Posts Tagged ‘stitching’

ask for help

Another Daily Art practice piece with a vintage photo as a focal point. The reason I went to a photo again is because I am (again) rearranging and sorting materials and tools in my studio. In my Daily practice I’ve gotten to the point where I simply reach in and pull out something to use.

When I was sorting through shelves of old journals and books I could alter, I ran across some Canson Manga kits. I don’t know if they are still available. They are a beginner set for artists trying the comic book style. There are paper stencils to prepare layouts and one stencil is a “thought bubble” or narrative block. I liked them back in the day to create easy quick grids. They were buried in the journal shelves and I was glad to run across them. This week’s art seems to be a “Hey friend, so glad to see you!” week.

The photo is an odd size and in the portrait orientation. I put it up in the left hand corner and liked the way it went 3/4’s onto the page. But the bottom right was just filler and there wasn’t a lot of room to do any text, which isn’t necessary but the picture warranted something. So I cut the bottom right off and decided to grid it out. Gridding it seemed to help the story. Frame 1, guy on ledge watching Frame 2, guy trying to climb to ledge. Frame 3, rest the eye, Frame 4, narration. I had a piece of brittle aged brown drawing paper laying on top of the work island so I used the Canson stencil to cut out the window frame. The frame breaks up a bunch of non-narrative space and helps the viewer grasp the story. At least I hope so.

In recovery we learn to ask for help, and also learn to be willing to receive it, the way it comes. The guy that’s climbing isn’t asking for help and the guy on the ledge isn’t offering any. Maybe in the next second something happened, but right now I’m looking at what IS preserved and it seemed a good time to remind myself to Ask for Help. I don’t need help right now, but one day when I’m looking back on my Daily practice papers I might and this will remind me.

The wash is walnut ink, the rubber stamp text is StazOn Saddle Brown. The handwriting is Sepia Pitt Pen. As I did yesterday, I doodled a bit outside the photo to extend lines. I added some flowers because they got cut off by the frame.

In the second frame running down the center you might be able to see a stitch line. A few years ago I got froggy and took a bunch of old photos out and stitched them together on the sewing machine. I used them to make fabric/paper hanging collages and some were left over when I got bored doing that. Old photos can be very fragile. They were often glued to scrapbooks and then get taken out and the force of removing them weakens the paper. As I was gelling this photo to the foundation paper, the bottom tore off. No big deal, just wanted to mention that they can get very delicate.

Talk to you tomorrow, I reckon.


It’s a bit hard to tell in this photo what we’re looking at. The foundation is a piece of scrapbook paper designed by Tim Holtz. On top of that is a quilted collage that is stitched together, made entirely of paper items, which in turn has been stitched down to the foundation. The top layer is one of my stitched collages made from both fabric and paper that did not suit me after it was done, so I cut it up into heart shapes to use on future stitched collages. The “waste” as it might be called, was then stitched overtop the two previous pieces. This is one of those items that loses a little in photographic translation…it is easier to see what you are looking at IRL and to discern what it is.

A stitched paper and fabric collage using a botanical print and drawings on paper with lace, a handmade heart, map and chintz fabric. The drawings are of Napoleon’s entourage, by an unknown artist whose work I picked up at an estate sale. My sewing skills are improving as I make these simple collages almost every day. I enjoy occasionally putting a lot into a collage and then being dissatisfied with it enough to deconstruct it and cut it up into as many heart shapes as I can get out of the project. The hearts are usually way more interesting than the original project. Don’t forget your “failures” can turn into great opportunities if you refuse to let things get precious and are willing to either take them apart or really alter them significantly.

A printed napkin is the foundation for this stitched collage featuring a vintage postcard image, lace, handmade stitched heart and vintage handwriting on old lined paper. There is some eyelet edging and tulle thrown in for good measure. The cat is wearing eyeglasses which cracks me up because my cat is cross eyed and needs them. She could also use that good looking hat and not the junk mail paper hat that Bob insists she wear each day when she helps him sort the mail. Perhaps this verges on “too much information”.

A print of my original portrait of a model named Jennifer at one of ARTpool Gallery’s soirees is featured in this stitched collage. Vintage linen, pom pom fringe, lace and a handmade heart stitched to a linen background. The print was toned with pink watercolor crayon. I’ve been doing a lot of stitched pieces lately and four of them are hanging in the gallery for $45 now. P.S. There are new photo galleries at!

Mixed media stitched collage featuring an original photograph, vintage dish towel, handmade collage stitched heart, embroidered fabric and some kind of weird vintage trim that is pleated vinyl. Along the left side is some commercial fabric and wool embroidery yarn. AFter stitching the whole thing was dunked into leftover morning coffee. I call this mannaquin “little girl lost” because that is what I always think when I see her and I’ve used her several times already in various pieces. I found her at the fabulous ARTpool Gallery, where Moi is having a show in September 2012 as the featured artist. Just found out that news on Friday.

The second piece in the series of stitched mixed media textiles. This one uses a scrapbook paper altered with spray ink and a gold seal with a birdcage stamped on it. Embellishments include an old handwritten sermon fragment, wedding dress applique, lace panel and linen, the foundation being a plaid napkin. The series of four are now hanging at the fabulous ARTpool Gallery in St. Pete, on repurposed wooden hangers.

Last summer we had epic rain which resulted in the spawn of mosquito larvae on our flat roof which was holding puddles of water. About this time, dragonflies reached all time highs in populations and record breaking sizes and colors. I even saw a rare for this area bright red dragonfly; most of them here are an iridescent greenish-blue or brown. It was not unusual to see dragonflies last summer the size of birds, and in packs of 50+ swarming the backyard. If I had an ounce less of dragonfly love it would have been positively creepy and The Mist-y. I commemorated one dragonfly filled day with this journal page. I have a ginormous dragonfly stamp and did a lot of coloring with marker over top of already pretty scrapbooking paper. Patterns and lines were made using a white gel pen and I found a cute tree frog in a magazine to paste onto a wing looking like he was getting a free ride. Whee! I sewed around the edge of the page when it was finished with a blanket stitch. I love this page because it reminds me of a real day in the backyard enjoying nature and because of all the summer colors in it.

One day I painted some muslin with Micaceous Iron Oxide by Golden and gathered a print and some other handpainted cloth and began to sew the pieces together randomly by machine. I simply went where the machine needle was pointing and sewed for about 20-30 minutes, I would say. Then I took scissors and began to (again) randomly cut away at the layers of fabric I had sewn together. What began to emerge was one pretty obvious funky bird, and a few others if you are able to rotate the circle around and stare for a minute or so. After the first cutting session, I added more machine sewing and cut again. Ultimately, I sewed whatever needed it and then appliqued the silver cut circle to the top of the piece and called it finished. I could also title this Bird Mandala.