Monday, 30 January 2012

Creative Bookbinding Class

Last week saw us colouring papers to be used as covers and end papers.  We had terrific fun and used wallpaper paste coloured with acrylic paint, but of course I had to be different so I used Brusho!  The picture above is my efforts and those below were created by other members of the class.  I guess I will  have to seal mine with a spray varnish to stop the Brusho colours running.

Paper Casts

This is the papercast I made last week, or was it the week before?  I used a clear plastic mould I bought at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate.  First of all I greased it with petroleum jelly so that the paper released easily.  I used water soluble paper torn up into small pieces and wetted that with a paint brush.  I left it to dry for a couple of days and then released it from the mould and attached it to my sketchbook page.  Since then I have painted it with acrylic paint.  The colour above is not quite the same as it actually is and it does need some more work.

There are two more moulds in the set so shall be trying them next.  Have you all seen the hints on the Purple Missus blog using plasticine?  Looks like another good method to try.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Dampened Spirits

Thought things were going too well - having managed to spend quite a lot of time recently doing creative things - everything had to stop yesterday as I discovered a huge wet patch in the dining room and spent most of the day trying to find out where it had come from.

Andy the plumber kindly called on his way home and thinks the radiator pipe must have got knocked and caused a huge leak.  No one has owned up to such a deed.  Was it the electrician or was it one of Andy's lads?  Do not think we will ever know.  He has now put a seal on the pipe to stop any more water accidentally escaping.

There is now wet underlay, carpet, packed cardboard boxes and a wooden blanket chest which could have got water into the contents.  It also smells atrocious which is how I discovered the problem in the first place.  We do not go in the Dining Room at the moment - apart from the fact a lot of the plaster is missing off the walls, it has no radiator connected and it is therefore FREEZING COLD.

Final straw this week was discovering another squirrel stealing the bird food ......

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Creative Bookbinding Class

Week 2 and we made lots of little books created from a complete piece of paper upon which a grid has been formed along which you cut a path.

When you fold up the pages it then makes a type of concertina book.  Accurate folding (which is not my forte) is essential if you want a neat outcome when you have completed the folding.

I made two end covers out of some grey board and painted them.  A piece of machine made cord left over from something else was inserted into the front cover so that it can be tied around twice to create a nice effect.

The book on the left below was a more complicated folded book which we added some pages too in between some of the folds.

This is just a little concertina book I made at home from some scraps of cartridge paper and wrapping paper. Wax crayons were used to create a resist pattern on the inside which was then given a wash of Koh-i-noor dyes. Also a bit of sponged colour was added to one side.  A few words taken from something I had seen in a newspaper article about the life of Lucienne Freud were added to the centre.  Discovered that another name for concertina books is 'Leporellos'.

Venture 2 Challenge

This piece of work has seen me really struggling and as our next meeting is tomorrow and I still have not finished it I thought I would scan it to see what else I might be able to do to it.  It has not helped!  My creative mind seems to have gone into hibernation.  I think the basic problem is I do not like the technique that was used to create the background.

Friday, 20 January 2012

More Concertina Book

For once in my life I actually finished off something I have been messing about with.  This is the little concertina book fully assembled.  I made some machine stitched cords and added a couple of handmade beads.  Not sure whether they are Tyvek or paper as they were in my box of bits and pieces.  The cord is fixed into the back cover of the book so that it cannot fall off and get lost, I think I did make it a tad long though!

I am trying to get brave enough to do something to the pristine white pages inside now. No time for playing today I am afraid.  Things to do.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Concertina Book

Last Friday at my bookbinding class we were making concertina books so since then I have coloured some tissue paper using the Lynda Monk technique, but this time glued it to a piece of greyboard, one of which had some raised pieces on it.

This is how it looked before I glued the edges to the back of the board.  (I apologise for the colours - they are not quite right)


This is the front and back after I had turned the edges under.  I used the scanner to capture this image and you can see the difference in colour from the above.  (the flash on the camera distorts the metallic parts as does the scanner, but in a different way).

I have spent ages this morning looking for iron-on interfacing and have at long last found it in a box, so now I might be able to finish my second challenge for Venture 2.  Just as well as we have our second meeting next week!!

Monday, 16 January 2012


Purple Moon

Finished off the third postcard.

This one had a Lynda Monk background but I have painted it with acrylic paint and stitched into it too.  The purple circle is a bit of a teabag I had coloured and cut out.

Will post this one to someone too.

Creative Bookbinding Class

Started my new Creative Bookbinding class on Friday afternoon.  It was the usual dash around as the electrician was finishing off wiring up the smoke alarms before I left.  We made a concertina book with 3 individual signatures added in the folds.  I used some nice hairy linen thread to stitch mine in.  The cover was made from some textured wallpaper which I painted when I got home.  Enjoyed the class although I have made concertina books before.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Staffordshire Hoard

Enlarged View of above
More samples.  I quilted a small piece of calico and then painted it with Gesso.  After that I painted it with various colours of Acrylic paint including:

Rich Transparent Red Oxide
Quinacridone/ Nickel Azo Gold
Dioxazine Purple
Metallic Bronze
Metallic Gold

There might also have been some Payne's Grey and/or Indanthrene Blue, oh and there was some red too.  I really should make notes when I am messing about.

Thinking about adding some painted Bondaweb now.  I want it to look like it has been dug out of the earth.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

House Renovations

Everyone keeps asking me what the house is like so I took some pictures of what will be my studio (some day) after the workers had been to take out the fireplace this week.  If I stand with my back to the window the fireplace is on the left and the door onto the landing is directly in front of me.  Both corners have had steel pins put in and resin added to fix the cracks.  We now need the plasterer to come and make good the walls.  Then the radiator can go on the wall to the left of the door where the pipes are sticking up.  (I am not sure where the radiator is at the moment - it keeps getting moved so it does not get damaged?)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Blue Moon
The road less travelled
Meant to be doing cleaning ... but had to finish off these postcards I was messing about with yesterday before I could concentrate on the job in hand. I made a big mistake on the first one.  I tried to seal it with acrylic wax.  You can't because the coloured surface becomes liquid as soon as you put anything wet on it.  I ended up having to seal the surface of each piece with a matt spray varnish.  By the way the blue moon is a bit of stained teabag fabric I had left over from making teabag books.

I will be posting these cards to a couple of friends any day shortly!!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Venture 2 Challenge

Hope you can work this out.  I have been beading this odd shaped thing. There is also a touch of hand embroidery.  The coloured rings are from the stem of our old electric toothbrush heads, must get brownie points for recycling?

If I had been really good I would have made a complete picture after scanning, but I am being lazy.

Can't see how I can make it into a 3D object, but there you go ....
Had a trying day as the workers turned up unannounced to take out a small fireplace in what will be my studio.  It only took them half a day and I like them really.  Their boss man 'Scary Andy' turned up mid morning too.  He had arranged for the plasterer to come and look at our walls.

Can't do any plastering for about 3-4 weeks so shall have to put up with the mess for a bit longer.

They also did a bit of debating about the next phase of work that needs pricing.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Venture 2 Challenge

Out came the rotary cutter and I chopped up my scrap piece into six pieces as instructed in Envelope 3.  I now have to embellish it with stitch, buttons, beads etc.  The instructions said NOT to create another oblong shape so I have tried my best to make something else with it.

I have to own up to being very naughty  .....  I have opened Envelope 4 because I was getting myself into such a mess trying to understand what I was actually supposed to be doing.  I also did not want to cut up my scrappy piece as I really liked it as it was and could have embellished it just like that.

You shall have to wait to see what the next set of instructions were ....

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Lynda Monk Samples

Left = scanner/Right = camera
I wanted to show how different the images of my Lynda Monk samples come out when I use the camera and the scanner.  Neither of them give the correct colour, but I guess the camera is nearer to the truth.
Left = camera/Right = scanner

Fabric Scrap

Look what happened to the scrap of fabric I had been using.  I added more paint and then quilted it.  Guess what ....  I am now going to cut it up into six pieces and reassemble it for my Venture 2 challenge.  Shame really because I like it as it is.

Now we have colour

The electrician was here all day on Friday so I was confined to working in the kitchen to keep out of the way.  I managed to colour in some of my sketchbook page and made a stencil (bottom right hand corner) which appears to work quite well.  Some of the patterns remind me very much of Art Deco not Anglo Saxon!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Staffordshire Hoard

This is the other thing I have been doing.  The patterns are my attempt at working out some of the designs found on items amongst the Staffordshire Hoard.  I am sure that you can see accuracy is not my strong point, although I did draw some grid lines.

I thought I might be able to create a background fabric using lots of bits of the patterns and then work on top of that.  I am making very slow progress, particularly as I will probably have to make some print blocks or stencils.  Unfortunately, once work starts on the house again all my playtime will have to cease!

What a waste

Scrap of fabric which was used as waste when painting the tissue paper
Thursday saw me playing around with the Lynda Monk book again and I have now tried using tissue paper on muslin which gives a lovely soft piece of fabric. (see the gold piece below)  I also managed to find my Indigo Treasure Gold (it was where it should have been, of course, but hidden under something else!!) and the blue piece below is the result of that.  I am afraid the scanner makes the colours incorrect because of the metallic finish and I should really have photographed the pieces.

Tissue Paper on Muslin

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Whatever Happened ....

Boredom found me messing around on the computer tidying up some old files yesterday and I found this photo of my younger brother and myself in a school photograph in the playground at Bolton on Swale village school.  The school has now been converted into a house.  I looked so sweet then ....

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Staffordshire Hoard

I have been doodling again.  I have been drawing one of the animals from a cheek piece fragment from the Staffordshire Hoard.  It is a good job you cannot see the original!  I had to create a grid as I managed to get the proportions a bit wrong.

I traced the image from my drawing and scanned it into photoshop and I have since been playing around with it - single image, multiple images, flipped image ... etc etc.
One of the problems I am forever having when using Photoshop is remembering how to do things.  I wanted a transparent background so that I could overlap the two images shown above. I then erased part of one of them so they looked like they were intertwined.  Better think about using some colour and distressing techniques next so they look old and worn. 
More design options

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Happy New Year
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2012

Malvern Hills

You can tell how bored I have been over the festive season.  I have been doodling with my lovely new Faber Castell PITT sepia artists pens which I had as a Christmas present from one of my lovely friends.  They are super to use.

I have had the postcard for ages and have meant to do an outline sketch with a view to creating a small patchwork landscape hanging for my new Studio (when it is eventually finished).  No hurry on that front then?

Opened Envelope No 3 of the Venture 2 challenge and I will have to start all over again.  I have to chop up the piece of work and reassemble it.  There is no way I am chopping up some hand quilting after it took ages to do.