Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Square Headed Women

Black Tan Big Circles
Woman in Tassels
Ms. X
Green Pink Leaves
Pink Green Leaves
Black, Brown, Tan

Cats and those who want to help you create your fiber artwork

Sweetie Pie catching flies!
My 7-month kitty is the best fly catcher I've ever had!  He's already proven to be a great mouser (a shrew mouse brought right to my feet to prove it).  He often helps with embroidery in the evening, especially trying to swallow the embroidery floss and grab the fabric collage pieces in order to make sure they're the right ones.  We have arguments over this but he always ends up taking a nap on my lap so I guess he wins.  "Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff." It's a saying that's becoming true again in my house with this new generation of cat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Boisali Biswas and Her Perpetual Garden

Boisali Biswas, originally from Calcutta, India, and now living in West Bloomfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, shared with me pictures of her recently painted fences surrounding her house's backyard.  She calls these paintings, "Perpetual Garden," and you can see why.  Boisali is one of the most creative individuals I've ever met.  I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with her on screen printing using crayon resists through the Michigan Surface Design group.  Also, she recently spoke to the Lakeshore Fiber Arts Guild, a group I've belonged to since its inception in 1979.  Check out our guild's blog and her work at where you will find the link to her webpage and many images of her work.  As she said, "It will be interesting to see what it looks like in a lot of snow this cold winter."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Painting and Printing Fabric: Making Stamps and Stencils

Hand cut stamp made from one
inch rubber insulation foam
Reverse side of circle stamp
Knit fabric using stencil (pictured
below--Squares) and stamp with
squares; and stamp with circles
I've been taking the last few days of good weather (sunshine, still in the 60's but barely) to paint and print fabric in my summer studio (aka my garage).  I try to paint outside so the mess is easily cleaned up and use the autumn, winter, and early spring for creating inside.  A lot of the fabric I'm using is knit, my choice for my one-of-a-kind dolls as well as the dolls that are poseable.  (Created because my hand problems needed a softer fabric that I didn't have to stuff hard:  that's knit fabric and it opened up a new world of dollmaking to me.  (Visit my website or to see my 8 patterns available.)
Printed knit fabric using circle stamps

I've also made many new stamps and stencils.  Stamps I make out of 1" thick insulation foam which I buy from the scratch pile at Grand Rapids Rubber here in GR on Chaffee Blvd.  It's somewhat expensive but the stamps last forever it seems and with a very sharp bladed Xacto knife any shape is easily cut.  For stencils, I've been using the pile of excess manilla file folders I have.  Again, the Xacto knife works the best with the folder laid on top of a pile of newspapers or a thick magazine.  To keep the stencil impervious to water after using it, coat it with a clear acrylic medium.

Note the dark knit fabric on which I stenciled the tiny triangles:  a lighter color on dark fabric, especially textured (herringbone on right), gives an interesting effect.
Printed knit using XXX stamp

Stencils, all my own design and hand
cut, except for upper left; purchased
stencils should be surrounded with
a wide plastic/heavy paper and taped
on both sides.

Woven fabric on left and knit on right with tiny triangle
stencil; note below how the light color stenciled onto a
dark fabric creates an interesting subtle effect.