26 January 2014

Wacky Crocodiles

I had fun this week, venturing out into The World of Screen Printing, which has a lot of white territory for me still. And what I was lacking in refined technique, I compensated with joyful abandon. I'd cut a stencil from paper and decided to try my hand at multiple prints in a repeat pattern. And not only that - I also decided to mix my colours directly on the screen. This is the result, and I call the pattern my 'wacky crocodiles'.

Some prints were perfect, others a little fuzzy around the edges, but that's how it is in life. We're not all perfect, but still lovable in our own little ways.

Here's a close-up:

I didn't measure anything, and in order to get the crocs roughly in the right place, I used the cut-out from the stencil as a placement guide: I positioned it on the fabric, aligned the screen and stencil with the cutout, removed the cutout and printed. It worked like a charm, except for the time when I forgot to remove the cutout. Imagine my surprise when I lifted the screen and the fabric was still white. But the cutout was pretty:

I'm going to collage it into my sketchbook, together with the stencil. I couldn't resist making some doodles on the stencil after I'd finished with it.

Thanks for visiting my blog and see you again next time!

- Annika

19 January 2014

Personalized Sponge Cloths

Just before Christmas I was inspired to work with stencils, and that inspiration has continued after the holidays, partly because I'm teaching stencil techniques at the moment. Today I want to show you a couple of small projects that perhaps could make your household chores a little more fun: personalized sponge cloths. You can buy sponge cloths without print in craft shops.

You've had a sneak peek of the first one already, but as it was a gift for my mum, I didn't want to reveal it completely and spoil the surprise for her. For this first one I've used freezer paper, which I cut into a sort of 'snowflake'. The artist Melanie Testa was the first person to open my mind about the possibilities with freezer paper 'snowflakes' (See e.g. Quilting Arts Magazine issue 21, spring 2006). Paper 'snowflakes' don't have to look like the snowflakes we all cut when we were kids. So I cut a Westie snowflake for my mum. (Regular readers know that I keep referring to Fia the Terri(fi)er. She has an impressive bark, but she really is a very gentle and sweet dog.)

Here you can see the design process: sketch, folds, cut-out, stencil:

And here is the result. As the sponge cloth was quite porous, the paint went under the edges a little bit and made them slightly fuzzy, so I used a Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric to tidy up the edges. I love that pen!

And then I decorated a sponge cloth for myself too, but for this one I didn't use a stencil, only a fabric marker: a Tsukineko Fabrico Dual Marker. A lovely and juicy pen that comes with a bullet tip and a brush tip. A lot has happened with fabric markers since I tried my first one many years ago.

That should add a bit of pizzazz to my kitchen.

Thanks for visiting and see you again soon!

- Annika

14 January 2014

Spray It, Don't Just Say It!

I'm teaching a class on spray painting on Thursday, and that inspired me to set up a spray painting studio in my kitchen today. Yes, you really do need to be generous with newspaper and whatever you use to protect your surroundings. I guarantee that the paint  will end up everywhere.

As for the fabric, this piece is a work in progress. I used a couple of new toys on it: a felt table topper and a stencil and mask I cut with a soldering iron.

In the Fall 2013 issue of Stitch magazine there are instructions for a really cute 'otomi-inspired knot bag', which I've been meaning to make for a while. After having suffered from severe lethargy most of the day, I finally got started on it.

I cut the pattern pieces, ironed freezer paper masks in place, and applied spray paint. Here the paint is drying. Pretty cool, but wait for the big reveal!

The drop cloth is starting to look interesting too!

And here it is, with freezer paper masks removed (sorry, but the light is really bad for photography this time of year):

In close-up:

And I'm definitely not going to throw away the freezer paper masks!

Now I only have to decide whether to embroider it like the one in Stitch magazine, or whether to just assemble it straight away. Whichever I decide, it's going to be a really fun little bag.

Thanks for dropping by, and see you again soon!

- Annika

6 January 2014

Judging a Book By Its Cover

In my previous blog entry I showed you a rather dull image of a project in progress: a machine stitched jersey appliqué project, where I used tissue paper as a stitching guide. By now it´s all is finished, and made into a cover for a sketchbook, which will be filled with surface designed fabric samples.

The sewing was a bit tedious, but when it was done the real fun began! First I removed the paper.

Then cut away fabric.

When the cutting was done, the fabric looked like this:

And here's the finished book cover

The Christmas Mouse gave its approval.

Thanks for dropping by!

- Annika