Saturday, 31 July 2010

I love making books

This book was made at about the same time as that in 'Scraps of brown Paper'.
I had bought a notebook with a plastic cover to keep craft notes but the cover annoyed me and the corner broke off so I decided to make it more personnal and good to handle.
I cut and covered a large cardboard envelope to make a new cover for the notebook and then used a 3D card envelope/package that had been used to send me a book.
I brayered ink from a 'rainbow' ink pad onto pieces of brown paper that were to cover the cardboard glued them onto and around the cardboard. I added a card 'pocket' to the inside back of the cover so that the back cover of the notebook could be slotted in. This means that the outside cover, should it wear well, can be used again when the notebook is full.

I decorated the notebook and cover with my favourite wild flower rubber stamps from Graphicus. Today, I added butterflies to the decoration in 'honour' of the butterfly count sponsored by Marks and Spencer.
At the moment only cabbage white butterflies are visiting my garden and other years we have seen peacocks and tortoiseshells. I think that next year I will rear some from Worldwide Butterflies and hope to help increase the population.

I dyed some more wool roving yesterday. This time it was superwash merino and I made an effort to use new colour combinations.
Now, I have to think of interesting, exotic and decriptive names for the colourways with the hope that someone will be enticed into paying money for them!!! Any suggestions?

Friday, 30 July 2010

Feeling proud

Several months ago I agreed to write an item for the Journal of Weaver's Spinners and Dyers about Fibre Reactive Dyeing. (
I have been dyeing silk and other fibre and yarn with these dyes for several years and thought I'd like to share my experience.

When the Summer 2010 issue had been published I was very pleasantly surprised to see a photo of my weaving on the cover. I had sent photos of the process and finished spun and woven items but never dreamed of my work being shown on the cover. My photos were obviously of a better quality than I realised. I often get things out of focus but maybe so do professionals!!! There are also several photos of my finished work inside the magazine.

Most of my clothes are cotton or linen and I don't enjoy wearing synthetic fabrics, woollens irritate my skin, so I only work with wool for someone else.
Yesterday, I decided to dye some woollen fibre with acid dyes, some of which I have had for years. For this I used the microwave as it's too hot to stand over a heat source at the moment and the time taken to fix the dye is shorter.
Next I am searching for some new colour combinations as I so often realise that I have returned to old favourite combinations like purple, blue and green.

Some time ago I posted about a shawl that I was weaving for our younger son's girlfriend to wear to her sister's wedding. I have a photo of them at the wedding but must get a close up of the shawl.
They have bought a lovely thatched cottage and begin moving in this weekend. What an exciting time for them. Perhaps in the not too distant future a shawl for another wedding day will be needed!!!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Scraps of brown paper

I use brown paper to separate the layers when I wind a warp onto my loom. After a time it becomes torn and distressed, waste material as far as a weaver is concerned, but, for a paper crafter a useful resource. The distressed look is good, has charm and character and can be a useful way to recyle 'materials'.
Since childhood I have been interested in making books and now because of my interest in card making using rubber stamps, embossing powder and all manner of colouring mediums, I have started to make spiral bound notebooks, shopping list booklets and all manner of books in which to record my craft notes/processes etc.
The pictures here are one of my latest 'creations'. I love red and I am always very pleased to see fields full of red poppies at this time of year. This inspired my to make the 'Poppy notebook cover'.
The cover is made from recycled boxes, which once held such things as photo paper and printable labels or a book ordered on the web, covered with brown paper and decorated with a rubber stamps on the poppy theme, hitherto unused. The fastening is two recycled leather buttons with a silk twisted cord.

This was designed as a recording/planning book for another weaver who also likes red. Some of the notebook pages are for inspirational sketches, others for weave draft planning and some for project notes. It is removable and can be replaced in the future by a bought shorthand notebook.