"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dryer Sheet Art

Here is a sampling of my dryer sheet art. The flower piece is 8x10 and the two abstracts are 5x7. I painted about 30 sheets last week, in all sorts of colors, so now it's time to play! I found these simple black frames and I really enjoy the way they finish the pieces.

"In Bloom"

"Toss Up"

More Bottlecaps

I have an opportunity to put some things for sale in a gallery in a nearby town. The owner asked me to focus on recycled items, and to make some things at various price points. She really liked the bottle cap things that I'd made, so here is the first batch of magnets heading her way later this week. I think they're cute, and they seem to be popular with the teen and pre-teen girls (as in, the best reactions to them have been from my daughter and her friends!). I plan to do more with bottle caps ... maybe even hand paint some? We'll see.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Double Dipping

I have dyed all my muslin this week and need to buy more! Here are some of the pieces I made. All, except the two on the far right, were done by a method I have been experimenting with. I'll call it double dipping, because it uses two colors, though I'm sure it's probably been called by other names. I like "double dipping", so I'm going with that!

I used 1/2 yard of muslin and a 1 quart plastic jar with lid. I mixed up my dye in the jar, roughly 1/2 tsp dye to 1/2 cup warm water (plus chems and all that other fun dye stuff). The fabric was soaked in warm water and wadded up into a ball, and put into the jar. In a separate jar, I mixed my second color, then poured this on top of the fabric in the original container. I put the lid on it and let it sit for 3 hours or so. I was pleased that the colors did not mix completely, but rather, they mixed in some places and stayed true in others. Today I decided to experiment with complementary colors to see if they would mix and become muddy, and they did not! The orange and blue is actually one of my favorite pieces.

It's probably a good thing I ran out of fabric - I need to get some other stuff done!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Quickie

I am trying to keep up with the monthly challenges of the Artist's Muse group. This month we were asked to prepare a surface with fusible, cut random shapes from fabrics, and then choose a fabric without looking, place it on the surface and continue. The rules ... you must use what you choose, and once it is placed, it has to remain where you put it.
I decided to use my scraps of painted dryer sheets to make this 5x7 piece. The colors are so vibrant and it was a lot of fun to see what came up when I chose each piece. Once it was finished, and fused, I put a piece of gold mesh fabric on top and stitched it all together. I decided to just attach one handmade paper bead to the piece, using wire to attach it. The bead has many colors in it - it doesn't show up real well in the photo.
This piece was quick, easy, and fun. I might even make a few more! And I love how the sheerness of the dryer sheets plays on the colors - I wasn't really thinking about that, guess it was a happy accident.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Dyeing

I did some more dyeing yesterday. Here is a one-yard piece that I made. I haven't decided what I will do with it. I will probably use portions of it in various projects. There are some pretty amazing textures when you get up close.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Bottlecap Snowman

As the summer drones on, it seems harder and harder to find time to sew. I am still trying to sort things out in the spare room and really can't wait to start moving my stuff up there. I'm hoping to find some time to dye some more fabric this week. The southern US summers are ideal in temp and humidity for fabric dyeing, even if they are not ideal for me!!
So I've been trying some smaller projects and ideas and here is what I've come up with - a snowman (ornament) made out of bottle caps. I think he's cute! He needs a hat, and I haven't settled on what I want to make that out of yet. I may audition a few things before I decide, but I think this little guy has potential. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Latest ...

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth! Feels like it sometimes, though! I am itching to create more small pieces like the last two, but at the moment I am moving all my creative stuff from the living room - where it is always an eyesore - to a spare room upstairs, which I will have to share with any guests that we may have. Of course, this means I have to clear out the junk that is in the spare room - not a ton of it, but enough to make it a longer process than I'd like. It will be worth it when it's over, though. I will have a "studio" - sort of - and I won't have to look at everything all the time. Can't wait!!!

My husband just celebrated one of those "OH" birthdays, so we took a little camping trip to the North Carolina mountains, and here is how we rang in the new decade:

What a blast!

In the meantime, I am taking another class through Quilt University - this one is fabric dyeing. I've got a stack of fabrics now, and it will take me forever to use them all, but it's been lots of fun. I am signed up to take part 2 of the class, which starts at the end of July. Still not sure that was a good idea! So below are some photos of a few of the pieces I have dyed. The first and last are silk, the rest are cotton. I have no clue what I will do with the silk pieces, but they sure are lucious!