Friday, April 26, 2013

New Bag for my Kindle.

First I tried Bubble Jet Set, then it was Ink Aid, now I am too old or too lazy for either and I decided to go for the printable fabric option. Now I must say that I think Ink Aid is excellent and have had good results when printing my photos or other work onto fabric, but the printable sheets are so easy and go through the printer without one having to hold ones breath and without all the careful coating of the fabric first, and even better there is no waiting involved. OK, I admit I am plain lazy. The fabric I used was non-washable cotton and it is quite thin.

I decided to print a couple of my Gelatine prints onto fabric to make a new cover for my Kindle. Firstly I had to rephotograph them as the ipad photos are in low resolution, ideal for the computer, but not ideal for printing. I then manipulated the colours a little on the computer. I did a draft print and decided to change the setting to black and white for the image with words. I also put my name into the print using a Photoshop brush.

 The book I took the pages from was given as a school prize in 1891 so I do not think there are any copyright issues.

 The tag on the side is useful and matches the lining but I have to admit it was probably not the best choice colour wise.Material left over from when I did my 'Noughts and Crosses' workshop.

 I quilted the lining as I have a slight mark on my Kindle screen where I dropped it and don’t want any more accidents (that is if I fall out of bed again!)  My execution is not perfect but I like it and it will be useful.

I must let you know that I will now be posting at least once a month to the Sketchbook Challenge Group, as Sue Bleiweiss kindly asked me to join the SC team. This month’s theme is Spirals.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spirals Video

Spirals from J Bowcutt on Vimeo.
This is short video on Vimeo to link with the Sketchbook Challenge April theme of Spirals.

Made on the ipad and using IMovie
 It took me a long time to work out how to do this, so be kind!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

More Gelatine Play

These are a few gelatine prints which I made using dried grasses on old book pages. I have had great pleasure messing with the home made gelatine plates, but am now running out of gelatine. 

There seems little rhyme nor reason to me as to when the plates start to break down but no doubt there is if you get to know what you are doing. Its good that you can just break up the gelatine and put it in the microwave for a few minutes to reuse it. I could be tempted to get a proper Gelli Plate but as there seems to be a shortage of the larger ones I have had to restrain myself (no bad thing).

Liniecat and Charlton Stitcher have both received their stitched pieces, the pieces photographed for the front and back covers of my little blurb book, and have told me they intend to put them up, which is nice to hear.

I was requested to add a 'follow by email' link and after some searching have added it and a 'search this blog' facility.

I am in a little bit of a creative doldrums, so I decided to book up for a creative drawing workshop, ‘Drawing Large’ at Greenham Arts, which is not far from me. It is not until May but I am looking forward to just letting go on a big piece of paper.

Friday, April 12, 2013


'Rabbits' by stitchworks-jackie
'Rabbits', a photo by stitchworks-jackie on Flickr.

More gelatine prints on Flickr with some added embellishing and stitch.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Mini Amigurumi

No, I have not been learning Japanese, well only two words that is; Emma kindly told me the word for fish printing, which is Gyotaku (You Tube video here) , and Amigurumi.
 I looked up the definition of Amigurumi in Wikipedia:

'Crocheted or knitted stuffed toy is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll.[1] Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features,[2] as is typical in Japanese culture.'

Apparently these toys have no particular use but are simply made for their cuteness. I was offered a copy of ‘Mini Amigurumi’ written by Sara Scales (follow the link to Amazon). Now although it is many years since I did any crochet, and that consisted of a shawl for me and a friend, when such things became fashionable, I do work in a Day Centre where crochet is extremely popular.  When I took the book in it was literally pounced upon, so much so that it was taken to other groups where enthusiasts tried out the patterns and wrote out their comments for me. Here is some of their feedback:

‘It is easier to identify the animals, for instance the pig, than in some similar books.’
‘The idea for using the creatures stimulates your own ideas, for instance adding bells, putting in rattles, adding to headbands.’
‘Lovely, bright colourful inviting designs!’
One lady commented, ‘I made all the components for the butterfly in under two hours –really good, with bite size timings.’ She also said that she prefers the ‘ring’ method of starting as she thinks this gives a neater finish.
 I have just done the frog, brilliant!’ ‘I would prefer if the patterns used a magic circle instead of chain 2 to start in the round. '
‘Really love the designs.’

 At  present the book  has disappeared into the home of an avid crocheter. Now I can resist these creatures as I can printed fish, but I know both give a lot of people great pleasure.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Gelatine prints.

Although I have easily been able to resist fish printing I have been tempted to have a go at gelatine plate printing, even if only to work out the advantage over printing using a glass or acetate sheet.

There are numerous good tutorials and examples of how to make gelatine prints on the internet. There is also the ‘gelli printing’ plate which is made commercially and can be used over and over again. I decided I would at least start by making my own. I used a tin foil tray, two pints of water and four sachets of Dr Oetker’s gelatine. 

This is a fairly cheap way of experimenting with the process. My first ‘plate’ broke up quickly as I had not been able to wait long enough for a really good set. The first run was with water based printing ink and the next with acrylic paints. I used a range of basic stencils which I had and a few leaves from the garden.

I then made the prints into a small book and on those pieces which I had not printed on both sides I added some fabric decorated with acrylic inks.

 If you have not tried this I would definitely recommend it. It was cheap fun with nice detailed results. I am sure there is lots more fun to be had with further experiments. More recently I had to leave the plate in the fridge for a few days and that one quickly developed a big crack. I think you have to live with the unpredictability of this method. You can reuse the gelatine by breaking it up and putting it in the microwave for a few minutes.
So far I have had no luck using this method on fabric. I used a fairly thick cotton and I think a thinner material would have had a better outcome.

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