Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Past Week


The new plan is that I shall try and post something on the blog each Sunday,(and yes, I know it’s Monday today – I’m late) even (or especially) if it’s about half-finished things, or side-trackings. That way I should keep on top of things a little more, and if it shows Work In Progress that is all to the good. After all, the process of creation is as important as completed activities, so this might provide a record of the way things evolve  and develop.

I wanted to try and produce some more painted papers to use as backgrounds in the Sketchbook. I’m doing them A4 size, but thought I can cut or tear the finished papers into smaller pieces, to try and break the sketchbook up a bit more and make them look more interesting,  by dividing the pages into smaller units, and grouping linked things together.

Anyway, I thought it was a good opportunity to try out some different techniques. So I’ve been painting wallpaper samples with acrylics. I thought they might not take paint, because they seem to be covered in some of kind of vinyl coating, but they were fine. I picked the one on the right because it has text on it, but I had the paint too thick, and lost the words completely, so I tried wiping it off a bit. The one on the left is very textured and was a very pale greyish colour, so I sloshed layers of blue and red paint on, then let it dry, and it came out purple, with the darkest paint settled in the lowest bits of the paper. Both these could do with a bit more work on them – maybe a layer of a different layer over the blue, and some splatters of paint to add interest. And the surface of the purple could be distressed with sandpaper then coloured again maybe.


And I painted yellow and blue acrylic on red cellophane, because I want to see how it reacts, and I want to try zapping it with a heat gun. It took ages to dry, but it when it finally did it looked like this:


I wonder if thicker paint might work better. Initially the paint pooled and puddled, and the cellophane went very wrinkled, but it flattened out a bit as it dried. However, to start with there was so much paint I thought ‘this will never dry in a million years’ so I used printer paper to get rid of some of the excess by taking a print, and came up with this:


It really really surprised me, because it didn’t look anything like this on the cellophane (though all that red does affect your perception). My original plan was to roll some ink over it, but when I pulled it I abandoned that idea, because it looks so amazing as it is, like some sort of prehistoric marshy landscape… That shpe at the front is defintely some sort of creature… and I can see trees, and grass, and pools and flowers… I may try using pencils and crayons to add a bit of definition and colour in the white shapes. It’s much too nice to use as a background for anything!

And I managed to get a second print from the cellophane, which definitely needs something doing to it, but I need to think a bit more about this one… I can see a boat there in the centre, an old boat, on a beach, with pools of standing water, and the grass which grows at the margins of sea and land, and rocks…



And I’ve been painting newspaper with watery acrylics:


I’m going to tear them into strips and iron them to painted Bondaweb:



I was going to add more paint to the paper and the Bondaweb, but I’m not sure if more layers will affect the ‘stick’, or what they will look like,  so I am going to leave them as they are, and add more paint, crayon etc when I use them – which gives me a degree of flexibility to alter them to for backgrounds as I go along.

And this is my painted Bondaweb on crumpled painted brown paper (I used inks and gold water colour for both), which I did a couple of weeks ago (thanks to advice from people in the Distant Stitch Facebook group.

The big pic on the left is the two pieces ironed together. Top right is the brown paper, bottom right is the Bondaweb. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this, and I’m thrilled with it – the textures are gorgeous, although they may not show up clearly on the photo, and it’s very flexible and soft – it actually feels and looks like fabric, which surprised me. I thought it would be much stiffer, more like cardboard perhaps.My original plan was to run it through the printer. and print some text on it. But the printer is playing up, and I am not sure it will cope with this, and I’m afraid I will wreck it, or the printer, or both… Now, of course, I’m not sure what to do with it! It’s a classic example of me jumping in without thinking things through properly. But it would make a nice cover  for a stitched book…  I could try some machine embroidery on it, but I’ve never really done that before… Or I could use the pre-set embroidery on the machine… Or I could do hand stitching, with french knots, button hole stitch, chain stitch and so on, and add beads, and foils and glitter… Something flowering and  totally OTT I think, though I’m not sure how it would fit in with letters and words! I quite like this idea, and I always enjoy hand stitched embroidery… And one of my aims when I embarked on the Creative Sketchbook course was to try and develop my own ideas for some embroidery…

And because I was playing around with  paper.I got side-tracked and started making beads from the pages of an old book. This  was one of the activities I did with my Younger Daughter when we were working on her speech problems. We made big beads from brightly coloured wrapping paper (B is for Beads… and the Bracelets we made with them!). That was a very long time ago, so it was a bit of a learning curve for me this time around. I used wooden satay sticks rather than metal knitting needles (all those years ago we used bamboo kebab skewers, which probably reflects how eating habits have changed). Mostly I’ve left them plain, but I’ve put silver embossing powder on some and zapped them with the heat gun (I stuck the stick in half a potato while I did this, so I had two hands free to work). They don’t take long, and they are fun to do, so I’m going to make a few more, in different types of printed paper, and try embellishing them with paint, foil,  wrapped thread and wire. And there is a link with Module 2, because they are made from printed paper, and if you don’t decorate them you can see the words. Hopefully, with decoration the odd word will still  be revealed, but even if it doesn’t I will know the words are there,  hidden from view. I seem to be developing a bit of an obsession with things that are hidden – layers, secret writing, codes, that kind of thing. And transformations. I love the idea of taking smooth, flat paper and turning it into something completely different, that has a different purpose and is three-dimensional, and textured.

This, alas, is the best of a bad bunch of pictures, and it only shows three of the beads, before I zapped them. I couldn’t get the focus right:

DSCN4851 (2)

At this point I decided I ought to be doing something on Fantastic Fonts, so I stared sorting out my box of papers. I’ve collected junk mail; old books, maps and manuscripts; magazines; wrapping paper; wallpaper samples; plastic bags; food wrappers, and all sorts of other bits and bobs, as well as interesting bits of paper to print, write, stamp etc, and some oddments that I really like – postcards, birthday cards, that kind of thing. And everything is all jumbled up together!


I’m going to establish some order amid the chaos, and get stuck into Activities 3 and 4 – I have lots of stuff, so it’s just a question of assembling it.

Then  I can go back and work on my decorated papers and beads!