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  • Collage Papers

    I’m trying something new (to me) today. You know, because I need yet something else to do with my time! If it can distract me from the real work, then why not go for it.

    I am becoming increasingly intrigued with the idea of doing paper collage. I think it has a lot of similarities to what I do in quilt making – cutting up small bits of material and putting them back together to create a new image, whether by piecing, or fusing, or appliqué. And paper is a fiber after all, so it’s a natural addition to working in fabric.

    Creating collage papers using CitraSolv on National Geographic pages is something I have heard and seen before, as you may have. Some time ago I bought a 2 oz. sample bottle of CitraSolv in order to check out what it can do (besides cleaning). And I have a stack of old NatGeos hanging around the house– who doesn’t?! (That is one magazine that I can’t bring myself to recycle; I think it might be a federal offense.)

    The process for making these very cool collage papers is really quite easy. It’s messy, so the first step is to lay out lots of newspaper in your work area. Then, take the NatGeo and some CitraSolv, turn the pages of the magazine and as you go slather the pages with CitraSolv. I used a cheap bristle brush. You could also put some in a spray bottle and spritz it over the pages. When you get to the end, close up the magazine and smoosh it just a little bit. Be generous with the CitraSolv – you’re supposed to see lots of black ink oozing out the sides. I used up a 2 oz. bottle on one NatGeo. This being my first time I don’t know if that’s enough or not, but that is part of the experiment.


    Let it sit for 20 minutes or so – I don’t think the time is ultra-critical. Then peel apart the pages and lay them out individually on the newsprint to dry. Some will come out better than others, but this is not such precious stuff – if you weren’t doing this you would be recycling this all at the dump (or not), right? See what works and adapt the amount of CitraSolv for next time.

    NatGeo_collage_papers_before_blog NatGeo_collage_papers_after_blog
    The page before and after. I like how the image of the tiger remained visible, with the surrounding area becoming distorted.


    Another "after" image. A hallmark of these papers is the kind of "water droplet" effect

    The CitraSolv website has a whole section devoted to Artists and all the creative ways you can use their product. It is actually made as a household cleaner, but who does that anymore?

    Another cool site I found is Ephemeraology, an artist who makes lots of cool collage art. If you go to her blog today, as in TO-DAY, the day I'm writing this blog post, you could have a chance to win some CitraSolv for yourself. Since I just used up my 2 oz. supply, I would really love to win a new, BIG bottle, and I know that by sending you there I cut my chances of winning, BUT I am willing to reduce my chances by sending all 2 of my readers to the Ephemeraology blog to check it out. (FYI, you need to be on Facebook to get in on it.)

    My papers are drying out now. I will then add the stack of them to the piles of accumulated detritus in my studio for all the amazing art that I will make 'some day'. Have fun with yours!

    Until next time -


  • Finishing

    My resolution and goal for the new year was to finish work, whether work already in progress or new quilts. So far this year I seem to have done better at finishing up works in progress. I had one quilt that I considered a "problem child" and proceeded to ignore it for about a year. I had invested considerable time in it, yet it did not please me. I decided in January that it deserved more attention and that I wanted to devote the effort to making the decisions and taking the actions that would make it right. There was frustration along the way, mistakes made on my part, righting those mistakes in order to do justice to my problem child. I did finish it and despite its difficulties I think it presents itself pretty well. My quilt "Little Peace In 2 4 U" is no longer considered a problem by me. I accept it and love it 'as is' and have sent it to make its way in the world on its own terms.


    Little Peace In 2 4 U, 37"x57"

    This week I finished another work in progress. It's a Diary Painting that I started last summer in a workshop with Susan Shie at Peters Valley Craft Center. Our theme for the day was "aprons" and I used the theme to rant a bit about my dissatisfaction with domestic chores, especially cooking, represented by aprons. It was important for me to finish this particular piece because it serves as a catalyst to create some new work, using aprons as a symbolic measure of Women's Work. I'm really excited about the ideas that I want to express. Finishing the diary painting is the first step in doing so.


    Women's Work: What's For Dinner Mom?, 21.5"x 24.5"

    Womens_Work_Martha_sewing_blog Womens_Work_apron_detail

    Some of my other finishing involves the mundane tasks of attaching hanging sleeves and signature labels. That is the plan for today and then I can move on to new work - which I will carry through to the finish!

    Until next time -


  • Pressing

    I got up early this morning to spend time in my studio pressing fabric.

    I haven't spent much time in my studio for a couple of weeks, other than to throw stuff in there on my way by. My guild's quilt show took place this past weekend and although I did not play a major role in putting it together there were my volunteer hours contributed, finish work on preparing my entries, and making some items for the consignment booth. Not to mention getting my house ready for a guest, my wonderful mother-in-law. Trust me, that took some time!

    Our biennial quilt show is exhilarating hard work and in the couple of weeks leading up to it that's all we think about. It's always satisfying to produce a successful quilt show and to top it off I won some ribbons! But .......... the preparations keep me away from my studio work. I get antsy when I'm away from the studio for too long. I need to make something! I'm feeling a pressing need to get back to work, back to my ideas, back in the studio.

    So, this morning I rose early to spend time in that space pressing fabric. It felt good just being in there. This morning we will put my MIL on a train heading for her home and I will get back in my studio. First, I must clean up and put away all the stuff I've been throwing in there and then back to work for me - making art.

    Until next time-


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