Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Silk Vases

With the upcoming holiday season, I am preparing for the one sale that I take part in each year.  I am fortunate to be part of a group of artists and our eclectic work is displayed and sold before the holidays in a collective show.  It is the time of year that I open my sketch book and look through the zillion ideas that I have written down and pick a few quick projects that I have been thinking about.  Since my mind is a continuous mindstream of ideas, it isn't usually too difficult to narrow it down to a few choice projects.  This post is about the last project that I completed before the sale next weekend.  With these little things out of my system, I will soon be turning my sights to something more challenging and time consuming.

These vases have a base of Fast 2 Fuse and are covered with Silk dupioni.  The fibers that I couched are hand dyed from bundles of "Oliver Twists" that are made by someone in the UK.  And the inside is lined with my hand dyes from the summer.

Inside I added a glass vase from the local craft store and voila! - a vase.

In an effort to use what I had on hand, I selected silk that I thought went will with the oliver twists that I already had and I came up with the following combinations.


The inside of this one has a commercial print that looks like a screen print.  A friend told me it reminded her of a willow tree.
This silk is crosswoven with lavender in one direction and turquoise green in the other so it changes color as you move around it.  Again, the inside is lined with one of my hand dyes.

Finally, this one is also cross woven with hot pink and emerald green.  All of the vases are approximately 8 1/2 inches high and 3 1/2 inches on each side.  

This was a fast project adapted from the Fast, Fun and Easy Fabric Vases book that I purchases a while back.  If they sell great, if not I am sure they will make great gifts or will be a functional place to hold my paintbrushes and rulers.  

Thanks for checking out the blog.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Jersey Shore

I have been going to the Jersey Shore since I was a little kid.  My family would spend a week at Wildwood Crest playing in the sand, surf and on the boardwalk.  It was a traditional vacation but we always had a great time at the beach.  I still live in New Jersey and the recent superstorm Sandy has really taken a toll on us here.  Luckily, I live in the northwest corner of the state and aside from slight damage to our house and a brief power outage we fared pretty well.

Ironically, I was at the shore for the day this past September and spent quite a bit of time collecting the pretty shells and stones that I just love.  I have been doing this since I was a kid too.  I had already begin my shell and stone collages before the storm but, they have taken on a certain importance as I sit and hand stitch while I am glued to the grim news reports that air around the clock.

These collages are each 8" x8" overall and the actually fabric is 6" X 6".  My photo editing skills are sketchy at times.  The bases are cotton batik and a silk burlap type fabric that I quilted.  Then each little square was fused and stitched on.  Finally I embellished with shells, stones, lace, ribbon, buttons and machine and hand stitching.  

Here is a close up of the piece mounted on blue canvas.  I find it very calming to just look at a small area and work on only those few square inches as a time.  Then I move to the next area and work on that.  It was a good project to work on when I was feeling overwhelmed by the storm, the aftermath and now the worsening situations in our area.

Here is a close up of the blue batik piece that is mounted on the yellow ochre canvas.  They look nice together since the fabrics coordinate.  My favorite thing about them is the individuality of each little square as it fits into one cohesive piece.

One last close up as we all keep the people who have lost so much in our thoughts.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Something Out of My Ordinary

As a habit, I don't generally do a lot of representational work.  I love working in the abstract and I love making collages that are randomly arranged.   However, every once in a while I get an idea that sticks long enough for me to do something with it.  This simple piece actually has some more interesting aspects to it, so I thought I would share it with you.


The blue background is hand dyed cotton that I did using a low water immersion technique.  The table at the bottom is a collection of black and white batiks that I had.  I put Mistyfuse on the back of the batiks, cut them with a wavy blade rotary cutter and fused them together to make a more interesting texture for a table.


The stems and leaves were also done by fusing small pieces of randomly arranged green fabrics.  It adds a whimsical feel to the piece, while still being representational.  The petals were a variety of yellow batiks and almost solids, which gives the flowers a more realistic look - since flower petals can sometimes appear varied in color when they catch the light.    The vase is a red batik that I quilted in such a way as to add dimension.

Here is a closer look at the flowers with the varied yellow fabrics.  Also, you can see the loop-de-loop free motion quilting in the background to keep the fun feel of the piece.  The borders were made with a different red batik and solid black quilters cotton.  Overall, I am happy with the quilt even though it is our of my usual vein of work.  Which is why I call my studio "Random Acts of Piece", because sometimes even I am not sure what will come out of there.

As an aside, I also put together this quick project using black quilters cotton and some silk yarn that I purchased at a quilt show.  The vase inside I picked up at our town wide garage sales in September and it was in a "free" box.  It was a pretty non-descript clear glass vase but, I knew that I could use it for a functional project.

The silk is sort of frayed and textured so it adds some dimension.  The vase on the inside is about half an inch shorter than the fabric piece that conceals it.  Once you add flowers, you can't see it.

I ran the silk along the seamed corners and top edge to help give the vase extra sturdiness.  The fabric is fused to Timtex so it will hold its shape.  Quick, easy and functional.

Thanks for visiting the blog.  Feel free to leave a comment.  My next post will include shells and stones that I collect at the Jersey shore.  As I work on it, I can't help but think of the people who lost so much and are still struggling down there.  I hope to finish it soon before the power is restored in the rest of the state and I have to return to work.  Although a little normalcy would be very welcome here.