Tuesday, October 19, 2021


 Shelley Rhodes U.K.
My Further Development walk with Shelley's workshop was to wander among my Bearded Iris and Lavenders.
This strip, using various scraps of magazine papers, with gesso, coloured pencils, ink and fragmented into 2.5" x 3" pieces.

These were then placed into a concertina book.
The front cover made using a piece of gell printed paper with a small photo of my iris.

Jeanette Appleton U.K.
"A Stitched and Felted Fabric Sample"

Jeanette said " In this workshop you'll transform hand stitched transparent cloth by adding wool tops and then wet felting the layers. By the end of the workshop you'll have created a stitched and felted sample".

The requirements asked for silk chiffon and merino wool roving or tops. I had neither of these so made do, as I do, with what I had. I found some bits of felting wool in a box from many years ago. (turquoise, green and yellow)
I enquired about purchasing a piece of silk chiffon in 3 different colours, unfortunately the shop's minimum cut was 1 metre and would take 2 weeks to arrive. So...scrounging through the little stash I have, found a piece of sheer organza, fine tulle with a few tiny scraps of offcuts from an op shop scarf.
Also buying wool roving was also going to take several weeks to arrive.
These were not successful as the fabrics did not shrink and matt to the fibres. I decided to undo the stitching and pull the felting from the back and re do.
My second piece was no better using some of the scraps with the organza.
An exercise was to find a fashion photo and dress the model.
A different look!!
A bit more scrounging in a drawer, some scraps of felt in shades of brown/oranges.
Tucked away was a piece of cheesecloth and a shower towel from a hotel in Japan. My 3rd attempt didn't really do much better though it was interesting in the final piece. I preferred the reverse felted rather than the fabric side. I also found using a rolling pin was helping my back to matt the fibres.
Stitching on the fabrics for the base layer.
After several hours of rolling, not very successful.
I quite like the bubble wrap indentations which disappeared once dry.

"Further Development"
Next we were to add stitching to a piece. I only had cheesecloth left in my stash. My neighbour is a spinner/weaver and she sold me a bag of tops that she thought would be ok..
I was surprised that my pieces of old cheap coloured felt tops adhered better than these to the backing fabric.

I am not sure what I will use the felted pieces for, perhaps put into another book or make into cards. 
 I enjoyed the process, would I do more....perhaps not. It is great to learn new crafting ideas.

Friday, September 24, 2021

September Bits n Pieces......

 I have been behind in reading and following my friend's blogs, life got in the way of dog minding, work, walking everyday and things in general. I looked at the calendar and was surprised that we were already towards the end of September. First month of Spring nearly gone.
My apologies to those who I follow.....think I am now up to date on reading/commenting.

The most exciting thing in my garden is the new foliage on my 3 Japanese Maple trees, at one stage I thought I had lost them but overnight buds appeared. All my Lavenders are flowering attracting many bees and the fruit trees have fruit budding after the blossom has fallen.

Harvey decided chasing a ball and flying like superman would be fun and ended up on the operating table with pins and metal in his back leg. No walking for the first 2 weeks, we minded him as Emma was in 14 day isolation after 450 staff were exposed to 2 covid cases at the hospital. She had thankfully 5 negative results in 10 days. 
On the 3rd week before he went home, I was allowed to walk him for 5 minutes at a time, 5 times a day. A vet visit 2 times a week to the other side of the city, was a nice change of scenery. One hyperactive dog certainly wanted a lot walking!!!

My Friday Mob group at Papermakers are unable to meet. We decided to work at home on gelli printing and zoomed to show our efforts.

Shelley Rhodes U.K.
I have been lucky to have done a 5 day workshop at Fibre Arts with Shelley in 2016. It was my favourite class and was thrilled when they announced she was the next artist to work with.

"From Here to There"
Shelley said "In this workshop your challenge is to record a walk in a linear way. You will do this by drawing, mark making and collecting. Your walk may be in the countryside, coast or garden or in an urban setting. 
Your drawings will use a range of media and added further marks using stitch."

My first walk was along our river in my local area. We added gesso and paint to stitched strips of fabrics. I decided to record manmade structures as several bridges cross the waterway. We were advised to stop every so often and take note of what was around us. I found so many marks to record that I didn't realise they were there.

My finished piece became a scroll attached to a clear plastic rod I found in the garage.

"Further Development"
The 2nd week was to use paper and mark making strip with pencils and paint.
I chose to walk along the foreshore and dirt path of Point Cook Homestead Coast Park that is within our 10km travel limit. It was a cold day, rugged up in a coat and beanie I strolled along taking note of the vegetation around us. 
Strips stuck together, 3" x 31" in length, were Korean paper, a business envelope, lined school book page and plain white paper. The lines across the continuous strip were done with my eyes closed and using my non writing hand (right instead of left). As I moved the blue and lead pencils I twisted and rolled the pencil. Added vegetation and marks were done in pencil and ink pen.
Fragmentation was cutting the length up into 2" x 3" pieces and then randomly shifted around.

I decided to present my walk in a book I made. The front cover (gelli printed) is the clean up sheet after I cleaned my brayer of excess paint. I thought the colours represented the beach and surrounding vegetation.

There are only 4 folded pages in my Coptic Bound book. I have a Canon MiniPriter that develops photos 2"x3" and thought these were perfect to show some of the scenery along the beach walk.

Take care everyone, the sun is shining here this afternoon with a cool breeze, off for my walk soon.

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