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Watch Artistic Artifacts Demo Techniques on Great Day Washington!

Artistic Artifacts is ready for its Great Day Washington taping

Demonstrating surface design techniquesMonday, January 30 was an exciting day for Artistic Artifacts as we appeared live on Great Day Washington, a local morning show on Washington DC’s WUSA*9 TV (CBS affiliate).

Lifestyle Correspondent Meaghan Mooney and her cameraman arrived early in the morning and ran four different “live hits” from 8:55 to 10 am. This amazing opportunity came about because they saw that our customers give us top ratings on Facebook and Yelp…what gratifying news to hear!

For those unable to watch live, we wanted to share the segments from the Great Day Washington portion of WUSA 9 website here.

Click to watch block printing and other surface design techniques

For the first segment — watch online now — Judy demonstrated block Printing on fabric and paper, using hand-carved wooden printing blocks and Artistic Artifacts’ own textile paints. (Join us this weekend for your own opportunity to experiment with this centuries old technique in Block Printing with Cyndi Souder.

The Artistic Artifacts line of Fluid Textile Paints were used for all surface design demonstrations

Additional surface design techniques were also showcased in this segment. Pictured below, Susan Gantz (left) is demonstrating monoprinting on a Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate, while Sue Price of PG Fiber2Art is demonstrating Thermofax screen printing — join us February 18 for Printing with Thermofax Screens with PG Fiber2Art to learn how to create your own screen printed fabric.

Susan Gantz demonstrating monoprinting and Sue Price of PG Fiber2Art demonstrating Thermofax screen printing

Susan Gantz didn’t think she was a big metallic fan, but experimenting with the Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paint set of Silver, Gold and Copper while demonstrating (see some results below) has now changed her mind!

Monoprint by Susan Gantz in progress and completed

In the second segment, Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts, Ambassador for BERNINA, demonstrated foundation paper piecing to create quilt blocks using a BERNINA sewing machine — watch online now.

Click to watch Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts demonstrate paper piecing

Cyndi Souder shows Meaghan Mooney of WUSA9 a paper pieced block

The paper piecing technique offers complete accuracy: precise points and a visually complex design become easy to execute. Join us on Saturday, February 11 for Cyndi’s class Beginning Paper Piecing Row By Row. Above, Cyndi shows Great Day Washington Lifestyle Correspondent Meaghan Mooney (right) a completed block from our 2016 Row by Row Experience pattern kit.

Click to watch a discussion of, and examples of, mixed media and upcycled art

The third segment — watch online now — featured Judy talking about mixed media techniques and upcycling with members of Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs), a group that meets at Artistic Artifacts monthly. Judy began by showing off results from the JAMs Box Challenge conceived by Barb Boatman of Cut Sew Create studio (see more photos of the results in our past Facebook album), repurposing dimensional wood box frames formerly used on a display wall of automotive products.

Meahgan Mooney meeting Artistic Artfacts customers and members of JAMs

Members used these surfaces to create small artworks that incorporated products from Artistic Artifacts that they had in their stashes, and/or that they had purchased new. JAMs member Beth Richardson explained the sea turtle box she created, and viewers also get a chance to some of the pages of an art journal that Beverly Hilbert has created.

Click to watch a demonstration of hand-stitching on a batik panel and learn more about how they are created

The final demonstration was Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts discussing how batik panels are handcrafted in Indonesia as well as demonstrating hand-stitching on one by the popular batik artist Jakawatch online now.

Batik art panels at Artistic Artifacts

Christine Vinh and Suzanne LangsdorfAbove, our batik panel “station” set up for filming. Chris used Tulip needles, a selection of WonderFil Specialty Threads, and was inspired by Modern Hand Stitching by Ruth Chandler. This segment also includes a walk-through of the shop back to the BERNINA machine embroidery demonstration by Denise Reuter of Artistic Artifacts, who has several years experience as a manager and educator for BERNINA Sewing Machine USA. Artistic Artifacts is a new BERNINA dealer!

In her segment Chris wore her beautiful Schoolhouse Tunic, which was sewn for her by JAMs member Suzanne Langsdorf using Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik in Woodstock, Jam and fabric from a sarong imported from Indonesia. Pictured right, Chris preps for her filming with the caffeine boost of coffee while Suzanne teasingly waves to the camera.

And as if the “official” taping didn’t keep us all hopping enough Judy’s son Kyle also streamed video content live (archived below) on Facebook!

In this livestream “you can hear me talk about my latest artwork (at time mark 15:40 in the video) about my written meditation on forgiveness,” writes mixed media artist Wendy Sittner, pictured below, “when I got to participate in Artistic Artifacts’s appearance on WUSA9 Great Day Washington live with Meaghan Mooney. Owner Judy Vincentz Gula did amazing and Meaghan was so friendly and made us feel so comfortable on camera.”

"Wendy Sittner with her written meditation on forgiveness

For Artistic Artifacts, this really was a "Great Day" — we extend our deepest gratitude to WUSA9 for visiting our store and showcasing the fiber and mixed media talent and techniques of our creative minds!

Artistic Artifacts staff and customers during the Great Day Washington filming

Below, machine embroidery by Denise Reuter.

Always color outside the lines -- machine embroidery by Denise Reuter

Artistic Artifacts & The Tale of the Frog Princess…

Staffed by Ruth Chandler and Liz Kettle with support from WonderFil Threads, The Thread Lab: WonderFil Threaducation Center is a learning center devoted to teaching a textile classes, both hand stitching and machine sewing, that use the variety of WonderFil™ Specialty threads. Located at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs, the Thread Lab is also frequented by The Frog Princess.

The Frog Princess of Colorado Springs

Reigning over the Thread Lab and the artist studios at Cottonwood, and inspired by her own garments full of color and texture, The Frog Princess found she had a natural affinity for recommending thread choices to customers and students.

The Frog Princess choosing thread colors

And so, like Ruth and Liz, she studied for her Thread Certification. (Because every princess wants to be a Thread Goddess! photos above and below by Terza Ekholm) The Frog Princess found that Threads, The Basics & Beyond: The Complete Visual Guide to Thread Techniques & Creativity by Debbie Bates and Liz Kettle is an amazing resource.

The Frog Princess studies Threads, the Basics & Beyond by Debbie Bates and Liz Kettle

And so all was well in the land. Until November 30, when Ruth Chandler sent out the alarm:
“The Frog Princess is AWOL!”

Any disappearance of royalty is of course critical, and so the emergency security plan was immediately put into effect. “I called out the troops to find the Frog Princess,” notes Ruth:

Rallying the troops to find The Frog Princess

But then a message arrived from 1,700 miles away, Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA: The Frog Princess had been found! (And there was much rejoicing.)

Yes, craving a change of scenery, The Frog Princess decided to stow away, taking advantage of the trip Liz undertook to assist Artistic Artifacts with the set up and launch the fifth WonderFil Threaducation Center — the only one on the East Coast of the U.S.!

The staff at Artistic Artifacts was delighted to have her as a guest…Friday morning she awoke early to have coffee with Judy, but with so much to do to get ready for the Annual Open House and Pop-Up Holiday Market, we quickly put her to work.

Coffee with The Frog Princess

With her eye for color, The Frog Princess gravitated toward pricing the inspiration packs, popular bundles of hand dyed found textiles and fibers Judy incorporates with two fat quarters of woven cotton, perfect for fiber collage.

The Frog Princess with fiber collage inspiration packs put together by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Below left, she put her stamp of approval on some store rearranging (our ribbons are now nicely showcased, much to her pleasure). At right she poses with Liz on a break from showing off the beautiful WonderFil threads to customers at the Annual Open House on Saturday, December 3, where Liz demonstrated stitching and furthered the “threaducation” of many.

The Frog Princess enjoys visiting Artistic Artifacts with Liz Kettle

Sunday found Liz and students hard at work in the Magical Stitches class. Below you can see that The Frog Princess got herself involved in class discussion.

Magical Stitching class with Liz Kettle at Artistic Artifacts

Artistic Artifacts is usually closed on Mondays, but on December 5, we were all hard at work. Our gorgeous threads and fixtures finally made it through customs and delivery from Canada, so we spent the day putting together the Threaducation Center! Frankly, we thought the tiny little hands of The Frog Princess would have been a bigger help when it came to the WonderFil Thread cabinet construction! But then again, she IS royalty; supervising is really her strength…

The Frog Princess supervises construction of the WonderFil thread cabinets and display stands

Below, everyone wanted to get close to the Sue Spargo collection! WonderFil™ teamed up with the author, teacher, embroidery expert and artist to bring out a new line of colors in the Eleganza™, Razzle™, and Dazzle™ thread lines! These colors have been selected by Sue Spargo to offer an array of beautiful and inspirational choices, including variegated colors that are only available in her line.

The Frog Princess helps Chris Vinh put away the Sue Spargo Collection of WonderFil threads

Below, The Frog Princess poses at the end of a productive workday with the new WonderFil Threaducation Center located at Artistic Artifacts.

The Frog Princess poses with the new WonderFil Threaducation Center located at Artistic Artifacts

Finally it was time to return to her own kingdom. Before she left The Frog Princess took one final lap around the store to soak in some memories:

Come back anytime, Princess — you and your friends at the Thread Lab are always welcome! In fact, consider this a formal invitation for next year, when Liz returns to Artistic Artifacts to teach a 4-day creative retreat, Stitch Journeys — Your Guide to Amazing Stitching, June 15-18, 2017. The cost will be $495, which includes provided lunch each day, and payment plans will be available — please email us to make arrangements. Complete information will be posted soon on the Artistic Artifacts website. Plan to join us!

The Beauty of Art Dolls

The National Institute of American Doll Artists, NIADA, founded in 1963 with the purpose of promoting the art of the original handmade doll, is hosting its annual Conference and Dollmaking School this week in Old Town Alexandria. Today (Saturday, July 23) and tomorrow there are events open to the public, including Artist Demos at Torpedo Factory Art Center and an Exhibition and Sale. We’ve welcomed some NIADA attendee shoppers this week, and in honor of their event, and our own class next month, Mermaid Art Doll with Leslie Brier, we wanted to share some art dolls that we have on display in the shop, have been made in our classes, or have been shared with us.

Mermaid Art Doll by Leslie Brier

Mixed media artist Leslie Brier’s Mermaid Art Doll class is suitable for both beginning and experienced doll artists. You’ll cover your own soft-bodied doll (Leslie has dolls you can purchase to use if need be) with your choice of a vintage or batik provided kit, plus your own treasures of fabrics, laces, embellishments and trims. See more of Leslie’s art dolls below.

The below mermaid art doll by Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula should be familar to many, as she graces our business card!

Mermaid art doll by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Art doll by Kathlyn J. Aviles

The above was created by Kathlyn J. Avila-Reyes. In 2009 we wrote about hosting an exhibit/sale of Kat’s work…take a look at the wonderful photos from then! Judy couldn’t resist adding the beauty pictured here to her own collection, and she has been a much-admired resident of the shop since then. Look at the amazing detail!

Detail, fiber/beaded art doll by Kathlyn J. Aviles

Earlier this year Kat held a very successful show at the Art League of Alexandria; over time her work has moved away from pure fiber to ceramics but remains absolutely stunning. Visit her website for to view her gallery.

Mary, Star of the Sea by Sharon McDonagh

The above is by Artistic Artifacts staffer Sharon McDonagh. She began with an unadorned store bought Santos figure and altered it from head to toe to become Mary, Star of the Sea (Ave Maris Stella).

Items used to create Mary, Star of the Sea by Sharon McDonagh

This was Sharon’s submission for a recent Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) challenge. Members each gathered 10 items in a paper bag, and the bags were randomly exchanged. Participants could use any mediums and techniques to create their resulting piece of art; the only rule was that at least some of each of the 10 items had to be used. The assortment (pictured right) Sharon received consisted of small sea shells, blue braid trim, blue feathery yarn, a magazine page altered with Citrasolv, translucent printed map tissue paper, blue handmade fiber paper, a piece of woven grass trim, an upholstery fabric sample, painted foil and a silver color Gelato.

Figurative work often results from classes we host here at the shop. In early May we welcomed Leighanna Light of Taos, New Mexico. Leighanna calls herself a “Thingmaker,” and oh, such beautiful things! One of the classes she taught was titled Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal, and one of the attendees was Linda Morgan, a member of JAMs who is known within the group for her amazing mixed media fiber and assemblage work:

Art dolls by Linda Morgan completed in Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal class with Leighanna Light

Above, Linda’s work from the Faux Etching class. Below, additional art dolls by Linda.

Mixed media assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

Mixed media assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

Below, Jello Mold dolls by Linda Morgan.

Jello mold assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

As promised, more art dolls from Leslie Brier, from the small, a multi-beaded figure pictured below…

Beaded art doll by Leslie Brier

…to the tall, Leslie’s “Machine Age Santos.”

Machine Age Santos by Leslie Brier

Mixed media art doll by Leslie Brier

Above, “Sugar” by Leslie Brier.

A student at this year’s Art & Soul Creative Retreat in Portland shared the below cloth doll with us: it made us happy to see what she had done with our Hand Dyed Fiber Collage Kits! Art & Soul Virginia Beach will take place this fall, September 26 – October 1. Take a look at the workshops available, which include a number of art doll classes.

Art doll created with Judy Gula's hand-dyed textiles by Art & Soul creative retreat student

Now go play with your dolls!

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts Store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

We’re beginning the job of packing up for Quilt Odyssey, which takes place July 21-24 at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center in Hershey, PA. Exhibits and the Merchants Mall are open to the public: Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00pm.

We’ve recently completed rearranging much of the shop, and are really happy with the changes. I thought I would share these with you today. One big one for us is pictured here: we moved the cutting table from the back of the store next to the register: much more efficient for our customers and staff!

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Above, the display wall that housed many of our mixed media supplies moved to the front of the shop. Below, many of the vintage paper packs Judy creates by theme, and Sandra Evertson’s wonderful Relics & Artifacts.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Above, samples from some of the many classes we hold here; below, patterns, notions and more.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Below, the gorgeous Tentakulum stitching threads and fibers.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Below, the bookcase on the rear wall is the perfect place for the displaying the amazing results from the Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) box challenge (more about that in a previous blog post).

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

The back wall serves as a wonderful gallery component, with sample quilts made with our batik panels, Batik Tambal exclusive batik and other fabric carried in the shop.

The 2016 Row By Row Experience Begins June 21!

2016rxrlogo

Artistic Artifacts has been participating in the Row by Row Experience for several years now, and its something we look forward to each summer, especially meeting so many new friends (and welcoming back treasured repeat customers) as they embark on their shopping expeditions.

The 2016 event is themed Home Sweet Home and opens this Tuesday, June 21! This event has steadily grown each year and thousands of quilt shops are involved: you can travel across the entire United States and Canada, and — new for 2016 —some locations in Europe!

The Row by Row Experience in-person shop hop focuses on each quilting business creating a full “row” that finishes to 9″ x 36″. Patterns for the row are distributed for free to any in-store visitor who requests one*. We recruited the talented Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts to design our row, and love what she’s done:

2016artisticartifacts_row

Paper-pieced houses and trees are sewn using a beautiful mix of Tim Holtz fabrics and our Australian Aborigine-Designed fabrics. The windows (blank here) can be filled in in a variety of ways and we will be sharing those as the summer progresses.

Cyndi will be teaching a new paper piecing class for us in October: keep checking our website for information, as it will be posted soon. Here’s a more detailed view of our 2016 row:

Detail, Artistic Artifacts' 2016 Row by Row Experience pattern, designed by Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts

Along with creating a row, most of the participating shops order a special fabric “license plate” for the event. The 2016 Artistic Artifacts plate reads Creative Finds.

Each state or province has a Facebook page (visit the Row by Row website for links) and participating shops post photos of their rows, license plates and submitted quilts (note that you don’t have to have a Facebook account set up to view these photos). Shops love to be creative with the theme each year, so check out the wide variety in how Home Sweet Home has been interpreted. (The Virginia state Facebook page includes Artistic Artifacts: www.facebook.com/VARowbyRowExperience.)

Each participating shop agrees to make a prize of 25 fat quarters of fabric available to the first person who turns in a completed quilt — not just a top, but quilted, bound, and labeled — using at least 8 different 2016 row patterns. This year we are seeing more shops creating their row to be used vertically rather than horizontally, which will add to the challenge of the finished quilts…it will be great to see the creativity of the participants!

You can travel and collect rows through September 6, 2016. Participants then have until October 31 to turn in a completed quilt for the prize. There are some speedy (and competitive) quilters out there, so be aware that most shops give away their prize fairly early in the summer!

We always ask our Row by Row customers to send us photos of their row, their quilt, their designs. Please do email us if you collect our row pattern and use it.

We hope to see many of you this summer!

* Please note: due to event rules, we cannot mail or email patterns: during the official timeframe of The Row by Row Experience, they are only available to in-person store visitors.

May We Share?

With recent event travel combined with some painful technical “challenges” we haven’t posted this week. We hope you’ll indulge us as we share a blog post by Gwen Lafleur. Gwen is a mixed media artist and a stencil designer for StencilGirl Products who traveled in from Utah for last month’s classes with Seth Apter. She has some lovely compliments on the shop — thank you Gwen! — and we know you will be inspired by her enthusiasm for creating, as well as the many photographs of her work from the classes that she shares.

Please visit Gwen’s blog to enjoy!

theresa mARTin and JAMs Challenges

theresa mARTin is very talented fiber & mixed media artist, frequently published, who uses vintage images, hand-dyed fibers, stitching and more when creating. Theresa lives in close-by Arlington, VA, and we are always delighted when her schedule allows for a visit to the store and/or a Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) meeting.

In addition to her charming mother-in-law (visiting from Scotland), Theresa brought her finished Box Challenge artwork to the February meeting. (More about the Box Challenge at the end of this post.)

Artwork by theresa mARTin: Artistic Artifacts JAMs Box Challenge

What a beautiful, evocative piece! Theresa used Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) to add a vintage sepia photo to a vintage textile that I had hand-dyed — you can see the texture of the fabric in the dot pattern. (My Hand Dyed Fiber Collage Kits feature such vintage linen pieces: embroidered napkins, textured tablecloths, crocheted doilies and more.)

Artwork by theresa mARTin: Artistic Artifacts JAMs Box Challenge

The portrait was stitched with metallic thread and then topped with a sheet of mica. Theresa used Tentakulum Handpainted products in this artwork; the above view also shows the Rusty for Paper and More (a Viva Decor product suitable for a wide variety of surfaces) she used on the sides of the box.

Detail, Artwork by theresa mARTin: Artistic Artifacts JAMs Box Challenge

Above, this close up view gives you a closer view of the Web Weave Ribbon (in Sweet Pea) Theresa accented with tiny red seed beads.

Theresa’s blog/website is a visual delight as she shares her beautifully photographed art. We learned that she will be in a four person show (joining Meg Schaap, John Mors and Nancy McNamara) at the Glenview Mansion Gallery in Rockville, MD November 6-23. She is creating a nine piece Icon series for the show; Anton is one. We wanted to share: created with similar techniques, maybe he’s a future descendent of her lovely girl!

Anton, by theresa mARTin, Icon series

Per Theresa: “Anton is 6" x 6" x 2" and is made with a photo transfer onto tea dyed fabric, Naga beads for the coat, a reversed vintage French hat label, Japanese Kimono thread and mica.” (Photograph by Theresa Martin, all rights reserved.)

Another JAMs Challenge

Also at the February JAMs meeting, members were asked to bring a plain brown lunch bag that contained 10 different items, plus a list of those items to participate in the group’s latest challenge. If you bought a bag in, you selected another (contents unseen), and used its contents to create a mixed media artwork, the reveal of which will be the presentation at the May meeting.

Mixed media art by theresa mARTin

Theresa bought in a bag to trade (amazing contents, by the way), and so received one in return. She wasted absolutely no time in getting to work and has already finished her piece (see above; photo by Theresa Martin, all rights reserved).

Theresa wrote a February 25 blog posting detailing her creative thought process, techniques and results that you must read. (The bar for the rest of us in JAMs has now been set very high…)

10 item bag challenge contents before use by theresa mARTin

Above is a photo of the bag Theresa selected. The contents of the bags could be art supplies, household items, found objects… virtually any kind of material or resource. Visit Theresa’s blog for additional photographs and to learn how she used these items in her beautiful artwork.

The only rule for this challenge is that you must use at least part or some of each of the 10 items (groups of things, such as beads, count as one item) in your work. Artists can add materials from their own stash; alter the bag contents as desired, etc. JAMs member Diane Herbort wisely thought to photograph many of the bag contents, to be paired with photos of the finished work — it will be so inspiring to see everyone’s creations!

Theresa is also a designer for Paper Whimsy and regularly creates art with their collage images, Amazing Alterables and more. View Theresa’s projects for Paper Whimsy.

One of the original display box frames used in the Box Challenge

More about The Box Challenge

I’ve mentioned in this space that the location for the Artistic Artifacts brick and mortar store used to house high-performance auto parts, with a huge display wall of product photographs on dimensional wood box frames. These frames, most approximately 5×5 inch square (as pictured) were pulled out of storage and used for the JAMs Box Challenge conceived by Barb Boatman of Cut Sew Create studio.

Members used these surfaces to create small artworks that incorporated products from Artistic Artifacts that they had in their stashes, and/or that they had purchased new.

Woven Paper

Artwork created by Theresa Martin

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to meet talented artists across the country in my travels, as well as many who live locally. I have the above artwork on the wall above my computer in the shop, where I see and enjoy it every day. Created by artist Theresa Martin (who will be with us in the Annex this weekend for the Open House and Pop Up Holiday Market selling some of her amazing artwork), it is my inspiration for this week’s blog. Theresa is a Paper Whimsy designer and used one of their gorgeous images and used a variety of metallic pens to doodle on black paper that she cut into strips and wove.

And whether at home or traveling, one of my favorite places goes by different names depending on where you are: “dog pounds,” swap stop, freebie table, etc. We have one every month when our JAMs group meets, and it’s great to see the adage “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” in action. While in Virginia Beach for Art & Soul, I found both white and black papers already cut into 1"-2" strips on a free table….and I snagged them. What artist Catherine Anderson had used them for, or trimmed them off of originally, I have no idea.

So, Theresa has provided the starting point of inspiration, and Catherine donated some of the supplies for my latest playtime experiment.

Black paper strips doodled with white gel pen

I used my super fantastic white Uni-ball Signo Broad Gel Pen to doodle on the cut black strips. I actually found that the smaller size paper was easier for me to doodle on…less intimidating: I don’t think I would have the patience to face a whole 8½" x 11" sheet!

The white strips were printed using my 5" x 7" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate, rubbing plates from Cedar Canyon, various paints and a brayer. (I have to admit that it would have been faster if I had the larger 8×10 size with me, but I was not deterred!)

Paint brayered onto a Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate and impressed with a Rubbing Plate for texture

I brayered my paint onto the gelli plate, then stamped the rubbing plate (above, the impression left by one of the Op Art plates) into the paint, lifted the plate off and laid the strips of paper side by side onto the plate and gently rubbed to transfer the paint. Because of the size of the strips, I picked the plates, such as Triangles, that have smaller patterns. I repeated the process and flipped the strips as needed to cover the one side completely.

Gelli Printed white paper strips

Before beginning to weave my strips together, I cut them all into narrower widths. Below are my completed woven paper pieces. What to do with them now? Have to tune in next week to see!

Woven paper by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Guest Blogger Lisa Chin Visits Artistic Artifacts

In September the talented textile artist Lisa Chin, a fellow member of the Printed Fabric Bee, visited Artistic Artifacts for the first time. She wrote the nicest blog post about her visit — and she is serving as as a guest blogger and letting us reprint it for us below! I love the beautiful photographs she took — thank you Lisa! (With the gorgeous fall color we’re experiencing, take a look at her website’s tutorial Gelli Plate Printing with Leaves and create a permanent memory!)


A Tour of Artistic Artifacts Brick and Mortar Store, Alexandria VA

by guest blogger Lisa Chin

[Recently] while I was in DC, I stopped at Artistic Artifacts. Artistic Artifacts is a quilt/mixed media shop and it was HEAVENLY! I got there a little late in the day and really didn’t have the time to inspect everything closely. I know I will be returning when I am in the DC area. Let me give you a little tour of the shop:

Panorama shot from the front of the shop.

Beautiful batiks.

Gorgeous papers.

I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t buy some of Seth Apter’s stamps.

I don’t know if the sewing machines are for sale or just for show but I LOVE them!

Lots and lots of beautiful paints.

I bought a nice selection to try out.

These cigar boxes remind me of my grandfather.

Folding yardsticks!

Lovely vintage photos to include in your art work.

LOTS and LOTS of Tjaps for batiking or enjoying.


And a great big wall of stencils.

And this is just a small part of the shop. I didn’t take photos of the wall of beautiful fabrics, the racks of vintage papers, game pieces, game boards, threads, dyed linens and so much more!

If you are ever in the DC area make sure you make time to travel the short distance to Alexandria and see Artistic Artifacts. If you don’t have a car, you can take the Blue line on the Metro to the Van Dorn St. stop and walk the 3/4 of a mile down Eisenhower Avenue to the shop, which is what I did!

Using Embossing Powders

For some reason, I had always thought it was complicated to use embossing powders. With some experimentation over the past year or so, some of it spurred by our monthly How Do I Use This? series, I have found that it is easy to use embossing powders — although it can be a little messy!

This post will feature a page that I worked on recently, which has a shell theme going on, because I am creating the backgrounds for pages that will be completed during my family beach vacation.

Supplies needed when using embossing powder

Above, my materials and tools:

  • Yellow foam printing mat — the “give” of the foam gives you the best results when rubber stamping, and is a necessity when using wooden printing blocks
  • Embossing stamp pad — this brand is tinted pink, which is supposed to help you by being visible (in my opinion, it doesn’t help so much!)…also pictured here is a re-inker
  • Embossing powder — this is a metallic brand from Ranger; embossing powders come in a wide variety of colors and textures
  • Rubber stamp
  • Pre-painted shipping tag to stamp on

Here are the easy steps to using embossing powders:

Embossing powder applied to wet stamped imprint, ready for heating

Stamp your image using a favorite rubber stamp and an embossing stamp pad. Rather than ink, these pads hold a type of glue that holds the embossing powder to your surface. Immediately shake the embossing powder over the wet stamped image (above, left). The powder will cling to the wet imprint of the stamp’s image. (right) Shake off extra embossing powder and return it to the container.

Embossed tag by Judy Gula

Move your tag or paper to a heat-resistant surface (do not use your heat tool on your foam mat). Heat the embossing powder imprint using the tool for a few seconds. You might find it helpful to use a skewer or some other kind of implement to keep your tag or paper in place. You will be able to see the embossing powder melt and fuse together (photo, right). Presto! Magic! It can be difficult to see in photos but metallic embossing powders melt into a wonderful shiny surface.

I think I might add some lighter color paint around the face to make it stand out or I could have stamped and embossed the image on text papers and them applied it to the tag. The ideas are limitless.

Embossed shells by Judy Gula

The fuchsia shell is a smooth embossing power, versus the green ‘bubble’ ribbon at the bottom, which is a Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder. After you heat that powder and let it cool, you rub the image with your fingers to remove special release crystals, giving you a worn and weathered look.

Detailed view of two different embossing powders used by Judy Gula

Above is a close up view of the two. Can you see the difference in the texture?

Embossed and collaged shell page by Judy Gula

The above photo uses the same stamp as the fuchsia shell, and the same type of embossing powder… but you can see that I pressed my stamp into the embossing pad too hard, leaving too much embossing “glue” on the stamp, and thus my image details are somewhat “blurry” and difficult to see. But still pretty — I think it looks like the shell is sandy!

Embossing powders were created to use on paper for the stamping/scrapbooking world, but can be used on different surfaces. So of course I have tried it on fabric! Below, the results on a blue cotton using a Pomegranate Halved wooden printing block and a gold metallic embossing powder

Judy Gula using a wooden printing block with embossing powders on fabric

The embossing powder has more of a tendency to cling to the fabric even without the ink adhesion…you can see a few stray marks in my sample. You can use a brush to try whisking them off.

Note that if you experiment with embossing on fabric, the material is not washable, but is wonderful used in an art quilt and or journals.

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