Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stitch Archives

Just looking through the archives.

Hand stitch over a machine made grid.

I was given a large bag of jewellry chains:

Heavy stitching varying the thread.

Friday, July 11, 2014

'Stitch Along'

I am pleased to be one of the ten contributors to Jenny Doh’s latest book ‘Stitch Along’. This is a fun project based book to which we were each asked to contribute three stitched items along with the sketch designs they were based upon. Jenny’s request came two years ago and makes me realize what a long process it is getting a book together.

 I had previously made a sketchbook for a group which had a year’s theme of birds, I wanted to join in with the group but have something of a phobia of birds, so decided to make mine quirky and use the title Rare Birds. Jenny agreed that this would also work for my theme for ‘Stitch Along’.
This is the fabric cover of the little sketchbook that flew all the way to the USA and back again. You can see some of the sketches on the Sketchbook Challenge blog.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Scrap Store.

Basingstoke now has a Scrap Store which had its' official opening on Friday; this is something of a late innovation for the town as I know that many other cities and towns have had one for many years. It is still in temporary accommodation but hopes eventually to move into a permanent setting which will have easier access. The store has been set up by Kirsty Whitlock a local textile artist who was lately the Embroiderers’ Guild Scholar. If you have not seen her work online or at Alexander Palace, take a look via the link.

The idea is that organizations pay a yearly fee, currently £25, and then can go and fill a carrier bag with goodies donated by local businesses; when I say goodies, I mean things like odd shapes of plastic, boxes, cardboard tubes, fabric scraps, in fact scrap to most but the aficionado of such things. My husband said it sounded just like my art room and I must say he was not far wrong.
I found some offcuts of foam board and museum board which were just the thing for mounting the work of my day centre group. The stitched work relates to a project on faces which took us many, many months and was completed in 2013.It has been waiting for me to find inspiration as to how to put it together. I just found the list of some of the ideas we covered along the way, which included:
1.     The basics of drawing a face.
2.     Mexican Glyphs, images from the British Museum.
3.     Using Ink Tense crayons to draw faces on paper and fabric.
4.     Applique faces, looking at the work and mask collection of Jude Hill.
5.     Taking black and white photos, turning them into ‘photocopies’ in Photoshop and colouring them in.
6.     Print out the face and place it onto a drawn body. Make a card in the style of Claudine Hellmuth. Wax the image.
7.     Make ‘stuffies’.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Communication and a nice warm feeling.

Even after quite a few years of blogging I still marvel at the links it makes to people all over the world. The above is a somewhat scrappy representation of how my little bags made these links. First came my visit to ‘Out of the Dark’ in High Wycombe, receiving a gift of salvaged wire and the idea of a possible workshop using offcuts of upholstery fabric, then to a request at about the same time for an article for Dales’ Australian emagazine. Now, with the giveaway, Els has received her bag in The Netherlands, and the other two are hopefully winging their way to India and the USA.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Give Away Results

The winners of the Giveaway are:
Maya Matthews – random draw
Els                   - because she took my breath away by how fast she was to comment
Jane LaFazio   - because she is always a cheerful smiling presence in Blog Land.

Let me have your addresses and I will forward a bag.

Here are a few pictures made using the Sugru stamps with the Gelli Plate. I also use the Diptic App on the Ipad.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I wonder if you have heard of SUGRU, I certainly hadn't until recently when I was offered some to play with. The story of its development by Jane whilst she was studying for her MA in Product Design at the Royal College of Art  is fascinating and shows a huge commitment to an idea over many years. One of my sons studied Product Design so I was particularly interested. It's actually a serious product with lots of practical applications, but it has also been taken up by the craft community for fun purposes. Here is a link to some of the ways people are using it creatively.

I made some stamps by rolling it out on cling wrap.

I made some flat impressions. My first idea was to use it to take impressions of some stitches. I only did this with a few odd samples etc. and it does leave a slight residue, so don't try it on your precious work. It was a hot day when I tried it and by the time I got to the black piece it was getting stickier. It is like play dough or even blue tack (which I have used before to make prints) but it dries to a firm plastic which allows you to keep the prints/stamps made.

I tried it with a piece of lemon which I once retrieved from the embers of a fire and with a piece of fern. Corks work well to hold the stamps, and in this way you can make three small stamps from one packet.

Wait 24 hours for the Sugru to go firm before printing.

 I liked the flat print blocks best and found the way to print them was like lino print i.e. by putting the paper on top of them and then I rubbed the paper with my fingers.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mark Making in progress.

Slowly adding some stitch to the mark making piece.

Click to see in more detail.

Thank you to those who let me know that the Pages Tutorial element was not viewable. I have removed it as I could not work out what the problem was; I'll do a bit more research.
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