Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wool Cuff full-length piece

This is a wool cuff I made using a piece of a pink wool blanket that I felted and then dyed with our Rainbow Dyes.
 There is a pic in the blog of the large piece of wool I dyed last week. I layered the cuff with RibbonSmyth FiberFusion, added strands of RibbonSmyth's Rayon hand-dyed tape and over that added one of Stephanie's cabochons. Added beads around the cab and embellished the piece with gold metal thread, vintage brass buttons, crystals, tiny green round sequins and finished the piece with a beaded picot edge. The cuff is lined with Ultrasuede. I wanted pieces of the ribbon to hang off the back of the cuff for a bit of extra visual appeal. This will be great to wear this fall.

Wool Cuff Close-up

This is a close-up and not a very good photograph; but was hoping to capture the cabochon used for the center focal of the cuff. The cabochon was made by Stephanie Novatski, the most creative woman on this planet,  using her technique with Friendly Plastic, the hot pot and Angelina film. The cab is flexible and I pierced holes around the piece to anchor to the wool. Beneath the cab are wisps of FiberFusion and on top of that, rayon tape that has been tacked to the wool. I've layered gold metal strands across the cab anchored with Nymo and tiny green sequins.
 Willa and I were in a factory in Lyon, France, watching gold bars being reduced to metal thread, metal bullion, metal sequins and other metal pieces ordered by Arab Sheiks for their clothing. I was not allowed to take photographs, but was entranced by the process at the factory. Michel, the owner of the company, was the most gracious host! I purchased a large ball of gold metal thread and finally used some of the threads in the design of this cuff. Willa and I were both amazed that I bought gold metal "trash"!

Wool Cuff with Cabochon

Wool Cuff

This is a close-up of the wool cuff on my wrist. I hoard small brass buttons and these two lovelies are mixed in with rayon tape and beads.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Halloween Post Card with bats and pumpkins

Already in our local village, there are stores filled with Halloween costumes. I don't want summer to end, although fall  in Pennsylvania, is spectacular, it means five months of winter, and a very cold studio!

  So here is a post card to celebrate fall!
I used 3 pieces of fabric - rust doupioni, orange Ultrasuede and orange silk. Scraps are perfect. Once those were pieced onto a 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" piece of baby flannel, I fused 3 small pieces of Angelina fibers together using wax paper or a small Teflon sheet. I used Copper, Enchanted Forest and Brass fibers. I placed the small fused piece  on top of the fabric and then fused the Halloween Vintage image on top of the Angelina, which is on top of the fabric. How easy is that?

Baste the pieced fabric to the fast-to-fuse postcard shape. Cut the piece to 4"x6".

I used the Firecracker colorway in the Rayon tape and rococo lace selection. Using champagne Nymo, tack rococo lace around the edge of the vintage image.
Make small loops or "half-bow" loops with the rayon tape, simply by gathering the ribbon and taking a few stitches in the ribbon to hold the loops in place; starting on the right side of the vintage image. I let one end of the rayon tape hang 1 inch below the bottom of the post card.

Clip several bats and pumpkins from the satin bat and pumpkin garland and tack the small motifs in place with Nymo.

Using 4mm silk ribbon in yellow and orange, add one-wrap French knots on the left side of the vintage image, on top of the rococo lace. Add several Ribbon Stitch flowers in 4mm yellow silk ribbon, among the pumpkins. Fill the center of the flowers with gold seed beads.  Stitch miscellaneous beads and buttons among the rayon tape and the French knots.

Tack gold lurex fringe around the outside edge of the card using Nymo thread. Using some of our cotton picot trim, which I dyed burgundy, tack that trim down next to the gold as a finishing touch.

Fuse a RibbonSmyth French Post Card back to the back of the card.  Add your greeting! Ready to a padded envelope! 

RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyed Wool Pieces

This is dyed wool using the left-over dyes from dying rayon tape. Isn't this wool gorgeous? Love recycling.
Because wool applique is so popular, finding wool blankets is becoming more difficult. I purchase my wool blankets at thrift stores.

These are two pieces from a bubblegum pink wool blanket. I cut pieces to use for cuffs or for purses. Because the wool is so heavy after it's been dyed; keep the pieces small. Wash the wool blanket in hot water and dry in the dryer to felt. I usually wash a blanket several times.

I used our RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyes for rayon and cotton and the dye worked well on the wool. I used a pipette and drizzled dye onto the damp wool pieces, which I laid on top of a plastic trash bag. After dyeing, don't move the wool.  Let it dry outdoors. While it is still wet, I roll up the wool pieces in paper towels to aid the drying process, but I also collect the paper towels.  Loving the colors. That's what's great about dyeing. I never know the outcome until the fabric is completely dry! And I am always happy with the outcome!

Dyed paper towel rose

When I finish dyeing rayon tape and trims, I am never able to throw away the dye. All the dyes I use, I mix just for dyeing that day. So a little bit of dye left in about 20 containers has to be used. This photo features paper towels and  a paper towel rose laying on top of wool fabric. Stephanie Novatski taught me to save paper towels, used for sopping up dye. Stephanie is beyond generous in sharing her tricks and techniques. After dyeing, let the paper towels dry and then I iron them and put into a 2 gallon zip lock. Dyed paper towels are great to use as fabric in your machine. They layer beautifully on top of fabric, can be used in the Embellisher, and are perfect for collage work. Coat them with Paverpol or Diamond Glaze to create jewelry pieces. I plan on using some of my dyed paper towels on wool cuffs.

I have to "see" everything. If it is not in a clear see-through tote or zip does not exist.

Irish Woods Rayon tape

I try to do all my dyeing at the studio outdoors. This is a new selection called Irish Woods.
I took the photo during a thunder storm, so the lighting is poor and too dark, but this fiber begs for a landscape!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Protect This Woman #3 Fabric Postcard

I think this card will be displayed on a little brass easel, sitting on a stack of books in our parlour at the house. This little card definitely "met" a water drop somewhere, as the letters are a bit blurred, but love the vintage image. I collect Guardian Angel images, as the image alone seems comforting. I use our variegated silk ribbon twist for postcards, because the weight of the silk thread is perfect. Dyed a bit of lace to match the silk ribbon and added a brass goddess charm. The velvet used for piecing is a deep burgundy and does not translate via the scanner.

Protect This Woman #2 Fabric Postcard

This card again used fabric remnants I purchased in Paris. I piece post cards with raw fabric edges, which are a great design element. After piecing, iron on the  RibbonSmyth fusible vintage image and then have fun with placing "the bits." The velvet ribbon and motif were dyed with RibbonSmyth Rainbow dyes in Victorian Rose and Antique Gold. Tacked down bits of pink tulle netting and added a little chain stitch with RibbonSmyth variegated buttonhole silk twist around the words.

Protect this Woman #1 Fabric PostCard

I'm such a huge fan of fabric postcards, guess that's obvious! I'm turning one of my rooms, in my studio, into a space for jewelry components, and I found these cards that I made in 2009, while cleaning and tossing! Will put them onto Etsy perhaps. I've used bits of fabric remnants, a RibbonSmyth Vintage Fusible image, a little of the Old Rose Silk Ribbon assortment and assorted beads. I do all my crazy quilt piecing onto baby flannel, much easier to work with than muslin and it gives a bit of stability to the card.  And curved piecing is a snap with postcards! Cut out curved fabric pieces and baste to the flannel. Couch a trim over the curved fabric edge!