Monday, November 17, 2014

...And About a Million to Go...

Here's another couple of pictures of the piece I'm currently working on.  It is going to involve a crazy amount of French knots as well as some other hand stitching before it's done...which may not be for some time since I'm babysitting a few additional future dog guide puppies in the next while.  
Yoshi and I will enjoy the puppies, but I don't know how much time I'll find for my art. LOL. However, when I do find time for this, I must say it is relaxing!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

TAP Transfer Artist Paper on Fabric...Another StencilGirl Blog Hop!

Don't you love when things just come together perfectly?

I was asked to participate in this week long blog hop with StencilGirl and Lesley Riley's TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) and I was already planning to experiment with creating a graffiti style piece inspired by this adorable image of Yoshi, my future dog guide foster puppy. 


I've always got TAP in my stash, and knew it was the perfect tool for what I was planning! I took the image into Photoshop, cropped it and played around until I had the graffiti look I was going for. Then, following the instructions that come with the transfer paper*, I printed my image and transferred it to a piece of muslin (I wanted the off white colouring for Yoshi's face).  

*I won't go into details because Lesley does it much better than I could. 
See the links at the bottom of this post for more information about TAP.

Here is what the transfer looks like on the muslin. I love the bright, vibrant colour and clarity!

I knew I wanted to stretch this piece over a canvas frame, so I added some elements that would go off beyond the main image so that they could be seen on the sides of the finished stretched canvas.  I fussy cut some bricks and auditioned them in random places. (tip: I use my iPhone to take pictures as I go so I can compare and select the placement I like best and then remember how to get back to it!)

I also cut out Yoshi's name in navy fabric to make it stand out a bit more.

It was now time to add some stencilling using acrylic paint.

I used Terri Stegmiller's Broken Circles and her Heart Grid stencils. In order to have control over exactly where I placed the elements, I masked off individual elements using post-it notes.

I added the acrylic paint using a sponge brush.
I realized a needed something else, so I pulled out Seth Apter's Inside Out stencil. Seth has some wonderful stencil designs that are perfect for graffiti work!

Once the paint dried, I was ready to fuse on the bricks and letters. (IMPORTANT: use the release paper included with the TAP if you are going to iron over the transferred image!)
Over to the sewing machine...I layered the piece with batting and free motion stitched around the bricks, loosely doodling the lines. 
Next, I set the machine to do satin stitch, but I kept the free motion foot on and the feed dogs down so I could get a more 'grungy' look to my stitch as I outlined the letters for Yoshi's name.

It's now ready to be stretched and stapled to the pre-stretched canvas. 

I really like the look of the elements that carry over to the side of the canvas. 

This was really fun and I'm thinking of working on a bit of a graffiti series, perhaps making a piece like this for each of the puppies I foster. First on the agenda will be to go back and get a favourite image of Dime, my first foster puppy!
Here are the other stops on today's hop:

If you missed the other stops on this week long hop, head back to Monday's StencilGirl Talk post so you can find them all!  Have fun!

Don't forget to leave a comment at each of the blog hop stops for a chance to win these fabulous prizes!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Keeping Very Busy...and a Little Sneak Peek...

For those of you who think I may have fallen off the edge of the earth, I've been keeping very busy lately, but unfortunately not much of it has been in my studio.

Yoshi and I have been babysitting Lana, another future dog guide puppy, until a foster home can be found for her. Although Yoshi just turned 6 months old today, she's being a real little momma to Lana!  She's sharing her toys, grooming her and always staying close. Of course there is a lot of puppy play going on too!

A Special Happy 1/2 Birthday Cookie!
Lana, could you eat any slower???

Mom, Yoshi got my head wet!

But, I have managed to do a bit of art.  Here's a sneak peek at a little piece I'm working on during puppy naptime. It currently involves a lot of machine thread stitching and later will have extensive hand stitch added. Hopefully I'll be back in the not too distant future to share my progress.  Until then, have fun and stay busy!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Seriously Behind...

My fibre art group, Group of Eight, has our next group challenge due November 12th. The challenge is "behind" and I am seriously there! Although I have ideas floating around, one after another is not panning out. And to make it worse, I've been finding lots of things to keep me busy and out of the studio (read procrastination...).

However, yesterday's distraction turned out very well so I thought I'd share these cupcake creations. I took them to our family Thanksgiving dinner and they were a hit.

There were two dozen, so I made two each of the various mums, nine pumpkins and the rest were the ones with the leave piles.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Giving Back...

I'm please to share that for the third year, my fibre art group, the Group of Eight is donating beautiful journals to our local women's shelter. It is our hope that the journals will bring some joy to these women, while allowing them to journal about what they are going through, make notes and lists or keep organized for appointments, etc. as they continue on their journey toward a safer, happier and healthier life.

Here are most of them, but I am still waiting to receive a few more before I deliver them later this week!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Yoshi's Beach Vacation...

Yoshi has been exploring the east coast of the US from Cape Cod south to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and she's now seriously considering becoming a beach bum instead of a service dog (LOL).  She has been really enjoying playing on the beach and all of the interesting (and stinky) things she's finding!

Hopefully I'll be back to some fibre art soon, but until then I thought you might enjoy a puppy fix!


"My mean Mom wouldn't let me keep any of these great treasures, but I did find a tennis ball and she did let me keep it." sigh, Yoshi

Monday, September 22, 2014

You've Got to Love When a Plan Comes Together!

Last week I posted about the hand dyed batik fabric I made and the little quilted piece that resulted from it (see that here).

Well, after many hours of thinking about my design and mulling over ideas, I finally sat down and got to work making this fully lined and totally organized puppy raiser carry-all bag.

It's amazing what you can do with a recycled old pair of your husband's jeans, some colourful quilted fabric, muslin and a repurposed adjustable strap from a bag that's never use.

Here are various views:


The front zippered pocket allows me secure but quick access to a bit of cash and/or my iPhone.
The back outer pocket, for puppy training treats, is lined with a piece of an old denim shirt. This will allow me to turn it completely inside out to shake out crumbs that inevitably end up in the bottom of the pocket in which I carry dog treats.
I decided to add grommets with brass rings through them to attach the strap.  Since I have a small carabiner attached to my keys, this also gives me a great way to attach my keys to the bag and tuck them inside so I can get my hands on them quick and easy!  You can see all of the internal pockets for everything I more digging around trying to get my hands on what I'm looking for!

It's big enough to carry extra little things I might pick up while shopping, or to carry a light jacket or umbrella, or my DSLR camera when I want it, yet not so big and bulky that I can't comfortably wear it wherever I go! I'm thrilled with how it turned out!