Making File-Folder Collagraphs

A few weeks ago when I was visiting my husband’s office, I saw a pile of file folders outside one of the other offices with a “free-take me” sign on them.  I’d recently gotten interested in making collagraphs and had seen a technique somewhere that used file folders to make them.

I made a couple of simple collagraph plates  right away using using drawings that were traced onto a file folder and then glued down to another file folder, with the intention of making some more complex ones later.  Here are the first ones:

Life sort of got in the way of making any more for awhile, but for the last couple of days, I’ve had some ideas going through my brain that involved circles- actually that’s been a theme to a lot of the stitched shibori I’ve done this summer, too.  Today, I decided to draw something with circles and make a collagraph plate from it.

I started by gluing two file folders together with a glue-stick, as my free folders are pretty thin.  I then drew on my circle images and scanned it so I’d have a copy to work from as I cut it apart and glued it back together.  Here’s my original and my scanned copy:

I glued the scanned copy to another file folder and then began cutting out and gluing the pieces to that base.  I used a regular glue stick for all of the gluing. Here’s a picture part way through the process:

It actually took me a couple of hours to cut this apart and glue it back together, but it was exactly what I needed.  I love to cut things out- for me there’s some sort of meditative thing about cutting and gluing.

I made a couple of quick images from my new collagraph plate tonight.  These are both on fabric, using Caran D’ache neocolor 1 water resistant pastels.  When I heat-set these with an iron, they seem to be quite permanent on fabric.

On natural fabric:

On some of my hand-dyed fabric:

I’m hoping to have time to make more of these soon, and also to experiment with using them on some of my other hand-dyed fabrics.


Learning to Crochet

A few weeks ago, as I was googling and looking for something else, I came across the blog,  Resurrection Fern.  It’s a beautiful blog, and I found myself especially interested in the crochet-covered rocks which are frequently featured there.  I think this is the post that first got my attention: Resurrection Fern Stones .

After viewing this, I decided that I needed to make some of those rocks.  This meant trying again to learn to crochet, something I’ve attempted unsuccessfully several times.  I’ve managed to learn enough to put a simple edging on something I knit, but I’ve never made any further progress.  I set to work with a couple of books I have and a few free instructions from the internet and crocheted and unraveled several projects.  As I started actually getting the hang of it a little bit, I heard that Margaret Oomen of the Resurrection Fern blog had patterns for three of her rocks in the September/October  2009 Issue of Crochet Today magazine.  I was able to find it at my local Hastings.  Here’s a photo for anyone looking for it:

(And an aside- as much as I’ve always liked lacy crochet things, this cover sums up what I DON’T like about crochet.  Apologies to anyone who likes it, but I just don’t get things like crocheted fake clocks.   Of course, my son thinks my crocheted rocks are a little crazy, so I obviously can’t really judge:). )

I started in on the three patterns in the magazine and made them in this order:

I then bought the smaller size crochet hook that the patterns actually called for and made this one again- I think my crocheting had improved here, too:

For my next project, I made a small doily from a book I already had, MaryJane’s Stitching Room by MaryJane Butters.

I have always loved lace doilies and often buy them at garage sales, and I’m happy that I can make my own now.

And that’s the sum total of all of my finished crochet projects to date.  I’m sure I’ll be doing quite a bit more, but I won’t be making any crocheted clocks :).