Saturday, February 23, 2013

Foam Stamps

These stamps are made from craft foam from our local craft store. We are getting them ready for our next session with gelli plates. I love gelli plates and what a fun thing to do, make your own print surfaces. And so colorful, too. Very inviting. I want to try it now.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Another Inchie Swap

I'm involved in another inchie swap and because everyone is asking for how-to info, I've decided to show you how I made this batch. First, let's look at the supplies...

  • Timtex (which is a heavy stabilizer used in baseball caps to form the visor). It is sold in the interfacing section of your craft shop. You will need  5 1/2" by 6 1/2" piece which you will later cut into 1" squares. This size will make 30 squares or "inchies."
  • Delta Renaissance Foil sheets in copper (I found them at my local craft shop).
  • Bonash 007 Bonding Agent (I found this online at
  • King Tut quilting thread by Superior Thread-color 912
  • Bottom Line bobbin thread by Superior color 618.
  • Base fabric is rusted fabric. Instructions on the blog earlier. 
  • Fusible- Steam-A-Seam2  This is important because the fusible needs to be on both sides.
  • Washers- 3/4" with small centers (I got mine at Ace Hardware for 11 cents each.)
  • Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks. Colors: Terra Cotta, Ginger, Vintage Photo
  • Ink applicator (Foam)
  • Alene's Tacky Glue  (Small bottle with applicator tip)
  • Beads (copper seed beads used here)

  1. I started with a 5 1/2" by 6 1/2" square of Timtex, both sides of which I covered with Steam-a-Seam2 and my rusted fabric. I've given directions on rusting fabric before on this blog (see archives). This must be fused with a hot iron on both sides.
  2. Next, I foiled the fabric on both the front and the back. I later audition the sides to decide which I want to use for the front. I sprinkle the Bonash (like salt granules) onto the fabric side I chose. I then place the Delta Renaissance Foil sheets, pretty copper side up, over the "salty area" using the tip of my iron and pressing firmly on the foil. Pull away the sheet, and voile', you have copper foiling. I love this look.
  3. Again I audition the foil sides, select my favorite, and then I am ready to cut the full piece into small 1" squares, using my rotary cutter and mat as it is gridded, which makes it oh-so easy to cut perfectly. 
  4. After the piece has been separated into the smaller pieces, the next step is to satin stitch around all four edges of the individual inches. I am fortunate to have a Bernina 200, which has the 9 mm wide stitch and it is gorgeous. I set the satin stitch to 4.0 wide, using Superior Threads (see above) on top and bottom. My tip here is that I prefer machine satin stitching for this step, although other stitches will work, a plain zigzag, or even stitches done by hand. 
5.  Let me remind you that I am making 25 inchies for this particular swap. It goes so easy when you are just sating stitching around the edges. And these thread colors go beautifully on the rusted fabric. I usually make 2-3 stitches to finish off and find that if I have any trouble with raveling of the threads, I just pull out my tube of Fray Block and put a single drop on the offending thread and it seals it immediately. With these finished so easily, we are ready to put the washers on the centers.

6.  Tim Holtz alcohol inks are readily available at craft and stamping stores and provide the perfect coloring for our inches.  I used 3 colors but you can choose your own color combinations. The inks can be combined or used singly.

To add the color to the washers, use the ink applicator with the foam pad. Pounce the applicator into the ink and transfer it onto the washer. Let each layer of ink dry somewhat before pouncing again, or you may find you are simply transferring colors, not applying them. I do use a craft mat under my colors but you may successfully use freezer paper. And I did lay tape under the washers so that they would not move when I was applying the inks.  Let them dry thoroughly before using the Tacky Glue to glue them onto the inchies.

7.  The finishing touch is copper seed beads that were glued to the surface of the washers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Self-Portrait is Finished!

The self-potrait is also finished. Thanks so much to Sharon Brooks of Phoenix for the quilting. Doesn't she do a phenomenal job?

Be sure to let me know what you think. This piece is for the self-portrait challenge at my local quilt guild, the Prickly Piecers and will hang at the Arizona Quilter's Guild Annual Quilt Show at the Mesa Convention Center on March 14-16.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tour D'Eiffel

Here is a photo of my latest beeswax collage. The subject is the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Purple & Gold

Here are photos of my friend's three Alzheimer's donations. Didn't Mary Patrick do a great job? She even added "inchies" to two of her small pieces. Can you spot them? Enjoy...


Purple & Gold

Blue Denim

Friday, February 1, 2013

Paper Fabric Excitement

Here is a new find for us...paper fabric! A group of us attended the Quilt, Sewing and Craft Festival at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix today and came away with a new (to us) technique called "paper fabric". It uses Jacquard Textile Colorless Extender, which I had not yet discovered. It comes in a jar and is a white gel not unlike soft gel medium (a little thinner I believe). After watching a demonstration, we rushed home to try this new product. We loved it at the festival and had to have our fingers in it. We were not disappointed.

This photo is my first attempt at making paper fabric. I've made silk paper before, and I'm an experienced felter, so I may have had a head start, but this was so easy and so forgiving, that all of us who tried it were immediately successful. Here's what happened... I started with a piece of muslin, and a supply of tissue papers, both decorative and handmade papers, and a variety of sizes of natural bristle brushes. I laid my muslin on a craft sheet (freezer paper works as well), painted the surface with a solution of 2 parts colorless extender to one part water, then began to lay out torn pieces of tissue paper or very used paper towel. I always save the paper towel discards that I've used to clean brushes or painted fingers for just such projects. As I laid down each piece, I brushed over it with the water/extender solution. And then the fun began as I continued to lay down dyed cheesecloth, lime green fibers, turquoise natural yarns leftover from felting projects, art papers from Jerry's Artarama www.jerrysartarama.comand Dick Blick, any natural fibers I had hoarded away. I covered my muslin entirely with papers, fibers and extender mixture. I added lime glitter from the Art Glitter Institute ( here in Cottonwood AZ and I covered the glitter with the extender mixture. I also painted with Jacquard Lumiere paint called Halo Blue Gold which is just luscious. It's a light body metallic acrylic, and while the disclaimer about painting your piece is that if you paint it, the paint will run, this particular paint became a beautiful blend of blues, greens and golds that enhanced the colors of papers that I had already added to the piece. Directions on the paint say to let it air dry for 24 hours before heat setting with an iron, but that works in this application. I let it dry for the required period of time and then painted the entire piece with full strength extender, and again let it set for another 24 hours and later heat set it again for the 30 seconds required to set the metallic paint.

I'm going to use my first piece as a journal cover. I plan to then use blank paper for the pages which will been stamped in the corners with little fishes for embellishment.

By the way, the booth that we saw the fabric paper at was Embellishment Village