english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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中秋节快乐 ~ Mid-Autumn Festival Mooncake

中秋节快乐 / Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Today is Mid-Autumn Festival, an important holiday in the Chinese lunar calendar. Mooncakes (月饼), pastry cakes which normally contains red bean or lotus seed paste and salted duck egg yolk, are eaten at the Festival and are frequently given as gifts (they tend to be quite expensive).

Pictured below is one of the mooncake linocut images I created for this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival.

The card pictured in the third photo is one of those I gave to colleagues at the Mandarin class I attend.
Mooncake Linocut Print Card
Mooncake Linocut Print Card
Mooncake Linocut Print Card


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The Car I gave my Dad for his Birthday

Last Saturday was my Dad’s birthday so I printed him a card featuring one of his favourite things – rallying. I decided on an image of a Subaru, my Dad’s favourite, throwing up a cloud of dust. I had a go at printing it on both a white & recycled card, and it’s available from my online shop if your dad would like one too!

Rally Car Linocut Print
Rally Car Linocut Print
Rally Car Linocut Print
Rally Car Linocut Print


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If You Don’t Already Love Luke Drozd’s Art You Will Soon

I’m indebted to Luke Drozd for supplying some amazing prints for the charity event me and colleagues organised recently. I was particularly excited to receive donations from Luke as I’m a huge fan. Not only is Luke generous he also produces some truly lovely screen prints.

Judging by recent updates to his blog & Facebook page, he’s also very busy at the moment. He has an exhibition of fine art at York College Gallery, he’s just published a book of comic strips, Dark Days and Other Tales (complete with button badge),  and he’s created some lovely screen printed band posters, including gorgeous festival posters for New Order & Graham Coxon (pictured below – images courtesy of Luke Drozd).

Luke posts on various social media sites so you can follow what he’s up to & get your debit card at the ready when a new poster is released. Why not like him on Facebook  or Twitter right now. He happens to be pretty damn funny as well so you can’t go wrong.


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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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Courtesan linocut print inspired by Harunobu

I’ve neglected the blog lately as there’s been so much going on at work and at home. Last Sunday, however, I managed to find some time to do some printing. Pictured below is the end result. It’s a four-colour linocut print, size 4″ x 6″. I’m new to working with multiple colours / layers so you’ll see that I missed the mark slightly in places!

The image is based on a woodblock print of the famous courtesan Shiratama by Harunobu.

Linocut print

Linocut print

Linocut print

In addition to the four-colour prints I also printed some monochrome greeting cards.

Linocut print

Linocut print


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Style Africa at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Recently me and Phil visited the Style Africa exhibition currently on at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Style Africa is an exhibition of contemporary West African textiles, and features a selection of beautifully printed fabrics. I won’t say any more than that, I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves.

Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham MuseumStyle Africa Exhibition Birmingham MuseumStyle Africa Exhibition Birmingham MuseumStyle Africa Exhibition Birmingham MuseumStyle Africa Exhibition Birmingham MuseumStyle Africa Exhibition Birmingham MuseumStyle Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum

Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum
Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum
Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum
Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum
Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum
Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum
Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum
Style Africa Exhibition Birmingham Museum


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Harunobu inspired linocut print

Me and my team mates at work are in the process of organising a charity craft, cake and plant fair. All proceeds from the fair will be donated to two cancer charities nominated by a colleague who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. The fair isn’t until the 16th August but I thought I’d better start making some items to sell. I’m hoping to create a range of items (time permitting!) but thought I’d start with a linocut print.

This print is based on a Harunobu print of the courtesan Shiratama. I’m planning it as three colour print, but so far have only completed the black / outline layer. Below is a test print of the initial work.
Courtesan Linocut Print based on a print by Harunobu

Courtesan Linocut Print based on a print by Harunobu


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My beautiful Alien Corset (print)

Me and Phil are big fans of Alien Corset’s film posters for the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Last month we treated ourselves to one of his latest batch of prints, a lovely red and gold Metropolis poster, which arrived in the post this week.

Alien Corset Metropolis Castro Theatre Poster

Alien Corset Metropolis Castro Theatre Poster


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Screen printed tees for a brother who has everything

It’s my brother’s birthday today. When we were younger it used to be really easy to buy him presents because we never had enough money to buy all the things we wanted, but now he has enough money to buy himself all the games & clothes he wants so he’s really difficult to buy presents for! This year I decided to screen print two tees for him instead.  I picked two characters he’s loved for a long time – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince and Ark, from the SNES RPG Terranigma.

Test print of the Little Prince:

Little Prince Screen Print

The Little Prince tee:

Little Prince Screen Printed Tee

Ark from Terranigma test print:

Screen Printed Ark from Terranigma

Ark from Terranigma tee:

Terranigma Screen Printed Tee


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Cutting Up Comics ! A cheap alternative to picture mounting

I know this might cause some people physical pain but I just spent an evening cutting up comics! It was for a good cause, to make a background for a brilliant Nick Henderson Batman print – as an alternative to having a mount cut to size. It’s a cheap and easy alternative as all you need to do is cut out images, arrange as required and stick onto the paper sheet included inside picture frames, which are already cut to size.

Picture Mounting

The comics picked for dismemberment included a reprint of a golden age Batman comic which included the following amazing panels. I can’t resist a picture of Bruce Wayne smoking a pipe:)

Golden Age Batman

Golden Age Batman

Here is the finished article – the print on its completed background.

Nick Henderson Batman Print

And here’s a close-up of the Nick Henderson print itself. Awesome:)

Nick Henderson Batman Print

This will be joining a Henderson Spider Man print which we’ve already backed in the same style, and which hangs in our study.
Spiderman print