Friday, January 30, 2009

Beautiful ACEO's

Remember my post about this...............

© 2009 Tracy Borders

........well I made it for a Technique Swap in Surface Design & I traded one of mine for each of these fabulous ACEO's below.

This was made by Michelle Bonds. She used UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) on fabric & while the UTEE was still warm, pressed rubber stamps into & then painted it. (I've tried using UTEE many times before & have never really liked it, but I LOVE it used here!!) Thanks Michelle!!

This wonderful ACEO was made by Aynsley McKay (sorry no blog). Her daughter saves her the funky plastic bags you get from stores & Aynsley fused many sheets of these bags together & printed with a rubber stamp on top of them. I think there might be a "how to" on something like this in the last Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine? Aynsley & I have traded many times before & I'm always excited to see what she's going to do next!! Cool colors, Aynsley, thanks for another wonderful trade!!

This precious ACEO & the beautiful envelope it came in was made by Marga Korioth. The envelope is just as wonderful as the ACEO that Marga sent me. She used untreated canvas, paper & watercolors. The colors are just gorgeous, thank you Marga!!!

This wonderful ACEO was made by Mags Roberts. Mags painted papertowels & then machine stitched it & rubbed a little Treasure Gold onto them to highlight some of the surfaces. (Love, love, love the colors!!) Thanks Mags!!!

I have a great admiration for people who can create landscapes from fabric (because I cannot) & what's even more fabulous is that Judy Alexander created beautiful landscapes on such a tiny scale. (Judy gives a full description on her blog on how she made these.) Thanks Judy!!

This soft & fuzzy ACEO was made by Jan Ziebol. Jan created this card using wool, silk & soluble bonding and stitched over that to hold everything in place & then disolved the bonding. Love the colors & the depth of the card. Jan & I have traded many times before & there's never been a disappointment! Thanks so much, Jan!!

LOVE this ACEO that was made by Debbi Baker. (I wonder if she knew that I'm a squiggle gal?) :) Debbi painted & stamped crinkled tissue paper & then machine stitched it. (She gives a better description of the techniques involved on her blog.) Thanks for the really cool ACEO, Debbi!!

The work that came from this trade was absolutely fabulous & it's nice that I've made some new artist friends from it as well. Thanks ladies!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Etsy Treasury... and a ruby slipper too...

Etsy Treasury by kimbuktu

Kym of kimbuktu was kind enough to select my Peacock Colored Journal for her Treasury. Thanks Kym!!

Kym creates beautifully quilted bags, which I can say, I'm now the proud owner of the green one in the background photo shown on her Etsy site. Kym & I arranged a trade, where I sent her a nine-step gradation of some hand dyed bamboo poplin (which I plan to sell in my Etsy shop very soon) & I received one of her beautiful bags. Kym said that she would like to try to make one of her bags from my hand dyed bamboo. (How cool is that?!) :) I'll let you know as soon as she has one featured in her shop!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Woven ACEO's

© 2009 Tracy Borders

ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions & Originals.

These were made for a Technique Swap in Surface Design.

I thought I'd give you a little "how to" on how I made these.......have any old ugly material that you don't know what to do with, but you just can't bring yourself to throw it away? Here is the perfect opportunity to use it.

I used some old Christmas fabric. I cut two panels to work with. One, I sat aside to use as is & the other, I fused (undyed) cheesecloth to it. I then fused Wonder Under to the back sides of both panels (this will come in handy later on.) I then cut both panels into various sized strips & wove them back together. (Here is where the backed Wonder Under comes into play.) As I would weave every 3 or 4 rows, I would hit it with a Teflon pressing sheet & iron. This would keep the woven strips from moving all over & fuse it to the Peltex below.

Since I needed to make 8 ACEO's, I created strips long enough to create 3 ACEO's in each row (& a couple to add to my Etsy store). I could have made each card individually, but since there were many steps ahead, it was just easier to fuse all 4 rows onto the Peltex. Below, is a closeup of the woven strips.

Next, I had to cover up all of that Christmas print. I painted both the back & front of the piece with white latex house paint. Yes, regular old, whatever you can find in the garage, white paint. If you wanted, you could used Gesso or any other undercoating, but why not use house paint? I'm sure we all have some hiding in our garages somewhere. It's cheaper than going out & buying a jar of Gesso & it works just as well.

This house paint, seals the fabric underneath & gives the paint you're about to use on the surface, something to grab on to.

I applied two coats to the back side of the panel & only one to the front, since I wanted to make sure that the latex wouldn't clog & cover up the cheesecloth texture.

Now comes the time for adding color........... I applied many layers of Golden Acrylics's Magenta, Turquoise, Purple & Oxide Green. (You can see three of the colors I used in the photograph below.) I know, at this moment, it looks really nasty, but if you look at the photo below this one, it actually comes out really nice!!

After the many layers of drying paint, I then cut each strip into 3 ACEO's & touched up the edges so you couldn't see the white Peltex.

© 2009 Tracy Borders

All of this & not once did I use my sewing machine!

© 2009 Tracy Borders
Part of this technique I learned in Lynda's & Carol's Textured Surfaces class.

Friday, January 16, 2009

GAM In the Spot Light

Green Apple Martini (aka GAM)
© 2008 Tracy Borders

Remember this piece? She's now featured on Embellishment Village's Inspirational Gallery for using their Angelina Fibers!! I'm so honored to be featured amongst other wonderful artists that have used Angelina.

I actually discovered Angelina Fibers by accident. I was in a quilt store & in a discounted bin, there were bags of assorted colors of Angelina Fibers. It was such a deal, I couldn't pass it up & this gave me the opportunity to try something that I had been curious about for some time. My first experiment with Angelina was Green Apple Martini, pictured above. After that, I was hooked!!! I now use it in many of my pieces. It gives that nice little shiny "pop" to my work. (Wished it photographed just a little better.)

Green Apple Martini is for sale in my Etsy store & I have decided to leave her there for a year & should she not sell, then it's the Gods' way of telling me she should hang in my home :)
(I just LOVE those colors!!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Scarf for Mia

I'm a HUGE fan/collector/owner of some of Michele's work at EyEmbellishments. Michele creates the most wonderful ceramic embellishments for you to use in your own work, but the way she sells them in her little collages, it's hard for me disassemble them & use them in something else. It's like that fat quarter of fabric that you just dyed & love so much that you can't quite cut into it yet & that it needs to sit on a shelf somewhere & be admired for awhile.

They're such wonderful little works of art!!! Warning though, you can't just have one, they're addicting!! I have at least 4 of her collages hanging in my house not to mention the many loose ones that are taped to the pieces of card that they were shipped on.

I also follow Michele's blog, religiously & she has a Sunday section dedicated to her Sock Sibs. She has created each one of these & they're all quite the little characters, all with their own personalities & always seeming to get into trouble. Mia, (below) is a little rock star, she loves going for drives with the top down & her I have something in common, we both love a good martini so I decided she needed some accessorizing & I made her the little hand dyed silk scarf that she's modeling below. I rubber stamped it with martini glasses & shakers & then added green seed beads to represent olives in the glasses.

Mia in Chicago

Mia in Martini Sari

Mia doing the Marilyn Monroe pose

(Told you she was quite the little character.) Michele's sock sibs like to go on adventures, so I had mentioned if a couple of them would like to tag along on my trip to Rome & Croatia, that they are more than welcome. Michele informed me that she was going to create for me, my very own personal sock sibling to take with me on my adventure. (I can hardly wait!!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Painted Bondaweb

I never make a New Year's resolutions because I can never follow through, so my thought is why set yourself up to fail :) Instead, I make plans, have hopes.

My plans, this year are to be more involved in a couple of art groups that I belonged to last year but never really participated in much. I feel that these groups can really help me grow as an artist.

In Dyehard Surfacing, we were to create 4" by 6" pieces using painted bondaweb as a technique. These cards did not have to be finished. It was more about learning the technique & what you could do with it. If you felt that the card needed embellishment, you were welcome to add whatever you felt the card needed.

I really struggled with this swap. For me, bondaweb was a tool that I used to fuse Angelina Fibers or dyed cheesecloth to other fabrics. To use it for anything other than that? This was going to be a challenge.

I started by painting several pieces of bondaweb with Golden Fluid Acrylics (thank you Lynda for introducing me to these wonderful paints) & others with Lumiere paint. After the paint was dry, I bonded Angelina Fibers on top of the painted bondaweb. After everything cooled down from applying ironed heat to bond the Angelina to the bondaweb (key words here..........wait until completely cool before removing Teflon pressing sheet). I didn't, so some of the web stuck to the pressing sheet & I ended up with the torn pieces as seen in the card below. Luckily, I was able to make it work for me.

© 2009 Tracy Borders

I flipped the bondaweb over, so what had the Angelina on top, now would be bonded to the black cotton background. The Interference Oxide Green (yes it comes out orangy brown looking) painted web looked to bold against the black, so I placed another thin layer of Angelina Fibers & a layer of black Misty Fuse over the entire surface. It seemed to help mute the copper color & I think it helped pull the piece together. I still had some of the Oxide Green bondaweb left so I used it in the piece below.

© 2009 Tracy Borders

Problem was, there wasn't enough of it to cover the entire card, so I cut the web into pieces & before bonding it to the black cotton, layered Angelina Fibers under the painted web. After I pulled the Teflon sheet away from the card, it looked horrible. The cut edges were too sharp & again, the bold copper against the black was just too harsh. I was at a complete lost at "what next?" I grabbed a piece of bondaweb that had been painted with black Lumiere paint & bonded it to the top, hoping maybe it would calm down the copper color, having NO idea what would happen. I pulled off the Teflon sheet & wow!! It came together. The negative space created in between the cut bondaweb reminded me of tree trunks & the horizontal black lines & the coppery backgound, that of a sunset. I had created a landscape without any planning.

Normally, the way I approach creating art is by having an idea, drawing sketches & before I actually start working on the piece, I pretty much have an idea of what it's going to look like finished. The piece may change a little through the process, but not by much. I know I should work on this & try to be more flexible & let things just happen. It did with the two cards above & I'm totally thrilled!! I had no idea going in what was going to happen & I really like the finished product.

With the second card, I went back in & thread painted some trees, to give them more definition.

© 2009 Tracy Borders

© 2009 Tracy Borders

Both of these cards, I used Golden Acrylics Interference Oxide Red. I also left them on the backing paper that you find on the bondaweb. I liked how the web pulled away from the paper when it was painted so I thought I would work with that idea & free motion quilt around the lines. It reminded me of tree bark & that rock where you see variations of reddish brown & white throughout. I also added Angelina to these cards to give it a little bit of "shine."
I can say that I learned a lot & it has allowed me to learn that you can use a material for more than one thing, but I think I'm going to go back to using it as a mechanism to bond other materials to each other :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

missing in action...............

...................but I have a good excuse!!

For over 3 years, I've wanted to remodel my studio & finally this Christmas, I got my wish. The carpet in my studio was there from the last owners that had children & no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the stains removed. (Who puts white carpet in a small child's room anyway?)

So now to look for flooring.............. we tend to do the remodeling ourselves in our home & I have to say that Daryl (dh) is quite the carpenter. We try to be as green/recycled/reclaimed as possible when remodeling, cork flooring in the den & library, plans for concrete kitchen counter tops, possible salvaged ceramic tile for the bathroom (a project for next year), etc.
I looked at bamboo flooring in hopes of staying "green". What a let down. I've heard that bamboo is quite hard, when in all actuality, it's quite soft. You can get hard bamboo flooring but to do that you remove the term green since you need to add glues and the formaldehydes that's needed to harden the bamboo. Since I have three-four legged children, I decided with their little claws it would be best to find something harder. There is another kind of bamboo that is naturally harder & it's called twisted bamboo. When you see bamboo flooring, it's either laid side by side or turned up on it's edge & laid together that way. The twisted stuff is actually that. They take the bamboo & twist it tight & then lay it side by side. What I didn't like about the twisted bamboo, is that it looked like regular wood, it lost it's bamboo "look".

So, bamboo was out & should I decide to work with liquid dyes (ever in that room), cork wasn't a good idea either, so we went to the opposite side of the spectrum.......................Daryl & I are kind of wood snobs. Or maybe I should say, have an appreciation for fine wood :) Our front porch (we rebuilt) with beautiful ironwood & we're slowly removing the hollow core interior doors with beautiful solid maple doors. For flooring, we found the most beautiful quilted maple engineered flooring from a local store. We paid for it & waited for it to be delivered to the store so we could pick it up. It arrived late one afternoon to the store & we were told we could call the next day to pick it up. The next day, I couldn't reach a live body by phone & when you drove up to the store, there were signs on the door stating the store was closed (for good) & a phone number was posted, which went to voicemail.

(the wall quilt in the photo, was one of the first quilts I ever made, it's over 20 years old)

For three days, I tried tracking down the flooring that we bought that was sitting in that store. I finally found out, they closed the company & filed for bankrupty. We're still working with our credit card company to get our money back, which I think shouldn't be a problem & since then, we found a local place that had their flooring in the "back room." We bought it that day & took it home with us. We found solid hardwood flooring & saved about $500.00 from what we originally purchased & it's absolutely gorgeous!!

It's Brazilian Teak & these were all of the colors in ONE box. Teak is a very hard wood & we also discovered that UV rays will not fade or darken the color of the wood, so what you see is what you get.

Now to put everything that was in that room back into it, sigh.....................!! Oh how I'd just love to throw it all out & start over. Less is more, right?!
So there's my excuse, my studio has been torn up & what was in that room is now all over my house (what a mess)!!
I have been working on some pieces that I hope to photograph over the weekend & post here next week.