Category Archives: Fiber Arts

Not art, but insisting on recognition, anyway

What are these shirts doing? Well, they started out as regular old t-shirts for my husband, but since I bought cheap, they shrank weird. You know how they do, they stay the same side to side, maybe, but the length is way shorter than they started out.

I could have given them away, but I decided to grab them for myself – they could be nice exercise shirts, I thought.

But oh so boring. So I fixed them up with “slogans”. I grabbed my stencils and some acrylic paint and then I adorned them with these words, which are the ones that came to mind at that moment.

My husband asked me if the backwards E on New Ink P(e)n! was on purpose or not. Yes, it was – I felt the urge to flip it and so I did.

I’ve tried them all out in exercise sessions and they came through with flying colors. Go Dust Mop! Go Paper Clip! Go New Ink P(e)n!

And yes, that is my cat’s feet in the picture. He settled down just as I took the photo.

Happy Birthday to Me

Here’s a new theme for the tiny punch needle rugs I have been making – a number and a symbol and some nice colors. Take a look at this one.

So, you may ask, what do we have here?

We have a birthday rug. In this case, it is for me. My birthday is today, November 19. You see the 19, for the day. I consider it a lucky number for me as well.

The hand represents the fact that I think I express myself best through the work that my hands do. I think and hope that my future is full of many more works of art done with my two hands.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Tiny People Made from Eye Drops Vials

As you may remember, I have been having some eye issues over the past three months and they continue to go on. I am getting closer to finding out what may be causing my vision loss and hope to know more very soon as to what the next course of treatment will be and what I might expect in the way of stabilization of my vision.

But, as part of the process, I have been doing intensive rehab of my corneas and eyelids. As part of this I take a LOT of eye drops. I use the single use vials because they have no preservatives, but that means there are a lot of plastic vials to be disposed of.

What to do? Well, when I first saw the shape of the vials I thought they looked like small people figures, somewhat like worry dolls. Immediately I knew I would be making tiny dolls, and what they decided to do for their careers, well, that was up to them – solve worries, live in tiny dollhouses, drive small cars, relax in the lush jungle foliage of a potted fern…

So let’s get going and I’ll tell you how I make them.

Here is a used vial. I take the lids off and let them sit a few days to dry out. Note – You will notice that in the following samples I didn’t do this, since when I wanted to make the demo photos I did not have any vials-in-waiting that were quite ready. But in general I save up a group and make quite a few dolls at a time.

Here are my supplies.

You may be wondering about the pliers. I have two sets – both from my jewelry class. They were very inexpensive.

I take the heads off the dolls while I am putting on their arms.

Then, I untwist a paper clip (I like the larger, stronger ones) and push it through the plastic “body”). This takes a little effort but it gets done.

Then I use the clipping area on the yellow pliers (close up to the hinge there is a sharp part to cut wire) to even up the “arms”. I then use the rounded pliers to form twirls for hands. I don’t try to make a pose with the arms at this time – I wait until the doll is finished.

Next, I get out my assortment of tiny fabric scraps and threads. I think you could also use paper or yarn as well, if you wanted to.

I make these women (they are all always female. Like every other figurine I make) with two basic outfit styles: wrapped thread skirt and wrapped cloth top, or cloth skirt and wrapped cloth top. You might come up with other ideas, it is up to you. For the thread skirt lady, I put some glue on the vial and wrap a lot of thread around and around until I cover up the glue.

For the cloth skirt ladies, I put glue on the vial and stick on a tiny piece of fabric so that it covers the whole bottom section. It doesn’t take much. Here are the two figures with their skirts done.

And, notice that they both have their arms in the air. I flip them to this position while dressing the figures because it gives me more room to work. It also makes me smile to see these tiny figures flexing their muscles or high-fiving me!

Next, the tops. I take a strip of fabric (and it doesn’t have to be very wide at all):

I put a line of glue on the front and back of the figure and begin to wrap the fabric in a figure-8 configuration – around the body, up to the shoulder, around the neck, back down, around the body to the other side and over the other shoulder in the same way. I add dots of glue as I go along to secure layers. Sometimes I don’t have a long enough strip so I just glue on another piece of fabric and keep going.

When the tops are done, the figures are dressed:

But sometimes I want to add more to the outfits. Maybe another fabric detail, or sometimes I use thread to wrap around the bodies in a decorative way. I gave this lady a couple of sashes.

Here are the two figures, all ready to go…

I could stop here, but I think they need faces. This is hard for me to do given my eyesight, so I take my time and if I make a mistake, I wipe the ink off ASAP before it dries and try again. What writing utensil do I use? After trying various pens and so on, I have settled on my cheapie acrylic paint pens.

They are used for painting rocks, and they write on anything, and once they are dry, their marks adhere well to the plastic surface, in my experience. Here are the twosome from above, now with faces:

Now, here are some shots of figures I have made. I have given some away and I’d be happy for anyone who wants three (always at least three, so they do not get lonesome) to let me know and we can work out sending some, maybe.

Or, you could make your own. Look around and see what materials could work for you. If you don’t have eye drops vials, how about twigs or even rolled up paper? No fabric – try paper. Glue? I bet you have glue!

Your imagination will guide you!

Small Fabric Pieces : Four

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

These two images are the last in this series of small fabric artworks…for now. More will be coming! Anyway, these two images feature creatures of unknown types, and also there is a lot of blue in each image, too, isn’t there?

They are both about 6″ x 6″.

Small Fabric Pieces : Three

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

Sometimes things don’t go right and I end up with an incoherent or just plain ugly piece. But there are always sections I like. The solution? I just cut the ugly parts away and end up with smaller works that now I like to look at all parts of them.

Here are two such images. The smaller one is about 3″ x 3″; the larger one is about 7″ x 3″.

Small Fabric Pieces : Two

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

In this pair you can see I used a similar color scheme and some of the same fabrics. This is because I was trying to use up small scraps I have been collecting from other projects. Scraps are ideal for this kind of work – their small size and the sheer number of pieces give a lot of variety and action to the piece, I think.

Small Fabric Pieces : One

In August 2021 I put some time into making little fabric artworks. I used the technique I followed for much of the time I made fabric art for sale back inthe 1990’s and early 2000’s. For a full explanation, look here at this post I wrote about a large hanging I created not too long ago.

Short version: I adhere pieces of fabric to a canvas fabric background using stitching, either regular stitching with the machine or free-motion machine stitching. That’s it!

I’ve got several of these little images to show you and I’ll do so in a short series of posts.

Here are two images featuring people. They are about 6″ x 6″ or so.

A Punch Needle Project Looking at Me

I’m considering doing a larger-sized punch needle project, a small rug. I say considering, because it will take planning – I will need to build a frame, for instance, to work on. And buy supplies. And refine my ideas. And my technique! But I am approaching a time when I think the project may be feasible – I could make a rug that looked pleasing and did not fall apart.

Right now, though, I still need more practice in getting consistent results. Along those lines I recently did another small Barbie rug (as I call them – because to me they are just right for a Barbie doll to put into the Barbie house. A perfect rug to scrunch your toes in).

I made a design and drew it on the backing. Ugh, I hated it, immediately. Why, I don’t know, it looked fine on paper. Anyway, I then drew in some grid lines (to break the image up and to make sure I did not try to follow the pattern) and I decided this would be a free-for-all image. Meaning, I’d just put in a color and then another and wherever it ended up, well, there it went.

I did a couple of colors each night. Along the way, it seemed to become a sort of face. Well, ok, that is fine. Here it is.

The finished project is about 8″ x 8″. I used wool knitting yarn, bulky size, one strand, except for the navy blue around the edges. It was a little thin so I worked with a double strand.