Sunday, June 26, 2011

French Fairy Mixed Media Close-up

Using an assortment of techniques, the Vintage Fusible Image is imbedded in layers of fibers, old lace and hand-dyed rayon tape.

Fairy Mixed Media Collage

This Mixed Media Collage features a French Fairy Vintage Fusible Image.
Layers were added once the image was fused to the coffee-dyed fabric. Wonderful light needle-felting was added using RibbonSmyth FiberFusion.

Jack and his bunny

This is our farm puppy at 8 months old, although he is known as a "velcro dog". He weighs four pounds now and he does not go anywhere without his bunny. My husband calls him "Action Jackson", my assistant calls him "Jack-a-loo", and he will answer to Jackson Pollock too.  Willa calls him "Batdawg" due to his enormous ears.  He terrorizes our other papillon, Sadie Rose. And often when I come in at night from the studio, Pearl, our Maine Coon, can be seen sitting on him. And Jackson is happy about that too.

 There is not a piece of ribbon safe around him. He is the best stitching buddy.  

Gypsy Collage Close-up

Close-up of gypsy heart collage.
It's all about the layers!

Shabby Chic Heart Hanging

This is a small shabby chic heart that I designed for some class proposals.
I laid pieces of hand-dyed paper dyed with Rainbow Dyes, over the heart and then fused one of RibbonSmyth's Vintage images to the fabric ground. The fusible image anchored everything to the fabric. Then I needle felted FiberFusion around the entire design. The FiberFusion is much lighter and airier than wool, which gives a softer, blended appearance. I added a maple leaf made out of FiberFusion to the left side of the vintage image.
Encircled the vintage image with bias-cut silk ribbon and needle felted lace around the piece and finished with metal thread couching and an assortment of Japanese Mother of Pearl Disks. I made a hanger and bows using RibbonSmyth hand-dyed rayon tape in celery green.
Too much fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wool Afghan in progress

In February I began to crochet baby afghans for a Cinco de Mayo baby shower that we did in New York. The mom-to-be is a photographer and she painted the baby's room in a soft dove gray. I had not crocheted since college but wanted Kate to have something hand-made for the nursery.  I made one lime green afghan in a heavy yarn and one soft duck down yellow mohair afghan. I could have made twenty afghans in the time that I made the two.  During this time, my niece was placed in a cardiac care unit in Texas and to get through the extended hospital stay; she began to crochet. I began to send her yarn and crochet websites.

This is the best crochet site with free patterns -
Last week at the Mennonite thrift shop I bought a bag of wool 6-sided blocks. There were 6 ivory blocks and 35 blue blocks. The $4 bag of blocks had to come with me! I whip-stitched the blocks together and it is one odd very heavy, little throw. I'm adding a 6-inch crochet border with marled yarn, around the throw and then it will be making it's way to my niece. Each night after dinner, I sit in the porch swing, crochet a bit and watch the little hummingbirds flutter among the fire flies. Really happy it's summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shabby Chic PostCard

 I collect quotes and use them in my collages. Leonie gifted me with a fabulous book, "Creating with Fabrics" and it's  filled with step-by-step instructions. It is the inspiration for my collage work.

The Quote ~

There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it!
You surround youerself with people who make you laugh.
Forget the bad, and focus on the good.
Love the people who treat you right,
pray for the ones who don't.
Life is too short to be anything but happy.
Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

The focal for the card is one of my Mother of Pearl buttons that I make here at the studio.
Vintage ticking fabric for the base. The  quote  was fused to a piece of muslin and then tacked to the ticking fabric with a simple cross-stitch using Scalamandre thread. The button was stitched to the fabric and then added a beaded picot with celery seed beads was stitched around the button. The button was then glued to the card with quick grab tacky glue.

12" of Tropicana Rose rayon tape was tacked beneath the quote, using celery seed beads. Then frayed the edges of two pieces of vintage hankies and tacked them into place. Added two RibbonSmyth velvet leaves and tacked in place with seed beads. Added a little 1930's Vintage Czech turquoise crystal button and a Paris clock button to the other hanky piece.
Flipped the card over and fused a RibbonSmyth French PostCard back to the back of the card.
Added a bit of raspberry cluny lace to the bottom of the card. The card can easily be hung as a small, mindful wall-hanging to grace a cubicle wall or propped up among perfume bottles on a dressing table.

Willa's Postcard

Isn't this a clever postcard? Willa sent me this card in honor of the ArtBras. Willa was an ArtBra designer and is a dear friend. She created and generously donated so many bras over the years with wonderful inspiring stories. Her friendship and support of the ArtBra project, means the world to me. We made wonderful memories when we travelled together to France. We both love all things French, thus the French charms on this card!
If we are together, we are laughing! Willa, muchas smooches!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Black and Orange Cuff Bracelet - Close-up

This shot shows a bit of the gold braid used between the beads.
Really fun to make. I have some classes lined up in 2012 for making the cuff bracelets and we will do some workshops here at the studio.

Black and Orange Cuff finished

A pic of the finished cuff. I did not like the bulk of the jet bead button for the toggle, so I used an old brass button, which adds texture. The little black seed beads remind me of caviar!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Progress on Black and Orange Cuff Bracelet

I've added black hematite beads and it does make a difference in the design!
It's great to just bead around the design in the pattern of the fabric. The brown shells and the little gold cabochons are focals and I added in gold cord among those pieces before I started stitching circles of seed beads. Easy Peasy! I like the  African nature of the fabric.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beaded Cuff Bracelet in Progress

This is a work-in-progress that I started last night. Seems most all my designs begin on Saturday night!
This is a birthday present for a friend that has a teeny tiny wrist. I'm off to see if I can find black beads. I've started the beaded picot stitch with a metallic bead but thinking black beads might be the ticket. I have a beautiful French black jet button I will use for the toggle. And I've started to add an elastic loop for the toggle instead of the beaded ones. The elastic gives that 1/4" "give" although asthetically I prefer a beaded loop. I used a  pretty rust suede leather for the back. Years ago I was designing pieces for  a leather company  in another life, and they sent me large pelts of various leathers.  I was designing Native American pieces for magazine articles and advertising. The leather is so soft.

My friend wanted her bracelet to be designed in orange.  I use men's ties for the base fabrics and after a bit of searching, found a great 1960's men's rayon tie with just the right amount of orange.  On the East Coast, we  wear lots of black and I think this cuff will look great with a black turtleneck. I know orange is a trending color and the last time I can remember orange being so popular, was back in the 1980's.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

CQ block with rayon ribbon flowers

This is an eight inch block embellished with hand-dyed rayon ribbons. There is a wire-edge ribbon rose in the center of the block. A small 1/2" round RibbonSmyth button cover  is covered in doupioni silk. I gathered 10" of hand-dyed rayon tape in the Merlot colorway and then tacked the gathered ribbon around the button cover. I added beads around the button cover.  A dyed  rayon motif using Rainbow Dyes in Victorian Rose, Olivine and Antique Gold is then tacked to the fabric.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wire-edge Rose Pillow for Sendai

This is the completed pillow that I made for Hideko's auction in Sendai.
The morning glory print is made from a vintage 1880's seed packet label that I found in Harrisburg, PA. I fused the fabric label to emerald green velvet.

I made each of the wire-edge ribbon roses and leaves from ribbon I purchased in Paris. Each of the roses are attached to the fabric, and with the palm of my hand, "squished" the roses flat and then tacked the edges of the roses to the fabric. By flattening the ribbon roses, the overall appearance has more of a vintage flair. I attached fabric strips of deep emerald damask fabric, cut from vintage dinner napkins, to the velvet. Added   feather-stitching using Scalamandre tassel silk thread from Brazil and  then embellished with seed beads. Beads were added among the wire-edge ribbon roses, that are old pre-war German plastic flowers and vintage Czech leaves and glass flowers. Then French knots made using RibbonRuffles were stitched among the beads and flowers. The tassel braid is some I gathered at the Scalamandre factory in Queens. There are two bags of fiberfil in this pillow. It's a bit "hefty"!  I used a deep emerald brocade fabric with an Asian print, that I found in a little fabric store in Paris, for the cushion back. Can't wait for Hideko to see it!