Friday, April 01, 2011

More tagged keys and a RECYCLED FLOWER GIRL

(Above: Detail of the Recycled Flower Girl Dress. Click on image to enlarge.)

This past week has been really busy. I've had a "final fitting" with each of the four models who will be appearing in my recycled garment in this year's Runaway Runway fashion show, April 29th, at the Township Auditorium here in Columbia. Tickets are now available.

(Above: Recycled Maid of Honor Dress. Used dry cleaner and garment bags, caution tape, recycled felt, elastic, thread. Click on image to enlarge.)

My cousin Joann is driving down from Virginia to see her daughter as my "Recycled Maid of Honor". The last time I shared the garment, it didn't have all the "caution tape" added and I didn't have a "bouquet".

(Above: Jeff Donovan, a fellow artist at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, holding the unique Maid of Honor bouquet....a fan! Click on image to enlarge.)

Now, however, all the final stitches have been made and my friend Jeff Donovan gave me a used painter's stick which I used to create a unique "fan". Leftover paper from my Decision Portrait Series, more "caution tape", scraps of the gold and silver used garment bags, and (of course) yellow artificial flowers from cemetery dumpsters were added.

The last dress I made was for the "Recycled Flower Girl". It went very smoothly because it was done exactly how I created last year's entry....except....I used only the yellow and white artificial cemetery flowers.

(Above: Yellow artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters laid out flat on a piece of Mokuba's adhesive coated "free lace"/water soluble stabilizer.)

The first step was to cut two pieces of Mokuba's adhesive coated, "free lace", in the shape of the front and back of the dress. Next, remove the protective, non-stick facing paper ... to expose the "sticky" side of the Mokuba. Arrange large, mostly flat artificial flowers all over the surface ... covering all the Mokuba ... allowing generous overlapping of the blossoms. (See photo above.) Next ... stitch a grid over the entire surface. This attaches all the flowers effectively into a unique "material". I then switch my Bernina to "free motion" mode and stitch individual blossoms to the "material". I stitch the front to the back at the shoulder ... no seam is needed ... just attach the flowers! Finally, I rinse away the Mokuba. What is left is simply a dress made of artificial flowers and thread! I made a "cord" by zigzag stitching over recycled "caution tape" and laced the dress up both sides.

(Above: Stitching a grid through the artificial flowers and the Mokuba stabilizer. Click on image to enlarge.)

I purchase the Mokuba "free lace" through my business ... wholesale ... still rather expensive ... but I LOVE IT. It comes on a roll. Unfortunately, it is only sold as a "set", which means it comes (whether you want it or not) with an equal amount of "clear", non-adhesive water soluble film. This is also on a roll ... and I have several unused rolls under my studio table. I rarely use it because I'm not really doing "free lace".

(Above: Recycled Flower Girl Dress. Please note the side ties ... these were made by zigzag stitching over used "caution tape". They lace up each side. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Greta Hahn, my Recycled Flower Girl. Greta's Mom and step-Dad, Lauren and Robert Michalski, both work for Columbia City Ballet. She is the Membership and Development administrator; he dances ... and is known as "Dracula", an annual role. Greta takes dance with the company's conservatory. My elder son Mathias started lessons there too. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above and below: Creating a hippie styled headband of tiny artificial cemetery flowers on Mokuba's adhesive coated, "free lace"/water soluble stabilizer. Click on images to enlarge.)

I also made a hippie-styled headband for Greta. I used yellow silk paint on an ordinary piece of elastic ... which I didn't buy outright but got from a "table lot" at Bill Mishoes' "walk around/junk" auction. I positioned the tiny flowers into rows on the sticky Mokuba "free lace" material and covered it with the "clear", non-stick stuff. Then I stitched one line down through the flowers. I rinsed away the Mokuba ... which left a line of stitching with attached flowers. I used the "tails" to stitch each length to the elastic.

Of course, the weekend of Runaway Runway is also the weekend of Artista Vista, an annual art crawl in Columbia. My "I do / I don't" installation will be on view at the old Mais Oui building, 927-929 Gervais Street. I'm hard at work on this project. Yet, Gallery 80808/Vista Studios is also part of Artista Vista. That's where my studio is located. I'll have Endless Life, a Grave Rubbing Art Quilt, and Genius, a miniature sock art quilt, in the exhibit with my fellow Vista Studio artists ... and I'm creating a "Wall of Keys". I'm hoping to hang at least 900 tagged keys. I probably have this many already ... but there is a group of tagged keys hanging at Waterworks Visual Arts Center which won't be back in time. Thus, I'm creating more with help from my studio assistant Olivia (who is also my recycled bridesmaid!)

Olivia and I made lots of "tags" using the mostly vintage letters stored in little trays. Since then, I've cut up back issues of Craft, Fiberarts, and Legends Magazines. The shoe box of keys have been collected since last November when I did my "Keys for the City" installation. Thank you so everyone who donated keys!

(Above: All the tags Olivia and I made ... attached to keys with cording made by zigzag stitching over lengths of leftover yarns and strings. Please note ... I still have a lot more keys to go. My aim is to finish this entire box!)

No comments: