Hello Everyone! All Hallows Eve for me is the time when fantastical things can happen. All you have to do is stretch your imagination a little. I love decking our house with a myriad autumnal and magical decorations. My husband and I carve pumpkins and happily dole out candy to all who stop by, children and adults alike. This year however, I had been feeling very lackadaisical about my favourite day.
Carol’s announcement of the Ghastly Ghouls blog hop was exactly what I needed. I love her blog hops, she makes them fun.
I have been doing block prints on paper for a while. Printing on fabric would be new to me. This was just the occasion for trying that out.
The Raven was certainly going to be a central part of the picture, but the context was not quite clear to me at first. Visiting a favourite spot, a grove of oak trees, sparked an idea. What if, on All Hallows Eve, for that one night, the spirits of the trees are set free as birds! They get to spread their wings and fly across the world.
Who else but the adventurous Girl and her Cat would venture into the woods to witness such a magical moment, perhaps even talk to the raven spirit of this ancient tree.
Then, one Sunday, the idea materialised into a drawing.
I find block carving extremely calming. Just like the Girl and her Cat, with my kitty right beside me, I ventured into the world of bringing the spirit of a tree to life.
This is the part where I stepped into the unknown territory. The new Speedball fabric ink I got kept drying out on me, causing very blotchy prints. After a few test prints, I gave up and went back to my favourite ink which tends to stay wet longer. That way I could mix a couple of inks to get the right colour and pull a few prints with ease.
The Not So Magical Moments
Of course, there had to be a few hiccups. Two of my sweet kitties got sick at the same time, both needing a lot of TLC. Tight on schedule, but I made it.
My iron decided to stop working at 10:30 at night, right before I started ironing the fabric pieces for printing. My dear husband mended the cable while I got everything else ready.
I had to wash the old Speedball ink off the block before I could restart with the new ink. That caused the block to bend, making it impossible for me to apply ink properly. After several unsuccessful test prints, I had to call it a night. I set the block under LOTS of books to try and make it flat again and went to bed.
These are the test prints. With the slight changes I made on every print, I saw improvements. That was extremely encouraging. I wanted to do a few colour fastness and wash tests, but I ran out of time. The bottom three I saved for a later day for that purpose.
The Joy of Success
Next day, much to my delight, I was able to very successfully pull a few prints by applying all the modifications I figured out the night before.
I set them to dry on the laundry drying rack. The texture of the canvas fabric gave it a tapestry style look which I really love!
With the prints almost dry, I started working on my finished project. Using one of the prints, I made a bag with pockets. The canvas fabric is stiff enough, but I still used interfacing to give it a sturdier body.
Here are a couple of photos of the inside and the back of the bag. Please click on them to see the larger phtos.
As I was making the bag, I thought it would make the perfect giveaway for this festive event. It’s a 11″ x 9″ sturdy bag made of canvas fabrics with three generously sized inside pockets. I can think of so many things to use this bag for. (Bag contents not included)
My giveaways are for those who subscribe to my blog via email. This is where I share my photos and work in context and communicate with you directly. Thank you for reading and for all the wonderful comments!
The giveaway has now ended.
I love taking part in Carol’s Halloween blog hops, and I am so glad that I got to participate this year again. She keeps the event fun and open, which lets me try out new ideas for my project. She also makes fantastic quilts and patterns, specially Halloween themed ones. Make sure to visit her website see her beautiful works.
I am sharing this day with these wonderful ladies –
The Girl And Her Cat witnessing Flight of the Tree has become one my favourite Halloween stories. I love those magical moments!
Happy Halloween Hopping!
I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them.