Archive for January, 2008

Cosmic Queens Day

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

What an incredible week this has been.  It started with elinor peace bailey arriving last Sunday, then spending a delightful few hours with Barbara Chapman on Monday.  Monday night Li Hertzi, Barbara Willis, Sally Lampi and Betts Vidal arrived at our house.  Tuesday we had our Cosmic Queens do Faces day and what a fabulous time that was.
So, what is this all about?  It’s a special time with close friends, then a day of sharing our love of doll making with whomever will come.
This year I hosted the event and talked Allan and Suzanne Ream of Bits & Pieces in Escondido into letting us use their large classroom.  As you can see, we pretty much filled it up with fun women.

Barbara Chapman was one of the people who came to our day.  She teaches primarily at The Black Sheep in Encinitas and showed us one of her wonderful wrapped fairies.  Barbara and her husband, Wayne, host an open house twice a year in their amazing home. 

At our event, after morning lectures, Show & Tell and lunch we break up in small groups and have a round-robin.  This allows each participant time to spend with each of we designers and have a hands-on experience learning our various techniques.  This is elinor sharing with one of the groups.

This all started 4 years ago in Australia.  Five of us were near Sydney teaching at a quilt & craft show.  We were sharing an apartment with Gloria McKinnon, who brought us there.   Six women in a two bedroom apartment could be interesting.  To us, it was like heaven on earth.  We decided we needed to do this more often. 

elinor came up with the idea of a Flat Doll Day and our Cosmic Queens were formed.  Flatdaydames2

The original six are, from top left,  Gloria McKinnon, Sally Lampi, Barbara Willis
Bottom from left,  Betts Vidal, me (standing), and elinor peace bailey.

We’ve been able to travel to Portland, Oregon;  Costa Mesa & San Diego, CA; and Cincinnati, OH.  Next we’ll be at the Enchanted Doll Art Conference in Albuquerque, NM July 17-20, and Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA July 24-26.

At each venue we add a local designer.  In San Diego/Escondido it was Li Hertzi.  Li is known for her wonderful use of paints and working with the southwest figure.  Her website is a work in progress right now, but you can see her work, and her new book  "Art Doll Adventures".

Stamping on Fabric

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Earlier I had a very short tutorial on how to stamp images on fabric.  This time I’m going to go into more detail.
First, what type of stamps and stamp pads should you use?  Any rubber stamp will work on fabric.  And, any ink based stamp pad will work.  I like Tsukineko’s Fabrico and VersaColor stamp pads.  Also, Jacquard’s Pearl EX stamp pads. 
To keep the fabric stable I like to back it with a double sided bonding sheet such as Wonder Under. I prefer unmounted stamps because if I want to stamp around a doll leg, or arm, I can wrap it around easily.  But, for stamping flat, I use the back of the lid of the stamp pad, or an acrylic block to give an even stamped image.
The photo shows both Fabrico and Jacquard’s Pearl EX stamp pads.  I also used an acrylic block and a handle to stamp the image.
The stamp pad is unmounted for this project, even though it is a flat surface.  I don’t buy mounted stamps anymore.  If it is mounted, I place the stamp on the wood base in my microwave and nuke it for 20 seconds.  This softens the glue and I can easily remove the rubber from the wood.

After the image is stamped to my liking, I iron to set the inks.  This guarantees that I’ll have no bleeding depending on what medium I use to add color  the images.  I also prefer using a brown ink pad.  That way I can use soft colors if I want.  Or brighter, darker colors.  It is always easier to go darker, than lighter.

Copic makes a wonderful alcohol ink based marker for paper and fabric.  I can use it straight from the marker, or put it in their airbrush system.  For this project, I used the markers as is.  I used a flesh tone for the bodies, then a darker color to add shading to the faces and upper bodies.  Iron again to set the inks.

Using colored pencils I added highlights, deepened the shadows, and blushed the cheeks.  The colored pencils I prefer are Prismacolor by Sanford.  But Lyra, Derwent, Van Gogh, etc., make nice colored pencils that work well on fabric.  They need to be waxed based.  After the colors are added, I blended with a scrap of fabric wrapped around my index finger.

Detailing is next.  I used colored pencils to color in the irises, then Copic’s Multiliner SP pens to add the details.  If you don’t have these pens, which are new, you can use Micron Pigma pens.  The colored pencils blurred the detailing from the stamping, so you need to go over the features with the pens.  I used a toothpick dipped in white paint to add the whites to the eyes and the highlights in the pupils.
Lastly, I used the Copic markers to color the hair, flowers and clothing and acrylic paint such as Stewart Gill’s Byzantiums and Jacquard’s Lumiere to paint the background. 
The sample was used in a project for Stitch magazine in the UK.  I made it into a postcard size, beaded an edging and added some silk ribbon flowers along the bottom edge.  I’ve also used the images to decorate a purse, alter a tote, create bookmarks made from fabric and quilt blocks.  The images are from my line of rubber stamps, which are made for me by Ready Stamps, a division of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Happy Stamping!