Sunday 29 April 2007

And now for something a little different...

I have been thinking a lot about my Dad over the last few days - the combination of having some days off work and therefore time to think, as well as the fact that it was his birthday on Friday. He was a potter for a big chunk of the second half of his life and made beautiful functional pieces. It was actually the word "functional" that stopped me in my tracks this morning while I was reflecting on his life. I find it really interesting that something that "just" provides beauty is not seen as "functional" even though it fulfils a very important function for the beholder (now there's a funny word!).

So I thought I would take a photo of one of my favourite little pieces of his pottery to honour my memories of a wonderful father and his art. I love rounded and closed form shapes and this little "vase" is just beautiful.

It is filled with dried spinifex grass and I have photographed it sitting on some painted lutrador (I was trying to get a rusty look with paint) and some sheets of spinifex paper made by the Papulankutja Artists - a group of very talented women of the remote Papulankutja Aboriginal Community (which is located at the foot of the striking Blackstone Ranges between the Gibson and Great Victoria Deserts). The collection of spinifex grass is hard, hot, prickly work and I admire the work that goes into making this delicate but strong fibrous handmade paper. The artists do fantastic little paintings on the paper as well but I stocked up on the unadorned sheets (as shown in the bottom photo, scattered on my cork floor) for my collages when I was out there last October.

It is a bit of a blurry photo but to the left of the photo is a piece of stamped art on spinifex paper that I did for a Stamping & Papercraft "With One Stamp" challenge. The stamp is a great one from Tin Can Mail - a very versatile tag image. My pieces for the challenge have just come back to me so the issue must be due out soon. The paper was great to work on and handled the walnut ink and Tintz dabbers really well.

And now I had better get back to my onion skin dye experiments which have proved to be a fun diversion from my original plans for today! As Joseph would say "Now there's a surprise".

Saturday 28 April 2007

Saturday Night Addendum - Ocean Nostalgia

Thought I'd try uploading one more time and sure enough all is well with blogger again. These scans are of two pages I did quite a while ago in a Journal Exchange that was loosely colour based - this one was "oceans". The journal was much larger than I am used to so I used canvas, sea-life themed decorator napkins, scrim, cardboard stencils (from Ma Vinci's Reliquary), lots of paint, stamps (mostly alphabets, again from Ma Vinci and netting), fish bone beads that I bought at the markets in Margaret River while on Christmas holidays, starfish, a small carved fish etc.

Living on the edge of the desert makes you miss the ocean...

Having trouble tonight with Blogger

For some reason Blogger won't let me upload anything tonight unfortunately, so this is just a quick little post to say that a big chunk of today was spent working on my tags (and doing the week's washing, which was actually a pleasure on such a glorious autumn day).

I'm making good progress on the tags and it is mostly a case of assembling them now. Tonight I am going to work on my "paper fabric" quilt a la Beryl Taylor. Can't wait for her workshops in Perth in August - she is so inspiring and I love the way she mixes paper and fabric together. I must contact Dale at The Thread Studio to find out if details are confirmed yet as I'd hate to miss out. I'll be taking some annual recreation leave to get to this as I lose a couple of days travelling (by train or car) unless I fly ($ I would rather spend on a Janome Xpressions).

Hoping the latest Cloth, Paper, Scissors arrives in my letter box on Monday - once I know a new issue is out I find the wait so hard! Until tomorrow - when blogger may be a bit more cooperative!

Friday 27 April 2007

A much more productive day

Today I re-established my bookmark favourites and of course, discovered some new ones! I haven't been able to "find" all of my old ones but I guess most of them will show up as links elsewhere over time. This morning I also finally finished a canvas for Natalie. She has been very patient seeing as I thought I would be posting it more than a week ago. I kept changing my mind about what I was doing, which is one of the wonderful things about working with beeswax! I had better email Nat and let her know not to look if she wants a surprise. (I need to clean my scanner too I think, judging by all the extra little white bits!) All the stamped images are Oxford Impressions. My picture editing is a bit of a dodgy on this one and the canvas doesn't look that great on a black background unfortunately but I was trying to make sure the white wire hanger showed up.

This afternoon I have been working on my alphabet tags which I think I have mentioned before. It is an international exchange and while it is based around the usual idea of each artist producing 26 tags based around one letter of the alphabet (I have "U"), it is also a background technique exchange and must include a heart somewhere on the tag. The tags are to have pockets on the back with notes about the techniques used.

This makes it all quite fiddly and I have been experimenting with creating a pocket that doesn't impact at all on the front of the tag. I have done all my backgrounds and I'm at the stage of stamping up all the little bits that have to be cut out or punched out and layered and stuck on. Of course the circle punch that is the right size jammed* and I had to go and buy a new one. It is actually marginally bigger and is better suited to the round alphabet stamp that I am punching out. While I was in the shop I had to buy a beautiful colour of Brilliance inkpad that I didn't even know I was missing until I saw Annie's on Wednesday evening - "Pearlescent Olive". Yummy!

* Really really jammed - even my usual unjamming technique of throwing it hard on the floor (carpeted concrete) several times didn't work!!

And guess what this means...yep, soccer season has started here. We'll see a lot of yellow (gold) and black on the clothes line over the next several months!

Thursday 26 April 2007

Hmmmm, a day of mixed feelings

For some ridiculous reason I woke before 4am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep so I got up around 4:30. I hadn't gone to bed early as I had had a fun stamping and chat evening around at Annie's, with her and Narelle, two Kalgoorlie stamping friends. I got to play with my new clear flourish stamps and I am very happy with them - I love backgrounds and these are all very suitable for my purposes with a nice mix of sizes and formal/informal designs.

Anyway as a result of lack of sleep, things have not gone according to plan today. While I have a lot of the reorganisation of "stuff" in my house done (not all, but a lot as Zach and I were successful in putting together the new bookcases on Anzac Day), I wasted so much time trying to recover all my bookmarks which I very carelessly managed to delete. The problem was not realising I had done it until I had done a whole lot else. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me that I was cluttering my life with too much blog-reading and web-surfing and that I needed to simplify...

Well simple is the result that is for sure - I am starting again and it will be with those sites and blogs that I can simply remember enough of to track down. Thank goodness so many people list other people's sites!

The net result was that I was pretty grumpy with myself this afternoon and the rest of the vacuuming was done pretty ferociously. But THEN the postie came and delivered a beautiful fabric ATC trade all the way from Jacqueline in the Netherlands. Isn't it gorgeous! That cheered me up a lot.

So then Zach and I went and had haircuts when he got home from school and that always makes me feel good - I swear I could just sit and let someone massage my head for hours. So now I am going to go and cook dinner and then I think I will have an early night! I have lots of creating planned for tomorrow.

As a result of wanting to put Jacqueline's link in this posting, I went and checked out her entry today (which fortunately was very easy for me to find as it is listed on my blog favourites!) and found that not only has she been nominated as a "thinking blog" but she has included my blog as one of her fifth "bulk" nominations in honour of everyone that blogs! I am sure this doesn't really count but after my day I am treating it as a plus!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday 24 April 2007

ANZAC Day & My Personal Remembrance Shrine

Today is ANZAC Day and I want to honour all the Australians and New Zealanders who have been or are a part of our armed forces. Like a lot of women I know, I am not pro-war and wish we could find peaceful ways to all co-exist on this planet of ours but I also acknowledge that this view is the privilege that comes from living where I do. I also acknowledge that I get to have the right to have my own beliefs as a result of the efforts and sacrifice of others. My little ANZAC Day shrine, while a tribute to my paternal grandfather who was an Australian Prisoner-of-War in France during WWI, is also meant as a tribute to all ANZACs.

And to explain the significance of the shrine - and I apologise for the glare/reflection in the photo - the large photo is of my grandfather and his wife and children in 1930. My father is the baby in the photo (Dad would have been 77 this Friday). The Dr Pat tin was given to me to carry home some "treasure" by my grandfather when I was a little girl and I have hung on to it ever since. And I still love tins! The smaller photo, the bible and the "French for the Expeditionary Forces" were all my grandfather's possessions back at the time of the war and have a lot of personal significance for me. The rosemary bunch is of course for remembrance.

Sending love and wishes for peace...

5 Days of Bliss

In Australia we have a public holiday tomorrow for ANZAC Day and as it is mid-week I am taking the opportunity to have a five day break by having a couple of recreation leave days on Thursday and Friday. I have come home from work and I'm sitting here at my computer with a glass of champagne. I feel light hearted and filled with the promise of five whole days!

I'm about to move to the kitchen to make the tray of brownies that I mentioned in a previous post, then I am going to watch "Painting Australia" on TV (a rare event for me - watching TV!) I was watching this show when it first started, but missed the last two weeks as I am so inattentive to TV programs and forgot all about it. It is a really interesting show and fills me with even more respect for artists, so I really must try and remember it every Tuesday evening for however long it runs.

Tomorrow I am getting up early (promise to myself) and putting together, hopefully with the able and willing assistance of 16 year old Zach, the new bookcases that I bought during my lunch break today. I will also be getting all my domestic stuff out of the way so that I have most of the other four days for creative stuff! I am hoping Zach will also teach me how to use the Dremel I have owned for three years...

I am a bit accident prone (usually from trying to do too much in too short a space of time) and last night I burnt myself doing a waxed canvas for a lovely blog/stamping friend (who must be wondering where the promised mail is!!) so I need to be very careful with the Dremel as I can imagine that the potential injuries are a little more inconvenient than a blistered finger!

As I didn't finish anything last night I am uploading another scan of one of my "ochre" journal exchange pages. This one was waxed and probably involved a burn too. I loved doing these pages and got to use some of my favourite stamps - I love the tassels from Lazar Studiowerx and the calligraphy from Alphabetique.

Monday 23 April 2007

Another quick post...

I think I have been doing a bit too much ebaying lately - today I received the two packets of Autumn Leaves Rhonna Farrer Flourishes that I bought recently. I just love doodles and flourishes - probably should just draw them myself but they make such greats stamps! I also received my copy of Janine Andersons' Secnd Issue of AuzzArt Zine. I haven't even opened it yet as I am saving it for my bedtime read but I know that it includes art from many wonderful women that I "know" (at least in the online sense) including the very talented Jo Wholohan who has a great art quilt featured on the cover.

I have also uploaded a scan of an Ochre page I did in a Colour Journal Exchange some time ago. The scan shows the page opened up but in the journal the right hand side folded inwards to cover much of the left side. I really love these sorts of colours - they are my comfort zone I guess! I haven't been doing much along these lines of late though. Ciao for now - I am off to paint and stitch for a while.

Sunday 22 April 2007

Where did the weekend go?

So, here we are and it is late Sunday afternoon! I knew the weekend would go fast preparing for and having the garage sale but wow, it has gone even faster than I expected. The sale went well and was worth doing - the proceeds will cover a new set of drawers for my son Zach and a large bookcase for myself as I have decided I am sick and tired of not having enough book cases in this house. We are all readers and of course I want to keep a lot of my stamping and quilting magazines as well as books, so the solution is simple - buy more! And I have created enough space by selling old sets of drawers and a dressing table. I even have cupboard space now - what bliss...

I have done NOTHING creative yet so tonight I am not going to read blogs so I can go and finish some things that need to be mailed tomorrow. I am taking a couple of days recreation leave later this week between the Anzac Day Public Holiday on Wednesday and the weekend so I will have 5 whole days in which to be creative (and to clean the house of course, seeing as it only got a vacuum yesterday!) Can't wait, I am going to immerse myself - I need to work on my alphabet tags, my paper fabric quilt, my one on one canvas swap, my new shape book round robin, my Oxford Impressions Bird's Nest samples etc etc. I'll make a tray of yummy brownies to keep Joseph and Zach happy - stomachs seem to be the biggest issue around here a lot of the time.

In this house Joseph and I share the cooking and last night Joseph made a delicious Italian fish dish accompanied by a wonderful vegetable risotto and for tonight he has made another Italian dish - a beef and spinach "pie" - layers of macaroni, the meat sauce with capers, olives and tomatoes, topped by a spinach, ricotta, sour cream and mozzarella layer. Looks fantastic and is making me feel hungry already and it is only 5pm! It will go great with a lovely glass of soft red wine and some crusty Italian bread.

I have uploaded scans of my pages in the Pink Colour Journal Exchange I participated in with a bunch of great Australian paper artists - I don't do much pink but I am getting more and more comfortable with it, especially after reading the delectable blog by Posy! Have a read - her house and pursuits are so pretty (and so far removed from my red dusty living /mining environment here in Kalgoorlie)!

Thursday 19 April 2007

I love mail!

And yesterday I had a great mail day - the latest beautiful Oxford Impressions plate of unmounted stamps (I love bird images and this plate has a great range of bird associated images as you would expect given the title "The Bird's Nest"!), three stitching/fabric books I bought very cheaply on ebay, 100 plus metres of thin silk ribbon, also from ebay, and my canvas piece back from Somerset Studio. I know it sounds silly but I always like getting magazine pieces back- it is like a surprise gift as there is usually such a gap between sending them and getting them back that I can barely remember them until I see them again!

So, I have had a quick flick through my new books (lots of ideas there I'll be trying) and cut up my new stamps ready to try tonight. I bought the white silk ribbon in a couple of widths as I want to experiment dyeing some for inclusion on my art quilts and fabric postcards.

Last night I caught up with a couple of lovely Kalgoorlie stamping friends and we "played" with serviette/napkin art. It is one of my major loves so I wanted them to try it too. A lovely relaxing evening creating and chatting.

For a bit of variety I have uploaded a photo of a faux metal page I did in a colour journal exchange some time ago - I have been trolling through my photos to remind myself of past work and to encourage me to go back to some of my favourite techniques that I have been overlooking of late! I love the Green Pepper Press stamps that I used for the background - I really must dig them out too as I have been ignoring them a bit of late and they are just so versatile. I think they would look great on a fabric postcard. Ciao for now...

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Sunrise This Morning

Just had to share before I head off to work - this was at 5:45am here this morning and it was just glorious. Quite different to the overcast sort of grey look that is happening now...

Tuesday 17 April 2007

Preparing for a garage sale...

I am so glad we have a Public Holiday next week - this garage sale I am planning for Sunday is taking over my life - I am looking at everything twice and thinking "are we REALLY going to ever use/need/want that again?"

So far I have stuff stacked everywhere - in the lounge room, in the entrance, in my little reading nook, in the study, literally everywhere. I have left my craft room(s) out of the sale altogether - I figure if I have to part with anything there it is probably better done via ebay.

Magazines are the major hassle - I don't have the storage space to keep them all but I love having them for whenever I want to flick through them. I can't be bothered cutting out and filing special articles but I notice a lot of them don't sell on ebay - you can't even give them away a lot of the time. I am, however, incapable, of chucking something that still has potential use/value in the bin. Guess I'll be re-evaluating storage options!!

The little canvas at the top of this posting is a simple little mini canvas I made for a couple of friends who recently had a hand fastening ceremony to celebrate their commitment to each other. I do a lot of vintage style and colour art and I mostly wear black, but I actually love a lot of colour in my life, so for this one I cut the heart from a really bright piece of hot pink and orange silk fusion paper I made. The canvas was painted in shades of blue and then I used a new favourite decorator napkin over the top. I used a white gel pen to add the dots and rub-ons for the word "love". I am ashamed of myself really - fancy using rub-ons when I have an enormous, but what will remain unspecified, number of rubber stamp alphabets that I could have used! My excuse is that stamping on a stretched canvas is (or at least, can be) difficult.

Last night I continued working on the backgrounds for my alphabet tags - I think I have decided that I need to change the image I was planning to use - I just can't get it to look right on the background, no matter what I do with the colour of the image. Anyway, last night I used bonding powder and foil to create a sparkly night sort of sky look on my tags - which had previously been coloured with denim Adirondak Color Wash and then sprayed with a purple and gold Moon Shadow Mist. (The Gossamer Gold is just magic and my all time favourite - I really must try it on fabric) . Unfortunately the whole foiling process took ages for the 30+ tags so I didn't get much else done, although I did cook a really nice stir-fry for dinner.

Monday 16 April 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

Well, as usual I had way too many things planned for the weekend so I ended up feeling a bit flat last night. But, in the light of morning I have a bit more perspective and can see that I did get quite a lot done really:
  • I did get through sorting the contents of several cupboards for next weekend's garage sale (the rest should be manageable after work this week);
  • I did get my summer clothes packed away (and my winter clothes out);
  • I did get to most of my domestic "duties" (wouldn't want to get too carried away there!);
  • I did get to the 7 of the 8 shops/stops that were necessary on Saturday morning (it was one of those mornings where new prescription glasses were ready to be picked up, scripts needing filling, the lawn mower was ready to pick up from the repair shop etc etc and Joseph who would normally do all of this stuff was driving back from Wiluna);
  • I did get the backgrounds done on 40 alphabet tags (doing spares in case of stuff-ups!);
  • I did get a whole pile of printing done for my tags (including cutting out the images); and
  • I did get a couple of cards made.
The list of what I didn't get done is pretty long too but I am focusing on the positives here! So to reflect my Monday morning state of mind before I head off to work, today's photo is of a collaged canvas board that I made last year titled "Serene". This is one of my favourite pieces and my Mum now has it as she loves it even more than I do. I really like knowing someone else gets pleasure from something I loved making (for me a lot, not all, but a lot of the pleasure and satisfaction is in the process of creating).

Saturday 14 April 2007

Fabulous Fantasy Fish Quilt

This is the last of the six quilts I made for the 2006 Exchange. It was actually the first one I worked on after my own. It was for Karin and her theme had the great title of "Fabulous Fantasy Fish". I didn't really come up with anything terribly imaginative when it came to the fish (which were cut from patterned fabric and raw edged appliqued and quilted) but I did experiment a bit with the surface - I made silk fusion paper for the background, bought a darning foot for my very old but trusty Janome so I could free wheel with the background quilting, created texture using puff paint and gold embossing for the ocean floor, stitched into it, dyed muslin for seaweed and sewed on small beads for a bit of interest. All up it was a lot of fun (and I learnt a lot in the process, including a lot of "what not to do"!)

Friday 13 April 2007

Lucky Me - Gifts from Natalie!

Wow did I have a great mail day today! Natalie sent me a great sheet of Stampington Clearly Impressed stamps (a prize from her blog) AND her beautiful "Here is the Key" canvas, as recently featured on her blog. I have a real thing for keys and house shapes Natalie, so I am rapt. There is a lot of wonderful detail in the background - very Misty Mawn. Thank you so much.

The stamps are all a great size for ATCs and I haven't been making many lately so I can see that I will have to make some this weekend. The stamps include both the word "love" and a heart and I am just about to start making my alphabet tags for a swap and they will be perfect for my design - I have the letter "U". We have to include a heart somewhere in our design and this image is ideal as it is really pretty and not too big. Kismet is a wonderful thing.

Other plans for this weekend - besides the usual obvious "must do" domestic tasks - include going through several cupboards for a garage sale that I am having shortly, listing some stuff on ebay, and doing some art. I must get started on those alphabet tags but I also want to work on a small art quilt that I am making from paper "fabric" a la Beryl Taylor. Probably need two weekends in a row with no work week in between - I'd like Easter again, it was just so nice to have four whole days.

And to finish, here is a recent photo I took of the moon in the dusk sky. It was really beautiful - I love the soft light at dusk.

Thursday 12 April 2007

Some Cowgirl Cards

We had a lovely day yesterday - we broke out of our work day patterns seeing it was Joseph's birthday and met for a very nice lunch at the Tower Hotel (how it gets to be called a tower when it is only a single storey building is beyond me, but this is Kalgoorlie and I think the tallest building, which is a hotel, is only 5 stories). I also had a lovely little phone chat with my sister Kathryn and that always makes me happy :)

Last night I worked on some Oxford Impressions Cowgirl Blues pieces. The images are quite different from anything I normally work with but are proving to be a lot of fun. It is nice to be working with lots of colour. It is good to break patterns, n'est-ce pas? (Having only some schoolgirl French from some decades back I was going to just guess this phrase - as c'est na pas? - but then I got nervous and checked it on a translation site which was just as well!)

Now I'm off to collect Zach from soccer training and then I plan to do some more stamping. Funny to think it is Friday tomorrow - a four day work week really goes fast!

Wednesday 11 April 2007

In Celebration of Love

Last night I finished (or at least I think it is finished!) a canvas piece for a young couple whose wedding we recently attended. I didn't want to buy a wedding card and I so rarely make cards now that I got stuck even trying to come up with a decent idea for one, so I decided to do a canvas. I started it before the wedding and was only using shades of white and cream but after the wedding I decided to use the wedding theme colours of white, purple and gold. I tried to be a bit "looser" in my style and used lots of layers that were eventually largely obscured. I have trouble with this as I keep thinking - "but it is such a lovely piece of lace paper, I want to be able to see it..." or variations on this theme. The heart is formed freestyle using texture paste - I think I might have been a bit heavy-handed with the gold leafing but I have trouble controlling that stuff. I seem to have a lot of it all over my room as well - gosh, it blows around a lot!!

Today is my husband Joseph's birthday so we are "doing lunch" as a little celebration. He is off to Wiluna tomorrow morning for a few days (for work obviously - I don't think too many people would drive for five hours to get to Wiluna just for fun!) so lunch seemed a better idea than dinner. Breaks up the work day as well, not that I am already looking forward to the weekend (much).

Monday 9 April 2007

Easter Monday & An Autumn Clean-out!

I know it is spring when you are supposed to be sufficiently motivated to give your house a very thorough clean out but I had the urge today. Obviously in one day I did not get everything done but it feels good to have made as much progress as I did. As a result I did not, however, get any time to be creative so I am hoping to find some time for that this evening.

The photo above is another of my art quilts from last year. This one was for Danielle. Her theme was "Elements" and while she didn't have many restrictions, the quilts were to be linked together accordion style within the most wonderful quilted book wrap that Danielle made. I wanted to represent the elements of fire, water, earth and air in my quilt and used half diamonds to emphasize their interconnectedness. I chose fabric and surface embellishment to fit with each element. Design-wise it is a very simple quilt. The surface embellishment ranged from silk paper, hot fix angelina fibres and foil (fire), burned back tulle and square sequins (water), washers and other metal bits (earth) and random tiny gold stitches (air).

Back to work tomorrow but at least it is only 4 days to the weekend!

Sunday 8 April 2007

Serenity Fabric Postcards & Another Little Art Quilt

Pictured above is one of my "Serenity" fabric postcards. I wish now that I had stamped some text on the background fabric to add a bit more depth, but other than that I am happy with them. The theme lent itself to a simple design I think. They don't show up very well in the scan but there are little clear beads sewn on the main vein on the leaves. Feeling quite pleased with myself as these were not due until the end of April.

Finishing these early will give me a bit more time for the 26 alphabet tags I have to make for a collaborative project I have been invited to join. I don't "know" anyone else that is participating other than my online friend Sue in the US who is the reason I am included! It is a truly international exchange with a lot of artists from European countries as well, so I am busy reading a whole pile of new blogs to get to know everyone.

I have the letter "U" and I am currently playing with various ideas. Whatever I decide on has to be do-able in terms of having enough supplies to make 26 plus extras (in case of stuff-ups!) and be something I can bear doing 26 plus times. I hate repetition and generally end up hating whatever stamps and/or papers I use on these sorts of numerically large projects. The end product of course makes it worthwhile!

I have also discovered this morning that despite having boxes of bulk tags, I don't actually have the required size so I won't be progressing beyond the planning stage until I get to a stationery shop on Tuesday.

The photo here is another of the quilts from the 2006 exchange. This one was for Stephanie. Her theme was "Inside" and as she is constructing a box, we each made a panel in the specified size. The panel had to include some sort of window or door or peephole. When the box is constructed the panels will connect at the top through eyelets.

My "Inner Desires" quilt was based on green and purple silk "paper" I made. I stamped on it (music and text images) and while it was machine quilted for strength, I also added lace as an edging and sewed beads on it. It was fiddly creating the window and getting a finished edge around it. I used large mesh screening and a photo on cardstock behind the window.

Ciao for now...

Saturday 7 April 2007

Easter Saturday Abundance & How Not to Organise an Art Space

As mentioned a few days ago, these are photos of my little Art Quilt flip-over "book" on display in my dining room (which is also temporarily doubling as a craft overflow room at the moment as seen in one of the photos below). I love the fact that I can change the quilt on show by just flipping it over to the next one.

Yesterday I had a very productive and relaxing day. I worked, on and off all day, on my "serenity" fabric postcards. These are for a small Australian exchange that is running on a bimonthly basis for 2007. The hardest part for me was settling on just one idea - I had so many for this theme and wanted to try so many techniques, but settled in the end for a simple leaf based design in soft greens and cream. I am finishing them off this afternoon and will post a scan tomorrow. I love the 4 inch by 6 inch format and I'm already looking forward to the next round.

I have included a photo today of the view from one of my kitchen windows to honour the sense of abundance I felt this morning as I made (another) cup of tea. The sunlight was streaming in, the pot plants all looked lovely and green and I felt blessed.

The photos below, however, are of a different sort of abundance...

This is the first small bedroom that became my art space - primarily for stamping and paper arts. It has ended up very cluttered! In the corner there really is a desk. Needless to say I work best with a lot of stuff around me. Neat and tidy saps my creativity as it usually means I can't see what I have available!!

When we moved to this house, all the bedrooms had built in robes so I adopted the cupboard and wardrobe for craft and art storage (supposedly stuff that only occasionally needs light and air). Under no circumstances will I be photographing the contents - I open those doors at considerable personal risk (regularly). Hanging the twill, thin ribbons and trims on the cupboard door right behind my desk was an inspired if tangled move. They get used so much more now that I don't have to get up and fight my way to them.

As with the cupboard and wardrobe, the built in robe is full of stuff! Important, meaningful, valuable stuff. Stuff that is very hard to get to. The doors however are very functional - they display ribbons and trims & trading pins etc from the first three Stamping Down Under Conventions I went to when I first started stamping. They are bright and cheerful and remind me daily of the wonderful people I have met through stamping.

This is my super-sophisticated storage system for large sheets of paper! Works great - very visual!

More storage - this time of stuff that I need accessible on a daily basis - eyelets, charms, beads, cardstock, beeswax, extra tapes, paints, special papers...

When Josh left to go to uni in Perth I "took over" his bedroom for my sewing stuff - as you can see I didn't even take down the posters and stickers. Needless to say there is a lot of fabric storage happening in this room but I will spare you the photos of the towers of white plastic tubs. I also store my decorator napkins in drawers in this room. Have I mentioned my love of napkin art???

And finally, the overflow arrangement. I have set up a trestle table in the dining room so that I can have some space for my Easter creating! On the dining table you can see the lovely but very cheap green "party bucket" I recently bought at Coles. I bought a hot pink one too in the smaller size. Not for parties but for when I want to scoop up a pile of supplies for a project. I love them!

Please don't give up on me...I am not a lost cause (quite).

Addendum - Joseph has just had a quick look over my shoulder and asked why I haven't taken a photo of his shed! Needless to say he has spent the day cleaning it out so it doesn't look anything like the "usual" shed we face when forced to look for secateurs or weed spray! If you thought my rooms looked cluttered, you would not have believed the "before" shots of the shed!

Friday 6 April 2007

Easter Wishes

I don't know if it is just me but I seem to struggle with titles for posts!

But the title really is genuine - I am sending everyone lots of wishes for a peaceful, loving and happy Easter and for anyone that has creative urges, I hope you get the chance to indulge - sewing, painting, stamping, cooking, gardening, whatever is your bliss...

Last night I was so tired I went to bed early and read magazines - my new "Stamper's Sampler" and "Stamping & Papercraft" both arrived yesterday. Congratulations to fellow Aussie, Loretta D'Onofrio for her fantastic spread in the Stamper's Sampler. Great articles too in S & P by my friends down in Albany - Jhodi Bennett and Sue Smith. These guys are so clever and productive!

As a result of going to bed so early, I didn't have dinner (you know when you are just too tired for anything!) and woke up at midnight hungry, so spent an hour and a half reading newly discovered blogs while I had a cup of tea. It was actually great fun - the house was so dark and quiet, no crappy TV blaring in the background - I am the only one in this house that doesn't have a TV addiction. I had to make myself go back to bed to get the rest of the night's sleep quota so I would have energy for art today! Do you like the little index card at the bottom of this post? I made it via at 2am - I think they are so cute!

The quilt posted today is another from the Art Quilt exchange. This is one I made for Fiona Mortimore. Fiona's theme was Vintage Fairy Children and it was so much fun to do I did both sides. Fiona does stunning work with paper and fabric so if you haven't looked at her blog, you really should. I especially love her use of colur, finishing touches and attention to detail on her art quilts.

Wednesday 4 April 2007

Another Little Art Quilt

Another busy day at work and tonight we have parent teacher interviews at the school, so another quick post. It was quite warm here today and the sky is looking quite heavy with dark clouds so we may in for a wet Easter. We never complain about getting rain here of course and it just gives me extra reasons for staying inside and making art!

The little quilt in the photo is one I made for Ruth in the exchange I talked about yesterday. Ruth's theme was "spirit" and we had a lot of scope as to how we wanted to interpret it. Ruth planned on displaying her quilts as a single configuration once she got them all back so she provided the backing material which was cut to the various shapes and sizes she wanted us to work on. My quilt was a bit bigger than my scanner and my scan is a bit lopsided, so it looks a bit odd but I am sure you will get the general idea. I had a lot of fun with this quilt. It is made from a lovely piece of silk I bought as a remnant about 15 years ago. I dyed the accent pieces of silk, cheesecloth and lace, made "tissue" fabric (the little music pieces underneath the beads were cut from the large sheet I made) and stitched on square sequins and some beads that made me think of little pieces of rock. It was very time consuming but a peaceful and satisfying project. Until tomorrow...

Tuesday 3 April 2007

Little Art Quilts

In 2006 I participated in a small Art Quilt exchange with five wonderful Australian women spread across the continent. As I haven't managed to complete anything creative over the weekend to the point where it would make an interesting photo (lots of work in progress however!) I thought I would share the quilts I made as part of that exchange.

We each chose a theme, a size and a format. I chose "Turkish Delight" and designed it as a small flip over book with mat board covers. My thinking was that the covers would act as a stand for display purposes and that I could always hang the quilts individually if I wanted to. I have them on display in my dining/family room and I just love the fact that each day I can change the display by just flipping over the quilt. I'll take a photo to share later on. In the meantime the next photos are of the front and back covers for my "book". I am having trouble this morning getting my photos in the right spot so please make allowances for one very IT-challenged blogger!!

Hope everyone out there is well, happy and feeling creative! Have a great day, I'm off to work...and looking forward to getting home already!