Saturday 30 May 2009

Exciting News!!

My friend Annie ordered a copy of the new Stampington publication "Art Quilting Studio" from Dale at The Thread Studio and when it arrived she discovered that these two little art quilts I had sent in (many moons ago) had been included!

Needless to say I am thrilled and now I am eagerly watching my letter box in the hope that Stampington remember to send me a copy! I have seen several other blog posts where people in the US are just receiving their comp copies so I guess I'll need to wait another week before I follow it up. I only had a quick look through Annie's copy but it looks like a nice mix of styles and techniques are included - love love love DJ's quilts and this one of Denise's is just gorgeous.

Makes me want to start another art quilt right now!

Monday 25 May 2009

Some More Inchies

This weekend I managed to make some good progress on my green fabric inchies - this set is finished. The scan is a bit blurry as the inchies are quite dimensional but I couldn't be bothered taking a photo - the scanner is a lot simpler (and closer)! They are quite pretty in real (inchie) life.

I used remnants of the piece of fabric I sunprinted for my April Calendar Girl postcard. It has a sparkly fine brown tulle on top and I've added some decorative stitching and the sequins and bead. I decided to sew on the beads after the inchies were cut and backed with the pelmet vilene plus but it was pretty fiddly stitching them on! An exercise in patience, especially as invisible thread really is!

This next picture is a scan of several other bases that are ready for the next steps - decorating and finishing the edges (only on those that need it!). I have used two pieces of sunprinted fabric (ones I made using plastic lace table runners a little while back), a piece of polyester satin coloured with shiva oil paint sticks and then stamped with a text image, a piece of fabric with that die cut felt fusion on top, fabric covered with sparkly organza and another one cut from a rich plush piece of velvety upholstery fabric. I have another inchie base on the sewing machine as well - hand-dyed silk gifted to me by the wonderful Joanna!

I'll be working on my inchies at Annie's on our regular Wednesday night get together - they are very transportable and will be a good little project for me to focus on (instead of just talking and drooling over Annie's latest book purchases!!).

Today was a good mail day - Carole's "Things that start with the letter L" ATC arrived today. That is the last of the ATCs from that swap for May. Annie has chosen the theme for June and she has provided a mystery material that we are to incorporate into ATCs for the group's June exchange. Watch this space - I have my thinking cap on but as yet I haven't settled on an idea !

Sunday 24 May 2009

I Love Sundays!

I couldn't sleep last night for some reason so I gave up and started the day VERY early (especially for a Sunday)! Flagging a bit now but it has been a good day. I made this canvas board for Kasha - she is my Art of the Month partner again this month. I got to use my new Fiskars Border punch (Treading Water) on the roof section - I really do love scalloped edges and the little holes add a little something. I think I may have gone a little overboard on the floral embellishments...and I have just realised that I used the same flowers on last month's quilted wall hanger! See what happens when I leave stuff out on my desk - I actually use it. I also used my not-that-new but previously unused little blue wired leaves - I've been saving them as they are so gorgeous but I am trying to practice thinking abundance!

This is what the background looked like before I started collaging. I painted it first (dark green), then dry-brushed it with white before sponging on inks and stamping etc. I love this script image - it is from the new Oxford Impressions range.

And for a bit of variety here are some photos of scenes around Leonora (two and a half hours drive north of Kalgoorlie) taken this month after lots of rain - everything is so much greener than usual for this time of year. And the dam has a lot of water in it! Several of the shots are taken from the top of a small hill.

Saturday 23 May 2009

Another Week Gone By!

For someone who used to post several times a week, I really am battling to do more than a weekly post these days! But I have a personal mantra that says that blogging is for fun and if you haven't got the time (or energy or inspiration) then you don't blog until you have! This week I had a few days in the northern goldfields a few hundred kilometres north of Kalgoorlie - glorious warm sunny days and cold nights (in contrast to the wet windy wintry weather we are suddenly experiencing here today). A nice change from the office part of my job although I came back pretty stuffed - all I wanted to do for a couple of days was sleep which was, of course, not possible.

As a result I haven't been doing a lot of creative things at night after work but I have started on my Green Fabric Inchies. Annie and I are running an exchange on Aus_NZartquilters so I thought I had better get started. This exchange is like the others I have participated in - each person makes seven sets of nine inchies, keeping one and swapping six. I like each set to be made up of nine different inchies so I have made all my bases and so far have finished the two types you can see here.

The first ones at the top of this post are made from cream damask type fabric (with a middle layer of felt and a base of the strong pelmet vilene). I have stamped dots on it in green ink. I've added some colour (using water soluble Lyra crayons and Glitz Spritz in green) to some cream paper flowers and added small metallic green brads to the centres.

The second ones are made from a patchwork fabric that has a lovely lacy pattern (the same one I used on these ATCs recently). I've added some lace I have hand painted in shades of green. These ones also have the felt middle and pelmet vilene base. I have found that the extra firmness really helps when you are stitching around the fiddly little things!

On Wednesday Annie and I swapped our May "things starting with the letter L" ATCs - isn't this a gorgeous limey, lacy ATC!

ATC by Annie Laing

Annie had also been to Perth for the Craft Fair and came back with lots of new serviettes and she is such a good friend that she has given me some of all of the them!

I have been trying really hard over the last few years to resist the urge to buy new products as they come out because I have so many art/craft interests and I am (a) running out of storage room, (b) already out of workable surface area, (c) not using everything I already have, including all those new things that just seemed to be so necessary, and (d) trying not to spend money! As a result I have not paid any attention to all the embossing and die-cutting tools that have proliferated over the years but over the last year or so I have seen some incredible stuff made with the Cuttlebug Machine and yesterday I finally gave in and ordered one and several embossing dies. I haven't bothered with die-cuts at this stage. I can't wait for it to arrive - hopefully by next weekend as we have a long weekend and I'll have some time to play. My Mum is coming up in mid June and I am having a week's leave so that we can have some time together so I think we will both have fun with the new toy! Expect to see lots of embossed projects.

And this morning in Target (I was buying a new kettle as the current one has decided to leak rather copiously) I found these gorgeous paisley brads and could not resist them! I'm going to try colouring them with alcohol inks but I love them plain. I remember now why I avoid shops!

Saturday 16 May 2009

Catching Up with Real Life!

One of the many things I love about my work is that I get lots of variety and get to "go bush". BUT I must admit the travel plays havoc with my real life (especially blogging and blog-reading)! I've had withdrawal symptoms from a week without them and have just spent a lovely couple of hours browsing blogs and other sites.

So to catch up with everything - while I was away I did work on my May Calendar Girl postcard and I finished it off this morning (as shown in the scan at the top of this post). It was inspired (and I use the word loosely) by this Monet painting.

My postcard is a mixture of machine and hand-needle felting and if you want to see more postcards inspired by the Monet painting, pop over here!

(From Doreen)

While I was away I received two ATCs from a small group trade. These ones are from Doreen and Ann and are based on the letter "L". Love them both!

(From Ann)

I also came back to find that two lovely bloggers, Teresa and Bevlea, have honoured me with the same award - the Kreativ Blogger Award. As always I am very honoured and even though I don't always pass awards on (mainly because I worry people won't want to accept and will feel awkward or obligated), I am going to pass this one on.

The Rules: List 7 things that you LOVE and link to the person who has tagged you. Choose 7 more bloggers to give the Kreativ Blogger Award to, then leave a comment on those 7 blogs to let the recipients know you chose them.

So here are the seven things that I love:
  1. My blended and extended family - I have the wonderful fortune of being step-mother to my husband's first two sons as well as mother to the two sons we have had together. Both step-sons now have families of their own so the love and the family keeps growing!
  2. My husband - quite apart from all the other things I love about him, he is my number one arty fan and is the reason I have so many art and craft supplies (he works on the principle that at least one of everything is a good idea!) and so many opportunities to live my bliss!
  3. Blogging - I just love the sharing, the stimulation and inspiration and the friendships!!
  4. Arting and crafting - I love to do it all (well, nearly) and I am sure I will need another eight lifetimes to try everything I want to do ! And because of all the fantastic fiendships that have come from these wonderful activities.
  5. Books & Art/Craft Magazines - I read a lot, always have, and I love to own books , but lately I have been showing a lot more restraint and I am using our local library for my fiction addiction (so that I can afford my magazines and non-fiction books!).
  6. My job - this is true most of the time!! I am very lucky to work in a job that, while frustrating at times, gives me enormous opportunities to experience both people and places that lots of city-living Australians don't get to know or see.
  7. Australia - we are SO lucky in SO many ways and don't always realize it!!
And because I am me and seven is just not enough, I have to add the following extras - nature, colour, wine, food, chocolate, travel and my home!

I award the Kreativ Blogger award to these blogs (in no particular order):

  • Jenxo - A fellow Aussie, I always enjoy a visit to the very creative Jen's blog
  • Danita - A fairly recent blog to me - as a result of Danita's gorgeous art in Somerset Studio
  • Kristy - A long term favourite of mine - always creative and inspiring
  • Clara - A recent ATC trading partner from Spain who has a lovely creative blog
  • Chantal - An even more recent ATC trading partner from France
  • Suzanne - Owner and designer of Oxford Impressions (and we all know how much I love OI stamps!) and of course Suzanne has a wonderful creative blog
  • Carole - A wonderful ongoing trading partner of all things creative!

Phew! That's it for now, I am off to make some decadent Brownies.

Sunday 10 May 2009

Love You Mum!

This is my "card" for my Mum today. I saw a paper covered block canvas here on the Hero Arts Club blog when I was blog-surfing reading last weekend and thought I would adapt the idea a bit and use it for my own message of love.

This canvas is a 5 by 7 inch block canvas and I have wrapped the paper so that it covers the sides as well. It looks quite sweet sitting on its own little wooden easel (which isn't in the photo above!)

I absolutely adore the paper I used as the background - it is the Chablis one from the Basic Grey Periphery range. The chipboard letters have been painted with gesso and then inked and embossed in white as has the floral/flourish stamp on the french text page. The blue paper flowers and the background have been colour-intensified with gorgeous blue and gold Glitz Spritz sprays and I used some of those cute miniature buttons that I think are designed for doll makers. Such fun to make - I think I will have to try some more of these!

This afternoon I am heading off to Leonora as I have several days out bush with work so I am off now to collect up some bits and pieces that I can sew while I am away. Must remember to take a lamp - the rooms in outback town "hotels" (and I use the term very loosely) are notoriously poorly lit although with four nights in different rooms I will hopefully have some luck with the lighting. At least I am not having to rough it in a swag (especially lucky as the temperatures inland are really dropping now at night even though the days are quite mild).

Happy Mother's Day to all the mums and nanas out there!

Saturday 9 May 2009

Fabric ATCs

I haven't been able to share any art this week as everything I have been working on has been for magazines or a gift. But this morning I finished my fabric Artist Trading Cards for a small group swap I am participating in. It was Carole's turn to set the theme and she decided it was something that starts with the letter "L". I love using lace so decided to use some beautiful lacy looking fabric that I have (I love the way it looks as though it has a net overlay) with a bit of lace, a lady (printed out on those ready to use fabric sheets which I also love) and some of my favourite leafy trim. So here are my lacy, leafy lady ATCs.

During the week I received this beautiful "arted-up"coaster from the very talented Celeste as part of the Aust_ArtSisters "Art of the Month" exchange for April.

(A lovely cork-backed coaster from Celeste)

Feeling very headachey and off-colour today so can't get motivated to do all the things I wanted to do, so I am thinking I might just go and play around with some canvas and paint - no plan, no expectations and no pressures! I am away a fair bit over the next couple of weeks with work so I don't want to get sick. A restful low-key day is probably the best idea. Besides I have the latest Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and a good book to read...

Saturday 2 May 2009

Some ATCs and another Fabric Postcard

Just a quick little post to show the last of my postcards for the Unique Stitching Red Cross fund-raiser. This one is made from beautiful vintage fabric (it comes from the leftover fabric when my Mum made her bedroom curtains and quilt when she was first married more than 50 years ago). I have covered the base fabric with a very light sheer fabric (organza I think) which I had first stamped with a text image and black ink. I love using text as a way of getting more depth in the background. I've kept this postcard pretty simple with some accent hand-stitching, a few miniature sequins and seed beads and a small piece of a pink trim. I finished off by spraying it lightly with Medieval Gold Glitz Spritz to give it a slightly deeper colour and because I love the look of a few golden splodges!

(From Chantal)

(From Chantal)

During the week I received these two terrific ATCs from my first trade with Chantal Gamory in France - they are so lovely and sparkly! And these are my two return ATCs.

The first one has a background of felt and various bits and pieces of fabrics and scrap threads, stitched and covered with blue organza which I have melted back a bit. I have drawn the swirls with Jones Tones glue and used two different foils to get the patchy effect. It is really pretty in real life!

The other one is made from a base of tissue paper adhered to felt which I have coloured and then lightly sprayed with webbing spray. I've sewn on a little pleated scrap of fabric, some vintage lace, a stamped piece of twill and a few buttons for some dimension.

A word of warning - Annie and I are jointly hosting a Green Fabric Inchie swap on the Aus_NZartquilters yahoo group so you can expect to see lots of inchies over the next several weeks. I just love making them and I really wanted a green collection to go with the other four I have mounted on my wall - blue, metallic, beige and plastic.