Wednesday 31 July 2019

'Be You' canvas by Karen

A step-by-step for you today to round off this month celebrating wonderful nature and leading in to the next month's focus on paint.

The background for my project starts with layers of Eco Acrylic Paint brayered on to a 20 x 20 cm wood backed canvas panel. I started with Turquoise, adding small amounts of paint randomly on to the canvas then rolling it out, paying attention to the edges and being sure to leave some white showing through towards the centre.

 I repeated the process with Cadmium yellow ...
 ...and the Phthalo Green and finally with a very small amount of White to soften the layers underneath.

To build more layers and interest to the background I sponged some more White through a stencil in random places. I then brayered Prussian Blue paint on to some flower stamps to add these to the background and coloured them with some diluted paint to make them a bit more solid. Prussian Blue was also sponged round the canvas to frame it.

Some Prussian Blue was also sponged through a different stencil but I forgot to take a photo of this stage!
I stamped a dragonfly on to watercolour paper and coloured this with Turquoise, Magenta and Prussian Blue Eco Acrylic Paints using a fine brush and diluting to blend the colours.

I used the blunt end of a brush to add dots of White paint for details on the design.

Once dry, the dragonfly was cut out and glued on to the canvas leaving the wings free. Finally I added some text by stamping on watercolour paper, cutting around this, edging it in black and gluing it on.

You can, of course, use these techniques with any stamps you own or by collaging other elements on to your painted backgound. Hope this inspires you to get brayering!

Saturday 27 July 2019

Dragonfly Tag

I love to have a stash of tags available to give for birthdays or to send to friends with a meaningful sentiment on them.  
I also love dragonflies, so this week, I have teamed them up together and created this tag for you. I hope you enjoy!

I started by applying some crackle paste randomly through a stencil with a plastic palette knife. Depending on  how thickly you apply the paste, it can take anywhere from between half an hour to a couple of hours to dry and crackle nicely.  I left this one overnight.

I then spritzed the card with water and sprinkled some sea green brusho powder over it.  I spritzed it with more water to ensure that it covered the tag well. 

I then applied distress oxides through a stencil with my blending sponges.  Here I used the colour 'frayed burlap'.

I selected a different stencil and applied 'lucky clover' distress ink over the top of the previous stenciling to give extra depth.

I stamped my favourite dragonfly stamp using versafine onyx black and blended a little of the 'frayed burlap' distress ink around the edges to bring the design together.  I snipped the sides at the top of the tag and made a hole in the centre at the top through which I tied two co-ordinating ribbons.

I hope you enoyed this little tutorial and I hope that you will make some too.

Friday 26 July 2019

Art in the Garden

Art in the Garden

I’ve been busy tending my garden, which is the inspiration for this blog.

Plants are often used as inspiration in textile design but they can literally, be used to design fabric and I wanted to try out the convenience of the Colourcraftpretreated coloured sun printing fabric squares.

(I have previously used cyanotype chemicals to pre-treat my own fabric for sun printing and found it tricky finding somewhere dark to dry the fabric and it produced lots of fabric, for a large project)

It helps to have a sunny day, the more sunlight and the faster the process. On a dull cloudy day it’s still possible, just leave for longer. Also, it's good to experiment as overexposure will create different results.
I left my pieces on my garden table for 30 minutes as it was a typically British cloudy summers day.

It helps to use a sheet of glass (NOT UV protected) and I have some pieces of glass that I have protected the edges of with tape to protect me from cuts. I use these for mono printing, and even just for mixing paints so it’s worth the effort of protecting.

Remember! The chemicals used to treat the fabrics are photoreactive, so you want to keep them in the lightproof bag they come in as long as possible, and set up your print in dim light. I went under the garden table and used my body to block out more light!

I chose some nature-inspired items to "print" with.

Leaves & flowers from my garden
floral stencils, such as the  Colourcraft "flower Frenzy" Mylar 15cm stencil (there are lots of stencil designs and sizes to choose from so have a look at the drop-down options) 

The items placed on the fabric act as a resist, so the part of the fabric that doesn't get exposed stays the original colour of the fabric. I used the bright coloured sun printing pack to reflect my garden theme.

My printing station consisted of a chopping board with a piece of paper on top. I placed a couple of the pre-treated cotton squares on this and then added my leaves and flowers. I placed my glass sheet on top of this and then slightly tilted it using a stone as a prop so it faced the sun.

After 30 minutes I rinsed the fabric in cold water, I then left it in the water for 15 minutes to make sure all the chemicals were removed and to ensure a deep colour. It's hard to see from these photos, but the colour did get deeper during this time.

It's great the pretreated sun print fabric is pre-washed so it won’t shrink.

I then hung them to dry and over the afternoon I collected five sun printed squares all hanging in a row.

Note: before using these need to be ironed with a warm, dry iron to set the colour.

You maybe thinking, like I did that these cotton squares are cute, but what do I make with them? I decided to make some potholders. I think they would certainly look great in the garden for a BBQ.

The 15cm squares are a little small on their own, plus I thought patchwork would help bring out the beauty of these mini sun printed creations. Any fabric used to make a potholder needs to be either 100% cotton or linen. Synthetic fabrics, like polyester, can’t handle the heat so check any fabric you use is 100% natural.

Thermal batting is also an essential part of a safe pot holder. It includes a layer of metallized fibre to protect your hands from the heat. Please do not try to use quilt batting alone without the thermal layer!

1. Cut out the following pieces from fabric piece stash. You can decide which fabric designs to use on each part.
  • cut two 22cm squares from fabric, one with the sunprint design incorporated in patchwork, one is a plain piece that you will only see a little of.
  • cut two 22×16cm rectangles from fabric
  • cut one 22cm square from thermal batting, such as Insul-Bright
  • cut one 22cm square and one 22 x 16cm rectangle from regular quilt batting. I prefer cotton and bamboo blend.
2. First, make the inside rectangle piece:
Place two fabric pieces right sides together. Place batting on one wrong side.
Sew along one long side of the rectangle.
Trim corners at 45 degrees and trim the batting close to the seam (to reduce bulkiness at the edge).
Turn to the right side and stitch 2 – 3 lines of quilting. I sewed across from one corner to the one diagonally opposite, to make a cross. I then used these lines as guides to continue quilting a chevron pattern.
3. make a hanging loop from a fabric scrap or some cotton webbing.
4. Layer up:
thermal batting with patchwork sun print face up on top
the rectangle of the quilted fabric on top of this with the raw edge along one of the squares edges
plain fabric square face down on top of the rectangle, with regular batting on top of this
Poke the hanging loop inside this from one corner and secure with a pin
5. Pin and sew around this layered square, leaving a gap on one side to turn the potholder out.6. Turn out and press.7.Sew topstitching all around the edge of the square on the top. I used cream thread for this but feel free to go wild with contrasting or variegated thread!

that I’ve only got one finished potholder to show, but the garden is proving to need a lot of tending to prevent a jungle effect! I have chosen all the pieces from my fabric stash but they are still laid out waiting to sew. Maybe once the garden is tamed, I could take my sewing machine outside?
I’ll post the other finished pot holders, showing all the five different sun printed colours on my Instagram feed, so you can check them out there.
Helen x

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Wednesday 24 July 2019

Natured Inspired Index Cards with Suzi

Good Day All, Today It's my pleasure to share with you my latest creations using ExpandIt Paste and Eco Acrylic Paints.  Our theme this month is 'The Wonder of Nature' so I decided to have a play with ExpandIt Paste to see if I could use it to mimic some textures from nature.  I decided to use Index Cards for my project, they are a great size for trying new techniques and you can easily write on the back the processes you used, so you have a record for future projects.

I have 4 Index Cards to share with you today, I used Black ExpandIt Paste for the background on two of them, and Natural ExpandIt Paste on the other two.  I spread the ExpandIt thickly on one card, and thinly on the other.  I then heat set them all, and let to rest.

I used the thickly applied Black ExpandIt background for this project, I painted the background with Eco Acrylic Paints in Pthalo Green, Leaf Green and Cadmium Yellow Hue.  I painted another Index card with Scarlet Eco Acrylic Paint and then stamped Ladybirds onto it with black permanent ink, once dry I die cut the ladybird and triple embossed them with clear embossing powder.  I took a couple of word stickers added them to black card and them triple embossed them to coordinate with the ladybirds.  

I then wrote on the back, everything I'd used, and the processes used too;

My second Index card was very simple to make, I used the thinly applied Black ExpandIt background.  I then painted my left hand with Natural ExpandIt and pressed it onto the background.
I then heat set it.  Here's the finished result;

My third and fourth Index cards are based on flowers.  For the first one I used the thinly applied Natural ExpandIt background and painted it with Magenta Eco Acrylic Paint.  I then mixed some Natural ExpandIt with Cadmium Yellow Eco Acrylic Paint and used a syringe to apply small blobs of it to the centre of the card.  I then heat set it.  I then decided to added some shading with a Koh-I-Noor Progresso Aquarelle Pencil.

I wanted to create the impression of a macro photo of a flower.

For the second floral Index card, I decided to try to create an abstract flower.  I used the thickly applied Natural ExpandIt background onto which I applied a block of Magenta, Leaf Green and Viridian Eco Acrylic Paint.  I then applied a row of small blobs using the syringe and Natural ExpandIt and Cadmium Yellow mix.  I heat set the blobs and once dry added some shading to give the impression of a stem and petals with the Koh-I-Noor Progresso Aquarelle Pencil.

I love the different textures and effects you can created with the ExpandIt Pastes. It's such a fun and easy to use product, I look forward to using it on future projects.  If you've not tried it yet, you really do want to get some, I've only tried it on card and MDF so far, next I think I'll try it on fabric, as It works wonderfully on that too.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Don't forget to visit the ColourCraft Website to get all the supplies you need to try the techniques I've used.

Bye for now

Monday 22 July 2019

Brusho's, Photo Paper and Foils

Hello Colourcraft friends.  Gail here today.  I have been playing with Brusho's on photo paper.  I noticed that when I spritzed the photo paper with water it got quite sticky and that got me wondering if it would be sticky enough to apply Colourcraft foils.  The answer is yes!!

I started by taking a 6 x 4 piece of photo paper.  These are some I bought that have 'post-it' sticky on the back.  This means I can stick them to my mat, which is great cos when you add water to photo paper it curls.  A bit of low tack tape on the corners or edges would be good if you are using plain photopaper.  I sprinkled Turquoise, Ost. Blue and Leaf Green Brusho powders and spritzed with water using the clear spray bottle.

Colourcraft have a range of Transfer Foils.   Today I am going to use the gold.

I let the water dry a bit on my Brushoed spritzed photo paper and then applied my gold foil, colour side up.  I pressed it down and peeled it off again.

Hmmmmmmm....  That's not too impressive is it??  But some did stick!  The panel was still quite damp and sticky so I put the foil back down, pressed it down in places and popped out and fed the rabbits.  10 minutes maybe......

Tah-Dah!!!!  Success.  Maybe a bit too much foil now??  But very cool.

Second attempt, using Ost Red, Crimson and Sandstone Brusho powders.  This time I used my heat gun to dry the photo paper until all the loose water was gone and some patches started to look dry.  Then I applied the foil sheet.  I just burnished it in a small area and then lifted it off again.  If your foil slips then the surface is still too wet.  I kept pressing the foil down and peeling it off until I was happy with the amount of foil on my paper.  Think leg waxing.  Foil on, foil off.....

Then I made another panel using Scarlet and Violet Brusho powders.  Love that one.  Reminds me of posh marble.

I hope you get time to get crafty today and maybe try this technique.
Thanks for looking.
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