Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fiber Arts Jewelry






I haven't blogged for awhile. I've been busy playing with fabric, fibers, paper and a few other things in order to bring some fresh ideas to my students. I've been weaving, loom knitting, embroidering, and sewing, but creating fiber arts jewelry is becoming a favorite.

I use pinterest A LOT for inspiration and tutorials.

Fabric Pendants

My love for inchies and doodling has spilled over onto fabric pendants.



These pendants are made from small pieces of fabric scraps sandwiched over a piece of felt with embroidery and beads added.

A used coffee filter and fabric were combined to created a cuff bracelet. I rinsed and dried the coffee filter. I doodled swirls with a gold paint pen and a gel pen onto the filter, then cut it into one inch squares. These were hand sewn onto fabric pendants and connected with ribbon. A jeweled shank button and ribbon loop fastens the bracelet. 


Water Bottle Bracelets

I found this link to make these bracelets: How to Recycle a Plastic Bottle. I really like that I was able to adjust them to fit my small wrist.


That got me started on cutting plastic strips for other bracelets. Some of my students have been able to make some using their own designs. 


To make them, cut a strip of plastic to your desired width. Measure the length against your wrist and tape to secure. Cover the strip with fabric or wrap with yarn. Then add beads, buttons, or charms. If you look really close at the fabric bracelet above, you can see a red cylinder bead. I made that bead from a water bottle also! (Link for that here).

Fabric Beads

Make them large or small, they are so much fun and so easy. My students love to make them. Many of them don't have the fine motor skills needed to create them tight enough. We remedied that by using a plastic straw in the center. They glue a strip of fabric to the straw and curl the fabric around the straw. A little hot glue or tacky glue holds them well. Then, we cut the straw on each side of the bead and string them onto strips of T-shirts or ribbon.

This necklace was made without a straw. The round beads are wood beads painted white with acrylic paint. I used a heat gun on the wet paint to make the paint bubble and give them a textured look.


I couldn't go too long without working with paper. When I saw these little book charms popping up on pinterest, I had to make one!


I used a thin strip cut from a T-shirt for the cord on both the book charm and the fabric charm necklace. 

Hopefully, I will post some links and other projects soon. I have a lot of yarn, fabric and embroidery floss just waiting to be used and my art journals are calling my name! 












Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Fun Purse to Sew

I realize it has been a long time since I've posted. My new job has taken quite a lot of my time and energy, but I love it. I haven't been on the computer much, except for pinterest or other websites looking for project ideas I can teach to my students. I am primarily teaching fiber arts, fabric and paper. Of course, the paper part is easy for me.  Working with fabric has been quite a change. I've had to brush up on my sewing skills. Fortunately, the sewing is all hand sewing, mostly embroidery or simple projects.

I've created a new pinterest board : Sew What? for inspiration. I have been able to adapt some of the project ideas for some of the students. Others I want to try for myself. One in particular, I wanted to make so that I can teach it to them.

Teesha Moore makes beautiful fabric covered journals. The same technique can be used for purses and bags. You can find the video at the above link or go You Tube and view them  HERE.

I did not make a journal cover. I wanted to make a small purse. I used several scraps of fabric, many from discarded clothing. For the strap, I used a belt from a discarded skirt. I then added embellishments and I even lined the purse. Lining the purse was not necessary  but I thought it would be a nice touch. The lining is the only part I sewed with a machine. All other sewing was done by hand. I LOVE the raw edges and the imperfect look!

Easy to Sew Purse:


The back of the purse

The front of the purse

Lining with magnetic button and two pockets

A pocket in the front for my phone

Another view of the back

A close up of the "perfect" embellishment for the purse's style




Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ink and Paint Blowing Art for Kids and Adults

I've seen lots of ink blowing art over the years, and have used the technique in a few different ways. It is a great art project for kids. Sometimes, it is fun to blow the ink in random directions and then decide what the finished image will be - a spider,  a monster, or just fun designs. Click on the links to learn how to use paint or ink with straws for fun children's art projects.

Another fun and educational project can be found on Rainbow Creations.

Blow Painting Chinese Cherry Blossom

Try pairing the technique with a unit study on Chinese Culture and Art:

Homeschool Unit Study Ideas from Our Journey of Dreams
Homeschooling at Harvest Moon Chinese Unit Study


A few weeks ago, I wanted to experiment with paint and ink on different types of paper and surfaces, specifically to create a tree for one of my art journals. I wasn't sure how to get the effect I wanted, so using different methods and paper helped me to choose what would work best before I started on the page.

I always hold onto good quality paper, even if it is used. I hate to throw it out. When I bought my Doodle Book at a yard sale, there were a handful of pages in the sketchbook that had been used for some pencil drawings. I cut them out and set them aside for background pages in art journals or for mixed media projects. I used one of those sheets on my first tree.

The paper is smooth, but thick.  I mixed black paint with water until it had consistency of ink.

Paint blowing: Tree on Sketchbook Paper

If you look at a close-up, you can see how quickly the paint dried and soaked into the paper. I thought it was interesting.



I tried the next ink blown tree in one of my smaller art journals. The paper is not smooth, and it is much thinner than the above paper.


You can see how much lighter the paint looks. It soaked into the paper even quicker and blowing it was different also because of the texture. After I blew in the tree and branches, I used a dry brush technique on the entire page with a darker gray. I like the texture it gave the page and tree.

Once I knew what would happen using raw paper, I decided try it on paper coated with gesso. I used lots of gesso layers on two pages of my altered composition notebook journal to get the effect I wanted. I wanted a winter scene, so the layers added to the effect of snow and ice. For this tree, I used black ink. I loved the way it DID NOT sink into the paper quickly. I was able to shape it and "draw" with it easily, even getting small detailed branches. I had to make myself stop.


The difference in using raw paper, textured paper, or gesso treated paper was evident as was using thinned paint versus ink. Experimenting with all three has made me want to try other things. I would love to use other colors and let whatever happens, happen. I wonder how it will work on book pages...acrylic paint....magazine pages...