'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Friday 20 August 2010

The goodness continues …

We had a pleasant afternoon yesterday – although I got the best of the bargain. While Wensleydale investigated the plumbing at Babybel’s new house, Babybel and I investigated the local play park, [approved of, especially the slide] the railway bridge [no trains, unfortunately] the sewing cards in Gran’s handbag [a little too challenging at the moment] and a selection of toys and books.


When we got home, I finished this – the four ‘drawings’ on Bondawebbed sheers, inserted in covers made from painted fusible interfacing, fused to some hand-dyed cotton.  The painted fusible has a slightly suedy feeling, which I like. The binding is sort-of Japanese.

However, today started badly, at 5 a.m. [Why is it that on mornings when I can lie in, I wake up stupidly early? If I had had to get up then, I'd be snoring while W. wafted coffee under my nose.] The good bit was that I did get quite a lot done. [‘Always look on the bright side of life’.]

image I rejigged this by taking off the one piece cover and replacing it with separate ‘boards’ front and back, with a removable band to hold it shut – definitely an improvement, as you can now spread the pages out better.




To find inspiration for these books I have been consulting Sue Doggett’s ‘Handmade Books’ –and on the page following the pocketed accordion above, she mentions flutter books. I have never seen a real flutter book, or made one, but they seem to be very long accordions. So one thing led to another … 


This is made from tissue paper, which I daubed with emulsion paint a while ago, intending to paint the paper blue, and tear it up to make a collage seascape. Instead I sprayed it with dilute blue Quink, and put it into plastic pockets, sewed round and across them, cut them in half and sewed them into a long accordion.

You can see the extended accordion, top right. I think real flutter books have a one piece cover, but this has two because I wanted both sides to be visible. The ribbon slotted through the covers is to keep the slippery pages under some sort of control! I would love to say this was six – or even twelve – drawings [because they are two sided – sort of] but it was so simple to do I don’t think I can claim more than one.

I don’t have the nerve to call the last of the day’s efforts a drawing at all. For the fabric book experiments I have collected a heap of fabric which I previously dyed, painted, bleached or otherwise mistreated.  I pull out bits from the heap which I think will work for what I am trying to make. But I was so convinced this wouldn’t work that I took a yucky piece I thought was the only thing which might be stiff enough. 


It was a piece of calico which for some inexplicable reason I had painted green, yellow, orange and silver. No photos of the original to frighten you, you'll be glad to hear.

To begin with, I thought I’d see if free machining each patch of colour with another colour would improve it a bit – which it did.

So I persevered, cutting it in half, making slots in each piece and working satin stitch all round – and to my surprise it interlocked and actually stands up! Of course it’s quite small – 3” high and 10” long – and tomorrow I think I will sew down the folds to make them sharper and firm it up a bit more – but it has encouraged me to go on exploring book forms which might be made from fabric or [plastic pockets, of course] even if I think it won’t work …

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