Saturday, 31 December 2011

Venture 2 Challenge

Had a lot of trouble scanning this because of the two colour sheer fabric I had put on top of the cotton fabric.  It sheens red and blue.

I have hand quilted the celtic pattern with a red embroidery thread.  Must now find Envelope No 3 to get the next stage of the instructions, however, I am considering doing some vermicelli quilting with the sewing machine around the edge first.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Staffordshire Hoard

The Region are running a competition based on the Staffordshire Hoard so I decided I might like to have a go at creating something.  I have been looking at the booklet I have got for some inspiration and found this garnet set sword pyramid.  As you can see I have been extracting the basic pattern design and playing with it in my sketchbook.  I actually cut holes in the page and placed a piece of coloured paper underneath it to see what it looks like.  Of course it should really be red, but I could not find any red paper at the time.

It all looks a bit Aztec to me so I am not sure I am very happy with it.  Back to the drawing board ....

Venture 2 Challenge

I managed to get a bit further with the challenge we were set in November.  I have stencilled a design onto the space dyed fabric using my home made stencil and a gold Markal Oil Stick.  Now I have to add some wadding to the back and a backing fabric prior to quilting it.  Do not think it will be hand quilted somehow.

Celtic Inspiration

I have been messing about again ....

I got some plastic moulds from Art Van Go when I was at Knit & Stitch Harrogate and have been meaning to play with them ever since.  I planned to make some paper casts from them, but ended up doing a rubbing on typing paper with an oil pastel which I then washed with Koh-i-Noor dyes.

I was quite pleased with the result once I worked out which way up the moulds went.  Might wax it next with a church candle and my flat bottomed iron.

Another bit of messing around ....  I made a stencil of a celtic pattern.

I printed the design onto a piece of typing paper and then pasted it onto some stencil card using remountable spray.  I carefully cut out the design with a scalpel and hopefully it will now last for a while.

I used two shades of Markal Oil Sticks applied with an old toothbrush.  I left it to cure for 24 hours and then gave it a wash of Koh-i-Noor dye.  The blotchy background is just an old teabag - from the pile I am saving to make another teabag book with roses.

Mushroom Madness

Lots more fungi in the garden.  The yellow ones on the top left have a little mouse hole at the bottom right of the picture.  It is fairly new so am assuming it is a new mouse on the block!  The purple toadstool below it on the left was minute but a wonderful colour.  The strange fungi top centre were also very small and looked like little antlers with black stalks.  Top right are also fairly small and there were lots of them around an old tree stump, but only one or two remain.  Most of the fungi in the garden get eaten by something - slugs or mice I guess.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Lynda Monk Samples updated

This is the third sample now it has dried.  The dark blob in the left hand corner is where the liquid accumulated.  Again the scanner has made the piece much more purple than it actually is.

I may do something else with it now and have got some Quink Ink out and some oil pastels.

Still cannot find the dark blue Treasure Gold!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Lynda Monk Samples updated

Had another go at this sample.  Just sprayed it again, but more liberally this time.  Quite pleased with it, but it is a bit light coloured.  The cauliflower splodge is where there was a big blob which took a long time to dry out.

Like this sample much better.  It is still quite light coloured but a nice effect I think.

I am still waiting for the purple sample to dry.  It takes ages.

Lynda Monk Samples

This is the third sample I did and it is actually not this lurid purple.  It must be something to do with the scanner picking up the reflection from the metallic paint.  The base is Lumiere Purple Violet the the spray is Crafty Notions Creative Colour Spray -Shake 'n' Spray 'Lustre Aubergine'.  I have got to say I did not find it as easy to use as the Cosmic Spray and it came out rather blobby and very wet.  Now it is dry it looks much better.

Christmas Card

Got another nice handmade textile card yesterday from one of my City & Guilds chums.  Love the use of paper and stitch, particularly the bit where the word 'recycled' is clearly visible.  It puts me to shame as I should have got round to making cards this year and have failed miserably.

Lynda Monk Samples

This is a piece of pelmet vilene.  bondaweb was added and then pieces of scrumpled tissue paper were ironed on using baking parchment to protect the surfaces of the ironing board and iron base.

It was then painted with Lumiere 'Super Copper'.  Once this dried I rubbed the surface with Renaissance Treasure Gold.

Next step was to get a cotton wool ball (I had no cotton wool pads) soaked in White Spirit and lightly wet the surface and move the wax around.  Whilst this was still damp I sprayed it with a Cosmic Shimmer Mica Shimmer Mist - colour was 'Ocean Sunlight' and left it to dry.

I am now going to give it another coat of spray.

The sample on the right was Lumiere Metallic Gold and then everything else was the same as the sample above.

On my next sample I want to try using a dark blue Treasure Gold I have instead of the gold one, but at the moment I cannot find it.  Not surprising if you saw the amount of packing boxes that are still lying around the house!

I have also done a purple sample but it went really blobby and has not dried yet so I cannot scan it.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Just for Annie

Had a frantic phone call from Annie to ask if I had tried the White Spirit Technique from Lynda Monk's new book as she could not get it to work.  The above picture is a sample Lynda gave me at Knit & Stitch in Harrogate using this technique so hopefully this will help.  I will try it out myself when I get chance and then will post the result for all to see!

Christmas Card

I am such a lucky person.  One of my lovely friends sent me this delightful Janet Browne Christmas Card recently.  I am a fan of Janet's work so this was just perfect.  At least it has no calories!!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Holly Berries

We had a fantastic holly bush in the front garden which was full of berries.  According to Mr C next door, who planted the bush, it has never looked so good.  Not any more I am afraid .... on Friday we had Redwings on it and they have eaten the lot.  What a fantastic sight.  I had to have the binoculars out and watched them from the kitchen window.

On another front ...  the mystery of the disappearing fat ball feeder which had three fat balls in it.  It has to be either the squirrels or the crows I guess.  It disappeared sometime between Friday and Sunday and there is no sign of it anywhere.  We have had a new squirrel on the block so perhaps he has carried it off.  Secret Squirrel?

Sunday, 18 December 2011


I have been messing about on photoshop this morning just for a bit of relaxation.  I scanned a brown paper bag with mistletoe on it and a drawing I had done this past week of a piece of mistletoe from the garden.  The other image was a photograph I had taken a few weeks ago which I have cleaned up and changed into a black and white image.  Sorry about the odd background.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Winter Wonderland

What a fantastic sight this morning ...  unbeknown to me it had snowed on the Malvern Hills overnight.  I wish I could get out with my camera to capture a photograph.  It is magical .... they look like they have been dusted with icing sugar and the sun has come out too.  It is hard to describe how the Hills change .... they are so atmospheric and I am sure a great inspiration to local artists.

Electrician is here again today so I won't be going far.  He is in the loft playing with the wires for the lighting.  He is no doubt freezing as it is just 2 degrees outside.

I shall  have to get on with some of the jobs I have had outstanding for what seems weeks.

H A P P Y     C H R I S T M A S

I shall have to get on with some of my 'jobs', a lot of which have been waiting weeks to be completed.


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tea Bag Book

This is a bit more of the paper that I used for the card.  I have started to assemble my Tea Bag book.  The rose is under construction and the tea bags for the pages are being slowly saved, emptied, washed and ironed.  DH does not drink much tea so it is taking a while.

I have decided to make my book with a different inside - not a concertina book - so when I actually finish it I will post another picture.

Christmas Card

Anyone who knows me well will know that I hate making greetings cards of any description.  They are just not my thing.  Postcards are a different matter and I will happily produce those for my friends when the fancy takes me.

This fairy on the left was the little workshop we were given to do on our table at the December meeting of the Worcester branch of the EG.  We have an article by Linda Westerman which appeared in STITCH several years ago to thank for this design!

She has got a tassel body and then french knots and bullion knots stitched onto her head for hair.  The head is a circular piece of felt which has been gathered and stuffed.  I bet the other people have made a much better job of theirs than me.
I was going to make a nice Christmas card this year and have it printed to send to all my friends but somehow I never got round to it.

Today I fished out a piece of paper I had printed some time ago and chopped it up.  I have pasted it to a nice piece of handmade paper and I am going to machine stitch on it.  It looks more like a house than a Christmas tree at the moment - let's hope it improves with the addition of stitch.

I can always save it for next year.

Venture 2 (Add-Venture I think)

I managed to have an afternoon of messing around today.  These objects are something we were given to try arising from the first meeting of Venture 2.  We had to scrumple up a piece of brightly coloured paper out of a magazine and then wet it in some water which had had washing up liquid added.  You then take it out of the water and squeeze out some of the excess paper, pat it down on a flat surface and leave it to dry.

Since then I have painted it with some Stewart Gill paints and the pieces now look a bit metallic.  Next step is to get some iron on vilene on the back so that I can stitch into it.

More Toadstools

This one has to be a shaggy inkcap.  It appeared in the back lawn a week or so ago and I have been waiting for it to get large enough to photograph.  There is another one popping up alongside it too.  There are some fantastic bright orange fungi in the Dell which I must get round to photographing before they all get eaten.  They have nibbles all over them.

Friday, 9 December 2011


Ten weeks have flown by and this is the final book I have made this term.  It is an old piece of silk paper which had been machine stitched.  I added two cords to this one which I had created using a cording foot on my sewing machine and a zigzag pattern with metallic threads over several strands of varying types of thread.

The other threads with bits on them were made using Carole Coleman's method of stitching spiral lines of machine stitch on dissolvable fabric.  I am going to cut them up and hand stitch them to the ends of the two cords which are embedded in the book cover perhaps with the addition of some small beads.


Thought I would have a go at the Rose Tea Bag Book so have been collecting old tea bags of assorted types.  Emptied them and washed them before cutting them up only to find I have done it wrong.  Trust me ... shall have to do my own version now.  It should be interesting.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Another toadstool has appeared in the garden, this time on the front lawn.  It is quite large and I have no idea what it is but as I am not going to be eating it I suppose it does not matter.

The mild wet weather had brought a small hedgehog out into the garden on Wednesday evening, it looked like the one out of the hedgehog box.  I assume it had come out to get some more food as it does not look large enough to hibernate through the winter.  The leftover food from Sox's dish gave it an added treat.

Bookbinding with Fabric

I really surprised myself with the book covered in orange fabric above.  This was a scrappy piece of fabric I had used a wax resist on and then coloured with Koh-i-Noor dye.  A few rows of stitching brightened it up before applying it to the book I had made.  It turned out much better than I expected and for once I managed not to get any PVA soaking through onto the end papers.
I am now preparing to cover my final book this term and am using a piece of silk paper which was a trial sample I created for some of my 4th year City & Guilds embroidery.  The inside of the book has been created from Lokta paper which has caused some problems when trying to round the spine.  This time I will be using grey board for the covers and I hope to add some beaded ties to the edgeto fasten the book with.