english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Fritillaria Easter Card

I was a bit slow making Easter cards this year, but finally got around to making some – just in time! I opted for a fritillaria design. The fritillaria image is a linocut print, which I’ve tidied up & added text to in Adobe Illustrator.
Home-made Fritillaria Easter Card


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Homemade Floral (and Other!) Brooch Selection

Over Christmas I designed and made a selection of brooches, many of which were designed as presents for family and friends. Pictures of some of the brooches are included below. Quite a few of the brooches were on a floral or natural theme (flowers, leaves), but I also  created some other badges too, including a little Olympic Trip camera and umbrella ghost. These are also available from my Etsy shop. Each badge is a printed Shrinky Dink which has been embossed to achieve a nice glossy finish and make the brooch waterproof.

Handmade Cosmos Plastic Brooch
Umbrella Ghost Handmade Plastic Brooch
Handmade Plastic Olympus Trip Retro Camera Brooch
Handmade Narcissus Plastic Brooch
Handmade Maple Leaf Brooch


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Screen Printing Workshop

Last weekend I attended a two-day screen printing class at Midlands Art Centre. We had a day of learning techniques, followed by a day of making whatever we fancied. In my case, I wanted to make items to sell at the craft fair me and colleagues were organising at work this week (p.s. things went well & we raised £1,717 for charity) so I made six tea towels. I used a stencil design and did two-colour fox and three-colour plant prints:

Fox Screen Print

Floral Screen Print

I also tried a couple of other screen printing techniques. These were direct stencil techniques – where the image is applied directly to the screen rather than creating a separate stencil which is placed over the screen.

The direct application techniques I tried were using charcoal and water soluble crayons. In both cases the image is drawn directly onto the screen and then printed onto fabric using a squeegee to push binder across the screen & print the image. A number of members of our group had a go at direct printing using procion dye, which gave a lovely watercolour-style effect. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to try the procion dye as I was too busy getting my tea towels finished!

I took a few photos of the process of printing using charcoal, which are included below.

I began by printing a simple block of colour as a brackground to my charcoal image:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre

I then drew an image (of a beetle) directly onto a screen:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre

And then, once the background colour had dried, I printed the charcoal image:
Beetle Screen Print

Direct application techniques using charcoal and water soluble crayons produce monoprints, as it’s only possible to get one true print before the medium begins to fade. You can see below I did a second print of my charcoal beetle drawing and it is much paler than the first print:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre

Here’s the simple print I did using water soluble crayons:
Heart Pattern Screen Print

And another print using a paper stencil:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre


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Printed Blue Jay

I carved a couple of small images in lino on Thursday evening. I carved them sat on the sofa in the living room while watching TV which probably isn’t ideal! I was a bit more careful when I printed them at least.

The first image is of a blue jay, a bird which is native to North America. Me and Phil are currently more than a little obsessed with the cartoon Regular Show, one of the lead characters in which is a blue jay, which is what inspired me to carve one. Here is my blue jay – a head shot and the full image. Unfortunately I don’t have any blue ink at the moment, so he’s a monochrome blue jay.

Blue Jay Linocut Print

Blue Jay Linocut Print

My second print was a floral image – the image is roughly based on a detail from a Chinese lacquer box. The first image below is the carved lino matrix used the print the image, and the resulting print is pictured below.

Flower Carved Linoleum Matrix

Flower Linocut Print