Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Thermofax Screens in the Shop and Free Shipping

I hope everyone is getting very creative today!  It's raining here in New England and it's the perfect day to stay inside and make stuff!!!  I've been busy this morning adding a whole bunch of new Thermofax screens to my Etsy shop and I wanted to celebrate the New Year by offering all of my readers FREE SHIPPING on all orders from my Etsy shop up through January 8th!  So go take a look at the new items!

Use this coupon code in your order - MADSCREEN1 and make sure you enter it exactly as is, in all caps.

Other Uses for Thermofax Screen Prints
Did you know that you can screen print on paper and other surfaces???  Just think of the potential!!  You can have just as much fun and create fabulous layouts using Thermofax screens in art journaling and scrapbooking as well!  Here is a page created with my Thermofax screens so you can get an idea.  Stay tuned for more screen-printing on paper!



Check back tomorrow for my Studio Sunday post!  Happy New Year everyone!!  Have a fun and safe celebration!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In Between Years

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I've been round-trip from Boston to Pittsburgh (1,200 miles) to be with my husband's family at Christmas this year and NO SNOW!  I'm grateful that we had the good weather for the drive, but it sure isn't the same as a fresh layer of white snow to really get the full effect of the season!  That's ok, I'm sure we will be complaining about too much sometime soon.

So here is what has been going through my mind as we begin our transformation from 2011 to 2012...texture, color, and layers!  Lots of layers!  I've been experimenting with the new screens I made a couple of weeks ago layering them and adding stitch.  Here's a quick glimpse..........







Check back this weekend for Studio Sunday!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Studio Sunday

Counting down the days until Christmas.  Is it really here already???  A week from today???  Wow, how time flies!  I started yesterday very productively in the studio and had to take a break to run out to do an errand and ended up at the mall for hours.  I think I can safely say that I am done shopping. Ugh

I've been playing around with my Thermofax screens and layering them on fabric collages.  I think my main goal is to create the same effects that one would get if creating a painting or collage on paper or canvas with layers.  There is so much to experiment with; dark and light backgrounds, high contrast, low contrast, and focal point imagery.  This is a challenge for me as I could easily create this look and feel within Photoshop Elements but within that program you can change or undo anything you don't like.  I hate to waste materials but it's all a part of the process to be able to get to what you think will work.



This one I used 2 background screens on and then for my focal point, I used two of the mini canvas screens from Garden Party-1.  I started with a piece of white cotton fabric and spread Gesso across it randomly with a squeegee (use a credit card instead).  While the Gesso was still wet, I went into it with some acrylic craft paint in green that you can see in the background.  Then I used dark brown with my Checkerboard screen in brown and then went over that with ecru colored acrylic and one of my newer screens (the ones I printed on paper in an earlier post).



I waited for that to dry before screening the Garden Party minis on top, let that dry and then went in with the watercolor.  To finish the collage off, I  added hand and machine stitching making sure it didn't overpower the painted minis.  I'm really liking it!

I felt the need to spit some words out so I gathered my alphabet stamps and had a go at it.  I didn't have a plan in mind as to what I wanted to print so I kind of just let the words come on their own.  This is only half of the words I printed and I'm thinking about how I want to use these in a project. 


Deep down, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings built up but I'm not sure how I want to express them.  So for now, I will just play and let the words just come out without any plan.  I could definitely see a fabric collage journal using these.  We will see.....

I hope you are all having a super creative weekend or at least setting aside a little creative time for yourself as you get ready for the holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Starting the Weekend with Bloom, Bake & Create!

Lynda Heines was one of the winners of my Mini Canvas Screen Sets giveaway and she has shared her fiber art play on her blog, Bloom, Bake & Create!  Check out her Tulip Trio prints using metallic paints.  Thanks for sharing Lynda!!!!  I see some cool fiber art developing!

I'm gearing up for some studio time today with some holiday tasks in between.  I hope everyone finds some time this weekend to CREATE!  Check back tomorrow for my Studio Sunday post.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quilting Arts TV Series 900 Pre-Order!

Oh my gosh!!!!  I'm so totally excited!!

I just read my daily e-mail from Quilting Daily and realized they have just put the Series 900 on sale for Pre-Order and it will be available January 5th!!!!  One of my images is on the front cover and their preview video includes me screenprinting (hands only)!!    Check out their page to pre-order this DVD set!

http://www.interweavestore.com/Quilting/DVDs-Videos/Quilting-Arts-TV-Series-900.html?SessionThemeID=16&a=qe111213

Ok, now I have to go finish my happy dance!  I hope everyone is having a creative week or at least squeezing in a little creative time here and there!  See you this weekend!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Studio Sunday

Welcome to Sunday!  In Massachusetts, it is clear skies, sunny and more seasonably cool today.  I had a really fulfilling day yesterday creating fabric collages and screen printing.  I finished up what I actually started on Friday night which was taking my 3 Tulip Trio mini canvas screen prints and finishing them into fabric collages for hanging.  Here is one showing how I had left them last week:


And this is what they look like now!



I had backed them with a linen blend fabric I had in my stash of dress fabrics and the two-colored weave was great as the blue and green looks great with the reds and oranges.  These three are actually glued to a piece of cardboard to keep them flat and I attached white ribbons for them to hang from.  Plenty of buttons and a little hand stitching to add details.

This beautiful piece, an ink-jet transfer from paper onto painted cloth, had been laying around in the studio and I began screen printing around the edges and onto a light blue cotton fabric behind it to start building out the initial piece.  Well, the paper transfer wasn't the best and I eventually painted over it and started again.


And now it looks completely different as I added a new Thermofax screen image of mine with completely different colors.  I may add this piece to a larger size painted canvas and attach it there.  Not so sure at the moment.



Every time I begin a collage, I first go to my "dream" box, pull out one of my many fortune cookie fortunes and see if it inspires me.  (Yes, I do like Chinese food) LOL.  This was a little wood shaker box that I painted and collaged and then drilled holes in so I could pull through the dyed organza ribbon.  It's such a cute little thing.



Inside you can see all the fortunes.  Also inside is a little bag of these punched paper flowers that were painted and embossed using a stamp and silver embossing powder.  I pulled these out to think about using on my light blue collage, but didn't end up using them since a different design took over.  So they will return to the box for another time.


Finally, here is a paper collage with one of my Thermofax screens of Queen Anne's Lace and my dots screen as well as another screen that I made from a doodled diamonds.  A little fabric was added to the bottom I would like to try to replicate this on fabric directly, but that will be for another day.



I hope you are having a super creative weekend and you are getting all of your holiday preparations ready.  Check back later for any updates!

Friday, December 9, 2011

TGIF and Journal Making With a Glue Gun

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!  Yeah!  Made it through to another weekend!  I have a few projects laid out on my work table and I'm having fun already!  First, I wanted to show how I used my glue gun to put together my accordian journals. 

I started with Fabriano sheets of 140 lb watercolor paper, cold press. I don't have a reason for using this paper other than I know it is used a lot by art journal artists so I had bought some from Dick Blick to test it out. The 140 lb paper is itself good and strong. The sheets were 9 1/2 x 13 inches and I cut them in half so each page is 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches. I used 8 of the 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch pages.


Additionally, I cut 2 pieces of the heavy cardboard that comes on the backs of the watercolor paper pads.   One for the front and one for the back, each cut slightly larger than the paper size at 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches.

Next, I cut 14 strips of fabric, approximately 8 x 1 inches. For my book, I used a variety of greens from sample home dec fabric books and using my pinking edge rotary cutter, I cut the strips.




Start by placing two of your journal pages side-by-side approximately 1/8 inch apart.  Place a line of glue approximately 8 inches long near the edge of one page and place one side of your fabric strips over the glue as soon as possible (if using the glue gun).  Make sure your other page is still aligned with 1/8 inch gap between and run a line of glue down the other page and press the fabric to it.  Since my strips of fabric were 8 inches long, I centered them vertically within the 9 1/2 inches of the paper. 

Repeating this step on BOTH sides of the papers, I created these fabric hinges as you can see below, so regardless what side of the pages you are working on, you have the fabric hinges.  It's not perfect and the glue can make the fabric a little lumpy but I was fine with that.  Next time, I am going to sew the fabric onto the paper to see if I like that.  More messy like :)



For the covers, I simply selected my fabric making sure I had at least 1 1/4 inches to wrap to the back side to glue.  I also added a piece of batting the same size as the cardboard under the fabric.  Using the glue gun, I pulled the fabric taught on one side toward the middle and glued the fabric down from the center outward so I would not create any wrinkles.  I repeated this for all four sides then for the corners, I cut away some of the excess fabric so when I glued the rest down it would not be so bulky.  The glue gun makes it possible to quickly adhere the fabric as you are pulling and wrapping it around to the back side.


The covers were then glued to the two end pages of the accordian.  The one thing you need to be careful about is making sure the cover and back is positioned to open correctly if your cover has an image on it that you want to view a certain way.  Before gluing the hinges on the last pages, I first made sure that the hinge was on the correct side so when the journal is opened from the front, you have a double-page spread to start with.  The glue gun seals that first page really tight to the back side of the cover and back.


I hope that makes sense.  when gluing your pages together try to make sure that you keep the ends aligned as best you can. If you glue the hinges to the papers with a consistent space between you should be able to keep all the top and bottom paper edges even.  This is the fastest journal I have ever made and my fingers thanked me for relieving them of needle holes from trying to push waxed linen thread through heavy paper spines! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Digital Art Journal Covers

I hope everyone is getting through their week with a positive and creative attitude!  At the very end of my weekend, I started working diligently on a couple of accordian style journals that I wanted to share with you.  The shots are of the covers only and I will share more as I become inspired to fill them with content.  I thought you might enjoy the imagery.  These are two flower photos that I have taken and manipulated in Photoshop Elements 7.0.  I transferred them to white cotton using TAP (which also tends to be water-resistent.)  They have been hanging on my design wall for a while because I kept on thinking I would make them into beautiful pillows.


Well, I think I am loving their look on the covers of these journals! So glad I didn't get out the pillow forms LOL!  I am also really liking the accordian style because you can try out different ways of joining the pages together and my glue gun is a lot easier to handle than waxed linen thread and a big needle.




Oh, did I mention how much faster they are to make with a glue gun?????


I'm going to be making a lot more so stay tuned!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Studio Sunday

Welcome to Sunday, yet again!  If anyone has seen that movie "Groundhog Day", you can relate to how I am feeling right about now.  Wasn't I just here posting Studio Sunday?  It seems the weeks fly by!  Of course, Monday doesn't feel like that at all! LOL

Yesterday, I spent the day screenprinting to paper.  Today, I will be screenprinting to fabric.  I am totally excited about these new screens as the designs were taken from one little doodle that I had drawn a ways back.  This is actually a continuation of the design I posted here and I continued to develop it in Photoshop Elements.  The screens came out fabulous as the smallest lines were picked up in the designs I left them in.  That detail you cannot get from a stencil or a hand-carved stamp and that's the beauty of Thermofax screens.

First, here is the doodle that started it all!

Here are the designs so far from it:









This last design was created using a photo of flowers and then layered with a few brushes I had already created in PE.  The details all around the edges have to be seen up close like the text lying underneath the flowers along the bottom. 


I hope you all have a super creative day and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Work in Process and Lesley Riley

Here I am on Saturday back in my studio!!!  I can't wait to get going on my ideas today.  I've got my big cup of coffee and I'm raring to go!  Now if only I could find my worktable (I know it's under all these piles somewhere LOL).  I printed my Tulip Trio in white onto tea-dyed muslin and painted the flowers with watercolors and then sealed with matte medium.  Then, I screen-printed on top of my little canvases with one of my screens that has imagery from post cards on it.  These are the results and I envision a set of really cute fiber art pieces developing.





For the past 10 weeks, I have been taking Lesley Riley's ASAP program (Artist Success Action Plan) and I wanted to inform you about it.  The program is great for anyone who really truly sees themselves as a successful artist.  Each week, there is a scheduled call by Lesley who delivers fantastic content and additional tools and resources to help you get organized.  The later sessions focus on self-promotion, self-packaging and social media. 

I highly recommend the ASAP program and I feel that there is no one better to teach and share their first-hand experiences and insight than Lesley who has proven herself as a successful artist, teacher, coach and mentor.  Go here to the overview of her program for more information.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mini Canvas Giveaway Winners!!!

Good morning!  I am up bright and early this morning before the sun to run the random number generator to pick the WINNERS of the Mini Canvas Screen Sets!!!  Congratulations to the three winners!  Each one of you can choose which of the mini canvas sets (Garden Party-1, Garden Party-2 or Tulip Trio) you would like, then send me an e-mail at free2design@comcast.net to let me know your choice and your mailing address!  Thanks again to everyone who joined! 

For updates on future giveaways and monthly updates on project ideas and other good stuff, sign up to receive my new Newsletter beginning on January 1, 2012.  Just click on the button at the top of the blog!

AND NOW FOR THE WINNERS!!!!!!!!!

The first free set of screens goes to:




Congratulations Adrian!!!

The second set of screens goes to:



Congratulations Lynda!!!

The third set of screens goes to:



Congratulations Susan!!!

Again, thanks to all who joined the giveaway!!!  I hope everyone has a great week and I will see you soon!!!