Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Upcoming Teaching Project

I will be teaching a mixed media class, a class on the Collage fabric Purse (think Paisley Purse simplified), and a Beaded Butterfly Pin class as well as doing some demos September 11-14 and October 16-19 at the RibbonSmyth Studio in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. The setting is a beautifu old farm and the studio is located in an old barn that has more eyecandy than you can take in during the four days of classes. The barn and studio are owned by Victoria Adams Brown, who has taught all over the world and is the author of two wonderful books on Silk Ribbon Embroidery, will also be teaching some wonderful classes. Here is one of the class samples using materials and techniques we will be exploring in class. I call this "Save the Birds, Save the Planet." Back View.

The first house is the flower house. The base of this and all the houses is fabric/paper made with muslin and tissue paper. Techniques include lace dying, beading, and collage. The second center house is trimmed with pearl buttons, and trims. The "gingerbread" is cut from a doily like napkin.

I call this the Heart house. This house is embellished with lace, fabric beads, dimensional paints, beads and sequins. The backs of each house are also embellished. The birds are purchased and the sticks are from my back yard. This class is open for lots of possiblities as far as the shape of the pages and the materials that can be used. For more information on the classes, go to the RibbonSmyth site. Feel free to browse but I warn you--don't expect to come away without buying something!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thanks and latest doings

Thanks so much for the kind comments on Ragalia. Hopefully she will find a nice home

I have been trying to expand my faces by adding character (like the Jester) and expression (like Hyacinth). I decided I needed to practice this so I made myself a new journal which I call my Face book. I was going to do image transfer with Gel Medium, but I couldn't get it to come out distince enough (turns out I wasn't letting it dry long enough--next time!) so I stamped the image on white tissue and then used the gel medium to seal it to the cover. Similar effect but you can still see the tissue though the background colors and images do show through. I bought those stamps on sale and finally used them! Front and back are the same except I arranged the pics differently. I used osnaberg for the binding fabric and fringed the edges. Like the effect. I used gold cord to sew the pages in and then threaded pearl buttons on the excess. The book is 5" x 7". I used the pages from the tree journal as I made the right size pages for it and also replaced the clay leaves with foam ones since the clay was a little too brittle for that application. It was a gift for a very dear friend, a wonderful artist and very accomplished woman (she has two great books out on silk ribbon with techniques that are popular today) who lives on a farm with lots of trees. Here is the first page of my face book--a self portrait of course though my friend said I look drunk, cross-eyed and angry in the pic! See--I need lots of practice.

I also had time yesterday to sneak in a new altered cigar box. This one has a picture printed on silk then embellished with hand-dyed lace, beads, velvet leave, and sequins.
The box was gold painted wood but had a very unattractive emblem on the front so I used my favorite--paper towels--to cover the sides and front after sanding off the emblem. then I gave them a very light coat of gold interference and topped it with thick gloss gel medium. I like the effect though it looks dark in the pic. It just needs a clasp and I think I may use a piece of jewelry. The top is very thin and I may have trouble getting a nail in there but try I will.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Yeah! New Doll

CORRECTION: I did make a doll since Hyacinth! I made Katiana the white cat dressed in blue. How soon we forget!

Also, a few people mentioned how nicely I coordinated these fabrics. Wish I could take credit there but the manufacturer did! These are mostly all coordinates. I just love paisleys and was in a "I never work with red I should challenge myself" mode. But thanks so much anyway!

Yeah! I finally made a doll! I haven't made one since finishing Hyacinth because I was working on the quilt. I had such trouble with the hands! It has been so long and I ran out of the fray stop I used. It was discontinued, so I tried a few others and had NO success. Finally, I turned the fingers without using any fray stop or glue and had no problems.
Her hat was started last month in doll club. We were making hats using Judy Skeel's challenge pattern from DCC. (I modified it a bit!) The first hat came out cute (almost the same as this one) but it was too small for her head so I had to make another. I usually use straw hats, but the one I like for this doll was Discontinued! Just my luck! The face I made while teaching a face class and the outfit I made when I was designing the doll though this isn't the final version I used in the Lady Ragalia pattern. This Doll is for Jeannie as a fundraiser towards the Dino Lambros Memorial Scholarship fund. Hope she brings in lots of donations.
Here is the backof the hat.
Now on to some dolls patiently waiting as sketches.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thanks and Play Date

First, big thanks to all who have made such lovely comments on the quilt and for all the input. It was very much appreciated. I hope you enjoyed the journey.

Monday I got together with Colleen and Tery to have a "play date". We decided to make Journals from scratch including the covers, binding, and pages (signatures) We started out following the directions from Teesha Moore's site . We used the materials and attached the pages as noted, but we sortof went out of sequence because I can't follow directions! We also used 8" x 6" canvas board instead of the larger size. All in all, it was a very productive day and we were close to finished when we had to pack it in so we could get home before the traffic started. I finished mine today. I used a punch for the leaves and flowers on the covers. The tree sits on a piece of embossed clay. Each book has 3 signatures of 6 pages each so there are a total of 72 pages! I also miscalculated the page size. For some reason I thought I had 5" x 7" board so cut the pages accordingly so they are about 1/2" in from the edge all on three sides. Actually, it allows for things hanging off the pages--not a bad thing. I also used some clay leaves I made because I wanted to try them on the binding. I treated them with paints, pearl-ex and dimensional paint. I really like the colors. I also added a piece of board to the spine to make it stiff. Now I need to make stuff to fill the pages! I also tried some transfers using gel medium and color lazer copies on the inside covers. Interesting effect that I need to practice but it has possibilities. This book is all paper except for the binding fabric. I am going to try to keep it a paper techniques book. Thanks Collen and Tery for a great day. And this time special thanks to Tery for all my goodies. You are tooooo sweet! Next time we get together, we are going to do charms. Each person will make a charm and teach the rest of us to do the same. Really looking forward to it!

It's Done It's Done!!!

The Memory Quilt is now complete. I am really pleased with how it turned out and the recipient Jeannie was very touched--infact we both cried. So it is now ready for the Memorial Ceremony in two weeks. I quilted 16 hearts, one behind each block on the back in gold thread, but I tried to take a pic and they just don't show up. They really do pull the front much flatter. Here is a pic of the whole quilt.

The leaves were cut out with my Big Kick Machine. I attached fusible web to the silk before I put it through the machine then ironed the leaves to the border. To make sure they stayed, I did a blanket stitch with gold metallic thread around each one by machine.

I wasn't all that happy with the way the tree turned out--it didn't pop enough. I fixed this by coloring the patches around the tree to make them darker and add more contrast. I also added a layer of scattered gold silver lined bugle beads over the trunk. Much better.

The green leaf trim was attached with silver lined green seed beads. The hand dyed flower trim around the outside of the fans was sewed on with crystals in the centers of all the flowers. I also added the gold metallic cord between the quilt and the border. It add just enough in my humble opinion, Now I need to finish a doll for a fundraiser auction at the memorial--monies to go to Dino's Memorial Scholarship.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thanks and Decision

Thank you thank you thank you everyone for your wonderful responses. Martha, I really appreciate all the thought you put into your response. Those were my thought patterns too and yes the colors do look different in person. The light green silk is irridescent so the color is a bit off in the pic.

I had also tried a dark grey, brown, navy, hunter green, irridescent rust, burgundy, and cream. The black does make the leaves pop, but I think it was a bit heavy. The gold was a little too discordant a note and it just didn't feel right to me. I liked the blue and thought it would represent the sky and that is my second choice. My favorite is the darker green and Martha, you were right and I feel this would celebrate his life and IMHO, green is a neutral--all you have to do is look at nature. Barbara, I agree with your insight too--it does make the center with the green trim around it stand out and help your eye travel around the piece. There isn't a flower that doesn't look good against a green background.

Last but not least, is Jeannie, the recipient's input and she immediately nixed the light green and blue (she is a more earthtone browns, reds, golds person). We agreed about the black and she was iffy on the gold but liked the darker green which is really a medium olive tone. So the darker green it is.

I am very touched by all the responses and comments. It is a special project and we loved Dino very much and still miss him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Quilt Progress

I have finished the tree in the center and added bead leaves. I had hoped it would show up better than it does, but it does glitter.

I have dyed all the edging trims and we decided to make solid borders with leaf shapes cut out with my Big Kick machine of tie fabric and solid colors to applique on. The people attending the memorial will write a word on the solid color leaves that depicts Dino to them. I just can't seem to decide on the border background colors. Here are my 5 options created with the help of Adobe Photoshop. Would love your opinion.

Options are: Black

Dark Green

Light Green



Saturday, April 5, 2008

Break from the Quilt

First thanks to those who commented on the Memorial Quilt. It is progressing, though not as quickly as I had hoped and I thought I should take a short break to regroup and recharge. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)
I have some very dear friends who have inspired me off my quilt path! (Have to blame someone!) Barbara and Victoria Adams Brown of Ribbonsmyth showed off their altered Cigar Boxes. They made them into Bead Boxes to hold beading projects complete with a beading platform (the inside of the lid) and are beautiful beyond words. They did some beautiful Silk ribbon Embroidery and used lovely laces and silks. They looked very vintage. I just HAD to try one or two of these myself so I bought a few cigar boxes and started to play. Here are the results--strangely there is no (or very little) hand sewing in on mine. Wonder why. I call them treasure boxes--wouldn't they be a great place to store all those ATDs and ATCs?
The background fabrics for both are silk I literally threw dyes at then soaked in diluted Lumierre paint, scrunched up and then let dry. Love how the paints and colors migrate to and from high and low spots in the fabrics.
The Mermaid picture is a stamp on clay embellished with pearl-ex powders. I dyed the laces of course. The sea horse is from a mold I made of a pin I have then used it with clay. The shells are real. The stamp is from and is #S298 Mother of Pearl. The edging on the lid and box corners are the actual box.

This box has a stamped panel (Stamp from Michael's) stamped on silk organdy then embossed with gold. The panel was tinted with easter egg dyes and placed over a small piece of pink confetti dot placed over a piece of wide lace netting. I dyed all the lace . The dragonfly is a pin I made a mold from then cast in UTEE transluscent mixed with Gold. Love the effect but it is very brittle.

I also made small panels covered with the fabric for the sides of the boxes so you wouldn't see the Surgeon General's warning and all that other good stuff. All the panels are edged and sealed to the boxes with dimensional paint. The knobs are filagree gold beads.

Enough procrastinating. I am off to work on the quilt. If you don't hear from me in for a while, don't worry--just means I am working hard (hopefully!)

On another note, my Neptune's Daughters class is set to begin April 17th. anyone interested can sign up through