Saturday, 17 January 2009

Not a Stitchy Week

I've just re-read last week's blog and note that I was going to have a stitchy week. Well, I've used the machine once - and I just don't know what happened to the week. It went. I have had a tidy up in the studio and in my work cupboard.

Will have to get stitching next week as I have to finish the last of the free lessons that go with the book. The lessons will be there for ever but the Yahoo group will only be here for another month or so, depending on how folk get on with the last lesson. Page for page, I think the lessons are bigger than the book. I got a bit carried away.

Cyber Fyber has been a huge hit and I'm so pleased for Susan. She deserves it. She told me that Binary Humanity had been used to advertise the exhibition in a newspaper. I'm thrilled.

Comments on comments:

Heather - lots can be done with black bin bags. Di Goodison wrote a great tutorial in Quiltwow on using them for bags. You'd never guess the origin.

Edie - I did wonder about the reference to soldiers as it's very much a Brit thing. When small children have soft boiled eggs, they have toast with them, cut into strips and these are called soldiers. They are dipped in the egg yolk. Gary's menu described them as soldiers but these were the posh version - sandwiched with melted cheese. Oh Lord, now I'm so hungry - I'd kill for a boiled egg and soldiers. Some people grow out of them but I never have. I am trying to eat healthy food in an effort to move the Christmas bulge.

cowpaddocksjulie - love that name. Hope you enjoy the book.

Cat warning - there's a Smudge story at the end. Optional reading.

Several people asked what paint I used on the cast paper in last week's blog and, as I am making a similar piece, I thought I'd do a Lynda and step-by step it.

This is mostly a Jane Wild technique and I'm painting the casts of the Buddha I made when she brought some paper pulp into class. I remember that someone asked about the mould and I intended to take some pics of the mould-making process. It is just Softsculpt, a thick 'memory foam' which can be heated (with care) and then has something firm pressed into it to make a mould. So it was wrapped around a statue to make this shape. I'll demo in the next blog.

I started by painting the cast paper with gesso to seal it. Otherwise it absorbs loads of paint.

Then I painted it with Burnt Umber acrylic paint for a deep toned base. At one time, I used black but Jane converted me.

The next step is to paint with gold acrylic paint. Metallic wax can be used but it's more expensive.

This must be left overnight to dry out. Then it's on with some of those wonderful Golden fluid paints. plus a bit of interference oxide for greeny tones.


These paints are very sheer - more like a varnish and I love the way they lay on metallic surfaces. I'm especially fond of the turquoise which leans toward green when the gold comes through.


I use my fingers to spread and merge the colours.


Here's the final result, although I'll probably add a little metallic wax, dark or light, when it is dry.

I have three of these and am making three small pieces for my dining room. Something for me, for once. Here are the three - I like it that they are all slightly different.


This is a piece of Jane's where the cast paper is attached to scrim at the soggy stage. I plan to use scrim, but over some metal and, just possibly, some black bin liner.


I promised a Smudge story, here it is.

Since Cat Stevens made her great recovery she has been out hunting. Very small mouseskis are sometimes left for us as presents in the morning. Smudge has been watching this process but, as he is not allowed out at night, he hasn't quite got the idea. There was a great deal of noise coming from the cat flap and, when I investigated, he was coming in backwards, dragging something enormous through the hole. My heart was in my mouth - what creature was this?

With great pride he offered me his booty - one of Mr Next Door's very old, very wet, rather smelly, car washing sponges! To add insult to injury, he brought it back in three times after I threw it over the fence. So now it's in our garage and we've stolen it. What an idiot that cat is.

Must go now - I'm off to have a boiled egg and soldiers.


Maggi said...

The Buddah casts are great, thanks for sharing the technique. Cyber Fyber was certainly a huge success and Susan well deserves the praise. I have a wonderful mental picture of Smudge coming in through the cat flap in reverse - that alone would be worth seeing.

Julie said...

Maggi, I am in hysterics at Smudge's antics! Thank you so much for the laugh! I have a very clear mental image of Smudge reversing in with the car sponge, they are huge! (excuse me, I've had a glass of red).

Thank you for the information about the Buddha stamp. I shall now have to find a small Buddha. I have a large Thai Buddha which I love but it's too big to take a cast of.

Cyberfyber has brought me to tears to see my postcard alongside so many wonderful artists in an exhibition. Amazing! Susan is a fantastic lady to have such vision and energy.

Aussie Jo said...

Very funny cat story!!!
We are on an acre amongst rural properties and our dog brings almost dead rabbits onto the verandah for us. The only reason he can catch them though is because they have myxo.
Thanks for the tutorial on the buddha face, I might try that process with a doll. I assume the cast paper is that stuff that comes in a packet like papery clay?? (I can't remember what they call it over here)
Susan has done a tremendous job with Cyberfyber. A lovely blogger called Kim from glitzy stitches took a photo of my postcard among the others and posted it on her blog,then let me know it was there. As you said Julie, it's such a thrill to see it up there amongst the others.

Doreen G said...

Boiled egg and soldiers has always been a favourite in this house with the kids big and small.
I suppose it is all part of our British heritage.
Love that cat story Maggie.

hippopip said...

A lovely cat tale,agood end to a good day

Wendy said...

We always called boiled eggs 'bash your head in eggs' as the kids would eat theirs, (with soldiers) and then turn the empty egg shell over in the egg cup. There would then be a 'telling off' for not eating which would end with lots of giggles and smashing of the eggshell.
Smudge will make your fortune one day, you could have a best selling softback with his antics. I always imagine Cat Stevens looking at him and sighing

Judy said...


I love the cat story Smudge might be naughty but you must get some laughs out of him, your Buddha faces are very attractive will look nice on your wall.

Odd how things work out i was buying art supplies online last evening and saw Golden Paints on an OZ site thought I must loo them up and you have filled the bill for me I am grateful for the info on their use.

Heather said...

You can't beat boiled egg and soldiers for healthy comfort food. In our house we have Grenadier Guards (our son was one) but my daughter has to have Royal Marines! Love the Smudge story - it reminds me of when one of our cats tried to get through the cat flap with a dead pigeon! The bird was almost as big as the cat. Did you see the story in the papers recently about the cat who kept bringing soft toys in? Thankyou for explaining the paper cast methods so clearly. Your faces will look stunning.

Ellietess said...

That's a wonderful story about Smudge; we have boiled eggs & soldiers here in Australia too; well, at least we've always had them in our house. I love reading your blog; I'm currently doing Dale's "embellish, stitch & enrich" course & loving it; I was never brave enough to "have a go" before,but now, the sky's the limit!! Cheers Teresa in very hot Victoria, Australia