Thursday, May 19, 2011

An Artist Village

Welcome to my stop on the Artist Village blog tour.

My house is one of the little ones in the center circle of the village.

Symbolically the bird, who spreads its wings and flies, has spoken to me over the last couple years, so I decided to make a bird house.
The house incorporates floral/plant imagery for growth, bees for hard work, a heart for healing and love, roots for staying grounded and figuring out where to plant myself and even a couple of female nudes to reacquaint myself with being a single woman again. 

Making the House

I tried something a little new for making my house. I found out that abaca paper is often used to make tea bags (and money). Abaca is also used to make unryu tissue which I have used in my collages before. Unryu is the tissue paper that has little fibers visible in it. You can buy plain abaca here or here.

I created several black and white collages, combining text and imagery in photoshop, cut some heavier weight abaca paper to 8 1/2" x 11" and stuck it in my toner printer and printed out the collages. 

Next I painted the paper with textile paints and fused it to Peltex (heavy weight interfacing). Although the fuse from the Peltex did not stick that great, it did hold well enough for stitching.

These are the finished stitched panels, before I stitched them into a house form.

A sewed, stuffed and painted a bird to put inside.

My finished house is about 10 inches tall. 

Be sure to check out the last few stops on the blog tour

Melanie Testa  May 20 
Laura Wasilowski  May 23 
Kathy York  May 24 


  1. Love your bird house.

    Another fun fact about Abaca fiber--it is also used to weave faux "Panama straw" hats. As you might guess, they look great until they get wet ...

  2. Judy, I love the imagery you used in your house. So much thought and creativity. It is wonderful!

  3. Charming, charming! It's a little piece of 'bird heaven' for more than just the sweet little bird!

  4. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this project and process!

  5. Anonymous5:41 PM

    Love your house. The abaca collages look wonderful in black and white and wonderful after painting with the stencils. What did you make your stencils from? The stitching outlining the stencils looks great too.

    And your bird is too cute.

    Now, off to order your DVDs from QA!


  6. Thanks for all the great compliments everyone.

    Coolquilter- I did not use stencils, I hand painted a second layer of solid lumiere metallic paint over the painted/printed images.

  7. Wow, such a beauty! I think the bird will love it!


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