Saturday, 31 May 2008

Altered Books for sketchbooks

I've been promising myself for some time to make an effort and start using a sketchbook, instead of all those scraps of paper pinned to my workboard! Some time last year I started to play with altered books, using a child's board book as a beginning, again promising myself further experiment, at a later date. Recently, I came across an article by Jean Littlejohn in the Sept/Oct 2007 Issue of Cloth Paper Scissors about altering recycled books into sketchbooks. Above are five books I have been messing about with (literally) - four of them I am hoping will become sketchbooks I can draw, write and paint in, as all I have done is stick pages together, after tearing out quite a few at even intervals, then painting them several times with watered down emulsion paint. The taller one with some colour showing is a bit different, as I stuck some scraps of different papers over the pages with watered down pva glue...........
and then I painted it a couple of times with the emulsion paint. This was a bit of a gamble as the pages were quite shiny (the others books were quite mat paper, almost like newspaper, and very absorbent) I have worked through the whole book in this manner, and am quite pleased with the result.
The cover of the book, as you can see, is also very shiny, but any words showing through, on the pages, when I have finished with it may well be appropriate, as everything there is to do with gardens! I shall eventually make one of those beautiful (I hope!) tactile stitched covers for it, no doubt.
I have started putting colour on some of the first few pages, this one being the Contents page, at the beginning. As you can see, I am very optimistic as to how I am going to fill the pages, but with any luck the list of Contents should inspire me if I run out of ideas!

These are the colours of the next few pages into the book - lots still to go. It is wonderful how the textures show up, once you add just a little colour. All the colour so far is just watered down acrylic paint, but once I get going, anything goes! I'll post again, once I have done something interesting, and I'll also post about the other 'smooth' sketchbooks, waiting for their splattering of magic.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Calendar Girl Postcards

This is the inspiration for the May postcards for the Calendar Girls. Doreen in Australia has made this beautiful card for me this month, using
her embellishing machine to create the wonderful background of felt and silk and chiffon. The flower is of paper with a brad shaped heart for the centre. I love the way she has used little footprints for the leaves (see the text on the calendar sheet above) Thanks Doreen, it is just gorgeous. (It arrived this morning and looks even better than the picture)
Here is the card I have made for Lynda in Essex this month. I used newspaper for

the background, which I stuck with watered down pva glue to some old sheeting, having torn the newspaper into small bits first! I then painted it with watered down emulsion paint, then twice with an orange dye, scratching up the surface with a wire brush in between, which didn't do much really, due to the emulsion paint having sealed the surface too well!! I then copied the flower shape freehand onto some tissue, placed some silk on the front of the card, stitched the tissue onto the back of the card creating the design on the front, tore the tissue away, and proceeded to stitch more of the front, finally trimming away the silk close to the stitching leaving the daisy shape. The centre is a piece of dyed silk rod. I then touched up the petals with a little pearl paint to add a bit of lustre!

I added the text to some more silk, having dyed it orange. then stitched it to the card and frayed the edges.

I do hope you like what I made for you Lynda.

If you click on the Calendar Girls logo on the right hand side of my Blog it will take you to our Blog, where you can see all the other cards the ladies have made for each other so far this year. Also there is a link there for each member's Blog.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

My friend Dot

I have blogged several postcards and ATCs my friend Dot has sent me, always saying how creative she is, and that I really wish she would start blogging - well she has! Dot recently sent me this beautiful postcard, and she has blogged about the paper fabric she made from which she produced this card, and I can actually identify which bit she used (the rest is destined for a book cover) Please visit her here and encourage her - all the help you can give her will be gratefully received.

I also received these two beautiful ATCs from Simone this morning. They are absolutely gorgeous Simone - thankyou so much. The ATCs below are those I have made to swap and are now on their way to Simone.
I do hope she likes them.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Kindred Spirits Textile Art Exhibition May 2008

Welcome to a preview of our first Exhibition, held at RHS Rosemoor, Gt.Torrington Devon from the 3rd to the 11th May 2008. We each made one of these dolls for publicity purposes within Rosemoor, and raffled them during the Exhibition.
Meet the Kindred Spirits... from left to right Carol, Val, Vinnie and Sarah, on our Private Preview Evening, standing in front of our Calendar pieces. We each made three pieces, and are selling a Myths & Legends CALENDAR 2009. The piece on the lower level just behind Carol's shoulder is one of Vinnie's she reached the finals with in Quilting Arts Calendar Challenge for this year. It was our gain she wasn't one of the chosen few, as it is now part of ours!
This is our Experimental Wall that has 60 A5 pieces on it of mixed media, anything and everything, all sorts of experiments we have tried, mostly individually, over the last eighteen months, whilst we have been creating the pieces for the Exhibition. It has caused enormous interest during the Exhibition, and has created a real discussion area.
This is the top left hand corner..............
top right hand corner ...............
bottom left hand corner................
and bottom right hand corner. If you click on individual quarter pictures, you should get a closup view of the pieces.

Kindred Spirits have been together for less than two years, and once we decided we would put together an Exhibition, it was then a decision as to how many pieces, what size, and of course the most important thing - THE THEME. We decided on MYTHS AND LEGENDS and each piece is 24" x 36" and mounted over a wooden frame and stapled into the back. We made FIVE pieces each, depicting any type of myth or legend . To the right of each piece is a note telling the story of the legend we are each expressing in textile art.
These are Vinnie's .......... each one depicts a Greek Legend

These are Sarah's....... some local legends amd some Greek myths

These are Carol's................ depicting the Four Elements as Archangels


These are Val's ............. depicting myths and legends of the magic land of fairies

We hope to be able to find some suitable venues and have the Exhibition travel around for the next few months. Who knows, it may finish up at the NEC Birmingham next year ............!
Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek.