Friday, May 30, 2014

Well, Light my fire!

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, it is National Barbecue Month. 

Can you imagine your mother's reaction to "Mother, may I set it on fire?"!

My mother was away somewhere but had left steaks out for supper.  My brother and I were on supper detail and managed to set fire to the steaks on the stove top.  Both my parents were Girl Guide and Scout leaders so being under their influence we were prepared  (!!!) and poured  a box of baking soda over the flames and the steak. :(  My Dad was not impressed and pointed out just putting the lid on would have saved our supper! hmm!

This week I have been playing with fire!  Precautions in place.

First I warmed up by using fiery colours.

I sprayed Dragon Fruit Pink Maya Mist onto Lutradur through a stencil.

Then I used Cadmium Red Deep Hue Liquitex Acrylic Color which I rolled onto Lutradur through the same stencil with a foam brush. 
The ink spreads through the webbing and produces a softer look than the lightly rolled acrylic which produces the sharper image.  It should be noted that the paint can act as a resist.

To warm things up,  I heated up layers.

I sandwiched some bling between two pieces of  Lutradur which I sandwiched between a silicone sheet and ironed away!

It stuck but mainly to the bottom one! 

 I distressed it with a heat tool and learned that I like to have the lacy effect done from the back as the added bling isn't distorted as much and the holes happen quicker.

 Then I spread bling, threads and bits of coloured Lutradur between two sheets of wonder under and ironed away again.

Peeling it off was interesting but it came off and I thought it was great.

But as I was experimenting with the Lutradur,  I placed it on a piece of dark Lutradur, along side a bit of net and then some white Lutradur.  I covered the top side with some fine net.  I fused it again.

Then I distressed it with the heat tool.
Next  I began to cut away edges from the earlier acrylic sample with the soldering tool.  Good idea but I need a better image as forgot about the properties of a stencil!. :o

These feathers were fast and had great edges!  Feathering was quick and easy!

What would happen if I brushed the edges with a real flame?  A slow steady pass through the flame is great for aging or texture as Lutradur doesn't tear.  There is less melted residue of the fibres and the edge is crisp and even clean.   But don't get too complacent.

It can and does sometimes flare up.  I'm not sure why.  I didn't notice too much difference between painted and unpainted Lutradur.   I didn't feel anxious; nor did my heart beat unduly.  I would do it again for an old, yellow, aged effect.

Things are heating up finally here on the farm.  The trees are more than just a hazy green and the dandelions are in full bloom.  I must confess my attention is wandering from setting creative fires to planting breath taking blossoms.   I have mislaid key photos and my photos from my photo paper is scratching in a worrisome way.  I did play a bit with my next page but it is far from being done.

One last technique for any worried about fire hazards.  I doubt pulling a needle through Lutradur will create enough friction to cause a fire.  I want to do a camping page if I can find the missing images. Of course I could fill in the blanks with feathers and foliage.   Adding a few bits of texture to leaves that I cut out with scissors makes my heart really beat faster!  Now this is a technique I am looking forward to sitting and playing with while my Rooster barbecues the steaks!  Gee, I hope he doesn't set them on fire!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Boxing it up!

What a project this memory box has turned out to be!

I have 'stuff' somewhat organized, well, make that scattered over the whole upstairs.  Things really got disorganized when DDS#3 reclaimed one room and I cleared off the bed and any other flat surface.  I redistributed stuff.  :O   The Grand Kiddie #1 visited so I removed from his bunk and shoved some under my bed.  I find stuff I didn't know I had because I am looking for photos that I 'know' I saw.  :(

I need to at least put away the memory pages that are finished.  So I began the fabric box.  My first choice of fabric wasn't enough.  There is an inside and an outside and a padded bottom insert.  I ended up using a cotton that barely made it.  It does remind me of my mum before she went drab. Note to self- don't go basic drab! 

Now I had already padded the top not realizing my batting is all low loft.  Kinda flat but the glue holds well so I wasn't gonna change it.  I did put two layers for the 'puffy' insert. 

But I felt it was really boring.  DRAB???   Maybe DS#2 can just make me a wooden box, a bit feminine!   vbsigh  So before I attempted the hinges I auditioned some piping.  I don't really have any.  hmmmm  It is starting to perk up.

What about a motif from my first choice fabric?   ooh.  I could add some batting behind it for some more poof.

Some ribbon!  some...

 And a fob for opening the lid! And...

Hmm, amazing where a bit of what if... can lead you!    I may have to cancel the wooden box!

The final post for ... and then we set it on fire...  will be tomorrow.  Well, unless I have to call the fire department!  ;~)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wow - a wild fire...

Who knew this little block would cause me to burn my fingers a number of times. Not to mention sending steam out my ears!  :(

I spent Tuesday morning  arranging my basket parts on my design wall. I have a few very dark colours to spread around.  I think I am good to go but I need to applique the handles of one block to see if everything really fits.  While I sipped my coffee and sandwich I perused the early episodes of  The Quilt Show.  Show number 210  has Alex demonstrating how to make a four inch Postage Basket block.  She has a couple of good and time saving techniques.

I really don't mind hand applique.  But I must confess that this has been a busy month sew...

I had already prepared my bias handles so the machine stitching on one side wouldn't have saved me anything but a card board for positioning was wonderful.

The centre with the body of the basket measured a wee bit bigger than my drafted copy.  :(  Sew I did the expedient thing; it is my quilt after all.  I lengthened the white rectangle between those little footies an half an inch and it all works.  sheesh 

It is feeling a bit more traditional than I wanted which makes me want to change the setting.  Hmm, what if...

If you want to see what is hot in other areas of Canada, check this out!

Monday, May 26, 2014

In the mood for red

The trees haven't leafed out yet but we broke a record for high temperatures Friday and Saturday.  Thunder showers Saturday night and  lots of rain Sunday should surely have things greening up.  While I'm waiting,  I will finish up my studies for ' ... and then we set it on fire...' !

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Finish

The grand kiddies invited us to celebrate their end of year school party!  This missy isn't in school but seems to be up for an Alphabet Party! 

While she was napping we decorated and gathered supplies for the big event.  There was way too many balloons for me to blow up and the few that exploded almost did my heart in!  lol  We had homemade alphabet cookies and the guests were asked to bring an alphabet related item.  The Rooster thought breakfast cereal would do but I had alphabet beads and I made bubble wands so we could blow bubbles.

Each kiddie had made a pinata.  Josh thought he could hit his with his new 'arrow shooter'!  ;~)

Elaina wasted only one swing with her blindfold and then got down to serious smacking with that big stick!  By golly, it looks like summer is settling in as the trees are leafing out and the dandelions are sprinkled about.

The grand kiddies picked the menu and we had hot dogs, cake and ice cream.  Then we scooped up the kindergarten boy for his turn at the farm.  He has charge of the new chicks while the Grand  Farmer gets their new home all ready.  I think all of us will have a good sleep after such an abc day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mother, may I marry?

(noun) - Texture, an element of art, is used to describe either the way a three-dimensional work actually feels when touched, or the visual "feel" of a two-dimensional work.

 In the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art. It is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design and is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties. Use of texture, along with other elements of design, can convey a variety of messages and emotions.

 Texture refers to surface and is in fact surface. Everything that has surface has texture.  It can be 3-D, tactile, touchable.  It can be 2-D, visual, an illusion.  Texture makes things interesting.  Texture can be felt or it can be seen as light skims the surface revealing the texture.

I hope to use both kinds of texture as I work on my mothers and daughters memory pages and honour them as the princesses that they are.

Lutradur has texture.  It can be seen and felt.

Lutradur can be run through an embossing folder and die cut machine.  More texture.

An ink spray will not add texture because it soaks into the fibres that already show texture.

But paints lay on the surface and if applied thickly will add texture.  This example has a thin layer of paint that adds a matte texture because it obscures the fibres.

In keeping with flat techniques, foils add 2-D shine.  I tried double sided tape.  The first bit was an example of how not to apply foil.  The score tape holds VERY fast so there was no second try.  :O  I imagine that one could make their own washi tape or even Lutradur 'ribbons'!.

But then there are all the wonderful products that are actually formulated to add texture.  Tactile texture.  I have a small sampling of Golden products to try.

The dimensional paints are lightweight and grab the Lutradur easily when they are dotted on.

My wee bottle of  Puff Paint was old so I ended up spreading a glop of it through a fine stencil.  Then I used a heat gun on the front and on the back.  This produced a very cool (hot) happening because the close heat dissolved some of the light weight Lutraur  and added a lacy effect that isn't really showing in the photo. Another surprise was the how little actual weight there was to the finished product.

I coloured  fibre paste and used it through a stencil on some Lutradur that already had an image stenciled printed on it.  
The fibre paste enhanced the rough brick look. My sample jar of coarse pumice gel would have done something similar I imagine. The molding paste and the extra heavy gel would have been smoother.  Good for snow drifts or wedding cake icing.  :^) 

My first try with the clear tar gel revealed that it is a thick but runny substance.  I tried confining it to a stencil but it 'relaxes'.  It would make a good drawing substance, again like icing squeezed from a cake decorating tip.  I did sprinkle some glitter on before it dried.

Embossing products do the same thing but with a flatter effect.  Again I sprinkled glitter on.

This example uses both kinds of texture.  I used the leaf mask and over sprayed.   When it was dry I smeared the glass beads through the stencil.  Masks and stencils with the same motif more than double creative options!    These are from Joggles which is a GREAT source of techniques and products.

The texture gel, Glass Beads adds some weight to the finished fibre art.  I choose not to colour my beads.  I felt like I had it way too thick so I carefully laid the stencil back down and scraped some off.  It is pretty stiff stuff.  Micro beads and gel would likely produce a similar result.

I was most impressed by Lutradur's ability to support heavy materials.  I squeezed a lot of Glossy accents down on the Lutradur and piled lots of beads on top.  No problem!

And we can add texture with fabric, threads, beads, etc.  I had a large selection to choose from as I worked on my brides page.

I am feeling like I have leaped from kindergarten crayons to marrying straight out of school.  I kinda did but the learning curve usually has more steps in it.  Again I have a lot to put on one page.  Four generations.   I stenciled onto a sheer fabric for my background and then ironed it onto a thick base that had an adhesive on each side.  Four photos fit if I cropped and did ovals.  That took a week alone to figure out. :^)  I was all for lace and beads but this seemed to require a more subtle effect.  The size decreases and the frames are cardboard.  I tried to make them fit each bride's sensibilities.  The photos will be cut and added later because I am printing my own.  In the process I smeared one in my hurrying.  :( I may fiddle a bit more as I couldn't find a bit of velvet ribbon to represent my own dress.   I daren't linger overlong because there are ten more pages to prepare and if I tarry too long somebody else may find a nice groom!  lol

This page required some mindfulness as the palette is creamy white.  The interest must come from the texture but it also required an understated elegance.  The bride may look like a princess in frothy laces but I do believe most mothers manage to get some good solid stiffening into the bride's backbone and corset which supports the softer layers and shows off all that lovely texture.

Lutradur is kinda like that as well. 

So when we lift the bubbly to toast the beautiful bride lets give a wink to the mothers, the teachers, the supporting cast that helped bring another princess into the kingdom to show off the textures that enhance our lives.