Monday, November 19, 2012

Hand Drawn Portraits - Just in time for Christmas!

Want something unique and handmade for a perfect Christmas present this year? I made this one of a kind portrait for my husband for a previous Christmas from a photo we both liked but was a little too blurry to blow up. The 'shades' are created by patterning - denser patterns create the darker areas and more open patterns read as a lighter grey from further away. Up close it's a little abstract with the tiny patterns clearly seen where as from far away it reads as a normal portrait.

The entire piece is hand drawn with black ink. As a special I'm offering a few commissions between now and Christmas for $180 for an A4 and $300 for an A3. (Unframed, ex GST postage extra). Paper will be top quality, acid free art paper.

Please email me to order, I will also need a photo with good contrast between areas as a guide.

Email for more information or to order here.

Now.... to work out what on earth I'm going to get for my hubby this year. Any suggestions?

Framing really does make a difference! This was a $50 frame from IKEA.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Organza Butterfly - Using a Soldering iron on Textiles Video Tutorial

Soldering irons (wood burning tools and stencil cutters too!) make a wonderful way to cut synthetic fabrics. They seal the edges at the same time, giving a laser cut edge look, plus you can also use them to secure one layer on top of another by melting them together. Make this amazingly beautiful butterfly in only about 30 minutes and learn some techniques to inspire your next textile art piece.

You Will Need:

1. A template - you can download the Ulyssees  butterfly one I designed below for personal use.

2. A soldering iron, wood burning tool or stencil cutter.

3. A smooth topped glass chopping board (or a pane of glass with tape over the edges to make it safer to handle).

4. Three pieces of black organza slightly bigger than the butterfly template.

5. Textiva (Fantasy film), I ironed 3 sheets of an iridescent blue together for the butterfly pictured. You can buy Textiva online, however you could also used Angelina fibre ironed into sheets or any pretty, sparkly synthetic fabric.

6. A well ventilated area. I also advise you to wear a mask suited for vapours, I use reasonably cheap disposable ones from the hardware store with a vapour filter built in as they are so light.

7. A tool for holding down small pieces (a little screw driver or similar is fine - just make sure the handle end won't heat up.

Watch the video tute I've made below (I filmed it on the spur of the moment so forgive me for the soft focus and making it up as I go along!) for full details, however I've also written the steps below.

• On a heat proof surface place the print out of the butterfly template above. Cover this with your piece of glass so you can see the template through it.

• Iron 3 pieces of black organza a little bigger than the butterfly template so they are nice and flat. Position all three of these on top of each other over the template. You should still be able to see the outline to trace around.

• With your soldering iron draw a line around the edge of the organza, not pressing hard enough to cut. This adheres it softly to the pane of glass, making the rest of your work easier. This step is easiest is the fabric is flat against the glass and you use a metal ruler or similar as a guide, pressing it down on the fabric as you go.

• Carefully trace around the outline of the butterfly with the soldering iron. Go slow enough to cut through all 3 layers of the organza.

• Gently remove the organza from around the outside of the butterfly, leaving the butterfly shape on the glass chopping board if possible.

• Flip the glass plate so that you have a clear area to trace the blue parts from the textile and position a blank piece of the glass over this part of the template. Carefully cut around the Textiva. Don't push out the little pieces yet as it helps to know where they go if you leave them in.

• After you have cut all the blue pieces replace the chopping board so the black organza butterfly sits inside it's outline. Carefully place the first blue piece on top in the correct position and gently draw around the edge of it with the soldering iron to melt it into the black backing layer. I often hold one edge down with a metal tool and 'tap' with the soldering iron until it has bonded enough for me to trace over the edge without it moving.

• Finish attaching the rest of the blue pieces and carefully peel your butterfly from the chopping board.

Admire your handiwork :)

The video:

The first butterfly I made using this process. This one also has score lines drawn into the wings by using the soldering iron very lightly on the black organza to 'draw' in marks.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Places still available: 'All That Glitters' workshop in Altona, Vic, Sat 8th September, and my new quilt!

Hi all,

I've just learned that there are still a few places available for my full-day workshop "All that Glitters" where you will learn how to use Angelina fibre, Textiva (fantasy film), transfer foils, metal flakes and other bits of bling to add to your multi media / textile art and quilts. Book quickly - it's next Saturday the 8th!

We will make the quilt top for my new design "Tweet" picture below and you'll take it home ready to quilt (or frame for non-sewers).

All fabrics (except for the background) are hand made from Angelina fibre with Textiva (fantasy film), metal flakes, sheer fabrics and crystal shard embedded. The 'tweet' caption balloon is silver holographic transfer foil on fusible web.

If you're interested please get in touch with Doris Gloger of Altona's Seabreeze Quilters ASAP:email:    or call: 0430822285

metallic foil satin stitching with transfer foil overlay creates the edging.

Class details:
Saturday September 8,
10am - 4pm
Cost $70 plus kit ($20) or bring your own as per the requirements list.

You'll find out:

• How to get the best effects from Angelina - how to blend, change it's colouring and change it's iridescence levels.
• How to embed fantasy films, metal flakes and sheer fabrics
• How to attach them to a quilt backing pin free without having to apply lots of heat and flatten their colours.
• How to create a foiled border edge for your work.
• Take the completed top home ready to back and quilt or frame.
• The easiest ways to free-motion stitch with metallic threads.

Here's an alternate version of the same quilt with spiral quilting in the background:

I would love to see you there!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Competition - Olfa 45mm Rotary Cutter Giveaway

Hi all,

I've decided to help drive 'likers' to my Facebook page by giving away an Olfa 45mm rotary cutter to someone who 'likes' my Facebook page. I'll randomly choose the person to win on Sunday or after when the page hits 400 'likes'.

All you need to do is click on the link and then click the 'like' button. You may need to be a Facebook member to 'like' the page but all should be able to view it.

I am looking forward to picking the winner!!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My new T-shirt, iPhone case and Print design

After a slow start to the year (my sewing machine is still at the doctors - sob!) I decided to spend some time with my trusty Mac and Photoshop and produce another piece of work for my Redbubble store. The end result is this digitised Aston Martin DB5 from 1964 - I've been assured it's just like James Bond used to drive! 

I started with a pretty average photo I took with my iPhone 4S on Australia day at a vintage car show at the Royal Botanical gardens here in Melbourne. The 4S phone takes a decent photo but the size is never big enough for large format work. I need to either redraw or digitise the pics in a way where they will print high resolution in big sizes. The photo is a half decent one of the car but there are too many reflections and a piece of paper over the steering wheel. Plus I like to get rid of real number plates and the less said about the background the better!!

This was the original photo:
I cut out the car and shadow from the background, erased the number plate and made up my own.

The interior of the car was messy and covered up with the paper so I redrew most of the insides including the steering wheel and the seats and then spent a very long time removing reflections. Those two girls on the side were reflected in about 3 different parts!

A couple of hours later I had this - nicely cleaned up but it's just a photo and lacking some graphic punch. I altered the levels in Photoshop for much greater colour saturation and contrast, applied the 'cutout' filter, rejigged the levels again and reapplied the filter keeping the numberplate as is.