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Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Apron strings"

Hi AFFs!!! "Apron strings" is the name of my pages for Kathi's journal. It is all loosely based around this pair of pink and white polka dot apron strings that I took from a 1940's vintage apron. The rest of the apron was used in a quilt I made for my daughter several years ago. I had always just loved this little polka dots any time!

So, I kind of thought I was going to do something steampunky on Kathi's pages...was I ever surprised when this piece of pink upholstery fabric that Kathi sent along grabbed me and wouldn't let go! I knew it had to go on my page. So that is really the start of my pages...the pink fabric centered on the front of the front page.

Next I thought it might be fun to stamp on the SS last year gave some stamps and pads and I had never used them on fabric so thought I would give it a try. There is actually a smudged print on the canvas beneath the pink fabric also. Had thought of leaving the pink loose...kind of a flap or door...but decided the smudged piece would just have to live underneath, never to be seen, so I stitched the pink stuff down. The beaded motif on the pink fabric is a necklace pendant I had made several years ago. It actually did have a beaded neck part but I took that off. The center of this pendant is a piece of resin-like plastic with an embedded greeting card in it that I found in a friend's grandmother's button box...I think it must be from the 40's ish also. Anyway, it has always been one of my favorite pieces. I just decided it really needed to go on this page. I did a mild gold/green treatment on the canvas to add color but it was not much and really looked washed out. Finally I decided to be brave and give it a bit more color with acrylic paints, green and a gold blended together. I am now happy with the front.

The back of the page contains a big, green velvet, garrish looking embroidered piece. This piece was something I found in a box of stuff I brought home from an auction...about 20 years ago! It was fully embroidered on a large, square of green velvet. I decided to trim the velvet to the shape of the embroidery and used a blanket stitch to attach to the canvas.

I also used a piece from a yellow dresser scarf...that I also have had about 20 years or so!...and then just did some random stitching and added crystal beads to make little pink flowerettes. I then painted the areas around the dresser scarf in Pepto Bismol pink to add some dimension to the piece.

My binding edges are the apron strings. Decided not to paint them...just left them with the original rick-rack and all. I have tried and tried to iron the wrinkles out but they just won't budge...must have been wrinkled all these years.

That is about it. It is nothing like I was planning but I am pleased with the finished product! I felt like I really let loose and let the art just take me to the finishline. Kathy, hope you find something interesting in it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another page done! Denise's on the way!

For the past month I have had just about a half hours worth of work to do on your pages Denise and just never could find the finishing touch. Well I finally did - yahoo! A couple of little birdies just flew in for a visit so now your pages are complete.

I started this first page off by painting some gesso on a piece of canvas and then painting it with acrylic paints mixed with dyes to make it look like the sky in the early morning. Next I picked a few ferns from my front yard, slapped on some green paint and gently pressed them onto the dried canvas. Once completely dried, I hand dyed some pieces of lace that I thought would fit in with the nature-like scene I was trying to create. Rob and I had taken a kayak trip early one morning and saw a couple of swans so I decided to try depict them swimming around the shores of the lake.

For the second page I tried something a bit different. Using the same technique with the gesso and paints, I painted the background the same way to reflect a different time of day. Once the background was dried I proceeded to lay out some threads that I have been collecting for the past year.

Ya'll know how you have a ton of strings hanging off the fabric you just bought and washed? Well I have an old lunch pail on a shelf just above my washing machine and every time I wash fabric I cut off the hanging strings and save them. The lunch pail is full with every color range you can think of! I knew that someday I would use them - here it is - my first attempt.

I spread the strings out to form a tree and branches. then I printed on a piece of silk the words "Friendship is a sheltering tree" and tacked it down on the side of the tree. At first I printed it out using my printer but it just looked to uniform and I wanted it to look more natural. Once that was in place I laid a piece of tulle over the whole project and used some bronze silky thread to outline the tree and the branches and also filled the trunk in a bit. The tulle gives the picture a soft foggy look rather than the bright look of page 1.

Well girls, this time next week I will be sitting on the dock sunning and crazy quilting or trying to catch a grand daddy fish in my kayak. I love going up to the lake and am sure I will get some more inspiration from the beauty of the mountains, lakes and loons. Happy End of the summer girls!