Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rittenhouse Square Color Pencil Sketch

Because I spent time at a Phildelphia Hospital during the month of December, this is a colored pencil sketch of downtown Philadelphia with many twinkling lights in the parks beneath the high-rise buildings. I passed this part of Philly at night on the way back to the farm from the City.  I don't think the sketch is finished.

A heart for Joan

I'm working on a collection of little hearts for my newsletter, that hopefully will get broadcast tonight.
This is a 4" wool heart that I made tonight for my friend. Joan lost her husband undexpectedly this time last year. I want her to know she is surrounded in love. Joan works with breast cancer patients and started taking classes here at the studio two decades ago. She was an ardent supporter of the ArtBra Calendar project.  Last year, Joan's heart offering was a deep crimson silk velvet trimmed with bias-cut roses.
The 4" x 4" heart above is a deep fuschia pink wool, embroidered with one color of variegated 4mm silk  ribbon in pinks, yellows, corals and greens. I used the Spider Web Rose, the French Knot and the gathered Frilly flower. I added a gold brass charm and 2mm pearls. The fuschia wool was cut from a blazer that I found in a little thrift store in Sedona, Arizona. Just love the color. After creating the embroidery, I used the RibbonSmyth variegated silk twist to do the feather stitch around the edge of the wool. Then I "pinked" the edges of the wool and tacked the two wool pieces together and stuffed with fiberfill. The little heart will ship tomorrow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Velvet heart collage complete

Simply the best to take a vision and turn it into a physical piece!

Velvet heart collage with embellishments

This photo close-up shows the basted collage silk georgette pieces and the bullion fringe pieces with old French lime green sequins.

Velvet heart collage close-up

When I design, I work with the negative space in a composition. My vision was to have the design elements in the heart  go from one side to the other.

My first design for 2014 ~ Lime green velvet collage

What a luxury to spend a few hours designing! I started this late last night and finished it at 3 AM. The piece will be submitted as a class, to several guilds. While cutting velvet for orders, I came across this lime green velvet. I cut a piece from a silk georgette blouse, that I found at a thrift shop, to layer on top of the velvet. For a pattern, I drew a heart onto a paper bag and then laid the pattern on top of the velvet and traced around the pattern with a sharpie.

I fused a linen fabric to the back of the velvet with MistyFuse. I used linen because it was what I had just used to finish a memory pillow and had fabric scraps in the right size. The finished heart is 6"x8".

To assemble - Cut several pieces of the georgette blouse and arrange on to the velvet heart.  Then add a small strip of metal fabric to the silk pieces. Add a strip of my new rayon hand-dyed tape "Shades of Ireland" (love, love this ribbon), a strip of Peacock RibbonRuffles followed with silk ribbon embroidery using 4mm and 7mm silk ribbons. I took apart a 1920's metal bullion fringed tassel and tacked the fringe pieces into place. Then added Victorian buttons followed with seed beads and charms. For me, it is adding the old vintage bits, that create the appeal.

I used a deep emerald green damask dinner napkin for the heart backing fabric. I think I have enough of the silk georgette fabric to make plenty of class kits. What fun!

Hibiscus blooming in our sunroom

What a gift to see this little blossom. In the fall, I bring in our three pots of hibiscus. I have no luck getting them to bloom in the sunroom, during the winter months. But this bloom appeared last week and it was a bright spot during the misery of the cold.

No sunlight and cold temps for months, are never relished by any of us here at the farm.
I think this hibiscus would make a great watercolor or collage!