Sanctuary at The Bramble Patch – Update 2

I made these 5 stamps, all double sided with both positive and negative images:

I spent my afternoon printing focal points on a wide range of fabrics and papers, with a lovely old gold colour paint, and then adding dye.

We then spent a nice evening in the pub, colouring in sketchbooks:

A tidy table to begin with…

Got less tidy, as we finished the wine:

Hilary, hard at work:

I took up a whole 3 seater sofa!

Even less tidy!

I mostly worked on an altered board book I had started earlier in the day:

All in all a great day! Now, sleep, because tomorrow I need to make backgrounds.

Another Tip In

I did a bit of Sketchbooking last night, tipping an A4 sheet into my fat pink pig to make this massive, lovely fold out page:

The page is tipped in with washi tape on both sides, and I love how well the washi tape takes gelatos.

I also went through the remaining blank pages in this book and added stamps and washi tape, to add background interest. They will probably be almost totally obliterated with paint, dye and colouring, but it will be anther layer. I am looking forward to seeing how they come out:


Hot Fruit: update

Following on from the paper piecing in the previous post, I started a series of 8″ by 10″ mini quilts, and I’m using them to practice my free motion stitching.

First, this one:

Strippy background, combining my hand printed fabrics, a green hand dyed fabric and a commercial black and white stripe: 

With focal point lemons:


Echo quilted:

 Then added colour with gelatos, and hand stitch:


And this one, all pinned out:
I then added a ‘McTavishing’ machine stitch, following the video on Leah Day’s website  

With gelatos and hand stitch:


I’ve also stitched into the collage I started yesterday; it just needs gelatos and hand stitch now:


I’m running low on this variegated thread!


I have also finished the paper piecing on this piece, I just need to work out how to stitch it – it is all paper, and I don’t want it to tear:  

So, rather a lot of stitching recently. The concerted practice is paying off. 

Sketchbooking on the train

Last weekend I went to the Isle of Wight, to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with my family. I took my sketchbook supplies to keep myself amused on the train.

I didn’t realise until I sat down that my favourite Khadi sketchbook isn’t really compatible with a narrow train seat!  

Luckily the people around me were very friendly, and I even made a new friend, as a fellow Embroiderers’ Guild member said hello, and we spent a good couple of hours chatting, sharing sketchbooks and talking about our EG branches.

I did all of this spread on the train – the flower punch was good in a limited space.   

I had a whole table to myself towards the end of the journey, so I could spread out.

I even brought a little film pot, so I could use water to smudge the gelatos.

I used the leftovers from the flowers to make this spread, a fun exploration of  colour:

I cut some shapes from a piece of paper, dictated by the print, and thought they looked like vases, so made this page:

On the return journey, I made this spread, taking the shapes of the pears and the onion skin stencils. I am not too sure whether I like it, but it has plenty of Neocolour 1 on it, including white on the printed pieces, which will resist dye well, so I will probably give it a coat of colour:

I also started this spread, cutting out the figures, and doing the outermost bits of both pages. I finished it on Friday evening in front of the telly.

On the way back I was sharing a table with 2 other people, with the wall to my right, so I ended up working on my lap, and cutting out was a bit awkward!



Altogether, an enjoyable way to pass the journey.

Further Forays into Altered Books

Having been inspired by Hilary’s lovely altered books at the stitch retreat, one about her trip to Harrogate, and one altering a plant book, with lots of lovely images, I decided to have a go at it myself.

Last time I tried, I was using cheap gesso and acrylic paint, as that was all I had, and every time I closed the pages, they stuck to themselves and ripped, very frustrating.

This time I have nice gesso (Pebeo, £4 for a 250ml tube) and just generally know a lot more about paint and what I like.

 Last time I shared my gelato’d backgrounds. Last Friday I set to making a collage, a little street of houses:


“All at once am I several stories high…”   It’s a tiny little book, only about 3″ square, so I expanded the page with tip ins.
I also played with my new Caran D’Ache Pablo pencils, they are lovely for detailed shading:


Day 277

While chatting about my sketchbooks with my husband yesterday, he reminded me that I used to like applying chalk pastels off the edge of stencils, so I printed and cut these card stencils:

Card works best for this technique – you can rub the chalk onto the paper off the edge of the stencil.

I used the technique on another spread in my sketchbook, a page where the figures I’d printed had almost vanished:


Day 270

A lovely long session playing in the sketchbook today, really exploring the gelatos:


The stamps were a crafty treat, £4 from Tiger, and I love the name:

 They’ve rapidly become standard kit, along with the Neocolour 2s in the silver tin, and the new gelatos, which need a case of their own.