Friday, December 30, 2011

Monthly Mosaic: 12/11

1. Snowman Wine Charms; 2. My Assistants; 3. Snowman Ornament; 4. Material for the Nursery; 5. Ballerina Socks for my Little GIRL; 6. Tacky Lights; 7. DIY Button Project; 8. Brent's Favorite Christmas Ornament

For someone who is easily distracted by images this monthly mosaic idea may be the end of all productivity. I saw it on another blog, only she does weekly mosaics. I am reasonable enough to know that isn't going to happen but thought, hey, I can surely handle this monthly. So here it is, my first monthly mosaic. Images that made me smile during the month of December. Maybe some will make you smile too. Or, maybe you'll get the same idea so I can look at yours, and then get even less work done! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Morris Family Christmas Card, Decoded

To those of you who have ever wondered what the images in our Christmas Card mean, this contest is for you!

We have a lot of fun every year listing the events that occurred over the past year and determining how to show them in a Christmas Card. Lots of people ask what certain parts mean and what they represent. Steven Jones (genius!) had the idea to post the card on the blog and see how many of you can guess what each part of the card represents. The winner will receive a signed Christmas Card.... ok, just kidding. The winner will receive a set of Snowman Ornaments or Wine Charms (that won't be available again until July, you lucky dog!)

So here's how to play. Check out the card and guess as many items as you can. (To receive extra credit be as detailed as possible.) Send your list to me via email ( or through Facebook inbox. (Remember, if you post it as a comment on my blog or on my wall you will be giving away your answers!)

I'll announce the winner New Year's Eve! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part Three

Time for the details! The hand stitching on this piece challenged me but was so much fun and gave me some ideas for the future!

I wanted to make the flowers 3-D but really wasn't sure if I would like the final result. Deciding to do ribbon petals really was a leap of faith because if it hadn't worked the entire piece would've had to be restarted... thankfully, I not only loved the ribbon but intend to use it again in some future nursery pieces!

... Back to the process. I started by hand embroidering the petals and center that were originally attached. This is a pretty typical style for me, one that I rely on all the time!

After that, individual petals were drawn into ribbon and cut out. To keep the edges from fraying the petals were burned with a candle. (Thank you, years of pointe shoe ribbon burning for providing me with experience!) This actually curled the ribbon a little which helps it take a petal-like form. Finally, these were attached to the piece, stitched at the flower center so they have the ability to 'pop' off the center.

Beading and hand stitching finished the dragonflies. By using sheer fabric the wings look more delicate and thin.

The hand stitching took longer that I initially expected, but was very worth it (and I still finished well before the Christmas deadline!).

See more of the techniques:
Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part Two
Sunflower and Dragonflies: Part One

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part Two

In the second (and shortest!) "Sunflowers and Dragonflies" post I'm going to show you the layers that created this piece. Fasten your seat belts, its gonna get wild!

At first this looked very much like a Dr. Seuss fabric project. Between the spinning lines in the back and the funky flowers I felt the need to rhyme while working. The flower petals are only half capacity so that I could go back later with a more 3-Dimensional petal look.

After the background flowers were fused the yellow borders were attached so that the remaining flowers could then be added. Tiny dragonfly bodies were also added at this point. All of these fabrics were fused and not stitched until the handwork was done.

I'll give you a sneak peak of the outlining in the stems, but again, I'm spacing this out because my last post (tomorrow) will be another long one.... hand stitching, petal burning and beading, oh my!

Catch up if you're behind!
Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part One

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part One

I've got a new favorite! I just recently finished a new toddler piece and am so excited to show it!

"Sunflowers and Dragonflies" was commissioned by a friend from college who I haven't talked to in years. She found my shop on Etsy (speaking of, you should totally go check out her work: SunChaser Studio) and wanted a piece for her little girl's room. While sketching it I realized there were lots of opportunities for new techniques in this piece, especially in the details.

Color and Design Plans

I wanted the background to be splotchy with pinks and purples but didn't see any fabrics fitting the image in my head. Years ago I had used Neocollor II crayons on a few works and thought I'd give it a try again.

Materials needed for Neocolor II: Layer board, scrap materials,  fabric, water and brush, Neocolor II crayons.

To do this process crayon is drawn directly on to the actual fabric. For a smooth appearance color with the side of the crayon. If lines appear it is hard to get rid of them later. Once the crayon is complete the fabric is painted with water to blend colors and lighten the crayon. This part of the process really involves soaking the fabric so usually it is done over layers of other fabrics to absorb the water. I like to make a base layer which keeps me from wasting so many bottom layers of fabric. This is done by covering g a piece of foam core with contact paper and then taping an old fabric piece over that. The crayon/water process can be repeated as many times as needed until the desired background is finished. You can also use the crayon directly on the fabric without wetting it (especially good if you want to see your lines.)

Lines drawn onto fabric with pink and purple crayons, then placed on top covered foam core.

Between soakings.... The darker purple areas are still wet from the water. The pink has then been drawn over top of the wet fabric to darken the pink shades.

After the background fabric was finished it was easy to assemble the remaining fabrics and begin piecing the work together. However, because this is only one of several techniques I want to explain about this work, and because this post has already been long enough, I'll save the next step for tomorrow!