Wanna Visit My Rock? Or Help with My Silver?

Happy Thursday...from under the rock I've taken to living under! I would venture it's an officially royal rock...but I'm not 100% positive. It's kind of hard to see much from under here.

I've finally gotten rid of the spiders and cleaned up a bit, which was a daunting task since those ants sure like to party wildly. Of course, the quiet didn't last long, though - that built-in homing device children have installed at the factory, made sure they weren't detached from my hip for long. Both my ears and my nerves will attest to that. And for those whose offspring start school on August 24, there are 18 days left. That is the official countdown...and I'll be happy to keep you updated on it.

Here is a little art I accomplished over the last few days.

Since the Princess is spending so long at her dad's, I've made her a care package. When I told her I was going to send her something, she requested a book - and was very specific about what colors the pages should be.

I began with white cotton fabric that has little opaque white triangles on it. I colored it using a technique I read about in Quilting Arts. In the February/March '09 issue, Cynthia St Charles describes a Glue Gel Resist technique in her article, "Color Therapy" (pp 55-59). Altho I had never heard of Ms St Charles before this article, I was instantly hooked on her article. She uses Elmer's Gel Glue (the green gel type, not the white stuff) as a resist in her fabric work - and the results are amazing. Stunning. Totally delish. Here is a link to the Gel Resist quilts on her blog. She is an incredible artist - and the article she wrote describing the technique was awesome! Reading the article made it incredibly easy to try the technique. I had a great time doing it, it wasn't toxic, it was quick, and it was so much easier than working with traditional resists. This technique is so safe and easy, a child can do it.

So that's what I started with - I drew random doodles on my fabric with the glue. I used all sorts of fabric paints to add color, washed out the glue and stood, totally impressed with myself. (*Note: I'm now really irritated my local grocery stores don't carry this version of Elmer's Glue. I live in a large metropolis...what is wrong with these people??)

For the first time ever, I used a stitch other than the straight stitch on my sewing machine - I used a zig zag stitch around the measured edges of the fabric - and I really went for the gold by zigging and zagging with blue AND orange. I know. Hold your applause. I'm still floating off my own awesomeness.

I hand stitched the "R" after lightly drawing it on the fabric with pencil. (I'm not brave enough to just sew it. I'm getting there, but not there yet.) I also hand stitched the green swirls, leaves and flowers, as well as the swirls at the top of the "R". I added 3 little charms - the butterfly, heart and kitty head - as well as a couple of seed beads. After 3 layers of batting, I attached the fabric to the Bind-It-All cover - which is just a real sturdy chipboard sized to 4"x4". After finishing off the back of the front cover, I worked on the back cover. The back cover is the same, but plain.

I cut all the papers to the specifications of the Princess (God forbid I don't follow those directions!), and went to use the Bind-It-All. That's when I ran into a problem. The Bind-It-All rocks to cut paper and chipboard...but it doesn't really care for chipboard covered in batting and fabric. It was too fat to fit in the skinny little slot. What to do?! I traced the holes onto the insides of the covers from the pages, then took out my frustrations by cutting the holes out with my X-acto, then pounding out the pieces with my needle tool. Since the fabric wouldn't cooperate very well - and the batting kept trying to pop up through the covers - I just made slits in the fabric so the wires would go through. I bound it all together, tied a few ribbons on the wires, and viola!

Onto Part II...the silver art clay I think I screwed up. Will someone with some experience with this stuff help a sistah out a little? Did I mess it up? How can you tell if it's old? (I looked and looked and there was no date on the packet I bought.) How do you know when you're done firing it when using a torch? I followed instructions I found online, but...I dunno. I've sanded the pieces a bit with my Dremel, followed by some 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper...but I dunno. What am I missing?
Left to Right: Covered a silk cocoon and made a sort of nest shape. Under that is a little egg I'm going to put in the nest. Then there's a crown...but the prong on the left came off during firing. Waaah. Two little charms - the top one was the first one I torched, and I accidentally did it too long. The bottom of the charm melted - but it looks cool now. The last peice on the far right is an art doll. Help!


6 Royal Responses:

One Creative Queen said...

I found IT! I found your Hallmark card yesterday at Wal-Mart and bought it. Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you.

One Creative Queen said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.
No Spiders, no spiders!
It's gorgeous, by the way!

One Creative Queen said...

I'm so glad you're back among the blogging! :) I love you're princess book. I'm totally impressed with all the details and gorgeous workmanship! Wish I could help you with the clay, def not my area of expertise. Hope someone else can! :*

One Creative Queen said...

Can I tell you how much I LOVE YOU?????

Well, you probably already know. But girl - I LOVE YOU!! Thank you so much! :)

One Creative Queen said...

Usually torch fire for 4 minutes after the binder burns off. Keep the clay a light pink/peach...but not much color at all. Drop in cold water to quench when done. I would sand with 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2000 grit, then go to polishing papers - there are 5 layers of them if you want a true mirror finish. I recently used some 9 year old metal clay so I don't think there is an expiration date at all! Hope that helps!

One Creative Queen said...

Back at ya! And, you're welcome. ;o)

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