Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Fabric Heart

I forgot to write on the last post about how the fabric heart was made and a few people have asked about it.
So I have done a little close up to go with the description. 

The heart is made with layers of fragments of very fragile silk and lovely textured lace. It was backed with cream coloured felt to give it some strength and pieced together  with simple little running stitches, cross stitches and french knots. It has a little bit of darning at the top. Don't you love a bit of darning?  I think I'm going to do more on some other pieces.

When it was finished it didn't really blend in to the painted altered book page very well so I dry brushed it with some white gesso. I did it very gradually because I didn't want it to overwhelm the stitching or distract from the beautiful delicate vintage fabrics but I got a little surprise!...

The dry brushing blended and muted the colour really well and I loved the way it showed up the textures of the stitches and the lace.

I finished it off with a mother of pearl flower button! 

It would make a sweet little padded heart for Valentines day. I hope it will inspire you to make one of your own.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

From my Heart 

I am always doodling, drawing and making hearts so it probably is no surprise that I have an Altered Book with the title From My Heart which has LOTS of hearts in it. I wanted to experiment with lots of different textures for the backgrounds of the pages and the hearts are all made with different materials. 

Some are found fabrics, some are Kantha stitched, some are paintings or drawings. I've used some of my precious scraps and embellishments too because there is no point in having a stash that I never use! Ha! Good resolution!

Some of the background textures in the book need something added to them and the great thing about sketchbooks and altered books is that you can keep going back to them and adding to them. Many of mine will probably never be  properly finished.

So today I decided to do a little flower sketch on a painted cotton gauze background. 

The gauze was cut up and pasted onto the gessoed book page and then dry brushed over with white and duck egg blue matt household paint. Yes! the stuff we paint our walls with!
It  gives it a really tough finish and great texture.

Today I sketched the flowers around it with a black drawing pen.

This was a bit scary... firstly I knew I needed a robust but fine nib to draw on such a rough textured background. My usual favourite Pigma Micron pens wouldn't have stood up to the job. So I used an Edding 1880 pen with a 0.7 nib. These are amazingly tough for a drawing pen and the ink lasts really well. It is still as good as new after me treating it so badly and will live to draw again! The second scary thing was that I kind of liked the background as it was and I knew that there would no turning back. 

It is worth embracing the scary stuff sometimes. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out and will sketch some more stuff on the facing page sometime soon.

I'd love to know what you think.

Oops! I forgot to say how I made the heart! I will do it tomorrow and show you some of the other hearts in the book if you like? x

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Birdy Sketching

I've gone and got the blooming lurgy and its just not shifting! I am not up to doing much so I sat in bed and sketched some little birdies to go in my Altered Book. 

They are done with Derwent Inktense pencils which are my absolute favourites. I've used mainly browns and greens this time but they do also come in the most stunning colours; vibrant and intense, as the name suggests.

But that is only one of the best bits. When you wet them with water they turn into the most 
brilliant ink like paint which blends really well and becomes permanent when dry. 

This means that you can also colour onto cloth with them. So they are great for starting off little embroidery pieces rather than starting on a blank piece of cloth.

The bird below is a little Robin for the 12th day of Christmas, The Epiphany, which is tomorrow.

I haven't had time to sketch for ages so I suppose something good came out of my gloomy day. I'm ready to feel better now tho'.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year

Wishing you a wonderful, healthy, happy and creative New Year.