Thursday, 16 January 2014

'Memory' Keepsake complete

A zigzag concertina 'keepsake'
I suddenly realised that I had not posted images of the finished keepsake that I constructed last month (December 2013) from a tea towel bought from Ikea, some paper napkins, copies of old family photos and words printed on brown paper bags. It all worked out really well and the notes I made as I worked are now re-jigged into a magazine feature which will appear in a few weeks' time - in 'Reloved' magazine (March issue, I think, published in February).

Open up the zig-zag and you will find some of my memories
Now it would not be right or proper to pre-empt the appearance of this issue, so I will just let you have a sneak preview of the finished project. The magazine feature runs to four pages and was inspired by some old photos of my early childhood. When I was invited to create a feature for 'Reloved', I thought that surely everyone has old photos that they might like to make into a keepsake, so I combined a few of mine with paper napkins, which I collect (I've got boxfuls of them!), buttons off old clothes, pretty ribbon, and the tea-towel. So easy to collect together, and homely; I just needed to work out a way that would allow others to use some off the techniques I have perfected over the last five years. (I could have used other floral napkins but decided that as this is to appear in the Spring, then Spring flowers would be best.)

At the beginning (inside front cover) and onwards (inside back cover)
Techniques were basically the use of computer and Photoshop (software) to scan, resize and print photos - on a special easily obtainable paper that has the feel of fabric when it is fused and stitched, plus felt interfacing, and copious quantities of fusible web (Bondaweb / Wonder-Under in USA) plus its use when fusing napkins so they become almost transparent in places. I deliberately left size and layout open, for my aim was to encourage others to 'have a go' rather than stipulate that readers should follow a set of specific measurements or elements; though I did provide sources of supply of the materials that I use most frequently, and instructions for making a keepsake such as this. If you would like to follow my guidelines, here's a link to the 'Reloved' website from whence you can purchase the magazine online.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

In the process of creation

Components for my new commission
I'm engaged on a new project this weekend - with step-by-step instructions for creating a nostalgic paper and fabric 'keepsake' using old photos and napkins. Can't say more at this stage; but it is just bliss to be making again - and in the kitchen that RQ has been refurbishing all year - so light and airy and perfect for photography. I'll post more snippets from time to time as the magazine that has engaged me to do this cannot possible use them all.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Seeking support - and maybe your vote ....

This stitched page from a shared journal is included in the
blogpost I wrote for a gardening blog-writing competition.

I am overwhelmed as I was told this afternoon that out of 130 entrants, I have been selected as one of ten finalists in the first RHS Blog Writing Competition. (RHS = Royal Horticultural Society)

IT'S NOW DOWN TO A PUBLIC VOTE. The entry gaining the highest number of votes will win and I am drumming up support. If you haven't seen my 'Falling in Love' story on one of my other blogs (Grandma's Gardening Notes), do please take a look as it is my personal story, as related to plants and gardens, and a whole lot more. Here's the link: - if you like it, please,  please vote for me. And please share it with your friends and family if you think they would like it too; it was written from the heart. xx

P.S. Instructions for voting are given at the end of the 'Falling in Love'  post.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Open studio in a little caravan - an invitation

If you double-click on this flyer, you should be able to read it.
For those who haven't yet been bombarded with information or duplicate invitations, here is the flyer I created for my studio opening as part of Warwickshire Open Studios. Whenever we are away working in the caravan, I always have my art supplies with me, from a tiny boxful to a basket-load. This year I am moving forward from just 'paper, fabric and stitch' in my mixed-media journals, demonstrating processes and incidents that stimulate anything from map-trails to 'woven words' - I am attempting to create an interactive 'Caravan Kaleidescope'. 

Apart from the stitched cover, this journal was created this Spring whilst staying near Knighton, Powys, Wales
I will be creating the pages within the caravan, hoping that visitors will participate by adding their own impressions triggered by the chaos of our surroundings and hopefully the beauty of what I will be exhibiting. I do hope you will be able to join me, and if you can't but wish you could, do send me a message and I will print and stitch it into the Kaleidoscope. I think this will be a exciting challenge as my demos will turn into a finished piece that can be enjoyed by all.

P.S. Please note, the times in my flyer are correct; I have extended and amended them from the ones I submitted for the brochure page.

Here they are for those who cannot open the page:

You will be so welcome to visit - Opening Times are as follows: 
Saturday 29th June and Sunday 30th June, 2013 (11 am - 4.30 pm)
Friday 5th July, Saturday 6th July and Sunday 7th July, 2013 (11 am - 4.30 pm)
Friday 12th July, Saturday 13th July and Sunday 14th July, 2013 (11 am - 4.30 pm)
Ivy House, The Green, Whichford, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, CV36 5PE
(Look for the large red milk churn on the pavement outside the house Please park alongside the Green.)
Telephone: 07891 141580; 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Visiting Shows for Supplies & Inspiration

Monigami experiment
I will be visiting 'Sewing for Pleasure' just under two weeks time for a fresh stock of supplies relating to me latest projects, partially connected with this year's 'Warwickshire Open Studios' and my own exhibition in my caravan. New directions, new techniques, new projects, and much to do. I've described it on one of my other blogs: 'Dilemmas & Delights' (with numerous links) but will be posting quite a few step-by-step techniques in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Marvellous Craft Show

Richard Box demonstrating at the Creative Craft Show
I've just returned from the marvellous Creative Craft Show at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. I haven't yet had time - or any daylight - in which to photograph some of the supplies I bought - beautiful yarn, beads and fabric - but as the Show is on for the next two days (Fri 1st March & Sat 2nd), I thought you might like to know about it. I've written a long post with lots of pics and online links on my Travel blog, so please link to that for more details.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Word Whispers and demos

napkin images waxed onto dictionary pages / maps and mounted onto
an old curtain prior to stitching and backing; words to be added.
On Thursday evening, I am demonstrating at a meeting of our local Embroiderer's Guild: Paper, Fabric & Stitch' and I have been preparing some samples and planning how I can in a short space of time show all the various phases of creating fabric ziz-zag books based on old maps, recycled books and napkins, waxed or fused into position. I've almost finished the 'Florlegium' that I began during my Caravan Open Studio in July ( not had time to touch it since then and it has taken longer because I forgot what I had planned to do! I need to show how different the napkins look when fused rather than waxed and so am planning another sample entitled 'From Plot to Plate' and a 'Wild Herbal' as well. Maybe I won't have them finished; indeed I won't because that is the purpose of the evening, to demo the steps from idea, through auditioning, positioning, discarding and then putting it all together. Apart from the stitching for my sewing machine is too heavy to shift from my workroom.

Using a different technique
Fused images can be applied direct to paper surfaces (maps, painted bags, book pages etc) or to fabric, and sometimes I apply to muslin or cheesecloth, and then re-fuse to a fabric background. This page has a  napkin image of a foxglove fused to muslin and then cut and fused onto the map, with my hand-written text alongside. It is part of a 'Nature Trail' booklet that I made for a magazine feature a couple of years ago.

Random 'word whispers' for three projects

All my work utilises text as well as napkin images. Some was already written, or at least fitted my theme; the rest I wrote 'to order', and I want to demo how quick and easy that is to do, once you have the images and the idea. This pic (click to enlarge it) shows some of the words for three projects, typed and ready to print onto 'cool peel'. That's the next stage for my samples, so here goes with iron and edge-stitching once the words are 'cool'.

Some of my samples will deliberately be left unfinished: a) because I won't have time to complete all I want to demo, and b) because I think it is useful to show how an effect gas been achieved and guild members can pull them apart and ask about the actual processes.

Now I have to prepare some pages and select some napkins and collect together sufficient pairs of scissors and glue brushes so that they can all have some fun! Or I hope they will, as I am only one of four 'demonstrators' and my topic may not appeal. And I am praying that the roads are not so icy that I cannot get up the hill and out of the village!