Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Trip to Ireland

                                                    View from the Back Door.
Hello! Hello! Yes, I haven't dropped off the edge of the Planet - though it does indeed feel like it! The header photo is of the field next door, with the silage all baled and ready for what is probably going to be a long and wet Autumn/Winter. I rather like this, I think it should go in the Country File Calendar. Do you have the same groan going on in your household everytime John Craven says '...and now here are the entries for this years competition!'...not that we don't enjoy the photographs, but my poor husband just can't bear the whole rigmarole every week in the lead up. I, in turn, can't bear him making the same remark every week...............

 We had a lovely week in Ireland with friends Lesley and Mike. We stayed a few days in their beautiful house just outside a tiny village called Drinagh, in West Cork, then we moved to a hotel in Clonmel while the chaps did fishing related stuff and Lesley and I did.....a lotta chillin'! We swam, I was seen, briefly, on a treadmill, we had some FABULOUS pampering, we sat around and read and nattered and drank coffee and nattered some more. We did not feel in the LEAST guilty as we felt we deserved the rest. I maxed out on as many versions of seafood chowder as I could find....the best? Well, an even draw between Dinty's pub in Union Hall and a hotel in Kenmare, but they were all good, it has to be said.

I was very remiss and didn't make notes of the place names when I took photos so you'll have to excuse the lack of information, just enjoy the photos!

                     Lesley and Mike's house which they've extended and modernised beautifully.

               Conservatory view across to Drinagh..wooded stone circle in the mid-ground.

                                                        Mist on the Hills.

                             Across to Drinagh - a little further than it looks on this zoom shot.

                                                          The Square at Skibereen.

                         Heron on the river at Skibereen. So close to us, he just walked right past!

                        The bay at Union Hall, taken before we went for our meal.

                      Lesley, Mike and Jim  heading into Dinty's Bar for some lovely grub!

                                                       Approaching Bantry Bay.

                                                               Fellow travellers.

    Very orange hotel in Glengarriff - we spotted several houses within a 25 mile radius which had      obviously come out of the same pot!

                                             Buildings in Kenmare - I think!

                         A tiny pub where we stopped off on the way home from Kenmare, for a cuppa.

        City sight-seeing at Waterford. Amazed at the beautiful crystal we couldn't afford!

Well, I think I managed to remember most of the names. Lesley you'll have to fill me in if I made a mistake. I took no photos in Clonmel so that's your lot! We saw some beautiful scenery, met some lovely people. I had a great conversation with a guy in a music shop in Kenmare about various systems of accordians/ melodeons, I could have stayed all day! But I was not tempted! Oh, we did pop into a music shop in Waterford but they were more into guitars, though I did have a little go on a BC melodeon....ooooooh VERY different to my DG one! We will definitely be going back to West Cork, lots more to see, and of course, there's the rest of the whole of Ireland!

Too much sitting in 4x4's though, have really done for my back and the following week wasn't very comfortable. However, almost sorted now. There were so many things I'd intended doing last week, too, but feeling under par, and then having a flat tyre many miles from home, loads of catching up stuff for mum......where did the days go? So sorry I haven't been reading blogs and keeping in touch, but hopefully all back to normal now.

I did have some great postcards printed of some of my textiles and journal pages, so impressed I shall be across to see The Man to have some more done soon! And some greetings cards too. Here are the proofs:

                                 I'll put some pics of the actual cards up next time.

Before we popped up to Dersingham to collect them Jim and I went to market. This is what my money went on this week:

Good, eh? Most - or certainly much -  of this little lot is destined for my new juicer. The rest will be side dishes or luverlee soups. I made one the other day....it does look a bit brown and yuk but it was delicious.....lentil dahl. mmmmmmmmmmm!

I do want to talk about juicers, had a few enquiries after the earlier post. No, we aren't going vegan or fruitarian, just having a little re-jig of the way we eat. More next time!

Oooh and I should really change my profile photo too....I decided to go au naturel, hair wise, and it took me a while to get used to it, I can tell you! Jim prefers it. I call my new shade "Fifty Shades of Grey" (well what did you expect????? and no, I am holding out and intend being the last woman on earth to read the damned thing. Several people whose views I respect have told me the writing is execrable, and I really didn't like what I saw of the author when she was interviewed. Just my opinion.)

Sooooooo, looking forward to having a few chats, and catching up with all your blogs too. See you next time!

I'm back, hang on!

                                                     some of my carved eraser stamps

Hello there, just a random photo of some of the earliest images I made from carving eraser stamps. And a very short post indeed! After leaving Ireland I had a really bad back...yes,again. Seems to be a weak spot. Also had a lot of bits and pieces to do for my mum. Anyway, never mind. Just to say I AM back, and will be posting very soon about Ireland and postcards and some textiley stuff. Have been very remiss on checking out your blogs I'm afraid, but am getting to back into the Old Routine and will get down to sorting my photos later today.

Meanwhile, hope you are not too waterlogged where you are, how much more rain can there be up there??

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Slow Cloth and Image Transfer

                                  My Juicer has arrived! But more of that in another post.

I hope you're all settling back down into 'Autumn Mode' - children back at school, new terms begun, holidays out of the way, yet blissfully we are not yet into counting 'shopping days til...'!

There was quite a bit of interest expressed about my fabric books in the previous post. Mostly, people wanted to know how I got the text and photographs onto the fabric. Well, I'm not a tutorial blog, and there are HEAPS of people out there better equipped to tell you how it's done, loads of books, and numerous youtube clips, so do avail yourselves of those for the real 'gen', as they say.

However I'll tell you how I did mine. First of all the Paper Bag Transfer. You've all seen those paper bags with patterns on, sometimes quite pale. Well they are printed using the final 'run-offs' of print runs, so as not to waste anything. And there is still some juice for us to make use of. Simply place the paper, print side down, on your fabric..use something fairly smooth, mine was old sheeting. Press with a hot iron, keep checking carefull to test 'done-ness'. You'll get quite a faded result, but I like it.

                                                          Just the effect I wanted.

For the other transfers I treated my fabric first with a solution called Bubble Jet Set. Use only cotton or silk, it won't work on synthetic fabrics. It comes in a 946 ml container, not cheap, but it does last, and you can re-use it, so it says. Made by an American firm, it is available to buy in the UK, probably from Art VAn Go, Cotton Patch or Rainbow Silks. Full instructions on the bottle. However, soak fabric in solution for 5 minutes, DON'T WRING, keep it flat and drip dry or blow dry.

Cut freezer papr to A4 size. Iron to fabric and cut fabric EXACTLY to size, removing any stray threads. Feed into your printer in the normal way. For this photo:

I simply laid the original onto the photocopying plate of my printer and pressed go. You can do this with any image, or a textile you want to photocopy and print onto fabric. You can also scan your images and save to your computer, to access later on. You can of course use any computer generated image or text.

For this little book I created paper versions of the pages by using rubber stamps and images /text from magazines onto A4 paper, and using this as my image to transfer. For blocks of text you either photocopy blocks of text, or type it out on your computer and simply print.If you know you are going to want to cut the text apart, then make sure you leave enough space between your lines of text. Here I've just used a block of text:

Here, however, I typed lines of text and spaced them out so I could cut them seperately.

Wash your printed fabric , each sheet seperately so nothing transfers between sheets. I have treated several pieces of fabric and stored them for ages, and it still works. If you are making something purely decorative you probably don't even need to use the solution. Have a try, experiment!

I was over at Jude Hill's lovely blog, Spirit Cloth, and remembered an ongoing project of mine. Jude is a great advocate of the Slow Cloth movement - google it, there's quite a lot of info about it. It grew out of the Slow Food Movement. Anyway, I began a few years ago collecting fabrics (any excuse) and stitching away by hand at a variety of little motifs and appliques. Who knows when it will be completed? It's a slow cloth! So here are some of the pieces waiting to be joined to their neighbours.

Its Working Title, is The Gypsy Quilt. Mostly very bright colours, cottons, silks, velvets...just a collection of lovely things and a wide variety of images and patterns. No plan in mind, it's just meandering its way along. Possibly it never will get finished, who knows!

On Saturday we are off to Ireland for a week, spot of fishing, spot of music, eating and drinking, sewing, reading, journaling, swimming, possibly a spot of walking too, you never know, but let's not be too hasty, eh? Going with good friends Mike and Lesley so double the enjoyment! Not sure I'll be able to blog from there, as am not quite up to speed with the technology..though I am getting there!

Happy Autumns to you all, and let's hope for a bit of an Indian Summer on the side!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fabric Books

Hopefully a colour-packed post for you. Following on from the previous, here are some pics of some fabric books I made a few years ago. The first is entitled  INDIA, and was made in response to a call out by Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, for entries in a fabric book competition. I made this, posted it off to the States (it didn't win, of course!) and was chuffed to see a photo of it in a subsequent issue. Now truth to tell, you need a good pair of specs to spot it, just a small portion near a corner of the page. But it is there!

I used a variety of techniques, my own hand-dyed and other fabrics, hand and machine stitiching, stamping, foiling...you name it, it's in there, Kitchen Sink Style!

Hand-dyed silk tops...I THINK, maybe they're wool tops. Anyway, luscious colours, didn't need any more than a few stitches and the odd sequin.

The page I most enjoyed doing. My hand-dyed fabric, stamped with Indian place-names, seed-stitched, a few shreds of sari fabric pinned to the top corner....easy-peasy!

               A few detail shots, including, above, machine-wrapped cords and fabric beads.

      And in complete contrast, The White Album. Well what else was I going to call it, c'mon!

                                               Good old image transfer and stamping.
                                              Wrapped twigs - very Art Quilt!
                                                          Words of Whiteness

                                     Rather proud of my first attempt at Coptic binding.

These next pics are of the book I made to honour my maternal grandmother, Sophie Emily Pryce.
                                Silken cords and cover fabric - care of The Silk Route
I made the little pocket to contain some explanatory papers. I image transferred the rose image from a paper bag to the fabric.

I tea-dyed a very old tray-cloth which was disintegrating. I have a photo of me as a teenager looking remarkably like her in this shot.

                       I never met Great Uncle Frederick, he died long before I was born.
                                    I love this photograph, the original stands on my shelf.

I was barely six when she died, but I do remember her, making vegetable soup, served in bone china soup dishes, and later, walking along the prom at Tranmere, Birkenhead, with my dad pushing her in her wheelchair. For a working-class woman of her time, she was very fiesty, and had strong political opinions. She was an original Pennine Trespasser and chairwoman of her local co-operative society.
My father adored her.

                                             Words by Paul Simon. Says it all, really.