Paper and Fiber Arts

Welcome to my mixed media blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Painting on Fabric Using Pigment Powder

Lately, I have been working with fabric. It has provided a great outlet for me to play with my stash by dyeing, painting, quilting, incorporating surface design techniques, and anything else which I can think up. Today, I decided to try using Colourarte's Primary Elements pigment powder to paint on some fabric that I had dyed a few months ago.

Hand dyed denim on left and cotton scarf on right
The original fabrics were white or off-white and now they are beautiful shades of blues and a bit of pink/magenta.  These seemed like great choices to paint upon.

Obviously, blue is a first choice for me when it comes to adding additional color! I used several different colors of Primary Elements but chose to stick with a cool palette. (Maybe even a 'cold' palette, as in sherbert! *See note below.) At the time, I was thinking of a tone on tone effect.  But as I was painting, I realized that more contrast would be more interesting so I grabbed some solid fabric to paint, too.  Those pictures are below the scarf.

Stargazer, Bolivian Blue and Green Pearl Primary Elements on tie-dyed scarf
In order to see how the rich colors of the pigment powder would work with a colorless extender I mixed about a teaspoon of the pigment powder with about a tablespoon of medium.  This is what I used:

It was fun to mix the powders and see the results. Sometimes paint colors change quite a bit when they are dry, so the anticipation of the end product was part of the fun! I decided to add a bit of white Brusho Colourcraft powder to the pigment powder to see if it would change the opacity much.  It may have been that I did not add enough but it wasn't a very noticeable change.

Forest Green Primary Elements is most noticeable on the top left piece
The pink denim fabric was left over from when my 11 year old daughter and I made an apron together several years ago. She wants me to make a book bag from today's painting experiment!  I love how the large stencil from this month's Stencil Girl Club collection made this project even easier!  The colors of the fabrics and the paints remind me of summer days with ice cream and sprinkles.

The lighting is wonky, but this is actually an intense pink color!

*Colourarte is having a "sherbert challenge" and I thought of Raspberry when I pulled out the fabric. The painted colors showed up a lot better on the solid color fabric.  And the picture below is a better representation of the background fabric!

The large piece of blue dyed denim in the top couple of pictures was painted also. But I will share the outcome of that on another day when I have sewn it into something!
I hope you have a wonderful, warm day with a cold treat! Thank you for stopping by today!
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Steel Die Storage Update for Spellbinders, Sizzix, etc.

Wafer Thin Die Storage
As my collection of tools grows, so does my need to find new ways to organize and store them.  Today's post is about using steel dies as artwork for the wall.  No, not really.  It is about the latest evolution of my storage system for dies that are used with die-cutting machines.

The video below explains this and shows examples of how I've stored dies in the past. I wrote about this in 2011 here and here. The first link has a video explaining my initial storage method at the time and the second one has some photos of the systems I used.

Here is a link to the magnetic sheeting that I hung on the wall which is shown in today's video:


Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Stencil Storage Ideas

My stencil collection has been growing and it was time to find a new storage system to keep up with it!

Here is a video that shows you the evolution of my storage system for stencils of all different sizes.

Several months ago, I bought self-adhesive hooks on ebay. Unfortunately, I can not locate the seller at this time. Here is a link to the same type of lightweight hooks that I bought to hang the stencils:

Here is a link to the 4-pocket page protectors that hold 6" stencils mentioned in the video:

And this link is for the single pocket pages. I stored 12 x 12 and 9 x 12 stencils back to back with a piece of cardstock in-between the stencils.

I'd love to hear how you store your stencils.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Creative Roundup - Lots of Photographs

For lack of a better post title, the following is some of what I have been doing the last few months.
Dyeing scarves
Chenilled a puppy quilt from hand dyed flannel
 The puppy quilt was for the little fellow pictured below.  We got him from a rescue and he turned out to be sick.  I spent several weeks tending to him and cleaning up the evidence of his tummy troubles.  I am happy to report that he is doing great, now. 
New Puppy

 It has been a long time since I dyed fabric, maybe more than a decade! The process is really fun.  It was nice to ease back into it with some scarves and a little bit of cotton yardage. Because of the dyeing success, I decided that I would like to try painting on fabric. This shirt was very plain and off-white is not a very flattering color for me. Jacquard paints to the rescue!
Fabric painting with Stencil Girl stencils
Front of shirt was done with a tiny stencil from the March Stencil Girl Club set that I moved around a lot to make it into a flower-like shape. The back was from another stencil from March's Club set.
Back of shirt painted with Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow

There isn't a lot of continuity in my workflow, but here is some more evidence of how I spent my time since the start of the year.

Art quilt bed topper for my mother's 80th birthday

 The bed topper pictured here was a work based upon what I thought were important moments or objects that formed part of my mother's life. Like so many things in life, it isn't the entire story, but hopefully part of a good story.
Freehand cut orchid applique for the quilt

3 dimensional aspects to the quilt include this little pillow
Photos printed on fabric make up part of the background
My helper needed to pre-fur it 

 For the most part, I feel the time was well spent.  It is nice to be able to spend time following creative pursuits.

And playing with animals.
Happy Puppy
House cat playing with daughter
Thank you for visiting!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

What I Do While Creating Art -

My number one thing I love to do while quilting or papercrafting or doing mixed-media work is listen to audio books.
If you are interested in subscribing to Audible, here is a link to get you started:

 Otherwise, I check out audiobooks on cds or through digital downloads with my local public library. I have used Overdrive and One Click with equal ease. I love that my family can listen to them together. We always get books for long car trips. Rick Riordan, Jonathan Stroud and Cornelia Funke are some of our favorite authors.  Let me know if you have any favorite family-friendly titles to share.

I hope to be back posting some art soon.

Monday, November 30, 2015

CyberWeek Sale at CTMH!

For five days only, a selection of items from Close To My Heart’s current product inventory can be yours for 25% off retail price! Get supplies you’ll need to make handcrafted gifts and cards for the holidays, including our Cricut® Artfully Sent Collection, at an amazing discount! Shop here for the great deals.

The sale is only available Monday, November 30, 2015 (9:00 am MST) through Friday, December 4, 2015 (4:00 pm MST).

There are thirty-nine products included in this sale, which come from our current idea books. Their item numbers are listed below. Additionally, all items will be shown in a special shopping menu entitled “Cyberweek Sale!” on my Online Business Address located here
Z3111 Base & Bling Snowflake Charm—Faux Gold 
Z3112 Base & Bling Jingle Bell—Faux Gold 
Z3135 Base & Bling Snowflake Charm—Faux Silver 
Z3136 Base & Bling Jingle Bell—Faux Silver 
Z3138 Base & Bling Red Bead Charm—Faux Gold 
Z3139 Base & Bling Red Bead Charm—Faux Silver
Z3180 Picture My Life™ Going Places Scrapbooking Program 
Z3147 Cut Above™ Dapper Giraffe Card Kit 
Z2028 Designer Creations Short Stack Album 
Z2036 Designer Creations Slate Paper Bags 
Z2037 Designer Creations Lagoon Paper Bags 
Z2038 Designer Creations Ruby Paper Bags 
Z2039 Designer Creations Honey Paper Bags 
Z2049 Designer Creations Cupcake Box 
Z2050 Designer Creations Takeout Box 
Z2053 Designer Creations Buttoned Bag 
Z1838 5" x 7" Hinged Display Tray 
Z1750 Designed Décor Display Tray 
Z2006 Designed Décor Red Magnetic Chalkboard 
Z2015 Designed Décor Black Shadow Box 
Z2016 Designed Décor Colonial White Shadow Box 
Z1833 My Creations™ Kraft Container 
Z1871 My Creations™ Kraft 3-Ring Album 
Z1953 My Creations™ Journaling Cards Box 
Z1956 My Creations™ Hip Pics Album 
Z3043 My Creations™ Black Mini Book 
Z3044 My Creations™ Kraft Mini Book 
Z3069 My Creations™ Mini Mix Album 
Z3137 My Creations™ Pint-Sized Container 
Z3168 Cricut® Artfully Sent Collection 
Z1476 4 ¼" x 5 ½" White Daisy Envelopes 
Z1477 5" x 7" White Daisy Envelopes 
Z1478 6" x 6" White Daisy Envelopes 
Z1756 3" x 3" Colonial White Envelopes 
Z1757 4 ¼" x 5 ½" Colonial White Envelopes 
Z1758 5" x 7" Colonial White Envelopes 
Z1759 6" x 6" Colonial White Envelopes 
Z1851 Scallop Border Punch 
Z1997 Triangle Border Punch

I hope you are able to take advantage of this sale. This link will take you to the website: Cyberweek at CTMH.

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Halloween Countdown Magnetic Board - Dyspeptic Acres

Tin pail with magnetic spiders
Magnetic Board Decorated for Halloween Count-up

Spiders on Magnetic Board
On Wall
While I was working on the Countdown to Halloween Activity jar posted here and here, I started thinking about a simpler countdown project.  This is the brainchild I created.

This is one of my favorite home decor items that I have made.  It was easy, and a tiny bit time consuming, but loads of fun. My husband said it really should be called a Halloween Countup rather than a countdown because the spiders are added instead of taken away. Each day a new spider is placed onto the board in numerical order. Here is a video explaining it a little bit further:

However you use it, I hope you have a good time with this project.

"Dyspeptic Acres" Magnet Board for Halloween Countdown

Artiste Cricut Cartridge
Materials and Cricut Cuts:
Red Magnetic Chalkboard
Artbooking Cricut Cartridge

Artistry Cricut Collection

Black Cardstock
Slate Cardstock
Whisper Cardstock
White Daisy Pigment Ink
Embossing Powder
Artiste page 76  Web is Accent 4 - Slate fit to page = 10 3/4
Artiste page 76 Cat is Card Shift - Black 2"
Artiste page 77 Spiders are Accent 4 Shift - Black 1 1/2" (Autofill cuts 42 pieces)
Artiste letters are Caps cut at 2 1/4" 

Artistry page 43 Bats are Shift key - Black 1" cut qty 3
Artistry page 43 Bat border is Background Shift - Black fit to page = 1"

Artbooking page 54 Owl is Border Shift - Slate fit to page = 35 1/2"
Artbooking page 54 Spiders are Overlay Shift keys - Black 6" and 7" 
Artbooking page 55 "Halloween"  is Title Shift - Black fit to page = 12 1/2"
Artbooking page 55 Rat is Overlay Shift - Black 
Artbooking page 71 Big Bat on wall is Icon Shift - Black fit to page = 38 1/2"
Artbooking page 71 Haunted House is Border Shift - Whisper fit to page = 15 1/4"

Little Monsters Stamp Set  C1630 and Etched Alphabet Set A1182 (available after September 1, 2015) stamped with archival black ink. Monsters colored/shaded with watercolor pencils. Alphabet was used to make sign for haunted house on scrap paper.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Countdown to Halloween with CTMH's Cricut Artistry - Part 2

*** This is the second of a two-part post.  The list of 50 Halloween activites is in the previous post  here. ***

It is really rewarding to make something that your kids enjoy.  My 10 year old thinks it will be fun to select one of the die-cut activity - suggestions I made with the Artistry Cricut cartridge as a countdown to Halloween. She is still at an age that it is ok to think that something is cute and fun, even if her mom had something to do with it.  

If your family isn't into doing the types of activities that were posted on the post immediately preceding this one, maybe they would enjoy having you make the die cuts into little note cards to tuck into their lunch box or place on their pillow.  You could write funny or scary Halloween jokes or quotes.  Or maybe lines from a poem; after a few days, there might be enough lines combined to recite the entire poem.  Or that same idea could be used for a Halloween song, Thriller maybe? Or you could write affirmations. Or inspiring or loving thoughts.  Or make a Halloween Tree and use them as ornaments and skip the word-part altogether.  However you use the Artistry cartridge, I know you will enjoy your creations!

Here is a video that shows a little more detail about the cuts.

The cardstock colors and cuts are as follows:
Artistry Page 43 -  Hlloween key for activity/ornament shapes
  • White Daisy ghosts -  @ 3 1/2", 9 will fit on a 12 x 12 page using the autofill function
  • Black bats - Shift @ 1" nets a bat with a wingspan just over 3 1/4"
  • White Daisy ghost costumes for monsters - Icon 1 Shift @ 3 1/2", 6 will fit on 12 x 12 page, @ 3 1/4" 9 cuts fit on page with autofill
  • Hydrangea and Citrus Leaf monsters (under ghost costumes) - Icon 1 @ 3 1/2" and @ 3 1/4" to layer under ghost costume cuts
  • Canary or Buttercup pumpkin (bottom layer) of jack-o-lantern - Icon 2 @ 3 1/4", 9 will fit on a 12 x 12 page
  • Orange jack-o-lantern face - Icon 2 Shift @ 3 1/4"
  • Whisper and White Daisy circles - Shape @ 3 1/2", autofill = 9 cuts on 12 x 12 paper
  • Eggplant EEK! - Shape Shift @ 3 1/2"
  • Eggplant Bats in circle - Layer @ 3 1/2"
  • White Daisy circle that looks sort of like the Underground symbol - Layer Shift @ 3 1/2"
  • Eggplant banner bottom layer - Banner @ 3 1/2"
  • White Daisy banner top layer - Banner Shift @ 3 1/2"
CTMH Cricut Artistry Jack O Lantern
Artistry Page 43 - Hlloween key for decorative accents
  • Black bat border used to go around large vase holding "Halloween Tree" - Background Shift @ 1" which is the same as if using Fit to Page function
Artistry Page 44 - Fall  key for activity/ornament shapes
  • Creme brulee pumpkin with stem - Icon 2 @ 3 1/2", 6 cuts using autofill
  • Sunset top layer of pumpkin - Icon 2 Shift @ 3 1/2"
Artbooking Page 54 - U key for activity/ornament shapes
  • Black spiders - Overlay Shift @ 2" and 3"
Artbooking Page 55 - I key for decorative accents
  • Black rat by vase and pumpkin on left - Overlay Shift @ Fit To Page
  • Orange Trick or Treat hanging on wall - Title @ 17 1/4" which is what appears on screen when using Fit To Page
Artbooking Page 70  - C key for decorative accents
  • Black bird perched on Halloween Tree - Icon @ 50 1/2" which is what appears on screen when using Fit To Page
  • Black spider hanging over Trick or Treat sign - Border Shift @ 39" which is what appears on screen when using Fit To Page
Artiste Page 77 - Hallween key for decorative accents
  • Black spiders on top of pumpkin jar lid - Accent 4 Shift @ 1 1/2"

I hope that you enjoy this project and make lots of fun memories doing some of the activities.
Thank you so much for visiting!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Countdown to Halloween With CTMH's-Cricut Artistry and 50 Fun Family Activities!

*** This is the first of a two-part post.  The video and Artistry measurements will be in the next post. ***
CTMH Artistry Halloween "Ornaments"

It may seem a little strange to post this in August but there is a method to my madness. Really. It isn't just madness! First up, any holiday that by its very existence encourages chocolate consumption in copious amounts is going to rank as one of the top Best Days of the Year. As a Type A Personality, I am required to plan ahead and I don't want to give short shrift to anything that may have something to do with eating yummy things... so it is either a genetic flaw or an unfounded fear of missing out on Hershey's Harvest Miniatures that must have prompted this early Halloween project.  Regardless, I can not help myself. Plus, I want to give you the entire month of September to get your Halloween mojo on. :-)

Halloween marketing has extended the Autumnal Eating Season by several extra weeks because every store has themed candy by mid-September.  Actually, Costco usually has Halloween candy in August but I am trying to avoid the center section of the store until at least the first week of September so I don't know if it is in, yet.  

And since, apparently, this post has become all about me and not so much about Halloween, there is yet another reason for this seemingly early-in-the-season post.  That bit has to do with my forgetfulness, which is getting worse as I age. It occurred to me that if I link recipes to my list of activities posted below, it will be easier for me to find them later! If I remember to look here.

Pumpkin Scones with Crystalized Ginger and Candied Pineapple

Yesterday, I made three practice batches of pumpkin scones with different add-ins. This was a taste-test kind of activity so that I can be prepared to make the 'real ones' in October, based upon which were the best received by my taste-testing-panel.  As I make things or find good references to the items below, I will link them. Check back for updated links.

Rat cut from CTMH's Artbooking Cricut Collection

Here is my list of 50 Activities to help pass the time as we "Countdown To Halloween"
Trick Or Treat Activity Center Vignette

  1. Make a popcorn “hand” in a glove with candycorn fingers
  2. Bob for apples
  3. Carve a pumpkin
  4. Make a paperbag monster
  5. Make a Halloween card
  6. Make a paper plate mask
  7. Make and eat apple, marshmallow, peanut butter mouths
  8. Make ghosts from tissues
  9. Make breadstick or cookie “fingers” with almonds for nails
  10. Make a tag for a small gift – such as a caramel apple
  11. Make caramel apples
  12. Make leaf prints
  13. Bind prints into a stick and rubberband book
  14. Make frozen banana “ghosts”
  15. Make peeled clementines into miniature pumpkins
  16. Make pipecleaner spiders
  17. Make pumpkin scones - King Arthur recipe here
  18. Make Babybel cheese monsters - lots of images here
  19. Do temporary tattoos (Martha Stewart has some here) or face painting
  20. Do the “Monster Mash” - YouTube to the rescue! 
  21. Read a spooky story
  22. Tell ghost stories
  23. Decorate sugar cookies - favorite chocolate sugar cookie recipe here
  24. Design a Halloween Coat of Arms
  25. Watch a Halloween movie or show
  26. Visit a graveyard – the older, the better
  27. Collect pinecones
  28. Rake leaves and jump in the pile
  29. Have black spaghetti for supper
  30. Read The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  31. Make Pumpkin donut holes or mini donuts - recipe here
  32. Make Halloween party favor candy bags
  33. Make a Halloween Garland or Banner
  34. Make cat and rat (or mouse) black cardstock silhouettes for placing at baseboards
  35. Make a spooky gingerbread house
  36. Make tootsie pop ghosts or pumpkins
  37. Make dough monsters
  38. Die cut or cut out bats from different papers for a “specimen” board
  39. Make bats for window decorations
  40. Make puff paint spiders for windows or walls
  41. Make milk jug luminarias
  42. Make a spiderweb watercolor resist
  43. Make a spiderweb with a marble in a pie tin and white paint on black paper
  44. Make mummy cupcakes
  45. Make mini donut spiders
  46. Make rice krispie treat monsters
  47. Make paper ghost favor bags
  48. Make shrunken heads from apples
  49. Take a neighborhood stroll to see decorations
  50. Practice evil cackles and find household items for spooky sound effects
Activity Jar For Halloween

After brainstorming ideas and doing some Google searches I typed up the list of activities. Then I printed the ideas onto regular paper, cut out each item and glued each one to a fun diecut shape from the Artistry Collection. The cute shapes were easy to assemble and fit perfectly in the cute pumpkin jar I bought last year.
Halloween Tree

The plan is that my daughter will choose either an activity (Trick?) or a candy Treat each of the first 30 days of October. If she chooses an activity, then we will take the diecut (which sort of looks like an ornament) and hang it on our old Thanksgiving Tree. Which, I guess, is now a Halloween Tree. Kind of a two-for-one decorating scheme. If you'd like more information about it, the Thanksgiving Tree post from several years ago is here.

In the next post (Part 2) I will give all of the cuts and sizes along with a quick video showing the assembled cuts.

Glass pumpkin candy dish can be found on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Watercolor Pencils and Stamping Techniques

Hello!  I found a technique video that I recorded a year ago and never uploaded, so here it finally is! It shows seven different ways to use watercolor pencils with stamping.

  1. Coloring directly onto the Archival Ink stamped image
  2. Colored then blended with CTMH blender pen 3174
  3. Colored then activated with waterbrush
  4. Color lifted from the watercolor pencil tip and applied to cardstock with brush or blender
  5. Stamped image heat embossed with Versamark ink and embossing powder, then colored
  6. Stamped image using Stazon ink
  7. Watercolor palette made by coloring swatches and then picking up the color with brush or blender

Here are some photos with examples of the various techniques.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for stopping by today!