Sunday, June 28, 2009

Projects, projects, projects!

Here's what I have been up to recently. During this month I had a week off of work. Why does it go by so fast?! We went camping over the 1st weekend, came home for a few days that I spent making things, cleaning carpets, working in the garden and then went camping again.

I had planned to work on some polymer clay projects and experiment with silkscreening. Is that what happened? Of course not, I got off on a completely different tangent (several to be exact) and here's what I made:

First, since I was camping I had to bring along some projects. I usually pack a plastic drawer and then a sturdy tote that my husband now calls the "100 lb tote". I had the urge to do some hand work and had never done any embroidery to speak of so I decided to try that. I went online and read up on stitches. Then I decided to use one of my drawings to see what would happen. This is the drawing I went from. I have had this made into a rubber stamp and I use it all the time.

And here is how it turned out:

I was pleased with the results. I think it looks rather vintage and now I have a million and one ideas for embroidery. I did this on muslin and backed it with fusible interfacing. It did pull a little because when I started it I did not have a hoop. When I got back to town after the first camping trip I ran to the thrift store to solve this problem.

I also got on another handmade book kick. I wanted to spend some time trying to solve an issue I have had when making books with sewn signatures. I have not been able to glue the pages into the book and have the book close properly. This has driven me crazy for some time. I think I have finally figured it out but not until I had made the second book. I still have to make more to see if I truly solved the issue, but here are the two I made:

This is one of those cases where you start out with one idea and end up with something totally different. I gravitate toward vintage looks. I was thinking I wanted to make something in the color scheme of pink and muted green. I painted the background paper and when I was done it looked rather anemic. So I stamped in a darker green with one of my hand carved stamps. The center silver medallion was an experiment with a cuttlebug folder that was laying on my workspace. I laid out the center design and ribbon and showed my husband (who has had quite the education on "art"--I'm sure he never imagined all the projects he would influence). I said "it just needs a little something more" to which he replied "Why don't you put a little thingy hanging down". I told him he was brilliant and ran to finish my book. I am so blessed!

So I actually finished the second book today. I had painted the cover paper thinking I would go for the deep red leather look. Wasn't really happy with that either, so it sat around for several days. For some reason it seemed to come together today as I was trying different papers and fabrics.

I happened to find some fabric in my stash with roses on it that matched the color. I have just been reading the new Somerset Studio Art Quilting book and wanted to try working with some fabric collage. I cut out the flowers and reconfigured them into a design that would fit the book cover. The light colored background is tea dyed muslin and a little cheesecloth for dimension. A button on the lower left and a wire charm I made at the top finished it up.

The other thing I had on my agenda was to make a tote I could use as a purse. I had been carrying a perfectly good black leather purse, but the lining torn and it was a mess inside. I could never find anything. When I finally changed things out I had to laugh at all the things I carry. I must have been a Girl Scout as I would never be accused of being unprepared. I picked up 2 panels at one of my thrift stores (It is called Home for Good and they use their profits to fund an adoption ministry - for a dollar a panel and used them to make my tote. The pattern didn't call for a lining, but I put one in that has 6 inside pockets. I cannot believe how much of a difference this had made. It is much easier to find things and I am still outfitted like a Girl Scout.

Hope you all have been having as much fun as I have. I will leave you with a photo I took while camping. It is a beautiful wild rose. This photo is destined for a future project of course! Thanks for visiting.