Now available in my Big Cartel Shop
SOLD.....This Large Art Journal is on it's way to a new home. So exciting to send it out into the world for someone to love and use and fill it up to the brim with writing, drawing, painting, collecting etc. I have to say this is one of my favorites so far. More to come. My work table is overflowing right now.
It's been a long time coming but finally Art Journals are in the shop. It's been a crazy year with two knee replacement surgeries but I'm getting better every day and finally getting some work finished in the studio. I had a great time working on these little journals and have more larger journals in the works, so more are coming. Hope your year as been good as we slide into the holiday season and prepare for 2024 soon. I'm excited about what is to come now that I can test out my new knees with more physical work and I will be able to treadle my looms soon without pain. Yay!
Making stacks of art pages
Yep, the southern accent is still there after all of these years away from the south. And you should hear it after I talk to my brother or sister on the phone. Twang Twang and more Twang. Some things never change which can be comforting in a world where everything is changing. Hope you are having a wonderful Holiday Season.
Art journal page "The Measure of Silence"
A little clip. This page was created with tea dyed paper, digital paper I made in photoshop, a little painting with a figure sketched in graphite and fabric collage with a little poem I put together. The overlay is ink painted silk organza. Now I just want to make more.
Just keep weaving...
I took a long break from this tapestry. Sometimes that works well for me to just step back and do other work for a while. Then when I come back to it with fresh eyes I find a new energy and the process moves on rather well. This work is sett pretty fine at 12 epi so it takes time. Tapestry weaving and time go hand and hand. Ha Ha making jokes now. But really if I were to think too much about the time I would probably not be a tapestry weaver. You have to love it for all that it is and it is far more than time. People always ask "How long did that take?" And I never really know for sure. I don't record very minute or hour or day or month. I just weave.
Making Art Journal pages is sort of addictive.
And so it goes....stacks of pages ready to be sewn into journals. And the handwoven tapestry journal cover is now off the loom and ready for finishing. It's an experiment that I don't know if I will be able to part with because I'm in love with it so far. More coming soon....
Tapestry weaving with Varpapuu Loom
hThis year is flying by and I got lost in my work and have failed to post in a bit. However, if you have been following on Instagram then you know what I've been up to. But today I'm sharing a pic of my new to me Varpapuu Upright Tapestry Loom. I have a Varpa floor loom that I love that I got used in the 90's and I fell in love with it but I always wanted a vertical tapestry loom made by Varpapuu too.
The hunt was on and no luck. Everything I found was in Europe. So I thought I would just run a goggle search every few months to see if one ever showed up in the USA. Well, that went on for years and years and years but I never really gave up. I would search at least a few times per year. And finally only 30 years later I found one in the USA and it was close enough for a road trip of 5 hours up north and she was mine.
Then came the clean up and new heddles were needed. I started making them by hand but gave up. I didn't want to make a 1000 heddles. Ugh! So heddles were ordered in Jan. of this year but with Covid delays they only just arrived 7 months later. That was more waiting.....but after 30 years that didn't seem too bad. So now she is finally ready to go. I mean ready to dress. I have to make a warp and then dress her and then I will finally get to weave on my beloved Upright Varpapuu. She weaves 58 inch width almost 5 feet. She doesn't have a worm gear like my floor Varpa but she has huge ratchet and pawl gears that look like they can handle tight tension for tapestry weaving like a charm. Here she is...isn't she lovely. I'll post more as I get her warped and start weaving. Yay!
The more I weave on my Fireside loom the more I love it. This little project is a test run to see how a tapestry woven art journal cover will work. I think it would feel great in your hands. Excited to get it off the loom and do the finishing work so I can sew some pages into it.
A splash of color with Lichen Inspiration and Digital Papers
Working on Art Journal Pages and finding some Inspiration with Lichen from my garden. I think I want to make some digital art printables with a Lichen Theme. I love the colors and textures. But how to put them into a journal? You can seal the pieces with medium but they are very delicate etc. Maybe some images of them would be much more workable. I think so.
So I'm still collaging and stitching and having fun with these pages. Some more mark making printables with asemic writing and textures and splatters. Just playing and experimenting and enjoying the process.
Stitching Paper for Art Journals
October just flew by and I did not want it to. It's one of my favorite months. But what can you do...time just clicks away. I've been working on some Art Journal pages and having fun stitching coffee dyed papers. That weedy golden grass grows in my wild ass unkept garden and I have no idea what it is but I love the color. It looks like it was coffee or tea dyed so it matches the dyed pages. Collaging and stitching paper for page layouts is addictive. I would like to be able to offer some of these journals in my Shop but I'm going to have to manage my time and work out the details as to keep the prices in a good range. This sort of work can really eat up time. I just want to fill all the pages but what I need to do is find a balance with filled pages and blank ones also etc. Leaving areas for the customer to write, paint, draw, sketch, collage or do whatever they want to the pages.
Watercolor Art Journal
Well, this 30 day challenge sort of got away from me. I was not able to post each day. But I'm still working on my experiments and making. I finished a Watercolor inspired journal yesterday. It's a simple journal with watercolor pages for the covers. I made bookcloth for the spine with a handdyed cotton and inserted eyelets. The binding is pamphlet stitch. I added a simple elastic closure. Inside some of my favorite drawing paper which is a nice weight for this size journal. On another note, more digital art printables are coming to the shop soon. Well, I better get back to the studio and see what happens today. Thanks for stopping by.
Wabi - Sabi Barn Digital Art Printables
A couple of new Digtial Art Printable Packs are now in the shop. Wabi - Sabi Barn and The Beauty of Weeds.
Inspiration from my nature walks at my favorite park. There is always something interesting to see. Milkweed always catches my eye. With Autumn coming I'm hoping to get more photos to work with. Hope you can pop over to the shop and take a look. I really enjoy offering these for people to be creative with. I know I love working with them for book and journal covers and pages. I hope to be posting some videos of my art journals soon. A flip through.
I'm currently using some of these images on book covers. I'll be posting more when the art journal is done.
Posting daily is getting difficult
I got a little side tracked this weekend. I'm trying to get my weaving studio into some sort of order. Fall is coming and I'm itching to weave but things are pushed all around and sort of crazy. We had to make an office space for my husband when Covid-19 hit so he could work from home, so he is in the weaving studio. Months have passed and we don't think he will be going back to the office any time soon. So I need to probably do some down sizing of looms etc. I've been thinking about this for some time. I really need to sell some looms. It's hard to decide what to keep and what must go. I'm all over the place with this decision. If your a weaver then you know what I speak of. It's hard to let go sometimes. Oh well, I need to get on with it.
Now back to the challenge subject. My art journals in progress are all over the studio upstairs. I work in batches. I can never just start one thing and go from start to finish. Maybe I should. I have book covers in progress and pages and the sewing of cloth journals going on and I'm feeling like I need to get organized. It's feeling a bit crazy. So today when I get into the studio after this cup of tea and I stop procrastinating maybe I'll try and get organized. I hope to be back with some pics of something getting closer to being done. Done is good. Well, the day got away from me again. No pics yet but I'm getting there soon. Working on testing out a grommet or eyelet kit that I got for the fabric journals. Nothing beautiful to see yet just a big mess on my work table. Hang in there Peeps. And some new digital printables are coming soon.
Preparing fabric for resist dyeing
I'm doing a little fabric dyeing for some art journals and thought I might do some faux shibori. Instead of hand stitching or hand tying resist areas I sometimes like to just use my sewing machine to add stitching that I pull tight. I can also add some hand wrapping to it as well. It's fun and fast to do. I have found that my Bernina baste stitch works great for this. That stitch sews every other stitch so it is long and easy to pull out after dyeing. If your machine doesn't have a long basting stitch just set it to the longest stitch you have. Sometimes a gathering foot helps but with this stitch I don't need one.
There are so many ways to experiment with your machine and doing various resist techniques to fabric. Chain Stitch is another that is very helpful because it pulls out easily but you have to make sure you knot it so it doesn't pull out during dyeing. The only machine I have right now that does chain stitch is an old Singer 626 Touch-N-Sew. That is why I bought it for the chain stitch set up. If you look for one of those make sure you get a model that has metal gears. You don't want those old plastic ones. The Touch-N-Sew 600 series had metal gears but it's always best to look inside the machine to check before buying one. If your doing Craig's List or Thrift Shops just bring a screw driver with you. Here is an article about the 626 if your interested.
I purchased mine for the chain stitch but it does a lovely satin stitch as well and a beautiful straight stitch. I heard someone refer to this series of machines as "Stitch and Throw" once. I think many people might have had issues because they were not winding the bobbins correctly and you must keep the bobbin area clean. It has that wind in place bobbin system. I have never had any issues with it. But you know I love Vintage Sewing Machines as well as my Bernina and Juki. All of my other machines are Vintage. The thing I love most about Vintage machines is that I can work on them myself because there are no computer parts. Also they are just cool. The look and the sound that they make and the stitch quality is really outstanding. Ok, I got off on a rant about Vintage Machines. Anyway, if your getting into resist dyeing or Shibori looks give your machine a try for some interesting effects. I'll post these after dyeing. Here is a little video clip of the basting stitch. Catch yo later.
30 Days of Making Art Journals and My New Book Sewing Frame
I took some time off for the holiday weekend. But I did get a couple of photos of my book sewing frame that we made. If there is enough interest Ron says he can make them as made to order so I'll list it in the shop if people contact me and say they are interested in one.
I'm so happy with the way it turned out. I love it. And the fact that we made it makes it even better. The maple is lovely and I have always loved beautiful grain on Maple. It will only get darker and richer over time. That honey look of aged maple is so sweet. Catch ya later. And if your interested in a Sewing Frame drop me a line from the contact page. Or Direct Message me on Instagram.
Mixed Media Textile Collage in progress.
I was working on this piece today and I thought it was done. But then I was thinking maybe more stitching but I just was not sure. I posted to Instagram to get some opinions. So far people say it is done. I will put it aside as to not over do it and see what I think.
Over working something is the worst because you can't go back.
Sometimes less is more. This is painted Linen on Linen canvas with stitching and a tiny handwoven tapestry style fabric done with a silk warp, and silk and wool weft. The little drawing in watercolor and graphite is stitched with asemic writing. It's on linen and paper with a touch of a beautiful handmade Japanese paper remnant that I love. I've got a few of these that I'm working on for the shop. When I paint Linen like this it has a very Wabi-Sabi feel to me. I often call this color Wabi-Sabi White. The working series name was Remnants. That may or may not change.
Hope your labor day is going well with some nice time off.
Making Little Book Covers
This is my first Youtube video and there is a learning curve. I thought I would add some little snippets of me at my work table etc. Still working on some little book covers. Hope your having a lovely Labor Day weekend. Me.... I'm going to try and figure out the ins and outs of Youtube a bit for now. Catch ya later Peeps.
The art journal challenge continues with Pamphlet Stitch...
I'm still here plugging along. I'm working on some simple bindings. This one is pamphlet stitch.
And google says:pamphlet stitch is a simple binding often used to bind chapbooks. Chapbooks are inexpensively made booklets, originally sold by “chapmen” door-to-door and village-to-village.
And there is the term Chapbooks again. It just keeps popping up.
Anyway, I used pamphlet stitch and hard boards. I made a linen bookcloth for the spine. I have purchased bookcloth before and it was quite heavy so I wanted to make my own with a finer linen cloth and it turned out very nice. The weight was lighter and not so bulky. I'm going to be making more. The linen I used was a medium weight not too coarse.
The cover boards are where I just played with collage, stitching, digital papers, pastels, and wax. I was worried that the wax would warp the boards but I put them into my handmade press and that worked. The edges that I left uncovered I painted and dyed. More experimentation with that is in order. To wrap the edges or not? It depends on the paper. If it is too thick it doesn't wrap nicely. Heavy watercolor paper for example, it looks better trimmed clean to the edge. I wonder if I lightly sprayed it with water first if I make it more pliable? Maybe. Ok off to the studio to take it out of the press.
Well lesson learned. I forgot to put parchment paper on the top of my waxed cover before putting it in the press. It stuck to it. Ugh! Not too bad I got if off but I did lose a little wax in the process. No biggie it just adds to the wabi-sabiness of it. I had sealed it with spray varnish and I thought that would do the trick but now I know. It's always a learning process but that is what keeps things fun and interesting and never boring.
The back cover was fine no issues with sticking there. So as you can see this is just a simple pamphlet stitch binding stitched with waxed linen thread. The paper is a 80lb drawing paper. It takes all dry media very well. The next one I do will have mixed media paper so you can use wet media. I love how the asemic free form stitching I did is bonded into the wax and also with the hand stitching on the back cover. I'm going to keep experimenting with the coldwax and when the weather breaks I'm firing up the Encaustic wax pot to use on some covers. I'll probably use wood or masonite boards for that. The hot wax might be too much for the book board. Ok, another day is slipping away. I've got to get back to it. Ta Ta and hope your getting some creative time today. We have a 3 day weekend coming up so maybe you will. The weather is suppose to be fine here so I'm going to head to the mountains again for some forest bathing and recharging of my batteries.
Artist and maker living and working in the beautiful state of Pa.