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.
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.
Shibori and Discharged Fabrics found in my stash
As this experiment of 30 days of stitching is coming to a close and I'm thinking about it; I would have to say that it really worked. It got me to my computer so I would blog regularly. I just needed a self imposed push, a goal, a little discipline was in order. I'm going to continue with this 30 days of.... there is still many things I want to explore and having a 30 day concentration really works. It's not about a finished work of art it's about freedom to explore and play and see what happens.
It can help you freshen up your perspective and hone your approach to making. Also small time blocks can be used very effectively. And there is something to be said about repetition. A daily practice is very important to a self employed person. I work every day pretty much, I think all artist do because you really can't shut it off. It's wired into you. But I can withdraw into the studio and I'm finding that this ritual of blogging daily (if I can) is helping me connect more. Even if a post doesn't get read by tons of people which was never really the goal.
The goal was about getting me to talk/blog more about my work and process and what is the point of having a blog if you don't use it. Right. And thru that process of writing and just talking you can discover and discovery is always a good thing. So I'm feeling good about it and getting ready for the next go. What will the topic be? I'm still adding to my list and deciding what will be next.
Today I found some more of that yummy discharged fabric and discharged shibori. Little bits but enough to work with. Also some black rayon hand stitched with linen that I forgot about. Pairing these with some digital papers I made and coffee dyed papers. I'm lovin this palette.
Making continues, on my work table today.
On my table today....stitching and painting on Japanese paper. Collage with tea bags and waxed handwoven fabric, some little tapestry weavings that I hope to use in a mixed media piece. Those are a series I'm working on.... working name is "Remnants" still figuring that all out. Some of this may end up in an art journal. That black discharge fabric is from my sash and I need to do more. I love that fabric but I have not found another black rayon that discharges this same wonderful creamy color. Still looking. I got that black in Savannah years ago when I was doing my grad studies at SCAD. Those were fun times. A great school. Only three days left in this challenge and then a bit of a break while I think about my next 30 day challenge. I have a long list of ideas for that. Here are some the ideas I have on my list. These are things that I want to work on more in a daily proactice.
1. 30 days of... Mark Making
2. Print Making
4. Book Making(bookarts)
5. Paper Making
6. Eco Dyeing
That is my short list for now. I have many more on the list to think about.
A couple more pics for you and I'm off to get dinner and get back to the studio tonight. Ta Ta Peeps.
So much on my work table today.
Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday and I decided to take a break from the Studio and we went for a lovely country drive in the Pa. mountains. It was very relaxing and just what I needed to help me recharge my batteries. Hubby was driving so I could just relax and look out the window in a dreamy haze. I love doing that. I just let my mind go and observe nature. A walk in the park does the same thing for me. Probably even more so. The Japanese call it "Forest Bathing"
Goggle says: Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is simply spending time outdoors under the canopy of trees. In Japanese, “shinrin” means forest and “yoku” means bath, or immersing oneself in the forest and soaking in the atmosphere through the senses.
I recently saw a movie about trees and they had a segment on Forest Bathing. That was the first time I heard the term and I loved it. Does it count if your in the car in the mountains surrounded by trees with the window down, and your head hanging out like a dog with a big shit eating grin on your face?
I think that might count. And speaking of counting. I'm counting down the days on this challenge and the days until Fall arrives. Then I will do a great deal of Forest Bathing in the Autumn leaves. Come on Autumn! So yesterday was a mental health day and today I'm hoping to get back to work with a refreshed feeling. Off to the studio I go and you don't even have to wait.....I'll be back with pics.
Why is there a stick in this image? Good question. I have been picking up sticks for a really long time. I don't know why. I'm compelled to do it. I've always had hopes of finding a way to use them. Maybe for a handwoven wall hanging or maybe a book bound with a stick spine. Or maybe to carve a crochet hook....who knows. Well, at least I have a good stash of them so maybe something will come of it.
So on my work table today... some art journal pages, some drawing, stitching on a weaving sample maybe could become a bookmark etc. Some free motion stitching I think will become a journal cover. Still thinking... A little stitched pocket with a printed photo of wood from my outside table. In the pocket, a tea dyed recipe page, a seed pod, a little bit of linen. I thought that might be fun to put in a journal.
These recipes are from an old southern country style cook book that is yummy. I don't cook from it anymore because it will make you fat! Or in my case fatter! But I still love to read the mouth watering recipes. So I thought I would dye a few pages and use them in journals. Ok it's time for dinner. I'm off. Later Peeps.
Yesterday when l was looking thru older pieces of work that are still not done; I found some bits and pieces of some collaged and stitched works that I did a few years ago. (Some left over bits). Both of those pieces sold and I really enjoyed making them. See pics below. The backgrounds where worked on paper in watercolor then collaged with papers. The figures were painted on cloth and then collaged and stitched. I'm still using some of these methods in newer works but if the background is done on a stretched canvas you really can't put it under the machine. So hand stitching is required.
It's good to look back at older work and sometimes revisit it. You never know. Maybe I'll be moved to do a few more in a similar fashion. Well, back to work and I'll be back with more later.
I'm back and I don't have any new photos for you today. I had to run to Philly and when I got back the light was fading so my pics didn't look very good. So pics tomorrow. I was working on paintings with stitch and weaving embellishments etc. So I'll leave you for now. More tomorrow. Ta Ta Peeps.
It's Sunday, should that be a day of rest? Not for me really. I'm a little more chill on Sunday but I still go into the Studio and work. I never really take a day off because the studio is in my house and that makes it sort of hard to walk away from it. It's everywhere. Nooks and crannies are all over the house. Even on Holidays when I'm suppose to be off I'm doing something usually. Living an artful life. I love it. The only time I really stop is if I'm sick. So if I stay well then all is good but I still have some days that are far more productive than others.
Today I got a lot done but not stitching related. Working on my website and shop don't qualify for this challenge but it has to be done. So I'll leave you with this. A piece of stitched work on cloth that I started years ago and I keep cutting it down and down and now I want to cut her nose off too. I cropped it out in one of the photos and I prefer it that way. This was one of my digital paintings printed on cloth and hand stitched. Then did a little painting over with asemic writing etc. I will probably mount it to a collaged canvas or something of the sort. I still feel like it is going to change even more in the process of finishing. Not sure yet. I don't know. What do you think about it? Nose or no nose? I think I have been looking at it too long and my judgement is not so great right now. Hubby says, No nose." With that thought I leave you because it's dinner time and I'm starving. Later Peeps.
It's Friday already. This week flew by. So here I am back at the computer and thinking about todays work at hand. I'm going to be continuing with a lot of the items I already started working on, but I can't seem to stop thinking about those Chapbooks that I stumbled on the other day. I think it would be fun to do some with little paintings or block prints with poetry or my favorite Haiku. Little free form embroideries in small format could work as well. So many possibilities.
This brings me to something I've been thinking about a great deal. Art you can touch. Something you can hold and use. Art that isn't just for the wall. Of course I'm still making art to hang but I've been longing to do something more tactile for the owner or user. More interactive. That is why I've started working on these art journals.
And the famous words from the Bauhaus are ringing in my ears "Form follows function" that phrase just popped into my head the other day when I was working on a book idea. I was thinking about the size of a journal that fits perfectly in my hand and what it feels like to hold a really beautiful book in your hands. I thought about coptic stitch and how it works perfectly to make a book or journal lay open for the user to write or paint in etc. At that moment I thought that was a perfectly simple example of "form follows function". What do you think?
What does this have to do with "Stitching" well, stitching a book together is a massive subject. So many ways to do it. There are many methods of sewing book signatures so I'm sure that is going to be popping up here and there in this 30 day stitching challenge of mine. Just sayin....
Ok it's time to get to work. I'm off to the studio to see what I can get into. As always I'll be back with pics later. Which is no time for you....Just keep reading.
Ok just like that...the magic of the internet. I'm back from the studio with a couple of pics. What did I do today? As follows:
1. I made an Accordion style book. Very small and cute. Thought it might be a great way to do those Chapbooks I've been dreaming about. Covers are in my digital papers.
2. I made a small bookcover in black fabric with discharged rayon and paper collage. Still need to do some topstitching etc. on that and put in digital papers on the inside.
3. I had a piece of painted canvas that I collaged with discharge fabric, linen, my favorite Japanese poems etc. and stitched it all down.
4, Worded on little bits to go in art journals.
5. Printed out some of my digital art for papers in art journals. FYI I'm going to be putting those together in Pdf format for download purchases in my shop. More about that when they get listed.
Overall a pretty productive day. Hope your doing well and ready for the weekend. Later Peeps.
Good morning... I'm getting into a routine of starting my post with a cup of tea and thinking about what I'm going to do in the studio for the day. Then those thoughts start to become thinking out loud in a post. Kind of fun to see if I really get any of those ideas done in the studio. So list are helping. But sometimes it's just a matter of going into the studio turning on my music sitting at my worktable or sewing machines and seeing what happens. A lot of the that really depends on what materials are around me. So my table and work area are really kind of crazy right now with this challenge. Baskets and bins every where. Bits and pieces and more bits and pieces all over the work table. But then it gets to a point where I say it is time to "clear the decks" and I have to clean up. And then the whole process starts all over again. And today this morning as I'm writing this I know that I'm going to have to do that when I get upstairs. So sigh... Another cup of tea is in order.
My computer is downstairs in the weaving studio and that has also become my husbands make shift office during this pandemic. He works among the looms. And the cats love having him home so they sit on the looms and gaze lovingly at Papa. But for me no weaving is going on right now because he needs his space and I don't want to be banging around while he is on a business call so I've been upstairs all summer in the sewing and painting studio. So stitching and painting continue and weaving may start back up in the Fall if we get hubby moved into another room that needs some work but is an option.
At first we thought this was only going to be for a month or two but as we all know now this Covid-19 situation is not going away anytime soon.
Ok back to the subject at hand. What am I going to stitch today? Not sure yet. But I'll be back to finish this post and put up some pics. All you have to do is scroll down and it will be there. So clicking draft mode for now and off to the studio to clean up my mess and make a new mess. Ta Ta
Several hours later....I'm back. A few items to share. One failed attempt at my canvas pleater board. The pleats are not deep enough and some ended up bigger than others etc. So back to the drawing board on that. I've got a plan. So after I decided to give up on that and move on I cleaned a bit and then did a little work.
In the center I did a book cover with my digital art paper and then added some dyed organza overlay with a little fabric collage and hand stitching. There it is. Stitching did make it into todays work. On the left yesterdays faux endbands with brown twill tape and grey bias binding with elastic cord as the filler. Nice and round. I think I will hand stitch over the cord area to add more of a decorative touch and see if they end up looking like real endbands. This of course is purely decorative hence the word faux. They are fake. In case you don't know real endbands are sewn into the the book structure by hand on the book spine and into the signatures. But modern books that you get today have faux ones glued in. I'm going to learn how to do the real ones at some point. That is if I ever do a big rounded spine case bound book etc.
Continuing with this pic I did some playing around with little pamphlet stitched books and did a cover with a digital paper that I made. And look! there are speaks of blue in that digital paper. Go figure! The cardboard is recycled from my kitchen. I have been saving cereal boxes, tea boxes, protein bar boxes etc. you get the point. That stuff is good for making light weight art journals. And my pleated linen from yesterday made the shot and I love it so I will be doing more experimenting with that. OK it's time to say goodnight and go make some diner. Later Peeps.
Today I'm going back to yesterdays list to work on faux endband ideas and stitched book spines. And of course I'm adding to my to do list as well. Today's list which is really some things I need to do and some things I want to try.
1. Make a pleater board for stitching. (probably use canvas or heavy paper) you can also make quick ones out of freezer paper. They don't last as long but hey you can always make another.
2. Tea and coffee dye some floss and maybe do some greys also. So fire up the dyepots. It's hot out so this may or may not happen.
3. Maybe do a stitch sampling of embroidery stitches that I don't use often. Running stitch, seed stitch, backstitch, satin stitch, long and short are the stitches I use most often. So try and find something new that I might like.
4.This is a want to learn more about Item: Hand Smocking, not for dresses but for book spines. I think that could be really interesting. Will it make it into my 30 day window? Maybe....
Well, I could keep adding to this list but I've got to get to the studio and get some work done. My cup of tea is gone and I need another cup of course and then I'm off.....I'll be back with pics later.
Well, not alot of pretty pics for you today. I started on my pleating board but it's not finished and honestly it could be better. A little wonky so far. I did start on some book spine ideas. Got out my pintuck foot and double needle. So I have a pic of that. Also started on some faux endbands sewn with my bulky foot and elastic cord and wool cord. I'll post those tomorrow. I found that binding tape works really well with no ripples when you round it as if it were going on a book spine. More on that tomorrow. Time for dinner so I'll leave you with my linen sewn pintucks. And my Bernina played nice today with the straight stitch. Good thing because that is the only machine I have pintuck and bulky feet for.
Over the years I've collected quite a few feet for that machine and they were not cheap. Anyone that owns a Bernina knows what I'm talking about. They are like little pieces of jewelry. They are very well made but you pay thru the nose for them. That is the nice thing about the Juki it takes high shank and you can use industrial feet on it which are so much more affordable. But with no zigzag on that machine you can't do double needle sewing with it. So hang in there my 1090s please hang in there.
Still going....on todays to do list as I'm writing right now before I head upstairs to the studio....what do I want to put on that list? I've been thinking about stitched book spines for my art journals so that will be first I think.
1. Stitched spines
2. More pages
3. Stitched decorative endbands or faux endbands
4. Singer sewn bindings (they call it that but any good sewing machine will do)
5. Pamphlet Stitch (looked it up for fun). "The 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." Never heard of Chapbooks have you? Ok now I have to look up Chapbooks.
"In a nutshell, chapbooks are teeny books. Merriam-Webster defines them as a small book containing ballads, poems, tales, or tracts. They are collections of poems, stories, or an experimental mix of both. Chapbooks usually hover in the range of 20–40 pages and are more affordable purchases to their novel counterparts."
Well, I think I like Chapbooks. You learn something new everyday. They sound really cool to me.
Pamphlet stitch could actually go under the heading of bookbinding not stitching but hey it's my challenge and I can bend the rules anyway I want. The same with Singer sewn bindings. It's all stitching to me. Ok I need to go work and I'll be back later with pics to see if I actually do anything on this list.
I'm back and I didn't get to everything on my list today. I did work on more pages and I did some pamphlet stitch. I worked on more collage and hand stitched a seed pod that I found in my nature box. I sealed it with matt medium which worked great. I'm starting to put signatures together for the art journals. I worked on covers some more. The free form stitched figure with trees was working out well but my machine skipped some stitches on the top stitching so that's a redo to go on my list. I did it with my Singer 201 and I was really surprised when she balked at the thick corners. Usually that machine loves to stitch thick. I'm going to try it again with the new Juki TL-18QVP Haruka which is suppose to go thru layers like butter. So I'll put it to the test.
My beloved Bernina 1090s is still going after 22 years of use but the stitch dial is starting to act out. I'm worried because I have never loved a machine and used a machine as much in my life. I'm super attached to her. She is my go to for free form embroidery. Luckily that is still working great but today when I was straight stitching on paper and a few other times as well I would turn the dial for a longer stitch and nothing would happen. Eventually after messing around with it she came around but I'm worried about her circuit board. As long as she keeps working for free form I can use other machines for straight stitching. Fingers crossed she holds on. I can do free form on other machines even my treadles but I prefer her. The Juki does free form well I'm told but I have not tested that machine out for that yet. Guess I will have to do that soon. Looks like I got off on a tangent about machines. Ok here are my pics for the day.
Moving right along. A free form stitched bird cut from a piece that just wasn't working for me. But now I'm finding elements that I liked so cut, cut, cut and recycle some work. Having made many art quilts in the past I have no issues with cutting things up. I always loved that part of quilting. The deconstruction/reconstruction aspect of it was always something I loved doing. Collage has that same process that I'm drawn to. I also cut up paintings on paper, fabric, and raw canvas. Using a mat frame as a window is a great way to find sections that you want to isolate and cut out. Then the scraps from that go into a bin for later collage work. No waste. I'm big on no waste. Even the smallest pieces can find a place in a new work.
Recycling during this process of the 30 day challenge is a great help to get things flowing. No staring at a blank page just digging in to my scraps. After I find a few items that I think have potential then I start putting colors that work together and threads etc. I usually stitch with natural tones and lots of grey tones. Maybe I'll try stitching with colors that I never use to see what happens. As a previous Indie Dyer I have used every color that I could possibly come up with but in my work over the last few years I have a preference for more earthy subdued colors. It's just what feel rights for me. I dyed enough blue to last a lifetime so I don't use it often in my stitching but now that it has been a several years since I closed that business maybe I'm not so sick of blue anymore. Hmm...I'll have to think about that. I use blue/greys and Payne's grey is a go to color for me. Can't function without Payne's grey. I have it in watercolor, oil, acrylic I think. It's the first color I look for when buying new paints. Ok I'm getting off subject so that tells me it's time to get going. Catch ya later.
A little drawing with some collage elements in progress. Wabi-Sabi style canvas which has Japanese paper mounted to it for texture and white paint. I'll probably hand stitch the collage to the canvas with linen. Also that rusty bit is a crackle dyed velvet that I found in my stash. I love it. I dyed that years ago and the color has not faded at all. Cool. It will make it's way into something soon. Later Peeps.
Day 3 and I'm still digging around in my fabric and paper bins. So far so good. This exercise is making me use up scraps from the past which I find very gratifying. When I sit at my work table I think rather than start with a fresh fabric or paper I want to see what I have that I can use. So I'm sorting and making stacks to choose from and pulling items off my inspiration wall too. That board is so covered that I'm finding things hidden underneath layers that I totally forgot about. Digital papers, painted organza, Watercolor papers, a card wrapped with a yummy bark like silk/cotton blend that I want to try stitching with and the list goes on.
For years I would put this or that on the wall or in a bin not really knowing what it would become if anything but now that I'm looking at these objects of making in a new light they just may make it into a final piece of art of into a art journal page. These art journals that I'm working on are perfect for those little bits. I often call them little experiments. Now I'm feeling like they are finding a permanent home instead of just hanging on my wall or overflowing in my baskets. As I continue with this process there will be new items put in the shop which is really the goal. My shop as been sort of on hold while I was recovering from my surgery so I'm excited to get going again and start loading it up with new work. Onward and upward.....
Ok so I'm off to a good start with this daily practice. Working on paper and collage with stitching and stitching little scraps of linen that I have in baskets all over the studio. I'm just working with what is close at hand. I love using up those small bits that are here and there. I found some hand dyed velvet that dates all the way back to graduate school. That's twenty two years ago and it still looks great. That is in the basket photo above. The color had not faded at all. Maybe being in the bottom of the bin helped with that. I have these bins full of pieces of fabric from my art quilt days. Maybe I should make up some kits for sale to share them with others. Need to put that on my long to do list. Also working on some journal pages and I found a little tree I stitched about 2 years ago in a pile. Does that count? It's amazing what you can find when you clean up the studio a bit.
I'm doing an experiment. It's called 30 days of....
Thirty days of what you might be asking? Well, it could be many things. I've added a counter on the right.This is going to be a daily practice. I'm starting with stitching. It can be hand stitching or machine. Using small pockets of time and just playing in the studio. Sort of like doing thumbnail sketches but with needle and thread. Other ideas for the 30 day count down could be mark making, drawing, painting, collage, art journal pages, small tapestries, print making, etc.
I'm doing this to help give myself some deadlines. A challenge to myself to work on these little concentrated exercises and do a quick post about them. I have hopes that it might help me post more on a regular schedule etc. I need deadlines to help me get things done. And it is a great way to use small windows of time better. It's not about making a finished work. It's more of an exploration within one discipline for 30 days. I will have to see where it takes me. So now I'm off to the studio to work and at some point carve out a window for some stitching. I'll be back with Pics.
Artist and maker living and working in the beautiful state of Pa.