I finished it! Hours upon hours of eco printing and then slow stitching the results. Learning the stitches as I went.
I'm in love with this little journal, the way it feels, the promise of making even more magic on its inside pages.
And, I love the eco printed scarves behind it. Pure magic!
I even managed a bit of very basic beading. Very basic was about all I could handle, and just one of the learning curves I mumbled (and yes, swore) my way through. This leaf called for beads, and thanks to Google and a few books, I fumbled my way through it. I pat these beads each time I go by.
It's hard to believe that this gorgeous journal cover began as a wool blanket rescued from a thrift shop. Washed and felted, cut into size, and put into a packet of goodies...bits of silk, watercolor papers, and more, then opened up in class at Lesley Riley's Red Thread Retreat taught by the wonderful Leslie Marsh. Twenty some women gathering leaves, immersing them in boiling water or steam, and cooking them for hours, all of it done in a very steady rain. We must have been quite the sight.
It's hard to resist unwrapping them right away, and it's like Christmas day, complete with heart felt oohs and aahs. You never really know what you're going to get. Sometimes, not much of anything, which while there's momentary disappointment, you know that you can over dye it and quite possibly get magic. See the blue leaves? They began as tiny red leaves before nature, some rusty bits, and more lent their magic.
There are 8 sets of signatures in this little book. Each signature holds 4 pages, and the whole thing is bound around gathered sticks. True confession: Being tired, but not willing to wait, I cut my first set of sticks way too short. Finding me wandering through our yard and gathering sticks, my youngest son suggested cutting some of the bamboo growing in the back. I cut them down to size, let them harden up for a few days, and stitched away. The first few signatures nearly proved to be my undoing (Talk about awkward...), but I'd come this far, and by God, this book would be coming together. The whole binding bit is a bit funky, and I love it.
The signatures are eco-printed water color pages done using the immersion method. We layered 4 sets of pages with all sorts of gathered leaves, rolled them around copper pipes, making sure to get good contact, and then wrapped them with string or rubber bands. I'll be adding precious bits here and there - leaves encased in mica, bits of poetry and more. Each page, in time, will let me know what it wants.
I've always loved seeing these fabrics and books, and in a few short weeks, I hope to be doing more. Leaves, I've got. Our heavily treed yard will supply me with more than I could ever use. I need to order more scarves (Christmas presents) and will be on the hunt for old wool blankets to use. I've got a stash of silk and linen bits to play with. I've gathered up old pots to use. Now, as soon as the budget permits, I'll be ordering my camp stove to cook on, and a few other miscellaneous goodies. In the meantime, I'll learn as much as I can about the process, and I'll be dreaming of cooking leaves.