Caroline Alixe Rhuys is a member of the artistic community in Reno, NV. Caroline uses beading, painting, and needle felting to create mixed-media jewelry and accessories. She creates her jewelry and accessories from materials found in local thrift stores and her extensive stash of vintage fabrics, buttons, and hankies. Some favorite materials are silk, leather, buttons, beads, wool felt,, ribbons, and found objects. Caroline enjoys meeting other makers and supporting them by sharing their work throughout her online and personal networks.
Ever started a new sewing, painting, or other craft project and couldn’t find all the materials, even though you know you have them? I am sure I am not the first person with this issue. Most of my materials are in labeled containers, but I have so many that I can’t remember the location for each one. This photo shows only a portion of one of my many shelving units.
I decided to fix my problem by making a list with each container along with a diagram of its location. Then, I lost the list! Determined to go forward, I started another list and even rearranged some of my fabric. I try not to have too many “miscellaneous” containers, because it is too easy to throw stuff in them “for now” then waste time looking for it later.
Being able to start and finish something right when I get the inspiration is so much more satisfying than having to stop in the middle to look for that little piece I am missing.
I started teaching some classes at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in September. One of the best things about going to classes, as a teacher or a student, is meeting new people who share common interests.
My first class was on creating beautiful jewelry from fabric. Although many types of fabric may be used, some of my favorites are silk and Ultrasuede®. I like to paint the fabric before I incorporate it into a jewelry design. One of the methods I use for silk is making rubbings using Shiva Artist’s Paintstiks®. Commercial texture plates are fine, but I also like to find everyday items and use them to create unique patterns. The above photo is a sample of a rubbing made from a silicon trivet that I found at a dollar store.
One of the students from my fabric jewelry class invited me to speak in front of her quilting group regarding embellishment techniques. I demonstrated rubbings made from polymer clay, paper crafting, and UTEE texture plates, along with textures created by plastic sink liners, silicone trivets, and other items.
One of the drawbacks to using Paintstiks is that the paint can be difficult to remove from your hands. One of the women in the quilting group had a wonderful solution. She recommended using a mixture of dish soap and sugar to remove the paint. Commercial cleaners are available, but how great it is to use materials you already have around the house!
I look forward to teaching my next class. Who knows what I might learn?
After seeing me in clothes or accessories I have embellished, sometimes people remark “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” or “I’m just not artistic.” I believe that sometimes, lack of innate creativity is not the main issue. After all, how many of us are born with the ability to read, or calculate formulas? Learning new ways to express your creativity can be fun, relaxing, and a welcome diversion from a hi-tech world.
Repurposing clothing is an eco-friendly way to show your personality through your wardrobe. Through AlixeArts I intend to help people appreciate the beauty and practicality of clothing and accessories created using a mixture of old and new materials.
For residents of the Reno, Nevada area I am teaching a variety of classes through ArtisTree Studio on ways to re-create your wardrobe by painting, sewing, beading and other decorative methods.