Monday, January 27, 2014

Beneath A Martian Rock - Camouflage

My imaginary exploration of the Martian surface continues with Camouflage...
The background is needle felted, with wool and silk rovings, cheese cloth, organza and wool stuffed tubular knitting ribbons. I couched the knitting ribbon to hold it in place. Then I did a dense line of free motion stitching over it to create a nubby look. The drifting tentacles were free motion stitched on Sulky's Water Soluble Stabilizer.  The stabilizer was washed away leaving strands of stitched thread which I secured to the background with the ribbed spider web stitch and seed beads.

Did I mention how much I love doing hand embroidery?  I know doing needle work by hand takes time, but as you immerse yourself in the exercise of stitching, you can leave the world that demands so much of your attention, and focus if only for a brief period of time on the texture of the threads, the smoothness of the seed beads, the feel of the fibers. It's almost like going on a mental vacation!

I'm fond of Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery and as much as I like EdMar Rayon threads, I find them a little difficult to handle. Persistence, I think is the key to this thread is ever going to get the better of me!

If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...Beneath A Martian Rock - Camouflage and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog

Greetings, my name is Susan and welcome to my blog!   I started this blog almost three years ago, after I was asked to leave the runway (fired, voted off the island, laid-off, whatever you choose to call it) as a way of letting my family know how I was progressing in my new, re-imagined life as an art quilter/mixed-media artist.  
I live in Plantation, Florida,
just twenty minutes away from Fort Lauderdale Beach,
with my husband and my two cats, Sugar Ming, he's the creamsicle cat and Charles Wallace is the tuxedo cat.
I love quilts and love making them too!

Photography plays a big part in my blog, for as they say "a picture is worth a thousand words."

Most, if not all of my post are about the projects I'm working on in the studio.
So, once again welcome, and if you are part of Grow Your Blog Hop, click on the title of this post Grow Your Blog and leave me a comment and I'll drop by your blog for a visit. Thank you for stopping by and be sure to look around. 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - January's Block

January's block for Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 is done!  
This is my first try at Brazilian Style Dimensional Embroidery.  At a quilt show some years ago, I bought The Art of Dimensional Embroidery by Maria A. Freitas. The descriptions and diagrams of the stitches were detailed and easy to understand.
However, my first attempts to work with EdMar Rayon thread, the type of thread used in this style of embroidery required the patience of Job... and here's why, vermicelli!
When this thread is unwrapped it springs into tight waves which must be steamed straight. I prefer to steam the threads over a pot of boiling water. In my opinion, the steam iron flattens the thread and defeats the purpose of having light bounce of the curve of the thread, if you can imaging thread being tubular. So having tamed the beast, I now had to learn the names of the different weight of threads, Gloria, Iris, Frost, etc., and the various suggested needles to work the stitches with for the best results.
It was a bit frustrating.  The rayon thread is slick and is Z twisted as opposed to S twisted, see Mary Corbet's Z twisted thread explained.  In essence, what this means is that some stitches for example the stem stitch, instead of holding the thread under the needle, you now must keep the thread above the needle.  The stem stitch does not look quite the same as when done with DMC cotton, there is more texture to it. It's not bad, just different.  All in all, I quite enjoyed learning how to use EdMar rayon threads and I love how the light reflects of the stitches.

Now I move into February's block.  I have some ideas for working that block so stay tuned...

If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - January's Block and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Beneath A Martian Rock

Ever since I swung that telescope around in 1986 I've been captivated by space.  On many a clear night I've trained my telescope on the Red planet as Mars is often called and I've followed in awe the exploration of Rover and Opportunity.  Sure, I know that the surface of Mars does not look anything like this but it was fun to play with the threads and beads all the while imagining what a rivulet might look like, are there trilobites or any other life forms on the Martian surface?
Hand embroidery calms my soul and allows my imagination to soar.  This fabric art card has the Brazilian Dimensional embroidery stitch, the double cast-on which I've used to create my "trilobites." I love the ribbed spider web stitch and what would the surface of Mars be without french knots?

If you would like to leave a comment and I hope you do, please click on the post title...Beneath A Martian Rock and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ice Lines

In keeping with my unofficial theme, Stargates, this is my version of the ice lines on Jupiter's moon, Europa.  To see a photo of the real ice lines on Europa taken by the Galileo probe, click here Europa's Ice Lines.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Woven Message

Have you ever tried Lutradur? or are you wondering what it is?   Lutradur is a magical cross between fabric and paper. It can be dyed, painted, burned, stitched, cut into strips, run through the printer and photo transfers are a breeze.
Woven Lutradur is the focal point of this ATC.  First, I painted a 6" by 6" piece of Lutradur using Lumiere acrylic paints.  I then stamped over the dried paint with a vintage writing rubber stamp using StazOn ink.  Next, I cut the piece into 1/4" strips and wove them into a grid at which point I stamped the center of the grid with a round, intricate rubber stamp, again with StazOn ink.   The stamped image was further highlighted with Sakura Gelly Roll pens.   I certainly hope ET could read this message!

Stay tuned...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Make Art Every Day, Another ATC

ATCs are just perfect for trying out ideas.  On this needle felted ATC, I machine embroidered a silk carrier rod, attached a vintage brass buckle, some seed beads and a few very out of control french knots.
These are a lot of fun, stay tuned...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I See Trilobites!

I still have a bit to go before it's done.  I've added more seed beads, french knots and some Brazilian Dimensional you see the trilobites?
Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sorry I'm Late

It's my Day 7 of Make Art Every Day and I'm late.  I went to the World Quilt Show Florida V at the Palm Beach County Convention Center today and so although I did not "make art" today I enjoyed seeing the quilts of other wonderful quilt artist.  I will post some of the photos I took tomorrow as my mind is buzzing and my feet are hurting.  However, I did purchase beautiful silk ribbons from Quilters Fancy and have been experimenting with them on various crazy quilt blocks I intend to use in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014.

                                                        this space!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 6-Make Art Every Day

Layers create depth and complexity.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Through the Stargate

Stepping through the Stargate we scream across the galaxy to the icy surface of Europa, Jupiter's sixth moon.
The first time I saw Jupiter and her moons was in 1986. My brother and I were chasing Halley's Comet and went to the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, to see the comet through the telescopes mounted on the roof top of one of the campus' buildings.
I was a little disappointed with the comet. It looked like a dirty cotton-ball racing across the night sky.  I knew there would less disappointing entities in the vault of heaven, so I swung the telescope around and encountered Jupiter and her moons.  If I were in love with the night sky prior to that moment, that love just intensified.  I now have my own telescope and find myself up at all hours of the night, often in very cold temperatures staring up at the stars.

I'm fascinated with the heavens...and crop circles.  On December 30, 2013, my baby cat was injured and the days following his injury were spent sitting with him while he healed. I used that time to think and research what I would like to work on in 2014. While browsing a book on crop circles, the germ of an idea took root. The first designs were expressed on needle felted ATCs - Stargates (see earlier postings).

I used the ATC's to play with ideas and now I'm working on a 4" by 6" fabric card, hoping to work my way up to an 8" by 10". I have taken great artistic license with portraying the warming of Europa's surface, (see above) and to see photos of the actual warming, click here, Europa's Icy Surface. 

I hope to finish this card soon, so watch this space...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 4 of Make Art Every Day Challenge

This is my ATC for Day 4 of Make Art Every Day Challenge.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 3 of Make Art Every Day-Stargate on the Nile

Day 3 of Make Art Every Day...still experimenting with the Daisy foot, the double needle and today Superior Threads Rainbows.

Stay tuned...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 2 of Make Art Every Day

My day 2 of Make Art Every Day Challenge...more circles and triangles on a needle felted ATC.  See Vickie blog: On The Curing Rack for even more art.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I've Accepted The Challenge

...that is the Make Art Every Day Challenge issued by Vickie at On The Curing Rack.
The beginning of the year got off to a rocky start with Ming-Ming's accident, which meant lots of trips to the vet and sleepless nights.  He, I'm happy to say is on the mend and here is my art for January 4, 2014.
It's an ATC, Artist Trading Card which measures 2.5" by 3.5".  It is needle felted.  The base was created  using silk rovings, cheesecloth and my Janome Embellisher FM725. The circles were made with the Decorative Daisy Stitch Foot, a double needle and rayon thread and the tiny golden triangles were hand embroidered.  At the moment it's untitled but my thoughts keep drifting towards circles and triangles...

Stay tuned...