Here is page in my sketchbook with the foam plates on a randomly splotched page. I am trying to be freer with my layering and not being afraid of being loose and trying new stuff. This plate was a foam plate - see more of the printing journey in my blog page

Decovil -

This was a new product for me - not sure how readily available it is in NZ bit this started as a journal cover but then morphed into a vessel.  It is VERY pink but I was quite pleased with the result.  The decovil was painted then stamped then had painted newspaper strips ( pretties) applied.  Again Kim has this on her blog

3 Days with Kim Thittchai at One Tree point

This was an interesting time using recycled newspaper, paint, bondaweb (viesoflex) stamps and foil - totally our of my personal comfort zone but refreshing and challenging at the same time.  We created a layered strata of painted newspaper that we could stitch into.  I got to try using serviettes in my art work for the first time, using old recycled things like maps, dressmaking patterns, music sheets etc etc.  Here is the book design I did.  It also appears in Kim's blog

Here is that last page with the turmeric dyed swag pocket. I think I am going to put quotes related to the journey into each pocket of the journal. I have had to turn this photo on its side to show the full page

Frog cakes anyone

Just to prove I dont spend all my days playing (I wish!!) here is a photo of Frog cupcakes that I made for the book month of March with a reading from my book Samantha the Cow at Rangitoto school.  There were 40+ kids so there had to be enough cupcakes to go around.  Why frog?  My daughter, Kim, has a children's educational store called Smarty Pants and outside there is a big galvanised frog (called Freddie) that my husband Rob made.  This was a store promotion and advertisement for our Freddie the Frog Club organised by her store manager

The Last page for my journal before I put it together

I am a thrifty wee lass.  I died some cheesecloth with the left over tumeric and vinegar mix from making bread and butter pickles (boiled it for about a hour and a half and got this lovely deep mustard yellow.  It makes a pocket for some text to be place in.  The white daisies are silk cocoon cut open and then attached with a long straight stich with the centres woven.  The black circles are cut from lace - a piece of fabric I acquired at the Cutting Edge Textiles indigo dying day- with the beaded tassles made from see beads to imitate a cluster of dream savers - isn't that what a Journey is about?  The gold printed fabric at the bottom is experiments using roller stanps on fabric and the other bits and pieces are left overs from earlier pages or posts on this blog. It has been a fun journey making this journal.  I just have to pull it all together now

A cheap hack for printing on foil

When I applied the digital aid to foil I found it looked very mcuh like PVA glue (Elmers for those in the US) Digital aid grounds are hard to get in NZ and quite expensive so I thought what would PVA on foil be like and what have I got to lose. I had played around with painting leaves with PVA to make them flexible and able to be used in fibre art or stitched.   So I painted a piece of foil and after it had dried - despite the fact my cat walked across it before it was properly dry - and I printed off these images.  One of the students from Australia wanted to know if it was water proof due to humidity in her region.  It wasnt totally so I sprayed it with universal fixative which seems to have done the trick.  The seascape will form part of the cover of my "Journey in processes" journal which I hope to be able to show you later next week

Printing on Foil

I have been trailing along with Linda Mathews creative cloth class and been inspired by what some of the other students have posted on line in the closed Facebook group.  One of these was using digital aids for non porous substances on foil.  Carrying on from my foil experiments I thought lets five that a go

Playing with a Heat Gun

Feathered wool, Unspun polyester, rolled organza

This is my new toy.  I am going to UK textile artist, Kim Thittikai's workshop in early April and she does lots of things with heating fabric - especially manmade fibres.  I spent a fun afternoon starting with some unspun polyester and fusing it like a long bead and then seeing what happend with a range of textured threads when I wound them round a metal needle and then applied heat.  Here are some of the results.  No doubnt some of these will appear in other pages of my textile journal

This page in my fabric journal began on beautiful shot upholstery fabric - the blue down the side is the back. I started trying (not very successfully) to do an oval Sisha and then added the double organza squares below this. The hydrangea like flowers are created using double, two coloured organza fused together and cut out and the tiny seed beads sewn in the cente. The leaves are velvet, originally free machine zigzagged and then applied with stab stitch in green pearl thread. The butterflies down the side are left overs from some other project - probably my crazy patchwork The green dots are just pearl thread bullion knots

Playing with shapes - a ginkgo. First I used bleach to discharge the leaf shapes on the base fabric, then I used one of the chocolate wrapper nuggets to create a ginkgo. The yellow leaf in the bottom right is needle thread made over water soluble stabiliser, The bottom left leaf is free machined in black over two layers of gold organza and then hand stitched to the background with fawn quilting cotton between the machined lines. I really liked this effect and would be keen to repeat this method elsewhere. The top left is an actual ginkgo leaf which started to tear after stitching so I painted over it with PVA. I was amazed at how flexible the leaf became so I will be keen to try this with other pressed leaves to see what results occur

Experimentation with chocolate wrappers

In an old Quilting Arts magazine (Spring 2004 issue 13) I read an article about making "nuggets" using chiffon and chocolate wrappers.  At Christmas I diligently saved the Ferar Rocher wrappers from a christmas gift and then I was ready to go.  I used organza rather than chiffon as I had that on hand and aftter the first trial I did not use water soluble stabiliser as in the magazine - though if using chiffon you might need that because it is a softer fabric.  I cut some bits of fancy yarn and sandwiched the wrapper and yarns between two layers of the organza and then free machine stitched over the sandwhich .  I found working in a figure eight in black thread looked the best - I was using black organza.  I also tried putting some sequins and some offcuts of rayon threads in one of the sandwhiches.  I am delighted with the result and will continue to make these "nuggets" and when I get enough I might try and make a messenger bag out of them.  I will use some furnishing fabric to attach them to so they have more support but they are quite solid once they are stitched.

Teabag art 2

And this second one of agapanthus

Teabag art 1

I traced these flowers onto some used and dried teabags some time ago and have just painted them using Inktense.  Not sure what I will use these for yet

Fragments

Continuing with the fragments experimentation for a fabric journal, Ii created this piece.  The orange is felt and the centre is made using a button with four holes and attaching each hole with an uneven number of radials at differing lengths.  The radials are then needle woven to create the spokes.  I added some tiny beads at the end of the longest spoke and then attached the whole thing to a strip of Indian border print and added the tassle.  Was a fun and relaxing effort.

Fabric beads

I had never made fabric beads before so I had a go at making these.  I just roughly cut some triangles out of some fabric with a bit of glitz in it.  I painted the long end with some PVA glue and wound it round a straw.  At the pointed end of the triangle I put another dab of gule and slid the resulting bead off the straw.  I made a few of these as one of the students in the Creative Cloth course had used fabric beads down the spine of her fabric journal and it is something I want to have a go at.  I used three of the beads in the Fragment process page below

Another experiment with sheer fabrics

This week we have worked on the use of sheer fabrics in printing in the Creative Cloth course.  I am interested in doing some work with layered fabric so I also tried printing with organza with an underlay of eco dyed fabric.  The fabric was pre-treated as for the lace one below.  I found it quite difficult to photograph the result as the light kept reflecting off the area that had been treated with the grounds.  There are two images printed on the fabric  The left one is the same flower used on the lace, the right is a leaf image.  Theseimages were decoloured to black and white

Working with digital grounds

I have been taking an online course in digital printing on fabric.  We have been using a product called digital Grounds or Inkaid that provides a surface for inkjet to almost sit on top of the fabric but be adhered to it.  It does change the handle of the fabric a bit.  This week we worked with sheers and double printing.  I used some eco dyed fabric painted with digital grounds and allowed to dry and then some lace fabric on top treated in the same way.  Each layer was firmly attached with masking (builder's) tape to a sheet of printer paper before it was fed through the printer.  The result of the two together was very pleasing, the eco dyed fabric was like the negative and quite good but the lace fabric on its own lost the definition of the flowers because of the pattern in the fabric.  A good learning experience

Still working on process and turning these into a journal page.  In this a5 piece it have practices sishas ( still not 100% but my best effort yet.  The stamp is from a regular very detailed stamp - probably too detailed for use on fabric.  I used paintstik rubbings in two colours around the image and then enhanced these with glass beads.  I had a go at making fabric beads - that was fun and easy - and applied these to the bottom right.  The lace flower is a remnant from Kim's wedding dress and doubles as a pocket.  I will place a little message in there.  In the top left I have used a tea bag from berry tea and inked a flower head onto it.  Then I applied with matt medium gell.  The light bit to the right is where I tried stitching through the gell and then didnt like the effect so I unpicked it.  It has shown up much more vividly in the photo than on the acutal piece.  I might add some text at the top but other than that I think this page is done.

To make my work more organic I am working through the year with Linda Mathew's Fragments.  My fragments will be approximately A5 in size and will eventually end up in a fabric journal for reference.  here is my January attempt.  I have worked at being free style and not worrying about raw edges too much, embellishing with beads and finger knitted tassels with a little pocket that holds a tiny heart frame.  I am yet to add a picture to the frame.  I have incorporated the use of stamps on hand dyed fabric, cotton lace stitched with embroidery thread and a shiny polyester sateen backing.  The colours are probably wrong for January in NZ as it is Summer here and the colours are more reminiscent of Autumn.