Sunday, 27 July 2008

A bit more tree bark .......

I'm experimenting more with the surface of bark, and recently saw some fantastic textures on Lynda's blog (Purplemissus) that she was generously sharing. I used slightly different stuff (but not that different!) Using fusible web I bonded an old piece of sheeting, a brightly coloured piece of cotton, a piece of cream coloured polyester crushed velvet, and then topped it with a piece of web painted with black acrylic. Using the soldering iron I then made deep wiggly lines, cutting into the velvet down to the cotton. It is amazing, but the soldering iron doesn't cut through the cotton. I then painted all over it with a watered copper and gold acrylic, and this is what I finished up with ....... and no stitching! I must admit I was well chuffed....... below are a couple of closeups.

Here is the most recent spread of my Garden Altered Book. I've mounted the rest of the wild flowers I pressed, and on the background have used some bits from a couple of paper napkins, to add some interest. The four leaf clover on the bottom right is one my daughter found some forty odd years ago!
I really must start thinking about some leaves - bit early for an Autumn spread though ........

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Altered Garden Book Update

I've completed these two double spreads since I last posted pix of them. Unless, of course, I find some further quotations to write on any empty spaces!
I've also made the Book Cover/Wrap, and thought I would share the process.
I prepared the layers, as before and as Annette's recipe, except I used another piece of rusted fabric (previously rusted and posted a few months back) with more pattern, as shown on the left hand side. I laid all the torn pieces of oiled paper down, plus TWO layers of chiffon - one emerald green colour with a gold thread in it and then the black on top. I pinned and stitched all the pieces down through all the layers, then went back and free stitched the spaces in betweeen. Click on the pic above to get a closeup look - you can see the stitching on the right hand side.
I then gave the piece a blast with the heatgun and magic happened - all that lovely texture! You can clearly see the 'rusted' fabric showing through.
I decided to use the last of the rusted fabric to line the Book Wrap. I was delighted with the texture so far, and as it will be handled quite a bit I decided not to add any extra texture this time - nor did I paint it at all. The book itself is about 10" x 6" and the cover protrudes about an inch, top and bottom. To stop the book sliding out, I have wrapped the fabric around the front of the book and stitched it top and bottom, to form a pocket for the front cover to go into - then the rest of the cover wraps around to the front, and is fastened by a loop going over the beads.
As I fill the book (I have five more double spreads to play with during the coming months) the fastener will expand to the next bead - well that is the theory anyway!
This just shows the book open, exposing the rusted lining. What about that fabric stitched label then, with the word 'authentic' on it, together with a ribbon. I pinched it from a new pair of trousers my daughter bought from Marks & Spencer! Perfect colouring, I couldn't resist it.......

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Make my day ........!

Last Friday, Annette made my day by nominating me for this Award, and it has taken me since then to find out how to put the Logo on my blog!! However, all is now well, as you can see. Thankyou Annette.

The rules are as follows
Put the Logo on your blog.
Add a link to the person who nominated you.
Nominate up to 7 other blogs.
Add a link to those blogs on your blog.
Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

There are so many wonderful blogs out there, I would need to be able to nominate at least 70 not 7, so I've decided to accept the Award gratefully, but not pass it on. Hope you don't feel I am a party-pooper, but at least there are no 'hurt' feelings. A heartfelt THANKYOU to all of you who visit my blog and feel inspired by what I do.

I haven't blogged my Calendar Girls Postcards for the month of June - so will do just that, right now.....

Here is the inspiration from the actual calendar, and this is the lovely Card I received from Jenny in North Wales. She says the background is a computer printout on silk chiffon, and coloured in, with an added ribbon. The sunflower is made of woven petals and has a beaded centre. Thankyou Jenny - I love it.

This is the card I made for Joanna, which has a fabric paper background, with a twisted red textured 'ribbon' held down with beads on a piece of organza. The sunflower is a cutout piece of lace that is dyed, painted and stitched.

You can see all the other beautiful cards made for the month of June by the other Calendar Girls by just clicking on the Calendar Girls Logo on the right hand side of my Blog.
P.S. I started this post on the 12th July - and completed it today the 15th. I haven't worked out how to change the date when I put it in as a Draft!..........

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Attempting a Book Cover/Wrap

I thought, as I want a cover for my Altered Garden Book, a piece of fabric tree bark would be just the job! I followed Annette Emms tutorial for a Book Wrap on her blog that she has done recently, using strips of brown paper etc. rubbed with almond oil. When done, I added some texture paint to represent lichen, and when dry, washed it over with walnut ink. I wrapped my book in the piece and it looked brilliant - thanks Annette. The only thing is I think it is a bit big(!) and I like the raw edge look, so I'll make another piece, specially for the book.
I added some green and yellowish acrylic paint to some of the lichen - I think it looks a bit more interesting...
I've also been layering some dyed bits and other stuff under a piece of brown lace, topped off with some chiffon. I free stitched it all around the lace shapes, then blasted it with a heat gun, and finally washed it over with a watery acrylic gold paint. I am quite pleased with the result. It is nice a soft and will be easy to stitch, but I think I'll still make another piece of 'bark' for my Garden book cover.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Garden Altered Book - Nesting spread

I'm having great fun with this Garden Altered Book. I thought I would have a go at depicting a couple of the birds in my garden - for posterity! I painted the background (already whitened) with very watery acrylic paints in golden yellow first then while still wet added sploshes of magenta, then some yellowy green (no blue) When dry, I drew the brown bird with a pigma pen, and then the nest and branches, then I used very watered down brown paints to colour them in. The leaves are a piece of fabric made from newspaper stitched to muslin then painted several times. I then stitched the shapes randomly, cut them out and stuck them down. The bluetit box is painted tyvek, shrivelled with an iron, and the bird I traced onto tissue paper, stuck it down with watery pva, then washed it over with the yellow watery paint. I even had a go with stencilling along the top edge!
The Recipe I borrowed from Juanita Olson's Recipe Card in Issue 14 of Cloth Paper Scissors - I do hope she doesn't mind!
I really must give the book cover some consideration .............