Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fabric Painting

Well I'm always up for experimenting.  I see those wonderful things on website and/or Pinterest and say "I can do that.  Easy."   Goodness, the powers that be must be laughing at me.

You know the phrase "there is no free lunch," well I put "nothing is as easy at it looks" right on the same plane.  So I have seen people paint fabric using fruits and vegetables time and time again. Easy, right? What could be to it? Well, to be clear, it's stamping on fabric with paint using fruit and vegetables as your stamp. recent day I set out to do it.  I grabbed the celery from the fridge, cut off the end about 2" above the bottom to use that as my "rose petal flower" (which it does resemble when done correctly).  Well the impression didn't look like a rose. 

Here's what I got ------------------------------>>>>>>>>>

Doesn't look right, does it?  Nope.  So what did I do wrong?  I followed the easy steps from a pin on Pinterest. That must be right.  Well off to do some research. The missing link is that AFTER you cut the fruit or vegetable you have to leave it as at least 30 minutes or overnight to "dry" out so that the juices from these items doesn't mingle with the paint and water it down making a less than perfect impression. (refer to photo above).

AND you really need to cut it off about 4 inches from the bottom to get more of the "petals" defined in the stamp.  So with other bunch of celery, I cut it higher from the base and let it dry out. 

Okay the celery is "dry" now, let's do this.   I put paint on the end of the bunch of celery and tested the stamp on some white muslin.  WOW it worked and beautifully too.  So pretty, I got carried away changed colors and even doubled up colors to make two toned flowers.  Check it out!  I have to do this on an actual tote bag now and some flour sack towels for my kitchen. I'll post those on Facebook when done.

So after the success of the celery, what else do I have in the house -- I know LEMONS.  Yes, more juicy than celery but again dry aging is the key. SO I cut a lemon in half and let it sit on the counter for 3 hours.  I have to say it turned out very pretty.  What do you think?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Designs come from many wonderful sources

Hello there!

Last summer during our wonderful trip to Scotland, our fantastic friends who live in England joined us for a few days in Scotland.  Needless to say it was and is always fantastic to see them.  Their daughter Julia has been one of my most special friends.  Her witty, intelligent, joyous demeanor is something I always enjoy being around.  She is wise beyond her age and quite the gourmand thanks to her father. 

But her mother is one who believes in experiencing each and every day to it's fullest.  She encourages her daughter to draw, dance, and do just about anything creative.  So during our trip, while we are all just hanging out talking and eating, Julia designed some fabric patterns using paper (kitchen) towels.  Did I mention she is 10? 

Her original design is at right.  I took it, scanned it, and printed it on fabric on our inkjet.  The treatment for the fabric is to rinse it in vinegar to set the ink (following the instructions of the fabric).  The fabric came out much lighter - pastel-like rather than vibrant like the original.  But I liked it.

What did that mean?  It means I had to make something with it but not for me -- for her.  This project has been on my desk since before Christmas.  Today was the day to get it done!

I decided to make a simple zippered shoulder bag for her.  With a grosgrain ribbon handle and a lovely crochet flower embellishment.  It is headed into the mail this week to her for a little jump start to Spring. 

Here's to Spring!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Where do I find arts & crafts supplies...

I prefer brick and mortar stores to buy my supplies.  Buying a product you already use on line is great and easy, especially late at night when I realize I need more of something.  For new items and inspiration, I love actually perusing the shelves and aisles, seeing the colors, the textures, the options and the ideas. 

How often have you bought something on line and when it arrived it wasn't what you were expecting?  I just did that with a coat I bought on line.  Returned it immediately.  It is the same thing with art supplies. Fabric and paper need to be touched.  Embellishments show their true detail and scale in person. 

Okay enough of that.... What I really wanted to talk about is where I do find my supplies.  The obvious stores come to mind like JoAnn's Fabric and Crafts, Michael's Arts and Crafts, Hancock Fabric, Vogue Fabrics in Chicagoland area, Hobby Lobby, and Archiver's (now closing).  I probably shop at Michael's most of the time because it is one closest and two has a great selection. 

Some of the less obvious stores for me include Target, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, and any "charity"/resale shop in my area.  Brown grocery bags make great journal pages and work surfaces.  I am always looking for great deals on items, aren't we all?

These brick and mortar stores are getting more scarce though.  In our area, we've seen at least two Hancock Fabric stores, one Archiver's store, and a quilt shop close in the last five years.  It is disheartening for sure.  For those that are still open, THANK YOU, we really appreciate you. 

Where do you find your art supplies?