Last summer a friend and I went on an embroidery course run by the Royal School of Needlework in Hampton Court on the outskirts of London. It was an excellent day where I learned some stitches i didn’t know already and how to start and finish and generally embroider the Royal School of Needlework way! Don’t get me wrong…I will never be as good as the graduates of the School who often go on to work on royal wedding dresses and other such things but it was certainly interesting to get an insight into how they worked.
On the day I started a piece of embroidery that I got to take away to finish…and earlier this year I finished it…ok I know it should not have taken quite that long but i have a lot of things going on at the same time.
Here is the finished product…
Now I have to figure out the best way to mount and display it in my house 🙂
next project based on these new skills is to design my own piece of embroidery. I am thinking
embroidered versions of patterns like this…this will take some thinking about..
that is making books…not the type that leads to money changing hands in relation to fast moving horses and suchlike…
Anyway on to the real point of this. I have been trying some more things…no actually i have been trying the same things some more…
the first thing is making fabric art bracelets. the last one i posted was for me and I have been wearing it it is getting a little bit frayed and worn, which is not a bad thing it looks quite intentional so that is ok but i decided to refine the process of making them as I enjoyed making it.
So here are the results, this one was entirely fabric not based on leather like mine…I was in a slightly orange mood…
It is difficult to show the texture but i tried:
I have put this one up in my new Extemporise Folksy shop…I just hope someone loves it as much as loved making it 🙂 http://folksy.com/items/4396105-cuff-bracelet-in-orange-and-neutral-fabrics-and-laces
The second new craft i revisited recently is making books, I wanted to cement my new hand sewn book skills and try out some ideas i had for a fabric cover. this one is the same construction as the last one, with hand stitched pages sewn around slips to allow the cover to move. I forgot to take pictures of the process as i do it…but i promise I will on the next one.
I still need practice in both of these crafts, but i am having lots of fun learning 🙂
Good morrow my friends and welcome to a brand new week full of sparkling new opportunities yet to be discovered!
Ok…I am feeling uncharacteristically optimistic…
the book is still a work in progress…i haven’t decided how i want to embellish it yet so it remains unadorned and will be posted once i have decided what to do 🙂
this weekend…mostly inspired by an offcut from the bookbinding that fit around my wrist well I decided to experiment with fabric art in the form of a bracelet. It was inspired by an idea in a book by Ruth Rae but the details made up by me.
it is made from offcuts and old buttons.
This weekend also yielded another two cards, one for potential sale and one for a birthday card for my dad 🙂
First an image transfer stitched card that i may one day get around to putting onto etsy
am slightly unsure about the words…but i had a gap that needed something 🙂
the last one for today is a card i made for my dad’s Birthday
New skills was what this weekend was all about. I went on a course to learn how to make hand sewn books. It was at the Weald and Downland Museum (http://www.wealddown.co.uk) in Sussex and was run by a very knowledgeable woman called Gaynor from the Blue door Bindery (http://www.blue-door-bindery.co.uk).
we learned how to fold paper into sections and how to make sure it is folded in the right direction…right direction i hear you repeat quizzically…well..yes…I didn’t know this before i wend on the course but paper has a grain based on the direction of the fibres within it. It is important when making books to have these running from head to foot (top to bottom), although i am unclear as to what happens if you don’t. and might make on the other way round to find out but that is besides the point!
we learned how to make these folded sections into a text block and to sew them (along with the end papers) both to each other and to long strips of material called slips which help to hold the whole thing together and move backward and forward within the cover to allow the book to open out. Here are some pictures of the text block (or pages ;-)) and end papers all sewn together and the slips in place
once all this was done we put the covers on , they were glued to the end pieces but no glue was on the spine at all, this allows it to open out completely flat. It was quite a tricky process as we had to slit the cover to weave the slips through…i believe this is decorative and not structural.
The finished product:
This is the book as we took it away from the course, I think i may need to add some extra finishing touches, the top and bottom edges of the leather need finishing i think and i am slightly unsure of the visible slips so these might get covered.
All in all I am pleased, I have learned new skills and am looking forward to adapting them and using them in my own way…I feel a lot more book coming on 😀
I am on a roll with this blogging business, I decided to share some of my other projects with you…
As well as image transfer I am attempting to put my love of doodling to good use and have been turning some of them into cards.
I have also been experimenting with some different surfaces to doodle on, which brings me to the title…book pages.
I am sure (as I have) many of you have seen book pages turned into just about everything you can possibly think of, and I am sure it presents some of you with the same questions i had…first and foremost…what about all those poor books!
Well…for my experimentation I must inform you that the book i chose for this was on its last legs, it had lost some pages and was well beyond repair. It was a mas produced reprint of a classic. I still had difficulty making the first mark…but that being said, I really like the way it looks, I also am attempting to believe that i am giving the book a new chance of life, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if i was not doing this with it, it would be thrown in a bin! so here are the results…
Now if only i could convince some of the people in the world that they want to buy them…
Good afternoon, I though it was time for another update. I have been carrying on with my experiments in image transfer and getting some interesting results. I have mede some discoveries along the way and though i would share them here (and record them lest i forget)
The first thing i have learned is that hessian is not an easy surface to transfer images to…it is quite bumpy and has holes in it…
However…if you do want to transfer to hessian it is possible but it works better if you but at least 3 layers of acrylic medium, probably more so that it wont all rub off when you try to get the backing off…
Closer weaved fabrics work a lot better, calico is relatively sucessful. Hard surfaces such as wood (the only hard surface i have tried so far, work much better too.
I have also discovered that the type of medium also makes a difference, I have tried the Windsor and Newton Matt and Gloss Mediums and the Liquitex gloss medium, the Liquitex version seems to work much better for this application, I might have to do a direct comparison of all three on the same photo and the same surface at some point.
So that is what i have learnt…here are some photos of what i have done with some of the previous image transfers and some new projects.
The wood transfers are in the middle of drying after i took the backing paper off with water, which is why their colour looks a little odd. They need a little bit more attention in places.
Recently i Have been investigating transferring photos onto fabric using acrylic gel medium, it is an interesting process that i need to work on a little before i have it perfected.
I have discovered that hessian is trickier as the very course has a tendency cause the picture to rub off when removing the paper backing. Calico is more successful and more layers of medium work better. It is also important to let the acrylic dry completely before removing the paper.
ok… here is the bit where i get a tiny bit pretentious…but i love the london eye photo and the railings photo because i love the juxtaposition of the geometric modern subjects onto the textured natural looking fabric.
so here are the results…
THe next step is to incorporate these transfers into larger pieces, i just need to decide exactly what i want to do. I am also going to do some experimentation with image transfer into other mediums, gesso, acrylic paint etc.