Saturday, February 11, 2017

Word Stamps

I feel the need to get better at making word stamps and the only way that will happen is if I practice!  So here goes:

Not as smooth as I wanted but not bad.
I decided to grab a scrap of MooCarve and see if it were easier to get smoother lines.
Still rough in my eyes.  

Maybe if I work larger until I get better???

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Repeating Rabbits

While working on repeat patterns I designed this little bunny and his yummy carrot.

I couldn't decide what to leave and what to cut away at first.

Once I stamped them, I knew I had made a few mistakes.  

I did my best to correct them. and I think they are pretty cute!

Perhaps another bunny from foam as a background?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Baby Tulips.

Still working through my tulip obsession, 
this time with a set of baby tulips from a piece of "garbage" Eco Karve.

They make a cute addition to my planner.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Playful Fabric Printing Blog Hop & Giveaway

A number of years back I had the opportunity to take a class from Melanie Testa. I had read all of her books, watched her on Quilting Arts TV, and followed her work online.  One of my friends accuses me of being a Fan Girl.  I can't deny it, it's true.  I am a huge fan of Melly's work!  I have learned so much about surface design from her over the years. I feel fortunate that our art has brought us together as friends as well.

In 2013 I had the opportunity to take Carol Soderlund's Dyeing to Discharge class, and I soon became a big fan of Carol's too.  Carol's class was so well organized, and full of great information for dyeing and discharging.  By the time the week was finished I was exhausted, but filled with new knowledge and fresh ideas for my surface design work.

I was thrilled when I heard Melly and Carol would be working together to publish a book on printing fabric.  They are the perfect artists to create this book. I have anxiously awaited it's arrival and I have not been disappointed.

The book has arrived at just the right time for my own exploration of surface design.  I actually feel as if they wrote the book just for me.  Hopefully everyone else will feel the same way!

I have been creating a lot of stamps and working to create continuous patterns. Melly and Carol show a great way to create continuous patterns.  One I hadn't thought of before. I am a bit obsessed with flowers and leaves. Recently I am loving tulips. I followed the instructions outlined in the book to create some tulip fabrics by carving rubber stamps as well as cutting some foam stamps to use with the thickened dye recipes included in the book. 

I do a lot of low immersion fabric dyeing but I rarely use thickened dyes to stamp on to fabric.  I usually use paints for that part of my surface design and so I was excited to learn how to create  fabulous dye paste with exact recipes.

One of the things I quickly learned, however, was that because I live in such a dry area, I probably should have bought print paste instead of using just sodium alginate!  I was running short on time and wasn't able to order anything before the blog hop.  The print paste you can purchase from Pro Chem or create with their recipe has urea in it which gives a longer open time to the dye. Fortunately I still managed to get some great prints.

A three color print created with foam stamps.

I am really happy with these prints!
I'm not usually a fan of white backgrounds.  
My first reaction is usually, "OH I can overdye that!"  
I think these pieces will stay as they are.

Before the fabric was rinsed, washed and dried.
I like the softness of the finished colors in this monochromatic print.

Final fabric after rinsing, washing and drying.
I haven't quite perfected the continuous pattern for my large stamp (the bottom fabric with green) and so I'm not ready to show off the whole piece yet.  I might have to carve another stamp or take a few things off.  I haven't decided yet. In the meantime, I hope my post is getting you excited to create your own fabrics!

I've included a tulip you can use in creating your own fabrics.  Just copy and paste or download the image and get started once you read Carol and Melly's book!  Oh, what is that you say?  You don't have their book yet?  Well I know of ELEVEN ways you can get your hands on one!  The first way would be to leave a comment here on my blog as to what your "go-to" motif or image is.  As I said, mine are flowers and leaves.  The next nine ways to get your hands on a copy of the book is to follow the blog hop and leave a comment on each of the other blog posts before February 7th.  AND if you can't wait that long to see if you are a winner, the eleventh way to get your hands on the book is to hop over to Crafting a Life's webpage and purchase a book of your own.

Here is the list of the other fantastic artists who will be sharing their impressions of the book.
Click on their name to be taken to their blog.

Also, if you are on Facebook, join the Playful Fabric Printing Facebook Page and share photos of the fabrics you create.  Tag me in any photos where you use my motif as I would love to see what you have created!

Congratulations to Holly McLean winner of her very own copy of 
The Playful Fabric Printing!

Saturday, January 21, 2017


I rarely make or receive real phone calls anymore, but the other day I found myself on the phone with a pencil in hand.  Of course, that meant I started to doodle.  My usual doodles are cartoon faces, or stars, but for some reason I was feeling very tulip-y.

I decided to play with the design a bit more and create a stamp.

I'm going to play with this image more!

I think I might be getting a bit of spring fever.