A tag a month: April to June

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the spring months of the year.

 


APRIL ART TAG: SPRING INTO SPRING

 

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Adding plastic as a synthetic component to a piece of natural fibers is fun! It is also a challenge as you want the outcome to not look “artificial”. Not sure whether I achieved this goal…

The leaf appliqué is made of hand dyed wool felt, the lace is vintage, buttons too.

Satin ribbons come in all colors and at least three different sizes. When I buy new shirts or blouses, they ususally have a small piece of satin ribbon attached to the shoulder parts (for display purposes; they can be attached to the hanger so that the shape of the hung shirt looks “natural”). I cut them off and collect them for later. 😉

 

MAY ART TAG: DO NOT RUSH

 

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May was a very busy month, so my motto for this month was “do not rush”. Sometimes, you need to take a deep breath and relax. And there’s hardly another way to do this better than through art!

The metallic thread is an antique gold purl usually used in gold work. (For example, Golden Hinde UK is a supplier for gold work material.)

The stitches to make the exotic flowers behind the toucan and the border of the triangle are all buttonhole.

 

JUNE ART TAG: BLOOM

 

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Nature’s in full bloom here and insects are swirrling through my little garden…

The appliqué picture is stitched on merino wool felt. I love to use high quality felt as the thread goes so smoothly through the fabric… it’s an investment well worth it!

 

 

A tag a month: January to March

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the first 3 months of the year.

 


 

JANUARY ART TAG: ONLY FALLING LEAVES CAN FLY

 

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My very first attempt at making art tags with stitch and mixed media. I quite like how it turned out.

There are seed stitches, pistil stitches and buttonhole stitches. Scraps of fabric, vintage lace and vintage buttons are assembled.

For the embroidered leaf, I used hand dyed thread (not by me, it is purchased thread) on cotton. I left the leaf portrait outside in the sun for a few weeks, so that the colors started fading. This gives the leaf a very realistic look as if I had picked it up from the forest floor during a walk.

 

FEBRUARY ART TAG: OH THE COLORS OF TRANSIENCE

 

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Still an autumnal theme for this month’s art tag (still not white here in February). Exploring “transience”; the beauty of decay and the life cycle of nature…

The cardboard tag is painted with water soluble wax crayon (I am not sponsored or anything, but if you are interested in what wax crayons I use: Neocolor II).

Some vintage lace is glued onto the back of the tag, and I choose a metallic thread for the seed stitches.

 

MARCH ART TAG: OLD LEAVES NOURISH YOUNG SPROUTS

 

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“Old leaves nourish young sprouts” – spring is near.

This is the third art tag relating to the subject of life cycle and nature renewing itself each year…

The cardboard tag is again painted with water soluble wax crayon (see previous post for reference).

The buttons are all vintage; three mother of pearl buttons and one “Zwirnknopf” (thread button). These thread buttons were handmade and used in the 19th century in Austria. They are great for mixed media pieces as you can embroider them or sew other material onto them! My research for information about these particular buttons led me to an informative website (in German): feinerfaden.at

The embroidered leaf skeleton is inspired by a photograph I took. On first sight, all leaf skeletons are of a brown-grey-black color mix. But when you look at them closer, you still see traces of colors of the leaf in full bloom!

A piece of birch tree bark completes the picture.

 

A teabag a day (part 1)

It is my goal to come up with one special project every year to challenge myself. This year, I wanted to explore teabag art. What is more, it was time for a collaboration with my daughter who loves drawing and painting. So we decided on a mother-daughter-project called “a teabag a day”. The goal was to create one teabag each day for at least 30 days.

We had a lot of fun sharing our results and thus inspiring one another! I am already done with my 30+ teabags, and my daughter only has a few left (she was ill and also 3 days on vacation during the project, thus the delay). We decided together that we wanted to create individual art books with our finished teabags.

So here is mine:

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – title page

This is the title page, featuring an embroidered teabag of course. 😉

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – page 1

On page 1, there are two teabags in a folk style inspired by mexican tyles. At first, I drew the pattern with water soluble colored pencils, then stitched the outlines for more contrast.

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 2 + 3

This double page shows simplicistic yet dramatic hand embroidery on a plain-colored background (I used acrylic colors).

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 4 + 5

Three teabags with seed stitches on page 4. The color gradients add depth to the pieces and are eye candy.

On page 5, there are two goldwork pieces. Goldwork is a mastercraft technique and I am but a humble beginner! Still, I like to challenge myself… and I think I did okay here.

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 6 + 7

I love my Neocolor 2 paint sticks! These are Swiss made water soluble oil pastels that work great on any kind of fabric. See samples on page 6.

The geomatric patterns on page 7 are solely made with satin stitching. Not easy on teabags, as the punctures in the delicate teabag paper must not lay too close to each other or the tissue will tear…

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 8 + 9

Beadwork is an essential part of hand embroidery, foremost when it comes to embellishment. I like that the teabag tissue with its naturally dyed parts still shows in the pieces of page 8!

Pages 9 and 10 (see picture below) feature blackwork embroidery. To be exact: freestyle (in terms of not-counted) blackwork in color. How’s that for a contemporary twist?! 😉

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 10 + 11

Some appliquéd plant portraits with added colored pen drawings on teabags of page 11. I got the one with the maple leaf from a fellow fiber artist living in Canada – thank you so much, Monika! (Go check out her awesome landscapes and other fiber art at mysweetprairie!)

 

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A teabag a day – pages 12 + 13

The last two pages of my little art book show threadsketchings of human eyes (fully open to fully closed). While threadsketching, I do not follow patterns nor use any sketches; I just pick up the needle and some thread and start stitching… always challenging…

Inventing my stitchtangles

Two years ago, a very good friend gave me a “How to Zentangle”-book as a birthday gift. I started doodling right away. For a few days, we now and then exchanged pictures of our creations by mobile phone but then decided to challenge ourselves with a 30 day project: draw one zentangle each day. We even founded a facebook group (azentangleaday) to share our creations.

 

My first few zentangles are typical ones. I used fineliner (black or white) for the outlines and pencil for the shadows:

Then, I experimented with colored fineliners and/or pencils:

On day 11, the first zentangle including some random stitching appeared:

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I continued adding hand embroidery to the tangles and also tried out colored backgrounds and even some carved stencil prints as a starting point for a zentangle design:

What followed were some drawings on a black background:

The next days, I created some designs with “gaps” – doodleless spots to later fill with stitch: born were my STITCHTANGLES!

Two more with stitching on the paper and one I did with a ballpoint pen during a very boring business meeting. 😉

And finally three additional designs worked on fabric:

 

When the 30 days were over, I asked myself how I wanted to store my zentangles. So I gave bookbinding a try.

This is my very first bookbinding work. The cover is made of so-called “fabric paper”. You take some cloth and coat it with a mixture of glue and water. Then you lay snippets of (textured) paper on the cloth and again coat it with the watery glue. After it is dried, you can color the fabric paper as you like.

 

Later that year, I printed some stitchtangle designs on fabric and hand embroidered them:

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I even made some embroidery kits with some of these desings, including a booklet in English and German. In case you are interested, you can either order them here or send me a PN.