Archive for March, 2009

As I had hoped, I DO have something to show, so a new blog.

I was given a couple of desk diaries by my son in law.  He is given lots of them every year by different clients and some of them are very substantial and expensive hard backed books – too good to go unused.  I was given them to see if they were  of use to me.

I didn’t need another diary for this year but as I said too good to go unused so I decided to convert one into a note book.

First I made a cover for the book which you can see here.


I used pelmet Vilene as the base.  I mixed some diluted PVA and sized the Vilene before I glued some scrunched tissue paper all over the surface.  I used old dress pattern tissue – thanks to Lynda for this idea.  I have a huge stash of this.

Next I cut some butterflies and flowers from a scrap piece of net curtain.  I really must make a visit to a fabric and curtain store and source some oddments of nets and lace.  They are such a useful source of relief designs.

I free machined these onto the surface of the ’tissued’ background.  There are also some of the flowers down the spine of the book.

I painted the whole surface with black Gesso.  I bought the black Gesso recently and I am so glad I did.  It is so useful.

When this was dry I sprayed the surface with Mystic Malachite Moon Shadow Mist. Gorgeous colour and effect.

When this was dry I finger brushed Golden Interference Oxide Green (BS) onto the raised surface of the butterflies.  This oxide green interference is the exact same colour as the Mystic Malacite – one is in liquid spray form and the other in paint form.

I used a Krylon gold leafing pen to highlight the inner butterfly wings and its body and also the raised flowers.  I added beads to the flower centres and a cluster of beads for the thorax of the butterflies.  It is a good idea to wear finger protection as stitching through this surface is tough.

I machined all the edges with satin stitch and a matching rayon machine thread.  I placed the book onto the cover and turned the ends in and stitched them to hold.

I would be dividing the book into sections for notes on different things so I wanted to make some way of finding the sections easily.  There was already a red ribbon book marker attached to the book so I decided to make some more and make tags for them all.

Again I used pelmet vilene and cut out raindrop shapes.


I cut more of the flowers from the net curtain and machined them onto the raindrop shapes.  They were treated in the same way as the book cover.

I mixed some bronzing powder with a medium and dipped the edges of the raindrop tags.  I also highlighted the flowers.

I attached the tags to the red ribbons.

Now that the cover was complete, I began to alter the inside.  I needed to erase the dates and calendars on all the pages.

I painted them out with acrylic paints using as many different colours as possible.  I had to do this a few pages at a time to allow the paints to dry so that they would not stick together.

When they were dry I used gel pens and doodled a different pattern on every page.


I have not finished this task yet.  Still a lot more pages to paint.  It is also a challenge to create so many different patterns.

untitled-1These are just a few of them so far.

I can now begin to to use the book.

I am continuing to create an image a day and spent some time photographing one of the pieces from my Lewis chess set.  I love the knight.


I had a little play with this image using some special effects and came up with this.


I would rather like to use this effect and at the moment I am trying to work out how to obtain this metallic effect. It looks a bit like hammerite paint!

This image I created recently for my image a day is very tempting and I have the foundations of an idea how to interpret it.

068-mar-9th-splash-of-colourI love the colours

Now I must decide what I am going to do next and I will blog again when I have created something else, until then

cheers everyone.


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Daffodils and a bag

Time for another blog.
We are having the most glorious weather at the moment. Very warm sunny spring days.
I am using all the spring growth for my ‘images of the day’ and could not resist the daffodils which are bursting into bloom all over the place including my garden.
I have to confess that on this occasion I had to cut and bring one of the daffodils inside to photograph. The position of it was too difficult to get a good photograph and the breeze too inconsistent to time.
I was then able to play a little with different settings on the camera and positioning the flower head as I wanted it.



As usual I couldn’t resist a play and using the images I took created this little composite.


As I haven’t created a lot of textile work while I have been writing my second book, I thought I would show you the piece which I use as my avatar and it appears sometimes on blogs and other textile sites I have joined.

The piece is a panel which hangs on my wall at the moment but I liked it so much that I decided to repaeat the technique and make a bag.


The background is a purple satin.  I stretched it over a frame to embellish the fibres onto the surface. This helps to prevent shrinkage which usually happens when embellishing.  The fibres were embellished much more for the bag than they were for the panel as the bag would be more vunerable to catching the fibres while in use.  Once the background was covered with dyed fibres,  I  dyed and teased out some curly mohair fibres and radiated them out from a point on the top left side.  These were couched in place with hand stitched herringbone stitch.

I made the patch by teasing out some more dyed fibres and placing them on a piece of card.  I sprinkled some embossing powders into the centre and placed the card on top of my toaster to melt the powder. When the powder began to melt I quickly pressed a wooden stamp into the hot melted powder to create the sun impression.  The whole patch was then placed onto the embellished background and couched in place with hand stitching and beading.  I also added some pieces of dyed silk pods which looked like little buds.  These too were embellished in place and then further embellished with beads and stitching.


I made up the bag and made a handle of wrapped threads and cords.

OK – textile part over.

Now I need to decide where I am going next.  I have lots of new materials and goodies which I have bought recently to play with and I have a thick folder of sketches and ideas to work through.  Hmmm – a child in a sweet shop springs to mind!

Well I am off to the workroom now so cheers everyone until the next blog. Hope to have something to share then.

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A long lapse

It has been some time since I blogged so I thought I had better let everyone know I am still around.

I have been busy with my next book so most of what I have been creating I am unable to blog so I have no textile work to show.

I do have some news and that is that my book is now on most of the major book sites – Amazon, WH Smiths, Waterstones, The book depository and a few of the American sites that I have seen so far.  It is on pre order as it is not available until beginning of August which is news to me as I understood that it was to be released at the beginning of September.  It was quite a buzz to see it there on the book web sites.

Instead of textile and embroidery work I thought I would share a few of my ‘Images per day’.  Some days they are there jumping out at me but some days I have to look hard for inspiration or create a digital image.

This first image was taken at the side of the River Tees a couple of days ago.  I did go to take the swans on the river – which I did – but these catkins caught my eye and I have used this image instead.


After a few glorious days of warm sunshine we were hit with a covering of snow during the night.  The next morning these crystals of snow were just beginning to melt and drip off the leaves so I rushed out and managed to take some of the snowy leaves. However, while taking these photographs I noticed this large water drop hanging from one of the leaves. I didn’t know how long it would be before the drop fell but fortunately I caught it just before it fell. The next drop was no way near as good.


At the back of my bungalow the frogs had stirred in the pond and the males were very active so much so that today it is full of frog spawn.  This photo is of one of the ‘happy’ frogs.


In the side garden the flowering currant is well on the way to flowering so I must go out again and catch this bud fully open.


This next image is the result of some experimenting with some film I shared with Val Campbell Harding.  It was very expensive but she managed to talk me into going halves with her. The colours are amazing so I am glad that I did.


My daughter has been having a clear out and she always checks with me first before she disposes of anything textiley.  I had knitted her a top with some coral pure silk yarn. She doesn’t wear it any more so did I want it.  It is a bit tight – well very tight – on me so I will have to sit and unpick it to use the yarn.  It is far too nice to discard. It should overdye too. A little job to take away with me.


This next image was created on one of those days I didn’t have a photograph to take. it is a compilation of some painted Bondaweb ironed onto a background fabric. I scanned in some skeleton leaves and then isolated them from the background so that I could use them to overlay on an image.  the painted Bondaweb was for another piece of work which was completed some time ago but I quite like this image so I may actually reproduce this as a textile piece.


So there we are.  A bit of an update and some images to look at.

Back to the book now.  Once I have broken the back of it I can then get back to some textile work and share my time between the two.

So cheers everyone until the next blog.

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