Sunday 31 August 2008

Creative Wednesday - In The Garden

In between other stuff this afternoon I have made my first skinny page (3 inches by 5 inches) for this week's Creative Wednesday challenge. The theme is "In the Garden". I decided this beautiful green scrapbook paper with pink petals was evocative of the garden so I have added some stamping (Autumn Leaves swirls and Hero Arts text), a vintage image which I have cut out with scallop edges scissors (I'm having a big revival thing at the moment with my old decorative scissors!), some gesso and of course some prima flowers anchored with a brad. The page is machine stitched to some lovely handmade paper made by Ann Lawson in Esperance.

And this is a card I have made for a friend who is ultra-feminine and loves pink! It is a variation on my stitched collage cards - this one has beading and some of that lovely felt fusion stuff. You might have to enlarge the photo to see the beading around the top of the bag.

Saturday 30 August 2008

Playing with ATCs

I am in ATC mode at the moment - working on several for trades etc at the moment but I finally finished a leaf ATC for Karen (it is to finish off a set of four spelling "leaf") - this one has taken ages, primarily because I have changed my mind several times and kept restarting.

It is an Adirondack Color Wash background on mat board, with a text stamp, napkin leaf image, multiple layers of Modge Podge to get the texture and a little pencil shading and some Moon Shadow Spritz in gold.

Other than playing with ATCs today I have been quilting my little "recycled" journal quilt (made from rice bags). Very calming and therapeutic. Hoping to get another monthly journal quilt started tomorrow - the technique challenge is wire and foils and while I was driving for 8 hours by myself this week (to Esperance and back) I planned what I would do with this theme and a couple more! Had to be careful not to go into a trance actually!!

Friday 29 August 2008

Everything is underway...

...and as a result it means I don't have anything finished to share but I thought I would post a couple of pages from an altered book round robin I did a few years ago pre-blog (I think these pages were for Kylie). I was looking through some of my albums of older work and finding these pages reminded me of how much I like that "classical" (uncluttered look). Must do some more in that style.

Anyway my Elizabeth Berg book is calling me (A Year of Pleasures) so I am off to find my old cuddly pyjamas (Joseph is away again!) and I am going to treat myself to reading in bed and listening to some very welcome winter rain (second night in a row - very unusual for Kalgoorlie).

Thursday 28 August 2008

Plastic Inchies

Bit of an energy crisis here at the moment - a couple of day's travel and a busy day at work again today have wiped me out, so tonight's post is just a quickie to show the results of the recent plastic inchie exchange I participated in.

I have temporarily mounted them on black card-stock and the scan is a bit blurry as of course the inchies are quite dimensional, but I think you will get the general idea. A pretty amazing range of plastic surfaces and embellishments were used and as someone said - it is amazing how many metallic looking things are actually plastic!

PS Esperance was wonderful - that smell of the sea air was so strong! And it was wonderful to walk along the beach even if I did get an earache from the freezing Antarctic wind!

Monday 25 August 2008

Post 334 & How To Tell That You are Really Loved

Discovered tonight that I missed noticing that yesterday's post was that yummy number 333 so I have decided that today's 334 just has to be specially noted!

Now how to tell you are REALLY loved! From personal and very RECENT experience it is quite simple - first have partner/husband/lover (I really do think of Joseph as all three!) go away for two weeks to care for a close relative who is post-operative, second, book his return plane ticket as he is temporarily living without the internet and then third, listen for the love and understanding when they get to the airport and ring you to tell you that they have discovered that YOU have booked their flight TO the city they are already IN and that there are NO seats on the plane back to where YOU ARE! Hmmm, not an example of me at my best organizationally speaking and thank goodness there was a flight with available seats the NEXT day! Guess what I was doing at 7:15am Sunday morning - yep, I was at the airport and looking VERY awake even if it was sleep-in Sunday! And seriously, I don't think I would have been so understanding and loving!!

And now to some arty news - the wonderful Suzanne from Oxford Impressions has recently started a blog and it is a beauty! She really is as wonderful as her wonderful rubber stamps (which I just happen to own as a complete collection) . And today I received a complimentary copy of the latest Stampington Take Ten magazine which spotlights Oxford Impressions and the "Country Girl" plate of rubber stamps. I have one little piece included so I'm very happy! Here are a couple more pieces of Country Girl art made using Oxford Impressions stamps of course.

I'm off to Esperance tomorrow for work for a couple of days - think of me breathing in some sea air after all these months inland - I won't even care if it is windy and wet!

Sunday 24 August 2008

Creative Wednesday - Children

This week at the new Creative Wednesday site the challenge is to make a little 2 inch square of art using "children" as the theme. I found the two inch size a lot easier than an inchie - sometimes it is hard to find things small enough for a one inch square!

As a result of my recent collage frenzy, I am keeping a large box filled with images, scraps of paper and half made bits and pieces close by and trying to make myself use them first when I start to make something. This little twinchie is made using a scrap from a canvas that I had covered in papers and paint as a background for some little three inch square collages a while back. The little Collections slide mount has been stamped with a text image and the eyelets are "just because"! The stamp of the children is also by Collections (only part of the image is visible).

I made some more sewn collages too - I think I am addicted. I'll share some pictures of them once I add the embellishments. This weekend I have used most of my spare time to make a little ATC sized art journal for an exchange with Carole - I really should have planned it instead of just jumping in and starting because I have had to change direction a couple of times to make it work which has been rather time consuming. I've had a lot of fun with it and I am being very free style-wise as part of my continuing effort to loosen up! It isn't quite finished but I'll post pictures once Carole has received it.

Thursday 21 August 2008

A Little Art Journal

Last night Zach and I went and saw the one night performance in Kalgoorlie of the touring "Drum Tao" - of my gosh, how incredible are these guys and girls? It was, as Zach would say, awesome! The energy, the strength, the timing - really incredible. Zach reckoned if you had to pay after the performance he would have happily (had me) pay at least twice what we paid in the first place.

And to make this a little art related, this is a little art journal that I have made for Jacky as part of a one-on-one exchange in a small group I'm in. Jacky loves nature and birds and I am loving making little sewn scrap collages at the moment so this is the result. I've made the binding with ribbons so that she can easily add more pages. I did the Traci Bautista thing and tore rather than cut the pages and left them big enough to poke out of the journal - I really am trying to free myself up a bit! I still cut the canvas pages though!

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday 20 August 2008

My August Calendar Girls Fabric Postcard

This month it is my turn to make a Calendar Girls postcard for the rust & paint loving Lynda. The picture below is this month's source of inspiration. I've moved away completely from the colours in the picture but I have used the basic shape of one of the flowers so I think there is enough of a link!

The fabric was first rusted (last summer) and then coloured with Adirondack Color Wash in Denim - a great colour and I think it sets off the rust rather well. I've stamped it using a french text image and black ink and then appliqued a flower I have cut out of fine copper mesh. I heated the mesh over a flame to get the nice colouring. Hard to control as the colour spreads very quickly. I have also sprayed the fabric with a Moon Shadow Mist in gold so there is a lovely glimmer that doesn't show up on the scan. The machine stitching is done with a lovely plastic sort of sparkly metallic thread.

And speaking of plastic - my plastic inchies arrived and they are fantastic. As soon as I have them mounted altogether on some card-stock I will post a picture of them.

Monday 18 August 2008

Weekend Collages & Mixed Media Monday Numbers

This weekend (when I was planning on making stuff for some trades/exchanges) I got myself a little distracted by my half-made collages from the previous weekend. All I need to do now is sew them to cards or journals or whatever. Feels good to have got them to this point and they were a lot of fun - I just sat down with some stamped and printed images, a pile of Ann Lawton's (from Esperance, Western Australia) handmade paper and my collage scrap box and fiddled with them until I liked the result. Added some stitching a little embellishment. Very therapeutic.

The theme at Mixed Media Monday this week is "numbers" which is very convenient seeing as some of my weekend collages include numbers. The one at the top of this post is my contribution on this theme. The numbers come from a bingo card scrap.

Zach (my 17 year old son) and I watched "The Kite Runner" movie on Saturday and it really was good but of course the book was so much better (so much more depth and detail). Very moving though and really makes me appreciate my life. On the weekend I made the mistake of starting a new book - Elizabeth Berg's "Never Change" - and of course couldn't go to sleep last night until I finished it! Well worth reading - she has a wonderful way with her characters - they feel so real. I've been fiddling with some other stuff so hopefully will have something finished to share soon. Have a great week!

Sunday 17 August 2008

Creative Wednesday - a new challenge blog!

I happened to check out Marg's blog this morning and found that she and Sarah have started a new weekly challenge site for Mixed Media/Stamping/Collage Artists who love to create Art. It is called Creative Wednesday and this week the challenge is to create a row house so of course I had to join in - I love little houses! Check it out and join the fun.

Here is the first house for my row. I am going to create a whole row, making one whenever I only have a few minutes to play. The pretty brad at the top means the scan is a bit blurry. The second picture (when at full size) shows the real size of the house so you can see they are pretty small!

I have covered a Collections chipboard house with a collage paper I made of white and cream bits and pieces and then photocopied. The edges are dabbed with Antique Linen Distress Ink. This house had a window so I have put a little picture (of Sarah Bernherdt?) behind the window and added doodles, a rub-on border and some words from a very old copy of Gone with the Wind.

And while I was typing up this post I received a blog comment from the lovely Sephi telling me she has given me the "I love your blog" award. Thanks Sephi - I love yours too (always fully of beautiful and creative stamping and collage). The rules are - (1) The winner can put the logo on their blog. (2) Link the person you received your award from. (3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs. (4) Put links of those blogs on yours. (5) Leave a message on the blogs you have nominated. So I am passing this on to seven of the many blogs I love - Susie, Susan, Carole, Elizabeth, Anne, Martha and Kelsey.

Saturday 16 August 2008

A Bit of This & That

So here we are - Saturday again!! Treated myself to a bit of lie-in this morning (that can only happen when Joseph is away as he believes in early mornings - for everybody!!) and now feel ready for the day. Zach and I are going to watch The Kite Runner later this afternoon - I don't think I have ever seen a movie that was as good as the book on which it is based (although now that I think about it, Storm Boy might be an exception) but I can't "let go" of this story yet so decided to watch the movie straight away.

This week I finally received the latest Quilting Arts magazine so really looking forward to a good read of that sometime this weekend. I haven't been as thrilled as much as I normally am with Cloth Paper Scissors over the last couple of issues (probably just because some of the art doesn't appeal to me personally) but QA is consistently totally wonderful. So many things to try!

I also received this gorgeous vintage fabric postcard (or AMC as Simone calls them) from Simone Bamberg-Lemper, love it!And my arty US friend, Susan sent me a lovely surprise - the cutest ever little bird beads (which will have to become ear-rings over the course of this weekend), a great hand charm and some amazing sarcophagus shaped playing cards! I am dying (deliberate pun) to use them in or on something interesting.

I can't recall whether I have ever written about my love of old suitcases (and old rulers too) but when my Mum came up to stay with me in June she delivered a lovely old suitcase that my cousin Kay had decided needed to join my collection, despite its sentimental value to her. It was my paternal grandmothers and had been bought for her by Kay's mother and her brother (both were several years older than my father who was a "change-of-life baby") from their early pay packets (which would have been in the 1930s I think). The case is monogrammed with my Nanna's initials - BN. I just love this case, especially as it is from within our family - it is beautifully lined too. The sad side of the story though is that apparently my Nanna got very upset with her two offspring spending their hard-earned money on her! I have still to find the ideal spot for this case - it can't sit in this stack as they are all brown ones that I have collected or been given. Incidentally the graduated sizes are a fluke!

And now for some details about the collage at the top of this post - it is based around a transfer of a coloured picture which I enhanced with gold ink and then covered with several layers of clear utee to create a tile effect. It has been mounted on a piece of "leatherised" brown paper and is surrounded with Gold Rocs by JudiKins. I think this is the only time I have used them despite buying several colours at a stamping convention several years go! Perhaps I need to start some projects based around specific supplies.

Thursday 14 August 2008

Total Lack of Focus

Not sure why, but I have a total lack of focus tonight. I haven't done anything creative myself but I have read some new blogs and caught up on some others and that is about it! Perhaps it is the after-effects of finishing such an incredible book late last night.

Anyway I found two great blog give-aways that you might want to enter quick-smart!! This one is for a great free-form crochet scarf from Carla's Feathered Fibers:

And to enter the draw for a fabulous piece of mixed media art from the very creative Anne Le Toux - go to this post!

And here are a couple of pictures of my Oxford Impressions "Studio Steps" cards in the current Cardmaking, Stamping & Papercraft magazine. These cards use the "Country Girl" stamp plate. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Oxford Impressions stamps????

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Sorry there is a break in blogging...

as I have got home from Wiluna and TOTALLY lost myself in the book I started reading last night - The Kite Runner by the incredible Khaled Hosseini. I expect to surface in time for work tomorrow morning (hopefully!) and will be back to normal blogging tomorrow night. I must add, however, that I don't expect to ever feel normal again...

Monday 11 August 2008

Mixed Media Monday - Fashion (& Some Fabric Postcards Too!)

I have the honour this week of being the guest host at Mixed Media Monday. The theme is "fashion" and I chose to use my "Haute Couture" piece which was originally published in Somerset Studio. It is a combination of papers, stamping, shading, stickers, buttons, trim and stitching. And don't you love that dress-form stamp? Another favourite of mine!

I am away for the next couple of days with work (travelling to Wiluna, a mere five or so hours drive up the road) and won't be able to blog, so I am also posting the wonderful results of the latest Quilty Conscience Fabric Postcard exchange (and hoping like hell that everyone else has received their postcards today and that I won't spoil the surprise!!)

The challenge was to incorporate paint in some way on our postcards:

(Top one by Karin Hutchinson and bottom one by Stephanie Grant)


Sunday 10 August 2008

Experiments & My April and May Journal Quilts are Underway!

I read on Lynda's blog about her experiments over-dying her rusted fabrics and that made me think about colouring some of the fabrics I rusted earlier this year (or was it last year?). I decided to try my Adirondack Color Wash in Denim and it worked great - I just sprayed the fabric with water first and then left the Color Wash to spread. I didn't want it to be too dark so didn't spray it too heavily. I think it makes the rust really nice. Even the lace and the rusted organza worked. Now to actually do something with them...

Building on my recent success at finishing a journal quilt, I decided to start a couple of others. April's technique is "painting on vliesofix" so I am constructing a quilt based on scraps of painted vliesofix that are left over from my first go at this quilt. I have heaps of fresh pieces I could use but I loved these colours. Anyway I had cut flower shapes out of the vliesofix so I have used the remaining shapes and ironed them random style to a recycled baby wipe (this one fortunately hasn't been anywhere bear a baby and is coloured as a result of being used as a painting tool) which has been adhered to a gorgeous piece of commercial fabric. I have then practiced my non-existent free-motion sewing skills to add petals all over the baby wipe. The next step will be to quilt the rest and maybe add some beading. The stitching is actually bright orange but it hasn't shown up that way in the scan!

May's technique is "recycling" so I am taking it literally and recycling one of the many cloth Basmatic Rice bags that we have. We make a lot of curries and eat a lot of rice so we buy rice in these 5kg bags which I re-use for all sorts of things (such as underwear and shoe travel bags) but of course we have an excess of them. I have torn one of the bags into various size rectangles and have machine stitched them onto batting using a basic grid (in red). All I intend to do now is hand-stitch around each of the frayed edges. Not sure what sort of binding but I feel it should have frayed edges!

I am currently making a whole pile of small collages for cards so that is what I am off to work on now.

Saturday 9 August 2008

March Journal Quilt - At Last!

At the start of this year I planned to participate in two monthly projects for myself for 2008 - the first was Sharon's "Take It Further" Challenge and the second was the Australian-NZ Quilter's Journal Quilts. I managed to do the first five months of TIF before dropping out but I am still going with the journal quilts even though I am way behind schedule. The beauty is that it doesn't impact on anyone as these are for myself!

Anyway, today I have finally finished my March quilt which I first talked about here. I have been working on it in small bursts but it took ages as it is all hand sewn apart from the binding. The theme for March was "memories" and as I have many strong childhood memories of my mother and grandmother sewing and of my delight in Mum's spare buttons I wanted to make a quilt that was based on those memories.

The white and cream background is made up of small torn and cut pieces of various fabrics laid over a piece of muslin-covered felt and covered with a layer of white polka dot tulle. The "rustic" hand-stitching anchors the layers together, the buttons have been stitched on and lace has been added around the edges. The binding is a fine zig zag stitch (fabric postcard style). The buttons are in a heart shape to represent the love I felt as a child as well as my love of buttons!! My quilt was inspired (and influenced) by this which I happened to see on a web-surfing spree at the time I was contemplating the theme.

I was making progress with my April quilt (the "theme" was the technique of using painted vliesofix) but I wrecked that one last weekend when I tried to finish it, so it is back to the drawing board for April!

Friday 8 August 2008

TMTA - Turquoise

I know it is really Friday, but this is my entry for the current Think Monday Think ATC theme - turquoise. The little bird is one of those wonderful stickers from Cavallini & Co - I have softened the edges with Broken China Distress Ink and the background layer is sprayed with Moon Shadow Glitz Spritz (not that it shows up in the scan!) and stamped with a Hero Arts text image. This ATC is "embellished" with my latest favourite white pencil - a soft German PITT Pastel by Faber Castell - just gorgeous to use.

And I am SO GLAD it is the weekend!! SO many plans, SO many things I want to do!

Thursday 7 August 2008


A while back I posted about the triangles I was making for an "Inspiration" banner exchange I was participating in with the CreativeChix group and now I can post pictures of the result!! It is fantastic. Some of the triangles are cardstock and some are fabric and I have stitched them all to thick green twill with invisible thread so I can hang them in my creative space.

I by Hope Clinchot
N by Sammy Stafney
S by Sue Simpson
P by Jacky Williams
I by Connie Armitage
R by Debbi Baker (me!)
A by Gail Pfrommer
T by Patti Gramza
I by Chris Peden
O by Maria Garcia
N by Elizabeth Woodford

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Mixed Media Monday - Thrinchie

At Mixed Media Monday, the current challenge is to make a Thrinchie - a 3 inch square piece of art. I made quite a lot of these back in May for some exchanges etc but I didn't know their name then. Anyway tonight I made another one for MMM this week - it uses Oxford Impressions Family Man stamps and a piece of map themed scrapbook paper with Distress inks in blue and black to colours the edges. A little bit of "toned-down" gold German scrap for adornment and a whizz around the edges with the sewing machine to keep the three layers all together. A bit of fun!

Today's work trip went fine but waking at 4:30 in the morning means I am well and truly ready for bed now and it is only 9:30. I'm not going to fight it though, so good night!

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Reporting in...

Well here we are again and I have to say I have no idea where last night went. These are pictures of some of the results of my Sunday play day - I didn't even venture out to our monthly Trash N'Treasure! Apart from cooking (and finishing my book late Sunday night), I just played - painting silk ribbons, fabric and then canvases. Such fun. I have a trestle table set up in the family room near the heater and although it wrecks the look of the room it is a blissful spot in which to indulge myself temporarily. It is also totally necessary as my two small art/craft rooms (unused bedrooms) are basically supply rooms at the moment - no available work surface! I won't just be spring cleaning in a month or two but undertaking a major re-organisation I think.

The flowers in the first picture are a rescue effort from an aborted journal quilt - painted vliesofix adhered to text printed fabric and batting, sewn and cut into freehand flower shapes, finished off with hand dyed edges (to get hide the batting edges) - no idea what if anything they will be used on but I had to try and save something from the quilt (which was a disaster).

Now to important stuff - the wonderful Cait Gordon, down in the southwest of our glorious state has finally started a blog and I have found out about it!! Check out her blog and leave a comment - we all know how nice it is to have feedback! By the way Cait is a very accomplished art quilter and she makes fabric ATCs too!

And while I am on the subject of other bogs, another trading partner of mine, Kiwi Carole, is celebrating her 100th post and she has a great give-away on her blog so make sure you pop over and leave a comment. Carole does all sorts of great stuff!

If you visit me here regularly, you may recall I was making triangles for a banner swap a little while back. Well, I have now received my "inspiration" banner back and it is just gorgeous and I can't wait to join up all the triangles and hang it in my sewing room (that is the room with a few millimetres of blank wall space). I'll share photos as soon as it is up - probably this weekend. I will also be able to share some gorgeous fabric postcards that resulted from a "paint" themed exchange - just got to get them all photographed as they are too dimensional to scan!

Off on a road trip to Leonora (a small town a couple of hundred kilometres away) for work tomorrow which means a very early start ,so tonight I am going to bed early. Tomorrow night I want to try and do a couple of the weekly challenges, especially Think Monday Think ATC which has turquoise as the theme. Just love that colour.