Concertina Book

This is the mulberry bark concertina. The bark came dyed purple with a little jade green. Because my piece was about 3″ by 15″, I needed to modify the size somewhat. First I soaked the bark in warm water for a few minutes. Then I could pull it apart and stretch it a little. After it dried, I decided it needed a little more intense color. So I used some Dye-Na-Flow and Lumiere. I added a little Pearl Ex for extra sparkle.


I wasn’t crazy about the color combination of my light blue felt and the purple and jade mulberry bark. So I fused some tissue paper to the felt and further doctored it up by stamping some iridescent paint on top. I then used a diagonal running stitch and some silk embroidery floss to stitch the bark to the felt. I used that same floss to use the buttonhole stitch to hold the outside cover to the inside cover.

The cord is about 8 strands of fairly thin fiber zigzagged together with three colors of metallic thread. One thing I did was to separate some silver floss before twisting it in with the other fibers. I liked that effect. In retrospect, I probably did not need to spend half an hour choosing the precise fibers to go in the cord and I did not need to use any silk floss. The subtleties don’t show. But I’m pleased with the overall effect.

The silk cocoons seemed a little large for the book so I used beads on the end of the cord.

open concertina

The hardest part of the whole process was finding where my box of sewing machine needles was hiding. AARGH! It was in with fusibles under the Misty Fuse. So much for the ill-fated effort at straightening up the sewing room after 8:00 p.m.

2 Responses to “Concertina Book”

  1. Cathy says:

    Marty, this is just incredible. My head is spinning with all the different things you’re doing in this class! (I think I like the three-drawer box the best – like Ann, I’m practical at heart.) What is the class that you’re taking, and is there a link to it online? Are there other students taking the class at the same time, and you’re looking at each others’ work? I’m fascinated by the idea of an online art/craft class.

  2. Marty says:

    The class I am taking is through It’s Mixed Media Surface Design. Each week we can download a new lesson. There is also an online forum for the students to share work and ideas and to ask questions. The teacher is VERY responsive. (You have to have paid to get access to the lessons and forum.)

    I believe there are about 70 people in the class, although not everyone posts photos on the forum. They are from all over–one from Denmark and several from the UK. Quite a number who post info seem to be real artists (compared to those of use who are “artistes”). Many of them have links to their blogs or websites, and it is very interesting to see what all they do.

    I wasn’t sure about the online format, but I like it very, very much. In a workshop, you have to do all the work there. With the week-long lesson, I have plenty of time to think and think again (and again…) about what I want to do. I can also dig around in the basement and in the pink room to find exactly what materials I want to use. In a real emergency, I can make a trip to a craft or fabric or bead store to perpetrate another Economic Stimulus Package in the name of ART. And if I goof up or if it turns out “special” instead of lovely or if I don’t get my homework done on time, no one knows or cares.

    Some websites you might want to link on the side of the blog are: (shameless commerce division) (She’s the teacher.) (the Danish artist)

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