Exploring art on fabric involves taking a step out of the comfort zone. I bought four pouches with long handles online to experiment on. They are heavy-duty canvas and would fit items like a phone, passport, a small wallet.
I knew I needed to wash them to get the sizing out of the fabric but I was so eager to start that I side-stepped that important step and now I suffer the consequences. I wanted to make a background with inks and paint, so I did. The inks floated on top until I have kind of hand washed the pouch and got it more pliant. Note to self: always wash new fabrics….
The first exploration came out like this, and this is the back of the pouch.
It’s not necessarily bad but the paint job came out too heavy-handed in my opinion. Another thing I didn’t like about these pouches, the handle was in two parts and tied with a knot. I had to unravel part of the seam, sew the ends together, and sew it back up again. You can see the seam in the picture. Nothing major, but more work for me.
I’m going to make some sort of applique like I did on this old art bag of mine in 2014.
I’m thinking some sort of layering of fabric and embroidery. Nothing too complicated since the bag is small, maybe some rustic birds…
This soap opera will continue with a picture of the finished product in my next post.
I did dye another pouch with blue ink and strong tea. It’s a more gentle approach, but I might add some more color before collaging the bag. It’s important to get all the wet parts done before any embroidery. I don’t want to contaminate the artwork with dyes and inks.
Meanwhile, check out the items in my etsy shop. I add new things daily. For 10% off on my most popular item, the mosaic intention box, use coupon code TENOFF. The sale runs through October. EARTH AND FAERY.
Until next tine, create lots!!
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I’m getting to be more and more minimalist as I de-clutter stuff around the house. There is so much STUFF and it weighs me down. I have de-cluttered a few times already since 2013 when I moved into this house, but there is always more.
I have put many crafts aside that bored me, but then I end up holding on to the materials. No More. 🙂 I gave my neighbor a bunch of mosaic paraphernalia.
I came across some cool things my mom did. She passed away in 2013, and I will never get rid of these things. [Long post warning.]
I get a lot of my creative ability from her. She always had a great eye for color and form. She’s of that generation (and growing up on a farm) that knew how to shear sheep, make roving, spin yarn, and then either knit or crochet something useful. She even made linen from flax, and knew how to weave. They wove their towels (which lasted forever), their tablecloths, their rugs from old clothes that we used to sit and cut into long strips and ball up when I was a kid. The destruction was fun. She even taught me how to weave, but I had no patience weaving that thin linen thread into towels.
My grandmother even wove sheets, and they had a seam down the middle (the loom wasn’t wide enough.) They had a loom always set up in a big part of the upstairs bedroom at my grandmother’s. Mom never had a loom in the places where we lived, but she always wove rugs when we spent the summers with my grandparents. She always had some of those brightly colored rag rugs on her floors, and I thought if I peer closely, I might recognize the rag from one of my childhood dresses. She was the ultimate recycler.
I have a lot of the things she embroidered in the “old days,” things that are truly vintage now.
In her youth, she was pretty much self-sufficient making her clothing, and later those of my dad, but with modernization, she stopped those habits, though her hands were always busy. During the 2nd World War the women used to knit hundreds of mittens and socks for the soldiers. That was before my time.
I asked her if she remembered some of my fave sweaters she made for me, but she didn’t. I had a really comfy gray and blue patterned sweater that I wore ALL the time; I still remember it clearly.
She loved to sew clothes, make fabric collages, embroider, needlepoint, cross stitch, knit; she even dabbled in porcelain painting, but my dad complained about the fumes. She could knit and crochet anything. We used to get excited about some new pattern; I would start it and she would finish it because I always got bored somewhere in the middle.
I have the patience now, however. I don’t know how that happened–with age maybe. I have been more of a dabbler than making something “useful,” though. In one of the pictures below I made a fabric collage from a picture in a book about Medieval life. I now marvel at how large the horse is compared to the women, but I didn’t think of that at the time. I could never finish it since I couldn’t decide whether to frame it or make it into a pillow. It now lives with my mom’s things in a plastic bin.
This is a really old piece, possibly embroidered by Mom in her youth, or Grandmother might have made it. I don’t remember. But look at the needle work! These cloths were hung on decorative rods to hide the everyday towels used in the kitchen.
I have two tablecloths like this. Mom crocheted those from a very fine cotton yarn, then patiently crocheted the flowers/snowflakes together. It’s fine like a glorious spiderweb!
This is a newer tablecloth; possibly one of the last ones she embroidered before her hands gave out. She sent it to me. My brother who is an artist always wanted the same pieces, so she often made two of the same pattern. You would think a man wouldn’t care, but he does.
This is a tray tablecloth that is meant for a birthday cake placed in the middle of the wreath. The word “Gratulerar” is Swedish for Happy Birthday (sort of, more like “Congratulation” if you want to be picky.) A gift for one of my birthdays. I use some of these things, but I worry about getting them dirty.
My foray into Medieval art. I loved combining daring fabric patterns into a cohesive look. A knight going off to war. Even the birds wore armor in my picture. The fabric was mostly machine stitched even though I’m not very good on the sewing machine.
I don’t have any plans to take up embroidery or other sewing again, but I admire great craftsmanship.
P.S. I have some paintings available in my etsy shop, HERE.
Artist and writer
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