Monday, March 20, 2017

Of Knots & Loose Ends

Knots & Loose Ends, mixed media collage

An inevitable tension we've all experienced - feeling in knots, at loose ends. Do we mull it over more or act; how do we protect ourselves while revealing vulnerabilities.

Was not thinking these thoughts as I was creating this! Often a piece is made to explore combinations of materials - I like this and I like that - how can I put them together in an interesting way.

Knots & Loose Ends, mixed media collage, detail-1

I love to stitch. It's touchable mark-making. That's my excuse to bliss out and get lost in a rhythmic poke and pull. And then I have a souvenir full of color and texture.

But it's supposed to mean something, right? or at least have a point of departure for wondering minds. I like that last part - I don't want to play 'Gotcha' where the viewer either "gets it" like an in-joke or not. My intention is more a nudge or a spark for one to explore their own imagination.

Here it occurred to me that there's some tension and energy amongst the threads - some dangling loose, others tightly coiled, and still others just trying to cover ground. Much like our thoughts.

Plan to list in my shop at some point. If you'd like to see other pieces, please come by:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Boxed In

Boxed In, mixed media textile collage

This photo was actually an image transfer "fail" that got squirreled away in my Miscellaneous/This Could Be Cool Someday box. (Actually I have several.) After being passed over for couple years, she finally declared herself Ready For Her Close-up. All because a torn scrap of window screen made an ultimatum. Don't ask.

It's out of my hands sometimes what winds up in my hands. This doll face was copied from an ancient coffee table book I've treasured since childhood. (And frankly she's shown up in another piece of mine some time back: "Deposition" / ) I tried to be spontaneous and 'quick' but my fingers preferred to fuss over french knots and cross-stitches. Kinda' boxed myself in so to speak - it's a challenge to make embroidery look dashed off yet thoughtful.

Boxed In, mixed media textile collage, detail

Not yet listed. I was thinking of saving this to combine with other individual pieces into an artists book. But I may just set her loose to see what happens. It depends on hauling out the tripod and studio lights to make it official.

In the meanwhile have a look around:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Easter Promise

Promise, mixed media artist book, detail

Couldn't think of a clever title for this post - I'm trotting out more eggs, and if you remember the last time what with the polka dots and egg salad... This go-round is "serious" but in a totally good news sort of way. A thoughtful, lovely decoration for Easter that hearkens to what this holiday means for those of the Christian persuasion.

Hopefully I'm not stepping on any toes here - my focus is on the message of rebirth and renewal. A beautiful concept no matter whose church or temple or mosque's doors you choose to walk through. Eggs make an elegant symbol for that (regardless of pagan origins). Come, celebrate, ALL ARE WELCOME at this table.

Promise, mixed media artists book, full spread

Back to nuts and bolts. The eggs and final background layer are made from scrapbooking papers onto which are sewn a patchwork of glitzy fabric scraps. I used both free-motion machine stitching (because I like its wobbly, spontaneous look) and more careful embroidery with silver thread. Each of the pages are titled: Risen, Reborn, Renewed, Rejoice. Beads add nice extra sparkle, and I also like running my fingers over them. The backside has several designer paper eggs sewn on. And the covers are layered with white and off-white scaps sewn down grid fashion.

Promise, mixed media artists book, cover

This is now offered in my Etsy and Handmade at Amazon shops, as well as Illumnio:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spark It

Spark It, mixed media textile collage

My heart candle started off as a vague 'what if' session of scrap play. Once the basic idea sifted out I challenged myself to push the embroidery but relax. Think of the wonderful people in my life and translate those warm fuzzies into stitches. Lots of them. Lots of pleasurable poke and pull colorful stitches. And then add beads. Because sparkly stuff is pretty too.

Although this was not intended for someone in particular I do plan to try it as a reproducible picture for cards. Which means trotting out the tripod-mounted camera and 5500K studio lights. That'll be awhile.  I'd rather just sew another one or 10 of these.

Eventually it'll live in the fabric book I have in mind as a catch all for textile collages not meant for splashy wall display. Quiet pieces that one can cozy up with while sipping tea and daydreaming.

Here's where to have a look around:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cracking Good Times

Crazy Good Egg Salad, mixed media artists book, partial open

Artists like to get silly too - at least this one does. Word play inspired me to make these four eggs  and combine them into a concertina bound book. Go ahead and roll your eyes, there are: Egg Citing, Egg Zalted, Egg Cellent, and Egg Zemplary, It's not specifically "Easter" but when else does one trot out egg-themed decor. If we can have rabbits cavorting in flowered hats, we can have a breakfast food tarted up with sequins.

Crazy Good Egg Salad, mixed media artist book, full spread

Each panel was made on a layered fabric background (including polka dot tissue paper laminated onto fabric) while the eggs themselves were made from textured scrapbooking paper. I added free motion stitch which lent itself well to the casual fun tone. And then I topped it off with silver embossed lettering and bead studded sequin.

Crazy Good Egg Salad, mixed media artists book, cover

The book measures 6" x 8" and unfolds to 24". The cloth covered mat board covers are sturdy for upright display on a table or shelf. The papers used are acid-free.

This is now offered in my Etsy and Handmade at Amazon shops, as well as Illumnio:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Creepin' On Saint Sebastian

Saints Sebastian & Irene
When I first came across this image, I thought what a hot dude, his death scene looks kinda' sexy. So wrong. Turns out it is Saint Sebastian and he's not dying. He's being saved by the lovely Saint Irene (though he will later die violently confronting the very Emperor who condemned him the first time). It is a moving story as are all the tales of the saints. That status is never attained without unimaginable sacrifice.

I like to see what I can do with a found image (thank you, vintage Swedish dictionary), fabric scraps, and embroidery. In particular I was trying out a sandwich of paper image, ultralight fusible web, and sheer chiffon. Seems to have come out pretty well. Now it's open season on whatever printed picture I find intriguing.

Eventually these explorations will be collected in one artists book. In the meanwhile, other works are available at:

Monday, February 6, 2017

Set Me Off

Coffee Me, mixed media artist's book

A gift of Mexican coffee in retro-vibed red and white paper packaging really got me going. A paean to my favorite beverage was overdue. Something quick and spontaneous-y - like a good caffeine buzz.

I doodled on the packing paper, going over parts with free machine stitching in red and added personal observations. I layered this on polka dot fabric and alternated pages with ones of vintage bark cloth (thanks Grandma!) and rough cut coffee mugs. It's small too, 5" x 3".

Coffee Me, mixed media artist's book, detail-1

The whipped cream topper for me are the beaded ends of the binding threads. Dangles are irresistible. More are definitely in the future.

Coffee Me, mixed media artist's book, detail-2

This is now offered in my Etsy and Handmade at Amazon shops, as well as Illumnio: