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Posts Tagged ‘slate’

Just got back from a slightly different but very much needed and enjoyable week in North Cornwall. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen photos of our walks and beach excursions in my stories and I even managed to get some stitching done as well.

First, a piece of blackwork from a gorgeous design I found on Pinterest several years ago. I’m afraid I don’t know the designer, so if anyone does please can they let me know so I can credit them. This is stitched in a single strand of Gloriana silk thread on 28 count natural Cashel linen and yes, it is tiny! Most of the motifs are about 1cm square.

Stitching al fresco in Boscastle while my husband and little one went snorkelling in the harbour.

And again at Tintagel while we waited for our slot to cross the new bridge onto the headland.

Finally finished. I still love the design and I’m glad I stitched it, but I’m ready to move onto something else!

I’ve decided to stitch a Memory Journal style diary for this holiday. I’m going for images and memories from the whole week, rather than one piece to represent each day as I’ve done in the past. We went to Crackington Haven on the Sunday evening to watch the sunset.

And to have a little beachcomb – although as the tide was well in, it was only a little one. I love the slate pebbles of this beach with their scribbly quartz inclusions.

So the first piece I created was using the pebble fabric from the Anderby Creek Memory Journal and some flat slate pebbles from Crackington Haven beach over which I stitched my own quartz inclusions.

I’ve also been very taken with the way the prevailing winds sculpt the trees on the north coast. (Taken through the windscreen of the car, so not the best photo, but I love the shape of that tree.)

Start of my sculpted tree piece. I’m planning to couch the strands of cotton down to make the outline of the branches and then clothe it in leaves – possibly a few less than on the original so you can still see the framework of branches.

We visited a few beaches during the week but the beach finds were generally a bit sparse. However, I’m planning to use some of these bits I picked up at Tintagel for various stitching and jewellery projects.

Plenty of inspiration and hopefully now I’ve had a week’s recharge, I have the energy to get stuck into them.

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We went away for a week to the Lake District not long after the Alice Fox workshop. The work I’d done with papers and found objects really whetted my appetite to get back to some found object work of my own as part of the journal I usually make to hold the memories of our time away.

At the end of the first day I wandered along the edges of Langdale Beck while the children splashed about in the already low water levels (and this was in May, before the long hot June and July we’ve had in the UK.) I was delighted to find this crumpled piece of metal with holes already nicely placed for stitches in close shades of green silk.

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It went very well with a thickish piece of beautifully textured hand made paper with inclusions of leaves and stems.

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On a visit to Stott Park Bobbin Mill I was fascinated by the offcuts of wood thrown out by the different machines in the process of turning chunks of wood into bobbins. The initial machines created a basic bobbin shape from the blanks, shaving off pieces a few millimetres thick. So I picked up a few bits and made them into my own bobbins!

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The next process shaved the rough bobbin down to the proper shape, throwing out endless translucent ribbons of wood which piled up around us on the floor. I definitely needed some of that! Different woods behaved differently. The one towards the top split pretty much wherever I tried to fold it, whereas the paler one was more like paper, holding at least some of its bends and folds without splitting. I want to add some more needle weaving to vary the widths of the holding stitches and some ‘chips’ in a needlepoint ribbon to the background.

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Playing with a printed National Trust logo from a paper bag and some scraps of hand made paper.

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Later in the week we visited Honister Slate Mine and I picked up a few slate chips from the car park. I painted some more of the hand made paper with watercolour to echo the colour of the slate and just had a bit of a play.

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I’m really pleased with the way the paper echoes the texture of the rock.

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Free cross stitch in various silk threads to echo the rhododendrons of Stagshaw Gardens. This one just needs finishing.

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And at the end of the holiday, a quick beachcomb on the shores of Coniston Water revealed this lovely fragment of verdigrised copper which I mounted on two pieces of paper left over from my Alice Fox work.

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I really enjoyed finding objects I could stitch into and around and the relatively quick way many of them came together. And of course, the memories they have captured. Slightly different to some of my other holiday journals, but I like to be different!

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A friend brought me two water-worn fragments of slate from the shores of Coniston Water in the Lake District last year and it was a little before Christmas that I turned one of them into a pendant. I love this rippled surface so I left it natural.

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The other side, however, I polished smooth before using my dremel to carve out a disc in the slate. I then set a pretty vintage marcasite roundel from a broken earring into the hollow.

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It was missing a gem from the centre but none of my marcasites were big enough to fit and it was too shallow for a paste stone. I went through a number of beads, stone chips and other ideas before I remembered I had some tiny beach glass pieces from my Seaham haul. One of those sat very nicely in the top…

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… leaving only the jump ring to attach through another drilled hole. This lovely soft dark grey slate was really easy to cut and shape unlike the Langdale slate which I’m still struggling with!

Very pleased with this assemblage of found objects; one from the English North-East and one from the North-West, hence the title. It can be found here in my Etsy shop.

 

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We’ve just had a typically wet, but in spite of that, very enjoyable week sharing a cottage with friends in the Lake District. I’m on with my holiday journal which is a mix between an altered book and the found object journalling I did a couple of years ago in Cornwall. No pictures of that yet, but here are some of the lovely things that I came across in our exploration of the Lakes which have inspired me.

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness:

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Just one example of the stunning stained glass at Blackwell House.

Stained glass, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Inlaid detail on a bureau:

Detail of a bureau, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

A period Arts and Crafts sofa:

Arts and Crafts sofa, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the plasterwork between picture rail and ceiling:

Decorative plasterwork, Blackwell House, Bowness

Beautiful whitework on a pillow:

Whitework, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the pieced patchwork hexagon fans of the 1911 quilt on the same bed:

Patchwork bedspread, Blackwell House, Bowness

Wet slate roofs in Chapel Stile:

Slate roofs, Chapel Stile

 

Crewelwork bedspread at Brantwood House near Coniston, the home of John Ruskin.

Crewelwork bedspread, Brantwood House, Coniston

An example of Ruskin lace, a type of drawn threadwork introduced by Ruskin to the Lake District as a cottage industry.

Ruskin lace, Brantwood House, Coniston

I love these cheeky sheep – one of the sculptures at Grizedale Forest.

Sethera, Grizedale Forest

Sethera, Grizedale Forest 2

 

It feels quite odd to be home – I could have happily stayed another week!

 

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Glad you enjoyed the first part of the tour through my journal. Here’s part two.

Journal Tour 2a

Journal Tour 2b

Journal Tour 2c

Journal Tour 2d

Journal Tour 2e

Journal Tour 2f

Journal Tour 2g

Journal Tour 2h

Journal Tour 2i

Journal Tour 2j

Journal Tour 2k

Journal Tour 2l

Journal Tour 2m

Journal Tour 2n

Journal Tour 2o

Emulous waves 1

Journal Tour 2o

Reclaimed by the sea 1b

Finally finished. I really enjoyed the random nature of this, with days all over the place and some days contributing more ideas and pieces than others. No rules – my favourite way of working.

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It’s finally finished, and as Rachel pointed out, more or less in time for this year’s holiday! Just thought it might be interesting to take a virtual tour through the pages.

Holiday journal tour 1

Holiday journal tour 2

Holiday journal tour 3

Holiday journal tour 4

Holiday journal tour 5

Holiday journal tour 6

Holiday journal tour 7

Holiday journal tour 8

Holiday journal tour 9

 

Holiday journal tour 10

Holiday journal tour 11

Holiday journal tour 12

Holiday journal tour 13

Holiday journal tour 14

Holiday journal tour 14

Part two coming soon.

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While on holiday in Cornwall this year I beachcombed a number of very thin round fragments of slate with the intention of using a shisha stitch to attach them to fabric. These are the results so far:

On turquoise silk with calico underneath and surrounded with kantha circles.

Slate shishas 1

In close up…

Slate shishas 2

…and in the journal.

Slate shishas 3

On shot blue/gold silk dupion embroidered with hand dyed silk thread by Chris.

Slate shishas 4

And in close up.

Slate shishas 5

On a fraying fragment of red shot green silk dupion with green perle.

Slate shishas 6

I stitched this one by artificial light and now I’m not sure about the colours, so I think I’ll redo it, probably in a vivid red.

Slate shishas 7

Trio on crinkled gold satin with a Caron thread.

Slate shishas 8

I love the concept, but I think the thicker threads don’t work quite as well and certainly I need to be a lot neater in my execution!!

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I’ve mentioned before about how I love the herringbone effect Cornish slate walls. These are in Tintagel, bordering one of the car parks.

Slate wall, Tintagel 1

Great pattern and texture and something I wanted to explore again.

Slate wall, Tintagel 2

 

The day I took this picture, my husband walked from Boscastle to Tintagel to meet us and also photographed a similar wall on the coastal path, his one thick with leafy blue-grey lichen which gave me the the final image for my next journal piece.

Cornish slate wall 1

I decided to create the texture of the wall by using gesso on calico, dabbed on in three or four layers, building up the depth of the stones.  This was then coloured with watercolours which ran nicely into the cracks and crevices and gave it light and shade.

Cornish slate wall 2

Emboldened by the success of the stone effect, I decided to add a background, painting directly onto the calico with the watercolours.

Cornish slate wall 3

Variegated green thread in random straight stitches for the vegetation at the base of the wall…

Cornish slate wall 4

And short strands of blue-grey slubby thread, un-plyed (if you get what I mean) and couched down in little bows to mimic the lichen. It was interesting, stitching through the gesso-slathered calico!

Cornish slate wall 5

 

Stuck into place in the journal.

Cornish slate wall 6

This was so far out of what I normally do with the mixed media of gesso, paint and stitch, but I really love it – it all just worked exactly as I’d envisioned it.

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Some of the slate fragments I picked up on the various beaches we visited in North Cornwall had split into sheets as thin as card. Sheets thin enough to easily drill; I hoped. On returning home I pressed my trusty bow drill into action and was impressed with how easily it put holes through the slate. (Not sure what it’s done for the sharpness of the drill bit, mind you…)

Stitched slate on sand 1

I chose scraps of hand dyed sandy brown and green fabric with a coarse weave and used a stranded silk to stitch the slate with simple straight stitches through the pre-drilled holes onto the layered fabric bits beneath.

Stitched slate on sand 2

I wanted this piece to be all about the texture so I added a seeding mixture of french knots and straight seed stitches to the scraps of sandy coloured fabric in the same stranded thread.

Stitched slate on sand 3

Then stuck it into my journal…

Stitched slate on sand 4

…before turning my attention to another piece I’d drilled.

This time I used one of the drilling templates I’d made during my jewellery course for feather stitching through brass. The holes are 1mm across.

feather stitched slate 1

 

I used variegated silk thread for the feather stitching onto a scrap of turquoise habotai silk backed with calico. A hand dyed cotton shading from greens through browns and purples to turquoise couched down the fantastic slubby thread I’d unearthed whose shades echoed the colours of my journal so well.

feather stitched slate 2

Then I cut the backing fabric to follow the lines of the couched thread before it too went into the journal.

feather stitched slate 3

I love the ease with which these came together. Slate as shishas is another possibility.

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The first full day of the holiday was half beach(es) and half buildings –  slate walls and cottages – and the colours of this block are designed to represent that.

The stitching on the sand side was inspired by the wonderful patterns I photographed at Constantine Bay.

And the stitching on the slate side was inspired by the herringbone-like stacked slate patterns I saw in so many walls.

Although mine are softer and rounder than the real thing.

Another block finished.

Just two more to go.

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