Sunday, April 19, 2015

Studio Sunday and Ramping Up

Oh my gosh!!!  I think it's SPRING!!!  Wow, really three whole days of sunshine and warmer temps and I'm loving it!  Too bad I haven't had a chance to get out and enjoy it because I am soooo busy.  Busy is a good thing, especially right now with so many ideas flowing.

MARGARET APPLIN DESIGNS STENCIL EXPLOSION
UPDATE:

The schedule for stencil releases is currently the end of May for Stencilease and I'm narrowing in on a June launch date for my personal stencil line.  Stay tuned!!

 
I'm gathering supplies for all kinds of fun with the new stencils and will definitely be putting together instructional videos on how to use them and what you can make with them.  It's very exciting!!!!  I'm thinking big format stitching so I've ordered some sari silk yarn!  There is a lot of testing going on and I'm off to a rough start LOL.  I'm using my favorite image from my Sunshine stencil from Joggles.com on homemade canvas.  I think I will do my fingers a favor and move on to softer materials.

 
This is a great piece to get warmed up on.  This was one of my paper towel art quilts started back in 2013.  It is stamped and stenciled and stitched onto a muslin backing with a layer of batting.  Maybe now is the time to finish it!

 
I love this one that already has a binding on it but maybe there is more I can do to the surface.

 
I will be working on paper and canvas as well as fabric with new projects.  Here is the base of one canvas with paint and screen-printed deli paper collage.  It will be fun to see where this one goes!

 
I'm testing colors on fabric so I had a little fun with some tie dye!

 
There is so much to do and so little time but I am excited to see it through!!!  Have a wonderful weekend and stay creative!!
 
Margaret
 
 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Studio Sunday - Countdown to MARGARET APPLIN DESIGNS STENCIL EXPLOSION

It's been spring-like here this weekend!  I've noticed some bulbs under the windows in the back yard that are starting to come up and waiting for that sign of tiny buds on the tree branches.  It sounds like spring will be exploding all at once and I can't wait!!!



There is going to be a STENCIL EXPLOSION coming soon!  How do you prepare for this sort of thing?  You take inventory of all your supplies; sewing, stitching, painting, collage and drawing tools!!!  You clear your workspace, clean all your brushes, set up your iron, oil your sewing machine, buy new paper and embroidery floss and hunker down.

 
BIG SURPRISE
#1
 

Ok, remember when I took my trip to the CHA Tradeshow in January with Barbara from Joggles.com, quite unexpectedly, I managed to obtain a license agreement for BIG stencils!  Big Big stencils!  These are stencils you will be able to use on furniture, walls and flooring; however, I won't stop there!  I've got ideas brewing and ready to test as the TWO COLLECTIONS, not one but TWO, will be sent to me shortly for testing and approval!  Each COLLECTION will contain 5 (five) designs that coordinate with one another.  This scale will be a lot of fun to work with across different applications and I plan to push the ideas as far as I can. 

The current launch for these 2 COLLECTIONS is expected to be around Memorial Day Weekend.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to spread the news and share everything as soon as it is ready!  Of course, because the imagery in in the final testing phase, I can't show you anything right now as I've got to get my ducks lined up and copyright my designs and prepare all the lovely promotional stuff!

Stay tuned!

BIG SURPRISE
#2
 
My second surprise is that I will also be releasing MY OWN PERSONAL LINE OF STENCILS!!!!  In coordination with my friend and business partner, Barbara at Joggles.com, the first set of MARGARET APPLIN DESIGNS stencils will be out soon and sold exclusively on Joggles.com.  These stencils are DIFFERENT and FUN and INNOVATIVE!  I can't wait to show you and share all my project ideas!  The expected launch date is not concrete as of yet but will be happening VERY SOON!!! 
 
So with everything that is going on here in the studio, that seems to get smaller and smaller with every BIG idea I have, I'm working hard and might be quiet as I'm plugging full-steam-ahead with project ideas and instructional videos and PDFs.  I'm going to be wearing a lot of design hats while still working full-time and you know what that's like! 
 
If any of you follow me on Pinterest, I have two boards that might be of interest to you as I gather ideas to use my new stencils.  Check out my STITCH board as well as my INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS board. 
 
Stay creative, happy and healthy!!!
 
Margaret


Sunday, April 5, 2015

 
 
HAPPY EASTER!
 
 
Be back next week.
Margaret

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Studio Sunday and Stitch on the Brain

You know it's spring when it snows all day and nothing stays on the ground!  Yay!  Beautiful sun today that will hopefully work away at the remaining snow.  The roads are a complete disaster here and just running out to do an errand becomes a maneuvering exercise to avoid all the potholes.  Can we sue the towns if our suspension breaks? LOL

 
 
I think my friend, Lynn Krawczyk, has been tickling my stitching muse with all of her hand embroidery that she's been doing lately!  She's just completed new tapings for QA TV and another workshop DVD.  Go Lynn!!!!  I really want to do some hand stitching but, of course, I'm thinking about how I can do it differently, as always.  This design was a little experimentation using a watercolor flower I had painted but it is giving me BIG ideas :)
 

 
 
So my Spoonflower fabric arrived and it is so CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!  You can see it tucked between two other pieces of fabric that I ordered last year for Surtex but I didn't have enough time to finish the project I was thinking about.  How weird that my new fabric ties in with these, hmmmmm...

 
 
It really is soft and yummy fabric.  It is on a white background which is hard to tell from the pictures.  The one thing wrong with it is scale.  LOL  I seem to have problems with scale.  I want to order more that is twice the scale or a little more of what I got for the cotton sateen only.  I am itching to embellish that design on a throw pillow and the scale is too small for that project.


 
 
However, the same design in the modern knit is the perfect scale for a wearable so I plan on making up that top to wear underneath a couple of different work jackets/blazers.  On the image below with both fabric types, you can tell that the knit on the left is more saturated in color than the cotton on the right.  I feel that the synthetics retain more of the color than the cottons do.  Additionally, I think the cotton sateen retains more color than the Kona cotton as well.  It is still light-weight enough to use for quilting so it is my preferred cotton fabric from Spoonflower.


Some fun digital play that also got me thinking about cross stitch.  Really thinking......

 
And below is the 16" repeat without the grid look above.  You can see the marks from my big X stencil which has been a part of my stitching itch.  Lots of happy spring colors like those bulbs just waiting to shoot up from underneath the last of the snow.

 
 
Here is a more subtle design from a painted and stenciled piece I was playing with last night.  There isn't too much color adjustment on this one.  It reminds me of argyle.
 

 
I hope you have the same sunny day as I am and keep those creative juices flowing!
 
Margaret

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Studio Sunday

It's beautiful and sunny in Massachusetts today!  Yesterday we had about 3 inches of snow that melted as soon as the sun appeared which was so uplifting!  The snowbanks are half the size they were and will hopefully shrink out of existence within the next few weeks.

I have lots of bits and pieces to show today.  I am working hard at finishing the work for my secret announcement which will happen in April so I haven't been able to dedicate a lot of time in the studio but that will change soon. 


Based on my post last week, I have ordered fabric from Spoonflower in the design above and I wanted to show you basically where I came up with the shapes that I used for this design.

 
I couldn't find the exact version but before I had combined the background with some writing, the shapes appeared like half moons.  I had made this into a brush in Photoshop that I was considering making up as a rubber stamp.  This image is a few years old at least but when you save your imagery in a digital format, you can always go back and utilize is for current designs.  My plan is to make a top out of the stretch knit and the cotton sateen will become at least one pillow which I am excited to embellish!  The fabric should be here this week so I'll see what I can get done by next weekend.
 
 
Here is a little bit of the experimentation that I did using my painted deli paper.  In this design, the folded seam of the deli paper is more apparent, but it flows in the same linear direction as the background design.  I'm still playing with that image and I want to do more.
 
 
 
I must have been up until 1:00 this morning playing with deli paper and stencils.  I got a bunch of the Tim Holtz Distress Paints from Joggles.com and couldn't wait to spread all that fun color around.  I love the image above that I chopped up and collaged onto watercolor paper.  It's messy and fun!  I'm trying to play digitally with these collages so we'll see what I come up with.

 

 

 
 
Then, looking through older files I came across a design that I converted using the Stamp filter in the Gallery in Photoshop.  I layered this image with some collage pages and totally LUV the southwest kind of look I got.  This could be really cool to build additional southwest images on top of or play with a color instead of the black.
 
 
Of course, I can't just stop with one, I have to push the intensity of the colors and change things up for a different look.  Both of these rock in my book!


 
And lastly, I was drawn in by another older design that I changed up a bunch  and created this which I can totally see on some of the fashions that are coming out now with all the digital photo effects.


There is still much to do today and I have to get at it!  I hope you all have a wonderful creative day and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Margaret
 





Sunday, March 15, 2015

Studio Sunday from Rhode Island

Last weekend was really busy and I just didn't have time to post so I apologize for taking last week off from the blog.  This weekend, I've had the pleasure of hanging out with Barbara of Joggles.com at her home studio in RI!  Her husband, Dave, puts up with us as we make messes and banter all about art stuff.  It rained all day and night yesterday but today there was some sun this morning and I'm hoping for an easy ride home without bad weather.

I've been playing with deli paper again!  Lightly painting and drawing on it to experiment with other applications.  I plan to do more but for now, these are a few experiments.  The first image is using my Sunflowers stencil at Joggles.com.  Most of the paints used are the Tim Holtz Distress Paints.  The key here is to keep the application very light.





As I said...experiments.  Can't wait to get home to my scanner and big monitors to play with them.  I also was playing with the Damask stencil from Joggles.com on deli paper and paper towels.  I used various inks and Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads.  Barbara loves the Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic inks and I do too.  You can get these from Joggles.com as well.  The challenge with deli paper is most liquids don't stick to the deli paper so you can spray it but you have to dry it and it pools, which could be what you are looking for.  The acrylic inks stay put and they are super sparkly!


I love the color but don't like the spray effects (which you can see in the middle of this piece).  


So I stenciled to my used paper towels as well and separated the layers so when it dries I can apply it to paper or fabric with Mod Podge or fusible webbing.


Of course, the weekend wouldn't be complete without some digital design!  This first design I have ordered both cotton sateen and modern jersey from Spoonflower.com!  I can't wait for them to come in.  I have plans to make a stretch top to wear to work under my suit jackets and then the cotton, I plan to exercise some cool hand embellishment on for pillows!  


I've just been playing with coordinates for this design collection but they are just in the early stages.  I'm still playing with the colorways as well and have used my new Illustrator skills to easily change the colors up and I will show more of that next week plus a sneak peak as to how I came to create the half circles in the design above.



Have a fantastic weekend and hopefully the snow is melting away all around you with signs of the promise of spring!

Margaret


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Studio Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone!  Wow time flies.  It's March already and spring should be just around the corner.  Of course, that will be after the storm we get tonight with another 6" and counting!  I've been playing around with Illustrator more after taking Jessica Swift's Pattern Camp and I'm having a blast! 

For now, I have these images to share from that one design I created in the workshop.  I love the colors and I can't help but think of sandy beaches and Margaritas!  I've been watching a lot of HGTV lately and it's rubbing off on me.

 
I know I always say this over and over but I totally love pushing the exploration of patterns.  These all started from a very simple hand drawn image and the best thing about Illustrator is the ability to create patterns in one set of colors and easily change up the same patterns with another set of colors.  I haven't done that yet because I'm having so much fun with these colors.  
 
 
I quickly put together these mock-ups so that I can look at the patterns in action in everyday life.  Right now, these color apply more towards a bright and happy kitchen/eat-in area but I can totally see changing them up to deeper autumn tones to make them a rich addition to a living room with dark wood floors, a natural wood fireplace mantel in a more modern style.

 
 
My backgrounds are a little grey from my set up in Photoshop so that is not intentional.

 
 
This large medallion could definitely be a 8' x 8' rug or even the central image on toss pillows on a window seat.  Imaging the texture of the pillow with strategically placed satin stitched embroidery to add dimension and some cute trim!  It could even be a clock!

 
I think this pattern would be cute as wallpaper as shown above but it could also be applied to tea towels or an apron.  The floral pattern in the apron shown below would make beautiful wallpaper or even kitchen chair upholstery.  Of course the canisters can be played up with a whole variety of patterns.

 
I think it would have helped if I used a kitchen photo but I didn't have one available at the moment.  Still, I'm sure you get the idea.  As fun as these designs are, too much all at once can make a room too busy and distract the eye.  For my "grand finale", I have created a more modern set of plates using a minimalist approach.
 

 
Stay warm and happy creating!!!!
Margaret

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Studio Sunday

Well, it looks like we avoided a wintery mess this time around!  Thank goodness!  A little relief is appreciated for sure :)  I've been painting and spraying and just messing around here and some things I can't show right now (yet) but I'm really excited about this playful half-drop design that I will be ordering from Spoonflower today!!!  It just screams FUN to me and I have to have some fabric!!!  I mixed in digital brushes with the print in this half-drop in Photoshop.

 
 
One of the things I was playing with were new stencils and the Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Sprays.  The piece of paper below is just a messy page that I was flipping the stencils over onto to use up the ink sitting on the surface of the stencil.  I love this technique because you get the reverse of the stencil image and the droplets of ink make for a really interesting print.  There was also some dark blue acrylic paint mixed in with this.
 
 
 
 
I really love these sprays because when it dries, there is such a cool glimmer effect (beautifully subtle, not overdone) and as you move the paper around in the light you can see these patches.  Unfortunately they don't pick up in the photos.  Here is the original mess below which you can see I didn't change up except for to erase some of the edges.  I love the patches of color and shapes and outlines of those shapes from the flip technique.

 
 
I'm starting to stencil over the canvases using acrylic paint that I painted last weekend but this is the very under layer of what I see doing with these.  I'll share my process along the way no matter how ugly it turns out LOL.

 
 
I'm having fun working in a larger format and it's all a big experiment!  We will see what happens with the next layers!

 


Have a super creative weekend and stay safe and warm wherever you may be!

Margaret