Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mosaic Monday

Mosaic Monday
Originally uploaded by Feltbug
If you want to look at some interesting work without much effort, its easy to click onto Feltbugs Mosaic Monday.She does most of the work for you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I saved this old book cover and the wonderful spine from the rubbish bin at a book bindery which I go to on Fridays. It looks as though somebody had used a piece of paper with their book keeping notes to cover the spine of this old gardening book. The whole thing is great for people like me who like that sort of thing; very nostalgic and tactile.

I'm not sure how I will use the cover yet but I have used the photographs as a layer with photographs of Derek Jarman's garden taken last year at Dungeness. I'm sure that I'm only pleased because it is one of a first few attempts at merging layers, and eventually I will be able to see all the faults.

If you live near Winchester, Hampshire a good place for old books is the Deanery Book Shop behind the cathedral; this being one of their rejects. They close during the winter. Another plug is for this group on Flickr which has excellent tutorials about using layers and textures with your photographs.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Three Headed Fish

Apparently I have received the Max Fudge Award for this photo. The photography groups on Flickr are a whole new world, with their own rules and language. Well worth having a look at, but if you start posting beware of the rules, some of which take some time to get your head around!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Some progress with the stitching. Layers of Cretan stitch in different weight and texture of thread and some couching.
For anyone in Sheffield there is currently an exhibition of artists' books at the Banks StreetArts Gallery. I have a small book in the show which I made on my Access Course; it is called 'Figures in a Gallery' so its sort of appropriate.
Fo those in Hampshire UK there is a new shop featuring the work of independent artists called 'Doodles' in Tadley near to Basingstoke. It opened at the end of last month and also sells a small range of art supplies.For anyone who knows the area you will realize that it is something of an oasis in a barren land.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I fancied doing some stitching for a change and I have decided to use a picture of a window, part of a ruin next to the house which we stayed in during our holiday in Crete in October. I have tried various ways to transfer the image using transparency print offs and have decided that the most appropriate method is to inkjet print onto Bubble Jet soaked calico.

To get a textured surface I am starting with strips of silk carrier rods which I soaked in some diluted Walnut Ink; as you see there was quite a purple tinge but enough pieces to get the kind of effect I visualize.

Sorted out some threads for the first stage. I started with machining round the window shape and fastening the pieces of silk in place on the calico backing.
Now I have made a start on the hand stitching which is going to take a long time but as I said it will be a pleasant change to do some stitching.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I’ve been tagged by artist and fellow artblogger http://www.novembermoon.com/
and I am to make a list of eight things about myself and also name 8 artists. Each artist I have tagged is to do the same, don’t forget to leave a comment too.
1. I gave up full time work two years ago. It was like a huge weight had been lifted but often I forget how lucky I am.
2. I have two sons.
3. I eat too much chocolate. I hear you need to take a walk to ease the addiction, and no doubt to boost the Serotonin levels.
4. I keep thinking of taking a walk.
5. Or even going for a swim.
6. Unfortunately I have a second addiction which is Blogging and Flickr.
7. I want to be better at lots of things, photography, drawing, etc. but I just have to keep dabbling in everything.
8. I think this simple saying from the art of Mindfulness could be the answer if only I could follow it more;
‘Wash the dishes to wash the dishes’. Think about it.


Thursday, November 20, 2008


A lucky day today as I received an early Christmas present from Things Handmade and won on the Premium Bonds, what more could a girl ask for! I've put it on my coat ready to go to work today.
This is the pretty little bag which it was 'packed' in. I love getting parcels don't you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

This piece is in celebration of both my recent holiday in Crete and a new book ‘Mixed Emulsions’ by Angela Cartwright. It is all about altered art techniques for photographs. I would recommend the book, although it is heavy on promoting products. The lace was given to me years ago by somebody I used to work with. Her aunt, who saved lots of buttons, thread and beads, must have been much like me and I think of both the friend and this lady I never knew as I continue to make use of all her treasures.
The photo was taken in Chania in Western Crete where there is a Turkish area with interesting narrow alley ways. I liked this door because of its colour and the white flowers surrounding it. The letter stuck in the metal grill was a bonus.
The background is mainly a piece of handmade paper. I finished the whole with acrylic wax. It was a popular talking point at my Christmas sale this weekend, but of course nobody bought it. As I had just made it I was just pleased that people liked it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

With Xmas in mind.

Getting ready for two Christmas bazaars. I planned to thread the pins to the cards but that didn't work so I went with tape which is not so nice.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Lace plus.

This post is in response to a message from ewa-christine , from Sweden, asking about the background to my banner. I have to admit that it is no more than a sample which I never made in to anything. I just like to play about with techniques, which is a habit I can’t seem to break. The background is a piece of canvas to which I machined a variety of lace textures. I then painted them with acrylic paints.
In parts I added pieces of handmade paper.

To get this effect you machine a grid onto paper and then after wetting the paper rub away some parts. You can use any type of paper depending on the effect you want to obtain. This was a Val Campbell Harding technique.
In other places I added pieces of synthetic sheer which I had heated with a heat gun; they end up like pieces of distressed plastic, but look interesting when painted.
The other effect is to add Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and after heating it emboss with a stamp.
I used a variation on this technique on this folder in which I keep my photos of New York. I added pieces of Chinese newspaper which I picked up there and used Acrylic Varnish to coat the surface.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aritists book with print

This is the book which I made at the City Lit course in London over the last three Saturdays.
The images all relate to my drawings and photographs of the surrounding fields with bales of straw during the harvest.
The tutor suggested two ways to develop the images via print.Firstly using a plate rolled up and drops of parrafin and lavender oil dropped on. These were not really successful and I used one print for a slip cover for the book.
The second worked much better with some practice. It involved adding pva and carborundum to a plate made from drypoint paper. It was easy to rub away the gritty mixture when inking the plate, but the effect related to my drawings which were made by dropping Indian Ink on wet paper. We discussed various ways of adding the prints and I decided to use stitch , which was sort of appropriate for me.I would certainly recommend the course to anyone who lives near enough.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fabric Printing

I’ve just been to a course at the City Lit in London, over three Saturdays the theme was Artists Books with Print Making. It was very enjoyable with a good mix of people. It was good to see their work and examples which the tutor brought along. More about that when I get round to take pics of my books. On the course we used polystyrene as one way to make relief printing blocks and I tried this method with fabric paint. I enjoy printing and finding out about some of the methods of interpreting marks, but it is frustrating to not have access to the equipment needed at home, which is why the polystyrene appealed.
I have been using some marks which I found in the snow, a boot print, which has the look of writing in some unknown language. I used this to make the printing block. The experiment was made into a small quilted bag which I have put on Etsy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Nuno scarf

When I made the felt balls I also made a nuno felt scarf. I used a piece of muslin which I had previously dyed with procion as the base. I think it worked quite well but the difficulty was in having enough space to make it long enough, so it really is quite short, but as its not meant to be a winter muffler I think it is fine.

Merino tops being arranged on the muslin.Fibres being rubbed through a piece of net, using soap flakes and warm water.Rolling the felt between bubble wrap using a bamboo mat.Throwing the soapy parcel of felt on to a ridged surface; a CD holder from a charity shop.A good tip I found is to add extra wool along the edges to keep the shape. It takes a bit of time to get the wool to adher to the edges but works OK in the end.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Using leaves

This is a post for Things Handmade who asked about possibly including pressed leaves and petals in a quilt. This little box was made some years ago, after I recieved some fabric flowers as part of a Christmas present and was sort of challenged to do something creative with them. The box is made of vylene and the leaves and a variety of fibres, flax, silk ,etc were added using Super Mend powder. I then free machined everything in place. At the same time I made a hanging for Poetry in Action which was hung in a number of public places, hospitals and such. I don't have it now but blogged about it here , March 2006.
Its fun to do and certainly lasts a few years with no deterioration; obviously not heirloom material.

Another method is to place petals and leaves between two pieces of bondaweb (taken off its backing) and sandwich between a piece of paper or material, with a sheer on top. Iron carefully,i.e protect your iron with greaseproof paper or similar.

Friday, September 26, 2008


As you can see, I am into still life at the moment. This is less successful, I think, but a way to use this transfer print of a fern leaf. There are real leaves embedded in this, which have lasted a few years without deteriorating.

I combined sewing machine patterns with some hand stitching.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Autumn Still Life

I've just joined this interesting mixed media group on Flickr and added this 'still life' as my first contribution.

At last a use for all the piles of stitch and dye samples. The background is a piece of brown paper, stitched and painted with bits of old tights for texture. The produce is all down to my husband.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Last weekend I visited the Brewery Art Centre in Cirencester. I understand it has recently been refurbished and is certainly worth a visit. There you can see a small book making workshop and an exhibition in the gallery. There is some beautiful woven fabric; I could have bought a unique and extremely expensive outfit. There were woven hangings which incorporated strips of digital photographs. I haven’t seen that idea before. I didn’t have long to look round so I can’t give you any artists’ names other than the felt maker Sarah Brooker.

The lovely felt there gave me the push to get out the bamboo blind and have a go at felting again.These little chaps were supposed to be beaded but I kind of like them as they are.
They seem like a little family just about to flee the cave and start life in the big world beyond. The idea for the photo was partly inspired by the header on this interesting blog, which always has some links worth following up.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Photo Journal


This is a great link to a tutorial on how to make a Photo Journal. I made mine using two photos of our local fields during the recent harvest. I also used up a stack of old envelopes which I had been collecting. It works well. The only mistakes I made were not to measure the brown paper for the spine nicely and if you put writing on your photos remember that the spine could cover part of your title. Think that out first - wish I had done.

I was asked for a ‘how to’ on the cover material I used on the Coptic Book – I worked out that I made the material about ten years ago. I did look up the reference which is Lis Mann, ‘Faux Par Excellence’ March 1997 and May 1997 in ‘The World of Embroidery’. They are basically painting techniques used on cotton pillow ticking which works like a canvas.
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