Tag Archive | hobby craft

Lino Printing Workshop 10th November

On Saturday we had another successful lino printing workshop in Rochdale. There were 6 people this time who came along and everyone produced fantastic and varied work.

It always amazes me what everyone comes up with even though they have had none or very little experience of working with lino cutting.  It shows how accessible this craft is for all.  You don’t even have to be able to draw, tracing a picture can be just as imaginative as an idea from your head.

Tracing an image

Jo created some wonderful images. You can visit her blog here: http://jozartdesigns.blogspot.co.uk  The first lino print she created was inspired by an olive wood angel figure which she loves.  The detail and the colours she used were perfect, the imperfections in the print are really effective creating an almost aged, weathered look as if it has been on the outside of a church.

Jo’s Angels

Her next image was a dragonfly which she cut with wonderful markings on the body and wings.  She inked it up with jewel  like colours which looks beautiful.

Lino Printed Dragonfly

She then used this lino cut to print onto a cotton bag

Lino printed dragonfly Cotton bag

Carol (read her blog here: http://carolcsstuff.blogspot.co.uk ) had done a lot of work before the workshop deciding on images and it shows in her wonderful birdcage and quirky house prints.  It took time and patience but it was really worth it for the great detail she cut into it.

Carol’s finished House Lino Print

John had played around with images he found in a book and created a wonderful styalised tree that he printed in autumnal colours.

John’s Striking Tree printed tea Towel

The image his lino cut left in the ink was lovely and worth a picture when held up to the light.

Reverse Image in the ink

Barbara created lots of Christmas tags using an image of a seed head which she had cut out to create a small stamp.  It is such a simple idea but so effective.

Lino Printed Christmas tags

She also played around by mixing rubber stamps and her own lino cuts to create this cute little robin.

Lino Print Christmas Robin

An even had time to create this beautiful tea towel.

Lino printed Leaf Tea Towel

Anna created a lovely little patterned stamp. She was using it to practice with the different cutters and seeing what effects she could get out of them.  This is a fantastic way to get used to the cutters but still create a usable image, a lino sampler.

Lino Print Pattern Block

She then got more adventurous and printed this wonderful Angie Lewin inspired flower head lino cut.

Seed head Lino Print

Annette created this cute little robin print which would look lovely on a card.

Bird and Apple Lino Print

She then created this lovely sweeping butterfly cotton bag.

Butterfly lino Print bag

The lovely Lynn (http://www.oneimadeearliertoday.blogspot.co.uk/) who didn’t take part in the workshop this time, still managed to make these lovely little tags in between keeping everybody fed and watered with lots of hot drinks, sandwiches and yummy biscuits.

Lino print Tags

Saturday was a great day from start to finish and I hope everybody enjoyed it as much I enjoyed teaching them.  It was lovely to meet lots of new people and seeing what they created. I hope they carry on with it at home, it is a relatively easy and cheap craft to learn.  You can buy the basics from most craft shops like Fred Aldous in Manchester or shops such as Paperchase as well as online from Amazon and Ebay so everybody can have a go.

Below are the links to some of the groups blogs who have written up a review of the workshop.

Jo’s blog: http://jozartdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/linocuts-with-left-handed-lucy-in.html

Carol’s blog: http://carolcsstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/lino-cutting-workshop.html

If anyone would like to come to a lino printing workshop I am running 3 over the next few weeks in Wilmslow, Cheshire so get in touch.

Monday 19th is no longer available

Lino Printing Workshop 3rd November

Yesterday we had another very successful lino printing workshop up in Rochdale. Four lovely ladies attended the day including Karen who came to my first workshop back in August and created her beautiful leaf tea towel, also Lynn Holland who has helped out so much with organising the day and promoting the workshops.  There were two new faces this week, Lyn Robinson who creates wonderful artwork and many crafts also Reverend Gillian Peel who makes beautiful quilts and has the most amazing doodle sketchbook of black and white work or zentangling.

Cutting the Lino

We all had a cup of tea and coffee and a little chat, getting to know each other and then it was down to work. I gave a brief introduction to the tools and a quick demonstration how to create a small lino stamp and then it was over to them. I think the best way to learn is just to get going and learn on the job and ask questions whilst you are working.

I brought along a selection of different autumnal leaves, seed heads, holly with berries and feathers for a bit of inspiration.  Both Lyn and Lynn created some wonderful stamps with the holy and berries and are going to make personalised Christmas cards and Lyn even added a pretty little robin which looks so striking printed over the tissue paper back ground.  I am a big fan of mixing medias together.

Lyn’s Robin Print

Lynn’s Printed Christmas Card

Karen had brought along a sketch she had designed prior to the workshop with the idea of printing it on a cotton bag.  The pattern was made up of simplified flowers in a lovely backwards L shaped design.  She started by creating individual stamps which makes the positioning and colours much more flexible.  The end result on the bag was beautiful, the rich colours blended together against the cream bag was stunning.

Karen’s Printed Bag

Karen’s Finished bag

Gillian had never done lino cutting before but from the prints she created you would have thought she had done it many times before.  I love this styalised flower and leaves.

Gillian’s Floral Print

Lyn also had never done lino printing before and she decided to do a lino block of her cat (also called Lucy).  A difficult image, especially for a complete beginner but the result was fantastic.  Even the lino block is a work of art.  The way the blades cut into the lino creates a beautiful soft fur texture that prints so well and it looks fantastic on the cotton bag.

Lyn’s Cat Lucy

Lynn was inspired by a book that I brought along, Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens by Lena Corwin.  She created a great rectangular block with different patterns and marks which is really effective.  Pattern blocks like this make great backgrounds to then overprint if done in a pale colour.

Striking Pattern Prints

It was a great day and everyone produced such a variety of fantastic work and it was hard to believe that they were beginners!  Lino printing is such a fantastic craft, reasonably simple to learn and gives such wonderful and satisfying results.

Below are a couple of write ups of the day.  If any one is interested in attending a lino printing workshop please contact me for more details.  My next will be on Saturday 10th November in Rochdale which is already full but I am running 3 sessions (10am – 2pm) at Dean Row Village Hall, Wilmslow, North Cheshire on the 19th, 23rd November and 3rd December.  Places are still available on all dates at £25 per person all materials and refreshments included. You can contact me via this blog or my e-mail for more information:  woadbutterfly@hotmail.com 

Lyn’s blog and write up of the workshop: http://lyn-everydaylife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/weekend-workshop.html?showComment=1352059661892

Lynn Holland’s blog and write up of the day: http://oneimadeearliertoday.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/lucys-lino-print-workshop.html?showComment=1352056699474

Gillian’s Work in Progress

A selection of Lyn’s days work

Samplers

If you are like me you will love experimenting with embroidery and what better way than to create a sampler? The word ‘sampler’ comes from the Latin ‘exemplar’ and in relation to needlework simply means an example of stitches.

Samplers have been used for centuries as a type of pattern book that you create to learn new stitches and can then refer back to them for future work like an embroidered notebook.  In the 16th and 17th centuries rare and expensive pattern books were being published and so women collected and recorded these stitches.  The patterns were sewn randomly onto the fabric and the woman would add to them throughout her lifetime so we are left with fascinating works of art.

Linen Sampler Early 18th Century

By the 19th century, samplers were an important part of a girls education and were seen as examples of their proficiency as a needlewoman but their style became much more uniform.  The main stitches used were cross and tent stitch.  The designs were typically made up of the alphabet, the makers name, age and date.

Sampler by Elizabeth Laidman, 1760

I first started to sew under the guidance of my gran but learned proper embroidery at school when I was 8.  Once a week on a Tuesday we would have an hour of needlework.  We started our own small samplers with basic cross stitch and each week learned a new stitch to add to it.  I remember being so proud of my work and I still have it 20 years later!

My First Sampler

I still love to learn new stitches and so still create small samplers so that I can practice and then go back and see what works and what doesn’t.  I experiment with colour and thread types.  Sometimes it can surprise you and give amazing results and sometimes its a reference you can look at for what not to do.  Recently a friend Lynn Holland http://www.doodlybird.co.uk loaned me a wonderful book, The Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion by Yvette Stanton.  Being left handed, I have always had to reverse patterns and stitches and suddenly I could see all the little mistakes I had been making, it is a brilliant book for us lefties.

I experiment with embroidery and sometimes my work can be random.

A More Random Approach

Sometimes I like to make up a square with sections for different stitches and slowly build it up.

Structured Sampler

Different stitches also make great finished patterns such as on one of my needle cases.

Embroidered Needle Case

Have a go and play around with different stitches, you never know what you might create.

Resources:

Mary Thomas: Embroidery Book (1948 edition)

Mary Schoeser: World Textiles, A Concise History (2003)

Golden Hands Magazine Volume 1 p72-73 (Marshall Cavendish publication from the 1970’s)

The V&A Museum website: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/h/history-of-samplers-18th-century/

Basic overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampler_(needlework)

 

Lino Printing Workshop

Teacher For the Day

On Friday 3rd August I took my first lino printing workshop in Rochdale, Lancashire. All week I have been preparing and working out a time table for the day and getting all my ideas together so that everyone gets the most out of the day which was running 10am – 4pm. I got some printing books from the library and some of my own books and magazines for inspiration and a little collection of my own printed work.

A few Books for Inspiration

I decided to collect a few leaves for some design ideas as they give a great simple shape for your first lino cut. On Thursday I could be seen scouring the streets of Manchester City Centre looking for interesting leaves and shapes and definitely got a few strange looks as I emerged from the bushes clutching a bunch of leaves!

On Friday I loaded everything into my car and drove over to Rochdale where the workshop was taking place. I had two wonderful students, Lynn of Doodly Bird fame http://www.doodlybird.co.uk and Karen.  After and lovely cup of tea and a chat I started to set up all the equipment and got prepared.

Leaves and Equipment

The aim of the day was to start with a little introduction to lino printing, a look at all the different equipment and then get them to have a go and mess about and get to grips with all the cutters and what effects they give on prints and eventually have a go at printing their own design onto a tea towel.

I did a quick demonstration of how to use the cutters by showing them a simple leaf pattern and then they had a go. They were both really good straight away and needed very little help. I love lino because it is such a simple method of printing and has such satisfying results, you can just let your imagination take over. Something as simple as a leaf can spark something amazing.

Simple Leaf Prints

They both started with leaves but Lynn then decided to have a go at one of her Doodly Bird designs which worked so well.

Lynn’s Doodly Bird Design

I got them to start with prints on paper to get used to the inks and the pressure to use to get the desired effect.  We were printing everything by hand with no press which is how I do my own prints and means you don’t need any expensive equipment to start.

Lynn Hard at Work

Lynn used a paint brush to apply specific areas with colour on her newest Doodly Bird.

A Pyramid of Doodly Birds

Karen used a simple sponge which gives great texture to a print and mixes colours really well. Some of her prints had a great ethnic look to them. They used plain white paper and also some lovely handmade paper sheets both giving different effects and textures to the prints.

Karen Starting on her Tea Towel

After a lovely lunch and quick browse through the books it was back to work. I brought along some plain white tea towels for them to print, so the afternoon was dedicated to creating a design for the tea towels. Karen had created quite a few leaf and flower lino cuts so had to decide which ones she was going to choose. Her final design was really striking and the colours looked fantastic.

Karen’s Final Design

Lynn used her Doodly Bird and created a friend and printed them both so they were talking to each other. Up the side she designed a pretty stylised flower. Unable to resist she finished the tea towel off with the help of a black fabric pen, giving it her trademark look which definitely made it look amazing.

The Star Students and their Tea Towels

I had such a fantastic day and two brilliant students and am looking forward to more workshops in the future.  I loved being a teacher and passing on skills and techniques that I love and I hope that they both carry on with lino printing.  Lynn has done a little review of the workshop on her wonderful blog ‘One I Made Earlier’ so take a look: http://www.oneimadeearliertoday.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/another-string-to-our-bow.html

If anybody is interested in lino printing I am happy to do a workshop for you either in your own home or in a rented space close by.  I am based in the Manchester area and am happy to take groups of up to 5 people.  Please feel free to contact me to find out more.

Everybody loves a Cosy Blanket

With all the wonderful weather we are having in the UK at the moment, there is nothing better than sitting under a nice cosy blanket or quilt, with a warming cup of tea and a good book or a great movie. I love blankets; they can really make your home feel…. homely. If you are in a rental they can make even the ugliest sofa beautiful and they can also become a wonderful heirloom to pass down the generations.

Blankets can be made from anything, knitted or crochet, patchwork, quilted, woven, plaited the possibilities are endless. Blankets of all kinds have such amazing history.

Mariner’s Compass Quilt, Pennsylvania c.1840/1850

Take the American quilts for example. After the War of Independence, American cotton manufacturers found it difficult to compete with European and British imports and textiles were expensive so small scraps were used in geometric shapes to create quilts. By the mid 19th century designing a patchwork quilt had become one of the major forms of domestic folk art. Traditionally an American girl should have up to 12 quilts in her ‘hope chest’ with a 13th being her Bride’s quilt. Quilting blankets became a major social event with ‘Quilting Bee’s’ taking place where pioneer women who lived far apart would meet up (Betterton 1982: 7-8).

Another wonderful type of blanket is the Welsh Quilt or Carthens. All are woven on a Dobby loom, two different pieces of cloth being woven together to form a double cloth. These are heavy blankets weighing over 2 kilos. The most recognisable of Welsh blankets were made across Wales from C18th. Some are still produced at the few surviving Mills such as Rock Mill Capel Dewi , Middle Mill sova and Tregwynt in Pembrokeshire. (http://www.welshblankets.co.uk).

I love making blankets of all kinds and so am sharing a few of my creations here with you so you can see my eclectic love of craft. I will never be able to choose one favourite crafting method, every time I look in a book, read a craft magazine or browse another crafters blog I find a new technique I want to try out and end up loving. Crochet, patchwork, quilting are all methods I love. I am not a great knitter and a blanket would probably take years not days. My next aim is to learn more about weaving. My mum can both spin and weave so I may have to go to her for a few handy tips to start me off.

First to crochet.

My first crochet project

The above blanket was my first ever crochet project. I taught myself so that I could teach a friend. I found it incredibly difficult as I am left handed and therefore have to reverse all of the instructions you find in books. The left handed crafter is definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to craft books and guides. This blanket I started and just kept adding to it and ended up with a huge double blanket but I was so happy with it and it now has pride of place on my sofa.

The current crochet blanket project

This second one is still a work in progress. I found it in a magazine and loved the pattern so much that I decided to make it. It is great as you can use all your wool odds and ends as no two squares have to be the same so very economical!

A crochet Present

Third is a blanket I made my parents for Christmas, I love the colours together.

Patchwork.

A Personal Memory Blanket

This is one of my favourite blankets I have ever made. I made it in January this year for my sister Emma’s 30th birthday. The idea is that of a memory quilt. I cut out 30 squares of different fabrics, some with meaning such as the tartan of our school kilt, some of Emma’s old clothes and some of my grans fabrics and then embellished them.

Our school kilt tartan

Some square have embroidery with significant words, dates and occasions.

Embroidered Personal Details

Others have photographs printed on or appliqué.

Felt Storm Clouds and Ballet Shoes

I left a few plain as I didn’t want to overload it. It is a warm blanket as inside is a layer of wadding and it is backed in a plum coloured cotton. It fits a double bed so pretty large but I wanted it to make an impact when I gave it to her.

Quiting.

Personalised Quilted Blanket

This blanket I was commissioned to do as a present for a baby. Both the pillow and the quilt are personalised with the little girl’s name. The client said that I could design the blanket myself with anything the only instructions being that it had to be pink and girly, hope fully the finished blanket achieved this. I loved doing this project, I think creating something with a personal touch that you know someone will treasure is such a wonderful thing for a crafter or artist.

Has anyone else made a blanket or quilt? What is your favourite crafty method? Let me know your latest blanket project.

If you are interested in commissioning a blanket please feel free to contact me to discuss it further, I am always happy to hear from you.

A few References

Betterton, S 1982 Quilts and Coverlets London:L Butler & Tanner Ltd

Kort, E 2008 Wisconsin Quilts: History in the Stitches Krause

A wonderful website and business about Welsh blankets run by Jane beck. Although not a weaver herself, she is interested in the social history associated with the industry, there is so much information on the website so take a look. http://www.welshblankets.co.uk

An interesting little article about the Whitney Blanket http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/g_IeloABTraJ_FvU0m1elg

How to make a photo frame jewellery display

This is a great way to display some of your jewellery. It is so simple and easy to do and looks beautiful with your earrings and brooches hanging off it. It took me about 1 hour to make this small one but if it is your first go just take your time and have fun. They make really nice presents as well.

You will need:

What you will need

• A photo frame of your choice, make sure that you can remove the glass as you don’t need this and sometimes the glass is glued to the frame which you don’t want. Always be careful when handling glass and dispose of it or use it responsibly.

• Polyester or cotton wadding – enough to cover the frame with about an inch on all sides (see instruction 2 below)

• Cotton or fabric of your choice the same size as the wadding

• Ribbons, buttons, beads and trimmings etc

• Cotton thread

• Needle

• Pencil

• Thick card

• Scissors (and pinking shears if you have them)

1: To start, remove the back of the frame and take out the glass.

Draw around the photo frame backing onto your card

2: Place the frame back on your card and draw around it so that when you cut it out is fits into your frame. Then cut about ½ cm smaller on one length and one width so that it is now slightly smaller than the frame back.

3: Use the card to measure the wadding and the fabric (remember to cut them both about an inch wider than the card on all sides). I used pinking shears to cut the fabric so that it won’t fray.

4: Place this card on top of your measured wadding making sure it is central. Then using your needle and thread secure it to one side of the wadding and proceed to sew through alternative sides of the wadding like a corset so that it fits snuggly around the card. I normally start with the width as it is the longest side. Make sure the card stays flat as you don’t want it to warp, so don’t pull the thread too tight, keep the tension nice and even. Do this all the way to the bottom, then knot and secure your thread and cut it.

Sew the wadding on either side in a zig zag pattern around the card

Continue sewing all the way from top to bottom

5: Do this exactly the same length ways. You should end up with your card wrapped in the wadding, nice and flat on the front and with lots of cross over stitching on the back. It doesn’t have to be overly neat as no one will see the back just make sure it is secure. Put it into the frame to make sure it fits. We cut the card slightly smaller than the frame to allow space for the wadding.

Sew the wadding tightly and smoothly both length ways and width ways

Place the wadding wrapped card smooth side down onto the wrong side of your cut out fabric

6: Do exactly the same with the fabric. Place the wadding wrapped card on top of the fabric in the centre and proceed to sew in the sides in the same way as you did with the wadding, crossing over like a corset (instruction 5).

The back with both the wadding and the fabric

7: When it is secure, turn it over and it should have a nice padded flat front. Place this into the frame again to make sure that it still fits with no bends in the card, if there are you have sewn too tightly and you may have to undo and start again.

Pick your decorations

8: Now we can decorate. Use any ribbon or lace you have and sew it anywhere you like. On mine I have sewn a pretty floral ribbon on the base. At the top I have sewn 2 thin ribbons. They are securely attached on either end but on the front they are only attached where the beads are so that they are loose in between. This way you can hang earrings off of them and the beads give it nice decoration.

Place and sew your decorations

Attach thin ribbon with beads, leaving the ribbon loose between them

9: Once you are happy with the decoration put the finished card into the frame and put the back of the frame into place and secure it. Turn it around and there you have your very own photo frame jewellery display. You can now have it standing on its stand if it has one or hang it on your wall.

You can make these in any size you like. I have some big ones that I use for display at my fairs and to photograph my brooches I make. Just have fun and experiment.

Little and Large displays