Saturday, 18 August 2018

Marbling Workshop in South Bermondsey


I booked myself onto an Introduction to Marbling workshop with Paperwilds at the Elizabeth Industrial Estate in South Bermondsey as soon as the school term finished at the end of July. I spent the day learning the historic method of paper marbling using techniques that date back to the 12th Century.


Freya who is the creative mastermind of Paperwilds runs a studio in on old tea factory and shares it with her other half (a photographer) and her very friendly and docile dog, Ludo.

We started the day with a brief history of the craft and then began preparing our paper using an Allum solution which you need to coat the paper with so the marbling paint will stick. Once these papers had dried (which was quick considering the studio temperature was in the 30's) we got stuck into the marbling.
Allum solution prep station
The first type of marbling we learnt is the foundation of all marbling patterns called the Turkish Stone. You select two or three colours and flick them into the marbling bath and allow the colours to spread and disperse. The marbling 'bath' contains a solution of water mixed with a specific kind of seaweed moss which creates a perfect viscosity which allows the marbling paints to sit and disperse on the surface and not drop to the bottom. When you place the paper on top you can pat it like a drum and it doesn't sink into the solution! Very clever indeed.

The marbling bath ready to go!
My first Turkish Stone marbled paper



All other techniques start with the Turkish Stone and you complete different processes to create a range of amazing effects. The next one was called a French Curl where you draw swirls into the Turkish Stone at various intervals with an awl.



The create the next technique you draw into the inks with an awl in a continuous back and forth movement as can be seen below. It is called Gelgit (to come and go). 


Gelgit with a further sprinkle of cerise pink
To produce the technique called Non-Pareil uses the Gelgit method as a basis and then you continue the back and forth horizontal as well as vertical as you can see below. You need to use a special tool which looks like a metal comb with spikes dispersed at equal intervals which you drag through the inks.



The final method I learnt was called the Shell or Peacock. With a Non-Pariel start instead of drawing the comb in a straight movement, you drag the comb with a zig-zag, S or B movement. Here are my versions of this technique.









Freya demonstrating the Turkish Stone method
I had an absolutely fantastic time at the workshop and would definitely recommend Paperwilds for a future event. Freya was so friendly and Ludo was a real cutie!

Thursday, 16 August 2018

CJ Made Blogiversary Giveaway!


I have been writing this blog for six years in August and I wanted to celebrate my blogiversary with a giveaway.

You can win the goodies in the photo by following my blog (if you do not already do so) and writing a comment below about what you would like to make with the some of the crafty supplies.

I will announce the winner on the 23rd of August.
Good luck my creative, crafty buddies x

Check out what you could win below.

  • 5 rolls of Paper Poetry crepe paper
  • 2 rolls of Paper Poetry green paper tape
  • 2 packets of Paper Poetry flower stamens

  • New Look 6446 jumpsuit pattern
  • Butterick B6318 Retro '61 dress pattern
  • Butterick B6326 Skirt pattern
  • Nicola Finetti V1471 dress pattern
  • 6 fat quarters of Alison Glass Chroma cotton in pinks & purples

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Adventures in Alton at Jane Austen's House Museum

A few weeks ago in the height of the crazy hot temperatures, my friend Charlotte and I embarked on a journey to Alton to visit Jane Austen's House Museum and the beautiful Chawton House which was inherited by her brother Edward.

The train ride was lengthy due to a South Western Railway strike day which meant trains between Winchester and London were reduced to one an hour and they stopped at every station along the route. I enjoyed gazing out onto the beautiful and slightly parched English countryside and had a good old chatter with my friend.

Upon arrival at Alton, the number 74 bus is conveniently located just outside the train station where we needed to continue our journey to the quaint cottage of Jane Austen. Jane lived there with her mother and sister Cassandra during the latter part of her life where she wrote and revised her most well-known works such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility

The house was gifted to her by her brother Edward who was adopted by the Knight's a wealthy, childless family who owned a large swath of the Hampshire countryside including Chawton House and Godmersham Park Estate. Jane, her mother and sister Cassandra lived at the cottage rent and maintenance free until they all passed away. 

Chawton House often referred to in Jane's writing as the 'grand house' is a further twenty-minute stroll down a secluded country lane. Such a beautiful building with parts dating back over 400 years.

Here are some photos of the day.


Jane Austen's House given to her by her brother who inherited Chawton House, grounds and outbuildings
A fairy house discovered on the way to Jane Austen's house
The secluded walled garden at Chawton House


Chawton House
A secret door of the walled garden at Chawton House





During her time living at the cottage, Jane, her mother and sister Cassandra made the most beautiful diamond quilt. It is sewn by hand and contains over 2,500 diamonds and 64 different fabrics ranging from dress cotton to furnishing weight fabric. It is such a beautiful quilt and made you contemplate how many hours the ladies spent creating such a gorgeous collaborative piece of textiles.


Saturday, 21 July 2018

The Ogden Ida Swap


I happened upon the #OgdenIdaSwap Instagram / Blogger sewing challenge a while ago and immediately signed up. I was sent the name and address details of my sewing swap (fellow Yorkshire lass), Diane and then almost forgot I had to send the items by the 22nd July.

The swap was organised by Jen and Laura at Cotton Reel Studio. You could sign up to make both the True Bias Ogden Camisole AND the FREE Kylie + the Machine Ida Clutch OR just the Ogden or Ida. I chose to make just the Ida as I knew I had some gorgeous smaller fabric remnants that would be perfect for the Ida clutch bag.

The fabric combination I chose to use were the remnants of one of my favourite SOI Shift Dresses in a black floral linen with a cerise pink silk lining.


Luckily, the construction of the bag by Kylie + the Machine was a blast. Kylie has produced such detailed and easy to follow instructions which means it's a very fun and fast make! I decorated Diane's parcel with some beautiful Liberty print patterned paper and sent it off on Wednesday. Diane contacted me this morning and she is really happy with her gift!



Attaching the zip
Hand-stitching the opening in the lining 

The only 10" zip in my stash happened to be orange which perfectly complimented the floral linen fabric!

The only purchased item was the magnetic closure which I bought from Ray Stitch in Islington



I received this beautifully made Ida clutch (below) from Emily J (@esova) on Thursday. It came wrapped with a pretty ribbon and a hand-made marbled card inside. I also really love the patterned lining! What a useful little clutch bag in a perfect black and charcoal grey plaid woven fabric. Thank you so much, Emily!




A big thank you to Jen (@jenlegg4) and Laura (@cottonreelstudio) from Cotton Reel Studio who organised this really fun sewing swap.