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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Special Effects For Needlework & Mixed Media Projects

Since I'm getting ready to start on another Seascape, I thought this would be a good time to share with you some fun things you can use for "special effects".

This is a piece of China Silk which I hand-painted and applied to the foundation fabric with Heat & Bond:

China Silk Seascape 1

The image is a bit fuzzy. You know that photography is not my medium! But it's enough for you to see.

I then added a "special effects" layer which consists of Angelina Fibers, Silk Rods and some metallic gold mesh:

China Silk Seascape 2

Angelina Fiber is a very fine "light reflective" as well as "light refractive" fiber. It is extremely luminescent and comes in a wide range of colors.

Angelina Fibers

Angelina is a loose, fusible fiber meaning that when heated, it bonds to itself creating a sheer, non-woven fabric which can then be applied to an unlimited range of projects. It can be used in paper arts such as hand-made paper, scrapbooking and greeting cards. It can used with wool for felting and as you can see here, it will make for a lovely background to my Seascape.

Silk Rods are another really fun "special effect" item that can be used in all mixed media applications. The only limit is one's own imagination:

Silk Rods

I purchased my Silk Rods from Grace at Larkspur Funny Farm, another wonderful Etsy shop owner! Since I am rather clueless about silk worms, I am going to quote Grace from her description of the Silk Rods:

"Carrier Silk Rods are the by product of reeling silk from the cocoon. As the silk filament is unraveled from the cocoons into a skein that is carried over a rod. Silk builds up on this carrier rod and must be removed. This silk is then slit and removed. These slit tubes still have the sericin. The rods can be dyed, separated into layers, sprayed with water and ironed flat or degummed. They have been used in paper making, jewelry, spinning, felting, altered art, textural stitching and silk fusion. The rods vary in shapes and sizes."

So here is what I did with my piece:

Working on a sheet of Freezer paper, I sprinkled on some purple and mint green Angelina. I then added some snippets of metallic gold fabric mesh.

I pulled off some small pieces of the silk rod, spritzed it with water, pressed it with my iron and laid that on top of my fiber and gold mesh. I then sprinkled a bit more of the mint green and the purple Angelina on top, covered it with my Freezer paper and pressed it. This all fused together in what I call a "fiber sandwich". At the moment, it's just laying on top of my China Silk but will be held in place with my stitching and embellishments which I will be starting on here shortly.

Grace is currently sold out of her Silk Rods but I spoke with her last week and expect to see new listings soon so if you're interested in purchasing some of these, please bookmark her shop and keep checking back.

There are many online sources for Angelina Fibers but I recommend Textura Trading. For the direct link to the Angelina Fiber page, click here.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Thanks for educating me about using both of these. I have seen both, but didn't buy them because I couldn't think of a way I'd use them.

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