Saturday 28 February 2009

Calendar Girl Postcard for Neki

Feels quite weird to be home after so much time away with work this month! Just want to say a big thank you to everyone that pops by my blog and checks it out - this week I have reached the 50,000 hit mark (just shy of my two year anniversary).

Today I finished my February Calendar Girl postcard for Neki - as you can see from the photo at the top of this post, I didn't go for a literal interpretation this month! (The painting is "Last Days by Vaclav Vaca and was chosen for us by Sandy.) I couldn't see myself doing a unicorn but I loved the colours and the jeweled look so decided to concentrate on some beading and hand stitching. I used some of Joanna's hand-dyed silk (which is actually much closer to the yellow of the unicorn than it looks in my scan) and created an arc shape for my beading - the background of the unicorn image has a radiating arc shape so I thought I would imitate that part. It was a lovely relaxing postcard to make - I really do enjoy doing some hand-stitching and beading occasionally.

Here are a couple of ATCs I have sent overseas for recent trades - the first one for Anne Lugherini is an embellished silk paper heart on top of a FME fabric sandwich (felt covered with a gold spotted chiffon) and the second one, for Marina Perez, is an organza covered piece of fabric paper (a la Beryl Taylor).
(For Anne)

(For Marina)

And now I need to get back to my little bird quilt - I have to decide how to back and bind it so I can get it in the mail on Tuesday. We have a long weekend here in our state so I intend to make the most of it!

PS Little Evelina is just gorgeous!

Saturday 21 February 2009

Guess what? More WIPs!

I've been away this week so don't have anything finished but I am posting a couple of sneak looks at a little art quilt and a fabric postcard that I am working on for a couple of exchanges.

Hand stitching and beading are easy things to do when I am away from home and have limited supplies!

This week has been a terrific mail week too - look at the lovely ATCs and postcard I received from exchanges with

Lovely fabric postcard from Carole Brungar - floral theme

My first ATC from Marina Perez Paris in Spain - lovely mixed media!
(I don't think Marina has a blog)

Beautiful Valentine themed fabric ATC from Maria Clara Lloveras, also in Spain

And I'm off to Perth for work purposes this week and it means I will get to meet our beautiful new little grandbaby Evelina!! She looks so gorgeous and cuddly. Be back Friday.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Work in Progress

Work in Progress - often referred to as WIP(s) - I have plenty of these and as I have no finished art to share I am going to post about my WIPs!

The picture at the top is a progress shot of where I am up to with my 50 little houses for an exchange being organised through the upcoming Creative Soul Retreat. Once swapped we will all have a very long and cute little village to line up on a wall somewhere! The chipboard houses we have been issued with are of varying sizes and shapes but all the ones I received are the same shape. Mine are tiny - about one inch wide and two inches tall. The majority have a delicate little window cut in them so that immediately limited the collage options for decorating them!

So after giving the chipboard a couple of coats of white gesso (fiddly business I can tell you, especially around the windows!) I have washed them all with one of three colours of diluted acrylic paint. I have blotted some with baby wipes to get a mottled look to the paint to give a bit of variety. All the rest so far is doodling with a lovely black artist pen - a lovely zen-like activity after a long day at work! Next step is to put a contrasting colour behind the window (painted book pages probably) and add my delegate number above the window. Then of course I have to do the 11 houses that don't have a window - they will be a variation on the same theme - maybe with a door instead.

Another large WIP is my "Pocketbook of Dreams" from a workshop I took with the wonderful Nina Bagley at my first ever art retreat in 2007. I have my cover made (I adapted Nina's version to make a leather wrap around cover which I will post when the book is all put together).

A copper mesh pocket page with transparency pocket front and tag inserted.

The back of the mesh pocket page with tag separate (photo of paternal grandparents and children - my Dad is the baby in the photo)

The book pages are attached to thin signatures using eyelets etc and various pockets are included either as a page or as part of a page. I have made some non-pocket pages as well for a bit of variety. The intention was to make various sized pages so that it ends up looking interestingly cluttered!

Another double page - right-hand side is another mesh/transparency pocket with a miniature bottle wire wrapped to the side.

The other side of the double page showing patina on back of copper mesh pocket. Right-hand side is printed vellum over a vintage photo.

Another double page - collage style.

I had a burst making these straight after the workshop and obviously put it aside "for later" but of course didn't get back to it. I rediscovered it this week lurking at the bottom of a big drawer where I store all my painted canvas backgrounds (as I tend to paint backgrounds when I am not inspired to do anything else!)

The other side of the collaged double page.

Most of the pages below are finished although some still need "something". I have scanned them flat but they are double pages as they are already attached to the central signature section. I really have the urge now to do some more pages and assemble the book so expect to see more over teh next couple of months.

The start of another page - gesso on fabric transfer (from a workshop with Lesley Riley)

A stamped page attached to the signature - waiting for a page for the other side!
The back of the stamped page - quote printed on vellum
Another solitary page attached to the signature - waiting for a partner! This one is a tissue/napkin collage with a seed envelope as the pocket.

I am off to Wiluna again this week for work (will be back Thursday afternoon) so today I am planning on starting a couple of projects that I can work on easily while I am away - the trip involves sitting in a car for 13 to 14 hours and this time I am just a passenger so I can do some stitching. I have two small exchange projects that are due this month so this will provide a good opportunity to get them done.

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Elizabeth is celebrating 250 posts!

Elizabeth is celebrating her 250 blog post milestone so pop over to her blog to enter the draw for one of her beautiful heart shaped quilties.

Tonight I am off to try brush calligraphy at Annie's - this should be fun (probably messy too knowing my propensity to turn any activity involving a brush into a messy situation!)

And, because I have a psychological block about blog posts with no pictures, here is a picture of my sons, (since turned 21 and 18), my 21 year old nephew and ageless husband on Christmas Day (celebrated casually on the verandah out at my sister's Wilderness house Margaret River style!)

(from left to right my son Josh, nephew Jarrad, son Zach & husband Joseph)

Tuesday 10 February 2009

A Quick Little Post

This is just a quick little post to share the last Technique ATC that I just received from the Surface Design group exchange. This one is by Tracy Borders and it is very impressive - a fabric surface design technique to try for sure! Tracy has included details on her blog about the technique - well worth popping over to have a look.

PS It has also been a good week in the magazine delivery department - the latest Quilting Arts, Where Women Create & the Stampers Sampler!! What bliss...

Sunday 8 February 2009

A Fabric Paper Postcard Experiment

This month Carole Brungar and I are exchanging floral themed postcards so I thought I would make mine using some of my fabric paper (a la Beryl Taylor). Beryl recommends that you use photocopied papers so that they aren't too heavy for the technique but I have found that it still works using the scrapbook papers (probably just ends up a little firmer).

This piece of fabric paper includes three different scrapbook papers, including two floral ones. I wanted to emphasize the soft feminine colours so the paint wash over the top is very subtle and includes a little "Sea Glass" Glimmer Mist (by Tattered Angels). I said I wouldn't try any more glimmer type sprays as I was so happy with the Moon Shadow Range but when I was in Margaret River over Christmas I saw this particular spray in a shop there and fell in love with the colour!

After adding some thin batting to the fabric paper, I added some hand stitching in a few nice colours and then I decided to experiment by coating the whole top with a polymer varnish. It worked a treat and has made a very durable type surface. I have yet to post one of my fabric postcards "naked" (meaning without an envelope) but I think this one might now be safe in the mail system. I usually add beads or something dimensional but I am very tempted to just drop it in the mailbox! It is quite firm as I added a layer of Pelmet Vilene Plus and a calico backing.

I have been honoured in the last week or so by two lovely bloggers who have passed on awards to me - Krishna from Feltique (the Butterfly Award) and Julia from Verdigris Rose (the Marie Antionette Real Person award). I really appreciate you both thinking of me and although I am not going to pass this one formally, I really would like to honour everyone on my blog roll - and all the others that I subscribe to but haven't got around to adding to my blog!

I don't have any other art finished but I have quite a few projects underway so I will be able to share pictures soon (hopefully) - 50 tiny little chipboard houses for the Creative Soul Retreat which is just over a month away, some more technique ATCs, more Oxford Impressions cards...

Last week I was in the Esperance region for work so here are a few pictures - the weather was pretty variable and quite a lot cooler than the temperatures we have been having here.

(Close to the Esperance Harbour - the tower is associated with the
miniature railway and it looks bizarre from a distance!)

(This one is the $2billion Ravensthorpe Nickel mine/plant that has just closed down after 8 months operation)

(This one and the one below are of the beautiful remote Starvation Bay -
between Esperance and Hopetoun)

PS My thoughts are with all the Australians currently being affected by the
awful floods in Queensland and the terrible bushfires in Victoria.

Monday 2 February 2009

And today is Monday!

It seems that my ability to come up with a half-way decent post title has deserted me so I am resorting to days of the week again! This is another of my Oxford Impressions cards - this one is made using a favourite image from the "The Family Man" plate of stamps. Because it is stamped on a photocopy of a ration book (to get some detail in the background) I have stamped it again on a plain piece of cardstock and used the main part of the image on top of the first stamped image. That way the face doesn't have lines all over it! The antique photo frame is from an Oxford Impressions collage sheet. There are a few metal embellishments, a strip of patterned twill and a tiny bit of German gold scrap but this is a pretty simple card and I think the sewn layers frame it nicely. Incidentally the black and white print is not part of the card although I'm actually tempted to add another layer now that I see it on the scan!

And today I received another wonderful technique ATC - this one is from Margaret Roberts in the UK. Margaret has used a painted paper towel technique incorporating stitching and the result is fantastic - beautifully textured and gorgeously coloured! It has much more of a gleam than shows up in my scan. Have a look at Margaret's blog to see more.

I am away for the next few days with work but the good thing is that this time I am heading to the coast and hopefully will get to enjoy some cooler weather! See you when I get back Thursday night...