Sunday 13 December 2009

December Calendar Girl Postcard

This month the image we are using for the Calendar Girl Postcard inspiration is a fractal chosen by Neki - see below. For some reason I just couldn't get inspired by it - all I could think to do was try and reproduce the effect using my embellisher but several of the other participants had already done that (and done it really well) so I decided to go for a very "loose" interpretation.

I've concentrated on the blue, black and red colours and not worried about getting a result that looked anything like a fractal! But I am really happy with it - I hand needle-felted some silky fibres onto black commercial felt and then machine stitched the rays in black and then metallic blue thread. The little square sequins are iridescent blue and I've added a scattering of tiny clear sparkly seed beads as well. It is very glittery and pretty in real life although as usual it doesn't really show up that well in the scanning! My postcard goes to Sandy this month.

This week I received this gorgeous fabric ATC "Strata" in a trade with Sally Westcott. My ATC for Sally was the one in my last blog post.

I've really slowed down with my blogging (and my creating!) as I am away from home so much these days but I noticed today that I am slowly getting closer to my 500th blog post so I guess I should do something to celebrate that thinking cap is on and I'll let you know what I decide! Bye for now...

Sunday 6 December 2009

Rusted Fabric ATC

Just a quick little post to share an Artist Trading Card (ATC) that I've made recently for a trade with Sally in Tasmania.

I've used some of the fabric I had previously rusted (heavily rusted actually!) and added some hand stitching, a bit of stamping, a strip of dyed muslin and some seed beads. I've used more of the fabric as a background when I scanned the ATC.

On a more general note, I just can't believe Christmas is SO close - I think all the travel I am doing with my job means that "normal" weekday life doesn't happen so weekends become a little over-crammed with activity and so I have the sense of time passing extremely quickly!! For a range of reasons we are not going to Perth and Margaret River for Christmas/New Year this year and it feels really strange as it will be the first Christmas we have had at "home" in Kalgoorlie for the 16 years we have lived here.

Anyway after being in Wiluna last week, tomorrow I am off to Esperance first (the coast!) and then to Laverton, and will be back Thursday afternoon. Lots of driving involved - four hours down to Esperance and then seven and a half to eight hours up to Laverton before the drive back to Kalgoorlie but at least I get to see the ocean if briefly. Even if it is blowing a gale, I am going to walk on the beach before heading back to the dusty inland scrub!!

Tuesday 1 December 2009

I love arty mail!

Look at the wondrousness (makes me want to add some more nesses, just saying that word) that has recently blessed my letter box -

These sweet ATCs from Jenxo (above and below)

These extra goodies from Jen (thanks!)

A Calendar Girl Postcard for October from Jenny -

and this Calendar Girl Postcard for November from Neki -

There is more but I need time to take photos!! Off to Wiluna again tomorrow
(for work, of course) - be back by the weekend.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Heart Pins & Calendar Pages

It feels as though I haven't blogged for weeks (and that is because I haven't!). First off our internet provider had a hardware crash and we couldn't access the internet for days and then I was away all this week with work. Amazing how frustrating it was not being able to read blogs or emails all of last weekend! But I did get a fair bit of reading and mending done instead so it was probably good for me...

This week I have been making my five brooches (pins) for the small monthly swap group I am in. I decided to do bright needle-felted heart pins. I've needle-felted bright pink and orange organza to the same colours of commercial felt and then added some wool roving on top. The organza really makes them quite sparkly but it is amazing how much organza gets gobbled up by the needle-felting! I've used a lovely variegated embroidery thread to add some stitching around the edges of the hearts etc and then added some beading for a bit of extra sparkle. To keep the pins robust I have backed them with pelmet vilene plus (the strong iron-on one) which I have painted pink and then they are finished off with a brooch back. I "sort of" want to add something dangly to the base point of the heart but I am resisting as I can't think what would look good.

Below are the pages I recently made for a West Australian Calendar Swap - my pages are for January and I originally intended to do a beach theme (January being one of our glorious summer months) but somehow they turned into a "new beginning" theme. I did a painted background that is then "polished" with distress ink. I should be receiving the calendar back in the next few weeks so I will post all the other participating artists' pages then. The hostess for the swap (Genevieve Payne) is mounting all of the pages on black cardstock so that is why mine don't have a black border and look a bit "unmounted"! The first picture is a bit blurry because the metal embellishment that I used on the gate is quite dimensional. I should have taken a photo really but I am a bit slack and the scanner is sitting right next to me!

Today we have a glorious sunny day and I feel as if I should do something outside to make the most of it but I am travelling a lot with work these days, so my creative time is pretty much limited to weekends and I have some ATCs I want to make!

I have received some lovely art (ATC, postcards and my altered book) recently so I'll post about that as soon as I get some pictures taken. And about the books I've bought - my Christmas present to myself - six (!!) wonderful creative books and a packet of Leslie Riley's TAP (which has yet to arrive but is hopefully close).

Sunday 15 November 2009

A Blog Award & New Stamps

The wonderful Bevlea bestowed (isn't that a magnificently "old" sounding word!) me with a Kreativ Blogger award this week which was a lovely compliment - thank you Bevlea! The way it works - (a) thank the person who gave the award (b) copy the logo onto your blog (c) link the person to your blog (d) pass onto 7 others and (e) list 7 things that no-one really knows about you.

This time I am not actually going to pass it on as I always find it very hard to pick and choose when I read and love SO many creative blogs but this is my list of 7 "unknown things" (for what it is worth!):

1. I've lived in 20 different houses/units etc although I spent the first 17 years of my life in one house and have lived in our current house for 10 years.
2. I really dislike routine but have forced myself to have some important ones so that I can be part of the workforce and a reasonably capable parent!
3. I love lots of clothing styles even though I wouldn't ever buy/wear them.
4. I love lots of different decorating styles even though I wouldn't actually choose them for my own house.
5. I love cooking but hate cooking for formal type events (which is why I gave up on dinner parties nearly three decades ago!)
6. I love simple things.
7. I have a ridiculous number of ink-pads (too ridiculous to enumerate publicly).

Gosh that was hard - I am pretty much an open book so it is hard to find things that people might not know about me.

I've had a bit of a little splurge lately after a period of "saving" and I have some lovely new stamps - the Funky Flames one below (stamped twice here) from the Tim Holtz collection at Stampers Anonymous and the Christine Adolph Fresh Flowers Giant Cube are the latest ones I've acquired! I'm going to play with them this afternoon hopefully although I have to finish my 12 pages for a Calendar Swap first.

And just so there is actually something to look at, here are the first couple of pages in my article on using Metal Tape in the latest Stamping & Papercraft magazine (Vol 15 No 7) - Metal Tape, the Cuttlebug, Alcohol Inks and Black Gesso - a really fun combination!

Saturday 14 November 2009

Calendar Girl Postcard from Carol McFee

In the Calendar Girl postcard exchange it was Carol McFee's turn to make me a postcard for the month of September but Carol has been extremely busy especially with the latest Fibre in-Form online workshops that she and Lynda are running and so my postcard was a little delayed. It has, however, arrived and it was well worth the wait. It has a lot more "zing" than shows in the scan! Just in case you don't remember the Calendar picture (Hundertwasser's Green Town) that was the inspiration for September, you can see it here.

Thursday 12 November 2009

October ATC Exchange

I am part of a small monthly exchange and for October we exchanged ATCs on a spring/flower theme. It was my choice as I just love spring and have really enjoyed it these last few months. Lately however we are experiencing an early and very hot summer! My ATC (above) has a Twinkling H2O painted background with stenciling, stamping, stitching and beautiful Japanese transparent ribbon with an adhesive "jewel". All the ATCs are wonderful and so different!

For November Carole has decided we will make pins (brooches) so that will be something completely different for us! I'll have to get a shuffle on to get mine made before the end of November!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Tuesday's Thoughts (or Monday's Musings a day late!)

This is was supposed to be last night's post but I got distracted by more pressing matters and it didn't happen! Stuff to share - I am pretty sure (positive actually!) that I have worked out that my recent allergies are due to Nurofen - everything fits symptom wise (hives and swelling of the tongue, lips and face) and I think in my case my intolerance has developed over the couple of years that I have been using Nurofen for my neck pain/headaches. But no more - I have to detox first but I will be avoiding NSAIDs from now on! Feels so good to have worked it out - I was starting to worry about when I would next feel unwell and have sausage lips!

Other stuff to share - these two pictures are of my pages in Jacky's Altered Book. I have had quite a break from Altered Books until this year and I must admit I want to do more! Might have to just work on some of my own that I started a few years back but never finished!! The first one has a Twinkling H2O background, white embossed stamped images by Stampin'Up and some doodling. The second one has a background made from spraying various products over a Tattered Angels Mask on a brown paper bag with some Tattered Angels swirly stamp images (my newest and current favourite stamps!!)

This is my ATC for a trade with Deborah K in South Australia (no blog, as yet). It also has a Twinkling H2O painted background with the same Tattered Angels stamp as well as my favourite Hero Arts text image - yet again!).

And this is Deborah's sweet ATC for me!

Sunday 8 November 2009

My Calendar Girls Postcard for November

This month's inspiration for the Calendar Girls Postcard exchange is this picture below by Arthur Rackham and while it provided heaps of inspiration, I was mostly drawn to the tree shapes, particularly the branches and canopies. So I decided to stamp a tree branch image on some hand-dyed fabric. The stamp is a large one from the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection. I added some text stamping as well as the picture naturally makes me think of fairy stories! And of course I just love text images and will use them whenever I can!! This one is a long-standing favourite and is by Hero Arts.

I had to have a couple of goes at the tree image as it is quite a detailed image for fabric stamping but I had much better luck the second time once I had heavily re-inked my black Fabrico ink-pad. The fabric was dyed using Adirondack Colour Washes and I over-sprayed it, once stamped, with Moon Glow Glitz Spritz in gold. It makes the fabric really sparkle and look quite luminous but unfortunately the scanner doesn't pick it up. I thought about adding some beading but decided I liked it as is. My postcard goes to Carol T this month.

Check out the Calendar Girls blog top see what everyone else is doing this month.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Results of the Red Fabric Inchie Swap!

A few blog posts back I posted some photos of my red fabric inchies made for a swap my friend Annie and I were hosting on the Aus_NZartquilters yahoo group and today's post is show you everyone's inchies and my temporary display of about two thirds of them. I am still thinking about a more permanent way of displaying them, but for the moment this is it! Apologies for some of the blurry photos - I am building up to buying a better camera but I figure I need to be willing to actually spend some time on my photography skills/knowledge first!

By Sally Westcott

By Pauline Brewis

By Nia Tilley

By Kerrie Bowles

By Jane Symes

By Fionie Williams

By Annie Laing

By Anieta Barendrecht

A single special one by Andrea Carew

By Andrea Carew

A different photo of my higgledy-piggledy temporary display - amazing how the colours vary!!

Saturday 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween!

Well here I am again saying that yet another week has passed!! I've been travelling out bush again with my job most of the week, we have had a hard drive failure (thank goodness most stuff was backed up on the portable drive!) and, to top it off, I'm still having allergic reactions to "something" - or actually somethings as I am suddenly getting hives for the first time ever as well as a swollen numbed face!But it is Halloween and I thought it would be good to share some recent art for Halloween aficionados! Both are small canvas boards and stamps are of course by Oxford Impressions. More art tomorrow - I'm still reloading software etc so that I can function properly so this is just a quick little post!

Saturday 24 October 2009

An ATC Trade

This month Anne Lugherini from France (still no blog to my knowledge) and I traded ATCs again - Anne makes the most amazingly detailed cross stitch ATCs and this one below is no exception!

My ATC for Anne is at the top of the post and is another Twinkling H2O painted background. I've used a partial image of one of the Stampin'Up stamps I've recently invested in. plus some favourite background type stamps. I like the silhouette look for a change but I outlined it with white gel pen for a bit of "pop"!

Today I am working on my "flowers" ATCs for a small group exchange. I just love spring and flowers just keep springing to mind whenever I start working on something at the moment!

My October Calendar Girl Postcard

This month's Calendar Girls inspiration was a bit tricky for me (see below for the Alphonse Mucha image we were using as inspiration) and I couldn't see past the circle element so I decided not to beat myself up about it and to just go with it! I've appliqued hand-dyed silk in orange and lime green to a piece of dyed muslin and then couched fibres and stitched and beaded until I was happy with the result! And yes the half circle is as wonky as it looks on screen as I really wanted it to look a bit free-form (although maybe not quite so...)

PS I've been away a lot with work, had family visiting and then had some computer issues, hence the blog hiatus! Plus I've been reading lots of escapist books...

Saturday 10 October 2009

Halloween ATCs

By Meagan

I am not a big fan of Halloween - maybe because I didn't grow up with it and maybe because I'm actually pretty easily spooked but over the last couple of years I have enjoyed making some Halloween themed art. I just don't go for the really macabre stuff! A group of four of us in Kalgoorlie have started monthly trades (the first round are shown here) and this month Renaye chose Halloween as our theme.

Both by Renaye

Anyway Renaye made two ATCs for each of us (bit of an indication about how much she loves Halloween) and I haven't caught up with Christine yet but I just had to share the results of our exchange so far. The first ATC at the top of the post is by Meagan and the next two are by Renaye (neither have blogs unfortunately). Renaye is even running a special kids' Halloween craft event at her shop "Keepsake Krafts" - wish I still had little kids I take!

This one is mine. It started with an experiment when we decided recently to try making Annette Husband's"Opals Paper" - vilene with various colours of Opals (thick embossing enamels) ironed onto it. I used orange and purple Opals (must have been thinking Halloween subconsciously!) - they have fancy names but I forget what they are. I added some orange Starburst Stains to cover up any white patches. This is what it looked like before I cut the vilene into ATC sized pieces.

Once it was cut up I used StazOn black ink to stamp my Oxford Impressions tree and tiny bat images onto the vilene. The image was patchy as the Opals surface is not ideal as a stamping surface (noting however, that it is ideal for stamping "into") so I used a permanent black marker to fill in the gaps. I added the checked ribbon and black German scrap sewing the vilene to a strong mat board base. I rubbed the black scrap and ATC edges with orange acrylic paint and then covered the rest of the ATC with several coats of clear UTEE as I didn't have any of the clear (Franklin) Opals. This was the least successful of the four ATCs so I kept it for myself but I forgot to take a picture of the others before trading them. The glossiness was more even on the other ones. I'd definitely try the vilene/opals technique again for a different sort of background - see here for information on the technique.

PS A couple of nights ago I happened to check my blog stat counter and the number of hits was sitting at 59999 - I thought it was pretty freaky but I guess it would have even been more so if it had been 60000 just as I looked. Have to say thanks to everyone for continuing to visit - I know I post a lot less often now that I am travelling so much with my job!