Tuesday 29 May 2007

More Great News!

I came home tonight with a new haircut (an on-the-spur-of-the moment decision to convert a trim to a shorter cut!) and a plan to pack as I have to catch a plane early tomorrow morning for a few days of meetings and workshops (work, not art unfortunately!) in Perth BUT I got diverted by my mail - a complimentary copy of Gallery Summer 07!

This was very exciting as I had not received any advice that I had anything in it. These scans show the two pages which include my pieces (the top right one and the middle one on the second scan).

And now my Mum has rung to say she is coming up next Tuesday for a couple of weeks! I have been really hoping she would visit - she lives a thousand kilometres away from me - as it is her birthday in June and I haven't seen her since Christmas. We have so much fun together and my son (the 16 year old one still at home) is already thinking about the baking that will be done while Nan is here!

The pictures below are the last of the beautiful Cream Journal pages. These ones were created by the lovely Ruth Kelly (whose postcard was included in yesterday's post). Ruth does a lot of really experimental stuff and I love the way she expands my horizons and opens my mind to new things!

I'll be back on Saturday and in the meantime no doubt I will feel very blog-deprived! I am getting a chance to see my son Josh who is at uni in Perth, so that will be lovely and it will more than compensate for being away from home for work two weeks in a row!

Monday 28 May 2007

Wednesday Stamper - Games

Well I ran out of time to do anything especially for this Wednesday Stamper theme so I am posting some pictures of items I made a while back - the one above is using Oxford Impressions stamps - riding a bike like this looks like a game to me! This one has heaps of stamping with the background as well as the photo stamp.

This one was for a deco exchange - the theme for this one was Playful. I loved this transparency of the children playing dress-ups. There is a little (tiny) bit of stamping involved!

Fabric Postcards

"Serene" by Fiona Mortimore

Today I received my first fabric postcards from a small Australian exchange I am participating in this year. Great artists and great fabric postcards! The theme was "Serene" and I posted my postcards for this theme back in my post of the 8th of April. I just love seeing how everyone has interpreted the theme!

Our next theme was my choice and it is "Fragments". I have to get cracking on this one as they are due at the end of June. I chose this theme as it provides so much scope - literal and figurative.

"Striving for Zen" by Karin Hutchinson

"La Serenissimo" by Coralee Barker (look at this felting!!)

"Serenity - Autumn Flight" by Ruth Kelly

Aren't they all just lovely!!

Sunday 27 May 2007

Sunday Bliss

I have had such a lovely weekend!

Yesterday I received an email from Somerset Studio saying that I have something in the July/August (Nature Preserved) edition so that made my day. I sent in about six pieces as that theme really appealed but of course I have no idea which piece was selected or even if more than one has been chosen. I didn't do anything for the next edition (Vintage Halloween) as I just don't relate to the theme given that it has no relevance here in Australia (except for the kids who think it is a way to get lollies!) + I have always found masks and bats too creepy!!

Yesterday, and today on and off, I have been working on some pieces for the Christmas edition - Readers' Gallery- section of Somerset Studio and I have indulged myself. Most of them are probably not particularly suitable (as in Christmasey) but I enjoyed making them and that is the main thing! I always find it hard to do things so far in advance of the actual season!

Today I made marshmallow brownies (to keep the male side of the family happy) and Zach's soccer team won (actually both teams he plays for won, including the team that plays Friday nights). The sun was shining for most of the day and I felt very productive and happy. Sounds a bit dense when you write it but it really is true - some days I am just SO happy!

I was intending to catch up on my Sunday Artwords challenge for the week but the theme is "Bustle" and it just hasn't inspired me in the short amount of time available since I got back! I think I will just focus on the Wednesday Stamper challenge which is "Games"- there is some fantastic artwork on this theme already ... go here to have a look - http://wednesdaystamper.wordpress.com/2007/05/23/games/#comments.

I have scanned my re-worked Wednesday Stamper canvas for the Turquoise theme (to see the original go to my post of Sunday 13 May) . It just didn't seem finished to me and although I am now happy with it, I can see that it is probably more conservative now as I have added elements to all four corners (I seem to need that sort of balance in the art I make!) . I was very tempted to add a word (such as "Inspire" or "Beauty") but I don't seem to be able to forget Carol Lunn's comment to me a couple of years ago about the common practice of labelling art! So I added Hero Arts flowers instead.

I have also uploaded Kim Skinner's pages in my Cream Journal - they are lovely and textural although that may not really show up in the scans. Kim is known for her altered books and her love of fine mesh - what that woman can do with mesh (the sort that is known in Australia as fly wire!) On my desk at work I have a fantastic piece of altered art that Kim produced for a one-on-one exchange last year - it is themed "Create" and every day I look at it and remember why I need my day job!! I must take some photos and share it - it is fantastic and I gets lots of interesting comments from having it on my desk.

Saturday 26 May 2007

Finally time to post!

I have discovered that I am blog-addicted! It was very hard being away all week and not having computer access in the evenings after the work day had finished.

Above is a very poor photo taken as a quick snap into the morning sun but this is where I was staying for three of the four nights. I love the "Welcome to Paradise" sign on the old and decrepit hotel! Wiluna is a funny sort of town - very small now (the one pub, one shop/petrol station, population around 500) but very strong in our short Western Australian history. It is so strange going to these places that used to be thriving towns. There is lots of large scale mining activity happening now in the region so things are starting to change for the town again.

I came home to some great packages - a tin of 48 Lyra Crayons that I bought off someone on the net who had decided they weren't using them enough (I have been wanting a set for ages but didn't want to pay the full price), heaps of coloured tissue paper I bought cheaply on ebay for my tissue paper collages/fabric postcards, a jumbo jigsaw pack for an exchange I have just joined and the latest Stamping & Papercraft magazine (congratulations again to my mates Sue Smith and Jhodi Bennett for their inspiring and beautiful articles).

I had a quick play with the Lyras last night on cheap, very textured water colour paper and I just love the effects that can be achieved so quickly. I think I can tell what sort of backgrounds I'll be concentrating on for a while! I must look up some sites for hints and ideas on using them.

Then yesterday I received my gorgeous canvas wall hanging that Jo Wholohan has made for me. It is full of texture and colour and detail and is just beautiful. This is the result of a small group doing a one-on-one exchange based on a challenge to incorporate paint, metal and fabric in an item. I have started mine for Fiona and need to get it finished this week. I'll post a photo once it is finished. My photograph of Jo's work just doesn't do it justice as I am getting too much reflection (needless to say I need to invest in a better camera).
Note: I have edited this post to add a daylight photo of Jo's canvas - less glare and reflection!

While I was away I worked on the hand quilting of the birdhouse quilt I have been making for ages for my Mum so I haven't completed anything this week. Rather than have a post without lots of pictures, the other photos are of my "treasures" from the Boulder Markets last week - some lovely rusty bits and pieces recovered from old campsites in the bush, a package of stunning yellow speciality paper strips and a couple of metres of lovely beaded trims.

Today is a play day - grey and overcast here so no temptation to do anything outside of the house! The biggest temptation I have to avoid is spending too long catching up on all my favourite blogs...

Saturday 19 May 2007

Last post until Thursday...

Well I thought I would squeeze in one more post before I leave (work trip, nothing exciting unfortunately). I'll be back on Thursday evening and I expect I will be feeling very blog-deprived by then after five days without a computer!

This canvas was a UFO* until yesterday when I decided to finish it off. I'm not totally happy with the result but I was in a bright art mood and it was fun to play with my new paper flowers and ribbon. I wasn't happy with the intensity of the white ink on the stamped background text so I went over it with a white gel pen. Think I might start just writing on some backgrounds for a change instead of relying on stamped images all the time.

* UFO = unfinished object

I have had a super busy Sunday morning - rushed into work to do some last minute printing of information I need to take with me, rushed down to the monthly Boulder Street Markets and rushed back home to pack. I am leaving soon but had to "report" my great excitement of the morning - I met a young guy and his two young sons at the markets - they spend their spare time fossicking in the bush and then sell the old bottles and ink wells etc that they find. I love old bottles but I have promised myself I won't buy anymore but they also had a small collection of really rusty old bits and pieces - buckles, watch pieces, buttons etc. A lot of then had been burnt at some stage and they are just perfect for my taste! Needless to say I bought the lot. When I explained that I wanted them for collage he told me he usually makes the boys leave all that sort of stuff but now he is going to let the boys collect it for me. Much cheaper and more convenient for me compared to spending days in the bush! He said they often find lots of doll parts but I can't handle decapitated heads and unattached body limbs - they spook me.

The photos below are of the dreamy Cream Journal pages the very creative (and productive!) Jo Wholohan made for my journal. Jo is really into layers and it is wonderful looking a her art and realising just how much detail and layering is involved.

Wishing everyone a happy, creative week!

Wednesday Stamper - Fleur De Lis

This week's theme for Wednesday Stamper is "Fleur De Lis".
I coloured a small canvas board with three shades of Brilliance Ink (orange, pink and green) using a baby wipe to blend the colours. I then sprayed the board with water and Worn LipstickDistress Ink (straight from the bottle). I blotted the ink so that it only left a subtle glow on top of the Brilliance ink.

I then used a Paperbag Studio Fleur De Lis stamp (I have discovered that I don't have many of this image which is weird considering how much I love the shape) and stamped it repeatedly in various Brilliance and Chalk inks. I did the same with an Acey Duecy text image. After adding a collage image of a woman I punched out several fleur de lis from scrapbook paper using my large Carl punch and dry brushed them with gesso. I glued them onto the canvas and added a few delicate flourishes in black ink. (Everything seems to look better with flourishes lately!)

Artwords - FIGURES

This is my submission for Artwords this week - the theme is "Figures". I decided to use the number type figures as well as the human figure as a change from relying on text as my background.

I have painted a canvas board with acrylics and then added stamped images of the arches (Stampington) and the figure (Non Sequitur) on white tissue paper. These have then been lightly washed with Adirondak Color Wash. I have added two strips of recycled red tissue paper (it has red words on it but you can't see it in the photo) at the top and bottom. This was then all sealed with diluted PVA. The numbers (also NS) were then stamped straight onto the canvas as are all the crackle, text and splatter stamps that form the background (and which are not meant to be particularly noticeable given that I used gray and red inks!). The piece needed something else and the ric rac seemed like a novel solution - I am trying to avoid always doing the same/predictable things to finish off. The board is then edged with gold ink.

I actually loaded the photo to this post and checked the preview - seeing it that way changed my perception of it and I realised it needed ric rac on the bottom as well to look balanced. Quickly fixed and rescanned!

Now to work on my Wednesday Stamper submission...

Friday 18 May 2007

A great mail day!

This week has been just so hectic. I am leaving on Sunday on a work field trip - no computer access either :(( - and won't be back in the office until next Friday so of course that meant the last few days at work have been "full on". A very good friend also came up this week from Perth with her work so I went out with her for drinks and dinner last night. End result - virtually no computer time this week so far and not much art either, but I did have a great time of course.

Today I had a package of goodies arrive that I had ordered last Sunday from KSK - great service considering where I live. I am really looking forward to having a play with all my new bits and pieces. But even better than that, my trade with Barbara arrived in the mail!

Now here I was thinking we were just trading a fabric postcard and Barbara has sent me so much more - all the delights in these pictures (the postcard, an ATC and fabric and lace as well!). They are all stunning Barbara - thank you so much. I am particularly fascinated with the postcard and the way the white layer looks like cake icing. I know it isn't but the effect is fantastic. I'll be asking lots of questions that's for sure.

On Wednesday night I did do a tiny bit of playing when I went around to Annie's for our little Wednesday night stamping session - I am trying to come up with a submission for ArtWords this week - the theme is "figures". I didn't get too far with it though so tomorrow I am going to see if I can finish it off and I'll post a photo.

There are two other things I have to mail by the end of this month - one is for a shape based book exchange that I have joined. My shape is the arch and I have been trying to create a shrine look on the front cover using texture paste. Now that the paste has finally dried (this is one that I should have tried in summer) I have done the first few layers of paint but I need to think about the focal image tomorrow.

I am also working on a Paint/Metal/Fabric project for a one-on-one challenge. I need to have this one to the point where I can take it away with me next week to work on (or at least that is the plan!) at night. It is not as if I am going somewhere where there is nightlife!! (Tiny little remote outback towns have a pub and that is about it).

The beautiful cream journal pages that I have scanned above and below were made for me by the lovely Gaye Triggs. Gaye has a wonderful style and I love these pages. The little pocket on the first page has a sweet little accordion tag booklet in it and it is kept closed by a button threaded on hat elastic. The details are part of what makes Gaye's work so eye-catching.

Tuesday 15 May 2007

Another Fabric Postcard

This postcard is one I finished last night for an AMC/postcard trade with Barbara. I was really happy with the background which is based on a technique I learnt from Dale Rollerson from The Thread Studio at the Art Retreat in Fremantle in March.

It is crumpled tissue paper bonded to felt which is then tea dyed and sprayed with a few colours of Adirondak Colour Washes and Walnut Ink. It then has a little black webbing spray (which I have now run out of and can't find in any shops) and some foil which is applied using Bo Nash powder. I have stamped the text background and flourishes straight onto the background and added the female image (a favourite this week it seems!) after stamping it on tissue paper which is then coloured with the Adirondak colour wash.

I am decidedly not happy about how yellow she looks but it is too late to change that. The whole thing is then sealed with diluted PVA which gives it a great "leathery feel". I have backed it with black fabric which is folded to the front and stitched to create a border. The flourishes are outlined with gold gel pen.

I have made lots of these backgrounds since doing Dale's workshop so I think I will be using them up on postcards as they are firm but soft enough to easily sew though by hand or machine. I'm planning on doing some beading on the next ones.

The two pages below are from Cream Journal and were created by the very talented Fiona Mortimore. She does lovely dreamy work and I can honestly say I have never seen a piece of her art that I didn't really like (or love!). I am really looking forward to meeting her in person one day! Hopefully before too long but living on opposite sides of Australia makes it a bit problematic.

Monday 14 May 2007

This is Monday's Post

Last night I couldn't upload pictures again so this is yesterday's post (which was going to be titled "I Feel Special!"):

Joseph left yesterday on a work field trip that means he won't be back until Thursday evening so I treated myself to a little variation from the work day routine and set the alarm for an hour later than usual.

Bad mistake for a Monday! I was rushing around the place instead of leisurely reading my emails with my first cup of tea. Anyway I did quickly log on and wow what a wonderful surprise I had when I saw all those comments as a result of participating in the Wednesday Stamper challenge! It made me feel very special and really helped me get through a busy day at work!!

So thank you to all the lovely people who visit my blog and an extra big thank you for the comments.

The photo tonight is of a postcard I finished yesterday. I am calling it a fabric postcard but I am not sure whether they are "meant" to be made entirely of fabric? Anyway it doesn't matter to me as long as it is fun to make. This one is a piece of gessoed canvas (fabric?), stamped with a large asian script image, coloured with chalk inkpads (direct to canvas), has napkin images and torn asian papers adhered with Mod Podge and black gesso added in select areas. The canvas was then stitched to black felt and backed with black cardstock which was stitched around the edges. The asian coin is made with polymer clay and a Krafty Lady mould. It is painted with acrylics and finished with Pinata Inks.

The beautiful Cream Journal Pages below were created by Kate Palmer, a wonderful Queensland stamper/paper artist. I love the way the pages are created story-style.

Sunday 13 May 2007

Wednesday Stamper - Turquoise

Being pretty new to blogging I haven't previously participated in the Wednesday Stamper challenge, but I noticed yesterday whilst visiting Belinda's blog that the theme this week is a colour - turquoise. I don't actually use this colour that much but I think it is beautiful so this weekend I have experimented a bit to come up with a stamped and painted canvas for the challenge.

This is the result and in the end I don't have that much turquoise happening but it is there! I used my new flourish stamps rather indiscriminately or perhaps a more generous way of putting it would be to say I used them lavishly! The paint washed off the clear stamps so easily afterwards too. I think the canvas needs something else but I am leaving as it is until I figure out what!

The three scans below are all pages that Megan Shields did in my Cream Journal - they are just divine...

My Mum

It's Mother's Day (or at least it is here in Australia) and I just wanted to send a little blog tribute to my wonderful Mum. I was quite "grown up" before I realised that not everyone has a wonderful mother and a strong, healthy and happy relationship with her. I guess I took it for granted for many years but along the way I have realized just how lucky I am.

The photo is of my mum Rene and my youngest sister Kathryn, both beautiful special people in my life. I wish my other beautiful sister, Marrijane was in the photo as well. It was taken at the end of last year when my two sisters and I all got to be together with Mum, along with some members of our various families, in Margaret River for a holiday. It was the first time we had managed to all be together since Dad's funeral a few years back and it was a really special time. When you live scattered across the country it really makes you appreciate family time even more I think.

So Mum I am sending you love and thanks for being so special. Can't wait for your visit in June - I have so many "projects" planned that I am sure we will enjoy working on together! So glad we have so many shared interests!!

This is a photo of my Mum nearly 54 years ago on her wedding day to my equally special Dad. Her Mum Ethel is on the left and my Dad's Mum Beatrice is on the right. It is just a scan of a photocopy of a photo so not great reproduction (lots of flotsomy bits!!) but it is a favourite of mine.

PS I am planning on uploading some more cream journal pages and the results of my weekend's creating tonight hopefully.

Friday 11 May 2007

The Cream Journal

In 2005 I participated in a great Australian Journal Exchange (ArtShades) organised by Jo Wholohan. It was a great exchange and I "met", in an online sense, a great bunch of Australian stampers/paper artists. I had been in another colour based journal exchange the year before and just loved the end result of the "Neutrals" journal, so for this one I chose Cream. This is my "temporary" cover made with beautiful wrapping paper covered with scrim. I had intended that I would replace it with something more detailed and delicate when the journal came back to me at the end of the year. Needless to say I haven't got back to it!

These are my two pages in the Cream Journal and I thought I would share the rest of the pages in this blog over the next week as the beautiful pages that were created for me should be shared.

For anyone that knows me, it is really difficult for me to personally do frayed, torn, uneven edges and what I call the random look. I think it comes from years of doing technical drawing instead of art at school! Either that or it is just my personality/style. Anyway for these pages I really really tried to loosen up. Look - you can even see threads hanging! The beautiful vintage measuring tape is from a very special length Donna Tew sent me some years back. I ration my use of it as I never come across any myself ,despite my love of antique shops. I find (and buy!) old rulers, cases, keys and locks etc but not old measuring tapes.

I have been working on a fabric postcard tonight and I'm at the stage where I need to leave it to dry (I am playing some more with stamping on tissue paper and then adhering it to felt) but I can't wait to get back to it tomorrow - so glad it is the weekend and I don't have to wait until the evening for creative time.

Thursday 10 May 2007

A bit of this and a bit of that

It was a real thrill to open the latest Somerset Studio and find that my little floral canvas piece was on the same page as creations by two other Aussies! Way to go girls!! Congratulations to Sephi K (first time in SS I think so hopefully feeling very chuffed with herself - top right corner) and Jenny Garlick (bottom left corner). It is another great issue including a fascinating article by the incredible Misty Mawn (and how lucky are we to have her coming to Australia next May?)

So what else I have been up to since the weekend tag marathon? Well I took a bit of a break from the tags and had a look at the Travelling Suitcase Quilt Display that was in Kalgoorlie on Sunday. It is a collection of small quilts made by members of the Western Australian Quilter's Association to celebrate the group's 30th birthday and has "Memories" as the theme. It is part of a suitcase of small quilts that travel around Australia. There were some really interesting quilts and they gave me lots of ideas for future fabric work!

It is a bit of a stressful time at work so I haven't felt really motivated in the evenings and then I have managed to sidetrack myself by looking for things in my stamping room (bad move - way too much stuff in there). Feeling bad about being behind with a couple of trades too - guilt sits heavily on my shoulders (where I would much rather a quilt resting lightly on my lap).

Talking of quilt guilt - I started a mostly handmade birdhouse applique quilt for my Mum quite some years ago and I still haven't finished it even though there are probably only a half dozen hours of background hand quilting to go. Sometimes I mystify myself.

Last night I joined friends Annie and Narelle for a canvas/tissue stamping/beeswax evening. We had fun and each finished a small canvas. I really do love introducing people to my favourite techniques.I'd upload a photo of mine but I want to change an embellishment on mine that just does not look quite right and I have to melt the wax a bit to do that.

Tonight I am going to work on a fabric postcard trade - I am using a felt and tissue background from my Frescos and Fragments workshop in March with the wonderful Dale Rollerson.

So a photo to finish - this was last year's birthday "card" for my sister Marrijane (who is still patiently waiting for this year's one!!) I really don't make many cards anymore - I love to use canvas or book covers like this one. The article that inspired this piece was by Roben-Marie Smith of Paperbag Studios (in one of the early issues of CPS I think).

PS I am having formatting troubles tonight so if this looks yukky please accept my apologies but I am not going to fiddle anymore!

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Artwords - EYES

This is my entry in this weeks Artwords topic which is eyes. This was a page in a Bazaar themed journal exchange (I have cropped the scan a bit) which incorporates my love of all shades of purple and my love of fabric.

I have also included scans of another couple of pages i did in the same journal - all rather purple!

I drew the mehendi - time consuming but quite addictive but then I have always been a doodler! It was covered with fabric afterwards.