Khaki no more

I’ve had more adventures with fabric paint, as well as some fabric markers that I’ve never used before.

As a birthday present for Bo, a friend and I went in on a fabulous Needles & Things canvas tote bag.  I would link to the site, but sadly it is no more.  This bag is very expandable with a lot of storage.  Bo had given both of us one of these bags, but hadn’t picked up one for herself when she had the opportunity.  I’ve filled mine with all my viking knit supplies, and there is still so much room… love it!

The downside of the bag?  The lack of colour choice – there is blue and there is khaki.  Well, it’s not a downside to everyone, but to colourful people it is a problem.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to get the blue, so out came the paints!

After a few layers of base fabric paint, I started to paint on some designs.  Once there was no sign of khaki, I started adding details.  When both sides were dry, I got out the Uchida DecoArt fabric pens and started to draw.  I love these pens… they are one of my new favourite things.  It was so nice not to have to outline  with a steady hand (which I do not have) and a brush, or by squeezing out a line of paint.  The squeezing works, but it creates a raised outline, and on a bag that will be rubbing against fabric I worry that it will catch and peel.  After outlining, I got out the fabric markers, which were quite sheer.  I used them to highlight and shadow.

I’m hoping the paint will be durable… I’ve told Bo that she knows where to find me if touch-ups are needed… Here’s hoping that the fabric stands up to the wear and tear of use!

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Bottom view

Bottom view

What are your experiences with fabric paint?  Success?  Disaster?  Somewhere in between?

Artsy travel thoughts…

I had written earlier about my frustration over not having an easily transportable art form when travelling (peeved post), and have continued to give it a lot of thought. Thank you to those who suggested ideas! I am beginning to realize that I have really limited myself by my self-consciousness over my lack of drawing skills.

For as long as I have thought about art in its varied forms, I have felt that people should just try – try playing with different mediums, with different styles… dabble with textures to find something that appeals to or intrigues them… not worrying so much about what is produced, but more about the journey. I do this to a degree – I get excited about trying new mediums and techniques, however I still let my old hang-ups and insecurities stop me from progressing down certain paths.

Within Instagram I follow a variety of jewellers and cats (an oddly pleasing mix!). Today there was a post from Manon at sistersofthesun. It was a picture of some watercolour sketches of jewellery-to-be, and the start of the actual projects. I found it really pleasing and quite inspiring. I haven’t been doing a lot of jewellery sketching lately, although ideas are starting to flow again. I looked through my idea books and found pages and pages of past jewellery sketches.

Jewellery ideas

Jewellery ideas

Perhaps this is how I should break into sketching – take along some watercolour pencils and a small brush, and put a bit of time into developing ideas a little more thoroughly – not that I am naive enough to think I’ll produce jewellery the way it has been sketched (I rarely follow through exactly as planned, although it has happened on occasion) but it is a way to get my mind into a creative space. That may lead to studies for wall hangings… brainstorming images as I look out the train window.

I need to keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for me – it doesn’t have to measure up to anyone else’s standards. I was always the kid in school with my arm crooked around the picture I was drawing so no one else could see it and sneer. Do others have problems with this – the constant worrying that people are always looking over our shoulder and declaring our work not worthy?