Sunday, 28 February 2010


I was NOT going out, BUT, yesterday afternoon I had a phone call from a friend telling me about a sale of paper crafts items. As I was busy playing, I didn't go. The thing is I love a bargain, so this morning I hot footed it through the floods to the shop. Well worth the drive, some items were really silly prices, I just couldn't say no!Shortly after getting in my daughter and SIL with the boys came round for lunch, even though it was half term last week, we didn't get a chance to see each other, so lots of news to catch up on!

Though I was itching to do something with my rust 'fabric', I spent a couple of hours playing with paper, paints and inks. A young person I know has just been accepted into St Martins Art College, to start in September.
She is a very modern young lady so decided that the conventional congratulations card was not right for her. I was inspired by an article in Craftstamper, I hope that she likes it.
Nickie was clearing out her car this afternoon in preparation for her brand new car tomorrow, and she found my John Lewis vouchers (a Christmas present from my school children) that I had lost. They must have dropped out of my bag on the journey home from Cottenham, I thought they were gone, never to be found, so very chuffed ;0) Thank you Nickie!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Caustic soda and teabags

Nickie and I haven't had a chance of a play day for ages and today was the first Saturday that we both had free so........

I got out all the necessary equipment and covered the table,

made up the dye baths and waited for Nickie to arrive. We were going to have ago at rust dyeing ala Lynda Monk, but as the solutions were still a bit warm we started with some printing first. We have been inspired by the work of Jenny Langley a member of Fibrefusion. At TIF last week she told us how she does her work-food for thought and lots of discussion on the journey home from Cottenham.On Monday Nickie stitched away to make a motif inspired by pig wire, this was gong to be the motif for printing with. Oil paint was spread on paper and the motif placed on top with fabric. As we don't have a printing press, we used my Big Shot, which is what I had offered to lend to Jenny last year when she was talking to us about her project. The Big Shot would have been too small for her work, but for us it was just right!

I didn't get time to stitch a motif, but we will be doing this again so I shall make one for next time.
We were both very excited by how well the printing turned out, even hubby was impressed when he came in to make coffee for us.
It was then on to rust dyeing. One dye bath contained a mix 0f teabags and caustic soda and the other ferrous sulphate we made a lovely mess, but oh what fun we had!!!
We dyed mainly Tyvek as material didn't seem to be reacting, just as we were tidying up we had a good result with the fabric so we will explore this another time.

We double dipped all the pieces and have got some wonderful colours. Hubby supplied us with yet another cup of coffee and then we just had to have a cream cake or two as well ;0)
This is how the table was after we had finished playing but it was soon cleared away.

It is the first time Nickie and I made sure we wore our rubber gloves all afternoon, we shall be doing this again but we will wait for the summer so we don't have to use hair dryers to dry the Tyvek.
One of my favourite pieces of Tyvek, which I have now coated with acrylic wax and I'm now waiting for it to dry.

This is the only piece of rusted fabric that worked.
We ran out of time to try the Dragons Blood ink and the iron gore ink that I have recently brought- next time!

Oh lucky me!

I was very lucky yesterday, I won a give away on Genies blog. I don't know which piece I have won, it is going to be a surprise.
I love her mixed media work. She has recently made a lovely piece of work with a jigsaw piece. I think I need to check all the jigsaws at work on Monday and recycle the ones with missing pieces!
Such good timing, yesterday was the end of eight weeks of a bumpy road for me.

Friday, 26 February 2010


One of my OWOH prizes has arrived safely in the USA, I hope the other one gets there safely.
After the talk by Purplemissus, I ordered some Dragons Blood ink and some Iron Gore ink and the have both arrived now- more experimenting to do!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

After another two and a half hours of ironing, my sheers are now able to fit neatly in this box. I don't really enjoy ironing unless its fabric that I have dyed in which case I cant wait to get the iron out! But I feel a sense of achievement as the horrible mess they were in, was driving me up the wall. When I have a spare night I will sort them to colour, but I have school reports that need to be written asap.:0(
On Saturday if the weather improves Nickie and I are going to have a go at rust dyeing with caustic soda.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


Nothing creative tonight!
It was our first meeting to start planning our Regional Day for July 2011. As Nickie and I have never had to organise anything like this before, we are relying very heavily on June and Carol to guide us. The minutes are typed up and I'm off to bed, this side of midnight for a change- well only just!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

More reading matter.

After work today I popped to Craft Arena to deliver a parcel that I had collected for Denise from Art Van Go when I was at Cottenham on Sunday. Look what had just arrived in the shop. Just HAD to but a copy of both mags, I love these publications-so much for an early night!!!!! I have been out with my oldest daughter and friends for our monthly get together playing with paper and inks. Next month everyone is here and I am showing them how to use alcohol inks.

I am also tackling this huge pile of ironing - I love using sheers and have bought rather a lot, in fact so many that they wont fit in my box or a bin bag. I am in the slow process of folding and ironing them all, I will then roll them up and hopefully they will be nice and tidy and wont take up as much space.
Tomorrow night I have a committee meeting - it will be the first meeting to start planning our Regional Day for next year.

Monday, 22 February 2010

In todays post.........

After a day at work, where the children couldn't go outside because of the snow and rain, I had this parcel arrive and, oh boy! did it lift my spirits! It is my prize from Anna for the OWOH giveaway. She made a beautiful card, and sent some extras which included some handmade beads, threads and embellishments.

The piece de resistance was her 'scrapbook'.

The photos were taken in natural daylight but unfortunately because it was such a drab day the colours are not true, much brighter.

The book is really delish,

It's full of scrummy texture.

Don't you just want to stroke the pages?

A very big thank you to Anna, I am truly delighted with it.

If you want to know how Anna has made this book, there will be instructions in the next issue of Workshop on the Web by Maggie Grey.

Tonight I have been thinking about my next project which is to make a vessel for a Craft Arena workshop. I will be using Ancient Persian artifacts as my design source.
So in readiness for Thursday night, I have painted a few pages in my sketchbook.

At the last meeting of YE, one of the young girls was interested in learning about making Tyvek beads, so I have sorted out some Tyvek, photocopied a few articles and given her details of Carolyn's blog to help her on her way.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Textiles in Focus.

It was silly hats on for Textiles in Focus. I hadn't had time to make another hat so made do with last years one!
When Nickie and I started our journey this morning, I wasn't even sure that we were going to get there. The back roads were so icy, and we saw remnants of several accidents but Nickie got us there in one piece. I had a lovely classroom to hold my workshop in. A bookcase to display my work, plenty of space and light. The ladies were very enthusiastic and were a very creative bunch as you can see by the work below when we got together at the end of the class for a 'show 'n' tell'

I was asked today by one of the ladies on my workshop to teach at her textile group - Impetus, later in the year:-) One of my 'students' is doing C&G felt making and cut up her totem to put in her sketchbook.
I think they all did very well.

MESCH had an exhibition at Art Van Go last November and I couldn't get there so it was lovely having the chance to view it today.
This toucan was made by Margaret for her hubby, it actually sings Happy Birthday. Also met Mavis at last, have been reading her blog for some time now.

I loved the way MESCH displayed their birds-very innovative!

It wasn't until we started packing up our stand that we realised that we hadn't taken a picture of it, so only a few pieces left on the table.
I just had to buy a few 'necessaries' to round the day off!
Our journey home was good, the snow had melted. I have been to tired to do anything at all creative- all that talking!
Kezzy got home at 5.00pm and was in bed not very long after. She slept under canvas in the snow last night, but was nice and warm thanks to the new sleeping bag. I hope to find out about her weekend tomorrow when I get home from work. Alan and Kezzy have got the day off!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Jacky Russell workshop.

A very thick frost this morning meant very icy roads driving to Chelmsford for the Jacky Russell workshop. And didn't we have fun! Painting, stitching, zapping and burning, what more could a girl ask for?

At the end of the day, we had a show 'n' tell and what a lot of work was produced though not everyone's work was here when I took the photo.

Jacky was very generous with her materials and techniques. Even when we were eating our lunch, Jacky was still demonstrating to us. If you get a chance to do a workshop with her, go for it you wont regret it!
We had so many members wanting to do this workshop, that we are having Jacky back again to do a repeat performance.
The final bits have been packed ready for TIF tomorrow, and my playroom is tidy-though as hubby says 'not for long!'

Friday, 19 February 2010

Yet more packing!!!

In between packing my bags for the Jacky Russell's workshop-surfaces with Lutradur that I am going to, tomorrow and giving Kezzy the 'hurry up' to get her equipment sorted for her camp tomorrow, I continued my playing with unused art materials and made this little brooch.
I had to get some food for Kezzy to take on her camp, and while I was out managed to get these supplies in for my next 'play' -hopefully next weekend, weather permitting. Can you guess what i am going to try????
Rust dyeing- Lynda told us at EG on Monday that these are the ingredients that she used for some of her vessels.