Thursday, 25 September 2014

Pear Updated

Since yesterday have found time to add some machine stitching to the pear.  I still do not like the edges where the colour has bled and I had to balance the grey from the right hand side to the left hand side.  Must say it does look as thought it has sunk into a cushion!  The fabric needs stretching to remove the wrinkles too.  Nothing like a wrinkly pear!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Could be Pear Shaped

 Our Venture Group (Running Stitchers) met this morning and apart from other things a couple of people in the group showed us all some uses for Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water soluble wax crayons.  I drew a pear onto plain white cotton fabric.  It was then wetted with a paintbrush and water.  I found the colour bled into the surrounding fabric.
 I then made a rough sketch onto some smooth cartridge paper and whilst at first this seemed more controllable, the overall outcome was less satisfactory.
A bonus from making these experiments was the bleed through onto the kitchen towel that was placed beneath the fabric prior to wetting it.  I must now get the sewing machine out and do some stitching on the fabric pear.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Autumn Blooms

The past few weeks has seen these cosmos flowering their little hearts off.  An added bonus is that the honey bees next door love them.They were only sown with a view to filling in holes in the garden after the main flush of flowers and they are proving to be a real bonus.  Oddly, apart from this patch, the others seem to be all the same colour in each place - front border (white) and under the lounge window (pink).

Bookbinding Class

Back to college last Friday after the long summer break and we were all given a very nice album with accordian spine to make.  It is difficult to describe how we did it but I will try.

The spine was a piece of card made into a concertina at 1 cm intervals.  A slit was made in each pamphlet section and the folded card slotted through it.  We then slipped another piece of card just 7 mm wide and the same height as the page down the folded card to hold it in place (the tiny blue pieces showing on the inside of the pages).

The coloured card concertina adds a lovely feature to the outside spine of the finished book.

It was nice to be able to cover the outside of the book with some of the paper I had coloured when a friend was staying in the summer.  A button and piece of ribbon finished it off.

Three Sheds

Last Friday I managed to retrieve my prints from college.  These three sheds were displayed in a line and looked very nice, but I could not get a decent photograph of them so scanned them instead.  They would not fit on the scanner as three in a line so had to have two go's at it.
They were all inked up differently.  The one on the left above was inked with black and then colour added, the right hand one was just black ink.  It was printed from a drypoint plate.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Hilary Beattie Workshop

This was started as a result of rescuing two label sized pieces of printed text that had been discarded by someone else at the Hilary Beattie Workshop.  I made them into houses and added a couple of cut outs from my Gelli prints.  Everytime I open my sketchbook at find something else I can do to it.  I find scanning the image into the computer gives a different perspective to the work and you can often see things that were not obvious before.

A Gelli Good Morning

Friday was a grey day and I was not in the right frame of mind for stitching curtains so I got my Gelli Plate out for an hour.  I had picked up a lovely Acer/Maple leaf earlier in the week when I had been out and about and had been itching to see if I could get a good image from it ....

 I think I used Golden Payne's Grey and Quinacrodine Ayzo Gold Acrylic on these two
Below is several prints on top of each other from the Gelli Plate prior to the leaf being removed.  I believe the mottling is caused by the fact that I had used a baby wipe to clean the surface of the plate and it leaves an oily residue. 

Then I moved on to half a shallot ...

Gelli Print

Direct print inked up on the Gelli Plate
The shallot looked more like a goosegog!!  Was quite disappointed as the onion we had used with Hilary Beattie had been a huge success.  I was also using Lumiere acrylic paint for these.  The backgrounds vary sometimes it is from the Gelli Plate but I also have a habit of cleaning off my roller over the top of prints or adding a wash of Inktense to add interest.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Doodling Along

Not sure how I started looking at manuscripts, when I was actually doing some research for my next Travelling Journal page.  I found that snails have featured quite often so doodled this little chap in my sketchbook.  Not sure what I am going to do with him, but it is a start I suppose.
Then I found another design I liked and made a fairly rough drawing of it and coloured it in.  The little bee at the bottom was a small print block I came home with from the local art shop on Monday.

This messy piece was an earlier doodle.  I had found the end of a roll of tape in the bin which the builders use when plastering.  It is a mesh and is tacky so I wondered what I could do with it.  I painted over it, let it dry and then ripped it off inadvertantly removing some of the surface of the cartridge paper at the same time.  The illuminated grid at the side encouraged me to have another go (below), but this time trying to work from accurately measured pencil lines (or in my case not so accurate).

I have stuck two more pieces of the mesh tape onto this page which has yet to have the background painted.  I also need to resolve the rubbed out mess at the top of the page.  As usual I did not plan it out properly and got a curly decorative knot in the wrong place.  I now cannot decide where to put it so I am giving it a bit of 'thinking time' and will return to it at some point.  After all it is only my sketchbook where I doodle ideas or try things out.

In the meanwhile I will have to return to making my kitchen curtains, painting windowsills, ironing, etc ....

Hopefully the electrician will turn up today or tomorrow to do something with the length of cable that is dangling down the wall in the lounge from the ceiling.  We want to cut it off, but not sure whether it is live or not.  We found it running up the chimney breast when we were having parts of the wall replastered.  This house is full of surprises.

Friday, 12 September 2014

All Primed

Boring as it may seem, I have now got two coats of grey primer on the lounge skirting boards to cover up the dark varnish that has a habit of seeping through once you have got the gloss on.  Also got primer and undercoat on the wooden batten that holds up the shortest piece of curtain track.

To reward myself for all my dexterity I decided to pop to Ledbury to 'do' a few venues.  Called into the Weavers Gallery in Church Street (lovely work by Stella Downing), Tinsmiths (Sunny Todd Prints) and Tilley Printing (always a delight with the smell of the Letterpress Printing Office below and Claire Verity working above).  I finished off by popping into see Angie Hughes before I came home then back to reality with DH awaiting his dinner and wondering where I had gone!!

Having taken no photographs whilst I was out and about and most certainly done no stitching I have found a couple more pieces from the September 2013 Travelling Journals.  The plain white piece is the inspirational artwork and the coloured and stitched page is the resolved work.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Stripping off the Old

For the past three days I have been stripping old paint from the lounge skirting boards with a heat gun and then cleaning off the thick black, treacle-like, varnish residue ready for them to be painted.  What a lot of work having bird guards fitted to the chimneys has caused!!!  Hopefully we will have another room almost finished after all this work.  The newly plastered walls are drying out nicely so will be ready for painting shortly.

We have rampant squirrels in the garden again.  Like buses ... No sooner is one gone than a load more appear.  Poor greenfinches seem to have succumbed to the horrible disease that prevents them from eating.  One was that ill yesterday that I managed to pick it up.  I did not have the heart to put it out of it's misery so let it go.  I fear it will die a slow and lingering death.

Lots of young robins this year and they have all now started singing their hearts out.  What a joy to hear.

As I have not put hand to needle or pen to sketchbook this week (yet again!!) I am posting some more pages from the Yorkshire Travelling Sketchbooks (EG Travelling Books?) and hope you enjoy them.  These are from March and June 2013 and by the same person.

Friday, 5 September 2014


As I have not got anything exciting to post this week, I have found one of my Travelling Journal pages from last year.  I am not sure who's Journal it is?

This does not mean that I have had a quiet relaxing week .... far from it.  The builders have been here off and on and have now repaired and replastered two of the lounge walls, with parts of another wall being skimmed.  Once they dry out I should be able to get on with some decorating.

The porch has also made some progress but is still not finished.  A radiator in the hall and one in the downstairs cloakroom, have been off and back on so they could be painted behind, so we just need the decorator to come and paper the hall ceiling and then all the painting can be finished off.

Poor old Sox has not been too good again this week.  It is difficult getting him to eat and he has been sick too.  Think it may be the stress of having the builders here again.  DH has also been traumatised as he has been unable to watch the TV for two evenings this week.  It is sad when TV becomes such a major feature in your life. At least the weather has been fantastic - dry, hot and sunny.

Just noticed that Laura Kemshall is making herself spend a short time drawing in a sketchbook each day.  I do not do it daily, but do dabble when I find the odd minute or two, usually first thing on a morning.  It is surprising what you can achieve if you have a sketchbook and pencil/pen lying around in the kitchen.