Thursday, August 28, 2008

More personal pages

Even before starting my felting adventures I had several more personal pages for the altered book finished. I only now find the time to present them. For the back pages I did not use photos from our family but vintage photos. The theme of mother and daughter is a general one and by presenting other women and children I think it is more generalized. The photo showing that baby is a real beauty I bought at ebay - it dates from 1828! I don't know if it shows a boy or girl, but that doesn't really matter. The bracelet below is the original bracelet my daughter received upon birth. The poem which so hauntingly replays my own feelings at that time was written by Caroline Sheridan Norton(1808-1877), a Victorian writer and poet.
Actually the book is now bound and finished! It went together more smoothly than I had hoped for. Alas my camera which was seriously hurt when I fell over the thresh hold of a Scottish castle last year (gaping up into the second floor where only a fireplace in the wall showed there w a s a second floor) is at present all but cooperative. When I press the release button, the bottom of the camera opens and the batteries fall out! We will be making a visit to my parents this weekend and I hope that either my father or my brother will be able to fix this mess.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I just returned from a felting class with my favorite local teacher, Gabi Tisch. (Well, not exactly local, but she is living and teaching a mere 20 km from where I live.) This is the starting material - dyed silk. There is also some painted linen which will be a scarf to accompany the jacket that is to be stitched from the felted material.

The dyed silk was first layered with wool and afterwards with multicolor roving containing a little bit of silk, too.

Wetting, pressing with bubble foil and then felting rendered a beautiful and extremely lightweight felt that will give a very interesting jacket I think.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Felted brooch

I felted this brooch for a friend of mine who invited to a belated birthday party. Several weeks ago I made a similar brooch for myself but somehow forgot to make a photo and blog it (this will happen one of these days). These colors are my favorite - somehow I cannot help but use bright oranges in most of the things I create in form of accessories. Yellow is the color I really love most of all - but that is a difficult color to use, especially in everyday situations. Although come to think of it I bought a bright yellow linen top one of these days, perfect for the summer. However I would not have done so had not my DH and the shop owner insisted that it looked good on me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Altered book

At present I am trying to decide on the order of the pages for this book. At first I considered putting the personal pages just in between. However, "Die Häschenschule" is constructed in a way that on one side there is the text, on the other side the according picture. It would be unwise to pull them apart. On the other hand, when I just add the personal pages to the front or back of the book, there is no real continuity. Any ideas out there?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Altered book continued

The altered book is coming along nicely. The longer I work on it, the more fun it is to add to the pages.
The personal pages are something other altogether. It hurts. My mother has been dead for over 23 years, and yet.... I wish she could see her grandchildren. (Although who knows, perhaps she does down from a cloud...) I wish I could go to her and show her what I am doing. I wish I could tell her "you were so right".... I wish that I could show her that now I understand what she meant when she told me things which at that time I just shrugged off.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Just returned from a trip to lake Constance. On our way we visited an outdoor museum showing a large number of old farmhouses. Imagine, they dismantle the houses, transport them to the museum and build them again there! I love museums of this kind where you can see how people were living and working in the past. Mind you, I would not have wanted to live in that time! Most probably would have died giving birth to our oldest daughter. And it was an extremely hard time for women. Not only were they expected to cook, tend to their garden, work in the field, rear the children, spin, weave and sew the family's clothes, they also had to wait hand and foot on their husband. Definitely nothing for me! (I hate gardening.)
Surprisingly these people very lovingly decorated even everyday items. Somehow they found the time to stitch a border onto a skirt, to paint their trunks and cupboards. I wonder how they managed to find the time for that.
In the museum they actually raise pigs and cattle, they cook in the kitchens (would hate that, too, everything is extremely dark, I constantly knocked my head because rooms are so low, there is no running water and the oven produces not only heat but stinks as well.) I managed to make a photo from a pair of horses dragging an awfully long trunk, although my camera at that time was constantly warning of a low battery status and thus shutting itself off.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

An act of random kindness across the ocean

That is what Sue Bleiweiss called it. For me it was a total surprise and delight. Sue had made some beautiful books which she showed on her blog. I added a comment because I very much liked what was shown. (I have to say that I love all her books - that is why I took a class with her in order to learn how to make them myself.)Okay, back to our exchange via the internet. Sue wrote back to tell me, she would send me the book which I liked best. At first, I did not understand her correctly - she really meant to send it to me as a gift.
So have a look at what reached me today. I am still speechless. This book is so beautiful - the vintage look, the papers (old French letters!), the photos... I am in heaven.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Altered book continued

This project is coming along rather nicely. After my first inhibitions I now rather enjoy to doodle, stamp, paint, glue and write onto the pages.

I also started the first personal pages. The background was made by painting watercolor paper with gesso and acrylic paint in several layers. I do not have many photos from my mother, therefore actual photos are only on three pages. The other pages are made with copies from vintage photos.