Happy New Year to you all! I don’t know where the last week went, I seem to have been sleeping a lot; we went up to Stoke to see my parents and on Monday, I had a lovely day because two people who I have known online for several years now came to visit me.
Sara Lechner from Austria, who blogs at The Fabric of Meditation, was visiting her daughter in North Wales, and she had a three hour train journey to see me! Wales may be a small place, but it takes a long time to travel from north to south… And Sue Krekorian of The Magic Armchair Traveller came to join us. We had a lovely time chatting, visiting a local cafe for lunch and wandering round Newport’s shops, chatting again… and having the obligatory photo in my studio! DS2 kindly obliged and took this photo of the three of us:
While I was trying to upload that photo, Live Writer decided it wanted to upload another one and it’s such a nice one that I decided to let it stay…. This is one of the leaves of my avocado plant. I thought the veins with the browning edges makes for a very interesting photo:
While we were in Stoke we saw this ferris wheel which is in the grounds of Trentham Gardens factory shopping village (I think it’s called something else but since it was Trentham Gardens when I grew up, that is what it will forever be in my mind). I had my first summer job there, working as a cashier in the open air swimming pool. Sadly, the said swimming pool was demolished some time ago…
I thought the centre of it would make a good Gocco screen…. (without Stoke City football club’s sponsorship medallion … or maybe even with it)
I wonder what 2009 will bring? DH is going to India again later this month so I’m planning to do some gelatine plate monoprinting and some more screenprinting while he’s away. So look out for lots of fabric photos. I meant to do a blog post about 2008 and what had happened in it but time somehow flew away from me. I think I will remember it for the Gocco and for getting involved in Etsy. And for my two magazine articles in CTDG. And for those of you who subscribe to Fibre and Stitch, look out for the January issue because I’ve got an article in there too! Here’s a bit of a teaser…
After you were all so complimentary about my house fabric, I decided that I would list some in my Etsy shop…
You can find it here.
Here are some pics of it:
In case you missed it the first time round, here is my blog post where I used it for a house journal when I was doing the second of Sue Bleiweiss’s online journal making courses.
I bought a pack of postcard sized shrink plastic from Hobbycraft a few years ago, thinking the kids might like to play with it. But there was a distinct lack of interest so I appropriated it myself. And with the advent of the Gocco, the postcard sized pieces were just the right size. As you know, when I start printing anything that doesn’t run out of the way is a candidate and these were no exception.
Here is a piece with my crow stamped on it:
For the last few months, however, I’ve just had these pieces of plastic sitting there gradually getting used up, and hadn’t got round to shrinking them. So last week I remedied that. It was a bit of a learning curve – I started off with the heat gun but this didn’t give much control and the pieces ended up a bit knobbly and occasionally bits stuck to each other, so I did the rest in the oven. Here they are all together:
I had punched holes in some of them to begin with – one, two, or lots. And I rounded off most of the corners. I did try punching shapes with a punch but that particular one stuck in the punch and cracked when I tried to release it.
I like these of Rouen Cathedral and stamped angel… in reverse! I didn’t realise that the shrink plastic was clear and the side you looked at was the reverse of the side you stamp. But it doesn’t matter.
I stamped this crow and then rubbed a yellow – yes, yellow – stamp pad around the outside.
And this one is my ‘Newport houses’ print, none the worse for being in reverse! I did this with the heat gun as you can probably tell. On reflection, I quite like the irregularities of shrinking with a heat gun. The finished pieces, by the way, are about 1″x1.5″ so they did shrink a LOT – having started out at 4″x6″. I might put one or two for sale on Etsy – they might make good embellishments for journals or small quilts or mixed media pieces. What do you think?
Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I’ve been down with a nasty virus and sinus infection. Starting to feel a bit better now.
I’ve put several new Gocco printed moleskine journals into my Etsy shop – they are great as stocking fillers and are definitely my best seller.
This one has canal barges from a photograph I took in Birmingham.
I made this Gocco print from a Dover book of medieval city woodprints. I printed this in white ink and then embossed it using white embossing powder so the detail stands out.
This one has a print of the London bus which I talked about earlier in the year.
This one is a print of the terraced houses in Newport which I did for the Gocco swap a month or two ago.
And I do like this crow!
I’ve been playing with shrink plastic lately too – you can print with the Gocco on it and then shrink it. I think I’m going to make them into keyrings or pendants. But at the moment the shrinking bit is on a learning curve….
Here are the slate worker’s cottage Gocco prints I did a couple of days ago. This is the original photo:
I cropped this, and couldn’t bring myself to stick to the rather drab colours … the screen started off rather colourful and I added black as I went along, and mixed it into the remaining colour left on the screen to make the progression…
I also printed it on to different coloured paper which made for interest:
This one is on handmade Indian Khadi paper.
And I have some decorative scrapbooking paper which I printed one on… looks like it’s in a snowscene!
I do like putting in a photo of all the cards drying in the rack:
I haven’t had much knitting on the pages of this blog for a while. It seems to be the winter when I do most of it, because of the long dark evenings when the light isn’t good enough for getting the colours right to create something with fabrics or paint.
This time I made another pair of socks out of some gorgeous Hundertwasser sock yarn by Opal which I bought in Abergavenny market a while ago. Here they are in their colourful glory!
I’m looking forward to wearing them through the cold weather….
I’ve also been doing some more Gocco printing this week, using a couple of screens I made to test some of the machines I’ve been selling. This one is a crow which I drew using the Gocco pen and doodled inside to fill in the pattern of his feathers. It is a small one which I’ve printed on lots of little cards and a few Moleskine notebooks.
I also printed one on this previously painted newspaper:
I’ve also stamped this at the bottom with a wall-shaped print block that I made from fun foam (great for making print blocks!).
Today I printed an image of a cottage in the grounds of the slate mine we visited in North Wales in the summer but that will be the subject of my next post…