A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Serendipity with Felt and Paint!

This latest technique of mine came about by accident. I had 'bonda webbed' an inkjet print from one of my photos onto some felt, something I learned from a workshop with Maggie Grey. Unfortunately, I used too much water, and the image all but washed away. I decided to try and rescue it by adding paint, and it worked really well. I used a combination of acrylic and watercolour, and was very pleased with the results. However.........

........when I tried it again, straight onto some virgin white felt, the paint was difficult to get to 'stick' to the fluffy surface, and the colours were muddy. Why I wondered, was this second attempt such a failure? I had a bit of a think, and then decided that it must have something to do with the bondaweb and paper residue left behind from my first, successful attempt. I sorted out some chinese watercolour paper that I've had for years and never used, bonded it onto the felt, washed off the top layer, dried it and started again with the painting. Hey presto! it worked a treat, and here are the results. 

That's not quite the end of the story though. I have also discovered, and really like the 'relief' effect this technique gives. Once I've added all the free machine stitching, I give the whole thing a steam press from the back, which must slightly shrink the felt against the stitching, giving a really textured depth to the surface of the finished piece. 

It's so satisfying when something like this happens, and especially when it feels like a technique I will be more than happy to continue to use. The first two images are still life flowers from my imagination, and the Cormorant above is my journal quilt for March, inspired by a photo I took in Dorset a couple of years ago.

Couldn't resist adding the image above showing the reverse of the Cormorant. He doesn't look very happy does he? Oh well, maybe he doesn't like being photographed eh!!

Hopefully see you next time.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Altered Books, (but what are they for?)

A few more Gelli prints that I made today. Such fun, I just love doing them and so far all I've really used them for is to cover the pages of some very small, 9cm square, board books for children. You can see one below.

I print on photocopy paper, and then give the prints a coat of acrylic wax. This makes the paper a bit stronger, but reasonably easy to stick down onto these pages.

This one (above), was printed on a heavier 100% rag paper, but a bit more difficult to stick down.

This little book was my first, and I decided to add some pages of parchment paper in between the board pages. I felt that the book needed to be used in some way, otherwise what are they for?

It was a bit fiddly adding the extra pages, so I didn't do it for the next two.

Now, although I really enjoy making these little altered books, I do have a problem with trying to decide what they are for! I'm a rather practical sort of person, and everything needs to have a use in my eyes. I was recently told that they should be looked upon as pieces of art in themselves, and I really like that idea, but somehow, I still can't get the thought out of my head that a book is for reading, or for telling a story, or for giving information. I'm working on it though!

Finally, I have also been making paper beads. Quite easy, and lots of fun, and they are great to use for other arty projects.

Fingers crossed the beads remain stuck on!!

Thanks for joining me yet again.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Airy Skies and Valentine's Hearts

February's journal quilt, 'Soaring Seagulls'. I had started a larger piece for a challenge with Contemporary Quilt this year, but my sewing machine decided that free machine stitching through layers of tissue paper, cheesecloth and paint, adhered with matt medium to voile before being layered with a cotton background, was just a step too far! I had already managed to persevere and stitch an area that was large enough for this piece above, and maybe another small textile, but my poor machine was going to suffer, maybe to my detriment, so I decided to give up on it. Anyway, that is how February's jq came about, Below is the cloth, partly prepared and ready for the stitching, Oh well, we live and learn!

 Still keen on my original idea, I've prepared another piece of cloth, ready for those soaring seagulls. This time, just watered down acrylic paint on white cotton, I have masked out the gulls, and Have layered with the more traditional wadding and cotton backing, and have started to quilt the background. Still a long way to go, and I probably won't be showing any more pics now until it's finished. The theme is 'Elements', so hence the huge expanse of airy sky!

Valentine's Day approaching fast, so I have made some cards and a few small framed pieces for our local Corner Gallery. or look on their facebook page The Corner Gallery & Gifts

This one has a small ceramic heart that I have made and painted, and stuck down onto an embellished paper heart before stitching onto the machine embroidered background.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you're having a good weekend, wherever you may be.