Saturday 20 December 2008

The Eighth Day of Christmas

Jo Wholohan made our very special gifts for this the eighth day of Christmas - individual tiny little painted wooden blocks that came in their special stamped and embellished felt pouches! Jo has got into whimsical face paintings in a big way and this little sweetheart is amazing - Jo obviously has a steady hand and I love the way she used green and pink colours for me! I'll be finding somewhere very special in my house for this little painting to live. And as with all the gifts, this one came beautifully wrapped with a gorgeous little decorated tag.

Last night I finished making this simple little felt Christmas decoration for my grand-daughter Skye. I can't claim to be a "real" Nanna but both of my stepsons, Joseph and Jacob, have children now and I reckon that "Nanna-hood" is worth claiming as soon as you can. I am, however, hoping that our other two sons Josh and Zach take several more years to make me more of a Nanna.
I decided for her first Christmas that we would start a little ritual and every year I would give her a Christmas ornament in it's own little box or bag. Skye is now three and a half so this is year four, but it is the first one I have made rather than bought. The colour of the hot pink felt hasn't come through on the scan (it is the one colour that I don't seem to be able to get accurate when it comes to felt) but it is the same as the ribbon in real life. The whole ornament is VERY bright and I am pretty sure it will appeal to Skye!

Friday 19 December 2008

The Seventh Day of Christmas (and some other lovely stuff too!)

Today was the seventh day in our 12 Days of Christmas project and this gift was made by the talented Kasha Rolley (who is actually having a very special Christmas in Poland with her family). Kasha made us all a gorgeous necklet with a beautiful Venetian mask as the pendant. It really is a lovely piece of jewellery and I am looking forward to wearing it!

Kasha made beautiful felt pouches with button closures for the necklets and I have to admit I love the packaging as much as the gift!! Makes me want to cut out leaf shapes and stitch them to felt ATCs!! So tactile.

Today's mail also bought me two envelopes from overseas - firstly a very sweet cross stitch Christmas ATC from a trade with the prolific (and quick!!) Anne Lugherini in France and this lovely door hanger from my monthly trading partner Carole Brugnar over in New Zealand. I have already posted pictures of my trade for Carole but my ATC for Anne is still getting stitched so I can't post about it yet (or put it in the post either!) PS Anne doesn't have a blog unfortunately.

I started my Christmas holiday this afternoon and I don't go back until the 5th of January but it doesn't really feel holiday-like yet as we only have tomorrow to get organised for the time away. So tomorrow is a busy day, Sunday is basically a driving day, Monday is my precious friend Judi's wedding and then we start the family part of the holiday, catching up with everyone and getting into the Christmas spirit!

The Sixth Day of Christmas

The sixth day of Christmas gift was made by the very clever Celeste Santin - she has created this gorgeous little piece of hanging art! It is extra special because it is a "green" gift too as it recycles a jar lid in a very inventive and arty way. I just love it!

Celeste packaged her gift up beautifully in one of those little puffy envelope package things (do they have a name or have I just gone blank????) that she had stamped and then tied up with some exotic mesh, ribbon and tags.

Thursday 18 December 2008

The Fifth Day of Christmas

Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas comes from Dawn Thomas (another fellow Western Australian) and it is a beautiful big vibrant wet-felted puffy heart bookmark and terrific key ring that has the sweetest images on both sides. I read a lot so I know this bookmark will get a lot of use!! And it is well and truly time I upgraded my grotty old painted wooden dolphin key ring that I have had for several years...

Dawn also packaged her gifts so beautifully in a beaded red organza bag decorated with special tags and a lovely gold bell that made the whole package tinkle when it was delivered!

This is so much fun!

Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas

I have been away for the last three days with work so I am a bit behind posting the wonderful gifts I have received as part of this fantastic creative swap!

Day 4's gift came from my wonderful friend Sue Smith down in Albany. Sue made a gorgeous piece of hanging art featuring a quirky angel in her signature style - beautiful soft colours, a lovely variety of papers and fabrics, stitching, beaded trim and lots of attention to detail!!

And look at the packaging - how beautiful is this?! Love the way Sue stitched the gift into its sheet music package!

Monday 15 December 2008

The Third Day of Christmas

Well it is day three of our little Christmas exchange and today's gift is very different! It is a wonderful little "Creativity Crone" made by the lovely Ruth Kelly. A little accompanying note explains that the Creativity Crone (or if you prefer, a Helping Hag!!) will ensure a constant flow of creative ideas if she is popped into our studios!! Fantastic idea Ruth - very creative!!

This was how this gift looked before I demolished the wrapping!

And to finish this post - a little Christmas themed ATC I made last night. Finally using up some of the many shaving cream backgrounds I made a couple of years ago!

Sunday 14 December 2008

The Second Day of Christmas

And on the second day of Christmas I opened another beautiful packaged gift. This one was from Dot Christian and inside I found this delightful little Dotee winged-being nestling on a bed of beautiful copper shreds. (Dot - those gorgeous little velvet leaves make the sweetest wings!!)

Needless to say I am sitting here with a smile on my face and thinking about the wonders of art friendships that have come about and grown as a result of the web! Just amazing.

I also have to apologise for all the lovely bloggers who have passed on awards and tags to me over the last five or six weeks - I have been very remiss in acknowledging them. and passing them on. I really do appreciate them and I have to apologise for finding myself in a situation where I just don't have the time to do anything about them. Hopefully your other nominees were more organised!!

Saturday 13 December 2008

The First Day of Christmas!

This morning I opened up my "First Day" gift for the 12 Days of Christmas project! Such fun. Jacky Williams has made these gorgeous and very sweet Klimt Angels and this is my one. I am going to dangle her above my art desk as we don't have a Christmas tree (we will be out of town and visiting with family over Christmas & the New Year). Jacky packaged the angels beautifully too - love the tags.
And while I should probably wait for Carole to actually receive this door hanger, as I haven't posted much of anything of my own making for so long I am sneaking in a picture or two! For November we agreed to swap decorated door hangers or tags and as I had a blank wooden one on hand I have used that. It hasn't photographed particularly well because of the glare of the transparency and the flower jewel but it looks nice in real life.

I have used a lovely Basic Grey paper as the background, plus some rub-on borders, chip board letters that I have coloured and stamped and of my favourite sari ribbons - I just love them! I printed the image on a transparency and ran it through the xyron before cutting it out. I love the way the background peaks through the dress. I had to do a bit of blocking out behind the face to stop it looking diseased!

Now I am off to make the most of the sunshine and get my washing done.

Friday 12 December 2008

What happens when...

I think I have forgotten how to blog!! This is what happens when (a) you just get TOOOO busy, (b) your computer dies and (c) you are mostly working on stuff you can't blog about!!

BUT I am going to blog about a 12 Days of Christmas project that I am participating in this year - I think the first art exchange based on this concept was started by Lelainia N. Lloyd and you can see her current year's project here.

Anyway the project I am involved in is based in Australia and I am one of the lucky participants. We have each made gifts for the other eleven participants so that we each have a gift to open on the 12 days before Christmas Day. Unfortunately I am going to be away from home and without computer access for some of the days but I will catch up with the gift opening when I get back!

The picture at the top is what the other eleven gifts look like all sitting pretty in a basket waiting for the 1st day of Christmas (I haven't wrapped my own gift which is for day 10 although I did make myself one!). Don't they look gorgeous?!

We start opening them tomorrow and I promise to post a picture!!

Sunday 7 December 2008

This and That!

Just a quick little post this morning before I get myself organised for the train trip this afternoon. Thought I would share some good news - I am sure everyone knows how much I LOVE Stampington publications (especially Somerset Studio) but since they started publishing "Sew Somerset" I have had to add that as a favourite too!

Anyway I recently received a complimentary copy as I had four fibre postcards included in the latest edition. That was pretty exciting and really helped offset some of my recent computer woes, but I have just discovered that I actually have something else in there as well so I just got excited all over again! It was especially nice as my fellow West Australian Sue Smith is on the same page. I haven't had time to read the whole book (it seems too substantial to be called a magazine) so I hadn't seen this other piece.
These are scans of the pages that have my pieces on them. The whole book is absolutely gorgeous - it has a really wide range of styles included and has the most beautiful cover which features Ruth Rae's gorgeous quiltie - I really wish I could let myself go and make such lovely "free" pieces. It amazes me how much I can love it when it is someone else's work yet if it is mine I have to neaten it up and cut off threads etc. Apparently I am not alone with this affliction so that makes me feel a bit better about it!

(From Gaby)

I have also had a wonderful week mail-wize. I received these stunningly gorgeous ATC trades and vintage book pages from Gaby (who is very patiently waiting for me to finish mine for her!) and this fabulous selection of papers and skeleton leaves and other stuff from Katherine. There are heaps more hidden under those papers on my scanner - makes me want to get making ATCs straight away. Katherine is also patiently waiting for me to get to the post office! Thank you so much both of you - your packages have really brightened my week.

(From Katherine)

Wishing everyone a wonderful Sunday afternoon - I'll be back in blog-world on Tuesday night hopefully.

Saturday 6 December 2008

December Calendar Girl Postcard

I am immersed in sorting out my computer (and the room it which it is located!). Having to reload programs and generally sort myself out has made me realize how much "stuff" I have held on to. So Zach and I have had a blitz today and chucked out all the disks and programs and manuals that had piled up over the years. We took it a bit further and did some general reorganisation and although I am feeling tired and cranky that I have "wasted" my day (at least in terms of creative play time) I can see that we achieved a lot and that it will be worth it.

Anyway last weekend I made my December Calendar Girl postcard for Doreen. This month we had the option of moving away from the calendar picture inspiration and making a Christmas themed postcard so that is what I did.

The postcard is based on a piece of canvas and is covered with beeswax to adhere the various layers of vintage sheet music, a Christmas serviette and mulberry paper. I have added some gold sequin stars and of course, stitched the edges.

Tonight we have my work Christmas party and tomorrow afternoon I am catching the train to Perth for my bridesmaid dress fitting on Monday morning. I catch the train back on Monday afternoon so I will be a bit quiet blog-wise for the next couple of days (again!). The train trip is close to seven hours each way so I will need to take a good book and maybe a bit of stitching to keep me entertained!

And to share some art received - look at this gorgeous Christmas postcard I received from my friend Annie. She has used her embellisher to create a gorgeous Christmas tree - it is even nicer when seen for real!

Wednesday 3 December 2008

When your hard drive dies...

Let me tell you - it is seriously painful confronting stuff when your hard drive completely dies (unexpectedly!) I have had serious withdrawal issues for the last several days and of course tonight while I sit trying to adjust to a new (wonderful even if unplanned) computer I am also coming to grips with everything that is lost! Thank goodness I bought a portable disk drive and backed up a lot of stuff about a month ago!!

But there are still some big gaps - bookmarks (again!), emails from over the last month (so I will be trying to track down addresses for trades etc that I committed to before the crash) and of course lots of other stuff. If I owe you a trade or anything it is probably a really good idea (and very helpful) if you email me with your address etc. One thing I did find though - I was much more productive last weekend as a result of no blog reading!!

So this post is just to let you know I haven't disappeared or given up blogging or anything and I will be "back to normal" soon!