Altered book experiments

Having see Hilary Beattie’s lovely altered books on the Stitch Retreat last weekend, I decided to have a go myself. I found some old board books and gave them a couple of coats of gesso.

This evening, I added gelatos to the pages to make coloured backgrounds:

Next, I think they need a coat of acrylic wax, and then some collage.

Day 174

A busy day, with an early start taking Simon to a train station, then work, home to pack 4 boxes of crockery for the upcoming move, then cooking a lovely pasta dish, with bacon and freshly podded peas in, so I did some colouring in in bed. I coloured this doodle from my mini sketchbook, using my inktense pencils:


Enjoyable and relaxing. I learned that the colours painted on the ends of the pencils don’t always match up to the leads, and that some pencils colour much more smoothly than others do.

2015 in Review

This time last year I resolved to do 15 minutes of creativity every day for the year, and it seems to be a good day to look back on it. (N.b. I started this post on New Year’s Day, hence that statement, but I had some network issues, so put it off till now.)

A canvas in progress at the Hilary Beattie Stitch Retreat in January

Overall, the resolution was a good one. It got me to be a lot more active, and helped me realise what you can do in even a little time, or when you are away from home, with a bit of prior planning.


I managed it until about December 10th (even though I got behind and eventually stopped updating you lovely readers), which is about 343 out of 365 days of creating (That’s 94% of the way to my target, maths fans!) I’m proud of the achievement. I wish I had managed to get all the way through December, but towards the end of the month my work got very busy, meaning at times I was too tired to pick up a pencil! I did knit on and off through the month, finishing 4 knitted hats for my nieces and nephews, but not every day involved creating.


Sketchbook spread in progress, made in spring

The project was very good because it pushed me to try new things, including image manipulation, printing on fabric with the inkjet printer, working in sketchbooks, trying new media including gelatos, various paints, and a foray this week into charcoal with an alcohol wash.


One of my forays into image manipulation, based on my own artwork

However, due in part to moving house, and general busy-ness, there were some days when all I did was very simple, and not very purposeful, and other days I ended up sat in bed colouring in my sketchbook at 11:45 while my husband tried to sleep! They weren’t the greatest of outputs.


My emergency art kit, to tide me over till I had unpacked

My husband was very supportive, making time for me to do my activities, and cheering me on.


Two tags made at an Angie Hughes dayschool

This year I also did a wonderful 3 day stitch retreat with Hilary Beattie, as well as three excellent Embroiderers’ Guild day schools – a day learning about all sorts of paint and media with Viv from Art Van Go, making Textile Tag Books with Sngie Hughes, and monoprinting with Sarah Burgess. These were all good opportunities to learn more skills and have time creating with friends.


A printed wallhanging from the Art Van Go dayschool

I still haven’t worked out exactly what form I want this year’s creativity to take. I know I want to carry on creating daily, but with the opportunity to take a day off now and again (e.g. After a full day of work, and an after work meeting).


…and an image manipulation based on a photo of that wallhanging

I think I need to do more printing on fabric, and building into this with stitch – the second Hilary Beattie stitch retreat I have just been to has cemented that desire. I also want to take more of my edited images, print them and add stitch – these two things go well together. I have enjoyed working in my long sketchbook, and almost filled two sketchbooks. I’ve got two more blank ones at home, which I’d like to fill before the year is out.


I love these Khadi long sketchbooks

So I think I’d like to better integrate stitch and printed work, and carry on developing sketchbooks. I am also contemplating doing the Quilters Guild journal quilt challenge, just as a target each month, rather than something to do and submit to them.


Sketching on holiday in the Forest of Dean

I want to get back to regular blogging, too!