prints charming

i think i am in love….with making my own prints!

  it all started on a wet afternoon in Bearwood and ended with the sun breaking through the clouds and me skipping down with high street with a bag full of lovely printed fabric! *sigh*

  i was slightly gutted when i couldn’t take part in the Creative Open Workshop which Francine ran at the same time as our I love Bearwood in the Springtime fair at St Marys last month.  I have always loved her workshops, and have had so much fun meeting likeminded people and learning new crafts (crochet necklaces, tote bags and so on!).  She teaches in such a passionate and yet clear way, and the environment is always so light and bright (and the cakes are yummy!).  So i was delighted when she advertised this printmaking workshop at the end of my very own road and on an afternoon when i was free – hoorah!

  there were 7 of us altogether – including the very talented Kiran of KJ Makes and Emma from ELH Creative and Angela who all had stalls at the last Crafty Muthas’ fair.  All out of our comfort zone and trying something new.

  Having dillied and dallied, dallied and dillied, I finally decided on a dandelion clock.  anyone who knows me knows I have a tendency to complicate things so I was determined to go simple and I am glad I have learned from CM’s Erin and Jennie finally, that less is more….!  The lino substitute was so easy to carve, and it took next to no time.  The shimmer purple fabric paint looked great on a natural fabric, and I decided on a repetitive border due to the “block” nature of the print, with the image being blank, and the relief in the colour.  If I had been able to do it the other way around I could have gone for a random stamping all over the fabric, but I didn’t feel the block suited that approach. Am really pleased with the result, and even more so with the high impact contrast of the yellow on a dark grey fabric.  Toyed with the idea of interspersing the blocks with the print in perhaps a red, but Erin’s knowing look put me off, and I’m glad!  Less is more, mantra – repeat!

  With half an hour to go I remembered my other idea which was for some bunting (“I need more bunting in my life!”), and this little stamp took minutes, cutting the penants out of foam and mounting them on some cardboard.  Again I went for high impact with the white on navy, and then on red, and customised with my girls’ names in freehand painting.  I knew they’d be asking what I’d made for them when I got home…!

  Loved the enthusiasm and energy in the room – everyone came up with something completely different and refreshing.  Loved Kiran’s blocks, the delicate nature of Emma’s composition, and Emilie’s french children’s book-inspired retro forest.  All fab designs and a chilled afternoon.

  All in all, I can say I am hooked, will be reacquainting myself with Monsieur Dylon and his fabric paints (my sister and I painted loads of T shirts when we were in our creative teens!) and maybe investing in some lino cutting tools and blocks…. If it stands still, it may get stamped – Bearwood, you have been warned!