On the Value of Making Mistakes

Before I got my fancy new sewing machine with the capacity for doing free motion sewing, I’d already decided to try fabric collage. This is my first attempt, on my old machine, with just the ability to zig zag and sew in only slightly curving lines. Lots of colour and a bit of movement. I used some great material I found in Hawaii.

"Hawaii" Free Motion Fabric Collage by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

When you are learning something new you have to be willing create something that is not perfect. Well, actually, I think perfection is over-rated anyway. In fact, most artists make use of “mistakes” and find a way to use them in the composition. So, when I decided to teach myself how to do free motion sewing, I was ready for “mistakes” and jumped right in to practice making lots of “mistakes”.

free motion thread side 1, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

I think free motion sewing was actually meant to be used to make very controlled quilting lines on large quilts. In fact, I’m a great user of internet tutorials and most of them are really into making very controlled patterns, with no variations or “mistakes”. Of course, like many artists, I’m sort of in the camp of just using scribbly lines and being loose and free with it all, more of an “abstract random” you could say. I must admit, I do like some of the effects that “mistakes” like bad tension and random movements can make. I may use these somewhere, someday. Quite like them.

free motion thread side 2, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Anyway, here is one of my first attempts at free motion collage. Trying hard to get in lots of spiral, circular and scribble-y lines.

Free Motion Fabric collage by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Even the back is kind of interesting to me, with just the thread lines….

Free Free Motion Fabric collage underside threads, by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Share

Meanderings in Creativity

I haven’t posted much on our blog for quite some time. My excuse is that I had to find out how to use the new blog editor on the website, and wouldn’t you know, it really wasn’t that difficult, once I finally , finally stopped procrastinating and dived in. Don’t you just love those youtube tutorials? Not posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to something in the meantime. No really.

If you check out my Pinterest boards, you’ll find I’m a great fan of Pinterest. Lots of boards and pins. I love it because I can visually bookmark things I find on the net and very often I also discover things that I may never have found any other way. So, I have been meandering and poking about in new areas of media to use.

I’ve always been quite interested in collage and have posted a bit of my paper collage work in the past. But, I’ve also done a bit of quilting and sewing in the past too and have quite a few bags of fabric stashed in various closets. Most of my fabric is in the form of old shirts I find at Thrift stores, a really thrifty way of collecting fabric for projects, by the way. One of my discoveries on Pinterest was “free motion sewing”. Now that’s a cool “rabbit hole” to wander down. I have discovered that you can actually, on some machines, put the “feed dogs” down and draw with thread. Too cool for an artist….so I treated myself to a sewing machine that has that ability. It’s not too fancy, not got all the bells and whistles that the expensive computerized machines have, but it has just enough to have some fun and hey, why not?

One of my first forays into free motion was creating jewelry with fabric. It started in the form of making a couple of cuffs from some lovely shiny bits and pieces in sort of a Boho style. The first one shown here, is just as I was piecing together the bits and stitching them in place… And the second image below shows it as finished piece.

Floral Fabric Collage Cuff by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Floral Fabric Collage Cuff by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

The next was a bit more jazzy and abstract, with bits of gold netting and lovely jewel tones again. I had a bit of fun playing with the zig zag on both as well.

Abstract Fabric Collage Cuff by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

My next attempt was a necklace and cuff on beach theme. Most of the fabric came from a thrifty find of a men’s shirt with a Japanese fishing theme. The button on the cuff and the little dangling jewels on the necklace are actually little bits of beach pottery that we found on the beach in Sidney. A big thanks to Will for drilling holes in these little fiddly bits pottery for me. And did I mention he also created the driftwood hanger and the cording too?

"Beach" Free Motion Fabric collage Cuff and Necklace by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Still meandering and having fun, I then wandered off into taking my paper collage investigations and applying them to creating collage with fabric instead. That’s coming up next….

Share

A Little Gif of a Small Mosaic Pot

Another pot that hasn’t been seen on the blog before.  The thing with pots is that you can’t see all the sides at once, so we thought, why not show it as a gif so it turns?

This one is set on a fancy little stand I found in Chinatown here in Victoria which just happened to fit it perfectly and add to it’s look.  It’s made from a selection of thrift store dishes.  It’s a small pot,  just 5.5 inches by 7 inches or approximately 14 cm by 17.75cm.

Small mosaic pot on stand by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Share

All Sides of a Mosaic Umbrella Stand

I realized the other day, that there are quite a few mosaics that have never made it to the blog. Ones I like but have never gotten around to photographing. I’m trying to remember when I actually made this umbrella stand. Years and years ago. It spends it’s time in the front hall, bristling with umbrellas, canes, long handled shoe horns, and in direct site of the couch so I see everyday and I still enjoy looking at it. That’s the thing about mosaic, it’s like eye candy, always something to look at.  Watch the cup handle as it turns from pic to pic.

Mosaic Umbrella Stand, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.comMosaic Umbrella Stand, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com Continue reading “All Sides of a Mosaic Umbrella Stand”

Share

“Sidecar”, new Paper Collage

"Sidecar", paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

This is a 6in Square paper collage, again using double sided adhesive.  All the papers are created or found.  The speckle is a favourite, the security inside of envelopes in the post.  And that little orange bit in the middle, that is actually a series of numbers with the edges muddied in photoshop and then colored.  Most of the colors come courtesy of junk mail, proving again that artists see a use in junk.  I’m quite happy with the over-the-top color.

Share

My Studio Caught in Reflection

Studio Reflection, summerhouseart.com

I was going to post a few more of my collages today, but got fed up with Photoshop and decided to share a little view of my studio instead.  We love shopping at Thrift stores and garage sales mostly because we like to be thrifty, but also because you find such unique things.  You wouldn’t find this convex mirror at any department store, would you?  Continue reading “My Studio Caught in Reflection”

Share

Paper Collage Using Double Sided Adhesive

Collage on Studio table, Helen Bushell, Summerhouse Art

A while ago, in another post on collage, I said that artists aren’t hoarders, we’re just collectors with a plan. Not all the paper that comes into our home leaves by way of the paper recycling bag. Paper is, after all, for collage artists, a valuable resource. So I use old envelopes to create paint patterns on and even save envelopes with that lovely security pattern on the inside, as a rather tasty texture to use in collage. Anything out of the printer is saved as well for its textural value. Continue reading “Paper Collage Using Double Sided Adhesive”

Share

A Foray into Fabric Design

A while ago I created a mosaic from broken dishes, in a few of my favourite colours and patterns, all the pieces were Triangles.

Mosaic in Broken Dishes, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Now we are a couple who do NOT just sit around doing only things we already know how to do.  Oh no!  We sit around in front of youtube and watch tutorials on things like creating seamless patterns for fabric design.  And eventually we’ll manage to make a lot of designs, because it’s kind of fun.  Zazzle, which is a great Print on Demand company, happen to have fabric by the yard in Print on Demand.

So, after much work and learning, we created a seamless pattern based on the above mosaic.  We are rather pleased with the result. We called it Triangle Treat.  We’re offering it by the yard, in Combed Cotton, and you can also order Swatches and Fat Quarters of it for the Quilters.

Triangle Treat fabric, close up, Zazzle, Summerhouse Art
Triangle Treat fabric, close up, Zazzle, Summerhouse Art

Triangle Treat Fabric, on Zazzle, SummerhouseArt

BTW, it’s really worth it to check out Zazzle and get on their email list because they are constantly having sales. Check out a little sample of what we have on Zazzle in our Zazzle shop page, where you can click directly to the shop itself.

Save

Save

Save

Share

Summer Sales in our Etsy shops

Summerhouse Art has 2 Etsy shops and it just seemed right that we have a Summer Sale in both of them.

FoundMadeArt shop on Etsy from Summerhouseart.com

Our FoundMadeArt shop has a selection of driftwood and beach pottery jewelry, just right for summer, don’t you think?  All pieces are 20% off until Sept. 10.  This is jewelry that not only looks good on a summer day on the beach, but the driftwood and beach pottery was collected right here on the beaches around Victoria, all handmade by Will Bushell.

Sea Glass Pendant by Will Bushell, FoundMadeArt   Driftwood pendant by Will Bushell, FoundMadeArt

FoundMadePrint shop on Etsy from Summerhouseart.com

Our other and most recent shop, FoundMadePrint, is also having a Summer Sale,  30% off until Sept 10.  Here we have a nice selection of Instant Downloadable Prints of photos of the beach ( of course, where else to be in the summer),

FoundMadePrint on Etsy, from summerhouseart.com
Rock and Beach photo, Will Bushell, summerhouseart.com

FoundMadePrint on Etsy from summerhouseart.com
The Evening Choir, photo by Will Bushell

some artsy shots of classic cars, another summer fave,

FoundMadePrint on Etsy from summerhouseart.com
Jaguar Grill, photo, Will Bushell

as well as instant download prints of drawings and collage done by us, Will and Helen Bushell.

FoundMadePrint on Etsy from summerhouseart.com
Off the Grid, collage by Helen Bushell

FoundMadePrint on Etsy from summerhouseart.com
Jug, Drawing by Will Bushell

FoundMadePrint on Etsy from summerhouseart.com
After the Fact, Collage by Will Bushell

We hope you are enjoying this summer, taking some time out and enjoying yourselves.

(If you’d like to leave a comment, we do like comments, just link to the title and comments appear at the bottom of the post. )

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share

Our 2nd Shop on Etsy, FoundMadePrint!

FoundMadePrint shop on Etsy

The lovely thing about technology these days is that, for artists, we now have a terrific way to get our work into the hands of many many people. No longer is art only for the well off, and only to be seen by a few people. We can get it out there for anyone to enjoy and even afford. The time is here for affordable art.

We already have one shop on Etsy called FoundMadeArt , which at the moment, sells jewelry made by Will. And it will eventually expand to include all sorts of other artworks we make from found objects like mosaic and assemblages.

The name of our new 2nd Shop on Etsy, is a play on the name of the first shop. This shop ONLY sells instant downloadable prints. So we thought to avoid confusion we’d have a totally separate shop. But the name is part of the set, it’s called FoundMadePrint. The tie in is that the prints are of art “Found”, as in photos of views we find and love and want to share, like a glimpse of the ocean,

Rock and Beach photo, Will Bushell, summerhouseart.comor a detail of shiny vintage car.

Hood Ornament photo, Will Bushell, summerhouseart.comWe are also including prints of collage made from “found” paper and glass.

Tuxedo collage by Will Bushell, summerhouseart.comAnd for the “Made”, prints of drawings that we’ve both made. Bird Bath drawing, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

We love the idea that Etsy has made it easy for anyone to quickly download a print and then take that file and print it on their own printer or take it to a print shop and have it printed. Either way you have a piece of artwork instantly for your home or office. And at $7.50 Cdn, very affordable. No waiting for shipments to arrive, no shipping costs! Pretty cool! The files come in jpg format and we offer sizes that are suitable for the image to look really good.

Right now as a shop opening special, we’re offering 30% off if you buy 3 or more prints.

We also encourage you to get out to the thrift shops and find vintage framing to put your prints in. There’s a whole world of great framing out there that’s waiting for you to “find” it. This print shown is actually in a used frame found at a thrift shop for maybe $4.99. So, obviously, very affordable art!

Stained Glass collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Now, if you don’t want to just download and print but are enamored of the idea of having a print already matted and framed for you, or would like to see a print on something entirely fun like a pillow, t-shirt or even a rug, then head over to our shop on Society6. You will probably find many of the prints offered in FoundMadePrint, already featured in our Print on Demand shop on Society6. And if not, just drop us a line and we’ll see if we can accommodate your idea. Our Society6 Store

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share