I gave myself a post-Christmas pressy a little while ago and bought some Magic Foam Stamps.  I’ve been meaning to use them with my Gelli Plates but I haven’t had the time to actually imprint them yet. Well tonight Little Man went to sleep early so I stood over the hotplate, (because I don’t have a heat gun but tonight I had time, sweet time, so a hotplate had to do), and heated and pressed and heated and pressed until I was happy with the imprint.  I did ruin one stamp. I think it will print ok and probably with an interesting background texture but I should probably not heat it again.

Here they are:

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These three are made with string.

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The left is made with a weird frypan like thing for the BBQ with holes in it. The right is made with a plastic rack for a microwave container.

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This one is a favourite. I hope it prints well. It was made with dried beans and tea leaves.

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And this one was made with string and is the one I ruined. See the dark blue? That would be an overheated and now permanently textured surface.

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I used my Inktense blocks to colour the background for this little piece.  I purchased the inktense blocks with embroidery in mind, though it’s my visual art that I seem to be using them in.  I like the vibrancy of this little square and the background colour enhances it, I feel.

The big problem with doing embroidery these days is time. This tiny square – about 3 x 3cm – took months to complete!  Just because I only get a couple of stitches done before my little man needs me, or wakes, or starts to become too interested in the embroidery himself and wants to help.

Now to turn it into a brooch or pendant. How long will that take, I wonder?

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So, I managed to connect up the bottom right wings so they were less like a mossy rock thrown through the window.  But it still lacked the vibrancy I was hoping for and  the attention was still in the bottom right being of quite a different texture to the rest of the painting due to the wash. So….

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I added some richer colours. Some washes. Some metallic even!  And I added some finer lines to my “mistake” to lighten it…..and  now I really like it again!

I’ve become a bit entranced with stained glass windows. I guess I’ve always loved them but I’ve never tried to draw or paint them.  This mixed media take on it is hardly realistic, but I think it captures the essence of what I feel when I come into contact with some beautiful church windows, or old fashioned stained glass.

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This is the mono print using acrylic paint and the gelli plate.

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This this is the same print with some detail added using inktense blocks, used like water colours with a brush.

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A bit more work with some washes….and I think I’ve ruined it with the too-heavy wings in the bottom right. Stay tuned….(which is really a message to myself to keep working)

I received, or rather bought for myself, a Gelli plate for Christmas. It’s so much fun. I loved the result with ordinary craft paints so much that I went out and bought some professional acrylic paints.  I haven’t used acrylics since high school and remember really hating them. Ever since  I have usually used watercolours or pastels.  But I love the way the acryllics mix on the Gelli plate.

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(Please excuse the shaddows on the photo…we have overhead lighting and the only time I got to photograph these was at night)

I’ve discovered that, particularly on ghost prints where there is more white paper left, I can add details with water colour, water colour pens and inktense blocks, afterwards.

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So so now I need to buy some more paints!

I’m finding it hard to get any time at all to do anything creative with a toddler.  Which is not to say that we don’t do creative things together. We do!  But my own stuff is left lingering on the doing room table.  It’s hard to find time or space to do any fine work, controlled work, work that requires obseravtion.

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So I have discovered mixed media, and I love it. I can put down a wash of colour, and return later, when I can, to add some tissue paper. I might then not return for a couple of days, but when I do I see shapes and patterns that look like…..something. I can sketch an outline before being whisked away by my toddlers laugh.  I can see a pattern on a toy or household item that might be printed in ink on the paper, perhaps a tyre track, or rubber starfish might provide inspiration.   I can return, and layer, and strip back…..in fact I think that’s a valid process on its own that just happens to ft in with my mothering style.

I can reframe or cut things up. Perhaps the above piece looks better in close up!

For some reason I always wanted to work with beads but have been frustrated by stringing or beading techniques….so why not combine with embroidery and just sew them on?!

I’m happy with the result.

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So just thought I’d post a picture of my studio. ….

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But that’s a cafe!   Yes, indeed. This is where I end up doing the majority of my work, both stitching and writing.   My little one tends to fall asleep in the car and if I’m too far away from home he doesn’t necessarily transfer to the bed.  So we go to the nearest shops and park ourselves in a cafe.  He has always slept better out than at home too, so whilst this means that I don’t get to sleep, I do get some time to create. Which is just as important sometimes.

Here I’ve finished the trio of new “flags” for a necklace.  Just need to finish them.

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It’s taken me months to finish this plain weave scarf with some brooks lace at the ends. It is a present for the lovely woman who gifted us her time and photographic skill earlier this year.  We now have beautiful photos of our little family.

I wanted to make her something because I know she appreciates the time and effort that goes into something hand made.  But I didn’t realise that I would have so little time to craft with a 2 and 1/2 year old developing at his own, very fast, pace!

I also had always thought of weaving as a quiet craft. But guess what?! It’s terribly noisy!  For weeks I tried to do some work on this while he slept but every time the clatter of the heddle locking into place would wake him up.

So it’s taken a long time….I hope she likes it.

Oh…it’s mainly linen yarn with a couple of strands of merino in the weft.  It was the first time I’ve worked with linen and I really liked it.  The yarn itself was spun pretty loosely, was thick and thin and had a few soft tufts in it.   I have always thought of linen yarn as being incredibly fine and smooth. I wonder why that is?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I finished a little painting for my son. I began it two years ago. It’s not a masterpiece but luckily he won’t care.

 

Here it was…almost finished…it needed something more…

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Here is a bottle of violet ink that was begging to be cracked open yesterday…..

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Here’s the beautiful glass pen that I’ve not practiced enough with.  On the page is my “practice” for the painting. (There’s not much time for the luxury of practice and I did want to get it done before he grows up)

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Sure…I can do calligraphy!

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Obviously I can’t do calligraphy.  But I like it all the same. 🙂

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