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.


More Sketchbooks

I’ve also been doing some other printing in my sketchbooks, trying out some new mini stencils I bought at the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch show:   


And adding dabbers- acrylic paint in bingo dabber style bottles, over gelatos:  


Also, I find it interesting that I don’t (usually) decorate the covers of my sketchbooks straight away – I decorate them once I’m happy working in the book.

This book got a decorated cover:


Turners Hill TV Transmitter

The Embroiderers’ Guild West Midlands Regional Day competition this year is Within 1000 Footsteps, drawing inspiration from the local area. I live within walking distance of Turners Hill, near Dudley, which many Black Country folk will know because of its distinctive TV transmitter:


I cut a stencil mask of it, and a couple of stamps (both positive and negative) of the daisies which cover the nearby Darbys Hill in summer.

First I printed in my sketchbook, using the mask to print both negative images as normal, and positive ones, by rolling firmly over it onto other pages once it had paint on it.

I then went on to printing on fabric:

I worked into the sketchbook pages with gelatos, getting to know the colours better:

I also over dyed the background for this, my competition entry:

Sadly, when pressing it, I scorched it:

Gelatos to the rescue! They are opaque, so covered the scorch well:

I’m now working on adding hand stitching to the flowers, so I’ll share progress soon.

My WordPress app kept crashing whenever I added pictures to a blog post, but that seems to be fixed now, so hopefully I can get back to blogging more regularly.

Playing with Rollagraphs

I got a Rollagraph and 4 pattern wheels from Hilary Beattie’s shop recently, and had a chance this evening to try them out. 

L to R: Floral Blocks, Jumbo Weave, Alphabet B, Happy Hands (in handle).

They are basically big rolling stamps which you snap into a handle, and they are a great way to make quick patterns and layers.

I decided to overprint some of the fabrics and papers I had Gelli printed the other day, adding more layers of colour before I add dye.


A page of happy hands on the left, and a stripe of Alphabet in orange, over some plain roller printing. I found that the paint on the pallete needed to be rolled out flat first, so as not to clog the detail on the stamp. This left me with paint on my brayer, so I rolled this gently on various papers, to add another texture.

Rolling in a curve was fun!

The rolling was also useful to go over the white bits at the edges of my Gelli printed pages – as my Gelli plate is less than A4 sized, I always get white margins, and this will add another layer under dye. 

Lovely and mucky!

I also rolled a row of each pattern onto the front of my softback Khadi sketchbook.

And they have added another layer to my exciting print table paper!

All in all, a fun and exciting tool, a quick and easy way to add another layer, and quick to clean too – I just washed them in the sink with warm water and an old washing up brush.

Lemons and Limes

I had a couple of lemon and lime halves left over from my water bottle yesterday, so I dried them out on the radiator overnight, and set to printing with them today.

They make a lovely textured print:


 My camping washing line came in handy to dry prints again:


 I got some lovely sketchbook pages with the off prints, which will give me good colouring in fodder in the evenings: 

Happy hands!