Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flower Time with TAP

The sun has finally come out here in Southwest Washington, and all my flowers (who have been holding back through weeks of cold rain) are yelling in unison, "Now!!!" "Now!!! "Go!!!!"

These are all perennials and volunteers--it's been too wet to get out there to dig and plant.

The little patch by our front door has some "ephemerals" though.

They do seem kind of leggy but they are bravely trying to make up for lost time.

We're ALL enjoying the sunshine!

Naturally the flowers' overdue arrival has been quite inspiring to me. I worked up some new 3-D flower ideas for an upcoming article for CQMagOnline.

You'll be able to read the complete "how-to" for these when the next issue goes live at the end of July.

The garden has also inspired me to experiment with a new product called TAP, or Transfer Artists' Paper. It was developed and is marketed by Lesley Riley and C & T Publishing and you can order your own here.
It works on the same principle as the old T-Shirt transfer paper but supposedly is a big improvement, without the plastic rubbery surface you get from the old stuff. It is also supposed to be much nicer to stitch through, and that is what I plan on testing out.

So far I have transferred some photos onto fabric using the TAP, and it is very easy to use. The imagery is quite sharp and not too much color is lost in the transfer either. After washing out the extra polymer from the fabric, it does have a softer hand than I expected as well.

I started with photos of my garden and some of my flower collages....making a mock-up of them on paper first, and then printing them onto the TAP paper, which is what you see below.

I thought I would try framing a landscape shot with the actual flowers that are in the landscape, then embroidering over the printed imagery.

I'm not sure the concept is a great one, as the frame is pretty overwhelming at this point.

It may have been better had I used all one color of flower rather than this chaotic mix in the frame. But I couldn't resist all those pretty blooms after waiting for them for so long. They made me do it!

It's going to take some trickery to pull that center image out and make the frame recede. Wish me luck and stay tuned....


Summerset said...

Wow - those colors are vibrant. Sometimes printing out images are dull and not life-like. Good luck on this little project - I can see it with dimension to really make those flowers pop!

Pamela Kellogg said...

Allie, what a lovely garden and new project! I can't wait to see where this one goes. Have always enjoyed watching your works in progress!

How in the world did you get to hold that Robin bird? I adore Robins!!! May I post that photo on my blog? I will of course, link back to yours!


Rian said...

Glorious! Enjoy that warm sunshine and those beautiful flowers.

Susan Elliott said...

Your garden looks just like your quilts...or is it...your quilts look just like your garden!

I've been meaning to try the TAP paper but didn't want to pay postage just for the one item. Isn't that silly of me.

The best results I've had for transfers is using a special paper I got from Maureen Greeson and using a very thin silk I also got from her. The key is to pull the transfer before it cools. I always admired the quality of her transfers and she was an absolute gem to share her technique. I've lost the label for the paper a long time ago so I can't share its name. It has one blue line down the back side of the sheet and is a huge improvement over most of the transfer sheets that are readily available. Maureen will likely know what I'm talking about. I'm on the hunt for the same weight silk that Maureen uses but in a white -- hers is more of a taupy beige. It's the right weight of material but it affects a little of the vibrancy of the image. I've takes an image transfer class with Lesley about 6 years ago(before she became famous and editor of cloth, paper, scissors!) and she is an absolutely wonderful gal and lives in Maryland...that makes me think her product is probably very good. I just wish her product was more readily available. Thanks a bunch for your thoughts.

As for your quilt...I have no doubt that your talented hand will grow the canopy of that tree and all the greens around's a beautiful beginning.

Happy blooms! Susan

Unknown said...

Allie, as usual, gorgeous!

Debra Dixon said...

Getting borders to work with centers is the age old quilting dilemma! Much Luck with that one!

Lisa Boni said...

Your garden is blooming gloriously, both at home and in your stitching! Can't wait to see how the new transfer works for you!

FredaB said...

Allie your flower garden is gorgeous. Makes me jealous with all my hostas and ferns.

If anyone can make that middle come alive it will be you. Interesting to see how you do it.



Unknown said...

Yeah!!!! So beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!

Conni said...

Beautiful garden and beautiful garden-inspired art!

I need to get me some of that TAP.

Marty52 said...

That's quite the challenge, Allie; however, I have the feeling you will come through with flying colors! As always, I'll be watching!

Barbara C said...

Thanks for the product tip. It's exactly the thing for the kind of transfers I like to use.

Your garden is lovely. It's good to know the flowers were waiting in the wings until the weather improved. I've got my veggies planted, and I'm crossing my fingers that the tomatoes will bear fruit before the rains come back.