Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WOW! Its Aug. 30th, my sisters birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day Lash and a great year ahead. You certainly deserve it!

Well, I finished part 1 of the Sumptuous Surfaces course. I feel that I could have added more decorative and raised stitches, but learning the stitches I did use took long enough and I really need to proceed to Part 2 of the course, so left it as is. I used invisible thread to sew on the two shells. Note to self, if I ever get to a craft store, or stitch store (no stitch stores on the island), then I need to get some wooden and glass seed beads as I have very very little of either.

The completed Part 1 piece.

I read the notes on Part 2 and I can't say I was lost, but, I wanted to try something WAYYYYY out there, for me anyways; something way outside my comfort zone. So, I decided first, to apply some paint to my fabric. I had recently purchases two skeins of some very colourful yarn. One was in a sort of orangy, peachy, gold tones, and the other, greens, blues and turquoises. Those are the colours I wanted on my fabric. This was my first attempt at fabric dying.

I had a very limited supply of fabric paint that I had purchased for experimenting and had never used. I had a large supply of acrylic paints, craft quality and didn't know how it was going to react with the stitching fabric but what the heck. Jump in and see what happens.

This is what I ended up with and I have to say that the photo does not do the piece justice. It was horrible!!! LOL It actually looks quite nice in the photo but the centre part just looks like I took a batch of paint and blobbed it down and the colours were starting to get muddy. Honestly, it looks much much nicer in the photo than in person. I did water down the paints, both acrylic and fabric, and wet the sponge, dabbed the sponge from the paint to a piece of paper towelling to make sure the paint wasn't too globby or heavy and then sponged the fabric. I wet the fabric first, put it on a wet piece of paper towelling and then put the whole thing onto plastic. I kept the painted fabric moist for hours and hours before heat setting it with an iron. I actually quit painting the fabric way before I got to this, but the colours were so faint that I kept going back after I put all my paint supplies away, and got them all out again and reapplied the paint. Hence the blob from just way too many applications of paint.

I disliked this one so much, because of the dark blob in the centre, that I found two more pieces of fabric and ended up with these additional two samples.

Again, the photos do not do the fabric pieces justice. The upper piece is quite colourful and I think would be lovely doing a floral motif all over it. That will probably be used for project 3.

In actuality, I thought that the project 3 piece, the upper of the two above pieces, was going to be the fabric that I was going to use for Part 2 of this course. Again, I wanted to do something outside my comfort zone and something I had never done before is to write or add lettering to fabric. I didn't really know how I was going to do this but thought I better start with a stencil. I live in a small town, population 14,000 and no embroidery store, and few of any other type of store. Believe it or not, I was able to find two stencils in town. One was 3 inche lettering and the other 1 inch letters. Well, I wasnt't going to use the stencils for the first time on the piece I wanted to use for Part 2 of the course, so I decided to use the first piece of fabric that I coloured, the piece pictured way up there, which I said ended up with the blob in the centre. I figured it wasn't going to be much use for anything so I will use it for experimentation...

Okay, so I have made the decision that I wanted to write something on my fabric. What to write? This was such a long learning process! Hence Sharon's suggestion to just start writing ideas and see what came up. I finally decided I wanted to write "I AM HERE". Don't ask me why, its just something I needed to do.

Well, it's true what they say on TV.. Happy accidents do happen... WOW!!! I used my 1 inch stencil first and the letters were way too large for the size of piece I was doing. So I took some acrylic paint brushes, watered down some acrylic paints and started hand printing the same words in different colours to see which was best. Well, I ended up liking what I ended up with. Again, the photo does not do the piece justice.
So, the fabric I was going to discard is what I am using for my Part 2 exercise.

I now needed a focal point. Okay, I haven't gotten the whole creative art journal process down yet, but how can I create something in the journal when I have no idea what the possibilities are? My supply of what I will call Mixed Media art supplies is limited and other than travelling about 80 KM to the nearest Michaels Craft Store and paying an arm and a leg for crap, and there are no art or embroidery shops on the island, which means ordering online, which means at least 2 weeks delivery date if it is coming from the U.S., I am stuck using what little I have. And don't hastle me about ordering in Canada. The price difference would buy me a new car!

Anyways, I looked online for ideas and came across something interesting. A Dorset Button. Jump in the car, drive 5 KM into town, buy plastic rings after an hour of searching, come home and end up with this. I am not pleased with it as a centre piece to this design and may keep it in mind for something else. But, another happy accident. I accidentally left a photo in the scanner of the photograph I took of a bird that I had scanned to use for my Part 1 exercise. I love how it made my scan of the Dorset Button jump out. Hmmm wonder where and how I can use that again? LOL

And so the process continues.... I am not using the Dorset Button and have come up with another idea. I stitched it on yesterday afternoon and then decided on the way to bed at midnight last night that I didn't like the colour of perle cotton that I used so ripped it all out. I will try another colour after I get the dishes done, and the house vacuumed and the laundry done... Sigh...

Enjoy your day! Its brilliantly sunny here after a very windy couple of days as Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irene blew through. Looks like sun for a few days. YIPPY!!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sharon B's Sumptuous Surface Course


Summer is almost over and there is a touch of autumn in the air. The sun is shining and there is a bite to the wind..... I'm almost glad for the year to be over as the summer has been horrendously cold and wet tho I shouldn't complain as there is drought and flooding and hurricanes and things in the world.

In any case, I have taken a new course with Sharon B, Sumptuous Surfaces and love it!!! Sharon puts on great classes with wonderful notes and instructions. She has a blog that shows tons of stitches with instructions on how to do them.

This is my first piece which covers the first half of the course. I have to do a bit more work on it to finish it up.

My house is such a mess as I have spent countless hours on the computer printing out pages of stitch instructions or looking up Youtube videos on how to do the various stitches. My first piece probably took me close to 50 hours to complete, if not more.

Sharon says that to complete a 4 in by 6 in piece, which is what mine is, should take about 15 hours or so. That is probably a fair assessment. What took me so long is that I had to learn a few stitches, tried them in my piece, didn't like the floss/thread I was using, or didn't like the look of the stitch or found the stitch hard to do in the floss I was using and then kept ripping them out of my work and redoing them in different thread. Though the first piece took that long, I'm sure the others will be closer to Sharon's estimate of 15 hours.

I absolutely LOVE this kind of work. Any stitching that I had ever worked on previously was always done by following a pattern; ie. this colour and this cross stitch goes in this spot. This is the first time that I ever designed my own piece and then put in the stitch I wanted in the place I wanted, in the colour I wanted. It was quite liberating and exciting!

This is a close up of the left corner of the piece. I have a small seashell to add to the white spot in the lower left corner.

This is the right side and I have a seashell to add over the ferns/seaweed in the right corner.

Thanks for visiting!

See you next time!