Everyone agreed that the day we did the journal covers was a lot of fun, so doing things like that, though perhaps on a smaller scale, might be a good thing. So, in addition to our Ruby works and the usual postcards, we decided it might be fun to have a small "getting us going" activity available for those who want to do it, when we meet.
We'll take turns to come up with something broad enough that we can all work in our individual ways. The result may not be a finished work (though it could be) but at least something coherent that could be used on a postcard or small work.
Nola offered to come up with the first one:
The task, for those who chose to accept it, was a Scavenger Hunt. These were the terms:
1. a second-hand piece of paper - i.e. paper that has been used for something else, by someone else (not you). It can be newsprint, advertising, an envelope from a letter, a page from a magazine... whatever you like.
2. something from a plant - leaves, flowers, roots, twigs, fruit, tea leaves.... use your imagination! It has to have come fairly directly from a plant, without much processing - mulberry leaves are fine, mulberry paper isn't. You don't necessarily have to incorporate it into your work, but you do need to use it in making the work.
3. words - three words from your life during these three weeks, i.e a book title you've read during the time, a sign you've seen, a headline... anything from these three weeks. Be prepared to explain!
4. something, anything, blue
5. three embellishments: beads, buttons, metallic elements, small samples or embroidery, stamping ... to become part of your work. It doesn't have to be three of the same thing.
6. an insect. Any insect. (No, spiders are not insects.) This can be a picture, a fabric, an embroidery, a three-D model, a stamp, a real insect....
7. something long and thin. Yarn, ribbon, braid, paper strips, embroidery thread.....
The idea is to construct something from your elements on the day, in whatever way you like to work. A finished item or a part of something else... You have three weeks to think about what it might be!
You can bring whatever other materials you like, but you must use all seven things somehow in the making of your work.
You can also do deals with other people on the day, to use their materials, tools or products (if they have enough to share).On the day, three members chose to participate.
Helen brought along a page from a catalogue, a green jacaranda seed pod, some blue felt, an image of beetles, some flower embellishments, multi-coloured thread and a tassel, and some multi-coloured cord. She decided to make a special bag to hold the envelope that houses her Magic Seed Pod.
She added four flowers on the felt square hand stitched a lining, using multi-coloured thread and blanket stitch. She added small circles in the corners and ran the cord through as a drawstring.
She folded her magazine sheet into an envelope and added her words and the image of the beetles.
along a piece of blue material, some muslin in various colours, some beads, leaves, paper
and thread. She used
the blue material as a background, with torn muslin in various colours on top.
She began by embroidering a butterfly motif on her blue cloth.
"The beads will be stitched on at the end and I will use the leaves as a stamp (maybe) and also cut a bird shape from the paper .. Well, that is what I think at the moment ... all could change ... what it is going to be, I do not know!"
Nola brought along several DL envelopes with windows and coloured insides, a twig from her garden, blue cardboard and some blue, black and white acrylic paints with drying retarder, various brads, a dragonfly stamp and dragonfly brads and some gold wire. She was obviously going to work in paper this time. She also took some blue and green variegated net yarn from Helen's free-to-a-good-home bag.
Her first task was to open three sides of the envelopes and paint them inside and out with Gesso. She trimmed them to a specific size, to be booklet covers.
She also tore some cartridge paper to a slightly smaller size, as the signatures inside her booklets and folded the blue card into a concertina. Helen helped her by sewing the booklets to the concertina with pamphlet stitch.
Nola cut the same cartridge paper to a specific size, to cover some pieces of matt board as the covers of her book. She mixed the blue, black and white acrylic paints with drying retarder and quickly painted a general scene on a glass plate. Then she took a monoprint of the plate. She touched up the resulting print a little, so it looked like she had imagined.
She wrapped the print around one of the mat board covers, and fastened it with gold brads, catching the net yarn in place on the inside of the cover. Then she wrapped the wire around the twig to make a closure for the book and attached the wire through holes in the cover.
She folded a piece of card into a pocket and decorated it with cut outs of dragonflies and words from a Leonard Cohen song. Helen stitched the fold into the concertina and Nola folded and glued the pocket into shape.
Finally she covered the back cover board with blue paper and brads and used the same blue paper as the end papers.
It was a fun challenge! Next time, Helen is bringing an envelope of goodies for each of us as a challenge. I wonder what that will be?