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Posts Tagged ‘transfer medium’

As I continued to stitch the Diagonal Raised Band I became less and less sure that it was right for the piece. It’s a lovely and relatively simple stitch to work as it’s based on diagonally placed cross stitches and the lacy background is beautiful, but in spite of all its good points, it still didn’t feel right.

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It was too stiff and just didn’t reflect the soft curves of the raked gravel cradling the Niijima Floats in the Zen Garden. So I finished it off…

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…and started stitching into some silk noil. It’s difficult to see as it’s double running stitch in cream silk thread on cream silk noil but it’s supposed to be a series of parallel channels like the rake lines.

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I planned to experiment with trapunto quilting by stuffing the stitched channels with thick wool. And to my delight, even though the only wool I could find in the right thickness was green, it worked!

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Stuffing the other channels which aren’t open at both ends has been an interesting task but with the help of a stiletto I managed to get this far.

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And with the transferred picture.

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Suddenly it works. The lines of trapunto quilting even almost match up with the lines of gravel (which was a complete accident). I’ve been fighting the pulled thread work all week but when the right technique falls into place it just comes together so easily that I actively want to stitch it instead of it being a chore.

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It seems that a lot of the last couple of weeks has been about creating cards. As well as the Fathers’ Day card I showed in the last post, I was also asked to make a first birthday card…

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…and a birthday card and anniversary card. For the birthday card I decided to revisit one of the experiments I did with some Angelina fibres, rubber stamps and an iron back in February 2012 and still have hanging about! I just added some simple gold herringbone and straight stitches. The Angelina is so blingy that I think less is definitely more.

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The anniversary card is one of the dozens of prints I took from Chris Gray’s huge wooden printing block collection when she led a workshop for our Embroiderers’ Guild back in 2016.

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I used just three threads in shades of green and purple to fill in the design with chain stitch, satin stitch, fishbone stitch, detached chain stitch and of course, french knots.

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Having had all these to put together, as well as one for my own dad, is partly why the pulled thread I had planned for the Kew memory Journal hasn’t progressed very far. The weather also hasn’t helped as I’m stitching in cream on cream…

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… and good daylight is a must. It just hasn’t been nice enough to sit outside and stitch very often.

Once I’m in the swing of counting I find pulled thread work has a very pleasing rhythm but unfortunately it seems that I’ve just got settled when at least one member of the family needs something – usually feeding!

I wanted a heavily raised stitch to echo the raked gravel of the Japanese Zen garden where Chihuly’s Niijima Floats were exhibited and I think the Diagonal Raised Band I chose does that very successfully.

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The picture has been transferred onto silk with transfer medium and will be stitched into the top corner.

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Now all I need is some decent light and a family who can feed themselves…!

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Finally finished, thanks to all your help, advice and ideas. I settled on a frame of brick fabric over an interfacing core to finish off the canvaswork bricks and a touch of Inktense to intensify the colours. It’s tacked in place here…

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…and slip stitched in place here.

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A closure of some grosgrain ribbon printed with maple leaves and a vintage snap was the final finishing touch, and I can now proudly present the Tattershall Castle Memory Journal.

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Unlike the Anderby Creek Journal this one is folded as a triptych with the bollock purse in the middle.

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And the reverse. The ribbon is stitched to the two folds and passes under the micro quilt which is press studded in place.

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I’m delighted to have finished it and am ready to move onto the third in the series – the Kew Gardens Chihuly Exhibition memory journal. I just have to find the black hole that my evenweave fabric has disappeared into first…

I also had fun making a Fathers’ Day card for a friend’s dad. I really object to the tired old football, beer, cars tropes that get trotted out every year, especially as neither my dad nor my husband are into any of those and neither is my friend’s dad. But he does love the Lake District, so I gathered some scraps of hand dyed fabric and started to experiment.

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A little bit of ironing later and I had this:

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It was a good way of showcasing the different textures as well as the variations in colour and I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.

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It went down very well apparently, so another satisfied customer!

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The last Tattershall piece is underway and coming out exactly as I wanted, even though I wasn’t sure what I did want! I’d set my heart on using a transfer I’d made from a photo in the booklet of some of Tattershall’s bricks but it was what to do with it that had me baffled. Then I thought back to the first visit with my youngest and I immediately recalled the rain storm which we sat out under one of the trees by the shop. Leaves and raindrops, I remembered and it all fell into place.

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The background is some more of the batik I did at our last Guild meeting and the tiny leaves are cut out of some hand painted fabric backed with stabiliser.

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I’m stitching them down with split stitch veins in fine silk before I add the raindrops.

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I’ve also done a fair bit more on the Bright Pyramids needle book. The double dark blue line is the spine and I’m already onto the last hearts and flowers panel. After that I just have four more rows of long-legged cross stitch:  two vertical and two horizontal along the whole width to do before making it up.

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Am still swearing but less often, which must mean I am improving.

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I made a little pair of upcycled butterfly earrings recently which sold to a friend almost as soon as I’d posted about them on Instagram.

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I then had a lot of fun turning a card booklet which had contained a free sample tea bag into bespoke packaging for them!

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The felt on the left is to cushion them when the booklet is shut.

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Contact details on the back and a ribbon attached to the spine with a miniature paper fastener as a closure.

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A very satisfying little make.

 

 

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As well as messing about with old jewellery, I’ve also been putting the finishing touches to my altered York Minster book. I didn’t have any real aim apart from to play with the pages and images and see what happened.

The cover simply had a quatrefoil border in embossing paste added.

Altered York Minster book 1

Experiments with transfer medium on a colour photocopy with added background in watersoluble oil pastel. I love this image taken pointing up at the sky.

Altered York Minster book 2

Stones from a scrap of marbled paper and medieval tiles.

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Close up of the tiles. The page has been given a rough coat of gesso followed by a rough coat of brown oil pastel. The ’tiles’ are made from a papier mache medium pressed into a silicon mould, painted and dry brushed and then mounted on little squares of card.

Altered York Minster book 4

 

More tile patterns  and fantasy mason’s marks, made by putting letter stickers together. There are always a few x, v, z, j etc kicking around on the end of a sheet and it was fun to see what patterns I could make from them.

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Dragon boss in flames and medieval dioceses. My first attempt at stitching through ready pierced paper.

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Part of the rose window with oil pastels behind and layering two transfers of a painted roof boss.

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More mason’s marks. real ones this time, scratched into a heavy layer of gesso on one side of the spread and drawn onto a thinner layer with some assorted facts on the facing page.

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More experiments with transfer medium and photocopies. The great seal of York Minster (reversed!) on the left. You can also see the slubby thread I used to stitch it back together, the very old original staples having rusted away.

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My found poem pages. The rest of the text is obscured by layers of gesso and iridescent watercolours and the words are joined with rub down transfers of gold dotted lines. The pages are interleaved with wrapping acetate from a posh shop!

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More experiments with transfer medium, this time onto clear acetate sheet, using patterns from the Five Sisters window which is referenced in the original text. The images on the right are mounted above a paper copy of the pattern using spacers.

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A transfer medium green man with oil pastels and embossing paste foliage on the left. On the right, two left-over images from the Five Sisters window have been stuck on the page, the ‘panes’ cut out with a craft knife and painted gauze stuck behind. Painted gesso covered card strips form the masonry around the ‘window’.

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The gauze ‘stained glass window’ with the light behind it.

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The back of the gauze with embossing paste patterns and the same stencil used as a rubbing for the ‘cope chest’.

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The silk brocade contents of the ‘cope chest’.

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And the ‘richly embroidered jewelled copes’ page using a pricking tool for the embroidery and Stewart Gill paints and glitter medium for extra sparkle!

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A rose and text fragment with stick-on edging.

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The final page – the Minster and the Roman fort.

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And the back cover – assorted stars, gesso and paint with the pamphlet stitch re-stitched spine.

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It’s been fun.

But still in my heart of hearts, I can hear the scandalised whisper of my conscience,

“You drew in a book…”

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More of the altered book.

A Latin quote caught my eye…

Ut Rosa flos florum 1

…and sent me off creating a scrap of rose text with Stewart Gill Byzantium paints on tea stained paper.

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Without border:

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With border:

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I cut all the window spaces out of this image of a York Minster Rose Window and stuck it over a page which I’d collaged with some rainbow coloured scraps of hand made paper and then used water soluble oil pastels to continue the colours over the bits of page left.

Rainbow Rose Window 1

In place on the spread:

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And joined by a layered transfer of a lamb boss.

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I had two images of this boss, one closer than the other. I used the gel transfer medium to transfer them to the page, rotating the second so the ribs of the vaulting (accidentally) almost line up. I like the different layers of translucency.

Rainbow Rose Window 4

Another Rose Window to come.

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That hour or so between coming home from work on a Friday evening and having to start on making an evening meal has proved to be the perfect place for some creative time. To be honest, I never really did much useful then, apart from potter on the computer and do odd jobs, so it’s really time reclaimed. Anyway, here are the results of our second session.

I really enjoyed the gel medium transfer process with the Green Man but was a bit disappointed with the size of some of the holes I’d ended up with and wanted to improve my technique. I’d printed out a selection of pictures linked to York Minster and decided to go for another spread using an image of the York See seal.

The large areas of black around the crossed keys of St Peter worked really well but I need to make sure I’ve thoroughly covered the very edges of the image with the gel medium as this is where it started to fragment. I also still need to carefully remove a few scraps of paper from the border.

York See seal transfer print

Then a transfer of an image of part of the roof and a tower over a wash of oil pastel.

York Minster transfer print

This was much more successful – learning very quickly and loving it. Also, the style of the image means that any missing bits are less obvious.

Gel transfer prints

Hmmm. I wonder if it would work on something other than paper?

I’d printed some images of geometric leading patterns from medieval grisalle windows and decided to try transferring them on some clear acetate.  It was a bit tricky rubbing off the paper without disturbing the transfer but the results, while not perfect, were a lot better than I’d expected.

Transfer onto acetate

I mounted the four best transfers over a paper copy of the same pattern, using sticky pad spacers on the corners to hold them slightly clear of the page and hopefully give the impression of a window.

Geometric glass pattern transfer 1

Geometric glass pattern transfer 2

 

And the completed spread.

Grisaille windows altered book spread

I’ve placed it on a page which mentions the famous Five Sisters window, a wonder of medieval grisaille glass.  I wonder if it would work as well with colour prints…

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We have a local garden centre which after lengthy negotiations has finally sold out to big business and will shortly be demolished to add more huge superstores to our local out of town shopping area. They have a large craft department and when I drove past a few weeks ago to see a banner with the magic words ‘75% off all stock’ I couldn’t resist!

By the time I got through the doors, everything was very, very well picked over, but the girls and I went methodically digging like hardened boot sale veterans, going for all sorts of weird and wonderful things that we wouldn’t normally have bought, but which at a quarter of the price on the label were a snip.

At the checkout, the till rang up almost £300, which was a nasty moment until the final buttons were pressed and our huge hoard came in at a mere £70 odd. In fact, the girls and I got so excited about our treasures, including: gel mediums, beads, findings, journaling tags, inks, water colour pencils, lino, stencils, embossing medium, card, paper, stickers, fabric dyes, buttons etc. etc that we went back the next day too! They were moving out some of the shop fittings and I discovered that all sorts of things had fallen under and behind them – packs of acrylic paints, canvases, pens and pencils, even a whole box of watercolour pads. We stocked up big time!! In fact, another £80+ big time. I do love bargains and even more when it gives me the opportunity to experiment with things I wouldn’t normally buy.

Time to play and turn a 1927 York Minster Pilgrim’s Book I bought in a second hand book shop into an altered book with some of my new goodies.

Altered book, embossed cover 1

First, embossing paste through a brass medieval style stencil I already had.

Altered book, embossed cover 2

Then I used a leafy stencil on some off-cuts of card…

Green man 1

…which made me think of leafy Green Man heads, so I googled a picture of one of the York Green Men, printed it out and used a gel transfer medium to transfer the image onto the page.

Green man 2

I like the slightly distressed fragmented look. I used the embossed leaf sections to frame the page, gave it a wash of green water-based oil pastels and then enhanced the Green Man With ink pens and shimmer watercolour in copper.

Green man 3

Something very different and so much fun. My middle one is altering a book too and we’ve agreed to put aside an hour on a Friday after school to work on our creations and share ideas and supplies. Looking forward to some hopefully ring-fenced creative time.

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