Monday 29 September 2008

Banner Art & Another Skinny Page

We have had a long weekend here in Western Australia and Joseph and I have made the most of the glorious spring weather and spent much of the weekend doing a garden "spring-clean". We are both feeling rather pooped and can feel muscles that haven't surfaced over the colder more sedentary winter months! BUT the garden looks a lot neater and ready for the rest of spring and summer. Because the lavender blooms early here and because the bushes needed trimming so that we could get through on the paths near them I have filled baskets full of the blooms for inside the house - don't this one look lovely?

I am in a small Australian group and we are making "Art of the Month" for a randomly selected partner and this month it was my turn to make something for Celeste Santin. For some reason everything I started this month went bad and looked awful and I was starting to get desperate so this afternoon I gave up on the paper/canvas arts and went back to fabric and made the pennant at the top of this post. I bought the background fabrics in Melbourne when I was there in May for the Art Retreat and I absolutely love them - their spring-like prettiness makes me feel very cheerful so I hope Celeste likes them too. The vintage image is printed on fabric and the rest is rather obvious (except maybe for the origins of the "jewels" which came from one of those decorative jewelled collars for champagne bottles). The leaf trim is my new most favourite "thing" and was purchased down in Esperance recently. I think I should have bought a lot more than I did!

PS Since taking this scan I have evened up the sides!

And, as I have mentioned, I am attending two Art Retreats next year (lucky me!). The first one in March is the Creative Soul Retreat and as a precursor we have the opportunity to participate in a monthly book page challenge. We can choose the style and format of our book and every month there is new theme. I decided to make a skinny book with pages in the portrait format sized 5 by 3 inches. Love this size - just big enough but not too time consuming! Anyway for September the theme was birds so this is my page -

The background is a monoprint that I made using paint and two pieces of cardstock and then brayering the result on one of the two pieces when they were pulled apart. The stamped images are by Oxford Impressions (of course!)

Saturday 27 September 2008

Creative Wednesday - Butterflies

Creative Wednesday has the theme of butterflies this week so I have made a skinny page (3 by 5 inches) for a book I am making for myself. (PS I love the look of the Creative Wed blog - it is so pretty in a non-pink way!)

The background of my page is, once again, a glossy magazine page which has been used to blot another painted surface. It had nice colour and texture given that it was a scrap and it only needed some more paint applied through sequin waste and a few squirts of some beautiful blue Glitz spray. I have stamped text and and a flowery flourish and then drawn over much of the flourish with a white gel pen. The butterflies are from decoupage paper and have been outlined with my favourite aqualip black pen. I also stamped some text on the biggest one. I love butterflies!

And on another subject, yesterday I received my copy of the latest Studios magazine (by the Cloth Paper Scissors publishers). It is another great issue and has some terrific articles but the reason I am so excited is that it has an article about an Australian feltmaker - Elizabeth Armstrong. I am probably way behind the times given this woman's artistic profile (with which I have now familiarised myself having looked at every single thing on her website!) but the article was my introduction to her and wow I am impressed! I want to go live on the other side of Australia and do all of Elizabeth's classes! I love her use of colour - check out the wall hangings!!!

Friday 26 September 2008

Mixed Media Monday - What I Love to Do!

This week's challenge at Mixed Media Monday is to show "what we love to do". This was such a good topic as there are so many things I love to do in my mixed media pieces. But, if I have to pick one, it would have to be incorporating napkins (serviettes) as either a background, a focal image or even just as a detail element. I search for and buy napkins like other women buy clothes! And as a result I have a lovely collection to choose from (napkins, not clothes!).

This card uses a small bamboo patterned napkin as a background. I love crumpling them before gluing them down to get the extra texture which is then highlighted with ink, paint or Rub' n Buff. On this card the leaves are accentuated with a gold Krylon pen and the Buddha image , which is from Oxford Impressions, is stamped on gold paper. I have also coloured a frame from a cheap set of nestling frames using the gold Krylon pen.

If anyone else really loves napkins and uses them in their art, leave a comment or email as I love connecting with other napkin users!!

Thursday 25 September 2008

Wednesday Stamper - Pattern

This week's theme at Wednesday Stamper is "pattern". These two cards were made for Stamping and Papercraft (the magazine) a couple of years ago. The challenge was to incorporate the patterned Buzz & Bloom acrylic shapes on the cards. I used alcohol inks to colour (from the back) the pattern on the acrylic shape and then adhered them to a background image. The first one has a stamped "genesis text " background - another favourite stamp although it doesn't get a lot of use really. The second one is included just for fun - it doesn't have any stamping as the text is a transparency.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Fabric Postcards

This month the small fabric postcard exchange that I participate in has the theme "Marie Antionette". The intention was that we could do something really over the top if we wanted to and I originally thought I would, especially after watching the movie! BUT I just couldn't settle on a design so have ended up with quite restrained style postcards.

I created "fabric" by adhering the top ply of a gorgeous French shoe and floral decorator napkin (serviette) to thin craft felt which I had first stamped with a French handwriting image. The text peeks through the napkin nicely. I sprayed the entire surface with Moon Shadow Glitz to make the colours richer and to create a lovely golden glow. Once the base was cut into postcard sized pieces I did a little decorative machine stitching with metallic thread and added four layers of ribbon and velvet ric rac with a little gold buckle (to mimic shoe buckles of course). I feel as though the postcard needs something more (micro beads maybe) but I am not sure so I think I have decided to leave them as they are. I have another day to decide before I need to post them...

Monday 22 September 2008

Calendar Girl Postcard for September

This month my Calendar Girl postcard is for Joanna - you can see the picture we are to use as our inspiration here. I had already seen Joanna's postcard for this month and was inspired by her use of the verse, in particular the reference to time - "Friendships that have passed the test of time and change are surely best". I haven't been as inventive as Joanna (whose postcard is actually a functioning clock!) but I have skipped the flowers this month and concentrated on the verse.

I've used a large Non Sequitur stamp of watches and clock faces which I have stamped on a beautiful piece of dyed silk (which incidentally Joanna sent to me some time ago!). The colours of the silk are so rich and gorgeous I decided this postcard would need minimal embellishment so I have just stamped words pertaining to the verse around the edge of the image and hand quilted around each of the the clock and watch faces. I've also sewn on a few black sequins and beads. Pretty simple but hopefully effective!

Sunday 21 September 2008

Think Monday - Think ATC - Handwriting

I haven't participated in a TMTA challenge for a little while so today, in between bigger projects, I made a quick little ATC incorporating some stamped handwriting.

This one has a decorative paper background from a little pad of ATC backgrounds. I have sprayed it with a gold moon shadow mist and also painted a lot of the background with the same mist to get a nice golden colour. The stamping comes from the flourish (Autumn Leaves) and a Hero Arts Old French handwriting stamp which would just about have to be my most used stamp I think. The vintage image and black German scrap are adhered with soft gel medium which I've used to seal the surface.

In yesterday's post I was celebrating spring - here are a couple of pictures of our decorative plum tree in bloom. See, spring really has arrived! And today's wind has just about stripped the tree of its blossoms! I have more in the washing basket with the dried laundry than there are on the tree.
And to finish, here is a quick snap of the city of Perth taken from the vantage point of Kings Park. I took this photo last Monday night while in Perth for Jude's "hen's night". Needless to say the night involved a stretch limo (hence the visit to King's Park) and champagne amongst other delights! If the photo is a bit blurry, blame the camera not the champers (or perhaps the full moon?)

Saturday 20 September 2008

Spring (!!) & May's Journal Quilt Finished

Well today it is obvious that spring is well and truly here - a beautiful crisp but sunny day. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and all is well in my little bit of the world. This card was made ages ago for Stamping & Papercraft but I am posting it here as my own little tribute to a lovely spring day. It is a six layer card (one of those ones that my DH Joseph says are a waste of paper and cardstock unless you "cut out the hidden bits"!!) - a cream folded card, then green cardstock, script paper, stamped vellum, more green cardstock, another scrapbook paper that I have stamped and sponged and then the tulle "ribbon" and metal embellishment. Personally I love the layered look and find it difficult to limit myself to just a couple.

Last night I finished my May Journal Quilt. Obviously I am running a little behind with these monthly quilts but it really doesn't matter as I joined in to prompt me to try new things. The May technique challenge was "recycling" so I have torn and cut up cotton rice bags and layered them until I liked the way the text worked together. I machined stitched them just enough to hold them in place and then I have spent some mindless hours while in sitting in cars hand stitching around each raw edge piece. I ended up adding several extra pieces as I went, so it ended up quite thick. I backed and bound it with a piece of red cotton that I have had in my fabric stash for at least two decades (so it is "sort of" recycling) and then machine stitched around the front of the binding using a reel of white cotton that was in a tin of old sewing stuff I bought at a junk shop a few years back.

I also did a bit more to my April Journal Quilt ("Painted Vliesofix") which I blogged about here. This one has "gone wrong" several times and I have spent a lot of time unpicking and improvising! I had a lot of trouble working out a good way to attach the painted baby wipe to the fabric/batting layer so in the end I added a layer of muslin on the back and put the whole thing through the embellisher. It worked really well but of course that has made the top layer a bit fuzzy so I have sprayed it with a gold Glitz Spritz. This has dulled down the base colours a bit but at least the white fuzz is more subdued. Last night I backed this one with fabric and zig-zagged the edges so all I am going to do now is sew on some interesting fibre around the edges of the quilts and the baby wipe and add some beading to the centre flower shape (I think). We'll see how it goes.

Then my next priority is to come up with a postcard that has been inspired by this month's Calendar Girls picture (below) - as you can see it is a bit "ordinary" so I think I will interpret it very loosely! Perhaps this month it will be the verse that I use as the inspiration...

Thursday 18 September 2008

Creative Wednesday Banner - JOY!

Fortunately for me Creative Wednesday is having a two week long challenge this week! Last week I just didn't have the time to participate but tonight I have made my simple little "JOY" banner for the current theme.

This one is six inches long and is constructed from a painted magazine page (I use the word "painted" very loosely as it is just the paper that has been used to blot other painted surfaces!) with swirls and text stamping, little Collections letter tiles, domed clear stickers and some truly gorgeous black adhesive lace. The whole thing is mounted on black cardstock for stability and has been scanned on more of the painted magazine paper.

JOY to you!

Wednesday 17 September 2008

More blessedness!

(From Dot)

I know I talk about feeling blessed quite a bit but what else would you expect with a blog title like mine! I had a wonderful relaxed and chatty time with my visiting sister (Marrijane) and we finished up with a great seven hour train journey down to Perth together on Sunday afternoon/evening. It was a very special time seeing as we only get to see each other a couple of times a year since she moved to the other side of Australia. I am already looking forward to the Creative Soul art retreat I am attending in March in Melbourne next year (with DJ Pettitt and Berlie Berlin!!) as it will give me a chance to have a few days with Marrijane afterwards. Then I am going to Sydney in June for the Artistic Journey Art Retreat (I am doing workshops with Nic Hohn, LK Ludwig and Keith Lo Bue!!) so maybe I will get to go via Melbourne so I can see Marrijane again! Needless to say I am trying very hard to save money for these trips - meaning I need to use what I have rather than buy more art supplies!

The last two days were spent in Perth with my wonderful friend Jude. I am going to be one of her bridesmaids (we are all dispensing with the "matron of honour" tag) in December and I went to Perth as part of the wedding preparations. So much fun and such a great "hen's night" on Monday evening. And it was back to work today...

(With Dotee egg out of her little pouch)

Last night I flew home to some wonderful mail - firstly this gorgeous hanging fabric birdie with removable Dotee egg from the incredible Dot Christian (beautifully beaded and such wonderful attention to detail - you can just feel the love!) and then these really lovely ATCs from Laurence Rocher (who gets to live in this incredibly gorgeous part of France called La Rochelle - not that I have ever been there but it sure sounds like somewhere I'd love to go!).

(From Laurence Rocher)

So I have nothing of my own to share as I haven't been creating (other than havoc) for nearly a week but I will be back in the swing of things tomorrow.

PS. I had a look at my blog stats while I have been away and just want to say a big thank you to everybody that continues to visit my blog!

Friday 12 September 2008


I am feeling incredibly blessed! My wonderful blogging friend Susan was having a celebration give-away on her blog and guess who was the lucky winner!!! This beautiful necklace that Susan has lovingly made arrived from the other side of the world this week. We are moving into spring weather here so I can't wait to wear it. Where I live this week is the annual "race round" where a week's worth of horse-racing events have become a major social event for our little city and the population of the town increases dramatically with a lot of people travelling a long way to join in the fun (and the betting). This is apparently the 112th "round". Anyway it is a pity that I don't go to these events (I don't enjoy big noisy crowds much) as the women really dress up and my new necklace would have been a very appropriate embellishment!!
And to add to my sense of abundance, I have been thrilled recently to receive some blogging awards from some lovely people who read my blogs. I have been delaying acknowledging them as they require me to then choose blogs to pass it on to and that is an agony of choice for me as I LOVE so many blogs! But here goes...

Karen and Carole have given me the
Blogging Friends Forever Award, the rules are
  1. Only five people allowed
  2. Four of them have to be dedicated followers of your blog and one has to be new and live in another part of the world.
  3. You have to link back to who gave you the award.
So my four dedicated blog followers (thanks so much guys!!) are: Viv, Carolann, Annie, Susan and my nomination of a blogger that is new to me and who lives in another part of the world - Gaby Lee in Germany.

Bethel , Danielle and Cait have given me this one - thanks a lot, it really means a lot to me.

The rules for the "I Love Your Blog" award are:

  1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.
  2. Link to the person you received your award from.
  3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
  4. Put links of those on yours.
  5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you've nominated.
I'm passing this one on to the following delicious Aussie blogs: Jacky, Doreen, Julie, Julia Rose, Sue (Aussie overseas!!), Annette and Lorri

Thursday 11 September 2008

An ATC Art Journal

Carole and I are having a bit of trading fun and for August we agreed to make ATC sized art journals for each other. There were no other requirements or restrictions so we could really please ourselves as to what we created. Carole was more organised than me and got hers to me on time - here is a photo of her amazing little journal on a ring.

(From Carole)
The individual pages from Carole's booklet are shown here.

Now that Carole has received the one I made (further delayed while NZ Customs examined it apparently) I can post some pictures. I had a terrible time getting a decent shot having only a very basic little camera but it is a mixture of painted and stamped papers and fabric to create a little sewn journal with a see-through ATC pocket on the front and a ribbon closure.



I wrapped lace and fibres vertically around some of the pages and used paper clips to hold in some little bits and pieces on the pages - sort of temporary storage and to create a bit of a surprise.

It is a lot brighter than it looks in my terrible photos - the scan of the little ATC (out of its pocket and at the top of this post) shows the colours more accurately.

PS My sister Marrijane (who lives in Melbourne) arrived yesterday afternoon for a visit for the next few days so I am one very happy little person! I have to go to work today but I have leave for tomorrow so that I can make the most of her company!

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Tuesday Night & MMM "Stars"

First off - a sunrise from last week! I love watching the sun come up (almost as much as I love still being in bed and missing it!)

Can't think of a good post title but today I received my August postcard for the Calendar Girl exchange. This one is by Sharon Young and she went in a completely different direction considering the inspiration is this calendar picture.

When I first saw it on the CG blog I did a bit of double-take but as soon as I read Sharon's blog I "got it"!! Having had sons I really like the steam engine connection as there was a stage there where I was a bit of expert on steam trains! We even took some trips on steam trains and discovered their real (as opposed to theoretical) appeal. Note to my Mum - do you remember that Fremantle Christmas trip??? I was within days of giving birth to Zach and we took my niece Jasmine (then 5), nephew Jarrad (then 3) & son Josh (then 2) on a special Christmas steam train trip that involved a party and a visit from Father Christmas down at Fremantle. Such good memories! (PS An amazing amount of work went into Sharon's postcard and I just love it!!)

I am loving Kelly Rae's book and already feel confident recommending it - she is one special woman and I just love her spirit and honesty (in addition to her art!). So hope she agrees to come to Australia to teach in the next couple of years!

Bit busy here tonight as my sister arrives for a visit tomorrow so these are my entries for the "Stars" theme over at Mixed Media Monday - all are ATCs I have made previously! I love stars - I think they symbolise hope!

Monday 8 September 2008

Taking Flight!!

(Kelly Rae print)

No not me (except metaphorically!!) Today was just wonderful - I received my pre-ordered copy of the beautiful and very inspiring Kelly Rae Robert's book "Taking Flight"! One of the advantages of pre-ordering was that Kelly Rae included a lovely print as well! I am SO happy - I just want to go to bed and read my beautiful new book. So far a quick look (very quick as I really want to SAVOUR this book) has made it perfectly clear that I am going to just LOVE this book. Love all the butterflies...

To make my week even better, my sister is coming on Wednesday to stay for a few days. She lives in Melbourne (for anyone who is geographically challenged like me that is a long way from me!). Such bliss...

And to share some good blog news - my friend and sometime trading partner, Ruth Kelly (who lives over in Canberra) has started a blog! Check it out here. Ruth was the creator of this beautiful canvas that is now beautifying my reading nook.

Creative Wednesday - Shrines

This week the theme at Creative Wednesday has been "shrines" so I have made a shrine ATC. It is for Julie (as is the other fibre ATC below) in exchange for the gorgeous ATCs she recently traded with me.

For my shrine ATC I have covered mat board and a Collections chipboard arch with metal tape and after embossing into them with an embossing tool I have rubbed them with black gesso. The centre of the shrine is filled with Dimensional Magic and of course I still got some little bubbles despite trying desperately to prick them all!

This other ATC is rusted fabric which has been coloured with Denim Color Wash and then stamped. The hearts are copper mesh that has been heated on a flame. The ATC is also sprayed with Glitz Spritz in gold and the real look is very sparkly. All the machine stitching is done with a lovely metallic thread. I added some rub-ons as well (as an experiment as I haven't used them on fabric before - worked great for something that won't be washed!)

Sunday 7 September 2008

Beautiful Art Received!

Last week was an incredible mail week - feeling very blessed!!

Patti Bradley's gorgeous and very sweet house canvas collage (this was mine for Patti)

Julie Hetherington's absolutely stunning and very textural ATCs -
have a look at Julie's blog for a better photo of these beauties!
(will show you mine for Julie later - they are still getting themselves finished off)

Ruth Kelly's beautiful canvas - I am including a photo this time as the
scan I used before didn't do it justice but now of course I am getting the glare off the mica!

As I mentioned I actually got to go the coast (the little town of Esperance) a week or so back and although it was only an overnight visit for work purposes, I made the most of it and went for a lovely late afternoon walk around the town bay which looks towards the harbour in one direction, a jetty in the middle and a long sweeping point in the other direction (photo at the top). It was so nice to have a sunny although cold day to make the most of the sea air!

The next morning I went up to the town lookout and took some photos of the bays on the other side of the town. Esperance is known for its beautiful white beaches, very blue waters, and nearby little and very rugged islands, but it is also known for its wind as it is on the southern coast and faces a lot of ocean and then Antarctica! The second day was quite grey so the photos don't show the full extent of the beauty of the place.