Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kathy's Celestial

For my celestial piece, started with white fabric and dyed it a soft blue. I selected  four different colors of Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow for each color, I ironed creases into fabric to form a star-like impression.
I loaded up a paint brush with Dye-Na-Flow and lightly moved it along the top of the creases until the paint had been used. I repeated the process for each of the four stars.
After the dyeing process, I machine echoed stitched around the stars.
Lastly, I hand embroidered each of the stars with a contrasting colored embroidery thread.
Enjoy! Kathy

Monday, October 7, 2013


When this theme was announced, I immediately thought of moons, stars, planets, the milky way, and other galaxies.  I also thought of two people I know with kind of "celestial" personalities....lovely, gentle, sort of ethereal persons who constantly amaze me with their ability to see life as magical. 
However, since I don't have that kind of personality.....I had to really think to come up with something that would fit this theme.  I googled images for "celestial" and got many many that would fit in with what I had been thinking.  And then one popped up that made me laugh and I thought it was perfect. It made me happy! It was a "Celestial Eyed Goldfish".  Here is the photo that I worked from. 

I have had the great pleasure of taking a class from Carol Shinn ( who is well known for her thread painted works of art.  I decided that would be the perfect way to present this little fish.  It was printed onto canvas with an ink jet printer, and away I went, stitching in all the colors and trying to duplicate his comical expression.
I wasn't happy with the way his tail was not visible so I took artist's license and drew it in.  Here it is partially done. 
I was quite happy with the way this looked and continued filling in the tail.  I had a little helpful input from my son, who raises koi, as to the colors in the "fantasy" tail.  I learned from another project that it was important to do the eyes first or they look terrible after all the other work is done and then your project is wasted.  So the order of work was the eyes, the body, the background and then the tail. 

I was quite pleased with how the canvas flattened out behind the fish as I progressed with the colors.  A learning experience as I made some of the stitches go different directions and I think this helped.  When all done, I cut him out of the canvas so he was a free form "patch" that I could apply to a 12 x 12 background. 

The background is a technique learned from my friend Joan, who did one of our challenges with strips of old silk.  We had split two skeins of these strips between us so I decided to use all my "watery" colors for the background.  Here is what it looked like as I played with the
background.  I was dissatisfied with the white edges showing.  I had carefully trimmed the canvas away and then pulled out the warp threads to give it the thready edge, but the canvas color made too much contrast with the background for my liking.

So out came the fabric pens and I colored the front and back of each section to match the thread beside it.  This was better.  I was quite happy with the look of the silk so did some free motion quilting to fasten it down, added some embellishments and here is my "Celestial Eyed Goldfish".

And here is a close up of the threadwork, and a photo taken of it flat to show the three dimensional effect in the eyes and tail. 

I think my beading is not random enough so I may be adding more to make it look more natural.  I'm told random beading is the most difficult!  Apparently that's true!   Now, on to LOVE! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CELESTIAL by Margaret K.

I had previously done two art pieces based on "celestial" so it was a challenge to come up with a third.  This first photo is of a "full moon rising, Haida Gwaii" from when we were camping there in 1990, the year of a super moon.  The background navy was from old satin curtains.  The full moon was of white satin with Angelina and tulle stitched on top.  It was a perfectly clear night, but I decided to add the cheese cloth for dramatic effect!  A few Swarovski crystal stars and some eyelash wool wrapped around pipe cleaners for trees and depth.

My second "celestial" project was "Cosmic Ring".  I had just started dyeing fabric and had a pretty little piece ice dyed with a "nice" circular pattern.  I was thinking of fossilized ammonites.  We were cruising the Panama Canal and I wanted a hand project, so off to the bead store.  Lo and behold, more Swarovski crystals and one in particular called a "cosmic ring".  Title and theme established.  Finished on the Lido Deck!!
So this is my third celestial piece!  Again, I was not only hand dyeing fabric, but also playing with various tools and soy wax.  What fun!  I liked the dark multi coloured northern lights kind of effect of the dyes, and I really like what my  potato masher produced.  So,  drum roll, presenting  for your enjoyment, "Spudnik"!
More Swarovski crystals and a touch of Angelina to get a focal point.  Hologram thread over supporting spudniks as they return to their home base.  What more can I say.....