Saturday, 25 February 2012

Wrap Round Book

This week, whilst keeping out of the way of the plastering, I have been trying to complete an A4 wrap round book cover which I was asked to do almost a year ago.

The fabric is an upholstery fabric which has probably been treated with fire retardant the consequence of which has made it quite stiff.  I used some new DMC metallic threads in both silver and gold for a lot of the machine stitching and placed a piece of bronze sheer fabric under the dandelion clock.  The leaves have been created using a metallic sheer fabric with two colourways - gold and green.

As usual the colours are not quite right and it is much nicer in the flesh.  I just have to join the sleeves to it now when I get a minute or two.

Creative Bookbinding Class

Actually finished my pamphlet book this week.  The cover was made from paper decorated using wallpaper paste and brusho.  I sprayed it with a coat of acrylic varnish to stop the colours running before I pasted it to the cover boards.  The inside is watercolour paper so the intention is to use it as a small sketchbook.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


This is the reason little work has gone on over the past 2 or 3 weeks.  Apart from plastering we have somehow managed to have the bathroom door moved and it has become an en suite attached to our main bedroom.  It does not seem to matter that all it has got in it for the time being is a lovely pink washbasin.

 This is the view from the landing - before the door was bricked up and after.

You can see the wall partially demolished on the left - then on the right it has been removed and the door frame inserted.  DH and I cannot believe what a difference it has made to the old bathroom.  The space is so much more pleasing - it does not matter that we have not got any bathroom fittings yet ....

It is back to plastering today so I am busy keeping out of the way and making cups of tea.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

More Beach Huts

Using acrylic ink watered down and a child's sponge roller I coloured some pages that I had previously prepared to make a new pamphlet book.  They ended up looking like sand and sea

.... decided to see what my beach huts looked like laid on top .... might now create some more to add to the pages.

The papers in the background are what I laid underneath the pages when I was rollering the ink.  Some of them will make some nice decorative papers with a little more work.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

En suite Bathroom

On Sunday I stripped the pink wallpaper off the walls in the bathroom (this will eventually become the en suite) and found this blue paint underneath.

Tuesday saw me removing the black tiles from one of the walls, which are going to have to be replastered I am afraid.  No surprises there!!  The woodchip paper is stripped off half of the ceiling which has revealed some past damp problems that seem to be dried out now.  Thank goodness we had a new roof put on as most of the problems seem to be located at weak points like the gullies and corners of the roof.

I am having to have a rest today as I have got really bad pins and needles in my right wrist and arm.  Perhaps a little time to look at my EG challenge stuff?  Who knows.

The plasterers were not here on Monday (dental problems), did a full day on Tuesday and are only doing a part day today so for the moment it is all peace and quiet.

Afraid I have got my eye on another cheeky squirrel.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Sunny Days will be here again ....

The sand and sea from the reverse can be seen through the windows
It is amazing what can happen when you are messing around.  I decided I would make another small zigzag book and got it all cut out and stuck together, when it went wrong.  I pulled it apart and stuck it back together, then decided I could make some sheds with it if I cut angles for roofs (I love allotments).

The sheds then became beach huts and I merrily painted sand, sea and sky.  Next came the beach huts and as I had managed to get paint splattered where it should not be, I almost gave up.  Best to carry on regardless I thought, so I cut holes for windows and doors, painted them, printed on them using the edge of bits of card, and generally tried to cover up the things that should not be there.  Quite pleased with the end result, but do not think I have quite finished.

All 8 fronts and backs

More Malvern Views

Managed to find a spot to park on my way back from Morrisons this morning and took one or two pictures of the hills.

As you can see not too much snow, but it is very cold.  A photograph does not do justice to the Malvern Hills.

Great Malvern is in the distance to the left and I live in the distance to the right.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Mark Making

You all know I am mad so you won't be surprised to find that I was intrigued by the lines created in the plaster ready to make the next coat stick.  It reminded me of things we had done at college using old twigs and bits of anything that you could make a mark with.

The picture below also brought to mind the texture on skin.

Hope to spend some time being creative today before I go off to the dentist.  That is if I can keep warm enough as the plasterers keep leaving the front door open.  The weather is very chilly here and in fact the outside tap had to be unfrozen so they could get some water out of it this morning.

In Hot Water

What a week.  Apart from it being my 60th birthday .... groan ... the plasterers have been here, plus we have had the gas meter moved and changed to a semi concealed box.  On top of all that we have now got a blocked drain so awaiting the arrival of the flushing man.

In my infinite wisdom, whilst the plumber was here removing a radiator for the plasterers I decided it might be a good idea to take the bath out so that I can start to get the tiles off the wall (this will be the room which will become the en suite bathroom).  The bath is large and cast iron and it took 3 of them to get it down the stairs and really, if we are being realistic, I think there should have been 4 of them.  It is now residing in the back garden near the garage.  (It was suggested the squirrels might find it an interesting element)  One of its redeeming features is a lovely industrial-size Art Deco handle.  Think I shall have to see if I can get it off without damaging it.  Not that I know what I am going to do with it?

Monday, 6 February 2012

The View from Here

This picture shows the view of the Malvern Hills that we cannot see from our house.  We actually live behind these bungalows on the main road where the trees are in the far distance on the right.

You have to ignore the telegraph pole.  I was too lazy to walk further along the road, having just posted a letter in the nearby postbox.

The tree in the centre of this picture is no longer there as it is the ash we have just had taken down. I am pleased to say however that there is still plenty of mistletoe left in the hawthorn trees.

You can see our wonderful oak tree in the background to the left of the picture.

Scrap Paper

Managed to find something useful to do with a piece of the scrumpled paper I made for one of the Venture 2 challenges.  I chopped it into small squares and stuck it on a long thin card.  Some of the colours have turned out quite nice.  I added a scrap of sticky back gold paper to hold it all together.

Snow Fun in Malvern

View from British Camp Sunday morning
DH decided it would be a good idea if Janette came to stay on Saturday evening seen as how we both have our birthday on the same day this week plus J was feeling a bit fed up.  She drove up on Saturday and arrived just as it started to snow.  We had tea and cake and played scrabble (or as we have renamed it 'squabble') until early evening.  She then decided she ought to go to her hotel in Colwall - where we were also going to be dining.  By this time the snow had laid quite well.  You can guess what happened.  She got stuck on the Wych and had to abandon her car and walk several miles to Colwall.  We tried to rescue her but could get no further than where she had abandoned her car.  DH ended up having leftover chilli for dinner and I had poached eggs!!
View from British Camp back towards Worcester Beacon
It decided to rain overnight so we were able to go and pick up her car on Sunday morning and then had a walk along British Camp.  There was quite a lot of snow up there but the views were spectacular.  There was lots of rolling fog around and you could see hills, church spires and other landmarks sticking through the rolling mist.  We then had Sunday Lunch to make up for missing dinner the previous evening, which was most enjoyable.  DH and I had to return home to the joy of moving furniture around ready for the plastering to start on Monday of this week.  J had a slow drive back South.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Speed Dating

Well I spent 4 exciting hours at a Speed Awareness Workshop near Ledbury this morning.  I got caught doing 35 mph in a 30 mph zone in November in Worcester.  I would not care, but I hardly ever exceed the speed limit around here so I was definitely a bit miffed!!  The best bit about the course was the lovely cows in the shed next to the building we were in.  It was on a working farm.
Also been to my bookbinding class this afternoon. There will be no more for three weeks as we are having to have an extra Thursday off due to some kind of tutor study day at the college next week which means no students are able to go to their classes.  The following week is Half Term down here so will have to make myself do some work at home instead.

The copy of a Cloth Pages Scissors publication today called 'Pages' arrived today - not sure if it is a 'one off' but it is full of ideas for making creative books.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


The last two or three days have been rather cool to say the least but the weather has brought lots of birds into the garden - more than usual.  There were at least five Redwings on the back lawn this morning eating the fallen apples and we have got a flock of around 30 finches coming to the front to eat the bits that fall from the bird feeders.  I got out the binoculars as some of them seemed to be much smaller than the others and I think that they might be Redpolls.  Never seen them before so a new bird for my list.  We regularly have goldfinches, greenfinches and chaffinchs.

I have spent the last two days out in the Dell as we had an Ash tree taken down on Tuesday.  I spent all of Wednesday chopping up the debris and burning it on a bonfire.  It took me the full day and I smelled delightful afterwards.  Managed to singe my hair in the process.  Good job I have got a hair cut today.

Also been playing with the white and black Fuse Fx that I got in Harrogate.  Very mixed results to date so shall have to find some more time to play.  The sample on the left was black velvet with white Fuse Fx onto which was applied a bronze foil.

The right hand sample was blue velvet onto which was applied white Fuse Fx which had been painted with metallic acrylic.  A few gilding flakes were added to the surface.

The final sample at the bottom was a piece of pink synthetic sheer fabric which had some of the painted Fuse Fx ironed onto it.  A few snippets of other coloured sheer fabric were scattered on top before ironing.  They do not seem to want to stay stuck!