October 17, 2011
Cloth Paper Scissors Today
Fun, Easy Beaded Fabric Beads

bead embellishment
Beaded fabric beads are
fun and easy to make.

At a conference last year where bloggers of all artistic persuasions gathered, I was amazed to see the knitters, crocheters, and beaders all whip out their supplies as the presentation began.

While I have observed people knit and crochet in “public”—and have even done it myself—I was fascinated by the beaders.

Not only were they able to keep the beads from spilling all over the place, they had them all lined up in a perfect pattern. And half the time, they weren't even looking at what they were doing!

Granted, these artists had some tools for keeping everything in place, like a beading mat to prevent rolling. But still. I don't have that kind of dexterity, not to mention organization skills.

 

fabric cube pattern
Fabric cube pattern.

I do like to sew beads on things and I like to make beads or turn found objects into beads. So I was happy to find this little bead-on-bead project by Alma Stoller.

It not only allows me to bead in a mixed-media way (and even throw in some collage), but the supplies are limited enough that I can take the project with me while traveling or, perhaps, to a meeting without everything getting all over the place.

 

Beaded Fabric Beads

 

bead embellishment cube

Stitch each side
of the bead cube.

1. Lay fabric strips on top of a piece of craft felt big enough for the size of beads you want to make and machine stitch over the top fabrics to join the layers and pieces. (Or, to make it even easier, just fuse or stitch one piece of fabric to the felt.)

2. Cut out a cross shape from the fabric (like a box with its sides and top opened flat) and stitch the sides together until you have formed the bottom part of the box. Then stuff with a bit of fiberfill.

3. Whipstitch the top down to complete the cube and embellish your fabric bead with tiny buttons, small found objects, and words printed on fabric. Add embroidery stitches, bits of lace, sequins, or crystals. You could even use Mod Podge® or Diamond Glaze® to collage words and images onto your beads.

To make this project travel-worthy, I would cut all my fabric cube shapes out first. Then, I'd take a fabric cutout and the embellishments I want to use for that bead and put them in a zipper bag or other small, sealable container along with a couple of hand embroidery needles and beading thread or embroidery floss.

Alone, these beads would make a cute ornament, bauble for a ring, or closure for a handmade book or book cover. Or, string them together as a necklace or a garland. I know you'll think of something creative.

Alma demonstrates her process for making these beads on the latest edition of the fun and interactive eMag,
Quilting Arts In Stitches Vol. 5, available for Mac or PC, and also for the iPad!

Cate Prato
Cate Prato, Online Editor
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Texture, Embellishment, Dimension—in Stitches 5 has it all!
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Stitching techniques you won't want to miss!

In Issue 5, explore three-dimensional stitch techniques with Barbara Forrister while she shows you how she creates life-like wildflowers.

Larkin Van Horn continues the 3D theme with beaded fiber reliquaries featuring both hand and machine stitching. Cheryl Sleboda introduces the cutting-edge technology of Electroluminescent Wire and you can “flip the switch” to turn these revolutionary quilts on and off! These are just a few of the many articles found in this fabulous eMag! Plus, find all of the details on our latest challenge and start next year off with a creative and inspirational bang.

As you scroll, zoom, pan, and click through this issue you'll get to meet the artists behind the articles, watch helpful video tutorials, and learn all about different techniques for hand and machine stitching.

Chockfull of videos, photos, and slideshows, In Stitches makes the perfect studio companion.  Download this exciting eMag today and prepare to be inspired!

 

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October 19, 2011
Cloth Paper Scissors Today
Art Journaling Techniques on Glass

art journal jar
It's clear what this
jar is for.

The 19th century artist, textile designer, and writer William Morris is often quoted as saying, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Words to live by, indeed, and isn't it wonderful when you can have both qualities in one object, and upcycle an ordinary object in the process?

A creative imagination coupled with the many new art materials on the market today make it easy to turn something like a simple glass jar you might otherwise toss into the recycling bin into a functional object into something so artful you could give it as a gift.

That's exactly what Jenn Mason did to create her Journal Jars. She applied art journaling techniques like doodling onto empty household jars using a variety of art pens and markers.  

These Journal Jars make a quick and easy gift, especially if you stuff them with something the recipient would love to have: sharpened colored pencils, a variety of scissors, a bouquet of ribbons and fibers, or vintage found objects, just to name a few ideas. Maybe even some art journaling supplies!

Journal Jars

Materials

  • Jars
  • Pens (I used Glaze® and Souffle® gel pens, Identi®-pens, and Permapaque® Opaque markers by Sakura®.)
  • Paper: found, purchased, scraps, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Soft gel medium, gloss
  • Embellishments (I used things like ribbon, zipper trim, twine, etc.)
art journal jar
This jar has an industrial quality, with doodled gears, zipper trim, and paper from an auto repair book.

Directions

1. Make sure your jars are clean and free of label residue.

2. Decide on your design and doodle away! Write words or phrases, sketch lines and shapes, or draw simple motifs. You know, put your creative journaling talents to work.

3. Add a paper insert. Cut a piece of found or purchased paper into a strip and adhere it to the inside of the jar with the gel medium. Coat the back side of the paper strip with gel medium as well to seal it and protect the paper from damage from the items you will be storing in your jar.

4. Glue a ribbon, a bit of lace, a string of beads, or something else from your stash to the mouth of the jar to disguise the threads and add a finishing touch.

This is just one of the many useful and beautiful ideas for gift-giving and décor you'll find in
Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts 2011-2012. This special issue is available now in print, digital, and Zinio editions, so you have no excuse not to be ready for the holidays and beyond.



P.S. What's your favorite idea for upcycling the ordinary into a work of art? Leave a comment on the Cloth Paper Scissors Today blog.

Cate Prato
Cate Prato, Online Editor
Cloth Paper Scissors Today
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Spice up your home with fun holiday décor and gift projects!
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Get in the holiday spirit now!

 

Let your imagination run wild with this 148-page special issue devoted to the art of mixed-media gift-giving! With more than 35 projects, inside this second annual issue, you'll discover:

  • Decorate It! Get the best tips and ideas for decorating your home during the holiday season with projects like garlands, a tree skirt, a pocket advent calendar, and more.
  • Give It! Find creative projects to give as gifts during the holidays and all year round including, laptop and tablet cases, journal jars, mixed-media jewelry, and much more.
  • Wrap It! Show off your artistic style when wrapping your gifts! Create recycled denim-pocket gift bags, resin-paper tags, fabric gift card holders, and more.

This special issue is also available on Zinio!

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October 21, 2011
Cloth Paper Scissors Today
Tips and Tools for Better Transfers

digital art packing tape transfers
Pear transfers on
background paper.

A few months ago I wrote about how to make better photo transfers on fabric, metal, and so on. I asked for feedback on your favorite kinds of transfers and tips, and many of you responded that you enjoy making packing tape transfers.

Now, I have to admit, I have never made one of these before. I know, I know. Packing tape transfers are about the easiest art trick there is. I just never felt motivated to make one.

But recently I have been playing around with
digital art images of my husband's drawings. (I think he is both mystified and pleased to see me constantly trying to “do more” with his drawings. The truth is, I'm so proud of them, I keep looking for new ways to expose his art to the world.) Because his drawings are black, white, and gray, I thought it might be interesting to layer them over a solid-colored or printed fabric or paper. I'll get to the fabric part in a minute.

But first, here's a tutorial for making the packing tape transfer. I figure, if I, who have been hanging around the paper art world for seven years, hasn't made one, maybe some of you need some prompting, too.

How to Make a Packing Tape Transfer

1. Make a toner (not inkjet) copy of your design. I took a digital art print of Nick's drawing of a pear, resized it with my photo-editing software, and printed it out on copy paper.

 

Printed drawing covered with tape.

2. Take a piece of packing tape (the clear kind, not the kind with strings in it), and place it over the image you wish to transfer. Burnish the tape onto the image with a bone folder or similar tool (I used the handle of a pair of scissors).

3. Cut out the image. (I made two transfers. In one I cut out around the pear; for the other I cut the entire rectangular image.) Immerse the image in warm water and let sit a few minutes.

4. Remove the image and start rubbing the paper off the back with your thumb or fingers. If it does not start to rub off easily, leave it in the water another minute or so.

5. When all the paper has been rubbed off the back, you should have a see-through transfer. Pat it dry with a paper towel. It will still be a little tacky on the back, so you can stick it on your substrate like that to play around with it, but you may want to add a clear-drying adhesive like gel medium for more permanence. (Also, don't rub the paper towel on the tacky part of the transfer, or you will have to immerse and rub that paper off. I speak from experience.)

 

transfer artist paper with digital art
'Quote Box,' by Lesley Riley,
using TAP.

I placed my digital artwork transfers on top of some scrapbook paper that had a nice mottled and aged appearance. The background shows through the transfer, integrating the digital image of the pear drawing with background in a way that couldn't be achieved if I simply cut out the pear from a photocopy and pasted it on a page or canvas. You could use this technique to incorporate an image in an art journal, a collage, encaustic art, and more.

Now, how to transfer digital photo art or an image of a piece of artwork to fabric? There are many options. The easiest way, in my opinion, is to get a hold of some of the products that are printer ready and run them through an inkjet printer.

One of the most versatile products is Transfer Artist Paper™ (TAP), by Lesley Riley. This paper allows you to achieve the same effects you would via a manual photo transfer with gel medium, but more quickly and reliably, and you can transfer the image from the paper to a solid color or patterned fabric.

If you want to transfer the outline of an image for stitching or translate the design to fabric for appliqué, there's Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets by C&T. With this product, you can either print onto the sheets or draw onto them directly. Stitch through them onto your base fabric and wash away the paper. There are also printable fabric products that are ready to go through the printer; you just print, peel off the backing, rinse, and stitch.

There are so many ways to explore your art images through digital art and transfers, and this is just a start. To find supplies and further information on digital art, making transfers, and more,
be sure to visit the Cloth Paper Scissors Shop, where hundreds of books, videos, and other products are 15% off right now.

Cate Prato
Cate Prato, Online Editor
Cloth Paper Scissors Today
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