Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heart postcard for a swap

I'm so HAPPY to be posting again with some more new art, after a too long dry art slump. I worked on this piece yesterday, and had fun making it. Well actually, I started on it two days ago, because it had to dry overnight. I love using hearts in my art, which I do fairly often, so signing up for this swap in one of my favorite yahoo groups was right up my alley, so to speak.

I remembered I had done a certain technic on a postcard swap a few years ago that worked out well, so I chose to revisit that technic for this postcard. I cut out a piece of muslin fabric and frayed the edges and saved the threads. Then I put it on top of a plastic bag, and painted it with lots of matte Mod Podge, basically saturated it. That's why it had to dry overnight. Then I peeled it off the plastic. This technic is quite simple, and gives the fabric some strength and stiffness, and yet is totally flexible. It almost ends up feeling like a thick piece of plastic. It totally changes the feel of the fabric, but doesn't affect the look of it.

Then I painted it with Sweetheart Blush acrylic paint, and then glued down the thread I'd saved from the fraying. I love using threads for texture, especially on fabric art. Once dry, I rubbed orange paint over them with my finger, to bring out the texture and the contrast. I used the same orange paint on the frayed edges, to frame the whole piece. The three strips on the right were cut from a window blind sample I got at Lowe's. I painted them with yellow paint first, then rubbed orange paint over them to bring out the great texture. Then used a paper punch to punch the three hearts out of a yellow paint chip. After I glued the hearts on, I used a triple tip brush to paint on the parallel lines. I love that brush, and bought it at Joann's a while back, but they no longer carry it at the Joann's I shop at. What a shame, it's a great way to paint on parallel lines. I take really good care of that brush!

The large heart was cut out of paint chip, and then I glued down printed fabric over it. The details of the pattern on the fabric don't show up very well on this scan, but it has a cool linear pattern, with just the right colors for this piece. After I glued that down, I pulled out some squash seeds I'd washed and saved, and glued those down around the heart. Then I painted them, and used the triple tip brush again to paint the lines on. I'm amazed at how those lines changed the whole look of the painted seeds. I sealed the whole piece with Future Floor Finish (FFF), which gives a glossy finish.

Regarding the colors I used, I love this color combination, it's one of my favorites. I've used it a few times in my art, but actually not that often. I was using brown so much in my art for so long, and I love it for sure, but felt I needed to get back to using more color in some of my art. Because I also love using bold color. I don't know, maybe I just go through certain phases at certain times, which never seem to be predictable.

I think it's fun to revisit certain technics that I forgot about. This is a great and simple technic, and I'm glad it came to my mind for this piece. I love the way it gives strength to lightweight fabric, and feels so different than gluing fabric to cardboard. I didn't "invent" this technic, I learned about it online, but forget the source. If I could remember, I'd include the link, but I simply don't remember.  I'd also like to say that although the Mod Podge easily penetrated to the back of this muslin piece, it doesn't penetrate the same way with all fabrics.  So if it doesn't penetrate through to the back of the piece, you may have to turn it over when it's dry and Mod Podge the backside, or Mod Podge both sides more than once, to get the strength and stiffness you want.  Basically you can play with this technic to get your own desired results.  

So that's how this piece was made, with no pain or angst or problems. Woohoo for that. Any questions??? Or suggestions??? It was so great to have fun making this piece, and I'm excited it's for a swap. I just hope the person I send it to likes it. That's always a consideration in a swap, isn't it?


Christy said...

I can read the joy in your words and it shows too in this piece. I always love your work and this piece is no exception. Especially love the seeds, the way you painted them and their placement.

~Barb~ said...

Aha! From the beauty of this wonderful piece and the complete JOY in your words, I can tell that your muse is back. YAY!
Peace & Love,

Brenda said...

I love it and yes, the colour combination is gorgeous - it works so well.

Chaska said...

This is a wonderful piece, full of your joy! Very nice!

Dawn said...

Beautiful x Thanks for explaining how you did this.... it is so gorgeous, you are so creative and inspirational Val x

Mar said...

happy piece
i scrolled down to the last piece i remember seeing and you DO use lots of hearts and keys within your work!

those are happy searching symbols

Gail P said...

Thanks for signing up for the swap!! And thanks for the tutorial, I'll have to try good old mod podge again, though, I imagine Golden's Matt medium will work too. This piece took my breath away!!

Daphne said...

This is yet another beautiful piece, everything goes together so very well. Just perfect!

Eastjewels said...

Hey Val...this awesome...I have a brush like you are talking about but I made mine...I bought a 1" flat acrylic brush and cut some of the bristles out..leaving 3 seperate "bunches" are a lucky girl to find such a cool brush already make up...but my works pretty good. I also made one that just paints 2 lines also...I love the seeds and ther colors of this piece...I love the fact that you use all kinds of everyday stuff in your work...I think that makes you a "Green Girl"...Luv LE

mary schweitzer said...

You are so inventive and exciting in your work! I am going to have to try the plastic bag technique!

Aimeslee said...

Just gorgeous, Val. I haven't visited in a while and have been delighted at all the eye candy to view. :-)))

CC in WI said...

Wow, This is a truly delightful piece! The colors, shapes and texture are just wonderful. Thanks for sharing at AB group.
CC in WI

Shannon (Faith and Chocolate) said...

Love it!!! ;)

Melisa said...

As soon as I saw this, I thought, "Are those pumpkin seeds? Brilliant!" I'm sure your partner is going to love it. Thanks for the explanation of the fabric technique, too.

HeArt Collective said...

i'm particularly fond of the detail of the stripes on the seeds... too cool. sort of reminds me of the expression marks that Keith Herring used for his figurative pieces.

i'm sure this will be well received by the other swapper!


Sharon K. Shubert said...

Hey Valerie! I love it! :)

Lindart said...

This is one BEAUTIFUL postcard! Lucky the recipient!! I especially love the squash seeds, what a great idea!I take it a three brush brush has the bristles divided into three parts? I've never seen one before! This is an awesome card, I would love to try this technique!

trish said...

I LOVE the squash seeds and the three brush thing you used. I also Love the fact that you tell how you made it. This piece is a masterpiece. I love the colors -so bright and full of life. Keep creating!!

Far North said...

Oh I love this piece!!! I was excited to read about the fabric technique...I will be trying it before the end of this day. Your squash seeds are fabulous! I need to keep my eyes open for the 3 tip brush.

nancy said...

Val, I've been pretty inactive lately too, because of moving house. Glad you're back -- glad I'm back.
Tutorial for the leather look Splitcoast Stampers
I've added the link to my post as I should have done in the first place!

Heather Robinson said...

Oo,la,la! This is divine! I've noticed that you enjoy hearts. They are such a fascinating shape aren't they? I can see why they inspire you...and they do. I just keep looking at all of the details on this piece. Love the richness of the colours too!

darlene aKa HugGeR said...

Oh I hope I get this post card very kewl!!!

I was TAGGED by Terri and now I am tagging you...Won't you play along? Here are the rules:
•Go to your photo folder on your computer
•Go to the 6th folder of photos
•Go to the sixth picture
•Put the picture on your blog and a description of it
•Invite six friends to join the challenge
•Link them in your blog

Diane said...

Gorgeous work and thanks for sharing your technique. I've done something similar by attaching a layer of tissue paper to fabric with matte gel medium - one side or both, depending on what you want to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas and thank you for posting how you created these pieces of art.