Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I must admit that I have never really been inspired by the idea of journaling, I think because of recent times the shops have been full of ready made images and bits to stick on etc, and it all seems a bit too ready made and commercial. I came across Teesha Moore’s videos in which she generously shares her much more creative approach to journaling. I went through my books on Altered Art and found many examples of her work. I would recommend this as a fun occupation, particularly when it is too hot to do much, and , of course, there is the pleasure of buying lots of different pens to try out; also a good use for all the glossy Sunday Times supplements, with their wonderful colour spreads.

I found these three ladies in the Tapestry Room at the Vyne (National Trust).

Once you have your images, the fun can continue. I made some digital stamps using parts of the art work. I have printed some out to add to the journal.

Another idea is to print them out onto fabric using Ink Aid and add some stitching.

This was one of those strange experiences that you can’t quite explain; I bought an English/Chinese dictionary inscribed Hong Kong 1936 with the idea of using scraps in my work. I wanted the word ‘fruit’ translated into Chinese, and when looking for this a piece of hand written paper fell out of the book, with a biblical reference. I don’t know my bible well so it took some time to look it us and when I did it was exactly what I needed; ‘you are the Vine’ etc. Strange but true.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthday and Summer Event.

As a Gemini I have just had a birthday, and a new camera. I had become so used to the ‘old’ one that it is taking some getting used to; there is a lot to learn. Here are some pictures of a few of the textiles in my home.

I have two pieces of Kuba cloth which is made of cut pile  raffia. The marks above represent paw prints.The one piece was such a bargain from a Sunday market in New York. I wished I could have bought many more. The Indian bead work is part of a small cushion which one of my sons bought me for Christmas a few years ago.

If you live anywhere near do come and say hello at this Summer Event where I shall have a stall. It is bound to be a beautiful sunny day as I have opted for a stall inside. I have given up on summer fetes etc. having experienced dust storms, rain and worse! Thinking about it what could be worse when you are trying to sell textiles.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where do you keep your Sharpies?

Melanie Testa is offering free tutorials this month and the first is this little pen/pencil case. As I had my recently dyed, stencilled material I was tempted to have a go. I don’t think I precisely followed her instructions but they are very clear.

I went to The British Museum last week to see the exhibition of Italian Renaissance Drawings, which I enjoyed very much, the only problem being that there is almost too much to take in during one visit. I bought the catalogue so I can study the work in my own time. A short walk from the museum is The Mary Ward Centre where I once did a felt making course, and have been back to many times since for the excellent vegetarian meals which are also really cheap by London prices.

Then onwards to the Gagosian Gallery to see the free exhibition ‘Picasso: The Mediterranean Years’; this is on until the end of August and is simply fabulous. I am slowly coming to understand his work and the pieces are stunningly presented. I have a catalogue from a charity shop of his work on clay, and here I was able to see some of the actual piece. The first exhibition ,which explains how drawing and the use of paper as a medium developed as a working tool for painters , was a good introduction to the Picasso exhibition. I particularly liked a set of drawings of a bull, which starts with a free outline of the animal and gradually works through the stages until a more classic drawing emerges.

This is for a laugh, in my drawing class last week the model was knitting throughout and it seemed a funny situation. So here is ' Woman with the Blue Knitting’.

I have had to try and tighten up on the security for comments, as I keep getting spam. I know other people are having problems, I hope it doesn't make it too much of a pain if you make a comment.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Not finished yet.

As you see, I have continued working on the Noughts and Crosses piece. I found a 'double fly stitch' which I have never heard of before to make the crosses in Mary Thomas' Dictionary.  'Stitch down loops' to make the circles on this site which has some very clear stitch tutorials.

The threads I am using are rayon threads from The Hand Weavers Studio, of which I have a large basket, which often provides just the right colour. This piece feels very nice to stitch as I am working on a piece of brushed calico which I dyed previously. It is nice and big, in case this becomes a cushion cover.

I have joined in celebrating Emma’s birthday this month and this is the postcard which she kindly sent me from Skye.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Coptic Bind

I went to a very special book shop in Alresford just before the visit to my friends and decided that a different present would be to make them each a Coptic Bound notebook. I was also keen not to lose the skill I acquired in making the previous ones; you may remember the basic bind learned form Keith Smiths’ book took some perseverance and lots of trying again. I now have two of his books and there are many versions of the bind, some involving more than one needle and sewing across the spine. I am content to try and master the basic version.

First chose an old book with an interesting cover. The red book was falling apart and I got it for a £1, a bargain. I had hoped to use the lovely end papers to cover some of the sections, but they were too brittle, however, the inside of the cover had the same marbled paper.

First take the book apart and clean the cover, I use a putty rubber and talc. I don’t know why I use the talc, it just came to hand one day and gives a nice clean smell.. I turned in the spine on the blue book and stuck it down. I sand papered some of the rough edges and touched up the edges with gold acrylic paint.

I then gave the covers a coat of Acrylic Wax. That is all very satisfying, but I find cutting the paper more taxing, as you need to have the grain of the paper parallel to the spine. Falkiners do a pack of special short grained book paper, but I still had to make it smaller to fit the covers. I have a deckle ruler which means I can tear the paper. My book cradle was v. useful once more for making the holes for sewing.

I used some ready waxed book binding thread for the red book, which made life much easier and waxed some pearle thread for the blue book. The blue book had some finger prints that I could not remove, so I added some thumb prints; perhaps they just look like smears.
Above is the stage at which you need courage and good luck, sewing on the cover.Taking Jane Dunnewolds's advice I took a deep breath and  the cover went on firmly.
I was pleased with the outcome, particularly the red book which is a nice size and felt good in the hand.
Thank you to those people who have recently linked to my blog to keep me blogging. I hope you will  continue to find something to keep your interest
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