Feels so good to return to the studio if only for  a few hours. Yesterday, I was experimenting with various methods of foiling. What a blast! I had such a great time and learned so much. Thought I would share my findings with you. So, here goes!Essentially, foiling requires a bonding agent to adhere the foil to the fabric. There are four main types of bonding agents: 1)Liquid Adhesives such as Jones Tones Foil Glue, Foil Transfer Adhesive, Modge Podge or Gel Mediums 2) BoNash Bonding Agent 3) Fusibles such as Mistyfuse or Wonder Under and 4) Transfer Tape or Stitch Withchery. Also, foiling can be done with or without heat. The secret to foiling without heat is to let the adhesive get "tacky" to the touch. Foil can then be applied, shiny side up and burnished with a spoon.  The first photo shows a vine that has been foiled with Jones Tones Foil, burnished with a spoon, no heat required. I love this raised 3 dimensional effect. 
Jones Tones may also be used with heat. If applied and allowed to dry thoroughly, the foil can be adhered with an iron. as shown on the right. Here, a plastic snowflake ornament was used to make an impression on a blue foam moldable stamp, The glue was painted along the edges of the design and stamped onto fabric. Once dry, foil was applied with a medium/hot temperature setting and subsequently burnished with a spoon. This creates a more 2 dimensional effect. There is also a thicker paste called Foil Transfer Adhesive put out by Laura Murray which works quite well. When applied and allowed to dry thoroughly, it creates a soft elegant look.
This can be seen in the sample at left with the grapes on a vine. I love this soft, ethereal look. I also tried using the more readily available Modge Podge and Gel Medium. The directions said to allow them to dry but I was never able to get them to work in that manner. Instead, I repeated the experiment by lightly brushing on a coat of adhesive and ironing foil on immediately. This produced a more solid foiled look. The photo below shows Modge Podge. Where you see flowers outlined with Lumiere 3D black paint is where the initial experiment took place of allowing the glue to dry, however very little
 foil transferred. The large flower in the bottom corner was created by stencilling a light coat of Modge Podge and applying foil immediately with heat. This seems to provide a more even coverage. Though, I will say, a little goes a long way! The photo below shows the same experiment with Golden Clear Gloss Gel Medium. Glue was applied and foiled immediately with heat. The results are quite similar. this concludes my results with Liquid Adhesives. I will also mention that the Foil Transfer Adhesive had a quicker drying time of about 30 minutes.  
Each adhesive has it's pros and cons. The second bonding agent, BoNash http://bonashstore.com/ was quick and easy to use. BoNash is a solid "grainy like" particle that may be sprinkled lightly over a stencil. Stencil is then removed and excess particles are cleared away before glue is activated with a hot iron. Once activate, apply foil, shiny side up and cover completely withh a pressing sheet. Iron and let cool before pulling foil away from fabric. This method transfers designs quite well as can be seen in the photo below with the butterfly. The third type of bonding agents  
includes fusibles. Choose your favorite fusible and cut out your shapes, place them on fabric, cover with foil, shiny side up. With a pressing sheet, iron on foil. In my mind, there are two main types of fusibles, Mistyfuse and Wonder Under. Mistyfuse has a looser web whereas Wonder Under is more of a solid sheet of glue consequently, Mistyfuse gives a more amorphous, organic feel whereas Wonder Under provides a more solid even coverage. Both work well for different applications.
Lastly, foil can be applies with Transfer Foil Tape by Jones Tones or Stitch Witchery. This method is great for achieving nice crisp lines on a design. Below is a photo of Stitch Witchery. You can see that there is more solid even coverage in some places and where the tape has stretched, the transfer becomes more weblike in appearance.
As I mentioned earlier, additional media such as 3 dimensional paints, acrylic textile paints, rhinestones or swarovski crystals, and mica or pearlescent powders provide interest to designs. When applying paint, remember to heat set with an iron. Bulky or 3 dimensional elements such as crystals should be added at the end. I would suggest using some form of craft glue or E 6000 to adhere embellishments. Foiling is a wonderful way to create eye pleasing designs but it is not wash fast. Jones Tones Foiling Glue is reported to have the best adhesive properties for washing. That being said, foil is heat sensitive. I recommend hand washing your foiled creations with cold water and woolite or placing them in the gentle cycle with cold water. Do NOT place items in the dryer; foil will melt. Also, NEVER, apply iron to a foiled surface; foil will come off leaving behind an adhesive residue and it will ruin your iron. Always use a pressing sheet with iron on a wool setting.
Some examples for foiling projects include wall hangings, doll clothes and scarves. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed embellishing with foil and I wish you much happiness and success in your creative journey. 
3D Foliage using Misty Fuse
I have had some requests to describe how I make my 3D Foliage using Misty Fuse. The leaves on the left show a wide range of techniques however they all have one thing in common. They all involve the assemblage of materials in layers to make your own cloth. And better yet, most of it is made from scrap materials which in my mind is truly a way of upcycling and "going green." I love this idea! The first thing I do is to gather scrap fabrics and thread snippets from other projects that I have previously sewn. I begin by layering the scraps of fabric with Misty Fuse and thread snippets. I also like to include even smaller pieces of cut up scrap material, yarn, fibers and even a little Angelina fiber for sparkle. The materials are fused together between two sheets of parchment paper or Goddess sheets.
The fibers all adhere to the bottom layer of fabric and become one. The difference between using parchment paper and Goddess sheets is that the parchment paper leaves a matt like background whereas the Goddess sheets impart a shiny appearance. Both are wonderful! The choice of which pressing sheet to use is a personal preference. I personally like to integrate the two together and create both matt and shiny backgrounds as I feel this creates interest. Once the cloth is layered and fused, I lay it down on a piece of timtex or peltex and fuse both together again, with Misty Fuse. The next step is to flip it over and fuse a backing for the underside of the leaf. At this point, you have a piece of peltex that is sandwiched between your assembled cloth and a backing and are now ready to take it to the sewing machine to begin stitching. I free motion stitch the leaves however you can prestencil leaves before stitching. Once the leaf shape is stitched, the veins are set in. Individual leaves are cut out and I use either ink or paint to touch up the edges. This method can be applied to whole cloth and used for a variety of different projects such as wearable art and other projects. Here the ideas are endless.

A Few of My Favorite Things From Attached Inc and Havel's Sewing: Mistyfuse, Transdoodle, Goddess Sheets and Scissors
This piece is a work in progress but I thought I might post a mini tutorial about how I used Transdoodle, Mistyfuse and Goddess Sheets to arrive at this point. These are some of my most favorite products and I thought I would share them with you. They make my life so much easier! I first began with a sketch of unusual cogs and enlarged the main pattern to the desired size. Then came the fun part of choosing fabrics. Here, I chose to pull out all the wild and playful fabrics that had managed to make their way into my stash. I proceeded to iron Mistyfuse, a lightweight fusible to the back of my fabrics using a large Goddess Sheet. Mistyfuse is my absolute favorite fusible as it does not gum up the needles when sewing and does not interfere with the hand of the fabric. The Goddess Sheet is my ultimate choice for pressing sheets. If I get fusible on the pressing sheet, it wipes right off with a kitchen scrubber. Easy to clean, gotta love that!
Once the Mistyfuse was fused to the back of my fabrics, I transferred my design to the right side of the fabric by placing a sheet of Transdoodle, chalk paper on top of the fabric. I then placed my pattern on top of the Transdoodle and with a mechanical pencil (containing no lead), I traced over the design to transfer the chalk image onto my fabric. Basically, just applying pressure allows the image to be transferred. So easy and no need for a light table or fooling around with trying to reverse the image! Once the design was transferred to the fabric, I used my favorite Havel Scissors to cut the design out. This particular pair of scissors happens to be micro serrated and cuts so beautifully. Such a joy to work with! I am hoping that I will get some time to finish this project. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post.

Coasters: A Tutorial for Fast, Inexpensive Gifts
Need a fast and inexpensive gift? I have been working on handmade gifts for my friends and family this week. I am so jazzed about the way they turned out! My barometer for success is feeling like I, myself would like to receive these and I would! Yay, it's a success! For only  $31 plus a few supplies from my studio and a quick trip to Home Depot, I have managed to make presents for almost everyone my list. I purchased a case of 100 4X4 tiles and a 32 oz can of Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane by Minwax. Within 3 days, I was able to make 25 sets of 4 coasters for each person on my list. Each set was made together such that they received the same colors and supplies. I began by first coating the tiles with a thin layer of  Isopropanol aka rubbing alcohol. Now 
. before you head out to purchase a big bottle of alcohol, let me say that for 100 tiles, I used approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup of alcohol. It really does not take much! Next, I added a few drops of ink. Remember the days when we used to mix alcohols with inks to make beautiful works of art? Well, it's the same concept here. I used both acrylic inks by Liquitex as well as Bombay India Inks by Dr. Ph Martin. The alcohol acts as both a carrier for the inks to travel across the tile and a drying agent. I typically used 2-3 colors per tile thus allowing a pleasing blend of colors. You may recall, I said  
it took me 3 days to finish 100 coasters. Well, I didn't mean 3 full days as part of this time was used for drying time along the way. Still, if you wanted to do it in 1 1/2 days, it is totally doable! Meanwhile, once the inks are dry, approximately 2-3 hours, I embellished the tile by stamping designs with gold metallic craft paint that I had in my studio. After the tiles dry (approximately 5-10 minutes), the edges were subsequently painted with a matching color of acrylic craft paint. Allow 20 minutes for edges to dry.
Turning out pretty good! Now, time to add the Minwax clear gloss sealer. Here, I added 2 thick coats to the top and sides of the coaster. It was allowed to cure for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Next, I took a single sheet of acrylic felt that I had previously purchased from JoAnn's and cut it with a rotary cutter into small squares or rectangles to create a total of 400. I did not measure but simply guestimated size. When the tiles were dry, I hot glued felt squares to the bottom of the coaster in each corner. Wa la, done and gorgeous! I also had a go with using maps and photos of my artwork. For these, I used modge podge to adhere the maps and photos to the tiles. When dry, I noticed the edges of the photos had a difficult time adhering, so I used gel medium with a spatula to ensure that the edges were firmly glued in place. Once dry, they were coated with 2 thick coats of sealer and allowed to dry. Felt bottoms were added to protect the table surface.  
 I love that this was a fast, easy, enjoyable and inexpensive project that can be created alone or with friends and family. And best of all, it kept me away from the stores and crowds of people. Who knew a simple white 4X4 tile could be transformed into a work of functional art.
 I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I wish you a most Happy Day!  

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