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!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Studio Sunday - 2012 Newsletter - Ornament Screens

Good morning!  Today as I awaken and move into my studio (natural progression to my day) I wanted to point out how much I love this beginning to my day...

closing my eyes while sipping my fresh cup of coffee
looking at yesterday's remnants with fresh eyes
inspiration all around me
ideas slowly awakening
contemplating the tools and materials I will play with today
just...bliss


Tomorrow ends my 4-day extended weekend in the studio (sniff sniff) but I feel good about what I have gotten done, what I have explored and developed, and clarity of my goals to push forward in developing my creative life.  IN THE STUDIO, I wanted to show you one thing I put together.  I used old dictionary and poetry book pages to layer across a large piece of paper for the purpose of using this as a texture tool in Photoshop Elements.  It may seem like a silly experiment but this one image will be used over and over again in my artwork so the mileage from it could be significant.  The first thing I did was print a section of the image to silk fabric through my printer so that I could use this texture as a background or pieces for a collage on fabric.
 Just looking at this one piece of fabric, I can already imagine quite a few ways to apply it - fusible applique on a quilt, cut up as collage pieces for a fiber art piece, the base for some funky fabric beads, maybe even dimensional projects such as the base fabric for little stuffed birds to make into tree ornaments for the holidays!  I'm really liking that stuffed bird ornaments idea :)  hmmmmm



Additionally, I had been thinking a lot about ornamentation.  You have probably seen those Dover books at the book store that are filled with ornamentation from old architecture and stonework (not to mention the million other images they provide).  Because I am always focused on developing my own personal imagery, I decided to try to create some of my own ornaments to use in my artwork.  I'm really liking how this came out!  I had taken a doodle of a scrolly vine I had made, cut a section of it and then layered that section three more times in order to build out this design in four parts.  I flipped the layers horizontally and vertically until I had four pieces that I could merge together to create my ornament. 


I love the way this came out and I have also broken this image into sections that I can use separately. 

I will be making Thermofax screens out of this image to play with hopefully this week!  In order to maximize this design, I'm thinking of creating two sizes - one for quilting/home dec and a smaller version for art journals.  If anyone is interested in a specific size (whole design or sections) leave a comment here and I will order some up right away.

NEW NEWSLETTER
Starting in January, I will be publishing monthly newsletters filled with ideas, free designs, interesting blogs and websites to share and a lot more!  Click on the "Sign Up Today" button at the top of the page if you would like to be added to the e-mail list to receive it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Work in Progress

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with great food and family!  My sister, Susan, hosted our Thanksgiving dinner at her family's house and the food was awesome as always.  Each of us brought something to add to the feast.  Most importantly, it was a chance to reconnect and see what everyone was working on.  I should probably get going on my holiday shopping today but the thought of getting caught up in tons of traffic and over-crowded stores just doesn't get me excited.  So...I am here...in my studio working on a variety of creative ideas.

This is my Garden Party-2 Thermofax screen set printed with white acrylic onto a dark moss colored cotton fabric.  The flowers have been painted with watercolor and I decided to play a little with stencilling around the images to blend the mini canvas into the background fabric a little better.  Using white and metallic gold acrylic paints, I layered different small designs around the image.


Here I have been experimenting with backgrounds for this set.  I dug out a really pretty light tangerine colored fabric that I had in my stash that picked up on the gold paint and the center parts of the flowers.  The fabric has a little green threads running through it and ties together well with the dark moss.  Now I am experimenting with placement to create a raw-edged collage on a larger canvas.  I want to add some hand-stitching to these as well.


Here is the large screen from my Tulip Trio screens.  I had printed this screen using ecru acrylic paint onto a tea-dyed muslin.  The off-white effect of the paint was interesting when I came in with the watercolors on the flowers as it had a warmer, softer blending effect, different from the bright white I used on most of the prints.  Here, I have screen-printed and stenciled the background then attached small pieces using French knots and running stitches. The colors look a lot better than what you see here as I didn't have the right light when I took the photo.  It is a warm and inviting piece that would look great on top of some antique lace or in a distressed wood frame.


Here are my original prints of Garden Party-1 on the yellow-green cotton fabric using white acrylic paint.  I created a mask and screen-printed stripes with a blend of yellow, orange, pink and white acrylic paints.  I love this effect because I slightly mix the colors together before printing with them and I love the blending effects!  I stitched each of the four pieces to white fabric and added French knots to the stamens for added texture.


There was a whole lot of creative juice flowing yesterday and my nieces shared a couple of their own journal pages.  This is an awesome page by Melanie!  I am in love with this page!!

Here, my niece, Erika, drew her rendition of a clay mask that Melanie had previously made.  I think she hit it right on!!


Here is one of Erika's journal pages showing contrasts to good and bad girls!   Very intuitive!!  Obviously the interpretation of Bad Girls being associated with Rock & Roll has not changed.  I think we, I mean they, are unfairly judged!!! LOL Great job Erika!!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Studio Sunday Clean-up!

Regrouping...reorganizing....refreshing...remembering......
The piles on my studio floor and worktables were overcoming me.  I had a work surface approximately 15" squared that was not covered with fabric and paints and papers.  I needed to get unburied from this physical place and refresh my brain at the same time.  I needed to wipe the canvas clean so I could start again.  It was so nice out today here in Massachusetts that I should have taken a long walk to clear my head but the messes I've made needed to be picked up in order for me to clear a path for new ideas to be explored.  We all have those days.


So I have no new pictures to share of things I have been working on here this weekend. As we get closer to the holidays, I know there will be even less time to play in my studio, but once I get a spark of an idea, I will be off and running with it regardless of the time available to bring it to life.  I'm feeling the need to go back and revisit my artwork from one of my articles this year.  As fast and furious as ideas have come to me this year, I feel like I need to go back and take a new look with new eyes at techniques I was using in my fiber art.  I think there is potential to push these techniques further than I took them so I feel obligated to go back and take another look. So this is my current path.

I'm getting really excited about the Giveaway deadline approaching!  It doesn't seem possible that Thanksgiving is this week and then November 30th is just a week away!  If you haven't left a comment on the Giveaway post, make sure to post before midnight on November 29th to be included!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Studio Sunday Mini Canvas Play

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!  I am slow getting started this morning as my husband and I were out at a very funny one-man comedy act last night and didn't get home until late.  There was lots of music from the 70's and 80's that Jim and I grew up with, some dancing, some wine, and a later-than-usual night for me :(  But we had a great time!

Now for the good stuff!  Well, I can't say that I have yet made anything with my mini painted canvas screens but I've been doing a whole lot of painting on them.  I expect to have a few art cards to share with you this week.  Yesterday I spent most of my time working on journal pages using my Thermofax screens.  The thing that I find when creating is that no matter what media I may be working in, I will always find something that inspires me to bring it to another media.  The whole process of screen printing these little canvases and then painting is very relaxing and really good practice for someone who wants to add their own personal touch.  You could print these a million times on different fabric and paint on them using different acrylic, watercolor, pencils, crayons and markers and you would have a different image every time.


One thing I did experiment with was screen-printing with Discharge Paste.  This is really fun when you never know for sure what the bleached-out colors will end up being.  I started with black cotton quilting fabric and this is what I got using Garden Party-1.  I have some earth-tone batiks that I'm thinking on mounting these on and it would tie the colors together well.  These images look a little on the white side here but they look warmer in real life.



 Here are a few shots from my journal pages that will eventually be tied together in a journal book with a fabric cover.  They are not finished yet but I love using the screens because I don't have to draw a thing!  My photos were traced or created from my photos and that is enough for me!  I wish I could draw like Jane LaFazio or Carol Sloan, but since I am much more of an instant-gratification kinda gal, the screens work out just fine!




I also wanted to share with you a couple of images that LuAnn Kessi sent me!  Remember I asked images that show how people have applied my Thermofax screens to their projects?  Well LuAnn very kindly sent me pictures of her "work shirts" that she added my screen designs to.  Check them out!!!  Fabulous!!




Thank you for sharing, LuAnn!!  I would love to share more pictures so send them to me at free2design@comcast.net so I can post them!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creating Journal Pages with Thermofax Screens

I've been using my screens on paper to create some journal pages or just art on paper.  I have a number of screens to use that I don't have up for sale including a few other experimental mini canvas screens.  Just as I have done in screenprinting on fabric, I have brought watercolor paints into the mix and used them to paint the images.  This is a great way to practice before taking the screen prints to fabric to get a good idea of how your final fabric image might work in your project. 


Also, you can tell that I am not a watercolorist!  LOL  I'm probably not even using the correct brushes but it is really fun and meditative and I highly recommend it.  On the Tulip Trio print above, I also used the Stabilo black pencils that blend with water to outline the images by drawing it into the channel separating the petal pieces. 


I think the one below is blending too much with the background.  I will probably go back in with yellow or something else.  The other thing that I really like about these images is the size.  The small 4" x 3.5" blocks are perfect for so many things.  The experimental ones that I have are twice the size of the small blocks and even those are a great size.  If you go too large and you are using paint, it would be too much paint on your fabric. 


I'm thinking extra hard to create a couple of cute holiday fiber art gift ideas for you to use your screens on.  Check back to see what I come up with (nothing like putting the pressure on myself LOL).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Studio Sunday and Mini Canvas Screen Prints

Did you turn your clocks back last night?  It feels like I just got an extra jump on today with the change.  I love it now but I won't so much at 5:00 pm when it gets completely dark out.  Summer seems like it was just yesterday.  So in rememberance of summer, I screened and painted last night with Garden Party-2 and Tulip Trio.  Let's take a look....



Garden Party-2 I printed with white acrylic (heavy body) paint onto a dark moss colored cotton fabric.  From these pictures you can't tell as well but the combination of the white canvas and the bright pink colors against the dark moss looks stunning!


Here is the larger image from Tulip Trio painted in ecru acrylic (heavy body) paint onto tea-dyed muslin.  So the background canvas and the fabric are not contrasting as much but the subtle colors are very soothing.


The other smaller screens from Tulip Trio I printed in white on tea-dyed muslin and you can see more contrast against the muslin. 


The one thing I need to mention about these new screens is about the fine detailled lines.  Garden Party-2 and Tulip Trio have thinner lines separating the open spaces that the paint prints through.  Extra care needs to be taken when screening these to fabric and paper.  I will include an instruction sheet with these products.  The difference in line weight means preventing too much paint from going through.  The way to offset is by holding your squeegee straight up, perpendicular to the screen and make one pass only.  I you go across it more than once, you will lose the separator line.

When printing these last night, I found that if I do print too much paint, I can still see the lines and once the print was dry, I took a fine line Sharpie to lightly draw in the lines.  You could use a pencil or a disappearing pen or nothing at all.  Some people might not like the look of the separator line showing the fabric through from behind and this could benefit them by creating a more realistic painting.  It's all personal preference and I guarantee you won't be disappointed because these screens are so much fun to play with.  (By the way, I have no painting experience whatsoever and watercolors play nicely!)  After the watercolor or other paints dry, brush over the print with matte medium to seal it all.

I'm sure tonight I will have more to show you as I incorporate these prints into projects for more ideas!

For those who might be interested, there is a great Reader Challenge on quiltingdaily.com for a 10" x 10" mini art quilt on affirmations.  Follow the link below and if you can't get to the page you might have to register on the site.

http://www.quiltingdaily.com/content/Reader_Challenges.aspx

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New Mini Canvas Sets and Giveaway!!

                             Introducing Mini Canvas Sets!

I am so excited to have added a number of new Thermofax screen images to my Etsy shop for sale!!!  Not only are there individual images, but I have listed some new Mini Canvas Sets which I am super excited about!!!  Remember this image?



Well, I have included these designs and two others that I designed as Mini Canvas Sets.  Garden Party-1 is the set above and Garden Party-2 and Tulip Trio are the others.  These images are approximately 4" x 3" each and on Tulip Trio, the larger image is 7" x 4.5".


**************************

The thing that I love about these designs is the versatility of the application.  You have the ability to print them fabric as well as paper or other surfaces and then paint them to customize.  The black area is where the paint is laid down.  On the example above, I have printed in white paint, allowed it to dry and then went back over the flower imagery with watercolor paints and then sealed it when dry. 

I can see using watercolor, water-soluable oil pastels, watercolor pencils and crayons and acrylic paints to really build up the image and totally customize it any way you want! 

Ways to use the Mini Canvas Sets!

Fiber Art Cards
Center Block Designs on Quilts
Journalling on Paper
Other Mixed Media applications
.....and that is just the beginning!

And NOW the GIVEAWAY!!!

Leave a comment on this blog post by November 29th at midnight and 3 people will be eligible for a free New Mini Canvas Set that I will be giving away!!!  On November 30th I will use the Random Number Generator to select 3 winners to receive their choice of Garden Party-1, Garden Party-2 or Tulip Trio.

See you on Studio Sunday!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NEW Thermofax Screens for Sale

I'm one of the lucky ones who now has power, heat, cable, internet and light (I missed that the most) in my area.  Later in the evening, I am usually tossing things around in my studio, brainstorming or creating art.  Since the days are shorter now, the thing I missed the most about the power being out was my lack of light from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm.  I felt cheated that I could not read or draw or review a book or magazine for a large chunk of time each night after the sun had gone down.  I really feel badly for those who still do not have their power back on yet as it is truly an unwelcome challenge.

Saturday I will be adding a bunch of NEW Thermofax screen designs in my Etsy shop so stop by to check them out!  (Do I sense a new GIVEAWAY coming????) 

Here is a little sneak peek!




Have you made something using one of my screen designs??? 
Do you have a picture you would like to share????  I would love to post some project pictures to share with all the viewers here on the blog.  It could be a quilting project or mixed-media project or anything!  Send me a link or a photo that I can share here.