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??

Monday, July 12, 2021


 One Friday a month we have a get together with 6 members of our Papermakers group. Sometimes we sit and chat for a catchup, other times we may do something. Our last meet up we did some leaf printing. I collected leaves within the grounds of of where we meet. 
Some prints will be put together to make a book with my handmade paper.
An old yellow and white pages telephone book.

Kitchen paper towel
Watercolour paper.
I wanted to see if something fine in texture would print, didn't have tissue paper on me so tried toilet paper.
Carole found some feathers. These worked very well.

All in the name of experimentation!! Trial and error. If you don't try it, you wouldn't know how they would turn out. I learnt not to ink the plate too heavy, change my rubber gloves every few prints and press the leaves to flatten longer than they were before printing.  Also which papers worked better than others.
I collected more leaves over the weekend to print this week. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Observation- Inspiration

 I walk each day and have done so since the start of the year. Where I live I am very fortunate to have the river within walking distance surrounded by native trees and approximately 15 min drive down the road is the bay and small harbour. Both there areas have walking paths.
Surrounding my area there are many new housing estates being built. Our local council has built within these estates, walking paths and parks. I have many to choose from.

Native trees and flora are planted and I enjoy taking note with my camera many of them. Whenever we go for a weekend drive, the camera is the first thing packed.
I have enrolled in Fibre Arts Spring School in September to do a 5 day class making a book journal. We are to find something to inspire the book and I have decided to do my walks among the natives. I will also use my handmade paper.
Gum blossoms and gum nuts.

One of the local paths I walk.
Eucalyptus bark.
Toadstools and Banksia
Gum blossoms.
Bottle Brush.
This rusted wheel rim was has been lying on the front lawn of a house up the road. I would love to ask if I could wrap some fabric around it to rust dye.
Due to Covid, Fibre Arts Winter School 2 weeks ago was cancelled. The bookmaking class I enrolled in has rescheduled to Winter 2022.

Sunday, July 4, 2021


 Week 31 - Haf Weighton, Wales

"Architectural Layering"
Haf said "In this workshop you will create a painted and hand stitched image of a building. You'll discover ways of interpreting buildings and learn some tricks for transcribing an image onto fabric.
You will lean about painted backgrounds."

The background method was to paint a strip of white watered down gesso across the middle of the fabric.
Choose a colour paint and dab a few blobs on the gesso and slowly scrape the paint across with an old credit card. This was to blend the paint randomly across the background.
The method of transferring was to use tissue paper to trace the building then stitch over.

I chose an ochre yellow shade as I wanted my background to represent the dapple sun coming up in the early morning and to blend with the pale colours of the sandstone buildings..
Again with this workshop, I strayed away from the brief.
I decided to choose a French village over just one building on a strip of paisley fabric.
Free motion stitching the image on the reverse side of the fabric is a method I enjoy especially as I didn't want the buildings to be formal with straight lines. After stitching, the paper is easy to tear away. 
Before stitching I collaged strips of fabric to represent a hedge though I decided not to represent the river. Derwent colour pencils to shade in the buildings. The village colours are very soft in France and this was wanted I to depict. 

"Further Development" - Week 2
A further building was to be added to the piece. I chose a church at the end of the village strip. 

A tree was added at each end of the image.
To lengthen the image, a piece of my handmade paper was added to each end.
6 1/4" x 6 3/4"
Concertina booklet
Connection - French village image
- Handmade paper from dried bearded iris leaves. In the majority of villages they were flowering
- Cover paper had a French label on the reverse side (bought in Japan)
- French language book found in op shop last year
- Envelope came with a postcard bought in Provence
The fabric was fused to paper on the reverse side to strengthen the booklet.
I enjoyed this workshop and as usual I made do with what I had in my stash.