Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mini Books

Here are some images of the books I have made for the mini book swap on

I used some remnants of leather I had for the covers and used pamphlet stitch to attach the pages made out of nice creamy paper.

The third ‘book’ is made up of pieces of scrap paper and business cards, including some of my own. I have a pile of these on my desk,collected at exhibitions, as I drool over other peoples’ work. The pictures are also to show my son that I do use the sewing cradle he made for me.

I hope the recipient will be pleased as I had fun making them.

On this blog Ann is writing about the workshops which I have organized at Doodles (Tadley). She made a lovely bag decorated with the silk carrier rods which we painted and Cretan Stitch. Last week we made pictures using Eyelet Stitch and wrapped rings. She has been v. creative with the results.
The next workshop is on Wednesday April 21st at 1-3pm. Called ‘Recycle/Reuse’ we will be making art on old book pages and there will be some buttons in the mix too.
I have three short online workshops running on HEN which can be joined at any time; ‘Painted Kantha’,'Printing with Found Objects’ and ‘Monoprint and Stitch'.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Dear Reader I hope you will find this interesting; it is interesting for me to track how ideas for these two pieces came together. There is a group on Flickr called The Persistent Thread which encourages thoughts of how certain ideas are always in the background, even if sometimes one tends to think there is neither rhyme nor reason to what one is doing.

I recently stitched a piece based on the shape of a book spine, using marks in the snow as symbols. Watching the TV I briefly saw an image of Cyrus’ Cylinder in the British Museum and it reminded me of the shape I had been stitching. Thanks to the internet I was able to research its fascinating history. It is a pottery cylinder incised with an edict made by a Persian King after he conquered Babylon. There is some controversy over the claim that it is the first declaration of Human Rights. I jumped up in bed one Saturday morning, having already made the two pieces, to hear it mentioned in the news, as the Iranian regime would like to borrow it from the BM but politics seem to have intervened. There is a lot more to say about it, have a look at the link if you are fascinated.

I used a photograph of an old book spine which you may have seen here before. Old accountant pages in Copperplate had been used to cover the spine of the book. I added text using lines from Cyrrus ,some from the Bill of Human Rights, and some that I used to use with people in my work i.e. ‘You Have the Right to Make Mistakes’, ‘You Have the Right to say No’, these contrasted nicely with ‘The Right to Conquer Discretely’. Calico was coated with Ink Aid to print out the image.
I shaped the material using twin needle stitching. The piece had to be made to a certain size and I ended up making two versions of this piece as I wanted the threads to hang loosely at the edges.

Beads were made from old book pages, and eventually stitched in place with Cretan Stitch and stitches looping into the machine stitches.

I will tell the' secrets 'of the cylinder shape and the second piece in the next instalment.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Private View

Last night we went to the Private View for the ‘Made to Fit’ exhibition which is in the newly refurbished Willis Museum until mid April. I think there was a greater mixture of techniques this year, probably less prints than last year. Most of the work is for sale and at affordable prices.
The format works very well, which is that all works have to fit into a CD case or to exact measurements if they are 3D. I understand that a new format is planned for next year. I am not always pleased with my work when I see it displayed, sometimes, what you have angst over for so long can look quite insignificant – at least that’s how I sometimes feel – but on this occasion I am pleased with my work and how it came together.

I will be posting more about how the two pieces were made and the thoughts behind them.
The Italian meal afterwards was good too, although so rich that I had to admit defeat on finishing the Gorgonzola and Gnocchi.

A word about my Header. I thought some Spring flowers would be nice. The stitching was some of the first I did when I started to embroider. I am amazed by the detail, but pleased that I can feel that my work has progressed.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Originally uploaded by DBO PONDERS

TECTONIC PLATES EXHIBITIONAn exhibition of plate designs by UK & International Artists.Private View: 27th March 2010 4pm - 8pmShow runs until 3rd AprilLocation: The New English Gallery, Barlaston, Stoke On Trent, ST12 9DA

Includes work by my son DBO.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The novelty of winning.

To cheer me up today I received an email from Heike Gerbig to tell me that I am one of three lucky people to win a virtual voucher towards a purchase from her new shop. You were asked to say what you would collect if you had all the money in the world, my choice was lovely handmade paper and hand stitched notebooks. I did make the point that I am well on my way to doing that anyway.

If you have not read her blog it is Gerdiary ;her handstitched work is beautiful in neutral calming colours. You can now browse her shop as well. I haven't bought anything yet, but I shall keep going back to get tempted.

I have been using White Matte Precoat InkAid recently and I must say it far out does Bubblejet Set for printing out images onto fabric. The only downside is that on calico it gives the fabric a quite rough not so pleasant finish for stitching.

The above image printed out wonderfully, the bit of stitching looking quite three dimensional and all the words legible. I currently like it so much I am recluctant to stitch on it; there is nothing to stop me making more prints, any size I wish. I am thrilled with the novelty at the moment, and of course with the novelty of being a winner.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What on my wall in March?

A little bit of everything of course, I was reading about Snippety Gibbet not being able to stick to a 'to do' list - I can’t really stick to one thing; I just get carried away by the next enthusiasm. I know I’ve told you before and really have to come to terms with it and be thankful that I can always find the next thing I just must have ‘a go’ at.

I am coming to the end of my first term of Life Drawing and really enjoying it. I think it must be like golf. How? Well, each time you think you must get better and have cracked it, but next week the challenge starts again. This week we used large poster markers and a little bit of monoprint.

The SPLASH apron, in Alisa Burke’s style, is something that will be really useful. The sweetie badges were sent to me in my very first swap on the Internet, and I am ashamed to say that I now can’t remember the name of the person who sent them, but I still appreciate them.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

'Made to Fit'

I’m very pleased this year to have had both the pieces I submitted for the ‘Made to Fit’ exhibition accepted. This is an annual exhibition, which this year will be in the newly refurbished Willis Museum. The exhibition marks the 14th year of the celebration of women’s work in Basingstoke. The exhibition was started by a local artist/print maker who sadly died recently.
My pieces are artists’ books. All the pieces have to be small enough to fit into a CD cover or made within very small dimensions. I will show you my pieces and how they were made when the exhibition takes place.

I have found two very interesting blogs recently. Firstly 'Woven Letters',where regular paper swaps are organized. I’m going to take part in the April one, which involves mini books.
Take a look. If nothing else admire the clever Header.
Secondly, 'The Altered Page' which has a section called Secret Sunday. Artists and fellow bloggers share their secret tips and techniques. Fascinating. I spent ages looking through all the posts.
I have added another workshop to HEN, 'Monoprint and Stitch'. Here is a link to the site:
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