Stamp your Foot and say What If?

When I explore surface design I want to go beyond commercial products. There are some great commercial ones out there and you can do some amazing things with them. But just like commercially produced fabric designs there is a limit to creativity.  I like to dye and paint and print my own fabrics for one of a kind art work. Sometimes I start with a commercial fabric because I don’t ever want to waste something.  But what do I use for printing and stenciling?

Here are a few new tools in my tool box for this. These things all were destined for the trash or the recycle bin, depending on their number. When you think of surface design you see these as tools rather than trash. Oh, that black wooden piece I picked up at a sale and I am anxious to see the design from it.  The blue container is from mushrooms, of course an empty spool, the clear plastic is from cookies and the other piece is from bottles of fizzy water.

recycle plastic for mark making_jpaine dawes

Here is a close up of the fizzy water plastic. I know this is going to be a favorite. It will produce both positive and negative prints depending on whether I use it to stamp or stencil.


I haven’t had time to play with all these yet. I have some deadlines for exhibitions coming up. I wanted to share since it has been a really long time since I posted. Here is a finished piece going to Carol Jones Frank for our small art exchange group on Facebook. I used the empty spool in gold ink for some subtle stamping. It gave just the right amount of another layer of complexity. empty thread spool stamp_janicepainedawes



Paint Rag Art

I am forever the recycler and saver from the trash heap if something looks promising for another use.  Ron had a wonderful paint and stain rag that he was getting ready to use for a different color paint.

STOP I said as I snatched it from his hand. The dark stain had great texture and with a textile paint overlay it spoke Bittersweet to me. Bits of the  paint rag that are left are in the photo.

Then I bought a carved India trivet that was broken. I bought it because of the honeycomb design and thought it would make a good stamp. Bingo!  The bonus is the leaf shape that also stamped well. I sure wish there was more of that paint rag. I’ll have to keep my eyes open next time and think about shopping in his workroom more often.

The Mother of Invention….or the cheap way to do things

 Some of you know that I had a blog called “Quilting on the Cheap”. I wrote it as a direct answer to all the quilters, both traditional and art, who said you have to buy your fabric at the local quilt shop [LQS].  They rarely get my money since I can find more than enough fabrics for under $1 a yard and sometimes $0 a yard. 

Because of my passion for saving our earth by keeping as much out of the landfill as possible I repurpose what I can.  I was in need of a portable design wall. I’ve used about everything other’s have suggested as well as a couple of my own inventions. I’ve used a roller shade with thin flannel glued to it and a bamboo shade with flannel on one side. Both of these were OK but still had to have someplace to hang. I wanted something I could fold away and not deal with at all. 

So my mind had been working for possibilities. I had seen one of these projection screens at a thrift shop but felt it was too much money. Or at least more than I wanted to spend until I knew if it would work out the way I envisioned.

Then this week I found the one I wanted to try for $3. We tested it to make sure all the springs and adjustments worked before we bought it. The beauty of this is that it is very compact by itself as you can see in the first photo. The photo on the right shows the screen folded up with the flannel clipped on the top rail. It is still compact but simply unclip it and fold the flannel up if you want. 

 This is the naked screen. It can be adjusted from the the top or the bottom.  I hemmed heavy weight drapery flannel liner on the top and bottom with fusible tape to make this as easy as possible. Then I used large binder clips to attach it to the top rail and small clips to stretch it across and clip on the sides. 

We sometimes go on extended stay vacations in a small 26 ft. long motor home. This will be perfect since it will fold up to be put away in the small closet.

I thought about putting velcro tabs to attach it, or eyelets on the top and screws in the rail to attach it. All those were too labor intensive and I wanted this project to be quick and dirty for all of you.  I submitted this to Fons and Porter magazine as a quilting tip  but I just couldn’t wait to share it with my readers. This has gotten a huge number of hits but just in case anyone missed it I’m linking up

Recycling Textiles

Here are more textile finds from the ropa that will eventually end up in fiber art. I am really big into recycling and reusing. It’s funny that I’ve done this for years and I am finally in style. “Ropa” is spanish for clothes but here in the valley we call the used clothing/thrift shop businesses ropas. The ones I go to have both new and used merchandise.

The first piece is a reversible jacket in beautiful blue and lemon yellow brocade. I particularly wanted the frog closures off of this. These are about an inch and a half flowers that are hand stitched to the front flaps. I also love the heavy quilting on the lapel and bottom of the jacket. Who knows where pieces of this will end up?

This is an indigo summer kimono. I wasn’t sure if I would take this apart but friends on the Quilting Arts List assured me that the textile gods would not reach down and snatch it from my hands when I take the scissors to it. The first pix shows part of the front to show you the scale of the mum print. The seams are 11 inches apart which is common in kimonos. This allows for piecing without cutting and having raw edges. Each of the seams is hand stitched with heavy sashiko weight thread. All seams are stitched with a double line of stitching . Where horizontal and vertical lines meet, they are stitched down with an x-stitch like shown in the next pix. This should be a piece of cake to take apart and store the fabric. The selvages are visible on each of the seams and the fabric is 13 1/2 inches wide. I remember years ago in Hawaii how surprised I was to see all the bolts of 14 or 18 inch wide fabrics in a shop. I think that’s when I fell in love with kimono fabrics.

This last pix is of a blouse . The fabric from this one already has a place. I have been working on a series featuring the White River. The blouse is burned silk with a few copper sequins. Can you see a birds eye view of lily pads in the shallow?

Repurposing a Ceramic Egg Holder

Blossom Cushion by Rashida Coleman-Hale in the Quilting Arts Magazine December Issue and from I Love Patchwork: 25 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew.
I loved this and put it at the top of my little things I would love to have.I found this wonderful little jewel while exploring some of the second hand shops in McAllen Tx. It’s larger than the inspiration item but will lend itself to a nice holder of buttons and beads as well as a pincushion. I’m looking forward to repurposing it soon.