Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blue Glue Take 2

This is a picture from about two months ago. It features the same blue glue technique as described in the October blog entry. I found that I needed to enhance the resist effect on all of the pieces that I tie-dyed for the baby but one. In this case I outlined the trees drawn in the resist with permanent marker (Pigma Micron.) The shirt is wearing well. As I mentioned before, I do not recommend blue glue resist on knit fabrics, as it is so hard to get out. If anyone has a glue removal tip for me, please post it to the comments.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Been gone a long time

Since arriving in South Africa and settling in, we had a lightening storm that destroyed my computer. The lightening came in through the phone line of the modem. My computer is protected by a powersurge protector and all electrical items not connected to the phoneline survived the storm. I plan on updating the blog more frequently, barring other catastrophies. The move, the baby and settling have been tough on my ability to do art but I am resolved to get back into it in 2011.

Hope you have a prosperous New Year!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blue Glue Tie Dye

I'm back after a couple of months break for a move to South Africa. I just got Internet---setting these things up can be rather slow here and so now I am posting an update to a summer project with the kids.

Every summer at our church we have done tie dye with the children. This summer, I decided, rather than the usual tie dye to give my kids a chance to work with an easy, non-toxic resist befor dyeing. I first had my boys use a pencil to draw their ideas on the t-shirt. The photo above is from my 6 year old's design and as you can see it was based on the alphabet. I told him we can not make the lines too thin, so he came up with the idea of drawing 'bubble' letters. I helped him fill in the shapes with the glue but it is really not too hard for kids to do it themselves. I love the urban decay look he got from the brown and purple dye used. The photos below are from my eight year old's design. You can see he went for a two sided design.

If you decide to do a project like this you may need the following tips. No line should be smaller than 1/4 inch. In order to see the lines you will need to really make sure there is a lot of dye around the resist area. It is really hard to get blue glue out of jersey knit. I suggest following the usual means of setting your dye (we left ours in the sun for a day, rinsed with cold water, washed with other dyed clothes and then dried) and then set your resist area in a bowl, cover with very hot (read boiling) water and let sit. The very hot water will soften the glue and you can then scratch it off.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Foil Experiment & Recycled ATCs

A few posts ago I used an Easter Egg kit to put foil on a mermaid's tail. In the spirit of recycling, I decided I wanted to experiment with foil from chocolate wrappers to see if I could get the same effect. I knew I needed a really tacky, sticky glue so I tried Rubber Cement and Craft Bond.

First, I applied the glue to some pretty junk mail I collected.
Then I waited until the surface was partially dry and used a spoon to press the foil onto the paper.
Rubber Cement did not do very well. It was not tacky enough for the foil to stay attached. The Craft Bond was the definite winner of the two. The only problem with it is it did not create the texture I was looking for, see the mermaid paper doll entry for the weathered look I was going for. Instead it applied the foil on pretty evenly with just minor veining. I had to work at scratching it up to get some of the paper underneath to show through.

I completed the experiment by creating a recycled ATC with my foil and junk mail. I was inspired my son's experience in Art Ho's Mosaic Summer Camp. There are still two weeks left of this camp if you are in the DC area and want to check it out. It is very cool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Environmentally Friendly Art

Laura (mentioned in a previous post) and I once had a conversation about environmentalism and art. We feel some guilt about creating new things when there is already so much stuff out there in the world. Do you ever feel like this? At the same time, we feel such a strong pull to create. I do think there is a role for art for art's sake. However, I have been trying to use more of my creative energy for practical purposes. Upcycling, making new things from old things, preferably stuff you would have thrown away, is one way to keep the creative juices flowing while making less of an environmental impact.
Some ideas for creating while lessening your environmental impact:
1. When I lived in Ithaca, NY, I saw a raincoat made from juice pouches. You can learn how to make a similar raincoat.
2. Another sewing project is using old t-shirts to make cloth diapers. Or if you are a knitter, making a soaker (a breathable cover for cloth diapers) might be your thing.
3. Old wool sweaters can be felted and turned into toys, purses, needle cases, tons of things!
4. Artist Trading Cards are often made of recycled components. (Tomorrow see my experiment in this.)
5. Repurpose LED lights and other stuff from old computer equipent. Cool tutorial on how to scavenge from an old CD drive from Make magazine.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Most Recent ATC's

Lately, there have been several pulls on my time; packing for our move to South Africa, baby, the boys, emergency gall bladder surgery. ATCs are so great in that they are tiny and I can feel like I got some 'art' done even though I have so little time. I accomplished the above in little bits of 5 minutes here and there over the course of a few weeks.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wonder: A UFO swap

My friend Laura and I decided to do a UFO experiement and this is the result. Am I talking about aliens? No, I am talking about unfinished objects. Every artist has them somewhere in the back of their closet. In the past I have participated in an art doll UFO and thought it would be a neat idea when Laura showed me her unfinished painting.
When I took this canvas home it was white with the black swirls and had the pink rectangles. Laura had explained that the pink rectangles were seeping into anything that she tried to add and she just didn't know what to do with the painting. I asked if I could give it a try. The pink rectangles reminded me of comic book panels and the black swirls reminded me of, well, bird poop. I thought it would be fun to work with that theme. I have to admit, I did not 'paint' much on this painting. I added most of the details with archival pens.
Laura has a painting of mine too. I will post it when it comes home.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yipee, I won!

I won one of the Green Bag Lady's Earth Day Giveaway bags. Here I am, using it to get some local produce at my favorite farm stand, Heysers. Heyser's is not only a great place to get local produce, plants, dairy and meat products but it is my favorite pace to get Thanksgiving turkey every year. Thanks Green Bag Lady for making my shopping a little greener.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Budding Artists?

My boys have always liked making things and I thought I would showcase a couple of their recent projects that I thought were impressive. The top photo is my oldest son. He was inspired to make a tree house from an article in Family Fun magazine. He did a presentation on this tree house for his boy scout troupe and plans on making the structure even more elaborate so he can enter it into the Montgomery County Fair this summer, assuming we haven't moved yet. The second photo is of my younger son. He was inspired to do this mixed media work after watching The Art of Quilting video with me. The beads on the top portion represent a park and litter, recycling as well as natural objects, such as leaves and stones. The bottom is a close-up of a cut paper slug and leaves of grass.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Tree; Tree of Life ATC

I just love creating art with trees as my focus. They are so figurative. The picture above is ink and colored pencil Tree of Life ATC for a swap on swap-bot. As I was working on the theme, I easily came up with a dozen ideas....my next theme for a series of art quilts? Hmmm.
Per usual I retain all rights to my images on this blog, copyright Penney Hughes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10 Earth Day Giveaways, Coupons & Freebies

* The Green Bag Lady is doing a give away on her blog through Friday, April 23rd, for her handmade grocery bags and is willing to ship internationally to the winner. If you comment, say Wylde Iris sent you.
* Another green bag give away on Bag Snob, but hurry, you must post a comment of the worst ecological thing you have done by the end of Wednesday, April 21st.
* An eco-artist giant giveaway at Modish.
* Drugstore.com is giving up to 40% off of it's green products.
* Safeway also has coupons for some of their green products and a free reusable bag with $40 purchase.
* Reynolds Wrap has a $1.25 off coupon of their recycled aluminum foil.
* Get outside and see the earth up close at one of the National Parks with free admission all this week.
* Enter a chance to win a sun resistant, recycled shirt by 5pm ET, Earth Day.
* Enter the environmental books giveaway from Non-Toxic Kids.
* Free kid friendly compost gardening class on Earth Day at the Silver Spring, MD Whole Foods. While you are there you can check out the green kitchen exhibit.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Goddess & Mermaid Paperdolls

I am getting back into swapping with other artists on Swap-bot. I am participating to two paperdoll swaps using patterns from the beautiful Enchanted Gallery site. The link is for the paperdoll templates but you should really take a look around the site, the artist, Kimberly Crick's artwork is very lovely.
Now a couple of notes about my paperdolls. I pasted a cherry blossom fabric backing to the Spring Goddess paperdoll since the DC area in spring is all about cherry blossoms. Her head Botticelli's Flora from his painting Primavera. The blue sequins symbolize rain drops.
The mermaid's tail has purple and blue foil embellishment; the foil came from a Palmer Bright and Shiny Easter Egg kit. I love that stuff, if I can find some in the after Easter sales I think I will pick up another box. Her look is inspired by a picture of Crest o' the Wave from Loraine and the Little People by Penny Ross. Very Art Deco show girl kind of look, simplified.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mail Art Affirmations

My little one at home has been particularly restful today, so I decided, last minute to enter the Cloth Paper Scissors reader challenge called 'Pass it On: Mail Art Affirmations.' You can go here to view the entry guidelines. Basically you create a multimedia 4x6in postcard with an affirming art-related quote. You mail that postcard to CPS magazine and then they swap it out for you with a postcard from another reader. My quote was inspired my something my minister said on Sunday and then rephrased in my own words. I was also thinking about all of the broken limbs on the trees in my area of the world because of our recent record snowfall. There will need to be some creative pruning if many of these trees are to survive.
My postcard back is watercolor paper that I painted, I then added crumpled tissue paper and lightly couched on many threads, fibers and strips of fabric to make up the tree body. The lettering is done in archival pen and gel pen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quilts from the December / January Quilt Show

The quilts above are the two I finished for the art quilt show. The top one is titled "Sycamore" and the bottom is "Tree of Life."
Sycamores have a bark that does not expand as it grows and so the bark splits open as the tree ages. This was the inspiration for my quilt. The Sycamore quilt is made from layered sheer fabrics in silks, polyesters, cottons and cheesecloth. While it is hard to see in the picture, the side panels are quilted Sycamore leaves. I used a colored pencil to color in the sky in areas where the leafs did not overlap. After layering and apliquing the quilt fabrics, I used a natural sponge to paint layers of textile fabric to simulate lichen. Lastly, I have added a couple of beads as accents.
The second quilt is an exploration of a traditional theme, the tree of life. I painted a commercial stamp with diamond shapes onto cotton I prepared. I then cut out and appliqued the tree onto blue-violet silk. The flowers are sequins and the leaves, hand-painted, cut-out cotton shapes sewn on. I then painted each of the animal shapes with fabric paint and again appliqued them to the silk.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

ATCs on a snow day

It has been snowing like crazy here in the DC area. What can a family do for a week indoors? The boys and I took advantage of Fallon's nap and whipped out some artist trading cards (ATCs.) I used quilts, insects and Asian art as my inspiration. A tip from my boys...acquire an old geology textbook for inspiration. We have completely cut up ours and will be seeking out a new one.

New Baby

Finally, I am putting up a picture of my new baby, Fallon. She was born 9lb 6oz in mid January. I have to blame her for my lack of posts but I plan on making up for it, although my pace may be slow with three children to look after. I did get four art quilts done for the show (see previous post.) I will post those remaining quilts soon.
Welcome Fallon.