Tuesday 30 June 2009

Wonderful Art Received!

I have the good fortune to be part of a small group of Aussie art sisters who have the option each month of participating in an "art of the month" exchange (as mentioned in yesterday's post) and this month the person sending art to me was Nic Hohn.

Yesterday I received this wonderful package - a beautifully wrapped piece of art, a gorgeous beaded bookmark and two of Nic's vibrant "love" cards! I feel so blessed - so much abundance!

And at the top of this post is the "you are loved" artwork that Nic sent - isn't it special?

PS While my Mum was visiting she gave me a very special little quilt that she had made especially for me (yes, I am glowing with all this specialness coming my way!) and as soon as I can take a decent photo of it I will be sharing it here. It ieatures fabrics that my sisters and I and our Mum used to make our clothes when I was a young teenager! Needless to say they are as good as vintage fabrics now!!

Monday 29 June 2009

Finally I'm Back!

(Front View)

Well I finished the bulk of my clean-up and reorganization last Sunday a week ago (and I am feeling very pleased with myself!!) but then had to go to Leonora/Wiluna for work purposes so I haven't been around much lately. This weekend just gone, my son Josh flew up to Kalgoorlie so I made the most of his few days with us (and it was my birthday as well so it was extra-special family time!)

As a result I haven't been doing much creative stuff (outside of the kitchen) although I have finished a couple of art commitments. The first one is a fabric journal wrap that I made for Samm as my "Art of the Month" for a small group exchange. It looks a whole lot better in real life but my camera batteries were flat and I needed to get it in the mail today so I have made do with scans! Inside the wrap I have included a lovely colourful journal which I liberated from an unappreciative owner at our local monthly trash and treasure market. The wrap has pockets to hold the journal and is made from a mixture of vintage kimono fabric, new asian themed fabrics, a felt backing and some delicious velvet ric rac. The ties are dyed leather with recycled asian decorative coins.

(Back View)

I also made this little bird fabric ATC last night for my latest exchange with the cross-stitching ATC Anne Lugherini.

I have been blessed with some lovely mail of late - here is the first instalment! This is Pippa's interpretation of the June Calendar Girl picture (by Ton Schulten) - I love her dreamy postcard. And it came in this wonderful fibrous painted (internal!) envelope with some yummy clay beads/buttons.

And Cait sent me a gorgeous green ATC (along with her Green Inchies) - Annie and I are swapping them all out this week so I will be posting pictures later this week of all that green inchie goodness (there were 20 players who each sent 54 inchies so I guess you can imagine ....the mess that Annie and I could very easily get in!!) PS Sorry again about the blur - the ATC is quite "dimensional" and I really should have waited for a photo!

And last but not least, here is the latest ATC I have received from my exchanges with Anne Lugherini (Iam always running late!).

More tomorrow...

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Why My Blog Has Been Neglected of Late!

Just popping in to explain the unscheduled blogging holiday I have had this last week or so! (And which will continue for the next few days I expect.)

The story goes like this - over a six month period an arty/crafty woman gradually spreads beyond the two spare but small bedrooms that form her creative (storage!) space into the study/guest room. It starts when the youngest son of the household finishes school and has a gap year before leaving home to pursue a higher education in Perth. It is possible because the guest room is only needed infrequently. Initially the "spread" just involves a large trestle table/surface area for projects, but over the months a significant flow of materials and supplies of every kind start following the woman who loves them.

Suddenly it is June and the woman's mum (who lives about a thousand kilometres away) is due for her annual visit and it becomes blindingly obvious that she will be sleeping on a couch in the lounge room unless a certain arty/crafty woman takes immediate action. The same woman reflects on the situation at night while trying to sleep and decides that she is feeling very disorganised and over-whelmed with her creative spaces and that a nice little clean-up and reorganisation is necessary (not a total blitz or anything, just a nice sedate reorganisation that involves chucking out junk and rubbish that sticks to this woman like glue - sensing maybe that a accumulative "recycling" type personality lives within?). It seems possible (at least in the middle of the night) to imagine a couple of days of the following week's recreation leave being sufficient to complete the task and still have enough time for more leisurely and pursuits with her mum.

So it starts on the evenings after work a few days before the crazed one's mum is due to arrive - everything that that should not have found even a temporary home in the guest room is moved to the lounge room "for sorting". Fortunately the household includes an incredibly tolerant and bemused husband and an 18 year old son who couldn't care less as long as their path to the kitchen is free and their activity room (the one with the computer, the Foxtel/bigger TV, the drums, the treadmill and the family bookcase etc etc) is left unscathed.

One very loved/loving mother arrives by train late on the evening of the 12th of June and immediately assesses the situation - this is not a holiday she is on, this is a mission! It starts the next day with a realization by both the crazed woman and loving mother that the task needs also to involve the "stuff" in the other two rooms as well. Days pass with both immersed in the task - amazing things are discovered (on the spectrum that caries from "oh my god - what was I thinking" to "WOW - how wonderful - I had forgotten about that tool/supply/material etc") and some progress is made.

By the evening of day four (last night) however, the task is seeming a little too big and a little too over-whelming and both the crazed woman and the loved mother are grateful that the wine supply is good and that the middle and younger sisters are out of eye-sight (on the other side of Australia and in Perth respectively) because both know they would be aghast at their mum and sisters' inability to chuck out/recycle/give-away 30 perfectly good strong handled brown paper bags. OR the reasoning behind the accumulation of boxes (and boxes) of superseded office letterhead paper (that just needs the letterhead cut off and then it will make perfectly good notepads for next to the phone for about 200+ years). OR the lovely wooden spoon handles that eventually fell off the Balinese cooking utensils bought on a family holiday a decade ago (but which could make really interesting art quilt hangers.) OR the 20 spare rolls of foam mounting tape tucked away in a box in a cupboard where they would never be found at a time when they were actually needed. And it goes on and on....

So today is day five and I have missed my blog so thought I would spend a little time sharing the chaos that is currently my life!! All of these photos, taken at 6am this morning (which is after we "tidied up last night!!) are not of the actual creative rooms themselves, just the overflow into the lounge-room and family dining area where I have set up trestle tables to save me squatting on the floor all the time (middle-aged thighs don't cope well with squatting for more than about 10 minutes a day!!). Ask me how I know...

And to finish on a creative note - all of the ATCs below are the ones I have received from the "recycled ribbon" challenge. Such great variety!!

(Clock-wise from the left - by Annie Laing, An Buskens, Doreen Grey & Carole Brungar)

Yesterday's mail brought this lovely package of music sheets and plastic lace (for sun-printing!!) which I had won on a give-away on Jo Wholohan's blog. I'm excited about this lace as I have been enjoying the sun-printing process and this lace is quite different to the ones I have managed to find. Jo's packaging is just gorgeous and she will be selling these through her etsy shop soon if you are interested.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Tuesday's This and That

(Having fun with gesso!)

Just a quick little post to say thank you to the Queensland girls (Jo, Kasha and Gaye) for insisting 13 months ago that I REALLY didn't know what I was missing by not even checking out the Cuttlebug machine!! Well I may be a bit slow on the uptake but I have discovered you are right - the Cuttlebug is amazing and I love it already!! Accumulating embossing folders at a rate of knots and watching all the you tube videos on different "recipes".

Blog Warning: Everything I make in the next three months is bound to have been put through the Cuttlebug at some point!

(From Doreen)

My mail this week has been wonderful - yesterday I received Doreen's beautiful ATC with the recycled ribbon (and yes, we really did manage to do very similar things but without any collusion at all!) as well as Kasha's Art of the Month - a wonderful set of button jewellery!

(From Kasha)

Then today I received Sharon's June Calendar Girls fabric postcard (and what a gorgeous postcard it is - see here for details ) and the latest "Studios" magazine. I just love reading about other people's art rooms/studios! Very inspiring.

(From Sharon)

At the top of this post there is a scan of are some pieces I am working on at the moment - in between emptying the guest room of all my art & craft overflow so that my Mum has somewhere to sleep when she arrives on Friday night!!

PS Jo has a blog give-away happening so check it out before June 12!

Monday 8 June 2009

Recycling Packaging Ribbon

I had a quiet weekend as a result of a killer headache on Thursday - decided to be gentle on myself and it was a good move - I feel much better for it! It did mean however, that I didn't get much art or craft done except for some ATCs for a small group trade.

Annie decided the "theme" this month and she required that we use some "ribbons" that her husband brought home to her after finding them as packaging material in some boxes he was unpacking! The ribbons are synthetic and quite firm so I decided (after a couple of abortive attempts at other things!) to weave them together as the base for my ATCs.

Here is a photo of the weaving underway - I used various pins to hold the ribbons in place on two sides as I did the weaving. The base was a piece of cork covered with paper-backed fusible adhesive. Once the weaving was completed I ironed the whole sandwich (well, minus the cork!) and then backed it with green fabric so that there was some colour showing in between the ribbons. I backed this with Pelmet Vilene Plus and then used a couple of decorative stitches on my Janome to add a bit of interest. I backed them again with fabric and cut them into ATC sizes. After finishing the edges I added painted and stamped paper flowers with some adhesive "jewels" but then I decided the ATCs still needed "something". So I got out my wood-burning tool and melted little holes in the ribbons - I think it adds some texture!

PS The scan of the ATCs at the top is not really accurate colour-wise - the photo of the weaving is much closer to reality.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

My June Calendar Girl Postcard

Hopefully pride won't come before a fall but I made my June postcard for the Calendar Girl swap yesterday - on the first of June!! That is a record for me. below is the calendar page we were to use as an inspiration - it was chosen by Sharon. It positively screamed at me - use your sheers - do lots of layering. So I did. And had a lot of fun doing it. Now I want to play some more with sheers! The first picture above is a photo and the second one is a scan. The photo shows up the glittery organza fabrics a bit more but the scan is truer colour-wise!.And then today the postman delivered my comp copy of Art Quilting Studio (I should not have doubted Stampington!) so tonight I will be losing myself in its pages!

This morning we had a glorious sunrise and as I haven't shared any early morning photos for ages, I thought I would show you this series from over my east facing backyard fence. Love the way the moon shows up in one of them!

Monday 1 June 2009


Finally finished my green fabric inchies for the exchange Annie and I are organising. Some of the colours in the photos were "off" so I have scanned some of them to get a more realistic look.

Below - shiva oil sticks painted onto white satin, stamped with a text image in black ink. Large sequin stitched on with dimensional gel paint "bead" and edging.

Below - sun-printed lace fabric with decorative fibre tied around the inchie.
Stitched on fabric flower and bead.

Below - Sun-printed fabric with white glitter mesh and metallic heart brad.

Below - sun-printed fabric covered with glitter tulle, decorative machine stitching with sequin flower and bead sewn on.

Below - hand-dyed silk with green lace, decorative fibre and "jewel".

Below - cream fabric stamped with green ink and hand coloured paper flower adhered with small green brad. Inchie sprayed with green glitz spritz.

Below - cream printed fabric covered with light green organza with small green pompom.

Below - Green velvet with bamboo fibre bow and gold flower brad.

Below - green fabric with felt fusion and a pink sequin stitched on with decorative fibre.

Below - hand-dyed lace sewn to decorative fabric.