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:

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…

Cutting Stencils – Jugs

I have a lovely pair of stamps I had cut of a beautiful silver jug I own, but as I don’t have any other stencils or stamps to go with them, it is a bit hard to make a series of artwork. Of course, I don’t need to start anything right now, as I have enough on the go already, but the lure of spending an hour cutting stencils was too strong.

So I drew and cut these 4 jugs:


A bit hard to see until they get painty! The bottom right one is based on the jug stencil, then I will cut stamps to match the rest.

The Mens’ Gymnastics final hadn’t quite finished, and I was keen to see if Max Whitlock would make it a double gold, so I passed the time cutting these strips from the stencil acetate, using pattern scissors. I think they will be good for masks on the Gelli plate.


I have got some new acetate for stencils – it is frosted on one side, so I think it is actually presentation folder covers. It’s quite thick, so should be long lasting.

Sanctuary at The Bramble Patch – Update 1

I’ve arrived safely at the Bramble Patch, and having a great time.

This is my home for the next couple of days:


Hilary has brought the shop, it’s a bit too big for the tables, so some of it is underneath:


She’s brought her rabbit ears too!


The Bramble Patch has a cafe, which does excellent, exceedingly large slices of cake:


I’ve made three stencils so far, a grass stem, a section from the bridge, and Cobb’s Engine House.

Coffee Pots: Print and Dye

Yesterday, I made some coffee pot stamps to go with the stencils. They are both double sided, with the positive image on one side, and the negative on the other:  

This morning I cut a couple of word stencils to go with the coffee pots; milk and coffee in Italian:   

Trying them out with dabbers:

   

I did some printing with them and the stamps:

 

The Gelli plate prints were sometimes a bit indistinct, whereas I liked the crisp lines of the directly printed stencils, so I combined them both:   

 

I love the way that dye transforms prints. I had about 6 sketchbooks on the go, so I have lots of lovely prints to work into in the evenings ahead.

 

Some of the pages in my small sketchbook:

  
   

  
I made this zigzag book and card to use as tip ins in my sketchbooks:

  

And I started decanting my dyes into pots that are all the same size.  Previously they were in miscellaneous jam jars, which got me going using dyes, but wasn’t good for easy storage:

  
A lovely, long day of making.

Cutouts and Coffee Pots

Last night, I cut the two coffee pot stencils. They are the most complicated stencils I have cut, but the gyro cut made it easier, and I learned more about using the tool; namely that it is much easier to push away from you than pull towards, and I prefer to cut curves before straight lines.

I did one print with each stencil and also got the excess paint off one into my sketchbook

The large coffee pot stencil (a bit hard to see): 

The positive and negative prints. The positive is on the front of a board book I am altering, and the negative is on a page of my sketchbook that had scrap paint rolled onto it, both with a foam roller and the crackle Rollagraph, which is just lovely:  
I couldn’t resist adding a bit of dye:

 

Next, the three pots stencil: 
  
I put it on the  opposite page of my sketchbook, which also had some paint, and the blotted off dye from the previous page: 
The off print of this one didn’t go down well as I tried to roll it onto Khadi paper, which is too textured for the technique. Even with plenty of roller pressure I didn’t get a recognisable image. Oh well!

Next, I decided to cut some apertures in my little pink pig sketch book:

  
  
  
Not entirely sure about this one…

  
And I used the cut out spirals to decorate the front of the book, with gelatos:

  
All in all, a productive evening! Now I’m going to get up and cut some stamps.