Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wax Workshop

First attempt plus enhancements
On Friday of last week Worcester branch of the EG had a workshop with Alysn Midgelow Marsden which was called "Antiqued Stitched Papers".  I am afraid my efforts were not very good and I have just started to stitch one of the three pieces I managed to create with a view to improving the three pieces I did make.

We used candle wax to combine layers of scrumpled papers which were then enhanced with Markal oil sticks and Treasure Gold.  I just could not get my creative juices going I am afraid.

Second Attempt
Perhaps I had been doing too much all week - had Venture Group on Wednesday when we were dyeing and transfer dyeing all day and I came home with a huge pile of bits of fabric ready to do something with.  This week we are having an outing to Artrix in Bromsgrove to see the postcards created by members of the EG nationally based on the countries participating in the Olympic Games.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

If you go down to the woods today ...

Another surprise today .... after doing the usual exciting food shop at Sainsbury's in Worcester I needed some PVA (and a cup of coffee at the Deli!!) so stopped off in Malvern and parked near the Splash.  Walking back through Priory Park what should I find but this lovely specimen.  Think it is a Fly Agaric.  It was quite large.

But that was not all ....

There were lots more and although I believe they are poisonous, something had been nibbling one of them.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wonderful Web

A very grey, foggy and damp morning but looking out of the kitchen window into the garden I spotted numerous cobwebs bejewelled with drops of water, glistening and shimmering in the gloom.  It makes you feel so cheerful to see wonderful structures like this created by tiny creatures.  It seems spiders thrive not only in the garden, but also in this house!!  As fast as I put them out more appear.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Exhibition Leamington Spa

Some of Linda Kemshall's moth samples
Apologies to Linda for borrowing a photograph from her blog as I was not sure whether we were allowed to take photographs at the exhibition.

On Friday I decided to go on an excursion, by myself, to Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum to see the 'Through Our Hands' Exhibition which had opened the day before.  An added encouragement to visit were the talks in the afternoon by:

      Linda Kemshall
      Elizabeth Brimelow
      Sandra Meech
      Alicia Merrett

The introductory talk started at 1.00 pm and, although I had set off in good time, I still managed to miss more than half of it.  I kept getting lost and it is very difficult without SatNav trying to read the directions and drive in heavy traffic.  I also got lost going home.  I was alright once I got past Warwick.

Thankfully it was worth all the hassle as the talks were very good, particularly Linda Kemshall and Elizabeth Brimelow, plus the exhibition was excellent. It included work not only by the people above but also Bethan Ash, Elizabeth Barton (quilts of York made me homesick), Eszter Bornemisza, Dijanne Cevaal, Laura Kemshall and Annable Rainbow.  It was difficult to choose favourite quilts as they were all very interesting and demonstrated lots of different techniques.

Annabel Rainbow 'Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today'
This quilt reminded me of MB's natural dyeing days when her husband asked 'Hello dear, and what is in the cauldron today?'  Insinuating of course that the fungi and bark the pot contained might be destined for some other use than dyeing fabrics and threads!!  The nude on this quilt was stitched all over with words relating to the title.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Jenny Wren

Done a bit more work on this page since the beginning of the week.  The good thing about scanning an image is that you can see more clearly where you need to do a bit more work!!

Think I will collect some of the berries out of the garden and sketch some of them to add to this book.  There is plenty of Hawthorn at the moment but I think the squirrels have eaten all the hazelnuts, plus there does not seem to be many acorns and very few holly berries.  Perhaps we are going to have a mild winter?  Lovely leaf colour starting to appear too.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I must go down to the sea again

This is another WIP.

I got as far as stitching the stab binding on Monday and writing the words of the poem on the wave-like pages inside.

It still needs quite a lot of work to finish it.

I added a coat of acrylic wax to the cover to give it a bit of protection.

Wallpaper Lining Book

I do anything but get on with the jobs I should be doing  ....  This book has been lying around half made since I did the Frances Pickering workshop last year.  I decided to paste a skeltonised magnolia leaf to the outside on Monday after stitching the book together.  I used Matt Acrylic Gel Medium which seems to have worked quite well.  I am not sure how durable it is going to be as the leaf was very fragile.

I then added another, smaller leaf to the inside of the book which encouraged me to experiment with wafer thin fragments from a beautiful wasps nest I managed to save when the rebuilding work was going on in the house.  The whole structure of the nest is very fragile and difficult to handle

My original idea was to sketch and make coloured drawings of the patterns however I only got as far as taking some photographs.

I have now managed to expose some of the 'comb' inside the nest so will do some more work on it when I can.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Vintage Car Trial

On Saturday we decided to have the day out as it was nice weather and there was a vintage car trial based around Presteigne.  It was a really nice day and I discovered a lovely shop that sells tweedy fabrics and lovely bits and pieces in Presteigne.  We had lunch at The Workhouse Gallery and managed to fit in a visit to the Old Chapel Gallery in Pembridge too.

There is a building in Presteigne which now houses a charity shop that has wonderful plasterwork and broken tiles on it.  This is just a small part of the decoration.

These are some of the cars that were involved in the weekend event at Presteigne.  Unfortunately I was too cold to take pictures at the stage near Radnor where the trials cars were competing and you could spectate.  It looked good fun in which all the family can take part, although the cars were covered in lots of mud!!

No bookbinding now for several weeks, but I do need to make another long stitch binding as the one I did on Friday is not very good.  I am missing a week as I have got a workshop with Alysn Midgelow Marsden coming up at Worcester branch of the EG, we have half term looming up and Anna, our tutor, is missing one week.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Jenny Wren

This week I have been doodling and drew this little wren on a piece of wallpaper lining paper. I then ironed some Bondaweb to the back.  After cutting it out carefully it has now been applied it to a page of the little book I made with Frances Pickering last year (which is still far from finished).  I am quite pleased with the effect, but it has taken me several attempts and various types of crayon and pen to get the colours how I wanted.  I bit of scribbling on the page with Coloursoft crayons to integrate it has helped.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Doodle Dog

For the creative bookbinding class this term we have to produce a personal piece of work and I am thinking about doing something on the stream that runs through our garden (Whippets Brook) so I have been looking at pictures of whippets and trying to draw them.  This is my first attempt.  Some practice needed I think.

Dye Run

Managed to get all my dyed samples washed and hung out to dry today.  I had forgotten what a mess pieces of muslin make - threads tangled up everywhere!

Not sure what the neighbours think of my washing?  In particular, the fact that I am drying plastic bags.

Some of the bits of muslin I added had previously been space dyed unsuccessfully and turned out an awful colour so I over-dyed them and most seem to be much improved.  At least I will be able to use them now.

Had the usual mess with the threads I dyed as I never manage to tie them up very well.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Star Book

Yesterday I managed to finish pasting my Star Book together - having messed up cutting out the two central strips of card in class on Friday of last week.  I have still got a few problems with the spine.  It is obvious now that I should have had thicker spacers to accommodate the card when the book is closed.  Next task is to think of something to decorate the pages.

Monday was also Test Dyeing Day ready for our Play Session at Venture Group.  I volunteered to demonstrate plastic bag dyeing and one of the other members is doing a session on Transfer Paints.  Just need to sort out a requirements list for them all now.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Malvern Walk

This morning the weather was so nice that we went for a walk on the Malvern Hills. We went up the 99 steps to St Ann's Well where we found this creature dispensing spring water.  We walked along the hill towards the Wych Cutting and then back along the ridge to the Worcester Beacon.  It was absolutely glorious, very sunny and fantastic panoramic views.

Back to reality now I am afraid and must do my bookbinding homework and some gardening jobs!


My best friend came to stay this weekend for a couple of nights so we have had lots of catching up and lots of going out.  We went off to Westonbirt Arboretum on Saturday afternoon. Whilst we did have a lovely time the trees are only just starting to change colour, so I think it probably needs another week or two to reach the best autumn tints.
For my stitching pals I have taken a picture of this lettering on a metal table holding a book in the propagation unit.  The way the cut out lettering discloses what is behind is very effective.

As are some of the quotes

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit".

Friday, 5 October 2012

Flour Paste

Almost forgot ... the worst part of preparing the covers for the cross structure binding was making some flour paste.  When I had made it previously it came out so thick you could hardly use it, so this time I only did half the quantity, heated it in a pan as instructed and added much more water.  You can only keep it for a week in the fridge so shall take it with me today to see if anyone wants to use it up as there is always far more than you ever need.

Creative Bookbinding Class

Last week we had to prepare a piece of leather for a cross structure binding we are doing in a few weeks, but as usual I could not find the piece of leather I thought I had so decided in the interim I would use either a piece of pelmet vilene or some felted blanket I had dyed some time ago.

I cut out my pelmet vilene and painted it (as instructed in Lynda Monk's book).  Applied some Bondaweb and then gold foil, followed by tissue paper.  It looked awful and I could not get the colour to come through the tissue paper to the surface.  What to do .... I added some black Misty Fuse plus blue foil and then painted it again with a quinacrodine acrylic colour to hide the horrible tissue paper so it is better now but not perfect.

Sitting yesterday having a cup of coffee and rereading the article on how to do it, I suddenly realised I had not read the full instructions and had missed out a crucial part of the process.  Ah well .... something to try another day I suppose as I now have a piece I can use for my cross structure binding.

The cover for the cross structure binding also needs a piece of paper pasted to the inside so I had to rummage through all the rubbish bits I keep in a box and found an A3 paste paper piece which had been created using brusho.  Had to spray it with varnish to stabalise the brusho before pasting it to the back of my piece of dyed blanket.  It has now been trimmed to the correct size so will find out if it is suitable today.

As I had two pieces of blanket cut out I made a printed surface for the other one using a small print block I had purchased from Art Van Go some time ago and never used.  I overprinted it several times and am quite pleased with the result.  It has also been pasted to the fabric ready for making into a cross structure binding if it is suitable.  If not it will make a nice book cover for a stitched book.

On Thursday morning, (after a frantic plea on Monday to my friend Tim in Yorkshire) a wonderful piece of leather arrived in the post so that has now been cut out and prepared ready for the forthcoming lesson.  If al the pieces of fabric are okay I should end up with several books to give to friends.Today we are doing a reverse stab bound book, which I think I have done before.