Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Creating "Collections" on Artfire

One of the things I love most about having a studio/shop on Artfire, is the opportunity to look at all of the beautiful work created by other artisans.  There are some amazingly talented and imaginative people out there using their hands and their brains to create wonderful objects.

Making "collections" on Artfire, is one of the features of being a part of that community that I enjoy the most.  I can create themed groupings of creations I see on Artfire.  It is a ton of fun -- another avenue for my creativity! The "search" feature on Artfire, makes it easy, once you've settled on a theme, to browse all the items on Artfire that might fit within your "group", and to choose those items that really strike your fancy.  I've created several collections, which you can view in my studio.

Today, I put together a collection with a theme of "wings" -- creating a group of handmade creations that feature winged creatures.  I enjoyed browsing all the offerings and pulling out some of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy "Artfire Takes Wing"!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dragonfly and Summer Hemp Blend Yarn Inspire a New Bag

At the end of my June 14 post, I mentioned that looking at the new summer fibers, I felt inspired to try my hand at creating a new bag.  This is the result -- the Dragonfly Applique Bag Crocheted in Hemp Blend.

The bag was crocheted using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, a pleasure-to-work-with blend of hemp, cotton and modal fibers.  It has many of the qualities of hemp, but is much softer to work with and comes in beautiful colors.  The color I used is called Fauve -- sort of a dusty rose shade, with just a hint of salmon or peach.  As you can see from the photos, the bag is fully lined in a floral cotton, with the color of the flowers matching the yarn.  I used large seed beads in the same shade as the yarn along the top edge of the bag, the closure loop and the crocheted closure button.

I wanted to add something to the bag that would really say "summer".  I have been experimenting occasionally with Angelina fibers and I realized that I could create a sheer, glimmering fabric using the fibers that would be perfect for dragonfly wings.  So, I decided to add a dragonfly applique to the front of my bag.  To pull things together,I used the lining fabric to create the body of the insect, and I had some shimmery, sage green fiber left from another project that I used for the reeds.  I used a wonderful bonding material, Misty Fuse, to fuse the applique to the bag, as well as to create the Angelina fiber wings. I wanted the  applique to stand out from the purse, so I used metallic thread to embroider with a loosely-placed, satin stitch around the edge -- serving both a decorative function and to help keep the edges in place.

This was my first attempt at an appliqued bag, and I was very pleased with the result.  It was a fun exercise in creativity because it utilized a variety of techniques and materials.  And it gave me an outlet for my summer design imaginings.

But even though it's summer, in my Artfire Studio, I am running a Christmas in July Sale.  Time to turn my attention to a few Christmas designs to liven up the sale selections!