Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Pottering Around at Home

 I have had a few things on the go over the last couple of weeks.
TextileArtist.orgStitchClub - Jean Draper U.K.

"Stitches In Thin Air"
Jean said "This workshop has an unusual title as, contrary to most stitch methods, no fabric will be used. Instead your stitches will be formed on crisscrossing threads, creating structured meshes or nets that you will layer up to make a small raised piece of work".

I wasn't sure whether I would like this workshop, it became meditative as I sat quietly threading and knotting. I found an old 6 inch display board, tore off the white fabric and used it as my frame. I found an embroidery hoop in my drawer, 8 inches to give it a different look from square to round.
After threading they are painted with watered down PVA glue to stiffen. Then cut from the frame.
Using heavy woolen thread to to form branches/coral like images I used button hole stitch. 
My 2 layers placed on top of each other. Instead of trimming off the ends where they were attached to the hoops, I left them to give a different look.

Started a second piece using the 2 frames. Our papermakers exhibition is calling for members to make postcard size 6"x4" landscape pieces for an installation along a wall, the theme "Flow". 

Another Textile workshop with Maria Thomas U.K. was to make a decorative collage with found objects and hand applique. My first piece was using paper only with zig zag braid, black flower braid and a label off my husbands new work socks. Torn papers from magazines. Unfortunately time got away from me and I didn't do a 2nd piece in fabric. Something to make later on.

Next on the pottering list was for my Papermakers Friday group. More gelli prints on photocopy paper.
First sheet using decorative florist wrapping paper and the others using calico scrunched fabric .
Gingko leaves
Layers of paint with leaves
As I used the brayer on each paper, I wiped it off on a sheet, sometimes the clean up cloths can be interesting. Majority of these papers will be used for covering handmade books.

The handmade book club that I belong to posted their August challenge, "Chain Link Binding".
As I didn't have any leather I used a piece of woven book cloth with the lining of a piece of paper I bought overseas. One of the Melbourne members of this USA group posted of a leather shop in Kensington where I ordered metal and brass button studs. This was my practice book using sashiko threads for the chain binding. I enjoyed the process and will no doubt make more.

Hope I haven't bored you so far, finally a few colour inspirations from my daily walks.
Spring Bright in my garden, heavy rain after a beautiful sunny morning, should have walked earlier. 
Green and Gold


Sunday, August 8, 2021


 It has been a very busy week, the time has flown so fast that I realised I hadn't read any blog posts  of my friends. Apologies. This I will do tomorrow.....
I was given a jigsaw for Mothers Day and finally decided to open it and make a start.
Jigsaw Addiction - can't walk past without stopping to add a few pieces. Started the easy part first as there is a lot of black and rain covered reflection on the road.
View of our Flinders Street Railway Station on a wet evening.

I am still walking for an hour plus at various times each day along the river and walkways in my area.
Colour Inspiration - taking note of colours surrounding me as I walk.

 Friday Papermakers Mob group unfortunately had to cancel our day on Friday. Some of the members had not done gelli printing before on handmade paper, I attempted a few photocopy paper sheets here at home. Will do some more this week as they make nice covers for quick stab stitch booklets.
I read somewhere that if you cover a card with scrunched up tinfoil and lay it on the painted surface of the gelli pad, it gives you the effect of marble.

Leaf printing.
Another background effect is to glue calico on a board and also scrunch it up to make ridges. Will be interested to see how this affects the painted paper.

TextileArtist.orgStitchClub released another 2 week workshop, I have been using paper instead of fabric. The further development was released yesterday, will spend my week attempting the stitching.

Organizing my 4 exhibits for our Papermakers of Victoria exhibition, which at this stage may be cancelled. Getting them ready just in case.
So that was my week.....hope everyone else had a good week also.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Book No 3

 I am enjoying the Little Link Stitch Binding, so much so that I made another book.
The book club hosted a live video link with Dee Stoddard on her eco printing methods. Unfortunately Australian time was 2am and I decided to watch the re-run later the next day.

After trying Dee's method, did not produce eco prints as well as I was went back to how I usually print.
It was suggested by a member to place a purple carrot in the boiling water as this "usually" turns the paper a shade of blue/purple. It was after the boiling that I cut the carrot in half and found the centre was a golden yellow. Hence my paper turned yellow!!!

I did achieve one speck of purple!!

Resorting to my usual method I threw another purple carrot into the pot, this time steaming the paper and not boiling. There are certain eucalyptus leaves that print orange, was interested to see the results.
Instead of using Alum Sulphate, I went back to my usual soaking the papers/card in a solution of soy milk and water.
Some yellow appeared.
The other papers turned a very dark orange.
Often I lay a length of kitchen paper towel over the leaves before rolling and steaming.
I like that it prints a softer tone of colour, leaves interesting imprints on the paper and use these for the covers of my books.
Little Link Stitch binding.
10 handmade papers pages, untrimmed edges.
2 long lengths folded and bound onto the front and back covers.

Some of the pages with a selection of papers and prints.
Instead of stitching used a pen to mark.

Now for something bright, a change to the browns and oranges. The next workshop is due tomorrow and I am hoping that some colour zing will be used.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Handmade Book Club Challenge - July

 This month's Book Club challenge - "Bloom/s"

This could be interpreted any way, from flowers, plants, maturing to re-birth etc.
As you know, I make do with what I have in stock. A challenge in itself sometimes.....

I have a few packets of origami paper squares. Each year a new calendar is bought, usually a Japanese Woodblock which I never throw away, always recycle them.  
Latest tutorial was the Little Link Stitch Book. I have enjoyed making them, why not make another!
In my stash of papers I have sheets of craft paper that were used for the signatures of each little book, 4 sheets that each matched with the origami papers.

4" x 7"
A variegated hand dyed thread given to me by my friend Keron, was used for the binding.
The image of a calendar month made the front and back covers.
I glued the covers onto card as the image was not long enough. 
Worked well that there were blossom foliage on the edge.
As I stitched my book while watching the Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony, I thought of my friends in Japan, Queenie, Tanya, Pamela and Julie. When all this unsettling around the world is over, I hope we can catch up again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Little Link Stitch Book

 I belong to a handmade online book club called Vintagepagedesigns. Each month they have a challenge to make a book according to their theme, July is "Bloom(s)". Also a monthly tutorial.

The Little Link Stitch Book tutorial looked quite intimidating though once I read through the instructions several times, found it was close to Coptic Stitch binding.  The only addition was a Kettle Stitch which I would have called a Half Hitch (learnt in my Girl Guide days).

BOOK 1 - 4" x 5"
As always, I made do with what I had in the drawers. 
Instead of card I used sheets of stationary paper and pages were photocopy paper. 
Each individual book was made up of a cover and 6 sheets of copy paper for the signatures.
Stitch A and E were a Kettle Stitch and B, C and D were Link Stitches.

BOOK 2 - 5" x 7"
Instead of using several papers for the signatures, I chose my handmade paper, folded in half to make one page. To strengthen, I ran sticky tape down the in/outsides of the fold. This also gave the finished edges a shine.
The rough edges were trimmed to size before stitching.

In my "not happy" stash was a large piece of eco printed paper with a mirror image print. 
I  decided due to the soft colour pallet it would blend with the pages shading.  
(Don't throw anything out, you never know when something will come in handy!!)
I enjoyed this binding and will no doubt make several more. 

Now to think of a book and bind for the July challenge??