Happy New Year!

I am so excited to be back in the studio with the start of 2017. There are several exciting things in the works for Studio Lams and I wait to share them all with you! To start off the new year, I will be offering my own hand-printed fabric for purchase. This new product will debut at Craft Napa with Lynn Krawczyk. Shortly after that I will have several new products available in the Smudged Design Studio Etsy Shop. The first batch of fabric is called “My Fresh Start Collection”. It’s about a new year, new ideas, and new directions.

Better late than never

It’s summer, the kids are home and our days can get a little wacky around here. But I made a point this week to catch up in the studio by cleaning off my table and making room to put this together for Lynn and the Printed Fabric Bee. The theme was vintage, so I went with a vintage bird theme. All of the birdy images are from very old greeting cards that I scanned and turned into Thermofax Screens.

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Sadly the drawing for this one has come and gone. But I do have things setup for the next project and should have something for the next giveaway.

Sleepy Sketchbook

Spring is on my mind! I’ve had this journal for a little while now. It’s covered in canvas just for the purpose of drawing on it. I had Thermofax Screen printed the lines on to the cover ages ago and I thought they looked a bit industrial. So I decided to see if I could change that look by drawing big flowers on it.

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A project just for fun

Fabric Cutting

For most of my projects I usually stick to hand-dyed fabrics that either myself or another artist has done. But for this project I made a happy exception. It’s not everyday that I have a friend come out with her own fabric and thread lines. Then there’s the fact that Lynn and I like similar colors and designs, so what’s not to like?

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But I can never leave fabric untouched by paint or pen. Nope, not possible. So these three lovely pieces got printed and drawn on. And in between I turned them into hexi shapes. I had never made a hexi before this and let me say that they are pretty darn fun. And then there’s lots of stitching. The thread is part of Lynn’s INKED threads. The yellow, printed State Fair piece in the middle is from my own stash.

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So I can honestly say that the INKED product lines can hold up to a fair amount of surface designing. This piece is still in progress and I will share the finished piece with you next month.

This Month’s Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway

December belonged to Lisa Chin with a theme of vintage maps. This one was a bit of a challenge and required some lengthy brainstorming. Pinterest is my favorite tool for this type of activity. I went with the idea of a old, stained world map. I love how some really old, hand drawn maps had images of people and other lovely graphic twirly-do’s (yes, that’s a technical term). I layered up various images with Thermofax Screen printing. Mixed up some of my own paint colors to get what I wanted and came up with this for Lisa.

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If I can’t seem to find a paint color to fit what I’m looking to do, I mix one up with what I have on hand.

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Another trick, if I am printing with a screen that has a lot of details, words, smaller images, I will tape the screen down to help keep it from shifting. I will also use a piece of scrap paper to block out areas that I don’t want printed.

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And when all was dry and done I had this lovely piece for Lisa and the giveaway.

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One of my favorite images from this is printed in the burgundy/red color. It comes from an old wood stamp that I found at an antique place for a couple bucks. I think of a city of the west side of Michigan. I scanned it in, reversed the image from a positive to a negative (Photoshop stuff), then made it into a screen.

Okay, so there you go! Head on over to The Printed Fabric Bee blog and leave a comment for your chance to win your own 6×6 squares of the map fabrics.

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Urban Textures

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Urban Textures was Leslie Jenison’s theme for September. I immediately thought of worn, graffiti brick walls and went forth with that in mind. I don’t have any images to show my process. Why? Because I have 3 kids, one being not quite two yet. So my process is thinking, plotting, planning for days, try to get a visual in my mind of what I want to aim for and what steps I need to take to get there. When the little one goes down for a nap I get to work, and in that short span of time I have a tendency to forget to snap some pictures. Also some of my pieces (like this one) involve a lot of computer work so taking shots of my computer really isn’t that interesting.

But I can tell you little bit of what I did. I utilized Adobe Photoshop and some photos from my archive. I went with worn brick and rusted metal. I ran them through a few filters to find the best look (graphic pen is a favorite) and made the photos straight black and white (no gray). What next? Yup, Thermofax Machine of course. I burn the images into screens and planned out the next step of painting. So next nap time,  I used a couple screens multiple times with different paint colors to get a varied appearance. I usually won’t even rinse the screens in between paint colors if I am using paints close in hue (also, only do this with paint that doesn’t dry fast). Then eventually I created a wet mess that needs to dry before I dare add another layer, so I had to quit for the day whether nap time is done or not. Besides I need time to clean up and stash the paint supplies or I will end up with little fabric paint finger prints on my new couches (don’t ask).

The graffiti text on the wall was a different program and a different nap day. I found some freeware fonts online (dafont.com is a favorite) and got to work with Adobe Illustrator (I’m a graphic designer during other nap times). My graffiti text says ‘Bliss’ and I know it’s not very legible but neither is most worn out graffiti. I ran it through Morty (Thermofax Machine) and used a transparent paint color and there you go.

This theme yielded a lovely variety of fabrics from the group this month. Take a spin on over to the blogs to see their processes and leave your two cents over here for a chance to win your own 6×6 squares of each.

Urban Textures

New Giveaway!

Typography

First let me apologize for being very behind on the blog (yet again). We are in the process of getting a new home and selling our current home. So life has been very insane lately. I promise there will be more artwork, projects, and good art type stuff posted here in a few months. But at the moment, the Printed Fabric Bee is the only thing that gets me back to the fabric and paint right now, for which I am very grateful. And there was a winner for last month’s giveaway and that lucky girl was Lisa Filion! So big congrats to her.

This month’s theme is Typography by Lisa Chin. Since I’m a graphic designer in my other life, I have a great fondness for typography. In my piece I went vintage with lots of handwritten notes from very old postcards and recipes. Then I included and old newspaper ad for a piano store. Not every bit of it is legible, but together is creates a lovely texture on the snow-dyed fabric. And yes, all of it is done with Thermofax Screen printing. So go over to Lisa’s blog or the Printed Fabric Bee Blog and leave a comment for your chance to win these amazing fabrics.

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The blog got buried in snow and everything else

Okay so I may have completely neglected the blog but only because life got way more crazy than usual and the blog gets tossed off the to-do list when life goes a wacka-do. But hey, did you know I have a show going on! I am doing a display at the very cool Grove Gallery in East Lansing with Lynn Krawczyk. The place is full of some the coolest artwork I’ve seen in a long time. Our stuff will be hanging on the walls until February 28th. It is worth the trip if you can swing it.

Grove Gallery

Here are a few of my bigger pieces on display.

Repurposed No 1

(Repurposed No.1) This is some of the recycled fabric (one half of a big table cloth that I got from the Salvation Army Store) that hung outside all summer long. You can see it here. It got a bit discolored and the hot sun baked the duck tape onto the fabric. I did get it off and it left really cool marks on the fabric. I later attacked it with paint, fabric, and more paint.

Repurposed No 2

(Repurposed No.2) This is the other half of that big tablecloth. It was hand-dyed the same as the other half but it did not sit outside all summer. It did get sun painted though with orange construction fencing, more paint, machine stitched then drawn on.

I realize that both of the above pieces hang kind of wonky (technical term) but I left it that way on purpose. I was rather hard on this fabric that was already second hand and nothing high end. It was stretched, scrunched, walked on, left to the outside elements… you get the idea. It’s not perfect and I did not want to display it like it was. It is something that someone else got rid of and I gave it a new purpose.

Then there is this one:

Evening Blooms

Hand-dyed fabric that is comprised mostly of hand drawn elements. I screen printed on a three repeating designs then I customized each print by drawing on them with pens.

Stay warm!

 

 

December 2nd Snapshot

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Still in the drawing stage, I plan to do a lot more to this. Hand-dyed fabric, Thermofax Screen Printing and lots of sketching.

A Little Autumn Project Inspiration

 

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“Thermofax Screen Printing is easy!” I have told this to many people over the last few years and more times than not their eyes will glaze over with doubt and I know that I’ve lost them. So I’ve been working on ideas to make this idea a bit more clear, easy and most of all fun!

This first idea started in early autumn while walking my kids to school. The leaves were just beginning to drop and I found myself admiring their lovely shapes and lines. So I gathered up a small variety and scanned them into my computer. I wasn’t sure what I would make at first but I eventually landed on the idea of a Thermofax screen printed tablecloth. I journeyed over one of our local discount home décor stores and picked up a lovely tablecloth and matching napkins for all of $16.

Next, I ran the scanned leaf images through a few filters in Photoshop to make them black and white images for the Thermofax machine (Morty). Then I figured out the right size for the images, made my screens and got to printing.

I did test out each screen to see how it printed. Then I picked out my paint and colors. Some paint is thinner and may not show the details, some didn’t have the colors I wanted. So I settled with Jaquard Textile Paint. They had all the lovely fall colors I was looking for. Usually I would just use what paint I had on hand but sadly many of my colors were running low, so I did need to restock a little bit for this project.

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Here’s the tablecloth all plain and ready to go.

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Here’s the printing in progress. I experimented with various colors. If I didn’t like how a print came out, I just didn’t print it again. If I liked it, I did a lot more of it.

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Matching napkins on the drying rack.

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And Voilà! Doesn’t it look awesome?! My sister is a master at table setting and helped me set this up to show how cool it turned out. It was super easy and did not cost that much money to make. Can you squirt paint and squish it with a foam brush? Then you can do this.

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The Printed Fabric Bee & Orange Circles

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The theme was orange circles set by Lynn Krawczyk. The fabric is from the stash. I hand-dyed this a few years ago when I did the MSU Project. It has a lovely rust tone to it that knew I wanted (I know Lynn likes a good rust color). First I Thermofax Screen Printed the larger round circles in browns and black. Once that was dry I printed a mini version of Circles Sprites in gold for a little contrast and texture.Then I dug out every container of orange paint I could find, along with every orange, brown and black marker I could unearth in the studio. Then I just started experimenting with the different shades and types of paint. If something looked cool, I did some more, if it didn’t, I put it away. I layered up the colors for a bit, then broke out the pens and markers and started drawing on the painted and unpainted areas. Pebeo makes a fabric marker that worked really well for this. But beware, the odor is pretty strong with these. Also, metallic Sharpies are absolute favorites. So print, paint, draw was my method of creative mayhem. I love how it turned out and can’t wait to tackle the next theme.

Customizable Journal Cover

Not long ago, during a trip to Michael’s Crafts I discovered a canvas covered journal. Unable to resist, I snatched it up and made plans to test it out. So here you go:

Blank Journal

Supplies:

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Printing:

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And Ta-Da!

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I went simple on this one. I asked a few folks around me if I should add some color and the consensus was no. But it does have a hardcover and could easily withstand a few rounds of printing or whatever else you had in mind. So I would say its worth checking out.