Sunday, 18 March 2018

Winter, Spring and Winter once again!

huh! much for Spring - Friday was wonderful- it was sunny all day and lovely and warm. We had the internal doors to our conservatories open and even had lunch in the one that overlooks the garden. The birds were happy and livelier than usual. I noticed some bulbs starting to bloom and took a few photos. Then what a contrast - on Saturday we awoke to snow and freezing temperatures again and although not much, it didn't stop snowing all day long. 

So my page I made for Rosies Spring theme at AJJ isn't quite true  - not Spring at last. 
It's suppose to be the bulbs popping up through the snow.
Page is a mix of watercolour paints, watersoluble crayons, white posca pen and a small little textured stamp. I used mini alphabet stamps for the words for a change as I wasn't worried about doing them in a straight line :)

 A few crocus by my rusting Japanese lantern...
years ago I would have disliked rusty things but now it's quite the opposite and I love them

 The Kerria starting to bud up

 Some Wood pigeons were having a little canoodle
until one spotted me watching them.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend,
Thanks for stopping by
Gill x

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Book making

And now for something different today...
One of the things on my New Years resolution list was to learn a new craft but I had no idea that it would turn out to be book making/binding after nearly 20 years of wanting to do this.
from left to right: 
Coptic stitched book, White textured cover, Green casebound book
 and a cover made to repair an address book.

I have 3 books on this subject and over the years I have made a few mini album type of things and always wanted to learn about book binding but never followed it up in a serious way. 
More recently I had seen a few of Beate's wonderful books and intended once again to have a go but never did. And then out of the blue dear Beate kindly sent me a 'text block' to inspire me further to actually do it - and of course I had to didn't I? 
And so with Beates help, advice and tips and watching some good videos from Jennifer aka Sea Lemon  and Sage Reynolds this is what happened next...

In case you didn't know a 'text block' (or Book block - I hope that's correct as I'm still trying to understand all the terminology) is where the folded papers are grouped into 'signatures' and cleverly sewn together to make the inside of your book.  
All* I needed to do was finish that off with some 'end papers' and make a cover and glue it altogether. *It will get easier - I know!

 You can just about see the verticle lines of the stitching that Beate did to sew it together. 
 The 'text block' needed to be clamped and glued along the spine.
Beate showed me a photo of how she did hers and I was able to do exactly the same using some pieces from a Silk Painting frame.

While that was drying I made a cover and at that point could only find a plain piece of A3 white paper that was large enough to cover it all.
The corners I folded over like making a bed but that was slightly bulky so next time I would cut a triangle off the corner instead for a neater fit.

But the cover was fractionally too small when I tried the pages inside so I have saved that for another project

 And then I panicked assuming I would mess it up further, so I decided to practise on some other things first.

 I cut up some paper to make some new pages, cut some board for covers and made a different style cover and totally different style of book instead.
This is a Coptic style book with open spine - and when open it lays really nice and flat.

Then I found an old address book where the cover had fallen off and been lost so made a new one for it. I believe its also known as 'case bound' book. This was good practise for sticking on all the additional reinforcing bits and papers on the book to stick to the cover.

And next, finally I made the cover to finish Beates book.
This one was covered in 2 pieces of patterned paper
 with a thick textured paper for the spine.

Then a further piece of patterned paper glued along the inside spine 
to reinforce it.

Next I chose bright green papers for the end papers, folded them and stuck them in at each end and added the white paper along spine to reinforce that too (all as suggested in books and videos)

The hard part at present for me is sticking the finished textblock to the covers so that the papers don't wrinkle and are in the right position but hopefully that will get better as I make more and learn more.

This is the finished book .. a simple, traditional looking book ..
Thank you Beate for kickstarting me into doing this :)
And now I know a bit more, next time I won't feel so apprehensive
 and can experiment and decorate the covers.

And still talking of books (sorry) you may remember I had a go at making a Traveller's notebook recently too which at present is just being used as diary/planner. The cover was made from felt and probably not ideal so I found some lovely Grey faux leather material to make another one and couldn't resist some pretty floral cotton offcuts for book covers maybe.
So this is now on my list of things to do next :)

I love the pattern/texture of this faux leather

I was pleased when the snow went the other other week and the postman could then safely deliver my order of beeswax, thread, bookcloth and yet another (better) book on bookbinding - I'm addicted!

Thanks for stopping by today
and listening to my ramblings.
Hope you're having a great day.
Gill x

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Go winter Go

 I made this piece for AJJ a week ago intending to post it then but then last week flashed by so fast in a blur and now its Sunday again and maybe in the meantime, Winter has gone at last... or has it? I hope so as I want to see my spring bulbs in flower :)

This is for Rosie's Spring theme this month over at AJJ
A mix of watercolour, water soluble crayons, acrylic ink, white Posca pen and digital words.

I hope you had a good week
and having a lovely Sunday.
Thanks for stopping by here today :)
Gill x

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Parus major and first snow of the year

My last piece for  AJJ  'Animals from A to Z'    
hosted this month by the lovely  Rike (from Rikes Art)

Parus major commonly known as the 'Great Tit' which is the largest UK tit  with a striking black head and white cheeks.
I cut out an image from a bird magazine and the rest mainly is using aqua pens, Inktense pencils and Brushos. Finished off page with a digitally added quote.

Woke up to first real snow of the year down here on the Essex coast.
It's not that much at present, but more and heavier snow forecast for next few days. 
And as always, we are making sure the birds are ok and have plenty of food and water and the Blackbird gets his grape that he likes so much.

 A good reason to stay indoors and keep cosy and warm
 and do extra arty crafty things.

Thanks for stopping by
Gill xx

Monday, 12 February 2018

The journey of Mr Frog

Another page for AJJ and the animals from A-Z theme chosen by lovely  Rike from Rikes Art.
I used Gouache, watercolours,acrylic inks, and  Neocolour 2 water soluble pastels.

It started with a happy accident. Some time ago we bought some big bottles of cheap paint for Dave to use on his model railway scenery and I borrowed a red paint and painted my background page but I overlooked that it was gouache and water based. As soon as I realised my mistake I took advantage of that and used a stencil over the top with a baby wipe to remove some colour and to make a rock for the frog to sit on.

and then I added some random splodges of colour

more colour and some acrylic inks which were swirled about using some rubber ended shaper tools. 
I have no idea what the proper name is for them but you can use them with pastels too.


 Thought you might like to see a couple of photos of one of the train layouts. Art and crafts come in handy for model making, we made and painted all the cargo in the freight trucks.

Thanks for stopping by
Gill x

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

L for Lion

Today I have another page for Rikes great Animals A-Z theme  at AJJ

I used a mix of collage, gelli print which got a bit lost and painting using Neo colour 1 & 2's, Gelatos, and acrylic inks and added description from dictionary. The lion was from an old calendar.

Below was when the gelli print started to get lost

Thanks for stopping by
Gill x

Saturday, 3 February 2018

T is for Tiger


I have a digital Tiger page today as the lovely Rike from Rike's Art has chosen the theme of animals from A-Z and is the host this month over at AJJ

The photo of the  tiger I took sometime in the 1990s and have altered one copy using a 'comic book' filter in my software and then on the second copy took most of the background out and flipped/over laid it on the altered copy. The other digital flowers added I have created in the past either from my own artwork or created digitally.

I can't believe it's February already, and not too long until Valentines day.
When Dave was cooking lunch he discovered one of the pieces of fish was heart shaped
 so he put that one my plate.... awwwwww wasn't that nice :)

Have a great day
and wonderful weekend.
Thanks for stopping by.

Gill x