This is going quickly!

The first challenge project of the year is moving along very quickly, indeed. Now that I have all the materials I need, I’m jumping in with both feet.

Mostly pictures this time–made a light/dark background, added the cheesecloth and started snuggling the mica tiles in.

I even thought about how I want it mounted and finished, so this part will be done on batting only and any ugly thread work will not show through. I found some glittery thread in a drawer that I didn’t think I would ever use, but it’s perfect for the dark side of this.

Yes, you can stitch through mica…because mica is a unique stone that can be split into layers thin enough to sew through!

Ready to add embellishments…

Oh–nope–that’s the layout before the dark thread and sewing down the mica. But basically this is where I started with the beads!

And that’s where I’m at! The quick part is done and now it’s beading and some hand stitching. Slow work, but enjoyable, for sure.

And it keeps me from worrying about the exhibit opening reception Friday at Northville Art House. What if no one comes? What if everyone hates it? Oh, hell’s bells……..I don’t really worry about that stuff anymore! I’m happy with what I do and other people’s opinions are just that…everyone has one and mine is the one that counts for my work.

But it’s still good to stay busy!!!

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Always–finish and start…

Yes, finish up some things, start others. I am always grateful that I haven’t faced any creative blocks and that I always have something new to get started on.

Trying to finish up my little cards, I screened my label on the backs. Well, at least I tried to!

Some of these came out all right…some, not so much. On this one, I overwrote on the paint with a black pen and it was fine.

The light backgrounds needed a different paint, of course, and I found some actual screen printing ink that I didn’t know I had. Not the color I had planned on using, but it was made for printing on fabric!

It works much better than thin paint and I had a tip on my FB post that small, detailed screens NEED thicker paint. I did not know that and I’m sure that tip will help me in the future.

Hmmm…which of my challenges to start on? I’m not naturally tactful, so I’ll say it straight out…I’m starting with the least attractive project to me. I definitely want to do it and will enjoy it. However, it’s the photo inspiration project so I’m working from someone else’s initial vision and putting my interpretation on it. It will be fun, but my goals for this year are aimed at bringing forth only my own original ideas. So it needs to be done!

I have a very clear picture in my head of what I want to do, so I started gathering my materials.

And hit a stopping point almost immediately! I need cream or white cheesecloth and all I have is brightly colored. I don’t want to try to place it after I sew the mica tiles down. It will work better if I do it at the same time, so this will have to wait until I get to the store.

Guess this is a sign that I should be lazy, maybe read a book, knit or play a game. Do something different. Yep, I can handle some do-nothing time.

As long as it doesn’t last too long!

Inspired by others

Card making with fabric is nothing new. Many people make Artist Trading Cards and fabric postcards. Christmas cards are a great way to use up bits of seasonal fabrics. One of my friends has been adding bits and pieces of fabric construction to standard blanks with stitching and they are beautiful. All of these projects have inspired me to use my small bits and pieces, odd sizes and all, as business cards at special events.

Aaaaaand, the scrap baskets have exploded again!

I have used up all the blanks of heavy interfacing that I had pre-cut and the pile of cards has grown! Time to pause and get them painted.

This looks like a fairly good sized pile, but by the time I was done, it had grown to cover much more of the table top!

Next step is to screen on the card info. The backs of the fabric cards are various fabrics, so I will have to be efficient when using paint and sort them into lights and darks and appropriate paint colors. Not much point in doing them if the paint/info isn’t going to show up! If that doesn’t work on any particular card, I guess I can stitch one of my regular business cards to it, but that doesn’t really appeal to me.

And while I have the paint out, I may try to experiment a bit with those recycled refrigerator magnets I mentioned.

I grabbed a few and gave them a first coat of gesso.

Obviously if they are going to be good backgrounds or show at all, they will need more. I decided to try to add some fabric like the cards I’ve been working on. Not sure of what would adhere the best, I started with gel medium.

Nope—didn’t stick worth a darn and I hated the finish it left. Some people swear by it and use it extensively, but I’ve never had good luck with it. There are other products to try.

I have mentally eliminated fusible, since I would be ironing onto plastic covered magnets! I might try sewing, but I’m not confident that the magnets would maintain enough contact with the surface to function as magnets!

Experiments will continue, but this may be a paint/stamp/stencil project with no fabric texture at all. And that may make me decide not to pursue it at this point!

Should be another New Year’s Eve trying hard to stay awake until midnight. Nice and quiet–just the way I like it!

Towards my dream journey……

I do want to create more thoughtful work this year. But I have some work to do before I can get to ‘work’!

Challenge 1: Commission work for dear friends

Challenge 2: Knot Even Quilters group art quilt challenge for upcoming show–Text and Texture

Challenge 3: Salt Valley Arts challenge Inspiration from Photo fund raiser

Challenge 4: Teach 2 classes and take 2 classes, covering each weekend in January

Looks like January will be my wrap up 2018 month and 2019 resolutions and projects will start in February.

Bet I’ll start a project or two before then…I’m not that strict OR organized in what I do. I feel lucky to have just figured out a direction in which to travel for the coming year!

Was I Bad?

Our grandson was here with us today. I usually like to do fun, entertaining and/or educational things with him when we have his company. Sometimes, though, between his hockey, his school and his Cub Scouts, I love to give him totally lazy, resting days.

This is Christmas break, after all.

I was an ipad grandma today, though. Let him veg out with his electronics as much as he wanted.  I don’t think it was a bad thing, and of course he didn’t complain! And Poppa was here, too, if a Nerf war was needed!

I was the big beneficiary of his lazy day, though. I got to go down to the studio and play with fabric! Washed and ironed my fat quarter bundle that I got for Christmas. Trying to recycle some refrigerator magnets–more on that if it works. Or even if it doesn’t!

Straightening up and moving things and found a large pile of fabric cards that I have made over who knows how long and then just shoved in a drawer.

And I found a pile of interfacing blanks all ready to be used up.

So I’m making more fabric cards. I can’t call them artist trading cards or post cards, because both those things have a specific size associated with them. These are random rectangles and I have plenty of random scraps, so it sounds like a perfect match!

But I am making them with a purpose this time. I am going to start taking them to classes and opening receptions at exhibits and give them away to any who might want one. However, the catch is that my info will be screen painted on them and they will be fancy business cards! It feels good to me to be playing with scraps with intent for a change. Don’t know if it’s a good or bad idea, or if anyone will want one, but they are fun to make and use up scraps. That’s enough of a reason to do it!

Busy season easy!

I have asked this question every single time it happens………how far do you have to sew before you notice that you are out of bobbin thread?

In this case it was almost an entire side of the quilt! A little slow down, but I was on a roll.

This is the last of 5 small scrap quilts that I put together a while ago, ready to quilt.

Lovely free form leaves on this one, and those go very quickly also.

 

I feel really good about getting this little pile of quilting done, done, done…even though I don’t know where the quilts are going yet.

Remember my hunk of “made” fabric, from scraps and water soluble stabilizer?

Well, it was sitting on the table and this little pile of thread spool ends caught my eye—you can never have too much stitching on one of these pieces. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends of thread spools and bobbins.

I’ll most likely still cut it into leaf shapes for a project, or maybe flower shapes, but in this case, more (thread) is better!

Christmas this year has been so relaxing…one of the best. And we have the grandson for a couple of extra days, so better than best! Looking forward to the new year, new projects, new friends and new adventures. Wishing all the best to all of you, too.

Simple and stress free

There are only so many days I can go without sewing before I get very restless. Today was the limit. It needed to be something I could dive right into without any brain strain, though.

There are three more small scrap quilts ready to go, so that was a simple solution. And in keeping with the season, the quilting needed to be simple, too, and stress free.

This one was done so quickly, I couldn’t believe it! All over stars and loops, and you can see that I didn’t even worry about uneven stitches. If these quilts end up going to babies, they won’t care a bit. If they end up as wheelchair lap robes, they will be doing a job and no one will care then, either! Done is better than perfect, every time.

I still had time available, so of course I started in on the next one!

Simple spirals on this one–equally fast and stress-free. I didn’t quite get this one finished, because it was grandson time, but these were a good reminder to myself…procrastination is NOT always a good thing.

These should have been done long ago, because they are quick, simple, and stress-free!

Go—sew—relax!!!