Friday, August 7, 2009

Autumn Leaves on a Neutral Bark Background....

Just finished this little piece for a good friend in St. Ives! Actually, it may NOT be finished as Michelle recommended I add a few beads here and there which I just may do before I drop it in the post.

The background is a piece of artist canvas which makes a nice substrate to stitch on. I layered the canvas with wool yarn, metallic yarn, gold and silver lame', tulle, torn pieces of silk and linen. After I arranged the fibers I put one large piece of neutral (ivory) and several torn pieces of torn bronze/brown organza over the entire piece and free motion stitched up and down (in a bark-like pattern) to hold all the fibers in place beneath the organza.
Then.... you guessed it. I melted away the organza with the heat gun - being care to leave parts of the organza as well as to strategically reveal the fibers underneath.
The leaves I made using an artificial leaf as a base to which I added dryer sheets which I painted with metallic Lumiere paints and free motion embroidered to the top and trimmed around the edges.

When it was time to stitch the leaves down, I played around with the arrangement (two maple, one oak), finding I needed one or two small leaves to balance the piece out. I painted two more leaves and pinned them down. I applied a closed, tiny zig zag stitch around the edges of each leaf, leaving some of the leaves hanging over the side to create an organic edge.

I sewed two loops to the top and found a nice twig which I cut, sanded and stained for the piece to hang on.

This was such a fun piece to work on (even though I was tearing my hair out at times). I love creating backgrounds and everybody knows leaves are my "muse."
Things I learned while working on this piece:
Always save all of the failures (I made four backgrounds before I ended up with this one and the backgrounds that failed are great to use for other things - they are in my "box.")
Always make two of everything (this is something I do now as it saves me a lot of time when making things for my Etsy shop and for gifts.)
DON'T let Lumiere stay on your skin (or in your hair!) for more than 8 hours....
And, enjoy the process. Don't stress. If things don't work out just throw it in the box (NOT the trash) and start again!~
Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.


Mary said...

It's beautiful Cathie. I know she'll love it.

3rdEyeMuse said...

it really is quite amazing.

~Babs said...

And oh yes,,,the box!
Often those little box creatures come in very handy!

Judy Alexander said...

These came out great and don't you just love melting things!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Cathie that is such a beautiful piece, I love the way the metallic sheen of the leaves and effects you've created with the bark. BFN. Lesley

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Absolutely stunning! Those are good tips--there's no such thing as garbage!

Vicki W said...

It's lovely!

Cestandrea said...

a wonderful, earthy piece of work cathie, and I like that you share what you learned:)
Thanks for sharing, and also for your GERMAN comment on my blog which made me smile:)

Megan Coyle said...

This is beautiful! I'm glad I found your blog :) fibers is a different world to me, but you work in it with such ease. Lovely.

katie jane said...

You are amazing with this stuff!! You should teach classes. I don't know where you come up with so many ideas all the time, but everything you do is magic!

Julie Bagamary said...

What a great piece!! Thanks for sharing the process.

Ruth said...

I love this piece and your background is wonderful!


Hello, beautiful leaves! I can honestly say your photos do not do your piece justice which, in the flesh, is a stunningly beautiful piece of textile art work, gorgeous colours, textures, stitches, paint colours. The thought and love that went into this piece just cannot be captured with the camera

You are such a lovely and thoughtful friend to have and I shall treasure my leaves FOREVER!

Much love
Carolyn ♥

Total Pageviews

Where Are You????