Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hello Ohio

I’m in preparation for my week long textile art and quilting course with Nancy Crow in Ohio, which starts on Monday. I decided to buy my fabric on line from America so that it could be sent directly to Ohio, and save me carting it all the way across the Atlantic. I was also worried that the measly 22Kg weight limit on my flight might not be enough to accommodate both my clothes and over100m of fabric, and I didn’t fancy spending the whole week washing out my pants.

Nick is concerned I may be indoctrinated into some weird religious cult, but I think I will be far too busy sewing to worry about sinning. I’m back a week on Sunday, so I’ll give you a full update of my activities then, quilting or otherwise.

We have also been decorating. What with the Paint runner success we have been storming round the house. The lounge ceiling is painted ready for the arrival of the new sofas, and my craft room is ready for the new carpet. The spare bedroom is still under preparation. It’s taking a while as there is only so much polyfillering I can bear in an evening.

I bought a few ‘house’ magazines and was pleased to see that the whole wallpaper fashion is still in full swing. I absolutely love the handpainted chinoiserie look. Unfortunately all the gorgeous wallpapers I like are about £££££ a roll and I am too tight to pay that, especially when I can sniff DIY crafting potential!

So, in true Rachy fashion I set about learning a new craft. First I stripped off the old woodchip wall paper. Then I made up a translucent paint mix using 50% Farrow and Ball emulsion (powder blue) and 50% wallpaper paste. (I got this idea from a library book.) Using a 4 inch brush I roughly painted the wall with random brush strokes. The second coat evened it out quite a lot, but gave the wall a nice depth of colour, instead of a flat tone. It doesn’t look ‘colour washed’ like the fashion in the 90’s, it just looks like a lovely old wall.

Next I searched the internet for a wallpaper pattern I liked, and saved the image to my computer. Using a cunning mix of photoshop and my great artistic skill I plagiarised a pattern I really liked. (Note: Wallpaper websites are quite cunning – they don’t show the entire pattern, so attempting to copy the design involves improvising areas to the sides, top and bottom of the image they let you see. When doing this it’s quite tricky to figure out how the pattern repeats itself. With naturalistic chinoiserie type designs I just filled in with some extra leaves and flowers and it looks fine!) I printed out the design at work using our A2 printer.

Then I bought some stencil film and a heat pen from a stencil website, transferred the design on to the film, and cut it out using the heat pen.

I wanted to avoid the very obviously stencilled look, so used a very soft translucent white over the blue base wall. I stuck the stencil on the wall using repositionable spray mount and got going. Last year I bought Nick a laser spirit level that projects straight lines onto walls, and using that made it much easier to get the repeats perfectly horizontal and vertical.

The effect is soft and pretty and I’m really chuffed. I tried to take a photo for you but the camera battery was dead. I’ll take one when the whole room is finished.


Blogger Jane said...

I was at a dec painting course on Tuesday - great fun - but most inspirational was seeing the stencil effects that the woman running the course was working on ready to launch sometime next year - they were all cream on cream with a lot of plaster and other textureers and many were imprinted with skeleton leaves or papered over with tissue.
A far,. far cry from the 1980s/90s stencil bonanza.
Have a great time quilting

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Gracie said...

Hello Rach! Hope you have a great time in Ohio! Very impressed by your wallpaper technique! Just thought you'd like to know I say my friend Kathleen and her baby today - she has made Eleanor a quilt for her cot as she was so inspired by the one that you made me! Speak to you when you get back xx

10:03 PM  
Blogger sandra wyman said...

Hi Rach - reading your blog I've just remembered I was going to dye some fabric for you - had an extremely weird coupla months earlier this summer and it just went out of my head. If its any consolation I would have been struggling to match US dyers for cost (basic supplies are much cheaper in the US) and I was going to suggest ordering the fabric and getting it delivered there to avoid having to get it across the atlantic (100m of fabric is HEAVY!)
Obviously you're bright enough to work it out for yourself anyway. So sorry about forgetting - not fuckwittage, just real-life chaos and recurring problems with depression, various life-events - won't bore you more with this. BTW congrats on your move and your triumph at Scottish Quilt Champs (have been scrolling through your blog) and have a great time at Nancy's workshop.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Rach,

I hope you have a brilliant time in USA. And get inspired. Sorry I haven't commented on the post only for I said work has blocked all comments pages. It did make me go and check all my sections for cavity trays though! It was really nice to see you guys last weekend. Wish we had been around for lunch instead of swinging around treetops with a hangover. Although it was quite good fun really!

See you soon,

6:34 PM  
Blogger Twila Grace said...

Hi Rachel, I can't wait to read what you'll say about your Nancy Crow WS experience! I looked at your online shop, and love what you're doing. Great work! And thanks for the comment on my blog! Cheers Rachel!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Primrose Hill said...

Hey Rach!

Hope your trip to Ohio went well and the creative juices were flowing!

Hurry up and show us what you made?!!!

L xx

11:38 AM  

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