the front of the chipboard with velvet upolstery fabric and embellished with chipboard cutouts I treated with gold paint, Ultra Thick Embossing enamel, water color paint and Gilders Paste to look like metal.  The cameo center was a flea market find.

I did the same for the back cover.  I wanted to have a clasp, so I planned that out and used a decorative bronze pin You will need to add ties, only single ones, to the binding edge.  I suggest you do that before you glue on the endpaper on the inside of the covers.  Once your covers are done, tie them in place!
In lieu of the beads I created you could also use pony beads or buttons to hold the pages together. Here are examples.

On my finished book, I cut the ties short and frayed them.  Here are pics of my bound book.  I threaded thin chain through the loops on the top and bottom of the beads and also through the jump rings in the center.  I hung some charms. at the top and sides.

Front cover and Binding, below is the front clasp.

Long Time No Post!

In my defense, I have been busy.  My husband had a knee replacement early January and I needed to be chauffeur and all-around Slave while he was recouperating!  I did get some doll making in though.  Since He couldn't (and still can't) climb stairs, my studio became my sanctuary.  I have been going wild with my new "Recycle, Reuse, ReDiscover" dolls using vintage fabrics, laces, doilies, dresser scarves, etc.  Here is a group shot.  Missing are Rag Bag Gal, Victorian Lace and Frida as a child.  Shot includes some older ones, but they are all from the same pattern/design  They are L to R:  Very Chanel (notice her purse!), Market Dat, My Mommy Made This, Puppy Love, Style of her Own, Mod Chic, Hippie Chis, Alice Is that You? and Red Queen in Cowboy Boots.  Seated are In her Own Words and Miss America.  Very Chanel and the Red Queen are the same dress fabric - I painted the roses red! then had to make one with pink roses plus I had dyed the leg fabric dark grey and black stripes and didn't like how it looked with the red roses - needed black and red striped legs.

I still have at least one more I want to do.  I had dyed some doilies and want to use them similar to Victorian Lace.  Most of these are spoken for and will soon be headed to their new homes.  The rest will go in my Etsy shop.