Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane with Sue Pelletier's Loose Dresses Stencil

Hi Everyone! Linda Kittmer here today. 
A while back I was looking for something online when I stumbled across paper doll apps for use on smart phones and tablets. I couldn't believe it!  It got me thinking about all the fun I had as a kid, playing with my friends and our paper paper dolls. We spent hours with markers, paint, pencil crayons, paper and glue, and any number of other art supplies, designing and creating our own clothes for those wonderfully simple dolls.

I just can't see an app of a 'virtual' paper doll allowing for the same kind of creative play...and so, this mixed media fibre art piece, called Play Unplugged, began.

I started by finding some copyright free paper doll images and manipulating them in Photoshop to create my own unique doll...the body of one with another one's head, etc. She was then printed onto card stock and strengthened with a layer of Fast2Fuse to give her some extra body. I have some fabulous tissue paper with script on it, so I decided to cover her skin with text using matt medium and a palette knife to adhere it. I then carefully trimmed away the excess using small scissors.

While looking for paper doll images, I came across John Mayer's lyrics for his song "Paper Doll" so I decided to write them out on deli paper and those were added to my painted canvas background to add another layer of text.

I added some stamped images of Queen Anne's lace using rubber stamps and StazOn ink. This background was then layered with batting and extensively stitched using variegated thread and a series of lines running from side to side. I switched to black thread and thread sketched over the stamped images to make them stand out and give them more texture.







With the paper doll finished and the background ready, it was time to pull out Sue Pelletier's fabulous Loose Dress stencils.  I absolutely love these beautiful dresses!  I've used all three of the 6 inch stencils, but they're also available in 9" x 12" if you prefer working larger!

I used black acrylic paint and a make-up sponge to print Sue's design on some of my hand dyed cottons. Those were then roughly cut out and attached to some white canvas with fusible webbing. This allowed me to cut them out along the edges of the dress design, adding the white 'paper tabs' that traditional paper doll clothes have.





I arranged all of the dresses and the doll on the background and carefully free motion stitched around the outside edges using black thread. I left the white tabs loose so that they move freely and stick up off of the background.
The final step was to use a Micron pen to write a message all around the edges of the dresses and doll, which was then free motion stitched, again using black thread. This is some pretty fussy free motion stitching with such small text, but the added texture of the thread really makes the words pop.

The text reads:  Kids don't need paper doll apps for smart phones and tablets!  They need paper and paint and markers and glue.  Let them explore their own incredible imagination. Let them design.  Let them play unplugged!

The finished piece has been mounted on a pre-stretched canvas.

I hope I've inspired you to explore the use of StencilGirl stencils 
in your fibre art and mixed-media work.


22 comments:

  1. Yes, you have inspired me! What a fantastic piece you've made with some very fun stencils!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. Aren't those dress stencils adorable?!

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  2. This is just fantastic and inspirational. I love your colors too!

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    1. Thanks so much Jessica. It was a lot of fun to work on.

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  3. How recent my childhood seems when I recall paper dolls. Thanks for that.

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    1. Yes, I too recall hours of fun play with those wonderfully simple 'toys'.

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  4. This is absolutely incredible! Love your use of all the text! Great stitching job! This is truly a piece of art! TFS!

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  5. Fantastic saying. I love what you created here.

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    1. Thanks Monica. My niece just 'unplugged' her three kids during the week, restricting them to electronics for only a short allotted time on weekends and she's seeing so much more creative and active play already!

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  6. So adorable and it makes me want to throw out all our techie stuff and start coloring and cutting! Lol. Except all of that techie stuff helps me pay the bills. Darn it. I rather play. Thanks for such a sweet canvas.

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    1. Thanks Laura. The techie stuff is great, but for kids we really need to monitor how much time is spent 'plugged in' and remember the importance of the creative and active play that happens when we unplug them for most of the time!

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  7. Just stumbled across your site and found this. Beautiful work! I so loved my paper dolls as a girl and you have inspired me to make my own canvas. I can't thank you enough for sharing your wonderful creativity.

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