Playing with paper #3: paint and metal

The final stretch, then….

I tried to revive the dried-out little tablet of bole from my gilding kit, but it’s past hope, as is the size and sealer. I got it second hand, years ago, and it was already a few years old then. In case you’re wondering, bole is a sort of clay pigment you add to water and glue to make a coloured foundation onto which you apply your gold leaf. The terracotta colour of the bole enriches and intensifies the colour of the gold laid over it, as well as producing a flat, matt surface for the gold leaf. So, being impatient, unwilling to buy more bole and keen to use what I have, I’ve made my own equivalent with acrylic paint. It won’t be as good, but the colour will help even if the surface isn’t perfect.

I used Reeves® acrylic colours, equal quantities of burnt umber, crimson, brilliant red and flesh, which has produced a nice oxblood red. I wanted a darker shade than the classic bole terracotta because instead of gold leaf, I’m using copper, of which I have a far larger quantity. I bought it for a project over 10 years ago which never happened, and it’s perfect for this purpose. Knowing perfectly well that I won’t get an immaculately flat surface on the inside of the bowl, I’m going for a bumpy, worn and slightly more rustic look (might as well make a virtue of necessity, eh?).

I had to wait till the paint was perfectly dry before applying the school glue (again, an improvisation, but internet research seemed to show that it’s an acceptable hack). I quickly found that rather than waiting till the glue is just slightly tacky as suggested, I had to work very quickly and place the larger pieces over a thin coating while the glue was wet. I could then patch over missing or damaged areas using a small brush for the glue and cutting the foil into smaller pieces just slightly larger than the glued area.

The copper leaf comes in books, on backing sheets, so it’s easy enough to pick up and lay down, but you do need to press it gently into all the bumps, cracks and crevices. This is where the soft makeup brushes come in; if you use a harder bristle you run the risk of damaging the delicate foil. Once it’s all down and dry, you rub it very, very gently with the brush in a swirling motion to rub off any loose bits.

I’ve bound the edge with leftover bias binding, and am going to seal the whole thing with Mod Podge® (yes, I found that too), but for the purpose of posting that’ll be invisible and it takes a long time to dry between coats, so I leave you with the unsealed bowl as a final shot.

I must say, I’m slightly tempted to add a narrow black ribbon to conceal the edge of the pink binding. The only problem is, I’d have to buy it. What do you think? I just find the pink a bit, well, meh… Speak now, before I seal it!

And that’s it for the first, but certainly not the last scrappy bowl…

Playing with paper #2

Only, I suppose this time it’s been more playing with fabric…

What a surprise. This is me, after all.

Onwards. I decided I’d use scraps in pink, green, lilac, teal, blue and yellow, so I went hunting small but gorgeous snippets in my scrap boxes of those colours. Be warned, if you ever make a bowl like this, those tiny scraps generate an enormous amount of ironing… But it’s worth it. I also got a sharp pair of scissors and trimmed the hairiest pieces because lots of fraying is not a pretty look. There’s still some but really, life is too short to snip every frayed thread. So, the prep took some time.

And then it was time to dive in and start glueing. You glue the fabric, not the bowl; the pieces overlap so each piece needs its own thin but even coat of glue or there would be flappy edges. I was on my feet for about 2 hours, but I was really enjoying myself and not noticing the passage of time.

There are still flappy edges I need to seal down and stray threads and frayed bits I need to take the embroidery scissors to, but I’m pretty pleased with the overall effect. The next stage is to gold leaf the inside, finish the top edge with leftover pink bias binding, and then seal the lot with a top coat. That’ll be #3, to follow. Here are 4 views of the bowl from different sides.

What do you think?  I’m pretty pleased with it 🙂

As a side note to the creative stuff, Mouse was sulking today. He has found and torn into many, many pieces the greaseproof paper in which I’d made my lunchtime toastie, on account of the bits of melted cheese still stuck to it…. He’d been to the vet’s this morning to have his ears cleaned and a mani-pedi, since I’m not up for holding onto a very strong, 35kg/77 pound, wriggling greyhound with big white teeth while I swab out ears and cut overgrown nails. The Husband would help… but he’s always conveniently at work when I want to do it. Anyway, at the vets they take no nonsense and Mouse behaves very well once backed into a corner. We rewarded him for good behaviour with a nice lactose-free puppacino at his favourite café (which he adores) and beef & tomato doggy snacks afterwards, but clearly we/I in particular had not been forgiven.

I’ve cleared away all the sticky mess and washed my brush. Time for a cuppa and possibly a bickie.

Scrappiness is…. the DaleLee Cuppa

I couldn’t wait till the 15th of February and ScrapHappy Day.

I offered to make Dale something pretty from scraps after she admired my recent scrappy sunglasses case. She requested a teapot picture, to go with the teapot heat pad and cup-and-saucer mug rugs I made for her as a housewarming gift. I had just the thing…

The teapot is made from a chintz-design voile fabric from which I made myself a cool summer top a while ago. I picked out the best floral bits from the scraps I had left over. The background is a sort of olive-gold colour, covered in big blowsy roses, lilies, leaves and rosehips, but illustrated in quite a minimal, free fashion. I love it, and I think it makes a very pretty vintage teapot.  The square behind the pot is a cream-on-cream filler print of tiny spots. The paper-pieced pattern is based very approximately on a 1999 design by Susan Druding, which I have extensively redrawn to make it simpler, less blocky and more central in the square. It finishes at 8 inches square.

And now I feel the need to go and sew myself a plate of chocolate biscuits. It’s about as close as I’m allowed to get to the real thing, these days!

ScrapHappy March

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

Not huge progress to show you this month, on account of all the stripping, filling, sanding, painting, grovelling and climbing ladders that life has held recently. However, I did get a bit more stitching together done on the memory quilt from the scraps generated by Days for Girls. Even though it’s mindless work for the evenings, there were days when I was too tired even for that.

Before:

And after:

The ‘diamond’ on the far right is waiting to be sewn in, which will probably happen tomorrow at my regular Saturday DfG session, as well, I hope, as a bit more progress.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). We have a new member this month, do go and take a look at what Bekki has for us.

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

See you again, same time next month!

ScrapHappy December

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

It’s been a very busy month, and my output of hexie flowers from the scraps generated by Days for Girls hasn’t been terribly impressive. I tell myself it’s the use of scraps, not how much you do that’s the key thing. This lot is the output, and six of those were made by someone on the DfG team.

Here’s the line up:

We now have quite a few hexie flowers, and I’ve made a bunch of black hexies to go between them, so I think for the foreseeable future I need to concentrate on joining them, or I’ll end up with buckets of flowers and a monumental task! Just to remind you, it’s a memory quilt, composed of fragments of the fabrics the sewing team has turned into the Days for Girls kits.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen and Connie

See you again, same time next month!

Update:

Here’s a lovely scrappy contribution from Margaret, who doesn’t have a blog so I’m featuring her work here. She’s made the most beautiful file cover – I’m quite envious. Click on the image to see a larger version.

ScrapHappy November

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

This month, my scrappy focus has once again been on making hexie flowers from the scraps generated by Days for Girls. You’ll maybe remember this box full of 2½ inch scraps…? Well, it has now been joined by about the same again, and I’ve had to put the brakes on a little, as my output can’t keep up with theirs! Others in the DfG team are now joining in, so future ScrapHappy posts may also show their work – the more, the merrier, right?

To the flowers I showed you last time…

I have now added these!

The quilt is a memory quilt, composed of fragments the sewing team has turned into the Days for Girls kits. I thought it only appropriate, therefore, that the quilt will be named Days Gone By, particularly given the lovely vintage look of the ‘Grandmother’s Flower Garden’ design of this future quilt. The flowers will all be separated by black hexies, either plain or black-based prints, which should make all the colour pop beautifully. I have about 50 flowers now, so it’ll be time to start sewing them together soon.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen and Connie

See you again, same time next month!

ScrapHappy October

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

This month, I’ve been short of sewing time and low on energy to do it, thanks to a short, sharp kidney infection. After a third antibiotic was added to my daily cocktail, I’m on the mend. One thing I did find energy for was gentle hand stitching, something I could do even when feeling unwell and in pain.

A little background: As most of you know, I’m now sewing for Days for Girls. Last time I joined a group sewing session, I noticed they were throwing away perfectly good pieces of irregularly-shaped fabric about 3 x 2½ inches. Gasp! The pieces were too small for anything needed for the DfG kits, but they shouted ‘hexies!’ at me. One of the ladies took away a shoebox of them, and brought it back full of neat and tidy square-ish pieces.

I supplied hexie papers – I have about 2,000 of them stashed away in a drawer, all used many times before but still perfectly OK. And this is the result of my labours, and actually, only the start. These will be turned into a quilt top. I hope someone else will step up to machine quilt it, I don’t think I have it in me to hand quilt another one for the time being. It’ll get auctioned to raise funds for DfG, to buy more fabric, help with training materials and education and so on. Now that’s what I call a proper use of scraps.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen and Connie

See you again, same time next month!