Tea or coffee?

I worked on the latest page in my sketchbook tonight:

It is built up with layers, a green Rollagraph print on the right hand side, a couple of stamps, coral sand and turquoise dyes, strips of washi tape, a gesso print of a coffee pot, some colouring with Pablo pencils, paint dabbers and gelatos, a tea packet, and tea tags.

I really love it, the colours and layers are wonderful. A friend gave me the tea packet – thank you David!

Day 296

A busy day today, I gave blood (pint 21), picked my mum in law up from the coach station on the far side of Brum, and our new bed was delivered.

I spent a relaxing 15 minutes in the evening making a new spread in my sketchbook, collaging in a spare figure from my printing:

It’s Neocolour 2 on the background, the top one is chalk pastel, with a collaged edge on the right, and the bottom one is a collaged figure (printed with Lumiere paints), with a chalk pastel outline.

The pages still need more development, but I like leaving something for another day.

Day 178

Today I spent a marvellous few hours at a Birmingham Embroiderers’ Guild Dayschool with the marvellous Angie Hughes, who was teaching us to make tantalising textile tag books. (I think she now calls it Indian Tag Books, but we booked it a while ago)

We brought along images which we collaged with scraps of beautiful fabrics and layers of stamping and stitch.

My images went along a whimsical transport-ish theme, with a ship, a man with a flying umbrella, hot air balloons and a moon.

 I got to use some  of my hand dyed fabrics for backgrounds. The pinky ones in the middle I snow dyed myself.


I got these two tags laid out, but I want to add some hand stitch and beads/sequins.

These are my finished tags.

All in all, it was a great day, and I’d totally recommend taking this workshop with Angie if you can. She’s so fun, and very generous and supportive with her knowledge.

Day 120

Today, I got out one of the zigzag books that I’d dyed A month ago, and added more colour with koh-i-noor watercolours, just letting the translucent paint flow and over colour the dye underneath:

Here’s how they turned out:



The book reminded me of a landscape, so I grabbed my basket of collage scraps and started building up a scene:


I added some text on the back with gold gel pen, which says “On the first day of May, as the sun rose, we set off for the woods, to shed our winter coats and breathe the sweet spring air.” A bit of wishful thinking for mayday – I have a busy weekend ahead, though hopefully the weather will be kind, and allow us a trip to an English Heritage property on Bank Holiday Monday.

Here’s how the zigzag book looks standing up, rather nice!


When I was glueing the collage pieces down, I ended up with blue tinted gel medium on my scraper, as a lot of the dye was dissolving and moving in the gel, so I smeared the excess gel off on a sketchbook page, added some hearts punched from the same paper as the houses, above, and painted on some red dye for good measure. I love using up leftovers!


Any evening that ends with painty, messy hands is a good one in my book!



Day 101

Today, I had an excellent day at the Embroiderers’ Guild national AGM. We enjoyed inspirational talks from Bobby Britnell and Jane E. Hall, a good and positive discussion about the future of the guild, and a chance to meet and catch up with fellow members.

After a brief trip home, Simon and I spent a great evening with friends, eating curry and playing board games.

When we got home at gone 10pm, I realised that I hadn’t done my 15 minutes, so I did some colouring in on some printed wooden spoon Gelli prints, for the current travelling book:



Day 98

Today, I got out my new sketchbook, and did some colouring in on some of the printed lemon spreads from the weekend:

Lovely to see the extra layer of the crayons. Maybe some dye next.

Day 93

Today, I decided to experiment with the sand medium I bought last week.

I mixed equal parts sand medium and moulding paste with a spot of black and copper acrylic paints, blending to make this:

I cut a larger (12cm) stencil of my figure, then applied the stencil through it.

First, on black card:

Then on black fabric:

It was easier to get a really thick layer of paste on the card.

Finally, I did a figure and the outline on some fabric paper I’d made previously:

Lovely mucky hands, and the excess on a strip of cloth from my scrap bag, which will get some dye later, then add some interest to a collage..

Day 87

Today was a marvellous day with friends from Birmingham Embroiderers’ Guild, on an Art Van Go dayschool, playing with all sorts of marvellous paints and other mediums.

Exploring different pressures with rollers on black card.

Using masking tape to mask off areas to add to the design. The lovely fronds marks at the lower right were made by pressing paint together on two print plates, then pressing one lightly on the fabric.

Amazingly textured thick paint

Translucent paint, rollers and stamps.

Iridescent markals through a stencil on earlier layers of paint.

More lovely markal paint sticks over maskng tape – this is starting to take shape!

Stencilling my figures with markal on earlier layers of paint.

Gold and silver markal through a stencil, on earlier layers of paint, with a few extra lines.

Markal paintstiks over texture plates, cotton reels and a woodblock, on brown linen.

Lots of lovely lumiere metallic paint, mostly rollered very gently over texture plates, with masking tape masks.

Some of the pieces I made. I don’t have a bigger photo of the colourful sheet on the left. It is lokta paper, with swipes of translucent golden fluid acrylics – beautiful paints, and worth saving up the pennies for!

My shopping – two gorgeous colours of lumiere, two of the print plates, a pallete knife for nice swipe printing, and a tub of sand medium for more texture

All in all, an amazing day. I learned so much and really enjoyed building up the layers. If you get a chance to learn stuf from Viv at Art van Go, do take it up!

Day 83

Today, as well as a day at work, buying a PA system for my EG branch, and meeting a fellow committee member to finish the 2016 programme, I did some colouring in my sketchbook with inktense pencils. Mostly adding lines and details:

Simon has said that he’s figured out why I love my sketchbook so much – because then I always have something on the go, with no need to finish something.

Interestingly, several pages that I thought of as ‘Done’ had extra added with the pencils today.

Day 81

Today was the third day of the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch show. Simon joined mum and I for a look round the textile art, which was very enjoyable. We enjoyed looking at and chatting about all the art on display, as well as to the artists who shared their work and their knowledge.

One such artist is Lynda Monk, who was demonstrating work using spunbond and xpandaprint. I have had both of these in my stash for a while but not really used them, so when we got home, I got them out and painted a couple of figures, as well as some background stamping:

(The pot is holding it down because the is a crease in the spunbond. The xpandaprint has a shelf life of about 6 months, so I added a BBE date)

You can just about see the xpandaprint in this image.

I then zapped it:

The xpandaprint has raised, really bringing it out. The stamps are very effective, and I love seeing my figures in a different form.

I then coloured the piece with procion Mx dyes:

There was some dye pooling on the surface, so I took a mono print to lift the excess.

While I had the dyes out, I added some dye to various pages in my sketchbook, here are a few pictures:

I love my sun rays stencil, so I got this one, with rays in squares, at the show today:

It has already had an outing, adding dye to these pages:

The last thing I did was to add some treasure gold wax to some sketchbook pages: