Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I need more credit cards!

What handy things these plastic cards are! My Reader Reward Card for the book store has been seeing some use! I've been on a reading binge and I have 3 more to purchase but I daren't get them until I get some work done. yikes!

Then I got seriously overwhelmed in a new decorator store I found and couldn't resist adding a bit of BLING! to my life.

The ol' debit card has been getting a serious workout as I lay in my year's worth of supplies. I used my Michael's coupons and encouraged the Art store to add to their Dye-na-flo display. I am so happy to have found this product up here in the boonies! They assure me they will be getting more.
Then I got 2 great patterns at my sewing club as well as a free kit for some stuff to help Nina do her part in the overall plan. One project is to carry all my stuff so my hands can be free to grab stuff off the shelves! I'm also hoping a snazzy bag will lead into a spring wardrobe from my fashion fabric stash. The notebook cover has a slick lining technique and a very cool zipper pocket was added for our sewing club demo. Very cool! But the project is sized for the standard composition notebook so there is no figuring measurements and I am not a math person so one size for one readily available book. That I like!

Now I didn't use any credit but I need to give credit to the crafters before me who extol the uses of the plastic card to spread glue and paint.

A few drops of paint.
Then use the card edge to spread it.

This gives a totally different look than a brush, sponge, crumpled paper, etc. and is not messy at all. I like it. Now I need to learn how to build up the layers and that's where all my pens, inks, stamps, etc. will be coming into play. I'm totally pumped as the young people say.

As I said, "I need more plastic!" lol

Friday, March 25, 2011

Journaling the 30's

Weekly journal quilts are all about using up the leftovers. My DD gave me a lot of Thirty FQ's. I think she may have moved on to urban chic and I have the leftovers. I divided them up and the 'also rans' are in the leftover bins. Here I am again playing with the not so great while the best of the best awaits.
I think mug rugs are cute but maybe too small to get thru my larger piles, so these are little 12" place mats for the mug and the cookie plate! I've cut 12 backs, 13 inches square and I'll do some improvisational piecing on the front. With the plan for the next few weeks in place maybe I can even get to the good stuff!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Of what value is it to you?

The third colour workshop I taught was very much hands on. We talked about light, medium, dark, as well as bright and dull. Colour is the first thing people will notice about a quilt. But without good use of the fabrics' values, none will be able to determine the block design and all the hard work of matching points and seams will be lost in a blur of colours, much like a variegated afghan.

Value is so very subjective. It just depends on the fabric it is playing with.

A single fabric can be light in one block,

medium in a second block
and the dark in a third.

It is helpful to find the medium first. Determine the light and the dark and then fill in the gaps.

Everyone got a medium grey fabric to use as a reference point. Solids or near solids are much easier to place in a line when teaching the eye to discern subtleties.

The colour itself is a distraction so there are ways to eliminate colour. A red coloured piece of cellophane, plastic or glass can do this. Hold the cellophane to the eye and gaze at the fabrics from about 12 inches away. This can be very surprising sometimes.

Photocopying the fabrics on the black and white setting gives a permanent reference. A camera on the black and white setting also is beneficial.

A trip to a paint stores can provide the most useful tool. Find a paint card that has white to black. This is a professional gradient. It is quite helpful for getting a good range of lights, mediums and darks.
For me at least, value is challenging but the more I do the better I get at it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Which glue?

The Altered Book 101 is slowly coming together as I experiment with various methods for gluing pages together. This strengthens them for the various applications of colour and embellishing.

First option is a glue stick. It has the advantage of being relatively tidy. The pages dry flat.

Another cheap school product is white glue. This is messier and doesn't dry as flat. I used my finger to spread it and then the Kleenex stuck to my finger! lol

Gel medium is the one I've been using and I now realize I can spread it much thinner if I use an old credit card. It also dries flat and can be used as an adhesive and a clear finish. This is not as cost effective as the first options but I do find it kinda multi purpose.

Gesso is a substance that can be used as a glue as well as a substrate that is much like a primer. It dried fairly flat.

I used it to prime a page and glue down another paper. It worked fine but...

The pages curled quite a lot.

The cure for that is to apply more gesso to the back of the curled page.

It certainly solved the problem but I'm wondering if I would have had to do this extra step had I done this with the gel medium. Something more to try. I should also think about the amount of drying time but it is a good idea to do a lot of pages at one time for when those those creative times strike. Glue needs to be spread evenly, giving special attention to the spine as well as the edges.

EDITED: I did do a second trial with the gel medium as a glue. The pages did not curl even though I used the same paper colour wheel as with the gesso. I suppose there are different ways to do various things. The trick is knowing when to use which one!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday runner

I had forgotten all about the weekly journal quilt and was dabbing glue experiments.

Hmm, I have some leftover triangles in my baskets and decided to do a quick reversible runner for the hall.

One side has some darker triangles to compliment a Bali.

The other side has a chrysanthemum Bali with light triangles. These especially match the unframed art work. I did 'whip' them up quickly and now I'm undecided how to actually quilt them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Fling!

I seem to enjoy spending money in the spring. Flinging it all about. That will end next week and I'll be rolling up the side walk, hiding the keys and tearing up anymore coupons!

In the meantime, I'm storing up books, art supplies and decorative accessories. I'm not sure what I'll be wearing but that hasn't ever been a really big priority in spite of my stash of patterns and fashion fabrics.

I have found HomeSense. Not good; as I only intended a reconnaissance of the store and had an armful within the first 5 minutes!

I again accumulated some art supplies with the Michael's coupons. A last, quick, stop at the art store and you'd think I'd have learned. I found some Dye-na-flo which I have been keeping an eye out for. And 'only white gouache' turned out to be a bagful of stuff!

See that gorgeous square plate on the aqua lap quilt. I may have to return for a few more as that is perfect for my spring look.

Time to fling some of the bling of spring around the house!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Surface Design

In 2004, according to my notes, I took 2 workshops.

The first was my introduction to fabric dyeing. I luved it.
The second was my introduction into surface design. I luved it.
The third event was the Wave, an artists' studio tour along Lake Winnipeg's western shore. Luved it.

Since then I have been amassing supplies, planning my workspace and dabbling a bit. I want to do much more.

3Creative Studios offers play times. The Technique of the Month has a monthly tutorial and this month was screen printing. Because my computer is on dial up I can't always access the big downloads or videos but I remembered that I had made a screen during the surface design work shop so I went on the hunt for it and my notes. And I gave it a whirl.

I'm pretty sure I have the screen on the wrong side and trying to fix it made a boo boo! So I used it as it is and scraped some Pebeo Setacolour black paint over the screen. I had used a graphite pencil to write /scribble a vague letter. Then the gal used her machine to give us a screen to take home. I can see this needs some finesse!

First pull on my rusted fabric. I probably have too much paint .

Second pull on a white print fabric. Not too bad.

The third pull I was sloppy with the right side. The smear on the left is the boo boo on the screen, but I am way too sloppy.

A good mixed media gal has additional stuff laying around to use up the leftovers so I tried on a coffee liner.

Then I tried on a piece of paper that I had spread some colour, probably acrylic.

This is quite fun and has whetted my appetite once again. I have a pretty good accumulation of resource books and I'm thinking I would be better off if I just picked a book and worked ny way through it rather than 'dabbling'! Now, which book?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The shape of colour

The second colour class has been and gone. After I got everybody to make their very own colour wheel based on the common clock face we were ready to talk about colour families.

Colour wheels are readily available at art stores and even fabric shops. I do recommend making your own because it reveals what you have in your stash and helps notice subtle differences. The commercial ones can sometimes be intimidating/confusing with all the extras.

This wheel has cut outs for helping identify the fabric colour.

This is the back side of the artist's colour wheel which has two layers and can be rotated.

Both wheels show the shapes that help chose colour combinations.

If you put your finger on any single colour you have an individual. By using every tint, shade, bright, dull, light, medium, dark, patterned or solid fabric in your stash you will create a monochromatic quilt. Easy Peasy! But if you want to expand from single to couple, you need to find a partner.

A partner can be the next door neighbour or the guy across the street. Very often we pick opposites. The key to a successful relationship with opposites is one needs to be noisier/bossier/smarter/ etc. So the key in quilts with two colours is in the amounts of each you use. Red and green are opposites but even flowers know to have long stems, leaves and even thorns to balance that deep red rose.
Then the kids start coming!

If you married the guy next door the kids are probably similar. If you married out of the neighbourhood the kids are going to relate to those differences in exciting ways.

Shapes can give visual clues just like photograph albums reveal familiar family characteristics.

The semi circle shows colours that touch one to the other. These are analogous colour schemes and are fairly soothing. The kids fall somewhere between the parents who can be at each end. This can be a family of 3 or 10! A complete circle would be polychromatic.

Often children are different from their parents. This would be represented with a triangle. The triangle can be equal sides or 2 sides equal. This is a triadic colour scheme.

If the family is our four and no more then it is a tetra. A square or rectangle will touch the four key members.
And then of course are all the other variations that are found in families who do family planning. A coloured pencil and a blank colour wheel and you can plan the perfect family. Of course the first colicky kiddie and then gramma comes to stay! LOL

When making your own colour wheel place the red, yellow, and blue colours first. Then add orange, green and purple next. This will make finding those remaining, inbetween colours much easier.

Disclaimer! I am no expert on colour but because I have found it quite fascinating and luv to have pleasing arrangements and examples in my home, I have spent lots of time reading, analyzing, and studying. I hope this is helpful to those who also want to understand colour. If someone further along this fascinating road has something more to share or correct I hope they'll have the freedom to do that.

Next class is my Achilles heel. Value!