Saturday, 23 June 2018


About 5 years ago I bought a Cyanotype kit.  Between no time, losing it and the weather I had never actually managed to use it.  Until now. 

My first use, despite watching several YouTube videos, I still managed to do it all wrong.  I mixed up the chemicals and painted the mixed media paper with it and then laid on the plant material whilst it was still wet.  

Of course it went strange colours and steamed up under the perspex.  I still went through the motions though. 
I washed it off after several minutes.  You can see where the perspex touched the wet liquid on the paper and made a nasty mark.  

The keys were ok though as they didn't need weighing down. 

After re reading up on what I was supposed to do properly I prepared some new paper which I'd cut down to the size I wanted to use.  I am lucky in that one of my spare bedrooms has a blackout blind for the grandchildren and it's really dark when it's pulled.  I sat in there with a small side light on and painted the paper, some very carefully leaving a border around the edge. 

I left them overnight in the dark room to dry.  I also put some plant material under the weight of books overnight too.  They don't have to be dried but I thought if they were flat it would help especially as I was doing such small pieces. 

Today I laid the plant material onto the papers on my art boards and laid the perspex sheet over the top. 

I put them outside in the direct sun for a few minutes and watched as they changed colour to a greeny blue.  

I had also used up the last of the chemical on a piece of white cotton and used that too. 

When I thought they had finished developing I took them inside and washed them under the tap for several minutes to wash out the last of the yellow that was still under the plants before it too changed. 

I was really quite pleased with the results.

Including the papers without the borders.

Now which do I prefer???? 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Did I tell You About My Moth Trap???

Well the Art Weeks is over for another 2 years and everything is disorganised all over the place in the house.  I will try and sort it out over the next few days.  I also need to sort the notes and thoughts I made whilst sitting in the church unable to get to my studio!  Of course the little spare time I've had so far to go in there I sit and find all the thoughts have disappeared!  Good job, I hope, I made notes!  I'm sure I'm not the only one who's brain goes into overdrive when you don't have the ability to carry things out and then blank the minute you can. 

I did have a group of GCSE students from a local school textile group come and visit which was interesting.  

One of my book sleeves inspired the church committee to ask if I could make them a Prayer Request book for the church, which of course I did, and it's already in use.

After three weekends, and the weeks between, away from home I spent a fourth weekend in the local garden centre exhibiting as part of a group for the village of Cranborne Open Gardens.  Just a glutton for punishment!  We are now at mid Summer and I feel I've hardly been at home at all this year.  I'm now staying as put as possible for a while. 

I told you about the moth trap they put out while I was staying at Kingcombe and the amazing moths that were caught.  John knows I have always wanted a trap of my own and he went and bought me one for my birthday!  

Early I know but it's National Moth Week next month and he wanted us to be ready.  We've had it out two nights so far. It's like a sunrise all night long it's so bright. This was the first night.  I did warn the neighbours!! 

The second time we put it at the top of the garden behind the trains as it has a really long lead.  You could still probably see it from space.  On reading up it's preferable to leave a few nights between each setting out to allow the moths to feed.  You're also less likely to keep catching the same ones then too.  Also the release is quite important and they really are a bit daylight dopey and then of course a good meal for the birds!  We have been releasing where there are plenty of hiding places and hanging around to keep the birds away.  Good job we have a huge garden! I'd feel so guilty if they were just an easy breakfast, birds are very sly like that apparently.  

Anyway, I will leave you with some photos of our star moths.  There were dozens of different ones, (we seem to have thousands in the UK!!!) and now I have time, and some bug pots, I will start to keep a log of what we find.  

Privet Hawkmoth

Elephant Hawkmoth

Small Elephant Hawkmoth

Poplar Hawkmoth


White Wave

Burnished Bronze

Blood Vein
Plenty more we saw and I haven't logged but we're doing well so far, especially in the Hawkmoth department!!