Stitched and Painted Bird Art

painted and stitched bird portraitI’ve been collecting all sorts of ideas for art gallery vignettes that I want to create in my home before we leave. The idea for this little beauty came from an article in Sew Somerset magazine that I pulled out over 18 months ago. I rip articles out that I like and keep them in binders in clear plastic pockets so that the rest of the magazine can be recycled. I recently confessed this behavior to a woman I chatted with at a bookstore. She said that I’m way too organized, but I think it sounds a little better than the hoarder house full of hundreds of magazines that she lives in. I don’t want to be found two weeks after I died, trapped under 10 year old craft magazines…….that would be so embarrassing.

Sew Somerset Summer 2012This article was written by Colette Copeland  who writes on a blog called a-bird-in-the-hand. I was taken in by the simple shapes, the single word, and the idea of outlining the image with hand stitching.

estate sale findI decided to use this frame that I picked up for 50 cents at an estate sale. The gold painted edges were dinged up and it had no back or glass, just a slot for a really thick image. I fixed the edges really easily with gold acrylic paint.

simple bird portraitSince the slot for the image was so deep I decided to paint it on a piece of an old book cover that was too broken to be used for anything else (Don’t ask me why I keep crap like that and don’t think I don’t know that you’re picturing me right now, dead under a stack of broken book covers, just stop it!). I sketched the outline first and then filled it in with watered down acrylic paint. When it was dry I poked holes with an awl all the way around the outline. I stitched the outline with pink embroidery floss using a backstitch.

trio of handmade artI framed a doodle stitching piece (my first ever) in another gold frame I found at the same estate sale, and hung both of them with vintage pink ribbon. I put eyelets in the ribbon to make them easy to hang. They flank the collage piece that I made at the Spellbound Art retreat in November. I love this piece so much, but I had nothing else in this color scheme in my house, so I decided to make something to coordinate with it and that’s how this little grouping came about. I’m working on a bigger piece that I started at Spellbound for the opposite wall and I’m really excited about finishing it. I like these pieces because they’re so different from anything I’ve done before. I’m loving the freedom I have right now to try new things.

The three of them look great together, especially on the mottled, taupe, Venetian plaster in my guest bath. I did the plaster years ago and until now there hasn’t been any artwork in there. Mostly because Venetian plaster is hard to repair so I didn’t want to hang anything unless I was in love with it. There’s no poking holes, just willy-nilly when it comes to plaster, at least not in my house. The collage is light enough to be hung on a 3M adhesive hook but the two side pieces I hung on Monkey Hooks that only leave pin size holes, which shouldn’t be too hard to touch up………but only because I’m so awesome.

Inventory used: acrylic craft paint

Mixed Media Collage

Terms of EndeermentTwo months ago I attended the Spellbound Event in Pasadena and it was the funnest thing I’ve done in a long time. Spellbound is an art retreat hosted by A Gilded Life and I’m definitely planning on going again this year. The collage above is from the first class I took at the retreat. The class was called “Terms of Endeerment” and was taught by Cathe Holden. I picked this class mostly because of the deer head. It’s awesome.

Rosette corsageCathe was a fantastic teacher and although there were a lot of layers in this project she broke it down and made it seem easy. Cathee has a book out called Rosette Art, so I guess you could call her a rosette expert.

I never did sports growing up so I don’t have any ribbons hanging on my wall or stuffed in boxes. I think this one’s prettier than all the hundreds my sister got for gymnastics. No, I’m not bitter, just lazy and prone to fainting spells when I sweat.

I loved how this piece came out, but when my daughter’s friend saw it in my studio, she really, really loved it. Now normally, I’m generous with my stuff, but like I said, I love how this piece came out, so it’s not leaving my studio anytime soon. I decided to make her something similar. It makes me look generous without having to give up any of my own stuff.

rosette art collageI made the background out of a foam core board that I plastered with a scrap of flocked wallpaper. (I love flocked wallpaper!) I made the rosette from a fabric covered button that I recovered with velvet. I got the pendant at the bottom from Michael’s, but the rest of it came from the stash drawers in my studio.

velvet rosette collageI think it’s a close enough reproduction to make her happy. It definitely says something for Cathe Holden’s ability to teach that I was able to duplicate it without her help two months later. Taking classes opens you up to to new ideas, tools and techniques, and I waited way too long to take one again. I’m so glad I got the chance to take this class, and in turn make something cool for a really deserving girl that could use a little frivolous beauty in her life. Everybody wins.