Friday, July 22, 2011

It's All About The Chain, Gang!

Yes, I admit it.  I am Diana and I'm addicted to Chain Maille.   Those little rings just set my heart racing! 
It really is fun to do and very soothing - almost rhythmic - once you get the hang of it. 

This work is progress is Noah's sterling silver bracelet -
long finished, as it was his graduation present from law school. 
Worked in Byzantine pattern, it was one of the first pieces I did and I am happy with how it turned out.  
He still wears it and it has stayed intact! Yay!  Not all my first creations of things have.  ;)

Yesterday I hit up Michael's and bought some rings in black, copper, pewter rings and bigger silver rings. 
 Can't wait to get back to the jewelry table next week!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Green Book... as in Olive... as in Oil

When challenged with a 'No Paper' artist book call, I started looking around the house to see what was to be had. 
Thankfully, the timeline coincided with the last drop of olive oil from the giant tin in the pantry!
Lots of pictures for this one! Enjoy!

I just had to cut the covers from the part that included the bee! 
It coordinated perfectly with the leather binding,straps and cover protectors.

The longstitch binding worked great for sewing the signatures but pulling the needle and waxed thread through the metal covers needed some extra help from the pliers!
All twenty pages were from fabric scraps - the numbers on this page are from a selvedge strip.
Note that the tin edges are tapped to the inside about a sixteenth of an inch so the metal edge isn't sharp.
That is why the corners and the inside stitching are protected as well.

The pages are pinked, stitched to the buckram base on only three sides,
so the new owner can fill up these pockets herself.
I hear it's going to be full of recipes!

Closed, packed, mailed and, I hear from my art friend, residing in a new place of honor in her kitchen.
Bon App├ętit!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

carving little stamps

I've had a few people ask me about my little stamps.  They are so easy to carve and quite inexpensive; a great way to add a little bitty drawing to your work or stamp your own fabric. 
The fish was carved on a rectangular white eraser, while the others were carved on pieces of white Speedball carving medium. 

I draw on regular paper with a mechanical pencil as I find those transfer well.   Simply lay the drawing on the eraser pencil side down and rub with a spoon or bone folder to transfer the pencil marks to the eraser. Sometimes I draw on the eraser itself - remember that your stamped image will always be reversed. Good to remember for lettering of any kind.  ;)
Using a carving tool or an X-acto knife and taking care to carve only the eraser (not your fingers), carefully remove the lines or remove around the lines depending on which style of stamp you would like.  You don't have to cut very deeply to get a good stamp - these are approx. 1/16th inch.
I removed the background on the angel and fish.  The lines were carved out on the sugar skulls. I always brush them off with a soft brush to remove the eraser dust and small bits.
Now they are ready to use with a stamp pad or you can roll on acrylic paint or printer's ink with a brayer. 
I also like to brayer-roll acrylic paint onto a tempered glass palate in a thin layer and use that paint as a you would a stamp pad. Acrylic does dry quickly but I like to mix in fabric medium with the paint and use this method when I'm stamping on fabric.  The glass palatte washes right off and I clean my stamps with baby wipes. 
Nothing fancy and there are lots of other great printing techniques out there.  These are just the ones that I like to use on my inexpensive little stamps. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Angels Unaware

One of my favorite passages is
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares". 
A nice way to remind us to be kind to one another. 
The angels I hand-carved and stamped on silk in postcard size were inspired by the petroglyphs at
Buckhorn Wash in Utah.