Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bits and pieces

I have been a bit under the weather this week, and not felt much like doing much, but I was surprised when I looked back and saw what I had done.
Sorry about the bad photo, but you might remember this piece from a little while ago.  I have finished all the hand stitching in the background and beading the birds and now need to think about how it will be displayed.
I have also finished my stitching on this piece from last week.
Here is a close up.  I have decided that this will be a book cover.
I have also put together another landscape to stitch on.
I have been making leaves.  These are free motion with a gold thread on a copper organza
Once they are stitched, I cut them out with a soldering iron, over a glass sheet.
Here is one close up.  These will go onto a collage, later.
So a not very productive week turned into a reasonable one on reflection!

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


teapots, teapots and more teapots.
Just a picture of my dresser today and my collection of pots and cups.  There is another shelf full below, but this picture is from a while ago.
And a cup and saucer pincushion I made a few years ago.  I have a collection of over thirty pincushions.  They are something else I love.
Happy T day to everyone over at T for tuesday.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More work in process

Sometimes,  I get asked why I have a sketchbook, when my work is about textiles, but really, my sketchbooks (of which I have many) are great inspirations for my textile work.
Today's piece of work is directly inspired by some pictures in one of my books.
These two oil pastel sketches inspired me to try some simple landscapes in fabric, which, if you know me, is something I do a lot of.  My idea was to paint the sky and the foreground, then use fabrics to create the horizon in a dimensional manner, ie using scrunched and folded fabric.
So far, all I have done is paint the skies.  I am using canvas for these and using the long format to fit a pair of frames I have.  I am still dithering about whether to paint the foregrounds, or whether to use fabric.  Perhaps I should do both?

Also, here is another of the collage a day foundations I have added to.
As you can see, I have made it to fit a particular frame as well.  What inspired this was the tiny piece of metallic sari border fabric.  In fact, this is all I have, a scrap, but I wanted to use it as it is sooo shiny.
On the right are black linen and satin pieces and the Grey square is a painted baby wipe.  I free motioned the moth onto a piece of filmy gold organza, which is only just visible and if you look carefully, you can see I have not trimmed it right back to the stitching yet.  I am quite pleased with this one and am itching to get on with some hand stitching on it!

Happy Creating!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Leaves and more leaves

I did say that I would show you some of the pages in my Leaf sketchbook.  I certainly can't show them all as the book is pretty large and nearly full, but most pages will be added to so far from finished.
Here are a few pages in progress, relevant to yesterday's post.
The page on the right above is from a while ago, and the one on the left is a new one.  It is in glossy paper as you can see by the reflection (sorry).  It is a technique that I learnt from Laura Kemshall, but I have modified it.  I first put down a lot of grey lead pencil, covering the page, then I burnish the lead (this is why it is glossy paper)  Then I use erasers and blending sticks to move and remove the graphite.  I actually used an elecric eraser for some of the really white areas.  I love the way the burnished graphite blends.
This is also an older page, with layered monoprints, but I showed it because I like the little leaf that I cut out of the left hand page and attached to the right hand page with a brad.
The page on the left is a new page, in fact one I did this morning!  I cut out some leaves from my huge stash of collage paper and collaged them down on a roughly painted page, then added some shadows and highlights with oil pastel.  The page on the right is cut out from a monoprint on the other side, so you can see through to the blank page beyond.
This page has three of the prints on scrap paper I did yesterday added.
This is another older page where I have cut away the page on the left and cut out a leaf on the right, showing the pink on the page below.
On this page, you can see I have used the stickers from the sheet I printed leaves on, and on the right,
I have actually even used the frames left over when I took the stickers off the page.
On this page, I have layered the leaf traced on tracing paper, over a painted leaf I did using the stencil ofit I made.
On this page I have layered a print on tracing paper over one of the gouache leaves.
I have done the same thing here, layering an inkjet print on tracing paper over a gouache leaf.
This last one is far from finished, but is just a collage made from some of the prints, some leaves cut out of other pages, and a photo that I have painted into the page.

I hope you enjoyed this little look at a work in process.

Happy Creating!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A new leaf sketchbook

I have been working in a new LEAF sketchbook over the last few months.  I filled my last one on leaves a while ago.  I am a bit of a leaf fanatic.  I will put a leaf on anything.
Anyhow, over the last week I have been working on stamping, stencilling and painting leaves for that book. I thought you might like to see some of the bits and pieces I put together.
In the picture above are some of the bits and pieces I have collected to do with leaves.  A large number of stencils and stamps, and lots of different papers.  Although I generally use altered books for my sketchbooks, sometimes I add other pages when the need or the desire arises.
This page in the book used a mask I made from a sprig of leaves.  On the left, I rolled over the mask with black and gold paint, and on the right, I placed the mask, paint side down and rollered over it to get a positive.
The tree gum leaves are stencilled onto a sticker sheet, so when I put them on the page, they will form a mosaic.  The small gum leaves are stamped through plasterer's mesh and the gingko and ferny leaf are stamps
The large gum leaf on the left was stencilled by patting with a dirty baby wipe!  The next two large gum leaves used the mask and the stencil together.  The writing is stamped and the colour is sponged.  The three pale leaves are masks done with black on wallpaper and the last three leaves are stamps on handmade paper.
The three leaves on the left are the positive of the last stamp on the bottom right in the previous photo.  I made them at the same time.  These are on brown paper.  The three pages of gold leaves were stamped with foam shapes on wallpaper, Grey flecked paper and tracing paper.
The large black gum leaf on the left is stencilled on tracing paper.  I love how it shows some of the page underneath.  The gold leaves are the same sponge from the previous photo, but on a textured wallpaper.  The last partial leaf was sponged over a piece of plasterer's mesh placed partially under it.
These are all rubbings from commercial rubbing plates.  The two black ones at the right are done with oil pastel.  The rest are with inktense blocks.  Oil pastel is a resist, whilst the inktense is like watercolour pencils and I can work into them both in different ways.
These two leaves are from a photo.  The left one is a tracing on tracing paper, whilst the right one is a printout from my computer on the same tracing paper.  If you look very carefully, on the far right are some rubbings from a gumleaf bent from wire on deli paper.
This is a leaf stencil and mask that I made from an inkjet printout of the leaf in the picture above.  I cut it with a scalpel to get all the details of the edge.  I used it, then thought, I want to keep using it. I wonder what would happen if I painted it with acrylic house paint?  Would it make it re-useable?  And it did.  I painted both sides, drying each in turn and then repainted it and reinforced the top and bottom where there is not much space.  so now I have a stencil and mask set to use over and over again!
Here is a leaf I painted using the stencil onto HEAVY watercolour paper.  I used gouache, which is sort of like watercolour as it can re dissolve, but also like acrylic in being thick and opaque.
I let it dry thoroughly, then painted over the whole thing with black sumi drawing ink.  And I mean covered!
Then I let the ink dry totally.
When the ink was dry, I took the paper and WASHED it under the tap.  Miraculously, the ink washed off where the gouache was but not where there was clean paper.
I had been dying to try this out since I saw it on Design Matters TV and also in a Margaret Peot video.  As you can see above, I liked it so much, I did it again!
I have done a bit more than this and have put many pages together, but that will have to wait for another post!

Happy Creating!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A bit of paint

I felt like painting the other day, but had no Idea what to paint.  You know we all suffer from that sometimes.  So instead of dithering, I just slapped some paint on a canvas.
This was my first layer.  Still no idea.
I added some stencilling.  Still no idea
I added some dribbles, still didn't like it, so I added some more paint.  Still no idea.
I saw a blue pot, so I painted that in.
The dribbles from previously made some yellow bricks, so I painted them in.
A bit more work on the bricks, and the pot.
I got rid of the yellow blob on the left of the pot and put some foreground in.
And that's where I am at, but now I have an idea.  Geraniums, perhaps, and I think an orange red glaze over the bricks.
But As usual, I will let it sit for a while before I finish it.
It's amazing where ideas come from.
Picasso said "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working"  It is one of my favourite quotes, because it is so true.

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Going crazy

Well, yes, I am.  I have been working on crazy quilting, trying to catch up with my CQJP blocks
Also A happy T day to everyone over at T for Tuesday!

Happy Creating!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Another collage

Since I enjoyed making the fabric collage (or more correctly embellishing) yesterday, I decided to do another one.
The foundation I chose was one with pieces of three monoprints, which again, I forgot to  photograph first.
I started by ironing some green chiffon onto fusible, then cutting out gum leaf shapes (My favourite).
I peeled the shapes off and fused them to the collage.
Then free motion stitched around them ( click to see the detail)
The contrast was very low, so....
I cut some out from a sheet of fusible backed baby wipes (If you know me, you will know I have a huge stash of these, which have been coloured from cleaning up after painting and often use them in my collages)
I fused and stitched those down, but I wanted more, so......
I stamped a leaf on top with black acrylic. This is a stamp made from fun foam I made quite a while ago.
I stitched around these stamps as well
Now for the hand stitching.
Here I am adding french knots around the appliques, and seeing this picture, I changed from this little hoop to my big standing frame.  It is easier to make nice french knots when you have two hands free, and of course it is quicker.  I will probably add other french knots in other colours further away from the leaves, but at present, I am just adding contrast.

Happy Creating!