There I was, in an Epic Battle Against a Legion of Alien Zombie Chickens…

… armed with nothing but a seam ripper and a giant basket of corn grenades when their egg ship beamed me aboard and they held me prisoner for almost 3 months.

Ok. Maybe that didn’t happen. But, I *have* been away for almost 3 months. A lot has been going on with me personally that I haven’t really gotten around to posting until now. Since last I wrote I

  • Spent a month on unemployment
  • Started a new job
  • Moved
  • Have been working lots and lots of overtime at the new job

So, there you have it. I’ve been a busy busy woman. For your enjoyment, here are some photos that I’ve been meaning to post. Also, I’d like to note that I do still have laptop bags for sale in my Etsy Shop.

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My friend Julia helping to set up the booth we shared at the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Doctor Who and Star Trek pillow plushies that my friend, Julia, makes. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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A 2 headed rat I crocheted some time ago (the pattern came from The Anticraft) and a little chicken my friend Julia made. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Various barrettes I’d made from recycled denim. And yes, some of those are the Starfleet insignia. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Beautiful cards that my friend Julia makes. Each one is hand drawn and colored. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Laptop bags and purses I had made. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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A close-up of one of my laptop bags.

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A skirt I recently altered. At the start, this was a plain khaki skirt. I embroidered the lower skirt and dyed the upper skirt.

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A close-up of the embroidery on a skirt I recently altered. At the start, this was a plain khaki skirt. I embroidered the lower skirt and dyed the upper skirt.

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The backside of a skirt I recently altered. At the start, this was a plain khaki skirt. I embroidered the lower skirt and dyed the upper skirt.

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Playing around with denim and bleach this afternoon.

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Playing around with denim and bleach this afternoon.

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From Concept to Art – Experimentation

A large part of my artwork is experimenting. Even after I’ve developed a concept and/or laid out the basic framework for what I want to do, there is still the matter of playing around with aesthetics. (If you haven’t already, you might want to read parts 1 and 2 of this Concept to Art series)

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Right and wrong sides of fabric 1

At root, I am self taught. I read books and watch videos, but mostly I play around and experiment with techniques. One technique I wanted to experiment with was to use flour paste as a resist. I first saw this in the book Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabric  by Jane Dunnewold and have been looking for an excuse to try it out. The basic idea is that you mix equal parts water and white flour, spread it evenly across the fabric, wait for it to dry and then do any of your dying. If you want to draw into the paste for designs, do it while it is wet.

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Fabric 2

Now, I have dozens of fabrics to try this out on, so I tested it with a couple. Since the fabrics I started with (both old dresses I’ve taken apart to re-purpose) were already

dark in color, I decided to use bleach instead of dye. It’s also snowing like mad outside and bleach is all I have on hand to try this with. Here is what I learned:

Only one of the fibers used in this black jacquard fabric even responds to bleach. This makes doing a paste resist on it almost pointless. However, when I brush it with bleach straight on, the design really pops out in a nice orangey-yellow. I may juxtapose bleached and unbleached segments.

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The test writing is also barely visible on the second test fabric. However, I do quite like the almost explosive effect on the fabric. Not yet sure what I’ll do. Also, I’ve observed that if too much bleach is poured on, the flour will turn into a kind of watery blob… which may have had some part in the explosive effect.

GEAnother technique I want to experiment with was pyrography. I’ve got an old soldering iron that my dad gave me some months ago and an old leather jacket of mine that I’ve taken apart to reuse somehow after it got too worn out for regular wear. You can see where I have written the word “test” with the iron, branding the leather. Thankfully, you cannot smell  GE the horrid stench in my apartment.

These experiments and their results will help me further determine how I will give life to the concepts and ideas of my mind.

 

What am I working on?

In case you haven’t read my previous posts, each year, 40 North – the arts council for Champaign county, orchestrates the Bonyard Arts Festival throughout Champaign-Urbana, IL and the rest of the county. I am registered with 2 different venues (more details at the bottom of this entry) and have set to work creating artwork for this festival. At C4A I am set to display artwork during April 12-13 and at Habitat for Humanity I am set to conduct a live demonstration on April 13, from 1-5pm, on artistic things that can be done with used clothing.