Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy BOO Day

October has arrived! Just as at Christmas time, I enjoy creating handmade decorations for this time of the year.  This year I decided to try a different look with a mixed media collage canvas.

12" square canvas
Fabric Elements™ Fat Quarters: Green Dot, Orange Dot, Artistic Lines, Spirals
Fabric Elements™Tissue
Fabric Elements™ Wool Felt
Fabric Elements™Batting
TCW Stencils by Rebekah Meier: Assorted Designs
Earth Safe Finishes Gel Medium
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics: Various Colors
Cosmetic Sponges
Metallic Threads
Sewing Machine
Decorative Paper (backing)
Fabric Glue
Wood Easel (optional)

For this project, I used various mixed media products.  The majority of products are from a new line called Fabric Element™ by Rebekah Meier.  To create the pumpkin, leaf, stem, sunflower and fence I used various fabrics from the line.  The pumpkin, leaf, and flowers were made by layering the fabric, batting and muslin in three layers.  I sketched the shapes of the pumpkin and leaf onto the fabric.  Using a sewing machine I used a zig-zag stitch for the outline of the two shapes.  I used a free-motion stitching techniques for the veins of the leaf and for the sunflower shapes.  The leaf and pumpkin are trimmed with pinking shears; the sunflowers are cut with scissors, close to the stitching.  All of the fabric pieces were painted with fluid acrylics that were diluted with water and brushed on to your desired look.  The sunflowers have buttons sewn to the centers with metallic thread.

To create the stem of the pumpkin, roll a strip of wool felt, layered with a strip of muslin into a tube.  Wrap the tube with two colors of metallic threads and tie the ends.  Wash the tube with thinned brown paint.  Set the tube aside to dry.

A strip of the "artistic lines" fabric was torn with the lines resembling a fence.  The piece can be tea-dyed or stained with a fluid paint wash.  This strip is added to the canvas using gel medium and after all the stenciling is completed.

The canvas is given a light blue acrylic paint wash.  Strips of aqua tissue are torn for the sky.  The green tissue is used at the bottom of the canvas for grass.  A piece of decorative tissue is torn into a circle shape for the sun.  All the tissue is applied using gel medium.

When the gel medium is dry, begin stenciling.  Stencil the tree design with brown paint.  A leaf design used vertically was stenciled with various colors to resemble bushes.  Circular designs were stenciled over the circular tissue in yellow and golds.  Flower stem designs are stenciled near the bottom right of the canvas.  Flower head shapes were first stenciled onto the spiral fabric using several colors of thinned paint before the free-form stitching is done.  To finish the canvas, stencil the word "Happy" with white paint near the top.  White glitter paper was used to die-cut the word "BOO".

The finished pumpkin shape is glued to the canvas with fabric glue.  NOTE: A small amount of stuffing is placed under the pumpkin to give it shape and dimension.  The stem is glued to the top of the pumpkin, tucking the lower edge under the pumpkin.  Shape the leaf by folding and gluing slightly near the stem of the leaf.  Glue the leaf in place, tuck the stem under the top of the pumpkin.

Cut two lengths of green wire.  Wrap the wire around a smooth pencil to form tendrils.  Remove the wire from the pencil and pull the ends out to shape the tendrils.  Glue them into place, hiding the ends under the leaf.  Glue the sunflowers onto the canvas above the stenciled flower stems.  Glue the word BOO near the bottom left corner of the canvas.

To finish off the canvas, glue a decorative sheet of 12" square paper onto the back. Trim the edge of the canvas with ribbon.  Use an easel for display or add a hanger to the back of the canvas if desired.

Many of the techniques for working with Fabric Elements™ can be found in the booklet that is also available.  It is called "Techniques for Mixed Media" and shows 12 different techniques for creating interesting mixed media projects that are all interchangeable.

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