Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wind Flowers

For my birthday a very good chum gave me a card-cum-booklet about 'Wind Flowers' ...  Whilst out and about in Worcester today I called in at Sainsbury's and from the car park I espied my very own 'Wind Flower'

It did actually look much better when viewed from the car silhoutted against the sky, but I could not photograph it from there.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Not being able to get on with much else because of the awful weather I got some sewing out and finished off this little needlecase I have been working on for ages.

It was made from a piece of space dyed fabric I had been given by a friend.  I did a lot of hand stitching on it, added some sequins and a button then attached the pelmet vilene, lining and a ribbon ready to have the inside pages stitched in ....  that was when the problems began. I could not remember how to program the letters to stitch on the pages.  The solution was to go and find the manual. Succeeded in the end and it is now almost finished.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Boiled Books (2nd Attempt)

Last week I had another attempt at boiling watercolour paper with plant material and onion skins (both red and white) and the above is some of the results I achieved.  The dark colours may have come from the seed heads of a weed in the garden called Figwort.
I made this piece, which was boiled folded, into a little concertina book adding cardboard covers with paper I decorated myself.

I also tried a different technique for dyeing the paper this time wrapping the watercolour paper around a tin can secured with elastic bands.  You can see where the elastic bands went.  The whole thing was also wrapped in a strip of cotton fabric which has taken the dye from the plant material very well.

The dark line down the middle is where I folded the fabric in half and tucked it into the top of the can.  Here again, on the left hand side, you can see where the elastic bands went around the tin.

Combination Book

I have actually finished this week's book.  Must be a miracle.  I did stitch the signatures in at home and have added a piece of foil covered cardboard to the cover now to make it more interesting.  This book is something that I have made before when going along to Pannal Textile Group.  (I actually cut out over 20 kits for the others to make their books from, which seems like an impossible feat now)

This one is much smaller than the ones I made before and only has 3 signatures as opposed to the 5 previously.  I should have used some thicker paper on the inside cover, however, I am pleased with the end result.  Got a week off now as it is Half Term next week.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Spring is on its way

We seem to have got some really long catkins this year over in the Dell.  They have certainly seen plenty of rain over the past week.  The stream has been up and down, racing along at a very frightening pace some of the time.  If it keeps this up for much longer one section of the stream will be changing course as it keeps breaking the bank and making a new, more direct, route towards the bridge under the main road. I guess it could cause problems further down the route of the stream for other householders along its banks as I assume the flow would be much faster if it stopped going around the bend in our garden.

Valentine's Day Yarn Bomb

Imagine my surprise to find that the Yarn Bombers had been at it again in Malvern ...

Not as many as last time, but the red wool certainly made for a cheery atmosphere along Belle Vue.  Someone had happily knitted and crocheted all the pieces that were strung along the balustrades.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

World War I Poem

I have been researching some ideas for the project that eleven of us are involved in for our Venture Group (The Running Stitchers).  I have found two lovely books in the Library plus I am reading a biographical book about Edward Thomas to give me some background on what he was like.

I am now trying out some samples by drawing and painting, which is how I like to get started, and have come up with these:-
I have a long thin sketchbook (which I call 'Explore') where I sometimes play or put samples.  The top one is an old one which I might now find useful for what I have in mind.  The two below are new entries.  I have bought myself a Mixed Media book by Sherrill Kahn for my birthday and have been trying out some of her techniques.

Ploughed fields and barbed wire are two of the things I am considering.

Colesbourne Snowdrops

Had a lovely day on Saturday with a friend and her husband from Yorkshire whom we met for lunch at Colesbourne and then sauntered around the gardens to see the amazing snowdrops.  We managed to avoid most of the rain, but it was very chilly.  We both purchased some new snowdrops for our gardens and, of course, we both wanted to have the ones that cost £20.00 each but managed to restrain ourselves.

The gardens are a delight with all the snowdrops clearly labelled so that you know which ones are your favourites.  There were also crocus, cyclamen and winter aconites in abundance.

The little church had this charming alter frontal.  By this time we had lost the DH's who were deep in conversation (and probably bored).

Just before we went off to the tea shop, passing the stall selling snowdrops on the way, we wandered down the drive a littleway to get a better view of the raging waters tumbling out of the blue lake.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Jacob's Ladder Book

This is what my paper was made into....

I had problems with my cardboard bending as I was trying to glue it together.  It was probably just as well in the end because when I came home from the class I discovered I could not open the book - I had put it together wrong!!  I ended up prising all the pages apart and redoing the assembly again with new ribbons.  What an idiot I am.

It is a fun little book, but I do not think I will be making another one.  It would be nice if you had children who could play with opening and shutting the pages.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Background Papers

We spent most of the bookbinding lesson last week creating papers for use as covers for our books.  We were then asked to produce two A1 size sheets at home ready for this week, so I spent yesterday afternoon with an homemade stencil, acrylic paint and a roller filling in two huge sheets of paper in readiness.  I am quite pleased with the results, particularly the one on the right hand side.  I could not be bothered to wash my paint roller so mixed yellow paint with the remains of the burnt sienna paint used on the first sheet and got a lovely shaded effect on the leaves.

It is strange how things turn out.  This piece of A3 paper was collaged with squares of newspaper.  The newspaper had been used to clean a stencil after it had been rollered with white acrylic paint. I added a coating of walnut ink when I got it home.

Upon looking at it again I realised it reminded me of the photograph below of a manhole cover over a cellar in Malvern which I took some time ago when a friend was visiting.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Triangle Book

As it is absolutely pouring down outside I actually got round to taking a photograph of one of the books that we have made at our creative bookbinding class on a Friday afternoon at Malvern College.

It is a Trianguler Around Book and we were encouraged to decorate our own papers for use on the cover and for the inside folded pages.

I used cartridge paper for the inside pages and coloured the back and front of the paper with different contrasting paint and dye.  The paper used on the cover was some A3 sheets of photocopier paper which were treated to a coat of acrylic wax after they had been decorated.