Happy Weekend Making

A while ago, I used to get up early on a weekend morning, and head into my craft room to create. For a while I seem to have forgotten this, instead having lie ins, or spending too long browsing the dreaded internet,

I got up early yesterday, resolving to print in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project, which needs to be on the way back to the States by the end of March, and I hadn’t yet started.

None of the themes particularly interested me, but I liked my friend Anne’s idea of No Worries being easy to interpret. I had no time to think up, draw and cut new stencils and stamps, so I returned to my coffee pots. I got out lots of lovely background stencils and Rollagraphs, including ones which I did not own when I last used the coffee pots, for variety.

I’m really enjoying working with purple, blue, and green at the moment, so I got those setacolours out, and set to.

I love it when my desk is all piled up and ready to go, so much potential. I am using the sketchbook project book (the small one with the kraft cover) and a lovely long Seawhites zig zag book which has a slipcover. I saw Hilary using one when we were at Festival last August, and it looked such fun.

I love printing with stencils and stamps; I have so much fun composing on the pages that I think I could keep on printing forever.

After a while I ended up with these gorgeous prints:

And happy, painty hands:

Having enjoyed yesterday morning so much, I got up this morning and set about dyeing my pages.

I love how a black wash makes the rich purple and greens really shine:

And watching the dye run down the slanting zig zag book pages, past the paint is wonderful:

The dye is drying, then I get to sit and spend glorious evenings colouring them in:

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Plenty of Printing

Today I did some printing, using the stamps and stencils I cut yesterday. I’m working towards a couple of nature inspired competitions for next year, so I wanted to make plenty of prints to be going on with.

Envelopes, tags and zig zag books to tip in to my sketchbook.


Lots of sketchbook pages, for evening colouring

Prints on fabric:


And on deli paper, which is excellent at picking up small details from the Gelli plate:


Lots of prints on A4 copier paper:


Including some backgrounds from stencils to go with the prints:


And this print on thick round khadi:


All in all, a good day:

A productive day

This morning, I set a batch of chutney going, using the apples from our tree. It’s been slowly brewing for hours now, so soon I will have to go and jar it up.

I’ve also discovered I can use my pyrography tool as a hot stencil cutter, so I cut the stencils in much quicker time and better detail than I was expecting. It’s hard to photograph clear plastic, so the best thing I could think of was to hang them on my washing line:

Honeysuckle, comfrey, ivy.


Bumble bee, lavender,  apple blossom, chives.

I also cut positive and negative stamps of the bee, apple, ivy, and comfrey.


And blocked the Turner’s Hill TV tower piece.

A new beginning…

I’m working towards a couple of competitions next year with a garden theme, so I have planned a couple of stencils. As per my usual style, they are rather complicated. If I can get them cut as planned, I will be very pleased.


Not too sure how to cut the hollyhocks!

Frantic Printing and Dyeing

I’m spending Saturday and Sunday with Hilary Beattie, helping her with her gallery stand at the Knitting and Stitching show. It’s likely that we’ll spend the quieter times colouring in our sketchbooks. There’s only one problem; I have not printed anything in so long, that I have coloured pretty much everything I had printed. Cue some frantic printing tonight. I found some jug stencils I had cut but not used yet, so now I have some lovely jug pages. I didn’t get any photos of them because I was working really quickly to fit the printing in before my husband dished up our tea.

The coffee pots made an appearance too.


After dinner I sploshed some dye around, and got quite a few hopefully gorgeous pages ready to go. As I set off at just gone 6 tomorrow morning, the books are all propped open and drying, I hope they will be dry in time!


I also printed another page in an altered board book I am working on, including some prints with my 4″ round Gelli plate, which is utterly yumbo! I think the dye on his page looks like a friendly monster waving… can anyone say “Rorschach test”?


Anyway, time for sleep, as my train leaves in 8.5 hours…

Bumble Hole Mini Quilt

I have put together a (mostly) textile collage, with fabrics I printed based on Bumble Hole nature reserve. Here it is as a I put it together layer by layer:


The crackle print and butterflies are printed on deli paper, they add a lovely contrast to knock back the main colours.

I didn’t bond the main focal point images of Cobb’s Engine house down, as I prefer to do the background quilting without needing to work round the focal points.
These are the threads I used to quilt it; the yellow is a lovely King Tut, and the other two are Madeira:


Here’s the quilting I did, all in one day! The zigzags are done with the foot on, the rest was free-motion stitched.


I’m pleased with the quilting, my travelling stitches are getting better.

I had to dye one of the background pieces to go along with the collage, as I didn’t have enough comparatively plain fabrics:



I put my sketchbook with Bumble Hole images in it under the fabric while it was drying, and also pressed the wet roll of fabric on the page, so a I got these lovely serendipitous spirals and drips: