Saturday, 30 November 2013

Worcester TJ Part 2

August pg 1

August resolved piece
June artwork pg 1

June Resolved piece
July Artwork

July resolved piece

Friday, 29 November 2013

Worcester Travelling Journal

On Wednesday the Running Stitchers group I am a member of had a lovely day out at Compton Verney.  As part of the day we all returned our Travelling Journals to the originator with an entry in it from all of the participating members and it was so exciting.  So much so that I have decided to blog the pages from mine so others can share the pleasure of looking at them.

They are in no particular order and other pages will follow in due course:-

October Inspiration

October Resolved Piece
November Inspiration

November resolved piece
The November entry was very interesting because this person has used the same inspiration in everyone's TJ, but resolved them in a different way in each.  The threads on this piece were created at a dying day we had and the fabric was printed on another occasion when we had a full day monoprinting.
Inspiration based on a piece by Helen Banzhaf

September Resolved Piece

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Letter H

I seem to have found several examples of the Letter 'H'.  This first one is the most creative and is part of a brick wall pillar I have turned on its side ....

It could also be two H's, one being silent of course

and there again it could simply be a proper character, which I may have used in the past for embroidery ...

Letter i

You need to use a bit of imagination and half closed eyes to see this as a dotted 'i'.  I walked to the hairdressers and was on the lookout for suitable things for my alphabet and found several of these.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Letter J

Another letter for my alphabet.  This is a photograph of a handrail on a building in Harrogate which I have cropped and turned to form the letter 'J'.

Otley Courthouse

Having spent a few days up in Yorkshire for the Knitting & Stitching Show, you would expect me to have taken pictures of textiles, but not me .... I came back with pictures of features to be found at Otley Courthouse!  It was lovely to catch up with my old friends who I miss so much.

Friday, 15 November 2013


On Thursday (for the first time since we moved) I took the train to Birmingham to visit an exhibition of 'The Library of Lost Books' which is currently on until 24 November at the Library of Birmingham in The Pavilion (Library of Lost Books).  Surprisingly it is possibly only the second time I have ever been to Birmingham!

Whilst there I took the opportunity to explore the new Library, following the Discovery Trail around the building.  Favourite items were the typewriter by Jennifer Collier; two panels in the Book Rotunda by Lucy McLauchlan (Lucy McLauchlan); The Book Apothecary on the lower ground floor; the animated feature based on Birds of America by Matthew J Watkins also on the lower ground floor and, finally, the best of all, the piece of work by Su Blackwell  'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.

Thought I would hate the building, but loved it, especially the outdoor spaces and the views over the city.  Amazed at the bird boxes situated in the gardens on Floor 3 and 7.

The exterior from the Discovery Terrace

Glass Lift from Floor 4 to 7

Another surprise was finding an Anthony Gormley sculpture in Birmingham.  I discovered it on my way back to catch the train after popping into the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  I will certainly be back to explore the Museum further.  I only had chance to have a look at the Staffordshire Hoard, the Pre-Rephaelites gallery and a current exhibition, which is on until 19 January, "Birmingham Printmakers: Thirty Years of Printmaking 1983-2013".

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Boiled Books/Eco Dyeing

Last week I was playing around with watercolour paper and plant material to make a concertina book.  My first attempt was not very successful, however, I was pleased with these three pages ....

The left hand side had marigold flowers and leaves laid on it.  The next two sides had a shaggy ink cap toadstool cut in half and squashed between the two pages.  Amazing result.

The lack of colour set me thinking soI saved up some onion skins, both brown and red and used them to interleave between the pages with other plant material. This produced much better results, but there is still plenty of room for experimentation.

Letter K

I have been looking for some nice wrought ironwork to photograph to get a letter 'K' but having not found any I have made a rusted 'K' using old nails on some heavyweight watercolour paper ....
Left = with nails/ Right = after their removal

Monday, 11 November 2013

Burnt layers

I have spent the last two days working on samples for the two Travelling Journals for this month, one for Yorkshire and the other for Worcester.  This piece has been a challenge as I could not remember how to assemble the layers.  I made a similar piece several years ago and, of course, it was one of those times when I was messing around and just playing, made no notes and wish I had.  Now for the life of my I cannot remember what I did.  I do know the inspiration was one of my collagraphs.

The finished work above (which is now too big for the Travelling Journal it was intended for!) has pieces of silk, space dyed cotton velvet, scrim, mica pieces and then sheer fabrics (Organza and chiffon) layered on top of each other.  Then it was randomly machine stitched with metallic and viscose threads, Xpandaprint applied and then the whole thing was zapped with the heat gun.  Finally a little bit of Lumiere paint was added in Metallic Rust and Metallic Bronze to the puffed up Xpandaprint.

Unfortunately the colours have not reproduced very well.  The finished piece is actually much darker therefore I think the scanner must have lightened it up.  I shall now have to start again with a smaller piece that will fit in the Travelling Journal I am doing.


There seems to be lots of fungi appearing all over the garden again, but more this year in the actual garden than over in the Dell.  Not sure what they are but have taken some photographs of some of them ....
Under the washing pole

Near the compost heap

Under the washing pole

In the woodpile
We have of course still got lots of Shaggy Inkcaps too.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Letter L

A bit of an easy one, but with an autumnal feel, for the letter 'L'.  Snapped in Oxford on a day out to visit The Fine Press Book Fair.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Letter M

Ropes on a car trailer make the letter 'M'.

Letter N

I had completely forgotten about this Letter 'N' that I made for the Running Stitchers banner.

Venture Group Print Day

On Wednesday of this week we spent a whole day printing.  General theme was monoprinting, however, we all tried things we have been wanting to do for a while with some stunning results.  I took along my Geli printing plate which I have had since the summer and not tried.  I was so surprised with the results.  Another member of the group also has a Geli Plate, but has found a cheaper method to make your own plate using Gelatine and Glycerine so she demonstrated that.

Sliced Apples on Geli Plate
Apples plus plastic canvas
I then decided to try out some of the techniques that I had seen Hilary Beattie demonstrating at the NEC Quilt Show in the summer.  (I forgot to pre-treat my cotton fabric with soda solution, however I am still pleased with the results.)  I used white acrylic paint over a plastic stencil and, when it was dry, dragged Procion dye thickened with Manutex over the fabric with a small squeegee.  I have now washed out the Manutex, adding Synthrapol to the water, and the colours are slightly lighter than when I started but I am sure I will be able to use the fabric for something.
This is the piece of paper I used to clean my stencils, rubbing mat and stamp pad on.  It then had a coating of diluted Procion dye washed over it.  Fire Engine Red and a mixture of Mid Blue and Antique Gold made the green.