Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Pictures of some bits that I've been working on lately or that have bubbled to the surface in the studio. The first one is a piece I worked on awhile back: Crumpled brown bag paper, painted with metallic acrylics and embellisheed with varigated rayon thread sewn with a variety of programmed stitches from my Pfaff 1475. This is the front and back view of the same piece.

The next three are fabric paper samples I made quite some time back. The pink one has a muslin base with scrapbooking paper, printed tissue paper, sewing pattern tissue, and washes of fluid acrylics. The blue one has a base of coarse, large weave cloth similar to burlap. It's layered with wrapping paper and sparkle tulle with washes of fluid acrylics. The final green - blue piece is again the coarsely woven fabric, wrapping and decorative napkins, white tulle, and washes of fluid acrylics. I like making them in rather large sheets - about 20" x 30" or 24" x 36"

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Fabric Book page or cover

Fabric Book Pages or Cover Background
© 2009, Denise Funfsinn

I’m in the process of creating a fabric book to give to a relative later this year. Since I’ve accumulated a decent stash of thread, fabric, and fiber clippings from other projects, I decided to add them as an embellished quilted fabric background for some pages. You can use this technique to make a fabric background for a wall hanging, soft box, journal cover, ornaments, postcards, ATCs, etc. Let your imagination soar with a color theme and a variety of specialty threads, fibers, and fabrics.

Fabric base
Fusible fleece
Sulky ® Solvy –water soluble stabilizer
Clippings of threads, fibers, & fabrics
Pressing cloth
Quilt Basting Spray (June Tailor®) running water
Iron, Sewing machine, thread, pins

The base of this quilted sandwich is a sample of discontinued home decorator fabric from a local sewing center, about 18” x 10”. I cut a piece of fusible fleece and pressed it to the backside of the home dec fabric. (You could substitute a heavyweight interfacing like Peltex or thin batting and spritz it lightly with Quilt Basting Spray)

On the front of the fleece-backed fabric you now scatter a layer of thread, fiber, and fabric clippings. (you could spray it with the quilt basting spray if you are worried about it shifting or blowing away – I didn’t bother, I just lightly sprayed after I placed the clippings on).

Cut a piece of Sulky Solvy (water soluble stabilizer), lay on top of the embellished fabric and pat it down lightly with your palms so it sticks to the fibers. I then pinned the whole piece with about 8 straight pins so it didn’t shift.
Now it is time to sew a grid all over the sandwich (fleece side on the bottom, Solvy side on top). My sewing machine had a lightweight white embroidery thread in the bobbin, and a dark gold rayon thread on top (Sulky). New needle, stitch length 3.5, and straight stitch setting, sew a grid all over the sandwich attaching the bits and pieces securely. My grid was basically diamonds and then some free form spirals and curves to fill in.

If you have any loose pieces of solvy sticking out along the sides, tear those off and place back in your sealed bag for another use.

Next take the whole piece and soak it in the sink under running water, lightly rubbing with your fingers. The Solvy will dissolve readily. Lightly squeeze out the piece and roll it in a towel to absorb excess water. Iron between a couple of press cloths to dry it and prevent your iron from picking up any sticky residue that could possibly remain.

You now have an embellished, quilted fabric background to use a base. I plan to add fabric photo transfers and beading to my piece for a fabric book cover.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Art Journaling

This is the first page from an art journal I began this past winter. I have to give a nod to Kelly Kilmer for getting me motivated to start (once again!). She has a daily art journal/collage/painting/prompt offered on her website A Prompt a Day.

I was more interested in getting some color and collage into a book and let the journaling come later. So I fashioned my own signatures and sewed them into a cover of a discarded hardback book. This first page is layered with lots o f drybrush acrylic paint, collage from my stash, including the removable holy card which is from my grandfather's funeral nearly 40 years ago. I like leaving plenty of space to actually write in journals, (rather than filling them up with collage). This page also includes rub on letters, colored pencil, paper scraps, German scrap wings, silver metallic and black pens.

Besides this page, I spent some time today scanning pages that I've painted so that I have "before" and "after" pics of my pages. Here's another spread before journaling. Layers of dry brushed acrylics, collaged tags, papers, and stickers. I think these fit in nicely with the concept of layering, especially the paint, that we are exploring in Techniques Sunday with the mmartfriends yahoo group.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

finishing up projects

I'm in the mood to finish up some projects that have languished for awhile.

I made a little quiltie out of fabric paper, felt, machine stitching, and embossing powder. Not sure where it is going after this!

Later I added some pockets to the inside of another quilted piece and made a bookcover for a 6" x 8" journal.

I'm in the midst of repainting over some "failed" canvases. It's nice to work with a base of texture and color.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mixed media quiltie


This little quiltie includes a fabric transfer of a vintage image, machine embroidery on a Lutradur scrap; fibers and ribbons, and commercial fabric. 6.5" x 9"
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

encaustic 5

This one was an exploration embedding black, soft, lacey paper in beeswax for the first layer, followed by floral ribbon. The ribbon reacted to the heat by shriveling into a bird-like form. I then added assorted beads to the melted wax, incised circles and arcs, and added alchol inks and copper oil sticks for color. The substrate is a 5" cradled board.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Shawna Moore -Encaustic Painter

This is one of the most inspiring videos I've watched. Shawna works on a large painting - combined with a great background song - just mesmerizing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Beeswax collage

These are my first two forays into encaustic art. I love the smell of melted beeswax - it seems to bring me back to my childhood when i spent time watching my dad process honey from the several hives we had in the yard.

This 8" x 8" collage was created on cradled gessoboard, decorative napkins, wrapping paper, and stickers. I used Shiva oil paint sticks to add additional color.

The button collage is created on 5" square cradled gessoboard. The background is tinted with alcohol inks rubbed into the cooled wax. The vintage buttons are from my collection.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Sale - something to bring me out of my art block!

What a nice surprise I received today - I sold a piece! I'd taken the three small canvases Three Textured Abstracts linked them together with a repurposed beaded necklace and had it hanging at The Next Picture Show Gallery exhibit of work from our art league, Kishwaukee Valley Art League. Ever since the death of my laptop a few weeks ago I have missed having all my pictures available, but there is hope that I will get them back soon. When I do, I will post the piece.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Maybe I'll work on chakras as my theme - I have several painted canvases that would make good backgrounds. Of course, I cannot show you the backgrounds because the software for my printer/scanner is MIA!

You Are the Throat Chakra

You are outspoken and eloquent. You have no problem making your opinion known.

It's likely that you're very verbal and artistic. You are creative in every aspect of your life.

You love to communicate with people. You think it's valuable to talk out ideas and issues.

You are very honest and straightforward. Speaking the truth is important to you.

I've got a four-day weekend over the Easter/Passover holiday and i am still blocked with my art, other than a journal that I've painted. Part of my issue is that my laptop died and the folks at Staples did NOT recover my data as they said they did, so I have lost all my documents and photos of my artwork! Hopefully Kyle will do some magic with my hardrive in this next week or so and I can have my digital life back!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm not sure where the day has gone, but it has been a relaxing one. We had another little snow storm (after all the previous snow had melted away, teasing us into believing spring was on its way!), so I decided to stay home and inside today. I'm trying to complete the many pieces that I have in various stages of "doneness". I only finished a few small ones, like this ATC-sized stretched canvas from Dick Blick

Monday, February 02, 2009

Gesso and Ink background

This is half of the 12" x 18" background I created inspired by Maggie Grey's book Textile Translations
The base is Timtex, layered with tissue paper and handmade paper, fusible webbing, gesso, inks, and acrylic paint sprays. I haven't added any metallic highlights yet, nor any stitching, as I'm not yet sure what I am going to do with this particular piece. I love the texture though!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Preparing for Shows

This three-day weekend has turned into a six-day vacation from work due to the frigid weather. It's been a bonus of time to think about what shows I'd like to enter and to get working on some artwork to send in.

I'm considering entering several exhibitions: at WomanMade Gallery in Chicago, the Venus Envy show in the Quad Cities, and the "Dos Equis XX: Women's Juried Exhibition" at The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, IL.