Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Silk Paper

Today I did quite a bit of tidying up in the various areas of the house I have scattered with my art supplies. It is our 31st Wedding Anniversary, so we went out for lunch, we had thought of going to lunch and then too the movies. We couldn't find a movie on at our local theatres we wanted to see so we didn't bother. We had a very nice lunch out and then came home.

I spent some time playing with my gummed silk supplies this afternoon. As you can see I made 2 types of silk paper. The one on the left is the fluffy gummed silk and I simply teased it out into a thin layer on Bake paper, misted it with water and then covered it with another piece of bake paper and ironed it dry with a dry (No Steam) iron. For the right hand sample I ironed some of the silk rods flat with a steam iron and then seperated the layers and wove them together, misted them and then ironed them dry between layers of bake paper. You really do need the bake paper as other wise it sticks to the iron while it is wet. It doesn't stick when it is dry. Over ironing can cause some interesting scorching. I have read about this type of silk paper quite often but didn't have a go until my class with the lovely Isobel Hall. She demonstrated the cocoon strippings type and I just used the same technique for the woven silk rods one.
Apparently you can also put silk dys or heat activated paints in the misting bottle and spray it with that for a bit of colour. I haven't tried that yet but I might have a go.
The silk strippings and the silk rods came from Beautiful Silk.

I am planning to do some samples with machine embroidery on both. I can't do anything I have to wash so I am going to use the thermo gaze I already have as a stabiliser. I want to try out my flower stitcher as I bought it at the Quilt and Craft show and it hasn't seen the light of day.
I have used the thermogaze before and it does iron away. There is a powdery stuff you have to get rid of but at least you don't have to wash it. There are other melt aways on the market but I haven't used any of them so please tell me your favorite if you have any other suggestions. The silk strippings and rods, Thermo gaze and the flower stitcher and a book on how to use it are all available from The Thread Studio.
I don't get a kick back from any one for my advertising.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fibres Ballarat

I have decided that I am not being unfaithful to my love of textiles by sneaking off to do a book making class. I was feeling a bit like an unfaithful lover. I have decided that my desire to explore a new path is not denying my long love affair with fibres. I am going to be ruthless and sell off some of my fabrics and quilting stuff. I also have a huge pile of doll stuff that I will probably not use. I am not giving up on making dolls or my other textile pursuits I am just taking them down another path. I am a collector and I hate to part with anything because you and I both know that 2 weeks give or take after I dispose of anything I will find the perfect spot for it. But I am drowning under a mountain of stuff and the time has come to simplify and declutter. The big question is can I do it. I believe I can. I read (somewhere someone and apologies I can't remember the source)of a person who culled their house by looking at things and using some simply rules to cull it. Rule one was is this a precious heirloom/memory object that I can never replace.
Rule two was would I replace this if the house burnt down.
An interesting approach. If an object is replacable then I can replace it with something else. I have a large collection on quilting fabrics. They can go. I am probably never going to use most of them, I will sell off what I can and then consider the rest. I also have a big collection of books I will probaly never use. I think it is time to look at Amazon, Ebay and Etsy I am not sure of the rules for Etsy so some research is required to destash.
I don't know if I can actually part with piles of my stuff, but I am going to try. wish me luck.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Making stuff

As you know I am off to Fibre Ballarat in April. This is my favorite time of year. I have an ongoing obsession with fabrics and books. So now I have a dilemma. I really loved the book making class I did with Isobel Hall. But I also love fabrics.
So my dilemma is should I change to the book making class at Ballarat or stay in the screen printing class. I have lots of stuff, probably enough to do both. Oh what shall I do.
If the silk class was cancelled I would happily jump at the book class. Damn it. Every year I do one class and there is always another I wish I had done. I have to decide and soon.... I need a list of Pros and cons. But I can't decide which is a pro and which is a con.
I am sure I have enough of everything except time to do both classes.
The books are smaller.
I have heaps of fabric I haven't used. So do I really need more.
I love books and my friend Wendy will teach me how to use a silk screen.
Oh crap... what should I do. I really loved making those books... I could use some of the silk I have already in the books couldn't I.
I haven't used the fabric I made last year. Nor have I made any more, so I think that might be a sign I am not as in love with the techniques I learnt as I thought I was. If I had more time I would spend it making books.
I'll see if there is any room in the bookmaking class. If there is I'll change.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Isobel Hall

I have recently done an Embroidered Book workshop with Isobel Hall. It was a real pleasure. I learnt so much. I haven't quite finished my book but I will have it done soon. This photo is of the inside of the book. Black card was used for the signatures. I used my own hand dyed perle 8 thread over tapes I painted with the paint I used on the cover. All the stitching details are in Isobels Book "Embroiderered books".

I bought a lovely array of handmade papers and ended up using the brown paper all the lovely papers were wrapped in. This is the front cover which still needs to be stuck down properly. The first step was to paint it with two coats of blue folk art paint. This was allowed to dry and then the painted paper was crumpled and then ironed flat.
Next was a coat of Art Van Gogh Byzantium heat activated purple paint. This was allowed to dry and then gold encuastic wax was smeared over the raised bits with a hot iron. Then I gave it a coat of satin varnish, stitched it and then another coat of varnish. A piece of silk cocoon stripping paper was torn into bits and cobweb stitched onto the base. The back is the same.

I also played with Lutrador crash this was painted, coloured with chalks and then sealed. I will go into more detail on the hows in future posts. In this photo there are also some printing done on teabag paper and the piece of silk paper. I still have lots of bits and pieces for future art works.
Isobel was lovely, her husband Eric was there doing the drying and teaching too. If you get the chance to take a mixed media class with them don't hesitate it was wonderful.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge

I am very interested in Journalling and scrapbooking - A journal to me is more of a diary where as a scrapbook has bits and pieces stuck in and other stuff. So a sketchbook will be a combination of the two.
I have started sort of a cross between the two. Here's my first page. I found the quote on someone else's blog and can't remember who they were so sorry about that. This is the first page. I am not going to knock myself out to finish a page a day. I shall do as I please.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The demise of the Patchwork/Craft Shop

I am quite sad to say our local patchwork shop is closing its doors. I didn't get the chance to chat to the owner as the place was packed for the first day of her sale. I haven't been in for quite a while as I don't do much patchwork these days. I did spend up big though. I was after some quilters muslin as it is my preferred fabric for doll bodies. I was too late. Others had bought whole rolls and there was none left. At 30% off who could blame them. While I waited in line for the checkout I had time to ponder on the demise of the local craft and patchwork shops. Is it that we are spending more at the big craft shows and chain stores? Or is it that the owner has been in business for 17 years and she is tired. We all move on in life and hopefully that is what is happening. I know she will still be at the craft shows and on line so not completely gone. I am well stocked with fabrics so I shall not be running out and now I work in Adelaide I can pop into some of the shops down there without too much trouble.
We need to buy from these people to see them stay in business and I only go to the chainstore when I am desperate for something. I shall have to make do with what I will last me a long time. Perhaps I need a plan... on and a big dose of motivation.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Well here we are in 2011. I always ask where did the time go? But really time passes because we are busy living. I have a busy January. I am doing 4 days of workshops with Isobel Hall at the Embroiderers Guild of SA's Summer School. I am also doing a workshop with India Flint making flags for the Yankalilla Fibre Festival at Easter. I am not sure if that is the name of the thing. If you are in Yankalilla at Easter we will be at the show ground in the hall next to the art show in the big hall. You'll see all the flags outside. I also want to go to Sydney to see the First Emperor Exhibition at the Sydney Art Gallery but Greg is makin "It will cost how much noises" so I am doing some overtime to get the money. I am determined to make a GiGi doll for the raffle at the Exhibition or I might keep it. So much to do so little time.