More Inktense

Having had little time over the past few weeks to get into the studio, I was happy to spend some time there yesterday, experimenting with inktense pencils.  After a comment received on my Instagram and here, I tried using aloe vera gel as the medium. It was an interesting experiment, because I used the aloe vera growing in my garden which was all I had.  It was quite sticky getting it out of the leaves, but I guess it was very therapeutic for my fingers!  I only tried a little sample, and will compare that with the textile medium/water solution by washing them.  I am interested to see how/if the intensity of the ink fades and will get back to you about the results in a future post.

Having dreamed about scarves with multi colours, I found some very light weight fabric to try some samples on – I think it’s called muslin here in Australia. It’s very loosely woven cotton. Firstly I sewed a grid on the fabric using straight stitch and zigzag stitch using a soluble stabiliser because the fabric is so unstable.

2 grids

Then I used the inktense pencils to colour in the boxes, this time only using the textile medium/water solution.   I quickly decided that doing a large scarf this way would not be my thing!

On the second sample I simply coloured in small dots in the grid, which is a much quicker process.  I really like both effects, but if I was to do anything like this on a larger scale I would definitely use the inktense blocks rather than the pencils.

 

So I now have 2 new samples for my Made on Monday pieces.  I’m sure this will lead to other pieces because I really love the effects.

Until next time,

Lyn

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Number 23

Last week was week 23 for my Made on Monday challenge.  I decided to continue my experimenting with Inktense pencils.  Numbers 21 and 22 were also created using inktense pencils, and although I don’t really like piece 22, I do like the idea of using a simple image, and outline stitching it with free motion embroidery.

The starting point was an offcut from a piece which had been painted using stencilled images. (Have I mentioned I have a LOT of STUFF in my sewing room which needs to be used/donated/thrown out?)  So I used it… and grabbed a bag of stencils which had come from some magazines meant for paper crafts.

1 fabric

Using the pear stencil I created the image by blending various colours of inktense pencils, wet with a mixture of textile medium and water.  I used less water this time, because number 22 showed me how much the ink spreads when wet.

I then experimented with a border, still using inktense, because the fabric did not have colour all the way to the edges.

 

Finally after checking the layout with my trusty pink board with a 5 inch window cut out, I stitched with free motion embroidery, using simple outlines around the pear.

6 checking size

The background was stitched in a leaf pattern, sort of following the pattern of the leaves but not really!  I stitched around the border triangles as well to try to make them pop up a bit from the fabric.

After a zig zag stitch to finish the edges, it’s finished!

8 final stitched

Detail of the stitching:

9 stitch detail

Currently I am borrowing Cora’s inktense pencils, and I am certainly sold on getting some of my own.  I might get some of the inktense blocks, because the pencils are great for small areas and detail, but I think it would be great to be able to cover larger areas.

Do any of you have experience with inktense? Am I the only one late to this party?

Until next time

Lyn

Creative Catch Up

I finally have my machine back from the repairer and have almost shaken off the winter blues.  Getting back into the swing of things, I have finished quite a few 5″ squares for the Made on Monday Challenge.  Below are the finished pieces from the semi finished piece I showed last time.

I also completed another appliqued piece I’ve called coastal.  Choosing different colours to represent the ocean, sand, sea and sunset.

17_Coastal

This weekly challenge has been great for stretching the creativity and trying new things.  Experimenting with backgrounds, fabrics and thread.

For the next few pieces, I am experimenting with some stamps I have in my stash that have been used in the past for card making.  Another detour I took a while ago.  I have used the stamps on plain and printed cotton but am yet to decide what is next.  Whether to just stitch or use some more colour (Inktense or Water Colour Pencils).

More completed photos next time……

 

 

 

Keeping up the Creativity

The last few months have seen everyone around me succumbing to the colds and flu that come with winter and I was therefore destined to eventually get sick as well.  Feeling unwell and with the added problems I’ve been having with my sewing machine (which has been back and forward with the repairer over the last month or so) has put a significant pause on my creativity and has made me fall very behind with my Made on Monday, weekly challenge.

I am currently 4 weeks behind but I spent today reconnecting with my sewing machine and experimenting with a piece I had started months ago but never progressed.

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I’m trying various pattern options around the initial flower design that was done using variegated thread on a pieced/woven background and I am pleased with the progress so far.

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Now that I am back in the (sewing machine) driver’s seat, I’m sure a little extra effort will put me back on track.  I hate being behind schedule.  The plan is to finish a few more pieces and post them on the weekend.  Until then……

More Made on Monday – on Wednesday

Participating in the Made on Monday challenge has made me start to think differently about creating textile art, which I guess was my aim in joining.  Having to prepare a 5 inch piece each week is actually more difficult than I thought, as I tend to overthink things when I am being creative.

I am learning to just “do”.

I have read many books, blogs, articles etc on being creative over the last few years, and the common advice is to do just that – get on with it and create something.  There is no replacement for practice practice practice.

In that vein, I am just trying out different things, but set myself a time limit.  It also helps to do several pieces at once, or in a similar fashion (surely they are called a series!) and that helps to develop ideas.  I often find myself thinking of the next pieces as I am doing the current ones.  Making small pieces allows me to try new techniques as well, so my latest pieces reflect my experimenting.

I started my latest pieces which I showed pictures of in my last post by drawing with watercolour pencils on fabric.  Here is a photo of the large piece after I cut it into 4, prior to edging them.  I love the fact that the flowers and images go off the edge of each piece.

 

cut

And a photo of them after they are edged with black thread.

cut edged

I think I might try a similar idea again, I like the watercolour pencil effect and it’s not as messy as paints.  Has anyone else tried this technique? I am interested in how it might work on a scarf, or something wearable.

Until next time

Lyn

More experimenting

Because I have joined the Made on Monday challenge, I am working on a new textile piece every week.  Sometimes the ideas take a while to arrive in my head and other times I can fairly quickly execute something that I have been thinking about for a while.

Last week was one of those weeks where I had no idea of what to do, but was forcing myself to not overthink it. In looking around my sewing room aka “the studio” I saw some pencils and got an idea.

In the past I have experimented with stencils and painting fabric, but with the cold winter we are having here in Melbourne, I wanted something I could do inside.  So without too much thought, I started drawing with watercolour pencils on the fabric.  After I spoke with my friend Cora about how to make the colours darker, she advised me to use some fabric medium.  So on her advice I mixed a small amount with water and dipped the nib of the pencils in to this solution before drawing on the fabric.  I also tried painting the solution onto the fabric, but the lines were not as defined and there was more smudging than I was wanting.

1. Starting to draw
Drawing on the wet fabric

 

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Pressed and dry

So with a rather abstract “drawing” of flowers on fabric, I had to leave it for a week until my next day off.  I did know what I was going to do next, so this morning I stitched using free motion machine embroidery, making loose flower and leaf shapes, over the entire piece.  Here are some pictures of the stitching in progress.

I only used black thread but might do another experiment with future pieces using different coloured threads.

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Stitching complete

I made it larger than my required 5 inch piece (the size for the Made on Monday challenge), so I have managed to get more pieces out of it.  I think it’s now called a series!

Then I cut out some 5 inch pieces and roughly stitched around the edges with zig zag stitch of different sizes.  I wasn’t going for neat! (luckily!)

Here are the first 2 pieces, numbers 17 and 18 for my Made on Monday series.  I will probably finish another 2 and mount them all together.  When I do this, I will post an update.

This piece reminds me a little of a piece I had in an exhibition last year.  I stencilled and painted the fabric first (it was warmer weather) used some thin fabric as a collage and then stitched over it using free motion embroidery.

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A couple of close ups….

Until next time

Lyn

Combining Challenges

We are currently up to week 13 of the Made on Monday Challenge and Lyn has found another one we might participate in.  Never letting time constraints get in the way of being creative.

The “Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine” Challenge ‘Word of the Year’ is due in August and is for an 8 inch piece that represents a word that will ignite action, provide inspiration propel your art making for the coming year.

I decided to combine the two by creating a few 5 inch pieces using different words for the MoM Challenge and then picking a favourite word, process and method to create the 8 inch version.

The first word I chose is “Invent” and decided to try a negative space piece.

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Using plain fabric to highlight the word, I wrote the word first and then started filling it in (in the negative).  The next challenge was to fill in the blank space around the word and choose a finished edge.

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This is now the 13th MoM piece ready for submission.

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The second word is ‘Unique’, using the same process, except keeping the outline minimal, using a pieced background and using repetition to highlight the word.

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It is still a work in progress but I am liking how it is progressing, lots of work still to do.  I have picked the other colours that I’m thinking of using and will post further progress shots soon.  The next option is yet to be decided.

Let me know what you think?  I would love any feedback or suggestions…….