Paper Making and Embroidery

The rest of this week was mega busy and I’m really happy with what I produced. On Thursday, I spend my time making paper. This time I used thyme, basil and coriander seeds to make a batch of sheets that I am happy with. I also experimented with putting in some pressed coriander leaves, which I sandwiched in between 2 thin layers of pulp.

This took up pretty much my whole day but in between pressing the paper and laying it out to dry, I went back up to the studio and finished off my drawings off mint in my sketchbook, which hopefully completes the development of my herb sketches.

I also started thinking about the actual designs of my cards, which proved to be more difficult than I was expecting. I think I’ve had the basic idea and layout in my head but haven’t actually sat down and drawn out how they are going to look…

With the four cards which are just herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley, dill), I think I’ve pretty much decided that the base of the card will be made of the seed paper, and the corresponding herb will be illustrated on a piece of recycled brown card (not sure of shape yet) which will somehow be detached from the card and be used as a label for when the paper is planted. I’m still thinking about the possibility of having some sort of stick included in the pack with the card for this to go into.

For the remaining four, which are mint (& pea), basil (&tomato), chives (&potato) and coriander (&carrot), the paper will have the seeds of the herbs, and then on the front of the card will be a seed packet, handmade with brown paper. This will hold the seeds for the coordinating vegetable. I’m thinking this will be pegged on, which goes nicely with the gardening theme, and can also be used to fold and peg down the packet if not using all of the seeds at once, which is something my Dad has always done. I’m still playing with how the illustrations of the herbs and vegetables will be illustrated, I was thinking both on the packet, but this then may suggest that both of the seeds are inside. However this might be okay if there are clear instructions that the herb seeds are in the paper. I was thinking that it would look effective to have the recipe on the inside of the card, which is otherwise plain, but I then realised that this would be lost once the paper is planted, which really defeats the point. I am now considering a separate recipe card which would go in with the card, which the recipient could keep.


Yesterday (Friday), I spent the majority of the day in the stitch workshop, first stitching into my screen prints from earlier in the week.

Turns out I actually like these a lot more than I had originally thought, so I’m now considering using this technique after all, perhaps just on one element of one card. I quite like the idea of using a variety of techniques of colouring the items.

I then moved on to taking my new drawings of all 8 herbs into stitch.

The chives are definitely my favourite one, I felt it was missing something with just the applique (I think this upholstery fabric is perfect though) so I added some cream stitching to try to replicate the colour change towards the bottom of the herb. I struggled with the dill because it is the only one without a block space which can be coloured and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to just have it as a black outline, so here I tried 2 options. One with just a coloured thread, which I like but don’t think it is very cohesive with the rest of the collection without a black outline, so then I tried a black line of stitch on top, which I think is really effective. For the rest, I just had a go at a few different appliqued fabrics and also used some coloured stitching on some of them to fill it in. For the ones which are blank with no colour, I am going to paint these with watercolours next week, I just ran out of time.


This stitched word was something that I did quickly while I was waiting for some more bondaweb from Maggie, and I actually really like it. This is a font which I’ve been playing with from the start, but hadn’t actually thought about taking it into stitch. This is most definitely something I’d like to develop further.

Overall I’m really happy with the stitched samples I created today and finally feel like I’m getting somewhere!

In the afternoon I popped down to collect and roll my paper.

I think these were really successful, especially because the seeds are staying in, which was definitely due to rolling it, which pressed them in further. I think these could be used for my final cards, so I just need to do the same for the remaining 5 herbs.
The last photo here shows the sheet which I put the pressed herbs inside. Before rolling I was really disappointed because you couldn’t see them at all but afterwards, it actually gives quite a nice effect because it is subtle and therefore wouldn’t take away from the actual design on the card. I’m unsure whether this is something I’d like to go with for my final collection, but I think when I make my next batch of paper I am going to try some just on the top, to see if I prefer that.

I’ve started having another look at my colour mood board and I definitely do prefer my new colour scheme. I just need to finalise what is going on there and get a second opinion before I commit to it.
My desk is looking really busy (and messy!) and it makes me feel motivated to get on when I get to uni in the mornings. I think having drawings and inspiration all around me when I work is really helpful in getting in the ‘zone’.


This weekend I am concentrating on my dissertation so I’ll get back to my subject work on Monday. My next steps are to put all of my new stitch samples in my sketchbook, just to try to keep an order of when I’ve done all of my development. I’m also going to be continuing drawing, this time having a go with how to combine the ingredients on four of the cards. I am also planning on finalising the designs of how each card will look and make a prototype.


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