August "Swirl" Blog Hop

Welcome to August's REVEAL DAY Blog hop!!!
My sincerest apologies for posting late, I was thinking that the reveal wasn't until August 31st for some reason. Who knows the why??? 😁😂😂 Better late than never, eh?? On with the show...
This month's Art Elements theme challenge was "SWIRL" hosted by Marsha (Owner of Marsha Neal Studio). My initial inspirations for this SWIRL theme were definitely things like nautilus, snail shells, fiddle ferns and lizards (specifically chameleons)...spirals found in nature.  
August was going to be a challenge for me regardless of the theme selected. This is when my orders start ramping up for Halloween and the Holidays, as well as preparing for vendor shows and charitable donations occurring in October and November. To make it EXTRA tricky, this year I was out of town visiting family for half the month so I almost convinced myself I should just not participate at all moving forward. Less stressful. Uh huh. BUT...
I am addicted! I am loving these challenges so much that I couldn't resist doing at least a smaller scale project. I wouldn't have time to learn and use a whole new technique or medium, but maybe I could learn just one "new to me" thing to make it fun?

Once I realized I had such little time though, I thought I'd better start with a pre-existing image that I could make my own through thread painting with hand embroidery. I have always loved the doodle technique referred to as zentangle and it's perfect for this theme since it often uses LOTS of swirls and spirals. I'm not very good with drawing images on paper, let alone fabric, so I selected a few zentangle designs online that were permitted for public use.




I decided to focus on the chameleon because, well, it's a chameleon! Come on. 😀😍😍


For my "something new" this month, I discovered the technique of printing on fabric with my very own every day Canon inkjet printer using freezer paper to stabilize the fabric. 
How did I not know I could do this before now?!?!?!
This Chameleon doodle is printed on 8.5" x 11" fabric back with freezer paper. The image is about 7.5" I think.




I got out some tea/coffee stained muslin fabric that would provide me with an interesting background so I wouldn't need to sew in all around the image and then went to work with freezer paper, my hot iron and my printer. SO FREAKING COOL! 
I did print out a few other designs to hopefully use in the future for gifts and for fun!
The first two images are also on 8.5" x 11" and the sugar skull is on 4" x 6" with a 4" hoop on top for size reference. My sister likes colorful sugar skulls, so that may be a Christmas present down the road.



Since I needed to just get it ready to be worked on before leaving town, I didn't document the whole process this time. 😊 
I gathered up my concept images for possible color placement and selected my floss colors to make up a travel project kit that could be taken with me and worked on the fly!

Then you really just proceed like working in a coloring book, except your colored pencils are embroidery floss instead. I found it to be highly enjoyable and relaxing, just like coloring with crayons as a kid. ❤
Here are some photos to show the progression:

Flowers and branches came first. Less intimidating than committing to the colors of his body. LOL 😂

assigned colors and specific stitch techniques to the like sections and shapes in an attempt to give the busy pattern some continuity.

It was SO fun to see the way the image changed as I filled in the various sections with floss. 
Sadly, this one will not have time to get mounted as I was still finishing up stitching while writing this blog this month. Just ran out of time...but I am so glad I decided to participate because it will be even more unlikely that I will get to do challenges in the next couple of months, probably until after the New Year. My business is either drought or drowning depending on the time of year unfortunately! LOL


Here is the finished stichwork in some closeup photos so you can see texture.


Here are closeups of the flowers and the diverse stitching!



I give you the completed, "Chameleon of Many Colors" tada!!!


I did get another inexpensive addition to my learning artisan library in the hopes that sometime in the future I can get more comfortable with "free hand" thread painting on wool, silk and linen. Just flipping through the pages made me wish I had 60 hour days. Haha

I do hope that you enjoyed my thread painting, Chameleon of Many Colors, as much as I enjoyed the meditative process of coloring him. 
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out all the other amazing artists that did SWIRL this month!!
Love and Light 💖
~ Raven






Comments

  1. I think your chameleon is absolutely amazing, I don't k ow how you completed it in such a short time. I love the colours and different stitches.

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    1. Thank you so much! I love the crazy colors. :)

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  2. OMG! I love this SO MUCH! I've always had a thing for chameleons and for years bugged my husband to get me one. Alas, that's still not happened. I adore your colorful. embroidered version. It'll last much longer than a real one anyway! Fab job!!

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    1. I have thought about a chameleon several times and am always deterred by the need for heat and humidity and live food sometimes....hehheh. I hope to needle felt a chameleon one day but this is a good start!!

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  3. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Raven that is FANTASTIC!!! WOW!!! We will miss you if you don't manage any challenges for the rest of the year but hope you come back in 2019 as your blog is a joy to read over a cuppa ;) ps I need to know who to do that printing on fabric!

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  4. "I couldn't resist doing at least a smaller scale project". Thank you for my first big laugh of the day! Okay, you said smallER, not small, but this, wow, I mean I'm just speechless. I love chameleons and this is absolutely incredible, from start to finish. I love it, I really do.

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    1. LOL I know.....smaller is all relative and CLEARLY doesn't mean simpler as we can see here. I just can't help myself. hee hee

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  5. Wow! This is gorgeous, and a treat for the eyes! As usual, you continue to amaze with your creativity and speed. :)
    Good luck for the rest of the year, though I now think I shouldn't be surprised if you turn up for another blog hop with another smaller scale ( :P ) project!

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    1. Thanks Anita! And yes you know me too well. I've already signed up for September as soon as I saw the theme. How am I ever going to pass up on FAERIE!!! I mean, seriously.... :D

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  6. I am so glad you decided to make time to participate. Once again, I am in awe of your mad skills with thread and fabric. I am also thrilled you chose the chameleon for this because I love lizards. Beautifully done!

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    1. I have such a weakness for chameleons and geckos especially. I don't know why but they intrigue me. My hand stitching is slowly improving a little so this was good practice for stitch consistency and cleanliness for SURE!!!

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  7. I can't believe you got all the stitching done in a month. It is drop dead gorgeous. Well done!

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    1. I was definitely still stitching as I worked on the blog content Aug 29th so it was so very down to the wire and I'm sad I didn't get it mounted or integrated in some way but I LOVE how the stitched part turned out. So happy and colorful!!

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  8. This piece is so stunning and beautiful... gosh, loss of words! The colours and the gorgeous texture the stitching creates, really brings the whole piece to life! Oh yes, please join us again for future challenge! Please! :)

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    1. Thank you so much. I'm so behind, I haven't even hopped through the blogs yet! I usually do that right on reveal day. I'm such a slacker!! :) LOL

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  9. OMG! I was in love with this when I saw your first stitches. Simply amazing stitch work & your colors are bright, cheery & playful.so very well done!

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    1. Thanks Cathy. I was fun to work on such a happy piece for this crazy month. Didn't have to take it too seriously and could make it up as I went. Perfect project for I'm not really doing a project this challenge. LOL

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  10. Really enjoyed reading about your 'little' project your embroidery is incredible and so vibrant. The printing on fabric discovery is fantastic too... my head is racing with ideas!

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    1. Awww thanks. Yeah, little is definitely only in reference to completed size but I'm hooked on the hand stitching and the possibilities now that I know about printing on fabric?? Mind blown! :D

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  11. Wow, just WOW! What a stunning piece of work.

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    1. Thanks for the positive feedback and for hopping by!

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  12. Well, not much more I could really add except my own WOW! I'm amazed! Your stitching is fantastic, as are the color choices and stitch choices for each section! I had no idea you could print on fabric with a printer, either. I have enjoyed stitching for years and stopped doing it, but you make me want to get back into it! Thank you for joining in and I hope you get to pop in from time to time until you're not so busy!

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    1. Thank you Sue....the colors came together easier than I thought once I decided to assign different colors or stitches to the repeating patterns within the chaos. I think it helped it from just turning out a color splatter in the end. I can't wait to have to some time to try out the other designs I printed already!

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  13. Wait. This was a small simpler travel project? Heavens. Its stunning. I can see where it was fun to have the image set and stitch with abandon! Well done! Sorry I was so late - I was at the retreat!

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  14. I'll so miss seeing what you create for these challenges but totally understand having to take a break. I just adore your little chameleon... he's adorable!! I'm so glad you decided to play along. Like many others, I'm impressed that this what you consider a simpler, small scale project. ;)

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  15. This is beautiful! It would take me months, or even years, to do this amount of stitching!

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