A member of our Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild gave me some beautiful rusty washers. After happily gloating over my new treasures I bundled some up with yellow onion skins and threw them in my dye pot. One bundle was raw silk fabric.
Another bundle was white felt which I turned into a book with papers I'd previously dyed with onion skins and rusty objects.
I love making little books. Happily I still have the first book I wrote and illustrated when I was seven - a story about our dachshund Siegfried. This little book here is totally made from fibre and paper dyed with plant materials - mostly French marigolds.
I decided to bring together some of the papers I've been dyeing with plant material into a small book (about 4 x 5 inches). It gives me a great feeling of satisfaction and joy as the fabric for the cover and the fiber used to sew it together are all dyed from plant material.
The pages were created by layering the paper with plant material (onion skins, avocado skins and marigolds) and rusty objects. I then covered them with water and cooked them. It's something I love doing as I never know how they'll turn out. Taking them out of the dye bath and opening them up is like Christmas as a young child! The watercolour paper I used was a bit light weight for this type of treatment with the result that some pages show a bit of injury.
I treated myself to the online course 21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop which I learned about in Ro Bruhn's great blog. I decided to make a journal using the techniques I learn in the course and that are inspired by the course.
I started with Ro's workshop and her first video covered using the patterned paper on the inside of envelopes to make flowers. How can I have gone all these years without realizing what was insde envelopes?!? Fortunately, packrat that I am, I had a bundle of envelopes stashed away for making pockets in journals. They had wonderful assortment of different patterns inside. It's almost enough to make me want to get my bills by mail again!
Books have long been special to me. When we were two my mother took us to the library, got us our own library card and taught us the proper care of books. I was lucky enough to have a story every night before I went to bed. I still have the book I wrote and illustrated about our dachshund Siegfried when I was seven.
Now I'm working on a small book of fairies.
I live near a place which is achildrens' camp during the summer and a Waldorf school for the rest of the year. On the edge of the playground there's a forested area where the creek runs through. I'm sure there are fairies there.
On the first day of Jude Hill's Magic Diaries course my computer broke down. I felt distressed and anxious about when it would be fixed, what I might have lost and whether the older computer I'm presently using would hold up. The world of the internet and the communities I'm part of there are an important part of my life and the thought of possibly being cut off from that world was distressing. I wanted to make a block that would bring me comfort and joy and looking through my fabric I chose this piece. The mother panda with her baby gives me comfort and the beautiful fabric gives me joy.
I cut strips in the sides and cut strips from other fabrics I thought might go well with it. As it turned out, I didn't use three of the fabrics because when I wove in the strips they were too dominant and confused the eye and took it away from the central mother bear and baby.
I'm wondering whether this might be the first block in my Cloth. It might happen that I'll make blocks as I'm moved by inner or outer events in my life and my Cloth might be a Journey Cloth of my life during the course. Maybe all that gold is the Yellow Brick Road making an appearance! I'm not sure whether this is what my Cloth will be about but it's a starting place. Every journey begins with a step.
I keep a mixed media journal and I decided to record my experiences during Magic Diaries in my journal. This is a page ready for writing on. The background is fabric that I dyed with plants from my garden and there are bits of fabric from the panda bear cloth. I found the crow feather on my morning walk the day after my computer broke down. Some years ago I had a magical experience with crows and their feathers so finding this was special.