Thursday, December 31, 2020

Comments Notification

 I was hoping someone could help me please. 
All of a sudden I no longer receive an email with a readers comment. 
I have sign in and gone to settings. The notification with my email address is not highlighted. 
I can't find where to change it and the "help" site is not very "helpful at all".

I have to go into my blog to see if there are any comments as I always reply and thank those readers.

All was good the other day.....why change now....
Thank you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


 Week 20 - Mandy Pattullo U.K.

Mandy said "In this challenge you will make a small textile picture of a robin, a bird traditionally associated with Christmas in the U.K. For this project, you'll be using hand stitching and collage techniques. You will work onto a base of your choice. You will be encouraged to create a context for your robin, whether it is a seasonal scene or something decorative. 

Mandy wanted us to come up with our own design idea for our bird's setting to make the picture unique. As I live in the southern hemisphere and associate Christmas with summer, I decided to to a magpie instead of a robin.

One of the most iconic Australian birds is the magpie (Cracticus tibicen). They have one of the most complex bird calls in the entire world and their pitch varies up to 4 octaves. They can mimic over 35 species of native and introduced bird species.
The background fabric was from a pillow case found in the Op shop.
I coloured his beak with a pencil.

"Further Development"
The second week was to try something different. As I enjoy making paper I decided to make some shading from white to dark grey/black. Yesterday weather wise was the perfect morning, no breeze and sun to dry the paper.
I started with black, made a couple of pieces then put it aside while I made the white.
Added small portions of the white pulp to achieve a mottled paper.
White with gradual small amounts of the black to vary the shades to dark grey.

My second bird was a Pelican. The Papermakers exhibition early next year has the theme of "Water" which I though the pelican could be for both Mandy's and the exhibition in one hit.
The background of blue was another piece I had made previously. 
I will make a mounting for the finished work.
Unfortunately as I stitched the first couple of stitches, I noticed the needle holes were visible despite using an extremely fine needle. Resorted to using pen and pencil to highlight the wings. I am not sure whether to draw wavy lines behind the bird or to leave it plain. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Handmade Paper

 I have spent the last few weeks making paper for an exhibition, late January with the Papermakers of Victoria. The theme is "Water"
Not an easy one to think of, though I do have an idea for a handmade book to submit. Water is usually thought of as blue, there are many shades including brown tones, aqua marines, greens and light/dark blues. 

Guidelines are: majority of handmade paper used and I can add some stitching.

 A4 and A5 mould and deckles were made using photo frames and fly wire screening.

I picked up at a store a new blender that was heavily discounted by 50% due to the missing instruction book and warranty in the box. 

Made sheets so far.

Paper made using dried leaves of my bearded iris plants, boiled in a pot to soften.
Majority of the pulp were the leaves with a small amount of shredded paper.
To lighten the shade, I added more white paper as the leaf pulp was used up.

Shades of blue. The shredded and torn up papers were soaked overnight in a bucket of water container blue watercolour paint.
1. Soft blue with fragments of the left over iris leaf pulp.
2. Darker blue by adding a blue paper egg carton.
3. Plain soft blue with no fragments of iris leaf in it.
4. Same as No 2 with more white paper added to lighten the colour.

Shade of soft green.
1. Soaked paper overnight with green watercolour paint.
2. Same pulp with added white shredded paper to lighten the shade of green.
To No 1, I laid dried grasses on a few of the paper sheets before pressing and drying.

Next lot of paper I am aiming for are dark greens with leaves or small pieces of foliage added to the pulp.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020


Week 18 - Jennifer Collier U.K.

"Stitched Paper Glove Project"
Jennifer says " In this workshop you will create a stitched paper glove or a pair of gloves, from found and recycled papers. This project is the perfect way for you to use up all those treasured paper scraps - the more personal to you the better."

"The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
As a child this was my favourite story book, I never tired of hearing it read to me and then reading it myself as I got older. The original and the remake of the movie are always watched when shown on TV.

For Mothers Day one year, Emma gave me this scarf as a gift that she had found on the internet.
I was intrigued and when I asked what were the words...she said "Mum, what is your favourite book?"
It was the printed book of the Secret Garden. 
I photocopied some of the pages out of the 2 books and collaged them to make the first glove using a glue stick.
We were shown how to wax the paper to make the thumb so that it was see through and didn't hide what was underneath. I hot glued the 3 buttons and tucked the title under the cut out as it is a secret.
The reverse side, paper that I bought in Japan with a sticker placed.
The only stitching was the buttonhole and the back and front together.

Week 2 - "Further Development"
The challenge was to use several plastic bags that were ironed together to form one piece. As we don't have many I used a sheet of embossed plastic that I bough one holiday in Seoul.
It reminded me of an elegant sheer glove that one might have worn to the Opera last century.
Our piece was to look 3 dimensional and this was done by machining the 3 pleats. I found in a box, the lace flowers and edging. The reverse side was patterned paper adding the thumb using the same plastic. 
The only stitching was the front and back together.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Stitch Meditations

 Found in my sewing room a large tin of various coloured pens, these have taken the place of stitching.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


 Week 17 - Ali Ferguson - Scotland

"A Stitcher's Sketchbook"

Ali says "Something that unites us all as stitchers is that we are immediately attracted to the look and feel of fabric, thread and stitching. By embracing all of these and integrating them into pages, you'll create a Stitcher's Sketchbook that is just crying out to be handled and used.
Perhaps you will use your book for sketching, to collect thoughts and ideas or to curate stitch samples. Or may you will continue to embellish the pages until the book becomes a piece of artwork in itself."

Our challenge was to create a book using a selection of 21 x A4 size papers for make 7 signatures consisting of 3 sheets each. As I was unable to do a lot of stitching the glue emerged and I chose to adhere papers, fabric and collections to various and eco printed pages. 

The binding taught was a form of Coptic with tabs and using fabric for the covers.

Instructions for binding.
No 1 Japanese Theme. Instead of buttons on the tabs I added tiny taupe hexagons.

A few of the pages in my book.

No 2 Plain white pages. I glued the buttons on.

"Further Development" for Week 2 was to add to our books, this was done by adding photos, cut outs from paper bags, a piece of kimono fabric etc to my Japan book.
The past couple of weeks have also been taken up with making sheets of paper for my contribution to the Papermakers of Victoria exhibition at the end of January. 
The them is "Water". 
The light and brown pieces were made by boiling the dried brown leaves of my iris plants then blended.
Light blue (middle) was white paper soaked overnight in a bucket of water with watercolour paint added.
Dark blue was a Spotlight catalogue shredded with a blue egg carton graduating to the lighter blue by added white shredded paper.
Next will be papers made in shades of green with pressed grasses into the sheets to simulate new growth.

During our zoom meetings, an online class was held showing how to make tiny paper raincoats. These will held hung at the exhibition. I have made 2, glued, no sewing thank goodness, very fiddly.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Stitch Meditations

 Way behind in my SM's. (17th October)
Do I or Don't I continue??

Each day I still look for paper to do these but the holding of these small cards is not easy with my right hand. Stitching with my left isn't the problem. Perhaps free motion machining might be the answer!!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Stitch Club Break

 After stitching the Stitch Club for 14 workshops, I have decided to give it and my SM's a break for the next fortnight. Despite being left handed, my right hand fingers have started producing pins and needles again. This hand had a carpal tunnel op 2 years ago. The warning signs have started flashing before me.
It is my right hand that holds everything as I stitch and I use my right hand for the computer mouse, which after this 15 minutes of blogging has me shaking it for the feeling to return.

The up and coming workshop is making a book, which I want to be able to do.

This past week I have only spent one day, using my pieces from the Sabine Kaner workshop. I decided to cut my No 1 piece into circles as I had done with the third piece.
My "Minimal" stitch I used for the cover of a book, coptic stitch bound.

To occupy myself...start my new jigsaw puzzle and read 2 ebooks.

Our Stage 4 lockdown had been lifted as from 11.59 pm on Tuesday night. It has been reported that the crowds yesterday had returned in droves to the stores, cafes etc.
 I am very hesitant to venture to the shopping centres, I don't need to buy anything so for the next 2 weeks I will sit, read in the sunshine and go for walks.

Thursday, October 22, 2020


Week 15 - Sabine Kaner U.K.

"Mixed Media Abstract Patterns"
Sabine says "I have designed a simple technique to help you create unique abstract compositions, with the aim of inspiring your confidence in working with shapes, patterns and lines."

Our workshop was a technique created by using a sheet of paper as our starting point. Crumple a sheet with our hand and draw the lines of the crumples. Combine and connect the design using hand embroidery and fabrics. Using several papers, choose one to complete the task.

I chose the two on the right hand side.
No 2 top
        No 1 below.
No 1. Felt with wool embroidery. After finishing, turn the piece to view it differently. I added a few extra lines.
No 2 "Minimal" embroidered lines with Thai silk pieces on linen background.

Week 2 Further Development.
The task for this week was to scrunch and divide the paper into 2 or 3 pieces. I chose 3 circles  x 3.5 inches, I found it easier to work on the smaller pieces than the A5.
Felt with embroidery using sashiko and dyed threads.

Each of these 3 will be mounted on 4"x 4" card to be donated to the 10x10cm charity pieces for Fibre Arts Winter School 2021. Thinking positive that it will go ahead next June.