I've fallen so far behind with my blogging that I don't know where to start! I think I'll start with the last couple of pieces of dyeing that I was doing last week. Having done the parfait dyeing and re-thought my Festival of Quilts piece I assembled a selection of fabrics and decided I could do with some more dark blue and maybe a greeny blue so a little more dyeing was called for.
This is fairly close to the colour in real life. The dye powder said it was aquamarine and it's just a little more green than I expected but it's usable.
The pattern in the piece above was achieved by flag-folding a strip of old sheeting into a triangle shape and then attaching pegs all the way round the edge. I then used a wide paintbrush to apply aquamarine and the remainder of some navy dye. The fabrics were left for about 3 hours before they were rinsed out and washed.
I was really pleased with this beautifully patterned navy piece of dyeing which will be cut up for my quilt background.
As well as managing to get some dyeing done I was encouraged by Annabel (WestCountry Buddha) to tackle a handsewn book a la Laura Kemshall.
The first step is to select all sorts of papers from your existing stock of painted or textured papers, tissue, handmade paper, magazine pages, cellophane, watercolour paper, cartridge paper, anything that is laying around really. You could if you wished use all new papers to make a book for your sketches or notes but it's fun to use up some of your so-called failed or experimental pieces. They can look so different in these notebooks. It is best to keep the height of the pages equal but the width can be different. You group the pages in groups of 3 or 4 and fold them in half.
The next step is to stitch the pages together. (Excuse the glare in the photo above caused by the metallic ribbon I used for the strengthening straps.) You can use either a running stitch or a linked stitch which gives you the herringbone effect and strengthens the spine by linking each signature (folded pages) to the next. I don't feel I can show the details here as it would be unfair to Laura Kemshall but there should be plenty of resources on the web to show you how to make this stitched book. (I'll come back with a link later). The tricky part is joining the first 2 or 3 pieces as you need to maintain a certain amount of tension in the thread so the book doesn't end up slack and sloppy.
This is my book opened out so you can see the variety of papers used.
Above I used some handmade paper, a piece of monoprinted paper and on the right watercolour paper that had been used as a dropcloth for painting feathers.
I still have to glue covers to the front and back of the book but I am quite pleased with my first attempt and can see how Laura finds them so addictive. I definitely want to make one based on the size of a 7"x5" photograph so it will be small and chunky. It's a great way to make use of all those papers that sit around after studio playtime. If you click on this link you can see Laura's stitched book and, if you have some free time this weekend you can watch Laura's video for free at Design Matters TV along with about 30 other videos of their working practices and inspiration!! It's free from 9.00 am Saturday to 9am Sunday morning (UK time)so treat yourselves to some 'me' time!
What else have I been up to? I've been busy getting more osteopath treatment and my hip/bum is much improved so much so that DH and I were able to go on a coach trip to Hull to visit the submarium there.
The Deep is housed in an iconic building on the River Humber, about a 2 hour drive from our home. I had been wanting to go there for some time but timing the visit for half term week was maybe not quite the ideal time to go! However, despite the masses of people who had had the same idea and the miles of walking (not to mention stairs climbing) we had a great time.
If you go through the restaurant and up to the observation platform the structure of the building makes for some wonderful photographs (courtesy of my DH).
And there are some wonderful views of the Estuary. (My DH will be blogging about our visit in a day or two).
Looking down from the platform this beautiful and naturally coloured blockwork forms some resistance against the effects of the rising tides.
Inside the submarium there were beautiful sea creatures and an ever changing view of gently circling fish, sharks, rays and even a swordfish!
All of these photographs were taken by my DH as I spent the time filming with my video camera. If I can manage it I will try and upload a little film of the visit. I've already watched it back and it's alive with the shouts and excitement of small people. I was going to add a musical background instead of the shrieks and screams but, having listened to it, the children add to the atmosphere so they will stay. Needless to say, after such a busy day I was completely wiped out yesterday. I had to go into town to the osteopath and had a series of senior moments, including forgetting where I had left the car! Brain fog wasn't in it! lol
Finally, I have been making some progress on my crinkle quilt. Well, it's not so much a quilt as a prospective bookcover.
I have stitched many lines across and round the piece but there is still a lot of stitching to do. I don't think it's quite as crinkled as Nellie makes hers but I am quite happy with it so far. So much so that I have started a second 'crinkle' with a piece of velvet backed on silk dupion. It will give me something to stitch on Saturday evening if I've got any energy left after my workshop at Art and Stitch in Peterborough with Ruth Issett! I can hardly wait! Fingers crossed that my hip will behave as I've finished with the osteopath.