Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Picture That Tells a Thousand Stories

When I was a little girl, my sister and I loved to dress up dolls: paper dolls, Barbie dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids.  We never really played with the dolls.  Rather, we spent countless hours dressing them, doing their hair, and creatively setting up their houses and rooms.  In hind sight, I guess I'm not surprised that I enjoyed making these projects so much.  I genuinely felt like I was seven again, dressing up dolls with my beloved big sister.  

As I created these applique images, from photographs that Josh and I have taken, I only used materials that I found in my stash.  This is my final submission to the April Stash Bust.  Materials I used consisted of freezer paper, left over applique supplies from the quilt I made Monet last year (invisible thread, basting glue, an awl, and a glue stick), embroidery thread, and scrap fabrics from my many drawers of leftovers.

While the picture below originally only reminded me of my sweet husband, running around the house with my nieces, playing with umbrellas inside; the new version's many fabrics now remind me of all the stories that each specific piece of fabric holds within its various threads.

The fabric that created the skin came from a flower I made for a friend's wedding bouquet and dress.

The umbrella's fabric was given to me by a friend when we were making Christmas cards at a ladies craft night.

The dress was leftover from when I was pregnant and making my daughter a quilt. 

The black sweater in this image came from a sweater I altered just recently.

The rug was a leftover scrap from when we upholstered our bar stools.

And so, with each new fabric, a whole new story is added to the picture, a memory is revisited.

Now these pictures don't tell just one story, or even two, but countless narratives.  Each fabric scrap is a chapter perfectly crafted together into an artwork that tells a story that is exponentially deeper.


Kristin said...

Amazing! I love the layers (both literal and figurative) in this project and the story it tells.

Kim @ Everything Etsy said...

Awesome! I love them!


Anonymous said...

Wow - this is amazing?
But how do you keep each piece of fabric from not fraying?
I was working on doing an "applique mosaic" like this based on the book The Snowy Day (one of my daughter's favorite) but I quickly realized that it was going to quickly fray. Any suggestions?

The Artists House said...

Thanks so much! I use a freezer paper machine applique method. All the raw edges are actually tuned under and then stitched so they don't fray. Here is a tutorial about this method...

You should give it a try and let me know what you think.

Heather - said...

How amazing! So much potential with this technique. Great idea - thanks for sharing!

Carrie said...

THAT IS SO COOL! I'm totally stealing this idea! With 2 littles, I'm only just beginning to have bits of crafting time, but I am in love with this! Wow!

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