Search This Blog

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Vacation Inspiration

I just returned from a week in Mexico. Aquamarine coloured water, warm breezes, white sand, sailboats, palm trees, lizards, clouds. I left my camera at home and took my sketch book to document parts of my trip. I'm still a little insecure about sketching in public. I would have loved to sketch the inside of the building, the restaurants, people lounging around the pool but I'm happy with what I got. Maybe next vacation.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Fabric Cards

Each week I make a few fabric cards on my art day as well as trying to complete other art. These cards always have someplace to go so they are made for someone in particular. Rarely do I ever make a card that I don't know what to do with. I have a few that I occasionally set aside for a future fundraiser but I usually don't have time to make extras. Here are a few of my recent creations.

This card is completely stitched with black thread. The white
is the fabric background.

I like to use zippers in some of my work.

This is half of a crocheted doily with bead embellishments.

This is reverse applique. The green fabric was sewn overtop
of the orange and the leaf outlines were stitched on. The
leaf shapes were cut out inside the stitching.

I like to add cross stitching to the occasional card.

Here is another card with a zipper. The zipper here opens
up to reveal a small panel behind it with some beading.

Commercial fabric comes with selvedges that are marked
with colours for printing. I cut them off the fabric to use
in projects. I think the numbers and colours are really

The background fabric here is a piece that one of my
grandchildren painted.

I also like to put holes in my fabric cards for interest. This
one is also covered with a piece of green lace.

Friday, 27 October 2017

2017 Kayak Trip to Massassauga Provincial Park

I'm a day late with my blog due to not having my sketches totally completed yesterday. I wanted to blog about our Canoe Trip which turned out to be a Kayak trip this year. We originally were planning to visit Georgian Bay Islands National Park but because this was the 150th Birthday of Canada, we thought that area would be too busy. So we changed our route to Massassauga Provincial Park. This is solely a backcountry park so the sites cannot be accessed by car. We had toyed with the idea of kayaking in the past and because our group was small this year and we could get to our sites without portaging, we decided to try it.

I was skeptical that we could get all our gear along with us in kayaks but was pleasantly surprised that by packing smaller bags (as opposed to large backpacks) we could stuff everything into the hatches in the kayaks. We did take one canoe along to carry larger items such as the bear barrels for our food. We found that we didn't even have to do that because there was a metal bear box on our site for us to lock our food into each night and during the day if we were away.

It was really enjoyable to use kayaks and they performed well on the rougher water of Georgian Bay. We were able to explore the area very easily. The landscape here was different than Algonquin Park and there were many more cottages on the shores as well as motor boats and the occasional yacht. We enjoyed the trip very much.

The sketches below are from some of my photos from the trip and each participant on the trip will receive one. They are done with a uniball pen and watercolour.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Playing "Inktensely" Again

I've been playing with my Inktense Pencils again using them to make some fabric cards. Here's a little description of my method. I noticed that when I was drawing on flat fabric and added the fabric medium on top of the Inktense Pencils, the colour bled out of the design. I researched and found that if you use spray starch on the fabric first this doesn't happen. But I also used these pencils to make a fabric card some weeks ago and remember that I had stitched a design onto the fabric that had been sandwiched to a piece of felt and then a backing. The design was stitched before I started using the Inktense Pencils. In that instance, the pencil colour did not bleed when I used the fabric medium on it. I wondered if the stitching had something to do with controlling the bleed.

This time I used the same method as back then to make sure the result would be the same. I also made a second card using a piece of fabric that I had coated with spray starch to see if this made any difference.

The card made on regular fabric without spray starch was sandwiched and a design of apples on a branch was stitched on it.

Once the design was stitched, I coloured it with the pencils.

This is just coloured in with no fabric medium being used yet.

Then I painted fabric medium over the colours to blend them and darken them. There was no bleeding so I'm concluding that the layers and the stitching is controlling the bleeding.

The second card I made was with the starched fabric and I sandwiched it again before I drew the design onto it with the Inktense Pencils. Then I took it to the sewing machine and stitched over the design lines.

Then I used the pencils to colour the image.

Once the  design and the background were coloured I used the fabric medium to blend the colours a little.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Happy 150th Birthday, Canada

I entered one of my quilts into a quilt show which is called, "Happy 150th Birthday, Canada". The show is being held at Neilson Park Creative Centre and is being put on by the Etobicoke Quilters' Guild of which I am a member. This show runs from October 12 - 29th and is located in the main hall. There will be Viewers' Choice Ballots available for visitors to fill out and there will be 3 prizes for the first 3 Viewers' Choices.

To go to the upcoming exhibitions page of Neilson Park Creative Centre click below.

Also on my walk today, I noticed a few more fall colours, however, it is very slow in coming here in Toronto. The Sumac and the Creeping Jenny are the first to turn.

Below is a fabric card I made from one of my photos from last week. It is Creeping Jenny and it's colours are usually varied as it turns from green to red. The in between stages show off green, peach, orange, rose. I did this card with inktense pencils and fabric medium and am thinking of entering it into a Quilted Postcard Challenge being held by the Canadian Quilters' Association. The theme is: Inspired by Nature! It's a great theme for me.  The deadline for this challenge is May 1, 2018 and I can submit as many entries as I like. The postcards will be judged and eligible for prizes and then they will be displayed at Quilt Canada 2018 in Vancouver, BC in June and sold for $5.00 each.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Inspired by Fall

Last week I took a walk on a part of the nearby Bike Path that I rarely take. I took my camera along to snap some shots of the slowly emerging Fall colours. Here, in Toronto, the colours are barely showing. I was, however, able to take some photos that I may use in future art projects. I find the drying seed pods so interesting and the Creeping Jenny is starting to colour beautifully.  I love Fall.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Experimenting and Playing with Inktense

Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA) of which I am a member is doing seminars on Surface Design. The seminars are available online to members and include video interviews, articles, galleries, and resources for a variety of surface design methods.

Our first couple of weeks was on Dying and we got loads of information on dyes and methods that was really interesting.

This week was on Paint. Artists are using Acrylic paint, Watercolour paint, gouache, Inktense pencils, india ink. Since I have Inktense pencils, I decided to experiment with them. Inktense are not watercolour but are acrylic ink so when they dry they are somewhat permanent.

I started by wetting my fabric with water and then coloured into the water with the pencils. The water made them bleed a bit but because I was doing washes on the fabric, I didn't mind. I actually liked the look of the bleeding. Once I was done adding colour, I took a brush and brushed on a solution of water and fabric medium to help the colour adhere to the fabric better. This seemed to smooth and soften the colour and when it dried the colour seemed lighter than when I put it down. That is something to keep in mind if I am looking for stronger colour. I may have to go back into it with more colour later.

This is how the blue turned out after it dried and I
had heat set it with my iron.

Then I tried to draw an apple and a lily on dry fabric with the pencils and then went over it with the water and medium and was disappointed that the liquid bled outside the apple and lily and took the colours with it. I have since heard that if I use spray starch on the fabric first, this will stop the bleeding.

I still have some experimenting to to with these pencils because I like the way they look like watercolour and are delicate looking.