Tuesday 28 October 2008

Creative Wednesday - Shabby Chic Moo Cards

I haven't made many Moo Cards so far but the few I have I've really enjoyed! So for this week here are my Creative Wednesday Shabby Chic Moo cards (1.1 x 2.8 inches). Gave me an excuse to use some of the silk ribbon I dyed a little while back! Words courtesy of a recycled copy of "Gone with the Wind"! Images from Collections. Sandpaper from Bunnings (just couldn't resist!!).

Monday 27 October 2008

Office Whiteboard

Bit of an unusual topic I know but at work I have, over the last several weeks, spent two minutes a day decorating the whiteboard in my office using whiteboard markers. It started with a "down" day when I decided to write a couple of inspiring sayings/quotes on the whiteboard that is on the wall of my office which faces my desk. Then I decided that the words needed some embellishment so I added some doodles (in a rather organic way!!) and now some weeks later it is finished! I used three of my favourite colours together - hot pink, orange and purple. Had a bit of trouble getting a photo without reflection and glare but I am sure you get the general idea! Just wanted to share!!

Sunday 26 October 2008

Sunday Stuff

I participate in a small Australian group that has a little art of the month exchange and this month it was my turn to make a small piece of art (no restrictions regarding what) for Gaye Todd. I sent her this "nature journal" that I made using recycled paper (for the pages) and corrugated cardboard (for the cover). The journal front is based on a lovely Stamps Happen image which I have painted with Radiant Pearls (which I believe have been superseded by Luminarte's Primary Elements range). I still have heaps of them and they are just glorious! I haven't tried the Primary Elements range (yet!)

My partner for this month was Karin Hutchinson and she has painted me this gorgeous little boxed canvas - I love it, especially the way Karin has incorporated the word "wish" in such a dreamy font.

Today I am working on my gifts for a "12 Days of Christmas" exchange. Good fun and for once I am starting with a reasonable lead-in time! Just as well too as I seem to have ended up with a lot to do in November, especially as I want to keep up with all the samples I need to be making for the wonderful online Fibre-in-Form workshops that I am doing.

Saturday 25 October 2008

A Catch-up Post

Well this week sure disappeared fast! Zach finished school yesterday (for forever if you don't count university in the future) so the week has been a bit unusual and yesterday involved the dusk Graduation Mass (which was incredibly due to start in the middle of a very rare occasion here on the edge of the desert - a very hot day, a huge thundery storm complete with hail and then pelting rain!) and then the big Graduation dinner at the Kalgoorlie Miners Hall of Fame.

Fantastic seeing the transformation of all those teenagers in full school uniform at the mass to dressed up and dining in style just a short time later. After a late night, everyone is feeling very snooooozzzzzzy here today (I can hear Joe gently snoring on the couch behind me...) but I am trying to hold out as I hate "wasting" weekends sleeping!!

(from Left Top clockwise - Judy Scott, Jacky Williams, Hope Clinchot,
Donna Lagone, Mary Zimany and Terrie Lightfoot)

I've received some terrific mail this week - these ATCs are the ones I have received from a Felted ATC Exchange that I participated in (I have already posted pictures of the ones I made back here). These ATCs are so textural and all so different - I really love them all.

I also received two lovely fibre/fabric ATCs above from a trade with Claudine Kachelhoffer in France (no blog unfortunately) and this fabulous postcard below from Carole in New Zealand. It was my turn to decide what we would make this month and I decided we should make a postcard that involved recycling something. Carole took this to the limit and included the following in the making of her amazing postcard - newspaper, magazine, plant label, ticket stub, PICNIC wrapper, stamp, barcode and the bound the whole thing in Minties wrappers. Too cool!

I received a package a while back from the US that was in a tyvek envelope so I cut it up and used that as the main element of my postcard. I painted it with paints that are nearing the end of their life (not quite recycling but close!), and then I ironed the tyvek until it disintegrated in places and bubbled in others. I then layered it on a scrap of satin from a pile of scraps I got at a Trash N'Treasure and covered it with a chiffon scarf I have had for a few decades (and which used to be a bit part of the whole curling your hair routine back then!) and stitched it in a grid pattern. The postcard is finished with some sprays of Glitz Spritz and then I stitched on sequins which I have also had for a long time and some little seed beads. Zach said it needed a focal point but I wanted to keep the tyvek as the main feature!

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Creative Wednesday - Windows!

Here is my skinny page for this fortnight's Creative Wednesday challenge "Windows". No stamping this time but the white gel pen fixation continues...

Window frame from Collections, image from ArtChix, white German Scrap, walnut ink, Prima flowers, heart shaped brads, tiny silver dragonfly brad and a Signo white gel pen!

Monday 20 October 2008

Mixed Media Monday - Things That Go Bump in the Night!

Great theme this week on Mixed Media Monday seeing as I am finishing off some Oxford Impressions cards based on the latest two stamp plates which have been designed with Halloween in mind! (and by the way the card below is not crooked in real life - I just can't scan straight or get the adjustment right!)

Sunday 19 October 2008


Beware on two fronts - firstly this is another Halloween-y card made with the latest Oxford Impressions stamps (quite enjoying doing some darker stuff for a change) and secondly, beware of the mad woman with paint under her nails and the moulding paste out and ready for a morning of experimentation! I'll show you the results later...

Have a great day! The sun is shining here and I hope it is for you too wherever you are (and if not, think sunshine and wear something bright and cheerful!)

Saturday 18 October 2008

Journal Quilt Finally Finished!

On the Australian/New Zealand Art Quilters yahoo group that I participate in (spasmodically) there is a monthly art quilt challenge that I have mentioned before. Each month there is a theme or a technique we can use as an inspiration for an A4 sized journal quilt. Back in April the technique was "painted vliesofix (fusible webbing)" and, as I love that technique and the effects you can achieve, I jumped straight in and started. I painted the vliesofix with diluted Golden acrylic paints and then tore some pieces and ironed it to text patterned fabric that the wonderful Joanna in New York sent me as part of a trade. (I could do with metres of this fabric I love it so much!). This is what it looked like at that stage.

I cut out some flower shapes from some more of the painted vlieosfix and fused them to the other piece. Didn't work very well but I then made a big mistake and tried machine stitching around the flower shapes without using anything in between to protect the fragile paint surface. It is called "not thinking"! So it was disaster and made a mess of the whole thing. I rescued some of it by cutting out the better flower bits and zigzagging around the edges and I guess they will surface again one day on something else.

So then it was a case of practically starting again so this time I used just the bits of painted vlieosfix that remained from the piece that I had originally cut flower shapes from. I randomly fused them to a nicely coloured "Wet One" that I had used to mop up some paint and backed it with a bright fabric and batting. I then did FME in free form flower shapes over the top but again didn't think it through and used a bright orange thread that looked a bit too orange once I had finished (although it looks quite pale in the scan it really isn't!).

The wet one part also looked a bit too bulge-y on top so I through caution to the wind and put the whole thing through the embellisher. I really liked the effect although I am sure quilt purists would have apoplexy over the "damage" it does to fabric! What I didn't like however, was the fuzzy top that showed up from the batting being needled through. So then, in a continuing tale of adaptation and improvisation, I sprayed the quilt quite heavily with Moon Shadow Glimmer Mist which reduced the whiteness but also subdued the really bright original colours. I decided to back the quilt and to do a machine stitched edge.

Then I didn't like the edge so I hand sewed a nice bright fibre around the edge and also around the wet one section as it was looking a bit lost in the middle. It still needed something as the original orange thread on the flower shape was grating on me so I started beading the centre of the flower and intended to bead around the shapes of the flower. After doing the centre I realised I would never finish the quilt if I continued beading so I have "fake beaded" the rest using a lovely dimensional orange glitter fabric paint.

And I am not doing another single thing to this quilt! P.S .The quilt is not as wonky as it appears in the scan.

Thursday 16 October 2008

Tomorrow is the day!

I have enrolled in my first online course and it starts tomorrow!! In case anyone on the planet hasn't yet heard about it yet, it is called "Textured Surfaces" and is by the extremely talented "Fibre-In-Form" duo of Lynda Monk and Carol McFee. Judging from the action on the associated yahoo group, it is going to be a great group with people from a wide range of countries.

So this week, in amongst making more Oxford Impressions cards (several of which are in various states of completion) and finishing off my April Journal Quilt, I have been busy digging out all the relevant class supplies (I am determined to use what I have rather than buy more!). I am really looking forward to expanding my repertoire in terms of surface embellishment and design.

I have posted off a couple of trades this week but need to wait for them to arrive at their destinations before I post pictures here, so to make this post a little more colourful, here are some needle-felting pieces I have been working on - obviously none are finished yet!

Tuesday 14 October 2008

A Mixed Bag...

Flotsam type post tonight! Working on lots of things but not much actually finished...I made this altered envelope up for "The Paper Girls" envelope challenge last week - you could do anything on the envelope but you had to include a magazine picture. My background is done with four colours of chalk ink-pads - I love the way they blend!! The rest is pretty obvious - some stamping and white gel pen!!

Today I bought some new fabrics for a project I am working on - aren't they just the most gorgeous (bright!) colours?? It was very helpful to the budget that the shop is closing down so the fabric was 70% off (wow that sure makes a difference to six metres of fabric!) but it will be very sad not having the shop any more.

These are some canvas acrylic painted backgrounds I've been working on using stamping, a stencil, masking fluid and plastic wrap respectively. Not that much of the background will be visible in the finished pieces but I do enjoy backgrounds - so little pressure to get it right!

And today I received these three delightful cross-stitch and fabric ATC trades from Anne Lugherini in France - such patience and attention to detail! Fortunately Anne doesn't require that I do cross-stitch ones in return or she would be waiting for a long time.

These are a couple of mixed media ATCs that I have just made using up some "failed" postcards from last year. Funny how a few little changes can make all the difference and change your perspective on things. The little flowers are punched out of copper mesh that has been held over a flame until it changed colour.

And the big news here is that, as of yesterday, Zach (the youngest son!) is now on the road as a probationary driver!! Thank goodness we are through the 25 hours of supervised driving - there is nothing quite like an hour long sit in the car after the work day finishes!

Sunday 12 October 2008


One of the best things to come from all my Somerset Studio submissions over the years has been the opportunity it provided for me to be part of the Oxford Impressions design team. Suzanne Melvin does a wonderful job of producing interesting stamps and has specialised in photo-stamps. This week I received the latest two Oxford Impressions stamp plates ("Trick or Treat" & "Wicked" so spent my time at Annie's on Wednesday night cutting them out ready for their weekend workout! Being Australian I don't have a particularly great appreciation of Halloween per se but I am so happy to have these plates as there are so many "wicked" images on them!

These are some of the results of my weekend play with these images and I have to admit it was fun to use completely different images to usual!

This week I also received these two terrific ATCs from Karen Stiehl Osborn as part of an exchange we had - I love the way Karen uses layers of tissue and paper and text! (not to mention her awesome use of colour).

Saturday 11 October 2008

Mixed Media Monday - Opposites

This is my piece for the current "Opposites" theme over at Mixed Media Monday. It is another piece that was published in Somerset Studio some time back. It is a large piece by my usual standards and is based on a canvas board and uses paint, paper, stamps, ink, lace, fabric and clock numbers. In case you are interested to get the silhouette I photocopied a very old magazine picture of a woman in lingerie and after cutting it out, turned it over so I would have the blank side. Simple hey!

I am using it for this theme as it uses black and white primarily and for me (and lots of others) those colours spring to mind as soon as I think about opposites! But the piece was also meant to represent all the body image issues women face and the urge/pressure to be beautiful and to conform to the characteristics of beauty that are valued in their own society. There are some opposing values in all of this especially when we want to have strong self-esteem and self-acceptance!

Thursday 9 October 2008

Think Monday - Think ATC - Mother Nature

I just love spring but I seem to appreciate it all the more living here as the summers are pretty extreme weather-wise. Naturally spring makes me think of flowers (all my beautiful apricot roses are blooming along my front fence) and sunshine (today a lovely 29 Celsius/84 Fahrenheit) so this week's Think Monday Think ATC theme of "Mother Nature" has motivated me to make a trio of rosebud ATCs.

I have used a beautiful napkin (top ply only) which I have crumpled for extra texture and adhered to cardstock using Mod Podge. Once it is dry I have sponged on a little bit of ink to emphasise the texture and then coated the rosebuds with Dimensional Magic. I've added a bit of ribbon and a few buttons and then sewn around the edges. Very simple but I like the uncluttered look on these ones! If the napkin hadn't included any writing on it I would have had to stamp some text or music on it but I decided the hint on the napkin was enough.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Calendar Girl Postcard for October

Last month I was caught making my Calendar Girl postcard at the end of the month and I wanted to avoid a repeat this month, so on the weekend I had a little play with an idea I had and it worked!

When Susan sent me her delightful postcard for September she included this great napkin.

The stylised flower image resembled one of the flowers on the October calendar page (see below) that we are using as our inspiration so I thought I would use it as my focal point.

I made a sandwich of light blue felt, silvery open mesh fabric (rescued and recycled from an extravagant floral arrangement that a co-worker received) and then a deep blue organza, using Misty Fuse to keep all the layers together. I cut out the napkin image and separated off the top ply of the napkin. I painted the flower part on the back of the napkin with white gesso so that the image would not lose its clarity when it was adhered to the organza sandwich using Fabric Mod Podge. I used the FMP on the top of the napkin as well to make it a bit more robust. Once it was dry I machine stitched around the image using silver thread and used a white gel pen to add some zing. I am really happy about the way the mesh shows (lightly) through the organza!

Keep an eye on the Calendar Girls blog to see the other postcards that get created for October! My postcard is for Jenny.

Monday 6 October 2008

Wednesday Stamper - Texture

I just love all the weekly challenge blogs - even if I don't get a chance to participate each week it is great to see what others are making! The current Wednesday Stamper challenge is structure/texture so I am posting one of my favourite monochromatic beeswax pieces. It was made for a Stamping & Papercraft stamping challenge using Stampin' Up images.

I used an old hardback book cover (I started doing that after seeing Roben-Marie Smith's article in Cloth Paper Scissors a few (?) years back) and I love the way the fabric provides a little extra texture. But what I have done here to create texture is use beeswax to coat the layered background and individual stamp images which have mostly been stamped and then cut out. There really is a lot more texture than shows up in the scan. Small gold brads (split pins) are used to imitate studs and to add some contrasting texture. Looking at this piece on the screen makes me realise just how much I like grids and geometric arrangements in my art!

Sunday 5 October 2008

Think Monday - Think ATC - Coffee

I absolutely adore coffee so this week's Think Monday Think ATC theme is right up my alley! Plus I love using browns in my art although I must admit these days I seem to be using a lot of colour as well.

I've made two ATCs - the one above is the coffee themed one and the second one is just "because" - I reckon the guy (Oxford Impressions stamp) looks like he would enjoy a good cup of strong coffee!The coffee themed stamps are from a coffee themed set by All Night Media - one of my very early stamp purchases. Cardstock is dyed with real coffee of course!

Mixed Media Monday - Harmony

I am only just sneaking in before this week's Mixed Media Monday deadline (not that it is really a deadline but you know what I mean!). The theme is "harmony" and there is a beautiful piece of work here by the current hostess Karen to start us all off in the right direction. I hadn't previously come across Karen or her blog (not sure how I missed her given the hours I spend surfing blogs!!) so I am very glad I have found it now as she is a wonderful artist.

Anyway this is my offer on the theme of harmony. Although it is music-themed I think, for me, the harmony is as much about the serene image! This is a piece called "Angel Notes" that was published in Somerset Studio a few years back. It is a collaged, stamped and painted canvas board and the notes are large "charms" that I bought at a Trash N'Treasure from a crafter who decided to STOP (!!) crafting and sell off all her supplies. I got some great bargains that day...

Today is our town's monthly Trash N'Treasure market but I am not feeling the best and it is too cold and windy outside to tempt me. Besides my over-full craft rooms won't notice the difference. Planning on just sitting at my desk and doing some stamping instead.

Friday 3 October 2008

Creative Wednesday - Skinny Page (& Gorgeous Mail Received!!)

My son Josh came home (unexpectedly) from Perth on Tuesday for the uni mid-semester break so this week has just disappeared - especially as Zach is doing his mock-TEE exams this fortnight. Very little art time for Mum as a result!

But this week at Creative Wednesday there is an open theme and we just have to do a skinny page (3 x 5 inches) . This suits me as I have been really (belatedly) getting into the whole skinny page format. This page - at the top of this post - is not in my "normal" style (if there is such a thing) as there is no focal image but I wanted to create a simple soft coloured page using a largish stamp. Some white gel pen, some sewing, some stick on pearls and some adhesive paper lace...

And then this week I have received terrific mail - firstly my beautiful vibrant September Calendar Girls postcard from Susan (have a look at the enlarged version - it is worth it!) and then today this totally unexpected and totally gorgeous and very textural postcard from my friend Annette who lives in the Northern Territory! How lucky am I?

So glad it is the weekend - I have so much I want to do!