Sunday, 28 June 2015


I popped to Ledbury on Friday afternoon and actually had my camera with me so took some photographs of the restored buildings in the car park, in particular, the illustrations that have been put into the paving showing how it might once have been.
Orchard and Bee Hives
Some of these images may just get translated into my entries in the Yorkshire Travelling Journals I think.
Veggie Plot

 pear tree plus yokels
 The painted timbered walls brought to mind patchwork quilts

 and I loved the mixed textures of the pegged joints that have been repaired in places
A view from the front which houses the Library

Monday, 22 June 2015

A Seasonal Book

I have been busy this past week making some books for an exhibition in August, however, Sod's Law, most of what I have done has gone wrong in some way or other.  I was making a combination book which has four sections to it and decided that I would create Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter as the theme.  The cover uses some handmade paper with leaves in it.  This was the first thing to go wrong.  Although I had put some iron on interfacing on the back of the paper to strengthen the folded areas, the glue somehow managed to leak through onto the cover.  I have got to find a solution to this problem, which may well be to apply some skeleton leaves to the surface.

Since then I have been working on the inside pages and have come up with the following:-

For Spring and Summer I used Inktense pencils and blocks to paint the flowers and printed some poetry onto the A5 folded sheet.  The poem for Summer was by John Clare.

Autumn was printed leaves ...
and Winter really stumped me until I went and got out my stencils and Lumiere paints and put a band of colour top and bottom.  I had been using a mixture of pearlised white, silver and gold prior to doing this page and have ended up with a pewter type of colour.

Now all I have to do is resolve the problem with the cover!!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Birds and Roses

My pigeon friends have now brought along some younger versions of themselves and I cannot decide whether they are their offspring or not.

On the left, in the trough, is the ringed racing pigeon with a hole in his neck and on the right is one of the young ones. The other one seems to be missing this evening.
and here we have the first pair joined by the one we call 'White Wings' and they are all wondering when I am going to give them something to eat.
'White Wings' is not allowed to eat whilst the 'holey one' is eating.

The roses are gradually coming out in the garden now, but my favourites are the wild roses which we have in the front hedge.  We have the pink ones at the top of the hedge and at the bottom we have these white ones ....
In addition to these our next door neighbour's 'Rambling Rector' is now in full bloom and the perfume fills our front garden.  The ramblers in our back garden are only just starting to open their buds.  We have Francis E Lester, Felicite de Perpetue and Bobby James.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

More Messing Around

The instructions for the Helen Melvin dye jar said put on a sunny windowsill, or in your conservatory or outside.  It would rain today wouldn't it!!

It won't be staying here as I am afraid it might ferment and explode out of the jar so it will be going outside onto our hot, sunny patio before too long.

I also did a bit more to the bag for my Travelling Journal ...

I used some Procion dyes to which had been added some Manutex.  I thought they might be unusable as they have been made up for ages, but they still seem to work.  First of all I pulled some white acrylic through a stencil using a small squeegee.  I put too much colour onto the main piece so used it up on an odd piece of calico.  I shall give them a wash perhaps tomorrow.  They will go much lighter coloured, even if I use Synthrapol.

Apart from that I have messed about with ideas for the books I have to make for an exhibition in August and chased three squirrels that have been entertaining themselves in the garden for most of the day.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Catch Up Friday

I do not seem to have done much today but have got round to sorting out some jobs that have been on my 'Mental List' for ages.  I have dyed some fabric with Potassium Permanganate ...

On the left is a piece of Dupion Silk which went a nice dark brown, the top sheer fabric is some kind of silk chiffon which also dyed a lovely dark brown.  Below that is a piece of calico and in the centre is some PFD Cotton (at least I think that is what it is).  I found the process very easy but would like more mottling so need to ensure the fabric is scrunched and folded more I think.

Next, I actually got round to putting fabric and natural dye (Rhubarb Root) plus mordant (Oak Gall Extract) into a large kilner jar that I got at 'Wonderwool' over a year ago from Helen Melvin.  Not too sure what I am doing but I think I must periodically add the other two dyes so that I get a layered effect.  I have trapped the tops of the bits of fabric in the lid of the jar.  I put in a mixture of cotton, scrim, silk velvet, calico and dupion silk so shall see what happens over the summer months.  Just got to remember to add the other dyes at intervals.

I also popped down to the college to take my page for the 'Book of Ours' that Anna, our tutor, is putting together and, although I was dubious about my effort, it looked okay when placed with the others from the class.

Lastly, I have added a layer of white acrylic through a stencil to my Yorkshire Travelling Journal bag which I stamped with letters some weeks ago.  When the acrylic drys I am then going to pull some dye plus thickner over it.

Must admit it does not look very exciting at the moment and I accidentally got some white paint on the letter 'T'.  All this and I still managed to do some washing, ironing and a bit of food shopping.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Wild Flowers

Saw these delightful little flowers on the walk on Tuesday.  Think they were Grass Vetchling.  None of us knew what they were.

Another Grand Day Out

On Wednesday I met up with some friends from Yorkshire who were staying at Dumbleton Hall for a break with a group they regularly walk with.  On the day I met up with them we did a walk around the Lenches.  The weather was lovely as was the company, and apart from the instructions being a bit confusing at times, we had a very nice few hours with fantastic countryside to enjoy.

In Rous Lench we came across this large Victorian edifice housing a post box.  Another claim to fame is that during the Civil War Oliver Cromwell allegedly dined at Rous Lench Court in 1651 on the eve of the Battle of Evesham.  Also it would seem from historic websites that the majority of the women in the village were employed in glove stitching in the mid 19th century.  The local church was very interesting.  We entered through the South door which dates from the 12th century.

A very pretty stained glass window greets you on the left, which I thought might be a useful resource for some future artwork

There was a memorial to Edward Rous d 1611, his wife Mary d 1580 and their 3 daughters and 1 son, a bit dusty and neglected I am afraid and very poorly lit.
In the West isle there was a modern 'squint' hole which fascinated us all.  As a coincidence I had only recently come across one in Cirencester . A new stained glass window had been installed for the Millenium, which although very nice, did not really sit well with the rest of the interior of the church and from the exterior it looked distinctly out of place.
Just as we were about to leave I spotted this wonderful lock on what I assume was the priest's entrance to the church.
Finally, as I  had been making jokes throughout the walk with my fellow ramblers about the constant need for comfort breaks by the ladies, I have discovered that the 'Piddle Brook' actually does run through the nearby village of Radford!!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

A bit of a struggle

I have to make an A5 page, landscape in aspect, for bookbinding.  They are all going to be combined into a book to show students' work.  I have made two attempts to date and am not happy with either of them.  This is the first.

I have tried to alter the original colour a bit by adding some Markal oilstick, but I am still not happy with it and it does actually look much better 'portrait'.

I then decided to try another piece of paper and this is as far as I have got. It needs a lot more work yet and I need to be in the mood so have left it for today.

My inspiration for both pieces was the water tanks I saw at Berrington Hall and I think the bottom one probably reflects the colours more truly.

I then decided to make a little card to go with something I am sending to someone and this is what I came up with cobbled together from bits and pieces from my little heap of saved treasures.  The feather is from a blackbird.  Think it must have been molting as I found it in the front garden.  The card actually looks much better in the flesh and will do for what I need it for.

Thursday, 4 June 2015


Bilston Technical School - a ruin opposite the gallery

Today I had planned to go to Bilston Craft Gallery to see the 'Through Our Hands' Exhibition on my own.  What a lovely surprise when three of my fellow Venture group members decided to join me.  We had a lovely day out, the sun shone, good company and much jollity.

For some time now I have admired the work of Ezter Bornemisza from Hungary and I loved this hanging piece. I recently went to see another exhibition in Cirencester where she also had some of her work included.

We all loved this piece by Els van Baarle too.  It had some exquisite handmade buttons included at the top of it with the buttonholes at the bottom.  She had used an old pillowcase as the base fabric.

Another favourite was a piece by Sara Impey 'Stitch by Stitch' but I am afraid I did not take a very good photograph of it. All the text (which had been machine stitched) related to what we all love about stitch.  I thought it was a great pity she had not made some postcards with the words on as they were so meaningful and I am sure would be something lots of us would treasure in our sketchbooks for those dull days when we need a bit of inspiration to lift our spirits.

The last picture is of a quilt by Deidre Adams which illustrates the dramatic difference between the long view and detailed surface structure of this piece of work.  The use of colour and surface texture was wonderful.

So much to see and well worth a visit before the close of the exhibition on 25 July.