First up is a 'Why Falling in love is like Owning a Dog'.
I am doing a reading of this poem by Taylor Mali in July, and decided that it would be lovely to give a version of the poem printed out to the couple in question as a present.
I started to research calligraphers, but felt the style wasn't quite right, and then I found a company that would print and mount a poem for you. But it was a very bland presentation, and not right for me to give as a gift (if you see what I mean).
So and very last minute because it normally takes me months and months to plan any new work, I decided to do it myself.
First up the background.
I am using khadi paper with a lovely flecked texture.
Your can just about make out the hearts cut from freezer paper, which I stuck on and then I sprayed the paper with a brusho ink solution.
Then, using the 'waste' from the freezer paper I had used to cut the hearts, I added additional hearts with oil sticks and a stencil brush.
The next dilemma was the words.
I did consider using a thermofax screen and if I had had time this is what i would have done. I would have made several background papers, and then done several print runs before deciding on the right one. But I need to get this finished and to the framer, so in the end I discounted that (which in honesty would have been my preferred solution) and decided to print the poem on using a copier instead.
But my copier only takes A4 so I decided to scan the background paper I had made and then print an A4 sheet over the top.
This was tricky and there were several attempts at this, including which colour to print the actual poem (in the end I opted for dark green).
Now all I had to do was to decorate the whole and disguise the line of the paper with the poem (in the end I actually did not use paper but a printable synthetic fabric from Crafty Computer Paper. It has a texture more akin to the khadi paper.)
More khadi paper and more brusho inks, then more stenciling with oil sticks and I had a batch of hearts to play with (these I had to leave overnight to 'dry' - the oil takes some time to loose it's stickiness.)
In addition, some of them I painted with a cheap glitter glue. Gives just enough added sparkle. Cut out, I had a little stash of paper hearts.
Then I stitched.
This is a design as you progress project, you understand. Time is of the essence (it would be fine if it weren't for the Day Job - but bills have to be paid, dogs have to be fed etc.) so, no chance of a good play first.
Using a metalic thread, and a metalic needle though I still had problems (don't look at the back) I stitched the hearts down the middle and then folded them gently to give a 3D effect.
And here we are - not a great photo as you cannot see how some of the hearts overlap the edge of the paper. You can also still see some of the lines of the second piece of paper with the poem on but I intend to add some beads to distract the eye away from that. And in the flesh this is not so noticeable.
So nearly finished.
By way of a post script, I should add that the poem describes how being in love is like owning a dog. I did consider dog imagery on the backgound paper, but thought it would be too hectic. In the end I decided to keep it simple with the hearts.
I am pleased, but wish I had come up with the idea sooner. Being on such a tight time table meant I had to make some decisions particularly with the printing of the poem, that with more time I might have done differently. But I did not have that luxury. Maybe that was good for me. Not too much prevarication.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the studio:-
Book wrap fabric quilted...
Then blasted with the heat gun (so satisfying!)
And Horizons is mounted onto 'The Beast'.
And, yay, quilting has begun!
Deadline is that it has to be 'in' by 1st July. Which means finished a week before! All ready to hang etc.
The question, dear reader, is will I make the deadline?