Saturday, April 16, 2016

Playing with Tyvek

I've been wanting to dabble more with ironed tyvek, and was happy to see that a few of the current challenges with a "Spring" theme might suit.....

I also wanted to play along with the current Mixed Media Mojo challenge April Fun, which would require an up cycled bit as well as some metal.  Hmmmm.

Up cycle I could do, as some of the online retailers I purchase supplies from use US Priority mail envelopes as packing, and these are made of tyvek.  Metal..... hmmmm.

Then, while poking around on the net I came across a fun tutorial on tyvek beads..... wrapped in thin metal wire with some beading.  Perfect!

I started by cutting apart one of my saved envelopes.  I knew I wanted my beads to be smaller, so I made the pieces shorter than you see in the video.   

I did use the metallic paint approach, just to see how it looked, and created a blend across one of the longer pieces of cut tyvek.  I chose to color both sides, as I did not like the white look in the tutorial, because I would not be stringing these together which would probably disguise that white core.

Once dry, I cut this into smaller pieces, on the angles....

and rolled them individually on a bamboo skewer, starting from the wider end, and pinning the thinner end once done.

Then I heated them, while on the skewer.  And, voila!  As you can see, any printing that showed through the paint is no longer visible once the tyvek shrinks.

 Here you can see just how small they are - those bead tubes are around six inches long at most.

Then I wrapped them with thin wire and some beads..... I am not too good at this, but eventually I got some beads to the look I wanted..... and decided to quit while I was ahead, lol!

On to the larger background piece..... which I painted with Golden fluid acrylics in a rainbow assortment of colors.  I had these paints from my workshop with Carol Nelson, but you could certainly use regular acrylic paints, or perhaps even alcohol inks.....

Once again, I painted both sides...

I made several pieces as I was playing around with the paints and wasn't sure what would turn out ok.   The side you heat with the iron or heat gun will bubble forward (so the other side becomes the pebbled side).  Eventually, I settled on this side as my "front" - I wasn't concerned about the red stripe as I knew I could cut it off if I couldn't get it to roll to the back, and I really loved the stone-like  quality of the paint.

Here it is after the first pass with the iron.... I had it too hot which is why I got such large holes on the left.  I use a small craft iron, but any iron with a teflon surface will work.  I also iron directly on my craft sheet on my table, but you can also use an ironing board, though I would protect the surface with a craft sheet.  I started by using one of those fold-up ironing cloths that many quilters use, but it proved too soft for my liking, and was inhibiting all the interesting bubbles, pebbles and crevasses I like to see.

Here is the back of the same piece.  It is also quite interesting - I just happen to like to other side better, particularly for what I had in mind.  If you look at the piece of tyvek in my last post, though, you will see that I used "the back" in the collage piece.

I ended up ironing this a bit more to get even finer detail in some of those plainer areas throughout.  I wanted lots of nooks and crannies....

Now what?!  I tried a couple of softly colored backgrounds for a more natural look, but the piece disappeared into these.... so I ended up using the back of a canvas panel.  First, I stenciled it with flexible molding paste using the Tim Holtz Flourish stencil.  And then I painted the whole thing  heavily with Distress Antique Linen paint.  That ended up with a lovely pale green cast once dry, but I wanted more of a cream look, so I sprayed Distress Picket Fence over it with lots of water and my heat gun.

Next, I placed my beads as though they were rising to the top, placing the ones with the metal and small beads toward the top..... and the others as just below as though not quite "cooked"....  I used hot glue to attach them all, as the tyvek is quite dimensional and I wanted to make sure everything stuck. That is also how I attached the base piece to the canvas.

Then I mixed my remaining small bead mix with matte medium and slathered them on to hit those crevasses.... and went to bed hoping for the best.

And yay - it worked!

I cut an older Sizzix label from a mop up tag, and stamped it with the word "renew" - as this piece reminds me of plants moving up through the soil toward the sun in this new season.... and also my ideas as they bubble up from wherever they originate, lol!

To tie in the frame, I rubbed the higher areas with Treasure Gold in Spanish Topaz, a beautiful copper color.

 And here is the finished piece.

Thank you so much for stopping by - and if you've time, please do leave a comment as I always love to hear your thoughts! xxx Lynn

I will enter this into these challenges!
Mixed Media Mojo April Fun
Stamps & Stencils Trash to Treasure 
Country View Challenges Spring
A Vintage Journey Spring is in the Air

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What I've Been Up To!

Well, after a much lengthier absence than I anticipated a month ago, I have finally cleared the decks and get back to my experiments!  I'll be around to visit all of you and your lovely projects shortly, and hope to post some new things here very soon!  But in the meantime, here is my record of recent activity.

In early March, I attended a workshop by the wonderful mixed media artist, Carol Nelson, held eat the New Braunfels Art League in New Braunfels, Texas (just north of San Antonio).  I met some wonderful folks, and saw lots of creative takes on Carol's assignments over this 4 day workshop.

Here is a piece of painted tyvek (those plastic types of mailers, for instance) that I then ironed!!  It is rubbed with something like Treasure Gold and a similar product in copper.  Below are some more pictures of this technique (and this piece).... love this technique!  You can also use a heat gun, though the patterns will be different.

 Another project was made with plastic foam eating plates!  You'd never guess, even in person!

We also played around with shaving creme and acrylics.... I will definitely be doing this again, as it was easy to get some very interesting detailed patterns.

We also made some acrylic skins with pouring medium and paint....

One of our major efforts was collaging with all of the above, and other papers we had made or altered.  I did not finalize either piece, as I am not happy with the background on this one, or the placement of pieces on the second.  The rust piece on this is an acrylic skin made with Quin Gold and some metallic copper paint.  You can also see of my shaving cream paper here.... and some tyvek on the second piece.

The other thing I've been up to is making two blocks for a wedding quilt at the request of a dear friend for her son's upcoming marriage.  This was challenging not only because it has been several years since I have done any design and construction work in fabric, but mostly because I have already moved my entire quilt studio (fabric, tools, tables, Bernina sewing machine, ironing board, etc.) out to my new home, lol!  But I do have a small inexpensive Singer that I have as a backup (having learned the hard way in the midst of a deadline on a commission that Bernina machines are not fixed overnight - and even though they have very few problems if well maintained, it can happen!)  So I bought and solicited fabric donations from another friend.... and here is what emerged.  We were each asked to choose one or two themes from a list significant to the soon-to-be-married couple:

A wood campfire, based on a free-hand New York Beauty design.

and tomatoes and basil, the first of which is based on Ruth McDowell's freezer paper technique, and the rest is of my design.... those triangles are supposed to be chopped tomatoes, lol!

So although these things were all fun and stimulating - I cannot wait to get back into the challenges and keeping up with all of you!

Thanks so much for stopping by..... I appreciate your time and any thoughts!  xxx Lynn