Tag Archives: recycling

Art Journals


As I was waiting out Hurricane Sandy in my studio yesterday, I started playing around with an old strip of bird wallpaper a friend gave me this weekend. I fused tissue paper to Wonder Under, trimmed to 8 1/2″ x 11″, and ran thru our printer/copier to capture some reduced images of the birds. I brushed some paint on watercolor paper as a background, then fused the birds to the paper to make simple cards. Since I have plenty of tiny October calendars from my journaling, I also added one of those and circled the date. I mailed several of them yesterday, and kept one for myself. This morning I added a stamp, then pulled out my cartridge brush to see how it does with Chinese calligraphy. The brush: great; me: not so good! Still everything to learn! But I found the character for ‘hurricane’ and added my scratching of it. Right now the card is slipped in a pocket of my current journal.

Speaking of which, I’ve been very pleased with this one, the fourth I’ve made and worked on this year. The first two were glued together pages that I blogged about last winter. In March I made one with pockets that I enjoyed using, but it was a bit flimsy. So for the next iteration I took apart an old book and stitched pockets to the cover. For the pockets I used large sheets of lightweight watercolor paper. Before folding the pockets, I popped colored bubbles on the sheets for background and to make it easier to get started. Once assembled, I cut a stamp with lines to stamp on each page and entice me to write a sentence or two. Using the same Wonder Under/tissue technique described for the birds, I copied small calendars. As I write a page, I add the appropriate calendar and circle the date. For this journal I also taped out areas for sketching, to encourage myself to draw, with moderate success. My entries are sporatic, but fun to look back on. Days are slipping past so quickly it helps to have reminders!

T-Shirt Scap Creations


Our son-in-law, during a recent move, was getting ready to discard a pile of old t-shirts, so I offered to make him a quilt. Which is now finished and hopefully will be delivered soon.

Meanwhile, I was left with a pile of t-shirt scraps. I’d seen a slash technique for embellishing with t-shirt knits this summer at the Ashville Farmer’s Market, then saw it again recently at the Lewis Ginter gift shop.

So I gave it a try! These three bags are the result. Slicing the t-shirt piece in strips, stretching it, then stitching it to a base fabric worked best. It also makes a difference whether you slice with the knit, diagonal to it, or against the knit. I need to do some more experimenting to determine which works best. The knits also fringe very well. Hand stitching added interesting detail.

Christmas Crafts

Boxes from Christmas Cards

Yo Yo Tree and Small House

Happy Thanksgiving! And almost time to start thinking about Christmas! Here’re a few craft ideas you may want to try, if you’re not already familiar with them. I made these little boxes from Christmas cards many years ago, but forgot all about them until we made them recently at a quilt chapter meeting. The directions look complicated, but once you’ve made one they’re easy as pie!

At the same chapter meeting they had kits for the little Christmas tree shown above.  I takes four yo yos, an empty thread spool, a 5″ dowel or twig to fit in the hole of the spool, and a small star.  Circle sizes for the yo yos are: 2 3/4″, 3 1/2″, 4 1/2″ and 5″.  Glue the twig into the spool.  Snip a hole in the center of each fabric circle by folding the circle into quarters and snipping off the pointed tip.  Starting with the biggest circle, stitch around the edge turning down about 1/4″. Gather about halfway and slip over the twig.  Place a little stuffing in the yo yo, then finish gathering tightly around the twig and knot.  Repeat for each successive smaller circle.  Cut a slit in the top of the twig and insert star!

The little house is a bit more complicated, and your best bet is to get the May/June issue of Cloth Paper Scissors – pattern is on page 87.  Once assembled, its just the right size to insert in the bottom one of those fake tea candles.  Photos of 95 of these little houses can be found in the November/December issue.  I love the great variety of approaches folks came up with!

Project Update

So here’s the next steps with the tomato, basil and zinnia photo you saw in my last post.  Using just a portion of the image, I traced it to a Wash Away Applique sheet , fused tht sheet to muslin backed with batting, and stitched thru the sheet, muslin and batting with brown thread.  Then I washed the piece and the applique sheet dissolved away! 

The first photo shows before and after washing.  As I mentioned, the sheet washed away, however, the glue from the fusing was a bit stubborn and had to be brushed off.  Next time I’m going to try warmer water, which may help.  

Next I colored the image with fabric crayons, then ironed with a press cloth to brighten the colors.  Now I plan to do some embroidery and embellishment.

I’ve made an enlarged version of the one zinnia image – may do a fabric collage, or maybe some printing.  Hmmmm..

On another project, I made a small book from an empty wooden thread spool!  I think I saw this in Cloth Paper Scissors, but I can’t find the issue to reference.  The one in the photo is made from paper – mulberry paper as the carrier sheet, paper towel as the insert, and an old envelope piece for the closure.  I did another one as an anniversary card from fabric (which unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of), which worked better for me.  With that one I printed the message from the computer – much more legible than my chick scratches.  Good use for all the old wooden spools rolling around the studio!

Spring, Toy Singer, Calendars


Finally Spring is coming to Virginia! Hubby and I drove down to Williamsbug last Wednesday and I was thrilled to see the trees budding out. Then when we got back to Richmond, I realized our trees were showing color as well! Now we even have scatterd daffodils blooming in the yard. Happy Spring, everyone!

I didn’t get a chance to visit the antique malls while I was in W’burg, so I dropped by our local one on Friday. Found this charming toy Singer hand crank sewing machine! It was a bit sticky to crank, but after a dousing of penetrating oil, its doing much better. I have a manual on the way – still seaching for 24×1 needles. If I don’t find them at my local resource, All Brands, tomorrow I have some online sources.

Found the small notebooks last year sometime at an estate sale – they’re just the right size to slip in my purse. The excitement this week was discovering that the calendars in the back for 1937 and 1938 are also good for 2010 and 2011!! Here’s a web site for checking when calendars repeat: http://www.calendarhome.com/tyc/200yearprotect.xls

Postcard swap: “Recycle”

Mend and Make-do

Mend and Make-do

The Virginia Consortium of Quilters fabric post card swap is in full flight!  Next month I’ll show you some of the variations on our theme of “Recycle.”  Meanwhile, here’re a few of what I sent out, based on a British slogan from WWII – Mend and Make-do To Avoid Buying New. 

The photos are miscellaneous cabinet card flea market finds. The base of the cards is a large piece of canvas sealed with gesso, then a couple Collage Podge layers, topped with stitched strips of fabric. The photos were transferred to vintage hankerchiefs using Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley (http://www.transferartist.com/).

Quilters’ Tea Party

Last night our local quilt chapter had our annual tea party!  We all brought dainty nibbles and our tea cups, and some of us even wore dresses and hats!  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos during the meeting, but I did take a pix of my teacup, which was very well received.  Daughter Debra made it for me one summer in pottery class at Tech.  I love the catepillar handle.

Our program was cancelled at the last minute due to hospitalization of a family member, so we went ‘green’ and shared various recycling tips. Our program chair showed the shopping bag she’s made, lined with a vinyl table cloth, and tiny tooth fairy pillows made from the top/batting/backing leftovers of machine quilting.  (If you’ve ever had a quilt machine quilted, you’re familiar with the requirement to have an extra four inches all the way around so that the quilt can be securely fastened in the quilt frame.)

I showed my blue bottle photo-to-quilt project, and modeled the source of the dark and light blues: a sheer shaded blue blouse from ‘the other fabric store’ (Good Will), minus a few squares of material!