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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May Flowers -- News from the Studio!

Now that Mother's Day has come and gone, I can talk about what I've been doing in the studio without ruining any surprises!

When I was a kid, every Christmas my mom would light a candle for every day from December 1st through December 25th. By the time the holiday arrived, the house in the evenings would be full of the uniquely rosy glow of candlelight. And I'd be tempted to play with all that hot wax!

(Children, don't try this at home.)

Didn't matter how many times I was told to leave it alone, how many times I was told, "You'll burn yourself!" I still vividly remember my mom finding me with my fingers coated in cooling wax, declaring, "When you're all grown up you can play with fire and candles! But not until then!"

I was about ten years old when I got that scolding. Apparently, I'm finally old enough.

Fabric + Fire = Flowers! (FUN!!!!)
Not that you'd necessarily know how much fun I'm having by the expression on my face... S assures me that this is my typical "look" when I'm concentrating. And it does take a bit of concentration to keep the fabric from catching fire.

(Repeat: Kids, Do NOT Try This At Home!)

(Grownups, you're on your own, but consider the fire hazards ;-)

Making these flowers is so satisfying. Every step of the process is entertaining. I'm using thrift store clothes or old clothes of my own to source the fabric, so it's also very eco-friendly. I find polyester works best. Simply cut out circles of various sizes, heat treat the edges to keep them from fraying, and sew together! Here are some of the circles after they have been heat sealed:

I use a candle flame, but you could also use a lighter. Applying the heat this way makes the edges curl and ripple in interesting ways. Mama says keep fingers and hair away from the naked flame, and be sure to have a bowl of water on hand to douse anything that catches fire!

Here are some of the layered circles being assembled:

After sewing them together, I attach to a hair clip or pinback, using felt to give the backing some stability. Then simply embellish with a button or some beads in the middle!

This flower used to be a black shirt in a floral print with a small stain on the front. I added in the pink fabric for contrast. Cutting around the stain, it's made more than a dozen flowers so far!

For Mother's Day, since my mom's favorite flower is a pansy, I decided to try out a different approach and do individual petals to form a pansy and put it on a pinback. Definitely a different look. But equally fun to do! And Mom liked it, which is what matters most.

I've just about perfected my technique for the flowers from layered circles. I've come a long way from the first ones I made several months ago now. Look for flowers in the shop soon!


Aimee Diane Designs said...

Very pretty. I love these! Thanks for posting.

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

thanks so much! i'm really having fun with these.