Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Feathered Carpet Ride (and you might get a chuckle out of this story)

I actually did some needle felting on a real art piece here, instead of just playing around with the felting. And I love my Clover needle felting tool, and the brush mat, and doing flat needle felting. These are some tools I'm very happy I bought, with no regrets. I highly recommend them, especially for artists who love using fabric and fibers.

I made this piece for an online challenge in one of my yahoo groups. The group is The Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts and now has 617 members. It's a great group, and this was my first time signing up for this challenge. The challenge is the monthly Art Partner challenge, where Inka (of Inka Stamps) sends out an envelope to the ten people signed up for the challenge. The envelope includes one of her unmounted stamps, a piece of cardstock, and an embellishment. Those in the challenge must use these items in their art piece and then upload it to the photo folder on the group site. Then at the end of the month a winner is picked, and the artist sends the art to Inka in return for a $10 gift certificate for her stamps, and she posts the art to her gallery.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, I got confused when she sent a piece of Ghirardelli chocolate in the envelope. And made the incorrect assumption that it was meant to be an embellishment on the art piece. Yes, I thought it seemed a bit strange as an embellishment, and wasn't thrilled about having to use it on my art piece, but just figured those were the rules. So I worked on this piece a few hours last Sunday, and completed it, all except for using the candy. And I was very happy with it, and balked at gluing the candy on. I didn't WANT to include the candy on this piece, I didn't think it belonged there.

And my muse, Bonita, threw a fit, and was screaming at me, "You CAN'T be serious about adding this candy to this piece!!!" So we argued back and forth, but I won. And so, grumbling under my breath, I reluctantly glued the candy on. And then uploaded it to the folder. And shortly thereafter, found out from a post on the group by Inka that the candy was to eat, not to use as an embellishment for the art. So then I laughed about it, realizing how clueless I'd been, and felt very silly indeed that my piece of candy was now part of my art. Furthermore, it was posted in the folder for all to see my silly mistake. And would be the only piece in that folder with the candy on it. A testament to my cluelessness!

So, that's the story behind this. If I thought I could remove the candy without ruining the piece, I might try. But I'm afraid to risk it now. I used a piece of cool fabric gelled to pizza cardboard as the background. Then cut out a smaller piece of the fabric, and needle felted around the edges to make a frame for the stamped image. I stamped it onto a paint sample, cut it out, used a rounded corner punch, and glued it down. Oh right, I painted the vintage lace with Lumiere Sunset Gold and glued that down first. The swirl clip is glued over another paint sample. And the very last thing I did was glue on the darn candy!

I had fun with the needle felting, and of course had to finish that part before I could glue down the fabric. I really had to plan out the steps on this piece due to the felting, since I couldn't felt through cardboard. The felting itself was very easy and quick, and I used mohair yarn unraveled from a sweater.

Now I have four different sweaters bought at yard sales for the yarn, and perhaps my next project will be to dye some of the yarn with Kool-Aid, so I can have various colors. Some friends on another yahoo group are doing this very thing, and it's working well for them. I think it would also work for silk or wool roving. If I do this dying project, I'll post about it.

Oh, and one last thing. Right now I'm trying to rust a bunch of safety pins in a container outside. I'm not sure if they'll rust though, because some safety pins are treated so they won't rust. I bought these at the Dollar Tree, so I'm hoping the cheapo safety pins will rust. Will let you know on that, once I know. But hey, wouldn't rusted safety pins be cool to use in art? Yes indeed, I think so!


Anonymous said...

At least you left the chocolate in its wrapper! Funny story, Val! The art itself is splendid. Thanks for explaining how you did it. Lizbeth

Cyndi - Dreams Unltd said...

Too funny, Val! I remember thinking the same thing when I got a piece of chocolate with my Inka stamp for the challenge, but I decided to eat mine! *LOL* It actually works on the piece though!

OMG! Put unravelled yarn in a washing machine? I think you'll just end up with mess of knots that you may not even be able to get out of the machine! Think about those bra straps that get twisted around each other!

It might work to just get them wet in the sink or just under the faucet and lay it out straight, but if you're trying to keep it in one piece I think you'll still end up with a mess. Short pieces in the sink might work....

Cyndi - Dreams Unltd

inventivesoul said...

I've been watching the tracking number for the charm.
It should get to you within the next three days.
I hope you like it, even though it is small!

Amber Dawn

Gail P said...

Hysterical! This marvelous piece is a testament to your commitment to take on a challenge! Hope you join
us for the Kool-Aid dyeing experiments!

Laurie said...

Chocolate, Kool-Aid.. what's next? I hear mustard makes a good paint...xoxox

Anonymous said...

That is so funny! I SO would have also used the candy in the piece, lol!

Christy said...

I was in on the first challenge and the chocolate arrived totally melted. Thank goodness Inka sent it in a little baggie. I just popped the whole thing in the fridge and promptly forgot about it. I LOVE that you incorporated it in your card and your felting is looking great. I so want to try this but still haven't. I read that you can take your wool scraps, in the sink in really warm water gather a few together and rub and roll them around in your palm (like you would to ball up clay). when they stick together set aside to dry. they make cute embellishments and great cat toys if you have a cat or know someone who does you can give them for x-mas.

Sherry Goodloe said...

I've participated in Inka's challenges as well. And like Christy, my chocolate arrived melted too. However, I carefully opened it and licked the chocolate from the wrapper! Good thing I remembered to wash my cho-co-latey fingers before starting the card. LOL

PS And yes, I got a chuckle from seeing your piece, but it was a good chuckle - not one of making fun of you. What you did is something that I probably would have done if the chocolate had not arrived melted! (smiles) xoxo