Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lattice Quilt squares

I took a little break from making gelli prints. I had pieced together some lattice quilt squares sometime around Christmas, but didn't have the time to put them together until now.

These are 5" squares. The final project will be something for my mom's table or perhaps the top of her trunk/coffee table. Haven't decided how to quilt it yet but maybe just something simple, as my free motion skills are minimal and slightly rusty.

that last picture is the cute little pile of detritus left after squaring up my blocks. :)

My hope is to get the last two rows pieced in the a.m. and then the rows sewn together. After that I get to try out my spray basting stuff for the first time. We'll see if I like it or not. It will need a border of some kind as well, but I haven't picked the fabric for that yet.... stay tuned!

Rusty Gelli Prints and other projects in the works

Was so pleased with these that I thought I would share. A photographer, I am NOT!. I must scan all these lovelies soon but for now...

Click for bigger pics!

I sort of feel like these would be really nice framed...not that I think they are high art or anything, but I love the layers on them and the colors too. I could do more to them I suppose but I think for now I will leave them be.

So, In addition to gelli prints I am trying to square up some quilt blocks that I made a few months ago. They are smallish so this is taking some time...but I want to try to make a...something for my table - or maybe my mom's table. A runner? topper? something. I don't have tons of blocks, not enough for a lap quilt or anything like that. I actually planned to make her a quilt for Mother's day, but I really don't think that is going to happen. I just don't think I have time. Although...I have a lot of the fabric cut you never know.

The hardest part about having different interests, is trying to divide your time between them. I could stand there and do prints for hours and hours...and I really do love to paint. I love sewing too, but it's not as forgiving a medium. You have to be more precise, more patient. It's good for me to develop those things in myself. And practise. Lots and lots of practise. There seems to me to be a very long learning curve...

Anyway, hopefully back later with perhaps a few pictures of my quilt blocks. It's early and I haven't had nearly enough coffee!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Gelli Prints!

My new gelli plate has turned out fine. I have made some more prints and thought I would show you some of them.

I have actually considered making them into a book of some sort - maybe folding over the pages and binding it that way. Then I think....what for? I don't really journal and the colors on the prints might not show up any writing I might do. So...I don't's still up in the air. BTW, I have used bristol for the prints - it's pretty heavy so that I suppose will limit their use somewhat. I think they would cool collaged into a painting though...

At this point, I don't really care what they are going to be for - they are just fun to make! And I really like taking colors that don't seem to go together well or that somehow seem...ugly...and seeing what comes it.

I am up a little early today for a change. I am hoping to get a few things done in the studio here - not sure what yet, as I am still shaking off sleep....really need to go to bed earlier...

I was doing a few prints yesterday and my husband came into the room and watched me for a minute and after I pulled a print he looked at it and said, 'well, that's kind of boring!' and I told him that it was boring now but just wait! that was only the first layer!!

I can see why people end up with hundreds and hundreds of these - it's very addicting and so much fun to see what they turn out like. It's like a mystery!

OK - off to work some!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gelli Plate Experiment!

Wow! Two posts in a week! What's up with that?

Ah...but seriously, it all good. Right? Right!!

I have recently become interested in gelli plates. I know you can buy them already made and I am sure they are cool. But I haven't had the chance to go anywhere to buy one. So I decided I would make my own. I used the recipe given out by The Frugal Crafter - the updated one where you use only glycerine and no alcohol.

I bought a glass cake pan to put it in, not really thinking that the pan was too big for my micorwave. Well, it wouldn't be, except for the handles on it - but that was what they had at the store and because I am an impatient soul...well. But I can use that pan as a pallet if I can find something else that will fit in the micro.

UPDATE: I went to the dollar and thrift store and found a pyrex bowl to melt my gelatine in and a cookies sheet and cake pan (metal) to pour the mixture in. As a side note, CHEAP bakeware like what I got at the dollar store is not ideal because it is flimsy and will twist and bend - which leads to spilling!  Oh, and don't put this gelatine down your drain! it will clog it up and you will have a huge mess on your hands!


Things to note: stir your gelatine etc. in something else, not the pan or whatever you decide to use for the mold. I didn't do this and ended up with what I think was undisolved gelatine in the bottom which made a pattern on my plate. Which is not really what you want, because then that pattern ends up on every print.  Oh and skim the bubbles off the top when you pour it into the pan. I didn't do this either.

My plate fell apart due to perhaps rough handling on my part or perhpas due to insufficient mixing. Not sure. I will see if remelting it helps that aspect of it. Nevertheless, before that happened, I did get some prints. I will likely put more layers on them.

I have NO IDEA what I will do do with these at this point. Perhaps as collage material in paintings. Lots of people use them as backgrounds for journal pages, but I don't really journal much and so doubt I would do this.

Still, it's fun stuff and you can pull a lot of prints in a very short amount of time. I am looking forward to more experiments.

I know Carla Sonheim does some stuff with gelli plates and I must go back and look again and what she does...Carla is such a nice lady and I encourage you to take a class from her if you have the chance.

So, here are a few pictures I took of my prints so far - nothing earth shattering of course, but it was fun!

Here is my actual gelli plate:

And here are some of the prints I did:


Oh and for those of you who want the recipe I used:

7 T of gelatine
1.5 cups boiling water
1.5 cups glycerine
capfull of alcohol (which I added when I melted my misshapen and torn first gelli plate)

I should mention that the recipe I had said 6 T, not 7 of gelatine, but I misread it (it said 6T - which is supposedly equal to 7 PACKETS. ) Ultimately it didn't seem to matter much. I think there is wiggle room in this recipe.

I am also trying very hard to keep my work space relatively clean and uncluttered - especially after I work. During work, I don't have time to think about that stuff! but if I can remember to clean up after myself, well...maybe I can keep the studio relatively neat and organized! Cross your fingers people! I am working against my natural tendencies!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Studio Clean Out 2014

It's been a while since I posted here. It's not so much that I haven't been doing anything, but more that my environment was so non-conducive to creativity that I finally had to DO something about IT.

Getting rid of things is hard. I bought an organizing book. It was OK, but perhaps not really what I needed. However, it did tell me that whatever I did to my space, ultimatley it had to work for ME.

Will my studio ever show up in the pages of Where Women Create? Probably not. I'm ok with that. Although I would be a liar if I said I didn't dream of having a studio a bit like those in the pages of that magazine.

I do know that I am blessed to have a big space. I know lots of people who work in closets and corners and on tables. Been there and done that too. Of course, a big space means nothing if you don't work in it.

So in February, after much staring at the walls and mulling it over, and just generally freaking out about it, I decided it was time.

After much culling, donations, bags of trash, consolidation, tears, and angst, I can say that I have a space that I think will work for what I want to do in the near future. This meant that I had to make some really hard decisions about what it was I really needed to have around me. I decided that I would put away my encaustic painting supplies for now. I packed up my stamps. I packed up my toys and other extraneous and non-art related stuff. And I had a lot of that. I certainly have more to do. Much more. But I think that for now, I am at a place that will allow me to do the three things I decided to focus on: painting, quilting, and jewelry. 

We shall see if this pans out. Right now I am fighting something called de Quervain's Syndrome, which is akin to carpal tunnel syndrome, which I also have.  Basically, it's inflammation of the tendons in the thumb and wrist. Fun Stuff. Not. hopefully my appointment with a doc later this week will see the end of this soon so I can get to work!

Anyway, in order to appreciate the magnitude of what I accomplished, some before pictures are needed.  Things were so bad in here that  I could have qualified for a episode of Hoarders. OK, maybe not that bad. No garbage, no dead animals. But stuff? Oh my, yes.

So without further ado, I give you my before pics: (some of which were taken just after I began...)

And now, I give you the after pics. The layout of the studio has stayed the same, but I have designated certain areas for certain things. One end is for sewing, and one is for painting. The jewelry stuff will be happening in another room. perhaps pics of that later on...

I spent no money on anything except for a new iron and ironing board. I also hope to get some doors for the shelving that houses my fabrics. Otherwise, I didn't need to buy anything except big trash bags and a bottle of Spic-N-Span!

I am very pleased with the results. As I look at the pictures here, I can see all kinds of things that I still need to work on. Stuff I need to pitch. Stuff I need to donate. Stuff that needs a better home.  I still hate my floor, although most people seem to like it. I don't, but on the other hand that makes me not worry about spilling paint on it. And I hope that will be happening soon...very, very soon!