Monday, September 11, 2017

Busy, busy.... birthday week. We went to see our daughter in her last week in Matilda in the West End. I couldn't resist a "Matilda pose".
Sometimes you have to be a little bit silly.

For my entry of the ITAC 17 challenge which was on the theme of Africa,I made a piano hinge book with some gelli print and joy of joys some pencils I have been hoarding for at least ten years.

 You know how I love serendipity, well I have a box of cigarette cards and I knocked it on the floor.  I thought I had picked them all up and then as I was finishing the book I looked down and there was the lion card.  Love it.
The next challenge is the Americas and I don't have an idea in my head which is encouraging as the deadline approaches.

Absolutely delighted that Chris Froome has won the Vuelta, such a gentle man. Amazing teamwork helped an individual succeed. Wonderful.
 Froome celebrates his Vuelta victory
There was somewas some amazing scenery on the tour of Spain, places that are off the usual sun & sand image of Spain.  It was a treat and is part of the joy of watching these grand tour cycle races, bit like a nice comfy car ride but with spectacular aerial shots as well. It was only marred by the dreadful commentators, obviously given explanations of points of interest that would be highlighted they, for ther most part, chose to ignore these and continued with their endless speculative repitition or made facetious and feeble jokes.  Worst commentators ever Eurosport. Thank goodness for the ipad. Rant over.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


...not often I am ahead of myself but I have actually finished my little book for the ITAC 17 Challenge.  The theme this week was Oceania. A couple of things which  immediately sprang to mind Aborigine art and the strange statues of Easter Island
How to translate the thoughts into a book......Because it was thinking statues I wanted it to stand  so I took a child's board book which I had from my altered books days, printed off a photo of one of the statues and traced and cut. Ouch,this board book would have survived the roughest child..
I gessoed and painted
and I then got completely carried away and forgot to photograph any of the intervening steps. So here is the completed book.

 I reduced the pages so I could just have Land and Sea.
This is Land
 and Sea
I loved doing the dots in homage to Aborigine art. Waiting to see what the next continent will be without a thought in my head. Should be interesting.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


 ......for ITAC 17  to Asia this time.  My first thought was the colours of India, so I  some tried making some paper on the gelli plate.
nice but it didn't have the intensity I was looking for. Anyway I still wasn't sure what I want to do except, of course, it would be some kind of book.  Then, hurrah! My eys lit on a booklet I had made quite a few years back.  We had a talk at the Embroiderer's Guild by Ruth Fox called Folded Secrets.She learned how to make these paper books from the Miao and Dong groups in Southern China.The women use these booklets to organise their threads, ribbons, paper patterns etc. Ruth had instructions for sale which I bought. She has since written a book but unfortunately it appears to be out of print as I can only find it referenced on Amazon at £55 a copy. Glad I bought mine.
So this is the one I made a few years back and gave away.

and this is the one I made for the challenge. First the papers and the large, Indian woodblock I used to print.
and the finished article with anything suggesting Asia that I could find in my stash.Paper and fabric from Japan and shisha ribbon from India. I made the little pictures on handmade lokta(I think) paper with some tiny woodblocks I have.

 and here with some of the fifteen pockets open.

I enjoyed making this though the math (never my strong subject) nearly drove me barmy as I had reduced Ruth's dimensions so that it would be nearly the same size as my Europe book. Just realised I need to put a title on it.
It's been a good week with a lovely stroll through Rochester with my good friend. We nosed in and out of charity and antique shops, bought a few bits in Francis Iles  and indulged in a suasage roll. Very therapeutic.
a couple of things today had me saying "What a neautiful world this is."One was the scenery on La Vuelta.  Physical Georgraphy was my favourite subject and the route between Lliria and Cuenca was like watching a lesson come to life. Founbd this picture but the website does not respond so I can't give credit but look up Serrania de Cuenca if you are interested.Image result for serrania de cuenca
A friend posted this amazing video

The next part of the ITAC challenge is Oceania, hmmmm.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Coming........... favourite time of year. Strictly contestants being announced, NFL pre-season started, nights are drawing in but the days still long enough and the Vuelta has started.  Add to this an interesting online challenge what more could a girl want.
 So far Strictly s the usual collection of "celebrities" I have never heard of but I am sure I will get to love or loathe them.
The Vuelta is going to take me up nicely to the NFL season proper. I treat these cycle races like a holiday. Sit back and enjoy the scenery. The racing is pretty good too.  The Artic Tour of Norway was particularly breath taking and made us wish we were still able to take a real trip to Tromso .
The challenge I am following is ITAC 17 by AALL & Create .  To create in whatever medium you wish an "artwork" to represent a continent.   The first one was Europe and this is my contribution.

 Surprise, surprise, a book.
This one is a concertina with five pages and was a nightmare to photograph.
So many words sprang to mind, Renaissance, History, War, Architecture but I finally settled on Antiquity. Something modern was part of the brief so on the back pages I addedmy own personal sadness at Brexit.

This is my favourite page as my drawing skills are pretty below average, I made this little
collection of European icons by copying individual photographs of each building.
The continent this week is Asia.  I know what I want to do...we shall see.

I can't go without a small rant about the truly dire "craft" programme Craft it Yourself on Channel 4. Such a poor format. Given up after one and a half episodes.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

In my head.....

....that's where I write my posts and then a week later I realise that I haven't actually posted them. This is long but there is good stuff at the end.

I have been making another junk journal, this time I decided to keep it monochrome. It is a fatty.
The cover is dupione silk. A few of favourite pages.

Last week I actually managed a trip to London, it has been so long.  Happily I chose the best weather day in the last fortnight so my wander along the south bank of the Thames was very pleasant. Southwark Cathedral
and a pub decked out for summer.
I was admiring this London brick when I was nearly run over by an electric car.

 Amazing never heard a thing just sensed it behind me, fortunately the street was very narrow and he was crawling along. A thought for the future of road awareness.

Main reason for my visit was the Giacometti exhibition at the Tate Modern. I loved it, I particularly liked the first room which was full of sculpted heads from all stages of his life, amazing variation of styles.   Unfortunately there was no photography allowed (they never have a postacrd of the one you want) and the signage, as at most exhibtions these days was dreadful
I liked this explanation of his thin figures, ".I wanted to hold on to a certain height and they became narrow - the more I wanted to make them broader, the narrower they got."
I took the obligitary shot from the fouth floor balcony
and then I crossed the bridge and wandered up to my usual stamping ground around Seven Dials.
I love it when I learn something new to me and yesterday I came across this video by Nik the Booksmith on how to make faux rust.    

This is my first attempt.
Love it!
and here is another video from Nik, Hobby Craft take note this is what a craft store should look like.

and this is a charity/thrift shop.
Mary Portas take note. 
Finally, snapped this whilst watching the London athletics on tv.
We live somewhere just over the horizon.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


.....must be the summer but I didn't plan for my book to be rose themed but it decided that's what it wanted to be.
I wanted something that felt good in the hand so I made the cover out of pelmet vilene covered in fabric.  It worked, nice soft feel.
The best thing was I have had all the elements for years, so very satisfying to use them.  Thanks have to go to the girls for suggesting I combined two ribbons when I was dithering over which to use.
These are some of my favourite pages. The paper used here from a find in a charity shop.

 He wonders if they will fall.
 Parchment needs a seal.

 Three three treatments of a scrap of material, part of original scrap,  a digital collage and tag .
 and just a few more

It is an idea that has been done many time, You Tube has hours of videos but I had a great time making it.  As has been said many times it is the doing where the satisfaction lies.

Main event of today is hoping to see Chris Froome carry the yellow jersey all the way to the Champs Elysses. I have loved my annual virtual visit to France, so many good memories.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The most exciting thing......

...that happened this week is that I managed to secure the very last place on a workshop with Seth Apter.  It is not until October but at the rate this year is going I won't have to wait long.  Seth and I found each other many years ago through a similarity of blog names and a shared love of rust.  I have, with pleasure, watched his career grow and blossom but have not been able to get to any of his previous workshops.  This one is at Birds in the Barn near Colchester in Essex.

In my play time this week I have been juggling Le Tour de France, Wimbledon and working on a junk journal. I haven't taken any pictures yet but it is nearly finished.

A couple of outing this week.  One to Hall Place in Bexley for a pleasant stroll round the gardens.  I though this was a very pretty bedding scheme

 One of the features of the gardens is the Queen's Beasts, topiary representations of the heraldic animals.

 The other outing was another visit to Faversham, the more I visit the better I like it.  We had gone to visit some of the Open Houses.  We started with a visit to the market  and bought locally grown strawberries and raspberries and then a nose round couple of antique shops.  No pictures inside the houses, of course, I even forgot to take the exteriors (we were battling an  annoying drizzle by that time) This is a photograph I borrowed from

The houses were full of surprises, from the outside you imagine them to be quite small inside but we saw large bedrooms, comfortable living rooms and in one house even a grand piano.   Most of the houses we saw were built in the 1500's and they must be a real labour of (expensive) love to maintain but it made us wonder if the housing that is being thrown up all around us today with stand the same test of time.
My only picture from the day