Saturday, September 1, 2012

Anything you can do . . .

That song "Anything you can do, I can do better," kept running through my head right after I looked at these miserable fabric swatches. I still have more flour resist to wash out of even more fabric . . . torn bed sheets, but I was so disappointed in the results, I got discouraged.

Then I realized this was NOT a disappointment, but an opportunity. That's when the song started playing in my head. Of course, I had to change the words, because this is not BETTER, just DIFFERENT (actually I should say the SAME).

That's what led to this idea for these pieces I finally have a finished (or partly finished) today. Unfortunately, the fabric was too long for the scanner bed, but

the paper fit well on the scanner.

So what does that song have to do with this post, you ask? Today I'm here to show you that anything you can do with paper, you can also do with fabric and vise versa.

I began with a sheet of cardstock (110 lb) and a piece of previously flour-resist dyed fabric that seriously needed to either be overdyed or added to.

I decided to begin with a technique I have never performed before. I often use punchinella (sequin waste) in my art, but have never used bubble wrap. I chose three different sizes, small, medium, and large bubbles, although I only used the small and medium in my art.

I dug out my Fluid Acrylics and went to town. Now I admit, I don't buy many art supplies, especially anything this expensive. But what you see is an accumulation of over three years of collecting these bottles that I get whenever I have a coupon for Michael's, a big box craft store, the only one in town that sells them. Saving anywhere from 40-60% off the regular price is something I can actually afford!

Also shown is a foam brush and the small bubble wrap.

I applied the fluid acrylic with the brush, then took a photo. I got in a hurry so the photo is even more blurry than usual (you don't have to remind me I need a better camera). I knew this would dry in minutes if I didn't get it on both the paper and the fabric.

So much for the small bubbles.

Next came the medium bubbles and yellow fluid acrylic. I failed to show the bubble wrap, because I had already soaked it in water. Just goes to show how I clean up and put away supplies after I have finished using them.

Placing these pieces side by side to dry, I realized I needed to turn that white cardstock into something resembling the fabric background color.

I used a metallic blue and green acrylic paint I scraped on using an old gift card. I got so much green on the piece, I covered the yellow completely. I quickly grabbed a paper towel and set out to remove some of the green paint.

Next, I grabbed a cardboard roll and painted the red on using a paint brush and red acrylic paint. Then I dry brushed over a small part of each piece using the material (in the back right) as a stencil. I have NO idea where this came from, but I found it in my stash.

I did a little stamping using an acrylic stamp and my clear acrylic block.

I used a rubber stamp next, but it is so faint, especially with my camera, you can only see it in the scanned pieces. I also spritzed a bit of color mist on each piece.

Using an old gift card, I drew a few lines of gesso on each piece while the mist dried.

Finally, I used another acrylic paint, this time "Pineapple," along with a paint brush, to cover the piece of plastic canvas.

I hope this shows anything you can do with fabric,

you can also do with paper. I plan to use the paper in my Houses altered book and the fabric as part of a fabric book cover. I hope this appealed to those of you who play with paper, as well as those of you who play with fabric. Maybe this will encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try this, too.

15 thoughtful remarks:

MadBirdDesignsUK said...

Excellent tutorial, both in content and in using stuff you think you have "messed up". Thanks Joan

Halle said...

I love what you've done with both of these!
The colors and of course, the circles are fantastic.

SandeeNC said...

Hi Elizabeth, I wish you had an e-mail address so I could contact, but I ran across the idea at Pinterest and thought of the sage you are drying, and how you like to recycle. I think this is a real cute gift idea for anyone who has a fireplace, I know I would make them if I had surplus sage hanging around! ;)
waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

Mary S. Hunt said...

i love the finished pieces!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Nothing is ever at a loss or wasted! This is a great way to add zing to the pieces that didn't turn out as expected! I love how you achieve a lot of texture!

elle said...

This is absolutely fantastic, Elizabeth. What a great tutorial! Too bad you can't video a rendition of you singing the song! LOL

Monica said...

I actually liked the white background , no doubt a result of my visit to Crystal Bridges ( )where all the modern art wet my whistle!

Anonymous said...

When you aren't happy with a piece of work, you sure know how to fix it. The paper and fabric look just great. The fabric would really look nice as a book cover. The paper would be great to use on just about everything. I am rethinking doing some fabric art after your tutorial.
North Carolina

SandeeNC said...

I KNEW you could come up with a great aromatic twist for the firestarters! And thank you for the nice compliment on my moon photo, I use a Kodak Z612, on manual setting, 1 second exposure, ISO 400 and aperture at 4.5...the clouds were my focal point, the moon just slipped in, lol waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

Rita said...

Wow! Not that I know much of anything about fabric dying or painting, but I would never have thought of doing these type of techniques. Worked out beautifully!! :) :)

Dianne said...

great results on these two pieces! great idea to compare the two...the only thing I find on fabric is that it does tend to absorb the colors more and perhaps 'bleed' a bit into surrounding areas. As you so expertly show, it just takes some practice, experimenting and ingenuity to create awesome art!

Anonymous said...

How fun is this Elizabeth. Love them both. Wonderful creative abandon. xox

Terrie said...

Brilliant! Aren't you clever to show how versatile the techniques are and that they work no matter what your medium of choice is? These are two really great pieces and I agree with somebody above who thought a book cover is a good idea. Of course I'm sure you'll come up with a dozen more! Thanks for visiting & checking in....

Marjie Kemper said...

Wow, these are so vibrant... I love them!

Mia said...

Great tutorial, Elizabeth. Perfect for mixed media amateurs, like me. Thank you so much for the inspiration, my dear friend. Hugs!!!