Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Garden Journal

Over the past few days I've stitched my journal together and completed the first page. I used a variety of layers including an image from my garden transferred onto fabric, dyed scrim, a page of text, silk paper, organza, polyester habotai and a felted/beaded fabric flower. I used an old dictionary for the cover (below) which will be later covered in fabric and collage....which seems a bit of a shame.....so I may find a way to leave some parts of it showing, especially those leafy columns.

My next page will be this digitally altered clematis. I put the original (below) into Photoshop and dragged the texture on top. I then played with the layer effects until I found one I liked (I think it was hard light) and reduced the intensity. Next I stamped it with a script brush and finally altered the colours using hue/saturation.

 The original photo plus my texture from Calke Abbey.

For the final piece I dragged another layer on top (a yellowy digital scrapbook layer from Katie Pertiet) and altered the layer effect and saturation.
I'm currently in the process of printing this image onto fabric. My  favourite method is to coat the cotton fabric with white matte inkAID then iron it onto freezer paper before putting through the printer. The inkAID creates a surface which gives the strongest colour reproduction that I've found.

And finally......yesterday I taught a class at The Beetroot Tree. We altered mint tins (from M&S and Aldi) using alcohol inks and a variety of embellishments including metal, Angelina fibres, grungepaper, flowers, shrink plastic, felt and collage sheets.
Here are my three examples......
.......and the girls at work......

The gallery has a great new exhibition starting this weekend ...its called Fresh. It promises to be an exciting and eclectic exhibition of new craft and design talent with work for sale.

Wish you could all come........ :-)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A Few Things I Forgot......

For those of you who do digital art, here are some free textures for you to download. They are photographs I took at a local National Trust property - Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. Everyone else was taking photos of the house and the furniture whilst I was getting excited about the plaster walls. Got a few funny looks.......

Just click on the image, then save as....

I forgot to mention in my last post that the lovely Diane at My Art Journal is having a give away.....go see her lovely paintings. She is such a prolific artist...I don't know how she does it!

I adore this Garden Girl.

I also meant to show the Lotus Flower books done by two of my blogging friends; Lorraine at Love of Collage ....

.....and Jill at Third Age Musings. Its so nice to see other peoples' versions of these little books. Thank you girls for having a go....your books are lovely!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Digital Collages and Sari Ribbons

I felt in the mood for some digital scrapbooking this morning and used photos from my garden. This is a new plant this year called Francoa Sonchifolia - more commonly known as 'Bridal Wreath'. Very pretty and delicate....

 The Echinacea (or Rudbekia Purpurea) is settling in nicely and has produced loads of new flowers....

And the Alliums (or 'Black Garlic') were great this year.....so sculptural.....
(All digital bits and pieces are from Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals.)

This week I've been fiddling with the sari silk ribbons and threads. I stitched them onto my ink splattered papers which I first bonded onto tea bag paper (from Jackie - she sells it in her etsy shop). Above are a few close-ups.
Its a work in progress.....still need to add some french knots, beads and hand-stitching.
Now I really must get on with my journal ....have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Oh No.....She's a Boy!!!!

Update on the princess......she's a prince! My daughter brought the kitten round today so my mum could see it for the first time. We were all sitting round the table after dinner and Peachy was lying on my lap when my son glanced at 'her' and said thats definitely not a girl! Then my husband agreed and I must admit I began to have my doublts. Poor DD was told by the person she bought it from that it was female so she bought a pink fluffy bed, pink dish, pink poo tray etc...........oooops, well she can't swap them now! For the rest of the afternoon we all struggled to say he instead of she..........don't think DD saw the funny side :-)
Who's a pretty boy then.........

Had a wonderful time on Friday; spent the day with my new friend Maggi (To Dream to Stitch) and she took me to The Threshing Barn near Leek in Staffordshire. It was a lovely journey; beautiful countryside almost all the way. When we got inside I didn't know where to look first; the rainbow display of sari silk threads and ribbons, the shelves of wool and silk fibres in every imaginable colour, hand-made items, books, beads, buttons, kits, tools, dyes..... I didn't want to leave! We even got to see the new piglets in one of the farm buildings. We followed that with lunch in 'Fresh Basil' ...then I was lucky enough to see Maggi's amazing studio.
Did I buy anything.....what do you think!!!
Sari ribbons, sari silks, buttons and beads.....

......plus a bag of mixed wool fibres.

Here's the skein of sari ribbon shaken free of its plait....my fav colours!

Maggi kindly gave me some silk and curly wool (Wensleydale?) that she's dyed herself. Clever girl.
Now I need to get felting and sewing.......

Thank you for a lovely day Maggi :-)

Oh I nearly forgot......I have been making something over the past few days.
I've been stitching cords on the sewing machine.......great fun!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Princess Peaches

Just wanted to show you the gorgeous Princess Peaches....my daughter's new kitten. She brought her to show me yesterday and had great difficulty getting her out of my clutches to take her home!  DH is being very boring sensible and pointing out all the reasons why we can't have another cat. Boooo.......
Looks like I'll be visiting DD a lot :-)
We've been making the most of the glorious weather recently by using our National Trust card. Last week we went to Calke Abbey in Derbyshire (more of that in another post.....DH took the photos on his camera phone and has mislaid the download cable. There are some amazing wall textures on it for digital collage which I'll share! )
Today we went to the lovely Belton House near Grantham and enjoyed the sunshine, gardens, interior, home-made soup, ice cream, tea and biscuits (but not all at once :-)
The house was built late 17th century....'a fine example of Restoration architecture' and was used in the TV adaption of Pride and Prejudice. Just think, Colin Firth may have stood on those lawns......but you'll have to make do with me.

I'm always fascinated by the amazing beds in these places...my favourite is the blue bed at Calke Abbey which has a brilliant story to it  (next time :-) but this was the best one at Belton......in the Chinese room where the walls are covered in hand-painted silk wallpaper.
But this is my favourite photo of all. We bought a very tall echinacea at the plant stall and DH kindly carried it back to the car. He wondered why I wanted to stop and take a photo of him on the way..........
And finally.......I decided to join KiwiCaroles journal workshop last week, click here for  link.
I love all the vintage stuff thats being done but I'm not so good at that so I'm being a bit of a rebel.
Here are my hand-made papers ready to be embellished (they are grouped into signatures.....I've learned something already!) My book is going to be about my garden.......
I had great fun splattering ink and salt on watercolour paper.......
More next time!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Magnolia/Tulip Tree

Update.........it appears we are all correct.
The tree is known as a magnolia tree and a tulip tree...see here.
There are lots of different varieties...I think this is an evergreen.
In England most magnolia trees are pinky/white and they flower before the leaves appear and you tend not to get the two together.
 Thanks for all your comments....we learn something every day!!! :-)

Collage....And More Of Thassos

Had a day to myself yesterday so indulged in my favourite pastime......playing with ink and bits of paper!
Made a couple of tags and some backgrounds for mini-pictures which will be mounted on wood when they are finished.
(I was inspired to make tags by these lovely people....Sue at Heloise and Lorraine at Love of Collage.)

Just a few more photos of Thassos......

 We had to travel by ferry to the island from the greek mainland....a 40 min journey.
Spotted this sculpture in the ferry port (Keramoti).

The entrance to the apartments where we stayed....the gardens were so peaceful.

There was a fabulous tree in the garden; can anyone help me out here.......is it a 'tulip tree'?

This wonderful old olive tree was close by....it could be over 1,000 years old. (Click to see a close up of the trunk.)

We saw this tree by the beach and wondered what it was. Then I saw Patty had written about one exactly the same on her blog. Apparently its a Mimosa tree.Thank you Patty! You can see her post here.

And finally...I photographed some sea holly (top right) and had a play with it in Photoshop. I've printed the turquoise one onto fabric and have started a quilted picture. If it turns out ok I'll show you!


Thats it! Thanks for sticking with me and getting to the end..... ;-)