Monday, May 24, 2010

Key Largo (Emerald Treasures IV)

Key Largo, The Diving Capital of the World is the largest living coral reef barrier in the United States. It contains more than 55 types of coral and is home to a large variety of marine life. Inspired by the many Emerald Treasures surrounding the island, Key Largo represents a personal challenge to use "old" materials to create something completely different from what they were originally intended. The backdrop is an upcycled damask napkin that was painted with acrylics. The turtle itself was also painted on damask napkins. The shell is painted with both acrylic and gel medium, appliqued with dyed lace and PVC vinyl, needle felted with wool roving and embellished with beads and trinkets. The fins and tail feature painted, heat distressed cellophane and textiva. The sea floor is composed of dyed lace, trims, bullion, doilies and painted, heat distressed tyvek that is soft sculpted to resemble a variety of coral and sea anenomes. A closer look at the floor reveals five glass beaded fish. This piece is hand and machine appliqued, machine quilted with metallic and trilobal polyester thread. Edges are finished with a facing. Key Largo is part IV of Emerald Treasures series with another one on the way. Since the April 20th oil spill, millions of gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, further compromising these deep sea treasures.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welcome to My Garden

I've been exploring various inks on the market, today. I've always used Tsukineko inks but I really had no idea how many different types are available for working on fabric. I think this has alot to do with the huge surge of scrap booking. I bought all kinds of markers and pens ranging from Marvy, Zig Millenium, DecoColor, Y&C Fabric Mate, Pigma to Pentel Gel Rollers for fabrics. All were acid free and of archival quality. All had very unique characteristics, though for writing text, the pigma and gel rollers seemed to work the best. Armed with inks in hand, I began sketching my ideas onto paper. Once my design was complete, I tried inking text as the veins on leaves. Welcome to My Garden was designed to encourage fond memories of time spent in the garden. The leaves on the right bear the words, “welcome” and “garden” in languages including French, German, Italian, Swahili, Spanish, Norwegian and many more. It reaches out to people from all around the world through text and beckons visitors to enter the garden and gather inspirational phrases like they would flowers. Here, many things have been planted and cultivated ranging from flowers, vegetables, teas, herbs to dreams for the future. These seedlings brought to full fruition are captured by phrases found on the leaves of the plant to the left. They include messages about special times experienced with friends and family, secrets whispered, conversations held and intimate moments from long, long ago. It is so tranquil that it seems to invite the recollection of the last time I walked through the garden, hand in hand with my lover or shared a cup of tea with my best friend. As the memories flashed before me, I soon found myself reaching back to my own childhood memories and the sensations I experienced when I first walked through grass and felt the blades between my toes or breathed the scent of a favorite and endearing flower. It is here, where I am reminded of the past. It is here where I have learned to dream. This whole cloth piece was completed on May 5, 2010 and measures 34 X 33. It is inked and painted on a 50/50 silk/cotton fabric. The inks on the silk blend left a beautiful sheen. The hedges in the background are painted with acrylic and overlaid with natural and manmade fibers to add texture. The stamens of the flowers are hand embroidered. This is the first time I have used 50/50 bamboo/cotton batting. I was a little worried about how it would quilt but luckily I had no problem at all. The machine quilting went quite well. This piece came together so quickly. I really enjoyed working on it and best of all, it makes me smile when I see it.