Making Color Copies of Vintage Fabric

My parents have been helping me with a small kitchen remodeling project. I haven’t done much to assist, so I decided to do what I could to help. Namely, create new artwork for the wall. I know, big help.

Inspired by my 1950’s turquoise formica metal table & vinyl chairs, my kitchen is pale green with bright red cherry accents. I want to incorporate these colors along with a 1950’s vibe in a large collage on canvas.

I started by taking a few pieces of vintage fabric (tablecloths, napkins) to the local copy center, and making large 11 x 17″ color copies of the fabric. It looked pretty silly to have the large barkcloth tablecloth completely covering the copier, but the results were worth any embarrassment! The colors perfectly match the vibrant colors of the fabric–plus you don’t have to destroy the original source material to create something new.

Check out the results:


Sewing Themed Collage – Part 2

I know you all have been anxiously awaiting the next steps in my sewing themed collage. I hope the Super Bowl was able to entertain you in my absence.

Without further ado, here is the continuing saga of the Sewing Themed Collage

After I placed the initial pieces, I through the collage needed a photographic element. I liked this image of a kid in a candy store, and thought it added an additional vintage element. I accented it with an old-fashioned photo mount. I wasn’t quite pleased with the result, so I attempted to fix it using the old favorite, “if you don’t like the way something looks, try to cover your mistake with velum.” I then followed that with the other old favorite, “if you don’t have the correct adhesive, just use a lot of what you do have, maybe that will work.” That just created a huge mess.

So now I have, a photo I dislike, and wavy bumpy velum because Modge Podge (MP from now on) and velum aggressively dislike each other.

So, once it had dried, I tore off that mistake, which left a nice little ragged look. Lemons, now you are lemonade!

I then used a vinyl number in the lower corner. The black stands out like a sore thumb, but don’t worry, it won’t last. This picture shows the cool paper scraps left where the photo/vellum once were.

I took an old ragged paint brush and dry brushed a little white paint over the six and the side of the collage.

To soften this harsh white color on an otherwise muted collage, I rubbed gel paint in raw umber all over the canvas. This especially looks cool on any raw paper that hasn’t been MP’ed yet.

I then removed the lovely vinyl 6 which left a slight outline of where it once was. See, I told you it would all be alright.

I still felt like the piece was missing something, so I looked in my drawer of scraps and found the perfect item. A couple of years ago, I made a mini album out of my canceled passport (future blog post), and I had printed mini photographs onto transparencies. I still have a couple lying around, and I thought it would be the vintage-y photographic element I was looking for. I love how you can still see the text behind the picture. Here is the final piece.

Sewing Themed Collage – Part 1

This is a little 8 1/2 x 10″ collage I created for my friend, D’s, birthday. Since D is a theatrical costume designer, I wanted to create a simple collage featuring ephemera relating to sewing & fabric. However, I wanted the colors to remain muted and neutral so it wouldn’t distract from the vibrant inspiration wall for the current theatrical production in D’s office.

I started with a stretched canvas on wood. I painted it a neutral brownish tan color roughly, showing brush strokes and some of the white underneath. I then decoupaged scrapbooking paper of a vintage fabric & millinery supply catalog. I do my painting & decoupaging while the canvas is sitting on an old text book, this acts as a drop cloth for paint & glue, and when the paper gets too gross, you can just turn the page to another brand new drop cloth.

To smooth the bubbles out, I use old gift cards. The small size is great, plus you can just toss it when it is too gluey.

I then started playing around with the layout of the other papers. I knew I wanted to incorporate pieces from a vintage sewing pattern, and for the other papers I chose them for their content, but also for their color. Since this piece would be muted, I wanted them all to be similar hue.

Once I was happy with the layout, I decopauged the pieces with Modge Podge. I waited for each piece to adhere before putting the next piece on.

The pattern piece was the most difficult to decoupage–it was so thin, it had a tendency to tear, but also developed bubbles. This is when the gift card smoother came in handy!

This post is taking forever for me to finish, so I will continue in a second post…

Paper Collage Mirror

I have been so busy cleaning up my studio, it hasn’t left me much time to actually create anything. However, my friend, G’s, birthday was a great opportunity to try something new. Using my mad decoupage skills, I created this fun collage mirror.

I started with my old favorite, the IKEA MALMA mirror, and then started cutting millions of 1″ squares from paper scraps, photos, ad scans–whatever matched the pink vibrant color scheme and images I thought G would like.

O.K., it wasn’t actually millions of squares, but it seemed like it at the time. I was trying to be square & true, but I am sure some of my angles were more like 89 or 90 degrees. If I do this project again, I will invest in a Marvy paper punch!

I then decoupaged all the squares onto the mirror, making sure to mix up the patterns & images so they would be spread out evenly. I did one top coat of Modge Podge and once that dried, I sprayed a couple of coats of high gloss clear sealer on it.

This is the finished project:

The Chaotic CarrieTown Studio – Reality Check

This post is the first in the Great CarrieTown Studio Cleanup Series of 2012:
I spend a lot of my free time browsing photos of slick, well organized craft spaces. I have even devoted an entire Pinterest board to this obsession. I dream of being able to waltz into my well-lit immaculate space, sit down, listen to classical music and finally create that masterpiece the world has been waiting for.

The reality is a little more cluttered. I am very lucky to have a craft space. I converted half of my two car garage into a sunny space where I can create my artwork and jewelry and any other messy project I may want to attempt. This year I added a DVR, and it is usually stocked with classic commercial free films and favorite TV shows. I even have a dedicated speaker station so I can plug in my iPad and listen to podcasts.

It is a very creative space, but lately I have been re-evaluating storage. I tend to forget about things unless I can see them in front of my face, which means that everything is visible. Want proof or the chaos, just check out these pics:

As you can see, chaos reigns over CarrieTown. The lower cabinets are filled with entire sets of plates used for Mosaics projects. Since I mostly work on paper crafts and jewelry, I would like to reduce the amount of mosaics supplies and utilize this space more efficiently for shop supplies, tools, and other items that need new homes.

This is the jewelry workspace. As you can see, most of the storage is on the surface, which limits the amount of space I have to work & create. I would also like to get rid of the clear drawers because they don’t work very well.

This is where I do most of my paper crafts…as you can obviously see. I need to find a new way to store all those little scraps of paper that can be used for future projects.

The desk from the back. I can’t believe I actually get any work done here. Wish me luck as I move forward with my organization project. The organization of CarrieTown is an ongoing project, but I thought I would start with the absolute messiest photos so the after pics would look more impressive. Mission Accomplished for messiest photos!